If you have been lucky to enjoy the privilege of dealing professionally with high-end for many years, you will inevitably become more and more demanding over time. On the other hand there are formative experiences that you’ll never forget. Such a rank on my personal »leaderboard« is taken by Raidho, although the speakers of the Danish high-end manufacture only hit my screen on detours: many years ago, at the Munich fair, Nordost was giving demos with an X2, a small floorstander. Though I was used to quite a lot from their expertly compiled and carefully put up stereo systems, particularly in terms of resolution and microdynamics, it was just these characteristics which fascinated me back then; moreover, the sound image was exceptionally coherent and full of inner suspense. A lot of visits to Raidho, or Dantax Radio respectively, followed in the course of years until I was finally presented the ScansonicHD loudspeakers there.

It wasn’t easy to avoid the idea of a competition on company’s own ground; after all, the models by ScansonicHD obviously capture design and technical features of the Raidho speakers. And soundwise they presented themselves at demos in a way which, with an eye to Raidho, didn’t hardly make them appear less controversial. Bearing this background in mind, I had awaited dealing with the MB5 B at my listening room with bated breath, and during these weeks I had indeed one or two crucial experiences, that much I can anticipate. However, as to the profiling of both brands, it becomes clear on closer inspection that the people in charge do by no means intend to cut the ground under their own feet. Thus the XL floorstander designs and some technological goodies remain reserved for Raidho while ScansonicHD puts itself in more affordable price ranges. Nonetheless all ScansonicHD models are developed and built at the company site in Pandrup, Denmark, whereby a lot of manual work is involved. Recently Olaf Sturm could convince himself of the local customs and possibilities; his report is well worth reading and it can be found here.

Besides a conscious renunciation of too much automation, a high level of self-competence and an accordingly high production depth are part of the essence of a company that sticks to the classic manufacturing idea for its two high-end brands. Hence all drivers are made inhouse which should not least be due to the interim ownership of ScanSpeak. The ScansonicHD portfolio comprises two series each of which includes several floorstanders, two or one compact monitor respectively plus one centre speaker and one subwoofer. Furthermore, with the MK5 the range also includes a frameless compact monitor. Being the latest extension to the product line the MB series, which is above the M series, includes four floorstanders of which the MB5 B is the second largest model and thus comes right below their own reference MB 6 B. The MB5 B is recommended for medium-sized rooms which is to be understood primarily in view of its low-frequency equipment. In this respect the 1.18 metre (4 ft. 6 in.) tall loudspeaker causes no problems anyway, and with only 26 centimetres (10.2 in.) in width it leaves a very elegant impression.