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Anyone using Monitor Audio speakers?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John_RK, Jul 8, 2001.

  1. John_RK

    John_RK Extra

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    I'm relatively new to this site (first post) but I've visited often lately. It seems there are multitudes of B&W, Klipsch, DefTech and Paradigm users, but I have yet to see anyone give an opinion of the Monitor Audio Silver Series. I even tried searching without success.
    I am planning an upgrade, and was very impressed with the Silver 8i's in the showroom. I'm thinking of 8i's in front, 3i's as surround, and a MA C12 Center. Also, due to the rave reviews on this forum, I'm contemplating an SVS sub.
    I know speaker preference is very subjective and everyone should trust his/her own judgment, but I am unable to audition these in my home and would be interested in others' experiences/opinions.
    Thanks...
     
  2. Ben Henry

    Ben Henry Extra

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    John,
    Hi and welcome to the forum. I had the chance to demo the Monitor Silver 9s about 4 months ago. Did direct listening against the PSB Stratus Golds on the same equipment (Denon avr 5800). Have to tell you I want amazed at the quality of the Monitors. I was very impressed with the low end, but what really wowed me was the incredible detail in the highs. In that aspect, I actually preferred the Monitor 9s to a pair of B&W Nautilus 804s powered by Krell equipment. The B&Ws retail for about $3700, so I thought the Monitors were well worth the money. Compared to the PSB Golds, the monitors stood almost head to head on the low end(the PSB is a 3 way design with a 10" woofer,) and were much more open, airy and articulate with the subtle details of the classical and jazz music I used to demo them. They were still able to really rock out when I asked them to though. Obviously other speaker sets in the Silver line will sound different in some ways from the ones I happened to demo, but I'm sure they all share some similarities since they all share the same tweeter. If you decide to go with the Monitor line, you might trywww.soundcity.com as they are often extremely competitive and offer full warranties on all A stock gear they sell. I have purchased several times from them. Don't bother with the web site though, because it won't list everything they sell or their best prices. Call them after you have checked around and then get their best price.
    On another note, if you are still interested in looking at other lines, I have just ordered a full set of speakers from a company called Swans. The speaker line is called Diva. They got a wonderful reception at the last CES (Consumer Electronics Show) and are frighteningly inexpensive for the build quality. If you are interested search this Forum under Diva, or check out these links:
    www.avsforum.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/004801.html
    www.av123.com
    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...rs-5-2001.html
    I'm certainly not trying to convince you to buy Divas, but I have looked for a year at speakers and believe these may be an unusual value. Check it out for yourself though and be your own best judge. I still really liked the Monitors and would easily recommend them, especially for someone who is looking for speakers as good at music as HT.
    Regards,
    Ben
     
  3. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    John,
    I had a chance to listen to the 8i's a few months ago. My general impression was that they were on the warm side of neutral. In the mids to highs, they were articulate but not harsh. I thought the highs were a bit rolled off; sounds like my observations differ from Ben's in this regard of the 9's, assuming both speakers have the same tweeter. Not a knock against them; it was a pleasing sound. I did not like the bass output as much, however. Although I thought the bass was fairly taut for what it did and did not have a boxy sound to it, it also lacked depth as well as extension. As long as one has a sub to take care of the lows, I would think these speakers are very good. Me personally, I like a speaker that can go a bit lower and with more authority. Note as a caveat that the speaker placement was such that it would diminish bass output, i.e., they were far out from the side and rear walls. Also note that I heard them only once.
    As with Ben, I have also listened to the PSB Stratus Golds (in 2 different places). I would take the Stratus Golds over the 8i's; mids and highs are close, but the Golds have better bass extension and fullness (I don't think the poor bass positioning of the 8i's accounts for all the differences).
    Since the 8i demo, I have increased my speaker budget; I haven't purchased yet. Within the next month or so I will be auditioning the Monitor Audio Gold References (60s and 20s). I also expect to be able to pit them head-to-head with the Stratus Golds, and hopefully against the Paradigm Studio 100s, which are currently number one on my list of speakers that I've already demoed.
    Anyway, just one person's opinions. Let your ears tell you what you like, and hopefully your wallet will be able to accommodate.
    Good luck.
    Doug
    ------------------
    "Today is a good day to die." ...Old Lodge Skins
     
  4. John_RK

    John_RK Extra

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    Thanks, Ben and Doug, for the well-thought-out replies. I appreciate the details on what you liked (or didnt like) about the Monitor Silver speakers.
    Good luck in your respective searches for the perfect (within budget) sound. Ben, I'd be interested to hear how you like the Divas. I read the link you provided...lots of praise for the entire line, and they look great. And Doug, if you do audition the Monitor Gold Reference series, please post to let us know what you think.
     
  5. Stacy Huff

    Stacy Huff Second Unit

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    I'd never seen Monitor speakers until about two weeks ago. I was very impressed with what I heard, although I don't know model numbers. I do know that they were powered by an Anthem amp, and supplemented by a B&W sub. But, sound will vary depending on so many factors. What won't differ is those things looked cool!
    ------------------
    "Are you a pothead, Focker?"
     
  6. Danish

    Danish Auditioning

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    I have a friend who owns Alpine Audio in Abingdon, VA. He carries both Monitor and B&W (among lots of other stuff). Anyway, his store's refernce HT system is the Silver series with Audio Refinement (YBA) amps and the Anthem AVM2 pre/pro.
    He tells me that system is better than haveing B&Ws in place of the monitors. I have heard them once myself and thought they were very good, especially since they are not outrageously expensive.
     
  7. Daniel H

    Daniel H Auditioning

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    I have a pair of Silver 4i's, ASW 210 sub and a GR centre speaker. (I plan to move the 4i's to the rear and get the GR 20's for the front.)
    I really love the sound of the speakers. Things just sound smooth and natural. Like for example, a 'beefy warm' electric guitar sounds just that way. SACD's on these speakers is a real treat.
    I don't think you could go wrong with the B&W's either. I have a couple of friends that got the CDM-NT series. One got the 1NT's and the other got the 7NT's. I really liked the sound of these as well. They seem a little less 'up front in the midrange' than the Monitors. I think it's kind of a matter of taste between the two.
    Daniel H
     
  8. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    I was able to audition the Monitor Audio 5i (mains), 3i (rears), center, and asw 210 sub in my home up against Energy LCR, JBL, and a pair of MMG Magnepans. These were a/b several times through a Yamaha 2095 using various "reference" dvds and cds. I use a meter and video essentials to setup things. All tests were in my ht room, a medium sized 15x18. To be fair, everything was broken in 10-15 hours and the MA 5i was shot loaded and screens off the tweets.
    All results were, of course, subjective but those who heard were in general agreement of the overall winner.
    JBL got a major thumbs up in the mains. Those JBL happened to be old JBL L 100. The midrange was much stronger with the JBL and imaging was perhaps a notch above the MA. The JBL also pounded everything else in bass (with the subs off).
    The MA 3i were a little stronger than the JBL surrounds, the N28. Moved to mains, the preference wa for the JBL N28.
    The MA sub was tighter and cleaner sounding than the JBL PSW 12 sub but not enough for the price difference.
    The Maggies were passed by quickly in every a/b but they were 4 ohm and needed more power for it to be a fair test. The Energy LCR (RVS left, right, center) were 6 ohm speakers and required a little more volume to wake up but were stronger than the MA in midrange and not as bright as the MA in the highs. The centers were about the same with the JBL S, MA and Energy.
    Results: I stayed with my JBL setup. My son took the Energys, my bro bought all JBL S series, while 2 other friends are now in the process of building slowly with JBLs. I sent the Maggies back and sold the MA setup at a loss. Nothing came close to the JBL L100 in regular 2 channel stereo. Yes, I spent several thousand bucks trying to upgrade and found that I had better to start with.
    We are currently working on a new a/b test which will be with the JBL, Paradigm Monitor and Studio series, and an undetermined something else.
    The winner in all this was all of us who participated. HT has built a closer knit "friends" group than anything else we have done. My 23 year old JBL L100's have become the bully of the area as everyone wants to compare everything to them and they just keep on kicking butt. All of us are of the 40's and 50's gen and have the money to have what we want but we pleasantly found that more expensive doesn't get you better.... just different.
    Good luck on your quest and and I suggest that you listen to a lot of things in your home setup if possible. Some people drink, some people party, some people do other things.... we don't mind spending a little money on our tests which always give us a chance to get together and enjoy life.
     

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