Posted By andrew603

Mission 780 Argonaut Loudspeakers

Mission 780 Argonaut Loudspeakers

First, I love these speakers.  Sure, they are as old as I am, but I have yet to come across anything new that compares to the sound of the Argonaut.  These are speakers produced during a time when the rage was giant Bose speakers and other similar products.  People assumed bigger was better.  Yet Mission looked past all that nonsense and produced a speaker that sounded so much clearer, especially at high volume than anything else in the consumer market at the time.

Honestly, I'm not really sure how to quantify things I've been asked about these speakers by people, like 'soundstage, depth, and warmth' in writing.  I could say the soundstage of the Argonauts is warm, crisp, clear, and ultra-realistic, or live; provided you are listening to something that was recorded well.  However, I think the most accurate statement would be to say that when listening to music on these speakers, you hear what was recorded.

I've listened to many things on these speakers over the coarse of my lifetime, and will summarize some more recent 'listening sessions' below.  I will say that the Mission Argonauts range from beautiful subtle ambiance to foundation-shaking power with no noticeable distortion.  It all depends what you want to listen to.

I consider the Mission 780 Argonaut to be THE REFERENCE LOUDSPEAKER of the industry, the benchmark to compare all other loudspeakers.  The Argonaut is a speaker, in this man's opinion, that was designed for a single purpose:  to reproduce exactly what is on the record, nothing more, nothing less, and it does exactly that.

[Technical Mumbo Jumbo™]

As time has gone by, we can now see many of their ideologies are now followed by other manufacturers.

I will be posting quotations from the owner's manual of the Mission 780 Argonaut Loudspeakers here.  Mission had some revolutionary design ideologies that very much opposed how people thought loudspeakers were supposed to be used.  Topics such as speaker placement/positioning, power handling,  and even the reason they pushed for a two-way speaker design over the popular three-way and four-way designs of the time.  As time has gone by, we can now see how they were right, as many of their ideologies are now religiously followed by other manufacturers.

Listed specifications according to 1985 brochure:

Frequency Band:         20Hz – 25KHz
Frequency Response:    35Hz – 20KHz +- 3dB
Nominal Impedance:    4 ohms
Recommended Power:    50 – 200 Watts/Channel
Sensitivity:            94.5dB
Tweeter:                25mm (~1in) Impedance Transformed
Woofer:                2x 215mm (~8.5in) Reinforced Homopolymer Cone
Crossover Frequency:    1.8KHz

UPDATE:  I have scanned the brochure that came with the speakers when my father purchased them in 1985.  Download the PDF version.

MISSION ELECTRONICS Speakers Brochure from 1985

Download the PDF version here!

Responses to this post » (12 Total)

  1. Ken says:

    Hi I think you have the wrong specs as those are from the argonaut MK 11 im sure the above argies had a sensitivity of 91dbs

    apoligies if im wrong

  2. richard r luciano says:

    The Mission 780 Argonauts were and are officially rated at 94.5 db. These speakers of which I purchased a brand new pair in the mid/late 1980s were simply the best sound delivery set of loudspeakers of the 80s 90s and even up to present. One has to spend about 10 thousand dollars more than I spent to get better sound even today. The specification brochure posted is the original as purchased. We now own 3 pair of this speaker simply because buying new speakers of our present time costs thousands more and simply does not deliver the sound reproduction of the original Mission 780 Argonauts. In that era, the Mission 707s had a rating of 92 db, the 737 Renaissance were rated at 90 db, the 770 Freedoms (single woofer) were rated at 92 db and the 780 Argonauts (2 woofer) at 94.5db. There was simply nothing manufactured that I ever listened to in that era that came close to the quality of sound of these very modest looking speakers. Mission has created a more modern version of this speaker that is great, however its sound delivery is equal and simply not improved over the originals. We plan to refinish the exceptional wood cabinets of the 2 pair we bought used, while the original pair of Mission 780 Argonauts I purchased new about 25 years ago remain in mint condition though we have to see about the tweeter on one.

    • shaun says:

      Have a pair of 737s and although the bass output is not as good as the args they still out-perform most modern speakers of today, the mid to high freq is awsome not many can match them.

  3. Ken says:

    Ah well done Andrew – I stand corrected – Great find

    Ken

  4. jim says:

    Just found a pair in a thrift shop in Ohio, for 20 dollars for the pair. Having work done on one of the woofers, and can’t wait to hook them up and enjoy the sound.

  5. Richard H says:

    Hi Andrew,
    Greetings from Brisbane, Australia. Thanks for posting the Mission brochure. I just bought a pair from ebay for $150 (Aussie). Old hi-fi gear is a bit expensive in Australia so I think I did alright. There were in my local city 10 minutes drive away. No grilles or stands and the cabinet is painted white(not the face though) but they're definitely the real thing. The guy I bought them from was a doctor who also  runs a gym. He had them listed as 'Mission Argonaughts', your brochure was the most information I could find and helped me make up my mind to buy them, thanks again. They were actually used in the gym and had been set up right next to a boxing ring to play music for the guys while they where training and sparring. Kind of like rescuing an old Harley or Indian from a barn I reckon. Got them hooked up to a Yamaha amp at my girlfriend's place I'll bring over an NAD next week. I'm also planning to have a go at building a valve amp when I'm on summer holidays from university. 
    Richard

  6. Jack says:

    I have a pair of Mission 780 Argonaut speakers, in excellent condition, for sale (including original operating instructions, also excellent condition) in black cases.  No idea what they are worth …. Anyone any ideas,  as said EXCELLENT condition.

    • Richard H says:

      Hi Jack, 

      I'm in Australia. I'm guessing you're in North America somewhere.

      Before you sell them, is there any technical info (crossovers/set-up etc.) in the original intructions that you could scan for me?

      I'm not actually using them at the moment and want to refurbish the crossovers before I do as I figure they might have been driven a bit where they were previous to me purchasing them(next to a boxing ring,truly!).

      Any hints/info much appreciated.

      Richard H.

  7. Jack says:

    Hi I've scanned the info you are after but I need your email address to send it to you.

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