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Monitor Audio owners - Gold or Silver Series?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by simon1967, Jul 8, 2002.

  1. simon1967

    simon1967
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    I am looking for a complete set of speakers and am pretty decided on the Monitor Audio range.

    For fronts, I have listened to the Silver 8i's and the Gold Reference 20's. On films, I couldn't tell a lot of difference but on music, there was a definite difference - bass was much deeper and clearer on the Golds. Mind you at £1500 a pair, I guess I should notice a difference. Any owners out there have for and againsts for the Silvers or Golds. Are the Golds really twice the speaker of the Silvers?

    The Centre speaker is less of a problem, I will probably match whatever front speakers I go with.

    The surrounds are the real confusing issue - the Silver FXi's , the Gold FXs or full range floor standers / bookshelfs (Silver 5i's). Even though I have had demos of dipoles, I am not really sure about whether I am convinced about the difused sound they put out. I am after a 7.1 set-up so whatever I go for, there should be 4 rears - perhaps full range central rears (Silver 3/4/5i's) with dipole/bipole sides (Silver FXis or Gold FXs)? Anyone got the Silver or gold rears and how do they compare?

    Bearing in mind that the golds are twice the price of the Silvers, how did any Gold owners justify the extra expense and did you go for the Golds all round?

    BTW, the room size will either be 17x12 or 20x17 feet. Thanks all as usual for opinions and advice.
     
  2. Adele

    Adele
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    I've bought the Silver Series for both films and music (8i,10i,fxi)

    Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to connect them up yet as I'm still waiting for my speakers cables to be delivered (QED silver anniversary - biwire for the fronts and single for the rears)- but if you DO go for the MA silver series, check out the HifiBitz website for some great prices!

    I paid £449.99 for the pair of 8i's, £259.99 for the fxi's and £179.99 for the 10i (free delivery in the UK) total package for under £890 (£1,149.96 total if you wanted 4 rears)

    These prices might leave you enough dosh for a good sub if you feel that the bass is slightly lacking on the silver 8i fronts.

    Hope that helps,
    Good luck!
    Adele.
     
  3. eddiea

    eddiea
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  4. simon1967

    simon1967
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    eddiea,
    as I recall, you have Gold reference fronts. What made you go for the Golds as opposed for the Silvers. What is your surround speaker set-up - 2 or 4 speakers - dipoles (FXi/GRFX), regular bookshelf (3i/4i/Gold 10s), floorstanders(5i) or a combination of the two?

    I may wait and demo the new silvers as I am in no hurry to buy but it is the surround set-up with the Gold fronts that interests me - a mix of Golds and Silvers or Golds all round (mega money!!!!!)
     
  5. Matt F

    Matt F
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    From what I've read the Golds are a fair bit better than the Silvers, after all the Golds are MAs Reference speakers. Gold Ref 20s up front with a Ref Centre, Ref GRFX on the sides and Ref 10s at the rear would be a great set up, if a little bulky - especially the Ref 10s at the back - they're not what you'd call satellites.

    Also, it's worth bearing-in-mind that even though the Ref 20s have an impressive bass response (down to 30Hz), ideally with Home Cinema you would want to go lower - nearer 20Hz so you would need a decent subwoofer (say, £700-£1,000) as well. Of course, if you did get a sub then you could use Reference 10s at the front instead of Ref 20s with the money saved funding the subwoofer.

    Whichever way you look at it, that is an expensive set of speakers - £4,000 or so and, for that sort of money, you might want to audition some alternatives - is there anything in particular that attracted you to Monitor Audio? Not that there's anything wrong with them, it's just that they are one choice of many alternatives.

    I guess a good question is what set up would I (or anyone else) buy with that kind of budget. Well, if it were me, along with auditioning the MA Golds, I would definitely have a listen to something like this:
    M&K S85s left and right - £795
    M&K S85 Centre - £450
    4X M&K S85s for surround and surround back £1590
    M&K MX125 Subwoofer - £1350
    TOTAL: £4185

    Now that's a completely different set up to the MA Golds i.e. small satellites (the S85s are extremely well thought of) plus a fantastic subwoofer. A very discrete set up (apart from the sub) and, in fact, the S85s are available as in-wall speakers if you want them even less noticable.

    Anyway, I would urge you to get yourself along to your nearest M&K dealer and have a listen to an S85 set up - you may not like it at all and prefer the MA Golds but, on the other hand, you may find the M&Ks a revalation.

    The MA Silver range would clearly cost a lot less (£2000 ish?) but again, I would recommend that, amongst others, you audition the less expensive M&K K series set up:
    K7 L&R - £550
    K7C - £275
    K4 tripoles - £495
    K5 rears - £350
    K9 sub - £595
    TOTAL: £2265

    I'm not here to push M&K gear - I've owned some of their stuff in the past but I don't at present. All I'm saying is that with the kind of money you're talking about you owe it to yourself to audition a fair few different speaker set ups and M&K should definitely be on that list.

    Hope these comments are of some help.

    Matt.
     
  6. eddiea

    eddiea
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    Simon

    I did try the silvers but found the golds sounded better with music.

    I have Gold Reference 10 fronts and Centre with 4 of my existing
    Videologic surrounds as suround L, R, and and back surround, let me have your email address and I will send you my full kit list.

    It only fair to mention that there is an anoying problem with the MA Gold Center on top of my TV, Montior Audio say they can't do anything about, my email and their reply follows:

    Copy of my email to Monitor Audio
    I have a Monitor Audio Gold Centre speaker on top of my TV; it is biwired using Cord odyssey4 to a Denon AVC-A11SR.

    I have noticed an annoying buzzing noise from it when the TV is on and the sound is muted or there is nothing playing, it even does it if the amp is off, I get no distortion on my TV screen though, the buzz is not very loud, it can be heard in a quiet room if you put an ear close to the speaker as you would using a quiet test on a setup CD or DVD.

    This noise disappears if I disconnect the cable from the speaker, however, if I put the links onto the speaker terminals as you would if you were single wiring the noise returns, the noise is sill there even with no cable attached, if I remove the links the noise disappears, if I connect my biwire to the speaker only the noise returns.

    I'm sure you will agree that it should not make any noise before I play music through it.
    Seven Oaks in Peterborough have told me that you are looking into this problem for me, can you let me know what conclusions you have come to please? I feel I have waited patiently long enough now and wish to bring this issue to a close, either by you fixing the problem or me returning the faulty speaker for a full refund.


    Dear Mr Arrowsmith,

    Sorry for the late reply, but I have only been told about this today. If I had known I could have contacted you earlier last week, despite being extemely busy. Your complaint however is passed onto our managing director.

    We may have had one other problem like this since the gold centre has been in production. And I think so far we have sold about 6,000 Pcs of the gold centre, but of course I won't here about all problems. Most wide-screen T.V's today have very powerful coils inside and this can cause interference with the crossover coils inside the speaker itself. The coils within the T.V are most certainly attracting a mutual conductance with the coils in the speaker crossover to act like a transformer. I am sure there is not problem with the speaker because a speaker cannot make a sound when connected since it is not powered. There is nothing we can do to change the speaker to rectify this problem, and this is purely an incompatibility between the T.V and the speaker. It will not cause any damage to either T.V or speaker, however I understand it could be a little annoying.

    The only things I can suggest would be:-

    Try moving the cable around to see if this makes a difference
    To isolate the speaker from the T.V by using some rubber feet between the speaker and T.V
    You could try a sheet of Bacofoil (baking foil) on the underside of the speaker and connect it to either of the black terminals on the back of the speaker using a small wire.

    If all the above fail, I can only suggest moving the speaker completely. Perhaps on a tall stand at the back of the T.V set, or maybe on a wall bracket.

    I will state however that we go to great lengths to magnetically shield the speakers and it appears you are not encountering a problem here. If you need any further assistance please don't hesitate to contact me.


    Regards,

    Dean S Hartley
    Technical Director
    Monitor Audio Ltd
     
  7. cybersoga

    cybersoga
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    I've had a few center speakers sat on top of my TV and they have all made a slight buzz when there is no sound - but with my Silver center 10i it's pretty much inaudible unless you stick your ear right in front of it. I was thinking of getting a set of 4i's and fxi's to go with them (currently i'm using a pair of old but trusty tannoy's at the front and rogers db101's at the rear) but I think i'll hold out until the new range is available! I'm very happy with the Silver 10i center that I already have, it's hard to think how they could improve it more.
     
  8. simon1967

    simon1967
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    They were recommended to me by Sevenoaks based on what I like. I do listen to a lot of two channel music and also like a very clear sound on the centre speaker (I am a bit mutton in the mid-tone area). When I bought my centre speaker 3 years ago, I listened to a lot of speakers and eventually plumped for a Ruark Dialogue centre - it was exceptionally clear while still carrying a bit of depth. It was twice the price I had anticipated spending on a centre - close to £400 but I hate having to strain to hear what people are saying.

    When looking for a replacement set, I said that the minimum sound quality I would accept would be equal to the Ruark and that is how I was steered towards the Monitor Audio Golds.

    I have tested them against the Silvers and I could hear a definite difference on two channel music - much clearer bass. The Gold centre was a definite improvement - much more weight on the quiet dialogue and very clear.

    I can sort of justify (can't we all) the three Gold refs for the front channels but it is the surround area cost that I have the problem with. If I went with Silver rears (FXis), I could get 4 dipole speakers for £270 (discounted from £400) a pair - they are wall mounted and white versions would blend nicely into the decor. So a Silver 7.1 surround set-up would only be a £540. A Gold set-up would be closer to £1800 - 2 x Gold ref GFRX (£900 a pair = £1800) or the other recommended set up - Gold refs 10's (£800) with a single pair of GFRX's which still comes in at £1700. I am also not convinced about regular style speakers for rear channels as I have not been converted to the multi-channel music brigade yet. As the 4 speakers set-up is for the surround sound only, close on 2K for surround channels is not just a bitter pill to swallow, it's a whole pharmacy!!!

    The other problem is that it is incredibly hard to test surround speakers as a lot of the bass stuff is directed to a sub and also whether to go for a combination of monoploes and bipoles, or bi/dipoles all round. Still confused but getting slightly clearer. :confused:
     
  9. gazzerr

    gazzerr
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    I was playing with the idea of the MA golds and spoke to Sevenoaks. Interestingly the guy I spoke to thought that the M&K S85 set up would have been his preference. Sevenoaks in sevenoaks would have done a demo of the two but they don't normally have the S85's so would have to get them in on special order for the demo.
     
  10. Matt F

    Matt F
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    Simon, the bi/dipole versus direct radiating (monopole) argument will run and run. I use KEF dipoles in my 5.1 setup and love them.

    M&K do a "tripole" design which is a combination of a dipole and a direct radiator but the reason I didn't suggest the tripole equivalent of the S85, the SS150THX, is because it comes in at £1200 or so and I was trying to keep things fairly reasonable. If funds allow then SS150s at the sides and S85s at the back would be brilliant.

    In a 7.1 setup, I'm given to believe that bi/di/tri poles on the sides (just behind and above the listener) with monopoles at the back is a popular set up. Conversely, some use 4 dipoles and some 4 monopoles. I guess logic says that you are more likely to get away with 4 monopoles in a 7.1 set up as you have 4 surround speakers rather than 2. M&K themselves say how well the S85 can work as a surround speaker (in 5.1 or 7.1) but recommend various techniques for where those speakers should point (refer to their website).

    Going for Silver rears might save money but I'd be worried that it would be a false economy - in other words, after a year or so you might be tempted to upgrade them to the Gold equivalents and it would end up costing you more inthe long run.

    Matt.
     

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