1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Monitor Audio Silver 500 Surround Speaker Package Review & Comments

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Ed Selley, Feb 2, 2018.


    1. Ed Selley

      Ed Selley
      AVF Reviewer

      Joined:
      Jun 26, 2003
      Messages:
      11,183
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      2
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +3,641
    2. Jules

      Jules
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Oct 11, 2000
      Messages:
      5,572
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      1
      Trophy Points:
      134
      Ratings:
      +1,031
      These look lovely. I would bet these would be beat the KEFs in a straight stereo shoot out, but in my opinion until MA figure out how to do a concentric midrange-tweeter driver like KEF's uni-Q, they are always going to be trounced in an AV setup.

      You just can't get an even response from a traditionally designed centre speaker off-axis. These MAs are a big improvement in that the tweeter sits above a single mid-range driver (rather than sandwiched between a pair either side...which creates a lobing effect), but it's still a compromise.

      Since everything is 'centred' around the centre speaker, it would always lead me to recommend KEF Q or R series in an AV system.
       
      Last edited: Feb 2, 2018
    3. meagabyte

      meagabyte
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Jun 2, 2015
      Messages:
      275
      Products Owned:
      2
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      31
      Location:
      Worcester
      Ratings:
      +41
      Ive actually been discussing this in another thread, whether to go for the KEF Q range or the MA Silvers but reading this review I'm leaning towards the KEF more and more especially due to the Atmos setup KEF offer. However the review says you should skimp on an amp. Would the Denon 4300H be okay for these?
       
    4. Gasp3621

      Gasp3621
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Jan 16, 2014
      Messages:
      731
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      63
      Ratings:
      +339
      Thanks for the review! I have read quite alot about these as people in US have larger rooms and that is where these should be put! Actually there is lot of people who prefers the smaller 300 / Silver 8 for this reason plus it should have more balanced sound. Silver 300 and C350 would be even better with 100% matching drivers!

      Another thing what comes to mind some of the S10 owners who has 3000 serie Yamaha or similar driving them have said that the Silver 10 (should apply to 500 aswell) will sound much better when you drive them with poweramp that is pushing +200w . So to get the most out of them you need a) large room and lot of space around them b) lot`s of power .

      C350 should be tested soon (Stereophile) with measurements so we can have some data vs. the old.

      Also one should notice the smaller C150 is now 2,5way vs. old 2way, this should help some with the poor off-axis performance too. And if one sits alone in dead center to speakers, the MTM design center channel should be ok, though i know it`s far from optimal design wise. Placed vertically it should sound better, but there isn`t many people who can do this.

      [​IMG]
       
    5. Harkon321

      Harkon321
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Jun 6, 2012
      Messages:
      1,272
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      66
      Ratings:
      +226
      Surely you still get the same interference vertically unless you can change the orientation of the tweeter?
       
    6. fallinlight

      fallinlight
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Jul 14, 2014
      Messages:
      730
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      46
      Location:
      London
      Ratings:
      +171
      Thank you for the review. I recently purchased the Silver 300 + Silver C350 Centre. But, have gone back to my Bronze 5s for the time being.

      My AVR is a Yamaha A3070. Though not run-in, the 300s were a marked improvement in stereo music. Much better, make the Bronze 5s seem lifeless, flat and weak most of the time. However, for home theater surround sound, my friend and I could hardly tell a difference. Running Bronze 5s as my side surrounds (with Bronze Centre and W10 sub ) also meant the soundstage was just perfect with the Bronze fronts. I also run 4x PSB Imagine XA Atmos modules. But the 300s still integrated extremely well. There were quite a few aspects of the sound I preferred with the Bronze 5s, in fact. This would also be due to room, and the Bronze 5s having already been in use for 1 month.

      It made me realise just how good the Bronze 5s are for home theater. I've heard my experience echoed on AVS a couple of times, too.

      That said, I feel a bit stumped as to what would be a true upgrade for home theater, from the Bronze 5s, in the Silver 300 price bracket. Like others on this page, I am now also interested in trying a Kef set for surround sound. Also keen to try the Gold 200s. I'll miss the stereo performance of the Silver 300s - and that was through a (multi-channel) A3070. But sure won't miss their looks and surround sound performance (for the price, compared to my Bronze 5s).
       
    7. Jules

      Jules
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Oct 11, 2000
      Messages:
      5,572
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      1
      Trophy Points:
      134
      Ratings:
      +1,031
      You'd think so, but no. It has to do with the fact that our 2 ears are horizontally spaced. A horizontal WTW design is terribly compromised.

      KEF used to make THX certified speakers that deliberately controlled high frequency dispersion by applying this technique vertically. The horizontal spread was phenomenal, but if you weren't sitting down it sounded muffled... but that was a requirement of THX speakers to avoid reflections off the floors and ceiling.

      I honestly wouldn't entertain a horizontal WTW designed centre speaker in my system.

      Monitor Audio's approach here is slightly different, so probably won't be as affected.
       
    8. Harkon321

      Harkon321
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Jun 6, 2012
      Messages:
      1,272
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      66
      Ratings:
      +226
      Any idea why the Apex A40s can be placed both ways. Are they as compromised when placed horizontally? I mean I run 3 A40s horizontally and to me it sounds fine, but I always found it odd that Monitor Audio stated that they could be placed in either orientation? Maybe they only meant from an aesthetic view rather than acoustic?
       
    9. Jules

      Jules
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Oct 11, 2000
      Messages:
      5,572
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      1
      Trophy Points:
      134
      Ratings:
      +1,031
      Crossover frequency and spacing plays a part. If the wave length of the lowest frequency emitted by the adjacent driver is shorter than the distance between them, the effects would be minimal.

      In most cases though, manufacturers of WTW centre speakers just accept its a compromise and don't mention why.

      You'd honestly be better off buying 2 pairs of bookshelf speakers and using one from the second pair as your centre speaker. Of course most people couldn't accommodate the extra height... hence the reason manufactures make dedicated centre speakers.
       
    10. Harkon321

      Harkon321
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Jun 6, 2012
      Messages:
      1,272
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      66
      Ratings:
      +226
      I honestly don't think I'd tell the difference mate. 3 x A40 work perfectly well for me and will do until I can do a dedicated room.
       
    11. Gasp3621

      Gasp3621
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Jan 16, 2014
      Messages:
      731
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      63
      Ratings:
      +339
      I should have mention the last part was taken from review of Silver 10 system, where the Silver Centre (2-way) vertically sounded better than bookshelf Silver 2 placed vertically (normal) as a center speaker. Silver 2 sounded better vs. horizontally placed Silver Centre, but the system came alive when the guy put the Silver Centre as vertical. Would love to try that, but would need to raise the screen higher. :confused:

      If you want to read more, see page2;
      Monitor Audio Silver 10 Speaker System
       
    12. CrossyX

      CrossyX
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Feb 15, 2005
      Messages:
      2,976
      Products Owned:
      3
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      83
      Ratings:
      +204
      I currently have the 4400 with silvers and they sound great. You can be easily lead astray with technical details from some members on here but I would organise a demo if I was you and let your ears decide.
       
    13. PoisonJam

      PoisonJam
      Member

      Joined:
      Jul 11, 2005
      Messages:
      1,933
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      3
      Trophy Points:
      66
      Location:
      Central Scotland
      Ratings:
      +151
      I always just assumed KEF had the design rights. Their concentric speakers have been around for so long now that surely every other speaker company has had plenty of time to deconstruct and reverse engineer it?


      On an unrelated note, I actually find both packages particularly ugly, though remove the Atmos 'add-ons' from the KEFs and they'd be the clear aesthetic winners for me.
       
    14. syedhussain

      syedhussain
      Novice Member

      Joined:
      Dec 11, 2017
      Messages:
      10
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      6
      Location:
      London
      Ratings:
      +1
      I previously had the bronze 6 before upgrading to the silver 500 and I can honestly tell you there’s not much difference in the bass output between the 2 silver 500’s off course have A much clearer sound, I also have the silver centre 150 and the silver fx rears v2, I used these with a denon 3400h before upgrading to the Yamaha 3070, I didn’t like the silver w12 and exchanged that for the Dali k14 The sub sounds great,personally I Dont think it’s worth the upgrade between the bronze and the silver, I’m still debating weather to keep these or swap them for something else I’m still in the 30days window, any advise or ideas to what a decent upgrade could be? My main problem with these is not enough bass output although I connected them to a crown 4002 pa amp and they sounded much better the bass was more fuller so they need BIG power to get the best out of them personally I think the Yamaha is slightly under powered for these babies
       
    15. fallinlight

      fallinlight
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Jul 14, 2014
      Messages:
      730
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      46
      Location:
      London
      Ratings:
      +171
      Exactly my experience and am in the same situation with my Bronze 5s and Silver 300s, see my post above. Compared in depth and closely my Bronze 5s, Bronze Centre and Silver 300 + Silver C350. Bronze W10 sub for both arrays. Currently contemplating either Kef R900 or Gold 200. But, based on my experience with the Silver compared to Bronze, I wonder how much better can the Gold 200 be in surround sound, than the Silvers. Stereo music is still important to me but similarly, I also find there is hardly any difference at all between the Bronze 5s and Silver 300s, in surround sound, through my A3070. For the price, the Bronze 5s really are amazing speakers, I think.
       
      Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
    16. syedhussain

      syedhussain
      Novice Member

      Joined:
      Dec 11, 2017
      Messages:
      10
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      6
      Location:
      London
      Ratings:
      +1
      Yes I totally agree with you I don’t think the silvers are worth the extra money the w12 subwoofer was a huge disappointment, I also looked at the kef r900 but I didn’t get to audition either the kef or silver 500 and had to buy based on specs..not sure if I’ve made right choice, I’m still running the silvers in they’ve had about 30hrs use on them I’m sure they should be run in by now, I would say you should try and audition both speakers if possible and then make your choice
       
    17. fallinlight

      fallinlight
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Jul 14, 2014
      Messages:
      730
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      46
      Location:
      London
      Ratings:
      +171
      Again, has been noted by a couple others on AVS, that they sound they also found the Silvers better for stereo music.
       
    18. fallinlight

      fallinlight
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Jul 14, 2014
      Messages:
      730
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      46
      Location:
      London
      Ratings:
      +171
      Interesting, but I am positive that I won't even run-in my 300s to make sure. I can tell, already, they are not for me. Yes, popping into my local Sevenoaks soon to listen to the R500 and Gold 200. Will ask if they have the R900, too. Don't think they have the A3070 hooked up, though, which is not ideal.

      Have you considered the Golds at all, Focals or Paradigm?
       
    19. syedhussain

      syedhussain
      Novice Member

      Joined:
      Dec 11, 2017
      Messages:
      10
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      6
      Location:
      London
      Ratings:
      +1
      I also agree with you on this the silvers do sound much better for music there is a significant difference between the bronze 6 and silver 500
       
    20. syedhussain

      syedhussain
      Novice Member

      Joined:
      Dec 11, 2017
      Messages:
      10
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      6
      Location:
      London
      Ratings:
      +1
      I haven’t considered the golds not convinced they will be any better I did look at the focals they were slightly out of the price range and not seen the paradigm I’ll have a look in a sec, please let me know your thoughts if you get to audition the Kef’s vs the Monitor audio
       
    21. Abacus

      Abacus
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Jan 19, 2015
      Messages:
      350
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      47
      Location:
      Torbay
      Ratings:
      +178
      My personal opinion is that it is the Yamaha that is the problem, and the silvers are showing up its limitations; go for something like the Anthem, Arcam etc. and I think you will be blown away by the difference with the Silvers. (Most big manufactures cram as much in as they can for the price/size and something has to give way for it) If you go for Golds and the upper Anthem Arcam etc. (They need solid power) then you will probably need treatment for shock. (Both at the quality and the cost)

      Bill
       
    22. fallinlight

      fallinlight
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Jul 14, 2014
      Messages:
      730
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      46
      Location:
      London
      Ratings:
      +171
      Kind thanks, Bill. That is insightful and reassuring to know. Well, an Arcam was the only other and next planned AVR upgrade in mind.

      Again, I do notice a marked improvement in stereo music with the Silver 300, to Bronze 5, with my A3070. But not with surround sound. Are you saying that a suitable Anthem or Arcam will bring the surround sound performance up to scratch with the stereo,too? Or may the gap in quality I experienced with my A3070, between stereo and surround sound, still be evident, you think?
       
    23. Gasp3621

      Gasp3621
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Jan 16, 2014
      Messages:
      731
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      63
      Ratings:
      +339
      I am little bit suprised by this. I have compared the old Silvers to Bronzes and found especially with music that Silver is ahead as it should be with more expensive model (thicker cabinet with wood veneer, higher quality drivers & audio crossover parts). But i`m little amazed that the 3-way models which should be really the sweet spot at Silver line aren´t giving you noticeable difference with movies. It should sound much sweeter. I have seen somewhere mentioned the 70hour run in. I have no idea does it change things noticeably, but if you have option to do that within the return window then do it just to be sure!!

      Also did you have your 3070 Ypao on same setting for both systems? (Ypao Flat, Natural etc.) There is couple reviews where they mention the system sounds better Ypao off, but then again if the Bronze`s sounded good with same setting... :confused: Did you play crossovers with both? Yamaha might set those quite wild sometimes, though around 80hz (size small) would be quite optimal for both systems.

      Speaker placement i can imagine was kept same, both towers were give space to breath (out of walls). See MA recommendation 25-45cm from front walls (Silver200 was best at 50cm out of walls in WHF review), 1meter from side walls.

      And think about upgrading the sub(unless you only watch comedies & dramas..)! W10 sub is a limiting factor with your setup. Things will get much better if you can get something that suits your room nicely and has more performance (ID brands).
       
    24. DrH

      DrH
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Dec 19, 2008
      Messages:
      631
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      28
      Ratings:
      +70
      Nice review and for the kef Q series.
      I was at this point in time for a new set of speakers the last time around the silver series and Kef Q series. The same questions came around then. Now I have a friend in the upgrade path and again the silver series and new Q series are on the card.

      As alluded too in the review running 2.1 for stereo can be better than large floor standers as you can control a sub better.
      I run a set of Q300's with a bkxxls400 sub of a pioneer lx60 amp which is much better controlled with separate set up for the sub.

      My initial review a few years back with the kef, silver series and a B&W something or other. The kef just filled the room.
      Anyone should try all options though
       
    25. Gasp3621

      Gasp3621
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Jan 16, 2014
      Messages:
      731
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      63
      Ratings:
      +339
      There will be coming shortly review and hopefully comparison (to earlier model Silver8) with the S300 in Stereophile. Silver 8 were chosen as a reference speakers by Kal Rubinson at Stereophile (Senior Contributing Editor). Guy who has reviewed speakers he`s whole life including ones that cost same as large cars. He chose to buy S8 for himself at home (uses 3x Silver 8 at front) after hearing other competitors, loving the MA most, also measurements were spot on! So definitely there is something odd going if Silver 300 can`t beat Bronzes with a good margin. o_O

      "The Monitor Audio Silver 8 offers superb measured performance at a very competitive price."

      Also what i just noticed at AVSForum at MA owners thread some guys have upgraded from KEF R-serie to this new Silver line. And in UK people are comparing Q-serie to it.. Prices might be different, but still funny to notice. :laugh:
       
    26. fallinlight

      fallinlight
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Jul 14, 2014
      Messages:
      730
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      46
      Location:
      London
      Ratings:
      +171
      Thanks, dedicated cals for both speakers. Apart from dialogue being louder in places, slightly more airy mid range and more colourful (orchestra in Raiders was slightly better), and a bit deeper. Apart from those aspects, my friend and I could tell no difference. And I had to very quickly swap between both, many times to even tell.

      In demo room at my local Sevenoaks now: Kef R500 against Gold 200. Kefs for me. Made me go wow a few times. Hearing things never heard in stereo music tracks. This is only through an Arcam 550, too. What I listened too showed a more musical, honest, detailed and revealing speaker to my ears. Didn't have time today to test surround sound though.

      So, now considering the R500, and also R700 and R900, though the latter two may be a bit too much for my room.
       
    27. Abacus

      Abacus
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Jan 19, 2015
      Messages:
      350
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      47
      Location:
      Torbay
      Ratings:
      +178
      The key to driving speakers is a good power supply, and the Yamaha has a quality power supply, there is a limit as to how much it can produce, (How well it can drive the speakers) which with the Bronze speakers (Which are relatively easy to drive) is fine and well within its capability’s in full surround mode, however the Silvers are more demanding (More difficult to drive) and while the Yamaha is capable of driving 2 speakers (Stereo) it does not have the capacity to drive all the Silver speakers at their best in surround mode, (Hence it feels flat and with little difference to the sound you get with the Bronze) whereas an AVR with a better power supply will, and thus you will be able to hear what the Silvers are really capable of in surround mode.

      NOTE: If the Yamaha has pre-amp outputs (And you like the Yamaha) then you could use a separate power amp for the front channels, leaving the on-board amplifiers to power the surrounds, which should also solve the problem.

      Go to a dealer and listen to a few AVRs in tandem with the Silvers to see which suits you best, as it is a very personal choice. (The Anthem and Arcam etc. have been built to provide solid power (They have a beefy power supply) first and foremost, so that they can drive many makes and types of speakers with ease)

      Bill
       
    28. fallinlight

      fallinlight
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Jul 14, 2014
      Messages:
      730
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      46
      Location:
      London
      Ratings:
      +171
      Kind thanks Bill, I did consider this, but was advised by the supplier AudioVisual Online's sales support, that the A3070 has more than enough power, "the RX-A3070 should be more than up to the task though without the need for a power amp",

      "We comfortably run a 5.1.4 set up in are demo room (consisting of Silver series and CI speakers). At 8 ohms the amp should provide up to 175W per channel. The recommended Amp requirements for the 300's is 80-200W". But after I queried the 175W, which seems too high and the sales support person said, "that 150W per CH in surround is "realistic".

      I also tested each speaker set, 2x 300 and C350 alone and noticed no difference in sound. So, that is very odd, going by your advice. Is the above incorrect information?

      Yes, I plan to eventually get a good power amp such as a Parasound or Emotiva.
       
    29. fallinlight

      fallinlight
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Jul 14, 2014
      Messages:
      730
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      46
      Location:
      London
      Ratings:
      +171
      Interesting stuff. Today, the Kef R500 I heard outed the Gold 200 in stereo. More cohesive and driven sound. Golds had more low mid and bass oomph but not sure I even liked that. The concentric driver in the Kef, seemed to be conveying some extraordinary things in a way I have never herd from songs, giving new life to them. The same sounds were muddy with the Golds, or flatter. The Golds were probably more 'open' sounding in some sense of the word. But, the Kefs places every instrument in the mix, physically in my mind and more transparently, along with more feeling, especially wooden instruments, cymbals and bass. Vocals also imaged more easily and naturally, feeling in the room at times. This was through an Arcam 550. So, can only imagine the Kef R500 sounding far better with my A3070. But I know I will need a good power amp for them running 5.1.4 or 7.1.4.

      That said, very happy with my Bronze 5s for now, if I don't upgrade just yet. But am still now considering Kef. Will try audition more speakers with better AVRs.
       
    30. Abacus

      Abacus
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Jan 19, 2015
      Messages:
      350
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      47
      Location:
      Torbay
      Ratings:
      +178
      Mainstream AVR manufactures are very creative when it comes to power quotes, so I would not take too much notice of them, unless there is a big difference between them, (100 creative watts or so) more important is the amount of current they can supply (This is what does the actual work and allows the power to be maintained) into inductive/capacitive impedance, (Speakers) which can vary quite a lot in a speaker, (8 ohm impedance is just the nominal amount) thus causing the amplifier to run out of power faster than what the creative specifications of the AVR imply.

      In the end, it all comes down to synergy, which is why it is important to compare different models with the speakers to get a match that suits you.

      Be aware that the speaker/room correction systems in products like the Arcam, Anthem etc. are way better than any of the mainstream manufactures, which is why when demoing at a dealer always get them to setup just the basics, (Speaker distance and volumes) so it takes the room correction out of the equation. (It’s unlikely another room will have the same effect on the system as your room, hence you need to listen to the system uncorrected, so that when you get home and run the room correction, it is just room correction that you are getting, rather than it trying to correct system deficiencies as well)

      Generally you will know when it is right, as you will forget about trying something else and just enjoy the music/film that is being demoed. (Don’t just stick with music/films you are familiar with when you demo, as a good balanced system should be good with everything)

      Bill
       

    Share This Page

    Loading...