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Monitor Audio Silver 100 Review (Speaker)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 13 5.7%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 60 26.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 140 61.4%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 15 6.6%

  • Total voters
    228

Smislov

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I have Gold GX all round currently, would be interested to see how/if Monitor have improved over the years.
If you have GX 200
Monitor-Audio-Gold-GX-200.jpg
Monitor-Audio-Gold-GX-200.jpg


and GX 100 link

and GX 50 link
 
Last edited:

SaltyCDogg

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For such a pricy speaker it is not so good. I don't like Monitor Audio as a brand at all to say honestly
I think in the UK they're a more appealing proposition as they're British (though made in China like most brands these days), available in a decent selection of veneers and they're nice looking pieces of furniture and they're often discounted. You can pick these up for £499 currently and were available for £449 until recently.
 

Pulkass

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Wow, had no idea that is what they were for! The top screw was extremely loose in this sample.
Tighten the screws, the drivers will be solid with the cabinet, hopefully they will have de coupling gaskets. For a much more clear presentation.
 

abdo123

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The whole Harman/Olive metric strongly correlates directivity with the score and that correlation was based and confirmed with blind listening.
No, it strongly correlates with the listening window flatness, downward sloping of sound power with increasing frequency and low frequency extension. these are the parameters that were found to be associated with listener preference in their research and were selected to make the model / metric. They didn't include directivity in the research.

The Harman score and even Amirs preference talk a clear language (and am sure of the most who would compare both directly).

Actually no, Amir didn't say that he favored one over the other, nor did he explicitly say that this speaker is bad. Lets see if he will elaborate further on this.

In fact my interpretation of what he said is that this speaker is better because it has a bigger halo.
 

Krobar

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If you have GX 200
Monitor-Audio-Gold-GX-200.jpg
Monitor-Audio-Gold-GX-200.jpg


and GX 100 link

and GX 50 link

The graphs are for the Gold 200 so current generation? If so comparing current 200 vs GX100 looks like they have improved although not that much from a directivity perspective, distortion at 90dB does seem to have improved though. I have GX300 for the left and right.
 

thewas

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No, it strongly correlates with the listening window flatness, downward sloping of sound power with increasing frequency and low frequency extension. these are the parameters that were found to be associated with listener preference in their research and were selected to make the model / metric. They didn't include directivity in the research.
Wrong, the parameters include also flatness of PIR and what does a flat LW and flat PIR mean? You got it (hopefully), smooth directivity.

Actually no, Amir didn't say that he favored one over the other, nor did he explicitly say that this speaker is bad. Lets see if he will elaborate further on this.
Not that it really matters but that is also wrong, Amir gave the M16 a "4. Great (golfing panther)" while to the Silver 100 just a "3. Fine (happy panther)".
 

Vict0r

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Who voted "poor"? Why is this a poor speaker? I'm very confused. :D
 

abdo123

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Wrong, the parameters include also flatness of PIR and what does a flat LW and flat PIR mean? You got it (hopefully), smooth directivity.

Then we should be looking at ERDI, since the PIR 99% of the time matches the plot of the early reflections.

the directivity mismatch in the ERDI suddenly is much less severe, in fact i would say almost irrelevant. This is evident by @Maiky76 and @pierre 's EQ where a good alignment of flat listening window and smooth PIR is definitely possible.

All what i'm trying to say is that we really don't have any research on which directivity pattern are more preferred. Good directivity makes it easier to EQ a speaker that's for sure, but i think we can't make any other conclusions as the research is lacking.
 

flipflop

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Who voted "poor"? Why is this a poor speaker? I'm very confused. :D
When I evaluate a speaker, I use the same criteria as Amir, namely considering the post-EQ performance and disregarding the price. This speaker has a poor ERDI, which results a poor post-EQ performance, hence the 'poor' vote.
 

tifune

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My caveat with this system is not the design, but no mention of the fact in the enclosed manual that you are supposed to snug these screws once you have determined your speaker placement. No doubt, loose drivers might cause some resonance!

I had these for a little while, and I sent them back because I thought there was some flaw with my pair or overall design issue. But, this could very well be it. At moderate volume, kick drums caused this strange hollow-ish sound that reminded me of subwoofer chuffing. I figured if they couldn't even handle volume from 2' listening distance, no way they'd sound good from typical listening distance that you'd have for a speaker with 8" woofer. Unfortunate that I could've potentially fixed that with 15 seconds of effort. I'm not aware of too many 8" passive, especially with such a subtly unique appearance. grille looks terrible, though. Not sure why you'd even use it when tweeter is already protected.

If you're reading review on mobile, it might be hard to see but the woofer is sort of pockmarked. Not great if you're in the burgeoning tryptophobic crowd, otherwise a nice alternative to smooth surface or the old school "big button". its also mounted in a way such that it portrudes a bit from the baffle, it's not aligned like a Kef, etc. Something about the overall appearance feels "very British", like you might see these in the background of an Austin Powers party scene. No idea why I think that
 

ctrl

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@amirm
I don't know if anyone has mentioned this yet, the impulse and step response graphs are might be phase inverted.

You have either connected the speaker with reversed polarity, or the NFS inverts the phase at some point in the evaluation process.



Wow! The speaker has two really interesting distortion peaks.
Once almost 1.5% third order distortion around 1450Hz and almost 1.5% fifth order distortion around 180Hz. And that at just [email protected] sound pressure level.
1640004529160.png
This speaker would be well suited to investigate the audibility of harmonic distortion. I would be really interested to hear if with narrowband noise and sine around these two frequency ranges, a parasitic singnal becomes audible at low volume.
 

PeteL

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The problem is that due to the directivity issues its impossible to actually correct those small errors. If the loudspeaker has a very uneven frequency response, but good directivity its much easier to correct.
OK, but what if it have the same directivity issue, and very uneven frequency response. Is it easier to correct? Won't these large correction wouldn't translate well away from measuring position just as bad?
 

thewas

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Then we should be looking at ERDI, since the PIR 99% of the time matches the plot of the early reflections.
ERDI is still a DIrectivity issue.

the directivity mismatch in the ERDI suddenly is much less severe, in fact i would say almost irrelevant. This is evident by @Maiky76 and @pierre 's EQ where a good alignment of flat listening window and smooth PIR is definitely possible.
And guess which loudspeakers have even EQ and sub the highest scores? Right (hopefully), the ones with the smoothest directivity. For example on the two loudspeakers we are talking about, M16 with a score optimised EQ and an ideal sub 8.3 while for the Silver 100 7.9. The worse the directivity is the worse both can be matched at the same time giving a lower score.

All what i'm trying to say is that we really don't have any research on which directivity pattern are more preferred. Good directivity makes it easier to EQ a speaker that's for sure, but i think we can't make any other conclusions as the research is lacking.
That is not true, the Harman research has shown that loudspeakers with a smooth/continuous directivity are preferred to ones without it. (Even about the wideness of radiation there has been research but that is more limited and not the topic of our discussion here.) Let me quote Toole again as:

It turns out that the loudspeakers receiving the highest sound quality ratings are those with the smoothest, flattest, on-axis frequency response curves, and smooth, gradually changing, off-axis performance indicating that reflected sounds would have timbral similarity to the direct sound arriving at the listening position. It is all explained in great detail in the 3rd edition of my book, “Sound Reproduction; the Acoustics and Psychoacoustics of Loudspeakers and Rooms”, Focal Press, 2017

Source: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...d-can-it-be-measured.25313/page-3#post-862567

Also about 2-way loudspeakers:

Ideally the directivity of a woofer should match that of the midrange to which it is transitioning, and likewise the midrange directivity should match that of the tweeter - you will note the use of custom designed waveguides on some tweeters to improve this transition. Thinking about it, one of the most challenging designs is the very popular 8-inch two way, especially those with no tweeter waveguide. A midrange speaker improves the design. Adding more subdivisions, up to a point, can also be beneficial. Obviously, three- and four-way designs require significant engineering effort to live up to their potential. The goal is a smooth DI.

Source: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ased-speaker-designs.6441/page-10#post-148421
 
Last edited:

abdo123

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@amirm
I don't know if anyone has mentioned this yet, the impulse and step response graphs are might be phase inverted.

You have either connected the speaker with reversed polarity, or the NFS inverts the phase at some point in the evaluation process.



Wow! The speaker has two really interesting distortion peaks.
Once almost 1.5% third order distortion around 1450Hz and almost 1.5% fifth order distortion around 180Hz. And that at just [email protected] sound pressure level.
View attachment 173621
This speaker would be well suited to investigate the audibility of harmonic distortion. I would be really interested to hear if with narrowband noise and sine around these two frequency ranges, a parasitic singnal becomes audible at low volume.
I'm pretty sure these peaks are the wiggling screws that amir mentioned in the review.
 

abdo123

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ERDI is still a DIrectivity issue.


And guess which loudspeakers have even EQ and sub the highest scores? Right (hopefully), the ones with the smoothest directivity. For example on the two loudspeakers we are talking about, M16 with a score optimised EQ and an ideal sub 8.3 while for the Silver 100 7.9. The worse the directivity is the worse both can be matched at the same time giving a lower score.


That is not true, the Harman research has shown that loudspeakers with a smooth/continuous directivity are preferred to ones without it. (Even about the wideness of radiation there has been research but that is more limited and not the topic of our discussion here.) Let me quote Toole again as:

It turns out that the loudspeakers receiving the highest sound quality ratings are those with the smoothest, flattest, on-axis frequency response curves, and smooth, gradually changing, off-axis performance indicating that reflected sounds would have timbral similarity to the direct sound arriving at the listening position. It is all explained in great detail in the 3rd edition of my book, “Sound Reproduction; the Acoustics and Psychoacoustics of Loudspeakers and Rooms”, Focal Press, 2017

Source: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...d-can-it-be-measured.25313/page-3#post-862567

Also about 2-way loudspeakers:

Ideally the directivity of a woofer should match that of the midrange to which it is transitioning, and likewise the midrange directivity should match that of the tweeter - you will note the use of custom designed waveguides on some tweeters to improve this transition. Thinking about it, one of the most challenging designs is the very popular 8-inch two way, especially those with no tweeter waveguide. A midrange speaker improves the design. Adding more subdivisions, up to a point, can also be beneficial. Obviously, three- and four-way designs require significant engineering effort to live up to their potential. The goal is a smooth DI.

Source: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ased-speaker-designs.6441/page-10#post-148421
Thank you for sharing all these sources, I'm not objecting to the fact that a smooth directivity speaker will score higher, I'm only objecting to your initial comment that it's impossible or difficult to correctly tune speakers with directivity mismatches and that they're inherently broken as a result or will always produce an objectionable sound. Correct me if i'm wrong if that's not your orignal intent with the comment.
That matches to what Toole says and my personal experience with EQing loudspeaker, namely that using EQ trying to smooth the (predicted) listening position response won't still sound as right if the directivity isn't smooth, so for me it does not deserve a fine panther, especially at that price.
 

thewas

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Thank you for sharing all these sources, I'm not objecting to the fact that a smooth directivity speaker will score higher, I'm only objecting to your initial comment that it's impossible or difficult to correctly tune speakers with directivity mismatches and that they're inherently broken as a result or will always produce an objectionable sound. Correct me if i'm wrong if that's not your orignal intent with the comment.
You are welcome :) but in this case I am sorry to say that I fully stand by my initial comment (which also matches to what Toole says) that EQing a loudspeaker with a flawed directivity won't make it sound as good as one with smooth directivity. Like Toole says "Equalization can address frequency response issues, but cannot fix directivity issues. Consider getting better loudspeakers."
 

abdo123

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You are welcome :) but in this case I am sorry to say that I fully stand by my initial comment (which also matches to what Toole says) that EQing a loudspeaker with a flawed directivity won't make it sound as good as one with smooth directivity. Like Toole says "Equalization can address frequency response issues, but cannot fix directivity issues. Consider getting better loudspeakers."
Btw did you listen to both the KEF LS50 Meta and the Revel M16? Which one would you recommend? (With EQ, 1 to 2 meter distance). I'm thinking of buying either for my living room, but I cannot really pick one over the other.
 

thewas

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Btw did you listen to both the KEF LS50 Meta and the Revel M16? Which one would you recommend? (With EQ, 1 to 2 meter distance). I'm thinking of buying either for my living room, but I cannot really pick one over the other.
I own a pair of LS50 Meta but unfortunately in my country its almost impossible to find a dealer with Revels to listen to them. :facepalm: But still I am quite positive about giving a recommendation in this case at 1-2 meters listening distance and if not listened very loud the LS50 Meta are really really good (don't even need really much EQ above transition frequency), for higher listening distances and SPLs and if not used with subs I would recommend the M16 or even better the M106. If you want deep bass you might consider using 1-2 subs with both.
 

beagleman

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Who are you to judge of what I have heard? Please refrain on your own experiences, if you don't hear differences between loudspeakers with smooth and non-smooth directivity, be happy as you have much more choices and can save also a lot of money.
I think you may be confusing,, someone saying they do not feel a certain trait or aspect is important, versus, saying they lack the ability or mindset to hear or discern this trait.

To me, comments like that, often come off as a tad condescending, although your intention may not have been to "sound" that way.

Not everyone views all aspects of speakers in the same way. This forum tends to focus a lot on off axis and directivity, and some do not see that as one of the most important things.
 

thewas

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I think you may be confusing,, someone saying they do not feel a certain trait or aspect is important, versus, saying they lack the ability or mindset to hear or discern this trait.

To me, comments like that, often come off as a tad condescending, although your intention may not have been to "sound" that way.

Not everyone views all aspects of speakers in the same way. This forum tends to focus a lot on off axis and directivity, and some do not see that as one of the most important things.
I agree that the above comment might have sound a bid condescending and I probably would have now formulated it differently, but to my excuse the dialogue evolved to this stage in several steps. Anyway I just wanted to express that directivity really and easily audibly matters and cannot be ignored or corrected by EQ.
 
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