opinions on Monitor Audio silver series

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Jon Musil, Jul 27, 2003.

  1. Jon Musil

    Jon Musil Stunt Coordinator

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    I have seen very little conversation about MA here and would really appreciate some feedback as I'm considering the line. I'm looking at the S6's for mains, the LCR and the rest of the system would likely come from S2's or fxi's. I know nothing about the MA subs and they may prove to be too expensive or something I might wait on. Thanks!!
     
  2. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    MA's, especially the Silver's, are personal favorites... I don't own them, but have auditioned several times (including the current Silver S series, which are very close in quality to the Gold's for much less money)... I find MA's strengths to be in the areas of imaging and detail (in that regard, some may find them a little harsh or fatiguing)... and it could be argued that a little effort in equipment-matching may be required for the MA's (they're detailed and smooth through the likes of Marantz and Rotel, but audition a little more carefully if you've got Denon, Sony, Yamaha etc)... I think the Silvers in particular are great bang-for-the-buck speakers.

    Their subs are quality products, they sound very decent to me.. but I think you can do better with a dedicated sub manufacturer such as SVS, Hsu or Adire.

    As always, the best recommendation is to audition extensively... give other brands a chance, too... sonics do vary from make to make... it's up to your ears.
     
  3. Jon Musil

    Jon Musil Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the input Greg. I'm a little concerned that many of the dealers listed in the dealer locator searches in the various zip codes don't even show the MA's for sell on their respective web sites. Could it be the dealers don't want to carry them for quality or customer service issues?

    For starters, I just bought a Pio Elite 43tx which should arrive in a few days. I know the Elite's don't get much respect here but at $450 for a brand new unit I felt I really couldn't go wrong. Of course I'm open to hearing what a mistake it was if anyone thinks so. Any thoughts on how the Silver series will sound on the 43tx?

    From what you said I'm a little concerned about how the MA's would sound in my setup and environment.

    Here's why, I have slate floors and high vaulted ceilings. 17 feet high on the entertainment wall slopping to 9' at the back wall (seating backs up to the back wall) which is 20' away. I had listened to Klipsch and Kef at the store and found the Klipsch to be fatiguing in that setting, so I knew they would be a poor choice for me. I'll stop there with what I feel the perceived challenges of my "room" are as not to bore everyone on this forum.

    Any further insight would be greatly appreciated!
     
  4. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    Excellent... it's crucial that you're concerned about this overlooked factor... I'm kinda weak at room treatments myself, but from your description, it's possible the MA's might be a little screechy in there as well... not to redecorate your home, but the first thing I would do is throw a substantial rug in that room... I'll let those with deeper environmental experience chime in with other treatment suggestions.

    Meanwhile, your irregular-shaped / hard-surfaced room may throw you some curves when auditioning speakers... lotsa other factors too: listening preferences, music or movies, volume level, speaker placement, matching to the Pioneer etc... best to hook up with a retailer -- whether local or online -- who will be generous with auditioning policies... you may be in for a little trial-and-error... the good news is that there is a wide array of speakers to choose from... happy hunting.
     
  5. Rob Tomlin

    Rob Tomlin Producer

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    I have the older Silver 5i's paired with a Denon AVR3300 and the combo sounds excellent!

    I have also heard the new silver line, and they are even better. Spring for the S8's if you can afford it.

    I just bought the Gold Reference 20's for my new dedicated HT...I love them!

    The Gold Reference series are definitely not as bright as the older silver 5i's, but they are every bit as detailed and are smoother, with better mid range and low end. A very rich sound.

    I highly recommend the Monitor Audio line!
     
  6. Rob Tomlin

    Rob Tomlin Producer

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    BTW, the MA subwoofers are very good, but are not worth the extra money they cost. If you can't afford to go up to the S8's, I think it is definitely safe to say that you would be much better off going with something like an SVS or HSU subwoofer. I love my recently purchased SVS 20-39 PC+!!
     
  7. Jon Musil

    Jon Musil Stunt Coordinator

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    Great stuff guys! I'm learning a lot in a short period of time through the experience of others here on HTF.

    For example, my current speakers are Advents and they aren't ported (acoustical suspension I believe) and they have worked fine in the "built in enclosures" they operate in. However, the Silver Series are rear ported and after some input here and some time researching the Silvers are probably not the best choice after all. Although the similar Bronze series speakers are either front ported or not ported at all. So, although it's not back to the drawing board, I may need to regroup.

    My 43tx should ship tomorrow but I may ask the dealer to recommend something else. However, when I asked him if he thought there was anything else that would be better for the money ($450)he said NO, it wasn't even close!

    He does sell many other respected brands like Onkyo, HK etc, so instead of the usual cynacism that goes along with the "sales" process I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. Particularly in light of the fact that he isn't getting rich on this deal as he was the cheapest on the net, in some cases by well over $300!

    Greg, I do have a large sisal rug in the room but it probably isn't very much help accoustically. As for the ohms, I think some are 8 and some MA's go down to 4ohms.

    Rob, great to hear of your experiences with the Silvers. A few days ago I listened to Kef and Klipsch speakers on Sony, Yamaha and Denon receivers. I thought the Denon was the weakest of the bunch despite it being the most expensive model of the 3 used.

    That same dealer carries the Elite line but the rep I was working with told me later on the phone he owns the Pio Elite and was reluctant to impart his own bias into my selections, when I mentioned that I wished I had tried one. He did say he really likes his Elite.
     
  8. Kevin*Harley

    Kevin*Harley Stunt Coordinator

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    I auditioned many, many, many speakers (including - B&W, Polk, Klipsch, Paradigm, Def Tech, Kef, Infinity, and M&K) and decided on the MA Silver series. I liked the S6 but felt the S8 had more depth and mid-range for my taste. Although MA makes a nice sub, I purchased a Velodyne HGS-15II for the low stuff. The combination sounds amazing together.
    IMO they sound great with my Denon 3803.

    The S8’s do need some room to breath. I have them 26” from the wall with the bottom port plugged. If your “built in enclosures” don’t give you at least that much room you might have a problem.

    "I highly recommend the Monitor Audio line!"

    " Me too !!"
     
  9. Rob Tomlin

    Rob Tomlin Producer

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    Your speaker hunt sounds a lot like mine Kevin. I listened to as many speakers as possible.

    I came very close to buying the Silver S8's as you did, but in the end, I decided to go the next step up in the line and purchased the Monitor Audio Gold Ref 20's. They seemed slightly smoother and had a little more depth to them in 2 channel music than the S8's.

    That being said, I would still have to say the S8's are the better overall deal since they are quite a bit less than the Gold's and come very close to their performance.
     
  10. Jon Musil

    Jon Musil Stunt Coordinator

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    I trust the guys who have said I should look hard at the S8's but they won't work size wise in my enclosures.

    Rob, thanks again for the contact, Brent and I spoke today and I emailed him a "wish list" which I cc'd you on. Rob did you give consideration to the MA Studio series and if so, what did you think about them?

    Kevin, Were you getting to much bass before plugging the port? How much change did you notice? Thanks.
     
  11. Rob Tomlin

    Rob Tomlin Producer

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    I don't even know about the Studio series to be honest Jon. I only looked at the Silver and Gold series.

    Glad Brent was helpful.

    Good luck in your decision.
     
  12. Kevin*Harley

    Kevin*Harley Stunt Coordinator

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    Rob,
    Since this was my first HT purchase in a very long time (my last stereo was a Sony given to me by my parents in high school 17 years ago) I honestly didn’t think I would be able to hear and appreciate the difference in sound quality. Unfortunately, I was very wrong! Although my plan was to get small bookshelf speakers after the first hour of auditioning everything changed. Not only could I hear a difference in sound but could easily identify what I liked and disliked with different speakers and manufacturers.
    When I said I auditioned I wasn’t joking. I must have spent 2-3 months and 8-10 hours per week in audio stores searching for IMO the best trade off between size, cost and sound.

    I feel in love with the MA Silver S8’s and quickly told myself I wasn’t allowed to listen to the Gold 20’s (didn’t want to know what I was missing). I wanted to keep my purchase to a modest system ($) to start and decided to use the extra money on my HGS15. Considering how much I enjoy my S8’s, those Gold 20’s must be amazing. Enjoy!!! If and when I decide to upgrade they will be on the top of the list.

    Ps. Jon, the bass wasn’t as tight as I liked. It wasn’t overwhelming and only noticeable in 2 channel on certain vocals (IMO). Pulling then out from the wall made them crisp, tight and lean.
     
  13. Rob Tomlin

    Rob Tomlin Producer

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    I understand perfectly Kevin! I also purposely avoided listening to the Monitor Audio Gold Ref 60's, b/c I couldn't afford them and I didn't want to know what I was missing!

    Again, the Silver S8's are a very good speaker though, and you are not likely to hear a difference between those and the GR20's except during critical two channel listening (which I still do two or three times a week).
     
  14. Kevin*Harley

    Kevin*Harley Stunt Coordinator

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    Rob,
    Curious to know how you have you 20's set up. What is the distance between the 2 speakers and how toed in are they if any?
     
  15. Rob Tomlin

    Rob Tomlin Producer

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    Well, they are set up in a temporary spot right now in my current family room setup. They are about 7-8 feet apart and toed in slightly. I haven't done specific measurements or taken a lot of time with placement since this is not where they are staying.

    They will go in my new dedicated HT when its done. Drywall up by next week! [​IMG]
     
  16. Kevin*Harley

    Kevin*Harley Stunt Coordinator

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    Post pics of your HT when complete. Would love to see them.

    Kevin
     

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