Monitor Audio Silver 500 Surround Speaker Package Review & Comments

Jules

Distinguished Member
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.
 
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meagabyte

Active Member
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?
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
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.

 

Harkon321

Well-known Member
Surely you still get the same interference vertically unless you can change the orientation of the tweeter?
 

fallinlight

Well-known Member
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).
 

Jules

Distinguished Member
Surely you still get the same interference vertically unless you can change the orientation of the tweeter?
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.
 

Harkon321

Well-known Member
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?
 

Jules

Distinguished Member
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.
 

Harkon321

Well-known Member
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.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Surely you still get the same interference vertically unless you can change the orientation of the tweeter?
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
 

CrossyX

Well-known Member
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?
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.
 

PoisonJam

Member
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.
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.
 

syedhussain

Novice Member
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
 

fallinlight

Well-known Member
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
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.
 
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syedhussain

Novice Member
Exactly my experience and am in the same situation with my Bronze 5s and Silver 300s, see my post above. Currently contemplating either Kef R900 or Gold 200. But, based on my experience with the Silver compared to Bronze, I get the feeling the Gold 200 may still be better with music, than provide the home theater upgrade I am looking for, from my Bronze 5s. Stereo music is still important to me, but 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.
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
 

fallinlight

Well-known Member
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
Again, has been noted by a couple others on AVS, that they sound they also found the Silvers better for stereo music.
 

fallinlight

Well-known Member
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
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?
 

syedhussain

Novice Member
Again, has been noted by a couple others on AVS, that they sound they also found the Silvers better for stereo music.
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
 

syedhussain

Novice Member
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?
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
 

Abacus

Banned
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
 

fallinlight

Well-known Member
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
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?
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
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.
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).
 

DrH

Active Member
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
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
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:
 

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