Don’t bother wearing socks when firing up the Mercury V system – they’ll only get blown off. This is as good a performance as you’re likely to get for a grand, marrying astonishing levels of power with the sort of grace and control that wouldn’t sound out of place coming from a system twice as expensive.
Key to this powerhouse performance is the TS2.10 sub. Its bass output is ferocious for such a small and unassuming box, plumbing depths we didn’t think possible. But it does so without suffocating the other speakers, smoothly crossing over while remaining tight and controlled.
It also brings an effortless undercurrent of menace to tense scenes, as well as solidifying background ambience and underpinning deep, authoritative voices.
But if the TS2.10 is the Hulk of the operation, then the V4s are Tony Stark – sharp, articulate, obsessed with detail and can really turn on the power when needed. These traits are ably demonstrated by Thor on Blu-ray, a movie it laps up with relish.
As Thor and friends battle the Frost Giants on Yodenheim, the soundstage is filled with fast and forceful effects, relayed with a smooth, finessed tone. Swords being drawn have a sweet metallic ping; rocks tumble with a delicate crunch; and when the huge beast pops up at the end of the scene, Mercury has no trouble conveying the depth and top-end rasp of its powerful roar.
It also digs out loads of subtle detail, such as the hissing of waves during scenes on Rainbow Bridge. The entire system is tonally consistent, so you get a smooth, level sound as effects sweep around the spacious soundstage. And the centre speaker is a skilled performer, projecting dialogue with effortless clarity.
Used as a stereo pair the V4s continue the great work, offering a warm and insightful performance with music.
The Mercury V system is the epitome of great value. Yes a grand might sound like a lot to shell out, but for that money you get a beautifully made, gorgeous sounding system with an innovative dual-driver sub. The V4s, VC and V1 team up to deliver an open, polished sound with shedloads of detail and crystal clear dialogue reproduction.
But more importantly it conveys movie action with passion and dynamism – you can’t help but get caught up in the excitement. Some may find the look a little safe and there are a lot of bulky boxes to squeeze into your living room, but on the whole Mercury V is a formidable system that punches well above its weight in performance terms.