Demo of Monitor Audio Silver 8i

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jim Kosinski, Apr 14, 2002.

  1. Jim Kosinski

    Jim Kosinski Auditioning

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    This weekend, I borrowed the Monitor Audio Silver 8i loaners from the local stereo shop. In addition to the 8i's, i'm considering B&W 604s3 and Paradigm Studio 60. My goal is to pick the front speakers and buy appropriate rear channels for each. Unfortunately, I was not able to borrow the demo of the B&W and Paradigms this weekend also. So, I planned to compare carefully with a set of old speakers I have at the house (ADS L1090's).

    The ADS speakers were a donation from my father-in-law, so I have no idea of their quality. He bought them around 1990 and says they cost about 1000.

    I am some of a neophite, so I repeatedly listened to the same tracks on each speaker. Each time, I concentrated on either the high, middle or low frequencies. Also, I listened both at moderate volume and high volume. My current receiver is a Yamaha 80w per channel pro-logic unit (I dont remember the model).

    At moderate volume, the 8i's did not seem to go as low but seemed to have tighter bass. Mid was slightly brighter. High frequencies slightly more detailed and crisp. The 8i's seemed to be more efficient. I preferred the 8i's but by a small margin. So small, I question the logic of spending $1500 to upgrade the ADS speakers. Of course, the answer is to get a fully matched HT system including center channels and surrounds.

    At high volume, the 8i's bass was tighter and seemed to "hit" harder. The mid and high frequencies were harsh in comparison to the ADS L1090's. The L1090's (even after adjusting volume upwards to compensate for them being less efficient) were much easier to listen to.

    The 8i's I borrowed are the store's demo and floor model. Given that this store is known for being a high end audio dealer and knowing their stuff, I assume that they broke the 8i's in. It would be stupid for them not to. But, I will ask tomorrow. I bet the answer will be that they were not broken in and the sound will improve and mellow with time. Unfortunately, I am not sure if I should believe them.

    If the same thing happens when I home-demo the Studio 60's and the 604s3's, I may be looking for a center channel that will match the ADS speakers!
     
  2. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    Last year, I was kinda in the same place you are. I have an old pair of JBL L100 and all the hype about the Monitor Audio series got to me... and I bought a whole 5.1 set... 5i for mains, 3i for rears, a center (dont rem which) and one of their sub to boot. Got a pretty good deal with the whole set and was SOOOOO excited as the brown noise started ending up close to my driveway. I shot loaded the 5i and broke them in on my 100 wpc Yamaha and got a bunch of friends over to audition and judge our favs. We were also checking out some Energy RVS, Maggie MMG, JBL S series.

    To make a long story short and some will remember my older post about this.... those old JBL L100 just beat up on everything. Ending up selling everything although some family members ended up with some of the stuff.

    The MA were just too laid back and not even close to what I was looking for.

    So I know what you're saying. Good luck on your quest but you may be only convinced how good those oldies really are.
     
  3. Jim Kosinski

    Jim Kosinski Auditioning

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    Donny - did you ever end up with a center/rears that are matched to the JBL? At this time, I'm told that ADS no longer makes speakers. Many have stressed to me the importance of matching the front stage, and hopefully the surrounds too.
     
  4. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    Jim... I did end up with all JBL speakers except for a Norh Prism 4.1 for the rear center.(It just looks so good sitting on a slab of white marble!!) I use some N26 for the rear surrounds and a S Center for the front with Sat 2 for the effects; receiver is a Yamaha RX-V1 so I eq'ed till everything was kinda close although nothing quite sounds like those old L100.

    I know most swear by everything being timbre matched but I am happy with how mine has ended up. The placement of the Norh I use for the rear center makes its laid back sound better than a more forward sounding speaker like the S center so it actually works well with the system as a whole. Calibrating everything ended up with the front center -2db to get close to the mains. I run everything on small with all lfe handled by a 20-39pc SVS.

    JBL is known for its forward sounding speakers and is noticably stronger in the mid range and high end than most I've heard. Don't know about ADS but some experimenting may find you a close match that you'll be happy with. Personally, I am proud to have an old set of speakers that do what they do.....
     
  5. Mikey B

    Mikey B Stunt Coordinator

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    In my limited experience with Monitor Audio, I have heard that they don't match well with Yamaha receivers. Specifically, A/V receivers. I have no proof, but that's what a dealer told me who sells both. I like Monitor Audio products, but I think Paradigm's reference line beats out the Silver series line (but only by a small margin). Can't give you any input on the B&W's.

    While having a "matched" system seems like the best or most recommended thing to do, my bet is that you can mix and match very successfully. If I'm starting from scratch, I most definitely will match all my speakers (may or may not with the sub). But if I already have a nice set of front speakers, and I like them, and I can't tell much difference between them and many other "recommended" speakers, then I think I would use them and try to find other speakers to integrate them with. Worst thing that happens is that you end up not liking the differences and end up buying the mains to match with your other stuff, AND you still have your older speakers to sell, trade, or put into another secondary system.
     
  6. Mark_Sparks

    Mark_Sparks Agent

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    I'm currently using a Yamaha 795a with the whole MA 5i set up. With the 3i for rears, and the 110 center and the ASW210 sub. Plain and simple it rocks. I'm sure I could use a new receiver and the MAs will just only get better.
     
  7. Brian O

    Brian O Second Unit

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    Did anyone compare the Silver 5i's to the 8's? I am curious about the improvement. I have had the 5's for two years and was looking for an upgrade path.

    Mostly, I love the 5i's except for the lower end at times and on heavier music. The low end just doesnt always seem very natural. I dont know if this is due to the 5.5" driver size or the smaller cabinets.

    I have mine on 6" Lovan stands to get the tweeter to ear level when sitting. Highs and mid range are great for me though.

    Would the larger cabinet and extra driver of the 8's make much of a positive difference towards the low end or would I be better off going to a speaker with a 6.5" drivers?

    I dont have the capability of demoing the speakers locally, so any info would be appreciated.
     

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