Morel's headquarters are located in Israel, having been founded by Meir Modechai. Morel specializes in products for home audio
and car audio, and they are also a supplier of raw speaker drivers.
became aware of Morel when I was more involved with car audio, and many
installers that I knew, talked about Morel products with great praise. I
had not personally heard Morel products first hand, so when I was
recently given an opportunity to review their Nova MKII satellite system for
home theater my interest was piqued.
The SoundSpot Nova MKII system consists
of five equally matched LI-1 SoundSpot speakers and the SoundSpot 9
The first thing I noticed about the Nova MKII system is the rather unique
and almost space age appearance it holds. This system should appeal to those
who want not only a fresh look for their home theater room but also a
minimal installation with lots of placement options, and nothing too big.
The real question remains is if the speakers can meet that design
objective and also have some nice sound as well.
Time to find out!
The LI-1 matched satellites have a half-spherical shape and are housed in a
thin steel enclosure. The review samples were finished in eggshell white, but
the system is also available in black or silver.
There is a soft cloth
grille with a small Morel logo on it that covers the face of the speaker.
The LI-1 satellites feature a 3 ½" woofer and a ¾" tweeter that use neodymium
magnets. Morel was actually one of the first companies to begin using
the neodymium magnet structure. Each speaker is held in place by a pivot arm
that is attached to the base which allows the speaker to be directed in many
different angles and potentially be wall or ceiling mounted. I felt the
system's appearance brought a fun and contemporary look to the room, and I
suspect that some people may favor these speakers for their functionality
and their visual appearance because they are so stylish.
The SoundSpot 9 subwoofer features a curved enclosure that measures 20" in
diameter and 5" in depth. The subwoofer is forward firing and has a port on
the side of the unit. The subwoofer achieves a narrow depth by using a low
profile driver and is designed such that the unit can be discretely
placed under a couch or other piece of furniture. If you do place the unit
under the couch you'll want to use the 900 adapter to plug in the
subwoofer's input, as otherwise the cord would bend.
subwoofer's features are:
- 9" Flat Profile Driver
- Ported design
- 100 watt RMS power amplifier
- Adjustable crossover from 30-160 Hz
- Volume Control
- Auto on/off switch
- Choice of 00 or 1800 phase
- Detachable power cord
- Line level, high level inputs
The mounting holes on the bases of the LI-1satellites allowed me to mount
all the speakers on stands. The front speakers were placed about 6' apart
from each other toed in about 50, and the rear speakers were placed
slightly behind the listening position, pointing sideways. The center channel
speaker was placed in front of the television.
The SoundSpot 9 subwoofer
can be positioned flat on its back underneath a couch or it can be placed
upright, using the threaded legs for support. I chose to use the stands, and I
placed the subwoofer in the right front corner of my room. I played around
with the subwoofer's adjustable crossover knob and found that its
performance was clean enough such that I could set it very high at 140 Hz to
blend with the satellites.
With Music and Movies
Listening was done using two-channel and five-channel music and surround sound
Overall, I felt the SoundSpot Nova MK II system had a very clean
sound, with clear sharp highs and a strong upper midrange. This midrange was
especially pronounced and gave a lot of listening material a refreshing bite
to it. The low notes were delivered with clean output that also impressed me
at times with strong punchy sound. This is something I didn't expect from
a 100 watt subwoofer. My overall impression of the subwoofer was that it
provided clean delivery with adequate output for entry level home theater
systems. In addition, I felt this system's strong point is
having a clear sound that is rich in treble and midrange, and its weak point
is having a lack of mid-bass that would naturally come from having a bigger
Here are some specific listening notes.
Floyd Pulse Live DVD - Starting off with this disc was a great introduction
for the Nova MKII speakers. The sound was exceptionally clear and pronounced,
and I found the guitars to have a nice projection onto the soundstage. The
snare drum backbeats of the music were especially snappy and lively, and
definitely stronger than other satellite type systems I've listened to. The
low end was covered well by the SoundSpot subwoofer and gave a strong drive
to the music.
The Roy Haynes Trio - Very rich mids and highs filled the soundstage. There
was a delicate balance of the instruments, and overall, the sound had a lot of
character. The drum work delivered by Roy Haynes was exceptionally robust,
and the details of the snare drum and cymbals were presented with absolute
clarity and fullness. It makes it easy to place instruments on the
soundstage when they are coming in this clear.
Rolling Stones misc - Mick Jagger's vocals had a lot of bite and character
but lacked a little warmth that would be there with larger speakers. Charlie
Watts' bass drum work was articulated very cleanly, and the subwoofer provided
output that put some oomph into the music.
Monsters, Inc. - The Door Vault - Time Cue 1:07:23 – 1:10:00
In this action scene, the main characters Mike and Sully traverse through
a huge network of moving doors as they attempt to rescue Boo from her
kidnapper Randall. I would describe the tone as bright with substantial
attack without being harsh. The scene was presented with plenty of detail
and presence. As the doors flew around the vault, the sound had good
transient response, and there was a good feeling of spaciousness as the
evenly matched speakers delivered sounds with matched tonal balance anywhere
in the room. This is definitely one of the advantages of using identical
speakers. The dialogue was easily intelligible coming from the center channel speaker due
to the clear midrange and treble presentation. The subwoofer discretely
pedaled out the low notes, providing a full response for the scene.
I also auditioned a couple of other movies and the response was the same.
There was full treble, with a good transient response, and an open live sound.
The bass was delivered smoothly without exaggerating the effect, and the
midrange had a snappy feel that helped bring action sequences to life.
Overall, this system could be a really great choice for a small home theater
room where the goal is not to blow the doors down with sound, but rather
just to have a nice cozy place to enjoy a good flick or some tunes.
Morel's SoundSpot Nova MKII 5.1 speaker system brings a unique visual style and
functionality to the home theater world and has quality sound to match its
visual and functional appeal. The system is available for $1,199 and can be
purchased through a country wide dealer network that Morel supports.
liked that this system had the option of placing the subwoofer under the
couch, and it was a pleasure to audition. I'd encourage anybody in the market
for a new compact system to put the Nova MKII on your audition list. Now I'm left
with the appetite to experience more of Morel's product line.
- Adrian Wittenberg -