Monitor Audio Gold 4th Gen 1st Impressions

Numpty112233

Active Member
Going for a 100 mile solo bike ride in the fresh air and sunshine clears the head. It gives one plenty of time to think.

It also gets the endorphins flowing. I don’t begin to know what these are but I do know their effect. They make those thoughts positive. They make one think “I COULD…”

Which for me is dangerous ;-)


Whilst out riding along talking to the coos the other day they dared to suggest that I finally stop storing my precious bikes behind the sofa and stick them in the garage like any sane or obedient married man.

“Eek! No way! They’ll get cold and maybe be afraid of the dark and will definitely feel unloved!… Er… hold on… I COULD build a shed to stick all the crap out the garage in and I COULD turn the garage into a bike shed. I would need to put in central heating so they don’t get chilly and if they are nyctophobic I could put in a giant telly for them - I still have that unopened present from years back, a DVD collection of classic Tour de France races. They’d love watching those! (Not sure if my bikes would consider such DVDs as action thrillers, rom coms or vintage porn?) And if I put in surround sound speakers they will feel like they are taking part, in the thick of the action! It’s about time I spoiled my bikes - why didn’t I think of this before?”


So a couple of days ago I did some very initial online research into these preliminary thoughts.

“Oh look! There’s a sale on! How much is that Monitor Audio Gold 5.1 Surround package discounted by? Blimey! And there’s only limited stock? Once they’re gone, they’re gone? And if they are bought as a package the £2k Yamaha RX-A3070 AV receiver is only another £100? I don’t need(?) them until the summer but.. let me sleep on it”

I woke up the next morning thinking “Did I dream that that was such a good deal - let me check. Oh look! They’ve gone down another £50! Father Xmas DOES exist! Well it would be rude not to. I’ll just stick them in the attic until the bike shed is done.”


Well that’s them turned up today, ahem, and there’s no way they will fit through the loft hatch - and even if they did then with an alleged total weight of 164kg (even more than me…) they’d fall straight back through the ceiling.

Think I’ll need to chuck them bikes in the garage now so I can store these behind the sofa. Bloody endorphins!


Oh look! It says on the box “Useless if damaged” Them couriers can’t be trusted. Better get them speakers out and give them a listen to make sure they’re ok before I store them. I know - it’s a drag! But someone has to…


1st out are the Gold 50s.


Gorgeous little things. They are almost identical in size and similar spec to my B&W CM1s. Both from major brands. Both 2nd tier products (down from the Platinum and 8 series) Time to do some A - B comparison.


The Gold 50s are £1139 but I paid pro rata in the bundle deal £600

I can’t remember the full price for the CM1s but they cost me £500 in 2006 as part of a Cyrus package.


Source ALAC from Mac to Audiolab M-ONE sitting on office desk.


The CM1s strengths are detail and sound stage. The Golds, even straight out the box, are noticeably better in both these respects. In every other way, base, etc., etc. the Golds are superior. By far the biggest difference though is they bring the music alive and make it sing. The CM1s just sound dead and lacking emotion by comparison.


After TNT managed to split the delivery I could then hear the Gold 300s


These are a model up from but the same size as my MA Silver 8s. A - B listening time ;-)


Gold 300s are £3600 but I paid pro rata in the bundle deal £1,900

Silver 8s were £1,250 but I paid sale £800


1st thing to note is these thing look so bling next to the Silvers. Is it just a case of style over substance like those fancy watches I window shop when killing time at the airport? All show but don’t tell the time any differently to my fit and forget lightweight titanium radio controlled solar powered waterproof but nothing special watch. You know - the sort of shiny watches worn by those up to their neck in debt so they be seen in prestige SUVs to compensate for a lack in the trouser dept.


Source ALAC Airplay to Cambridge CXN - CXA 80. 6m x 6m room with vaulted ceiling.


Please note this is first impressions with the speakers straight out the box and not yet run in.


The Golds are cleaner, more revealing and detailed with a more 3 dimensional sound stage - but on balance the sound is more similar to the Silvers than I vaguely remember the difference being between the Bronze and Silvers. Until I listened to these Golds I was very happy with the CXN - CXA - Silver 8 sound. It was enjoyable to listen to. I was worried that going back to the Silvers after the Golds would leave me disappointed once I knew what I was missing. I could certainly hear what I was missing, however I still derived as much pleasure from listening to the Silvers as I had previously. Which is a relief as they will remain in that room system - the Golds being for a new room. Don’t get me wrong. It is the Golds that are going to remain out and listened to and the Silvers put into storage until the new room is done for the Golds. But the Silvers give more sound quality per rrp £ (at least until the Golds are run in) and are really rather enjoyable.


Question;-


Is it the general view on here that a dedicated stereo amp will provide better sq than the Yamaha AV amp? Open goal here ;-) but what in your opinions will make the most of the Gold 300s for stereo music?

upload_2019-3-3_13-23-27.jpeg



upload_2019-3-3_13-23-44.jpeg
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
I haven't read it all (yet) but deffo a dedicated stereo amp for the gold 300! speakers like that deserve love.
 

meduk1

Active Member
I have the older gx200s and found a good improvement from adding a stereo amp to my Yamaha AV
 

meduk1

Active Member
Ha! Yes enjoy this part. I auditioned a few against MA speakers and ended up buying a music fidelity (which I've only just sold). Thought it was a great pairing.

Did listen to a Roskan also but didn't like the sound.
 

Timmy C

Distinguished Member
Ah but which stereo amp to go for to make the most of these curvy hi-gloss beauties?
And so the fun begins ;-)

MA speakers used to fit well with Arcam gear but I don't know if MA or Arcam have changed their sound in any way in recent years so it's possible the pairing might not be as ideal as it once was. I've not heard the 4th gen golds but based on my past experiences with MA, I have no doubt they are very nice indeed and an equally nice amp wouldn't be wasted on them. You don't mention how much you want to spend but if I were in your shoes, I think an Arcam A49 would be high on my to consider list.
 

MacVee

Well-known Member
Another push for Arcam here. Although not an exact match, I have the 3rd gen Gold 100's paired with an Arcam AVR which is a better fit than the previous Yamaha I used.
 

Numpty112233

Active Member
TimmyC That A49 is a wee beast ;-)
So that's 2-1 for Arcam & Musical Fidelity.... Any others which partner MA well anybody?

Ah yes that dreaded word "budget". All my life I have purchased hifi to a budget. For the past 30 years I have always wondered quite how much better the next model up would sound if only I had...
This is The One. Of course I want to spend as little as possible - BUT I don't want to be left thinking "What if..." So not overkill but not left wanting. Whatever that costs.
 
Last edited:

The latest video from AVForums

Star Wars Andor, Woman King, more Star Trek 4K, Rings of Power & the latest TV, movies & 4K releases
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom