The best floor standers money can buy! Monitor Audio Platinum PL300 Floor Standing Speakers

ManBat

Active Member
The best floor stander money can buy! Quite Possibily…



Monitor Audio Platinum PL300 Floor Standing Speakers (UK)



Tech Spec



Frequency Response: 28 Hz - 100 KHz

Sensitivity ([email protected]): 90 dB

Nominal Impedance: 4 Ohms

Maximum S.P.L (Per pair in room): 118.6 dBA

Power Handling (RMS): 300 W

Recommended Amplifier Requirements (RMS): 100 - 300 W

Bass Alignment: Twin Ported HiVe II Technology

Sealed Mid-range TLE

Mid / H.F Crossover Frequency: 4000 Hz Bass Low Pass Crossover Frequency: 550 Hz Driver Unit Complement: 2 x 8" long throw RDT bass drivers
1 x 4" RDT mid-range driver
1 x C-CAM high frequency ribbon transducer

External Dimensions -
Including Fixed Plinth & Feet
(H x W x D): 1113 x 410 x 470 mm
(43 13/16 x 16 1/8 x 18 1/2) Weight (each) including Plinth: 43.8Kg (96.4lbs)



See more at: http://www.monitorau...#/specification







Special Mentions:



Ribbon Tweeter –

“Monitor Audio's proprietary ribbon tweeter design uses an ultra-thin sandwich of C-CAM alloy suspended in a powerful transverse magnetic field of high energy NeFeB rare earth magnets. The ribbon serves as both voice coil and radiating diaphragm, with every part of the ribbon driven directly and simultaneously without energy storage. Having a mass of just 18mg, its diaphragm is able to start and stop in an instant, producing a transient response capable of defining the leading edge and natural harmonic resonance of complex musical sounds. Specified to reach ultra-high frequencies up to an elusive 100 kHz, Platinum’s magical ribbon tweeter will reproduce with ease every last nuance and detail from vinyl, CD, DVD-A and SACD, together with the wider bandwidth of Blu-ray.”



RDT C-CAM

“RDT is a unique technology developed specifically by Monitor Audio's engineers for the Platinum series of loudspeakers*. Designed to reduce mass and increase cone stiffness, RDT applies ultra-thin skins of C-CAM to a core of honeycomb Nomex®** material, creating a structure which is extremely light but incredibly rigid. At only 40 microns thick, the C-CAM skins are half the thickness of a human hair, yet when bonded to the Nomex core they form an RDT cone, which is 150 times more rigid than a single layer of 200 micron C-CAM alloy, but has a fraction of the overall mass. These properties allow the cone to operate as a lightning-fast piston for a clearer more natural sound. The RDT cone's concave geometry has been refined by FEA analysis to provide a smooth frequency response and to eradicate break-up. “



See more at: http://www.monitorau...00/#/technology







Background



Obsession can sometimes be destructive. A Buddhist may say the search for perfection equals suffering, and life is full of suffering as it equates to humanities preoccupation with material needs and wants. However, sometimes obsession can be a good thing. For without obsession, we would never have products like the PL300’s.

Over five years I had a mission, to explore strange new speakers, to seek out new tweeters and drivers, and to boldly audition like no one has auditioned before.



The mission took me to some serious testing sessions, some of which are now vague memories. Some others included an array of speakers from a host of manufactures including but not limited to following– B&W, Sonus Faber, Klipsch Palladium, Klipsch THX series, M&K, Monitor Audio, SGR, PMC, Linn, Dynaudio, Quad, Martin Logan, Krix, etc. etc.



Now all the speakers above were good, some were great. But dollar for dollar, pound for pound (and in my humble subjective opinion) the PL300’s are probably the best floor standers that you can buy for the money.



A friend of mine said, “Buy in haste and repent at leisure.” He’s not wrong. I took his advice and auditioned the hell out of all manner of speakers/amps before I bought the PL300’s, even taking the baby ones home to play with. The local dealer was extremely patient, and understanding, and let me listen on numerous occasions. I was going to buy the full gambit of speakers of another model, but persevered and bought the PL300’s instead.



Here is why…







Sound



Having spent 2 years with the PL 300’s it’s been a very enjoyable and sublime relationship.



I have the speakers bi-amped with a NAD M25 amplifier. This gives a real and resounding 160 watts per channel designed in a mono block fashion. The NAD power-drive system means the power is doubled in those need to moments. The NAD has bags of authority and plenty of grip over the PL300’s. Like a giant hand clutching your nether regions they control every nuance squeezing as and when required, controlling speed, bass and high-end frequencies with pin point precision. The sound is typical NAD, a little dark and warm, which I enjoy. Having a sensitivity of 90DB the PL300’s are very efficient and easy to drive.


Listening to an eclectic catalogue of music in various formats, the Platinums bring out instruments in a three dimensional soundstage, revealing obvious differences and nuances that have not been heard before. The ribbon tweeter throws these variances with outstanding accuracy, never bright, never overbearing, but with pinpoint detail that envelops the listener. Clarinets, strings, flutes, cymbals, synthesizers, in fact any percussion ensemble resonates with tonality I rarely find in other speakers.



The frequency response of the bass is deep, sub territory, but never overblown or emphasised. It is fast, accurate and powerful. The duel 8-inch long throw RDT bass drivers perform exceptionally well in two-channel stereo and in any movie surround format, Dolby Digital, DTS etc. that you can throw at them. You may never want to listen to a bookshelf speaker again.



Midrange musicality is produced with a 4" RDT driver, balanced and mature, and is perfectly sandwiched between the bass and tweeter, never giving ground to either. This is a perfectly balanced full range speaker.

Linn Records – Linn Selektions – (SACD) – Salvator Mundi – Voices sing out in cathedral like harmonics. The Platinums disappear completely leaving you suspended in the beautiful 40-voice Latin choir.



The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (great soundtrack!) - Space Oddity – David Bowie Feat. Kristen Wiig (Mitty Mix) (CD) – An excellent mix of the song with the Platinums showing precision imaging of vocals that transcend the drivers.



Pink Floyd (the Best Of) (DTS Master) – the recoding is smooth warm and velvet rich with a topping of fine detail. Imaging of instruments, vocals and sound effects is precise and the music fills the room.



Dire Straits – So Far Away CD - The synthesised beginning of this song resonates and slowly fills the room deeper, wider and taller. Likewise the atmospherics in Brothers in Arms is bought out in impressive fashion.

Angelique Kidjo CD – Voodoo Child from the album Oremi – is stunning. Little whispers are abounding, and you you hear them like never before. Bass is resoundingly powerful deep and fast.

Elbow - live (DTS) recording is detailed with an abundance of precisely imaged vocals, the soundstage –wide, deep and detailed.

A selection of High-Res Audio tracks in 24 bit 192 consisting of Jazz, classical and pop. The timbre of drums and vibration of strings is lovely – but what is also remarkably impressive is the ambience of the sound – the presence of music that surrounds the listener. This is quite particular in tracks such as synthesised music, strings and film sound tracks. Sometimes it’s a hair standing ovation, especially on the back of your head.



The extra bit depth to some of the music recordings and mastering was clearly articulated by the Platinum’s range and scope of playback.









There is no doubt the Platinums are grand wizards of two channel. Imaging and soundstage are definitely its forte. Vocals are clear and give a fine sense of live presentation and clarity. This works with any kind of music from classical and jazz to hip-hop and dance.



I recently had the opportunity to try the system out with a Chord QBD76 HDSD. A brilliant piece of kit and to date one of the best DACs I have heard. The detail, bass, presence and scale of the Platinums was outstanding. I’ve never heard them sound so good, or realised that a CD or equivalent computer file could contain such an amount of information, or sound so incredible.

Movies – every film played showed that the Platinums were clearly at home creating turmoil and uproar when needed, with subtlety in equal measures. The atmospherics in The Conjuring sound track added and extra layer of fear. Lord of The Rings – Fellowship, where Sauron gets his ring sliced off (literally J) – the resounding deep bass response was beautiful, as if there was a sub present. In fact I had to double check that the visiting Sub (REL 528) was switched off, which it was.



The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – beautifully directed by Ben Stiller has a great soundtrack, which is equally presented by the PL300’s.



TV – Hannibal, the sound engineering in this show is excellent, from the opening title sequence and throughout with incidental music. The PL’s perform exceptionally well, conveying every emotion. The title sequences to Game of Thrones, Vikings, and Dexter are other great examples where the Platinums shine.



It’s not just in the big stakes where the drivers can slam and dunk. The subtle noises are important, whether it’s the intake of breath, a pen scrawling on paper, the distant sound of rain, a creak in a floorboard, the PL300’s perform exceptionally well, articulating what the sound engineers want you to hear. Listening for over 10 hours hindered zero ear fatigue.



With any partnering equipment there needs to be a degree of synergy. Not all components will work together in harmony, and personal tastes vary considerably. Therefore cable changes, and more importantly the amplifier and speaker combination must be right for the individual listener.



I find the whole Platinum range neutral in transparency which is excellent for tuning a system for greater flexibility. This is nice as they can be modified to suit personal tastes. As I said earlier, I love a slightly warmer sound and paired up with the NAD, the Platinums emulate this resoundingly.



The build quality of the units is exceptional and far superior to speakers costing the same if not two or three times the price. Money has been no object in their presentation and construction. Even the metal grills are substantial and attach by strong magnets, providing a useful protective layer for the drivers. The acoustic plinth and machined aluminium spikes hold the speakers well, and isolate resonance effectively.



Looks are extremely personal and probably for me the least important factor. Having said that the speakers look exquisite, especially in Ebony real wood veneer with added leather to boot.



Matched with commensurate equipment the Monitor Audio Paltinums are one of the best floor standing speakers for two channel music and movies you can own. This ambidextrous duality is rare and exceptional. In summary massive detail, powerful bass, 3D soundstage with the ability to bring out everything on your chosen format with bags of transparency. They have the ability to fill a room with music, fully immersing and losing you in the experience of musical bliss.

If you’re in the market for something quite special or thinking about an upgrade, put the Platinum PL300 on the top of your consideration list. For the money, you will be struggling to find something superior or even close.



What’s your best amp/speaker combination?







PS



The actual measurements on the website are for the plinth, the speaker is smaller:



 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
Nice thread.

Sounds awesome, thanks for the feedback.

Out of curiosity what are your room dimensions and do you have any room treatment at all?

Particularly impressed by the systematic method you used to demo a range of speakers. I was going to make a similar kill list at one stage but realised the room would be a limiting factor.
 

Nick1881

Well-known Member
Monitor Audio Platinum range have a beautiful finish and really lovely build quality, however I could never fully enjoy their presentation. Fair enough if you are happy with them, everyone has different taste. Personally I'd go for PMC twenty.26 over them.

If I was to choose my personal favourite floorstanding speakers I have heard, I would pick Acapella High Violin. Truly stunning sounding speakers in every aspect, though you may need to re-mortgage your house to buy some.
 

t bone

Well-known Member
Great post, these are the babies for me only the pl200 just got to justify the price hike as i have had the GX range only a year.
 

ManBat

Active Member
Nice thread.

Sounds awesome, thanks for the feedback.

Out of curiosity what are your room dimensions and do you have any room treatment at all?

Particularly impressed by the systematic method you used to demo a range of speakers. I was going to make a similar kill list at one stage but realised the room would be a limiting factor.

Cheers! Only a temporary room at the moment as I will be moving. It is on the small side approx. 4.7 m x 4m x 3.5m ceiling. Surprisingly no loss of definition or bass issues. Strategic room treatment would make it sound even better. Had some installed at the office and it worked a treat.

Only natural room treatment currrently present, large couch, floor rug, cushions but this is working quite well.
 

ManBat

Active Member
Monitor Audio Platinum range have a beautiful finish and really lovely build quality, however I could never fully enjoy their presentation. Fair enough if you are happy with them, everyone has different taste. Personally I'd go for PMC twenty.26 over them.

If I was to choose my personal favourite floorstanding speakers I have heard, I would pick Acapella High Violin. Truly stunning sounding speakers in every aspect, though you may need to re-mortgage your house to buy some.

I really like the PMC’s especially the MB2 SE. I heard them driven by MOON gear at a hifi show, and the system sounded most excellent.
I used to own the PMC 24’s and would love to hear a run in 26 pair Cheers
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
Well it sounds like you're really enjoying your system, which after all said and done is all that matters.:)

My speakers are not quite as substabtial as the Platinums although they do share similar ribbon tweeters (that i love btw), and for my current room work brilliantly. Of coure if circumstances change and we were to move to a bigger house i may need to reevaluate. For now though couldn't be more satisfied. :)
 

Hem

Active Member
Nice write up, you are obviously getting a lot of enjoyment from your purchase, and rightly so. I've had my Platinum's for around 8 months now and have to agree, the finish on these speakers is really as good as anything available, they are truly stunning. I did have a few initial qualms with their presentation but after a few tweaks now have a set up which I'm more than happy with. In an AV setup they are simply staggering, watching Pacific Rim recently I was completely blown away, not so sure my wife was in agreement (or possibly the neighbours!).

It was two channel that I was really looking to improve upon and with any well recorded and mastered music these truly excel. Utterly transparent, the ribbon tweeter is a revelation and the ability of the PL300's to dig deep while remaining balanced tonally is pretty special.

Interesting you also had the PMC 24's as PMC are a manufacturer I would like to try out. I was intending to demo the Fact 8's last year but in all honesty I thought the finish for such an expensive speaker was very poor. How did the 24's compare to the PL300's in your opinion?
 

Nick1881

Well-known Member
Hem, I have heard the PMC 24 and wasn't too impressed with them, particularly in the bass department. I'd still like to try them in my room as I tend to have bass problems (i.e. too much bass), I think really you need to compare to the PMC twenty.26, they are in a totally different league. I'm still trying to work out how I can afford them.
 

Doomlord_uk

Well-known Member
I loved the treble, the mid was fine, the bass was ok - down to a certain frequency, below which (in the demo I attended) they just seemed to stop working. A very annoying rolloff that made them seem bass light and sound lacking in weight. Very frustrating. I would love to give these speakers another try though, as I'm sure it was the room/setup that was at fault. Generally always loved MA speakers.... And yes, beautiful finish, absolutely!
 
The platinums are very nice speakers, can't say I agree on them being the best speakers money can buy but that's a very subjective opinion.

I had someone come round to demo an amp I was selling which at the time was hooked up to some neat ultimatum XLS bookshelf speakers. I played him a few tracks and his face showed he wasn't happy. After a couple of tracks I stopped the music and asked if everything was ok. He explained he was running PL300's in his system and the sound he was hearing coming from my system was so much better than his that he was totally baffled!!

Glad your happy with yours and thanks for the informative opening post!
 

TomScrut

Well-known Member
I intend to go for a listen to a pair of these or maybe the 200s, will have to be amazing to talk me out of 802 Diamonds
 
I demoed some 805S's vs some PL100's a good few years ago now and was the proud owner of some 805S's for a good few years. The Platinums are good but won't worry the 800 series!
 

TomScrut

Well-known Member
7k second hand, anywhere up to 10k ex demo, and 11.5k new. Or at least that's my observations from flirting with the idea of buying some
 

TomScrut

Well-known Member
More expensive I realise than the PLs, but the thread does say the best.... I arent suggesting the 802s are the best though. And the prices I said are for 802 Diamonds, not 802Ds, they are anywhere between 5 and 6500 I would say.
 

t bone

Well-known Member
Have been lusting after the PL200 for a long time now and finally got a chance to hear them only for 15/20 mins with the mf 6500i. They produced a very lifelike sound hard to tell how the bass reproduction was as i was listening to Miles Davis kind of blue. compared to my gx200 there was not 2k difference but hey i didn't really push them Im sure they can really sing given the chance. for me still the best looking speaker on the market.
 

TomScrut

Well-known Member
Have been lusting after the PL200 for a long time now and finally got a chance to hear them only for 15/20 mins with the mf 6500i. They produced a very lifelike sound hard to tell how the bass reproduction was as i was listening to Miles Davis kind of blue. compared to my gx200 there was not 2k difference but hey i didn't really push them Im sure they can really sing given the chance. for me still the best looking speaker on the market.
They are very nicely finished, similar in quality to the 800 diamonds in that respect. I don't like the expensive speakers that look naff and everything is about the sound as you have to look at them!
 

Kurchatov

Banned
There is quite a big difference between "the best speakers money can buy" and "the best speakers you can buy for the money"

I'm sure these are fine speakers: they may even be great speakers. I must confess that I haven't heard them. I am pretty confident that there are better speakers out there but I might be wrong.

In reality, all commercial speakers are pretty inaccurate transducers and we choose the one with the selection of compromises we find least offensive. I can list those which achieve that goal for me but I'm sure that other people may choose a different set of compromises.

My perfect speakers might have the following characteristics:
The midrange openness and transparency of the best electrostatics (without the difficulties of low power handling, directionality and the problems of crossover matching)
The "into the room" projection of the big Wilson Alexandrias
The bottom end solidity provided by the best subwoofers
That quality at the high end provided by near massless transducers such as the old ionophane.
Couple the above with a degree of domestic acceptability ( the hardest bit)

Now how would you score your speakers against those targets.

My own speaker odyssey progressed as follows;
Quad esl57 (stacked pairs)
Martin Logan csl
Dayton wright electrostatics
Acoustat model x electrostatics
Infinity rs1b
Wilson watts
Rockport Mira Grand
YG Anat studio reference + wilson Watchdog subwoofer.

The current YG setup is the best I've heard but I am still looking for better!
 

ManBat

Active Member
Great views and many thanks for the replies. Of course my opinions are subjective based on my journey to this point (travelling is half the fun...) Plenty of great speakers out there which are an integral part of a "system" all sounding quite different to the end user. If it sounds good to your ears - then thats the one for you. For the money the PL300's are pretty good value. If I only had more money... :)
 

Kurchatov

Banned
Great views and many thanks for the replies. Of course my opinions are subjective based on my journey to this point (travelling is half the fun...) Plenty of great speakers out there which are an integral part of a "system" all sounding quite different to the end user. If it sounds good to your ears - then thats the one for you. For the money the PL300's are pretty good value. If I only had more money... :)

Well said. If it sounds good to you, it is good!
 

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