Monitor Audio GR20 versus new Gold 200/300?

nosirrahs

Standard Member
Hi all,
Currently running full Primare kit NP15, CD31, DAC30 and I35 amp into my trusty pair of Monitor Audio Gold Reference 20's bought way back in 2003. I love the speakers but they are nearly 20 years old and I do wonder about how they would hold up against newer MA's like the Gold 200 5g or Gold 300 5g? Anybody have experience of them both?

Cheers, Simon
 
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Kapkirk

Active Member
Age means nothing if they are working fine and you are happy with them. You may find you prefer the sound of your old GR20 to the newer gold models. You could always go to a dealer and listen to the Gold 300's (which are superb BTW) but I wouldn't sell your old speakers until you are certain the newer models are for you. I made that mistake a long time ago and went through 5 pairs of speakers until I was happy again.
 

nosirrahs

Standard Member
Age means nothing if they are working fine and you are happy with them.
Thanks, true words and until two weeks ago I was quite happy with my old Primare A30.1 amplifier but then I saw a good deal on the I35 and bought it and it was a big upgrade. So I'm now thinking what if speakers have similarly improved by as much? Upgraditis I hear this is called... 🙂

Cheers
Simon
 

Kapkirk

Active Member
Thanks, true words and until two weeks ago I was quite happy with my old Primare A30.1 amplifier but then I saw a good deal on the I35 and bought it and it was a big upgrade. So I'm now thinking what if speakers have similarly improved by as much? Upgraditis I hear this is called... 🙂

Cheers
Simon
The gold 300 5g should a big step up in clarity.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Regarding Monitor Audio speakers. Speakers are more less the same as they were back in day. Still new drivers, better crossover settings should make the sound better.

Still there are always some cons. If the old speakers work perfectly then perhaps it is best to wait and see if you hear any changes. And it may be the new speakers don’t work exactly the same with the setup you have now.
 

password1

Distinguished Member
The GR/GS are great speakers. I was in the same position, I owned the GR10 many years and was very happy but Ive always wondered how much better the latest golds are.

They are old but they still have the same basic technology with the c cam tweeters and rst cones as the latest silvers. in fact i think they are better, there is cost cutting as the latest speakers don't have the fixed phased plug in the middle of the mid/bass driver.

The only reason putting me off the latest golds is the huge price difference.

Ive owned.and demo lots of Monitor Audio speakers over the years (most apart from Apex, Vector, Radius and Platinum) and they all have that familiar sound signature. That delicate, plenty of detail and great clarify the higher up the ranges the better the detail, etc.)

My GR10s sounded amazing and crystal clear but compared to other speakers I can tell the frequencies around the cross over point and above are a little sibilant on louder volumes and are slightly exaggerated.

Have you considered other ribbon tweeters. I used to be a Monitor Audio fan boy but Im very happy with my latest speakers.
 

wine man

Active Member
Just my tuppence worth. I used to own Studio20 SE and I wouldn't have changed them for another Gold model whatever the age difference. If you want a proper upgrade go for the PL200.
 

daddy999

Active Member
I have gold 100 5G…..they are wonderful. Can only see the 200’s and 300’s being brilliant too. In that price range I would also demo Spendor’s.
 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
yeah only worth if you go up a range. The only area where speakers have improved are subwoofers (for home cinema)
 

Kapkirk

Active Member
Just my tuppence worth. I used to own Studio20 SE and I wouldn't have changed them for another Gold model whatever the age difference. If you want a proper upgrade go for the PL200.
Those Studio 20's are a fantastic loudspeaker, probably one of the best speakers Monitor Audio made in that period. I had some R652's from the Robin Marshall era and with an X-over mod (going to a 3rd order Butterworth filter) still betters many speakers around today for under the 2 grand mark.
Don't forget the Gold 5g use trickle down technology from the the Platinum Range so will sound similar, they are a little on the expensive side tho so best to look for S/H.
 

nosirrahs

Standard Member
Hi all,
thanks for your thoughts. With the huge improvement the Primare I35 is over my old A30.1, my curiosity has gotten the better of me with the speakers and I've sourced a pair of Gold 300 5g's which are new, but B stock, they just have a couple of tiny imperfections in the wood, for £2700 (£2200 after trade in for my old Primare A30.1). Compared to list price £4399 that's a significant saving. Will they sound better than my GR20's? I'm a little nervous to find out ! But when I get them next week I'll be able to A-B them against each other and I'll let you know how I find them. I'm sure they'll need a lot of running in, the GR's certainly did.

Interesting point about the GR's fixed phase plug. I wonder why they don't put these in their modern speakers - guess it's more expensive to make, for a less clean look. Maybe it would mean they couldn't fix the driver to the back of the cabinet for that screwless look from the front.

Cheers,
Simon
 

Kapkirk

Active Member
Hi all,
thanks for your thoughts. With the huge improvement the Primare I35 is over my old A30.1, my curiosity has gotten the better of me with the speakers and I've sourced a pair of Gold 300 5g's which are new, but B stock, they just have a couple of tiny imperfections in the wood, for £2700 (£2200 after trade in for my old Primare A30.1). Compared to list price £4399 that's a significant saving. Will they sound better than my GR20's? I'm a little nervous to find out ! But when I get them next week I'll be able to A-B them against each other and I'll let you know how I find them. I'm sure they'll need a lot of running in, the GR's certainly did.

Interesting point about the GR's fixed phase plug. I wonder why they don't put these in their modern speakers - guess it's more expensive to make, for a less clean look. Maybe it would mean they couldn't fix the driver to the back of the cabinet for that screwless look from the front.

Cheers,
Simon
Thing I have learned with most Monitor Audio speakers is as they age they just get better and better, £2700 is a great deal for those 300's, Im sure I would soon forget about a few imperfections with that kind of saving.
 

Timmy C

Distinguished Member
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts when you get them. I love my GR20's but often wonder what I might have been missing out on from the GX series onwards. I don't plan to change mine anytime soon but would love to know what you think for future reference.
 

DrH

Active Member
Just putting out there.
I demoed MA gold and Kef R for my latest speaker upgrade.
I really liked the MA’s but the Kef R for quite a bit less money are much clearer all around, well so The Mrs and myself found.
In our opinion anyway
 

mudan

Active Member
After recently comparing six rivals I bought the Gold 200 5G - really quite excellent and as good as the Hifi+ review states: Monitor Audio Gold 200 floorstanding loudspeakers
Top of 3 that day were the MA, PMC Twenty5.23i and Fyne Audio F501SP(first time I'd heard this relatively new brand and was mightily impressed).
The Kef R7 were good but ranked overall lower for me.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
After recently comparing six rivals I bought the Gold 200 5G - really quite excellent and as good as the Hifi+ review states: Monitor Audio Gold 200 floorstanding loudspeakers
Top of 3 that day were the MA, PMC Twenty5.23i and Fyne Audio F501SP(first time I'd heard this relatively new brand and was mightily impressed).
The Kef R7 were good but ranked overall lower for me.
Is it the same upfront voicing they always have had, or are they more mellow now? I’m perhaps considering the silver 200 in the series. By upfront I mean in the midrange.
 

mudan

Active Member
Helix, not upfront or forward at all for the Gold 5G. They're very well balanced as should be speakers at this price point.

Funnily enough my previous were Silver 300 5G and those are excellent for the money - also very well balanced. I'd say that since the Silver 6G MA have taken on a more accurate tone. My previous RX6 were fun but less natural.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Helix, not upfront or forward at all for the Gold 5G. They're very well balanced as should be speakers at this price point.
Funnily enough my previous were Silver 300 5G and those are excellent for the money - also very well balanced. I'd say that since the Silver 6G MA have taken on a more accurate tone. My previous RX6 were fun but less natural.
I see you use Marantz. Have you tried them on other amplifiers?
 

mudan

Active Member
Yes previously I had the Roksan Kandy K3 with my Silver 300. The Kandy is a very good and lively amp for the money but I craved for more refinement so moved to the Marantz Ruby.
It's the amp upgrade that eventually prompted the speaker upgrade - needed even greater clarity and control.
 

nosirrahs

Standard Member
Hi all. In sunny Madeira right now but just to say that I will report back - I only had the Gold 300's for a week before I left the UK so they're only run in about 10-20 hours so far. I'll reserve full judgement until after I get back but first impressions, after the first 5 hours or so were out of the way, are extremely good! The presentation is quite different to the GR20s in a number of areas and the bass is just phenomenal, both impact and depth. Anyway, back in a few days and will run in further then and come back and summarize my thoughts next week. Cheers.
 

Baron Mole

Active Member
After recently comparing six rivals I bought the Gold 200 5G - really quite excellent and as good as the Hifi+ review states: Monitor Audio Gold 200 floorstanding loudspeakers
Top of 3 that day were the MA, PMC Twenty5.23i and Fyne Audio F501SP(first time I'd heard this relatively new brand and was mightily impressed).
The Kef R7 were good but ranked overall lower for me.
I'd say that since the Silver 6G MA have taken on a more accurate tone.

Thanks for sharing your experience. That is very helpful for me as I have a MA Silver 200 6gen 7.2 system in my AV setup, and have wondered if the Gold series is worth the extra cost but I'm thinking more of the speakers in my analogue - mainly vinyl - system for music.

Really valuable to get your impressions of other contenders.
 

nosirrahs

Standard Member
Hi all. Apologies it took me a little time to come back - whilst in Madeira I had a run-in with a giant inflatable flamingo which resulted in my shoulder being dislocated and my arm broken. Still, the kids had a nice time =)

So, the Gold 300 5g's. Initial impressions upon opening - man these things are heavy, like 30kgs each. Much heavier than my old GR20's. Dimensions on paper were only a little bigger than the GR20's (the 200 5G's were a little smaller) but setting them up in the room they felt quite imposing, and on reflection I think it's not actually their size but rather the shiny white twin bass drivers are so much larger.

FWIW on looks - the ebony wood grain is lacquered and shiny and very nice indeed. The drivers are all mounted from the back so there are no screws or fixings on the front making it look very clean. Very solid speakers. Very cool are the magnetic grills which just snap exactly into place when you hold them near.

First impressions of the sound were of the deep and impactful bass and a slightly detached and recessed sounding midrange and top end. Thus, I left them playing random music for several days, 5 hours a day, or so, on and off.

After 25 hours, they were sounding great. The bass is much deeper than the GR20's but not only that, there's more impact to it. Playing Evil Twin on ModeSelektor's Monkeytown album, when the bass kicks in it's another league to the GR20's. It's visceral and it also doesn't give up or ebb away when the music becomes more complex. With classical the clarity of the bass makes it easy to follow cellos beneath the rest of the orchestra and there's a real weight to it.

There is a little more 'air' compared to the GR20's and there is more detail although this wasn't so noticeable at first, more noticeable was the change in how things sounded, like instruments and voices, string instruments particularly inc. guitars sound more real or resolved somehow. The treble helps in this, it's more extended than the GR20's and satisfyingly sharp but never harsh (well not unless I play a bad recording). Eg Mark Hollis solo record, which is beautifully recorded with tons of detail, there's a track (no 2 IIRC) where the harmonica comes in and it's rendered very sharply but not uncomfortably so. This kind of realism in the timbre of instruments is really where the 300's are a step forward compared to the GR20s.

Soundstage - the biggest change here is that the sound is more evenly spread between the speakers and less tied 'to' the speakers. I've ended up not toeing them in like I did with the GR20's, they don't seem to need it. Presentation is otherwise similar to the GR20's in terms of things being forward rather than the imaging seeming particularly 'behind' the speakers.

I do have a couple of issues - the mammoth bass is less controlled in this room which I think is really too small now (4 x 3.5m) - there are some resonances which I also had with GR20's but it's a little worse. Partly my sofa is against the back wall which is far from ideal and the speakers could do with coming out a bit further. But this is a temporary stereo room until building work is done next year and they can move into a bigger room.

I would like to AB with the old GR20's but as one arm is in a sling for a few more weeks this will have to wait a while. But overall I'm very happy especially for the price I paid, there's no doubt they're a step forward in every area. In fact it's spurred me to make some more changes - I've sold the Primare CD31 and DAC30 and NP5 streamer and I've bought a CD35 Prisma which combines the lot. I did this primarily because the CD31 was fussy with certain discs and I'm aware the transport can no longer be replaced due to its age, should it ever go wrong. I also replaced my old bare ended blue/black Kimber 8TC with a new set from the states properly terminated all round. The CD35 is a great unit, the Teac drive is almost silent and no disc fussiness.

I'll leave things there for now and end on just a quick word of advice. If you ever see a giant inflatable flamingo - run.

Cheers
Simon
 

Kapkirk

Active Member
Glad you are enjoying your new MA speakers nosirrahs, told you they were good didn't I? they are certainly one of the more impressive of Monitor Audio's speakers I've heard recently. Sorry to hear about your Shoulder mate, they are so painful aren't they? one of the worst areas to damage for pain IMO. I don't know about other people's experience but I could never get larger speakers to work properly (without boom and resonances) in my small front room so have always preferred smaller speakers with smaller drivers, I think they will def sound better when you get your other room sorted, and don't forget with Monitor Audio the more hours (and years) you get on them the better they will get.
Did you not get the rear port bungs with them? try placing a bung in the bottom ports to help the boominess problem in a small room. Strangely putting bungs in just the top ports in my old MA silver 200's gave better focus and imagery to the upper mids and treble but the sound lost mid bass punch as you'd expect.
 

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