Any point buying speakers other than Monitor Audio?

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tinitus said:
Lo Fi said:
I agree with Cypher, I have heard quite a few speakers and have recently owned MA BX2s and now have MA RX1s.

IMO they are great speakers and give very good value for money.

I am not so young and perhaps if I were I would find them bright but to my aged ears they are just right. My RX1s do indeed have a good bass response better to me than anything else I have heard at the same price or even at a higher price. But again IMO it is well controlled and not boomy. The rest of my system is Rega Brio R and Audiolab 8200CD player. To me this system is great.

Is it because of the components gel together well, is it my earing, or is it that the system also suits my room.???

I will certainly vote in favour of MA any day and my next step is actually to buy some MA RX6s
Can't comment on modern MA's because I've not heard any, but as the owner of Studio 20SEs for the last 15 years, I can vouch for their longevity and lasting appeal. I agree with Lo FI - it depends on your room and matching equipment. Music Matters allowed me to test in my home enviroment which prevented an expensive mistake with some KEFs that had sounded great in their listening room. As with any speaker, if I move them slightly towards a wall or corner, they sound different. Ditto toe-in, mass loading and several other factors. I found that the most critical change to the tonal balance of my system was trying different digital interconnects. Electronics, Meridian 506/24, 501, 555 all 100% reliable and enjoyable 15 years on. The UK does have a manufacturing sector that we can be proud of.
Hi tinitus

The Studio 20SE are excellent speakers :grin:

Btw, Meridian 500 series components are very nice :)

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 
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Anonymous

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ooh ooh ooh is it the new apollo :bounce: please please please tell us...:dance:
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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I was thinking about this some more last night and it is frightening how many speakers I've been through. I've had B&W 686, B&W DM301, Monitor Audio B2, Monitor Audio BR2, Mission 792, Mission MX1, Mission 751, Wharfedale Diamond 8.3+, Wharfedale Diamond 9.1, Tannoy Sensys, Tannoy Mercury F1, Tannoy Mercury V1, Q Acoustics 1030i, KEF iQ10, KEF Q300, KEF Coda III, KEF C30, Roth Oli 2, Mordaunt Short MS902i Avant, Mordaunt Short MS914i, Mordaunt Short Mezzo 2, Mordaunt Short Aviano 1, Mordaunt Short MS15 II, Mordaunt Short MS25Ti, Mordaunt Short Aviano 2, Quad 11L, Dali Ikon 1, Dali Lektor 2, and now Monitor Audio BX2.

That is a lot of speakers and I've still got 6 of them. All of these are good quality speakers but many of them failed to make the grade to my ears, in my system (whatever that was at the time!) and in my room and for a variety of reasons. The most successful have been the Monitor Audio B2, Wharfedale Diamond 9.1, the Mission 751, the Mordaunt Short Mezzo 2 and Aviano 2, the Dali Lektor 2, and my current BX2 with the BX2s combining what I liked about the others to give me the best I'm going to achieve at this sort of price point.

What can I pull out of this?

Firstly that I seem to generally enjoy speakers that use very light drive unit materials and well executed metal dome tweeters (Wharfedales and Dali excepted). Secondly that, on the whole, front ported speakers seem to work better in my room with the exception of Mordaunt Shorts. Finally that I don't go for overly bassy speakers but prefer a tighter sound, albeit with enough warmth to reproduce the atmosphere of a venue and imbue the sound with some depth.

If my electronics had remained constant in this time I could have made more conclusions but it is still interesting to think about it. Another listener might listen to or own all those speakers and pick out different 'favourites' to those I have picked. This might well be the case even in my room, but is even more likely if the speakers were tried in their own room.

It is certainly interesting that the first time I heard the BX2s, in a dealer demo room nearly a year ago, I was initially impressed but then found them to be a bit lightweight on the end of Marantz 6003 electronics. All these months later I have that very system in my living room and here it never sounds lightweight and I actually have no doubts about the performance at all, especially for the price paid. My favourite small speakers that I have heard are the PMC DB1i and although those are clearly better than the BX2s, the MAs get me closer to the sound of the PMCs than any other budget speaker I've heard.

Going through so many speakers is really ridiculous when you look at the list, but it has taught me a lot about what works for my ears and in my room. In the end it enabled me to decide on the BX2s by considering the qualities that came across when I heard them last year and by considering their construction and specification (helped, of course, by knowing the strengths and weaknesses of previous incarnations of the Bronze 2 and how they worked in this room).

Ultimately speakers are my biggest weakness when it comes to hi-fi and I love hearing how different designs behave. I do think they are the most fascinating and interesting part of this wonderful hobby.
 
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Anonymous

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matthewpiano said:
I was thinking about this some more last night and it is frightening how many speakers I've been through. I've had B&W 686, B&W DM301, Monitor Audio B2, Monitor Audio BR2, Mission 792, Mission MX1, Mission 751, Wharfedale Diamond 8.3+, Wharfedale Diamond 9.1, Tannoy Sensys, Tannoy Mercury F1, Tannoy Mercury V1, Q Acoustics 1030i, KEF iQ10, KEF Q300, KEF Coda III, KEF C30, Roth Oli 2, Mordaunt Short MS902i Avant, Mordaunt Short MS914i, Mordaunt Short Mezzo 2, Mordaunt Short Aviano 1, Mordaunt Short MS15 II, Mordaunt Short MS25Ti, Mordaunt Short Aviano 2, Quad 11L, Dali Ikon 1, Dali Lektor 2, and now Monitor Audio BX2.

favourite small speakers that I have heard are the PMC DB1i and although those are clearly better than the BX2s, the MAs get me closer to the sound of the PMCs than any other budget speaker I've heard.

Going through so many speakers is really ridiculous when you look at the list, but it has taught me a lot about what works for my ears and in my room. In the end it enabled me to decide on the BX2s by considering the qualities that came across when I heard them last year and by considering their construction and specification (helped, of course, by knowing the strengths and weaknesses of previous incarnations of the Bronze 2 and how they worked in this room).

Ultimately speakers are my biggest weakness when it comes to hi-fi and I love hearing how different designs behave. I do think they are the most fascinating and interesting part of this wonderful hobby.
Matthew have you ever considered going for the jugular and just getting yourself some PMC's. I am sure a speaker sale will get you some of the way? For someone so particular about sound quality it would seem logical to excel in that area.

If anyone has done their research, it's you!
 

matthewpiano

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Hi The Limey!

My next speakers will be PMC DB1i but it won't be for a while. For now I'm enjoying the MAs and want a few months (or longer!) of enjoying a well-rounded budget set-up before I make any further changes. Also, in the current economic climate, I'm trying to cut my spending right down. In the meantime I will be de-cluttering the spare room (!) and putting the money to one side for when that rainy day comes and I finally make a move on a pair of DB1i.
 
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Anonymous

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Understood! well enjoy your current system. Just listening to some Alan Parsons project. So well mixed It would sound good on a building site radio.
 

matthewpiano

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The Limey said:
Understood! well enjoy your current system. Just listening to some Alan Parsons project. So well mixed It would sound good on a building site radio.
I love Alan Parsons Project. 'Tales of Mystery & Imagination' is still my favourite but I like most of the albums and, as you say, the sound quality is superb. I'm listening to Tom Petty again.
 
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Anonymous

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Have you ever tried to work out what your net spend has been on all this, or have you managed to sell them on/return them and break even?

I know its been said before but the most obvious conclusion from looking at that list is that a lot of time and money has been spent on loads of different budget speakers when one pair of second hand PMCs might have done the trick a long time ago.

I guess you might argue that the experimentation has got you to the stage where you know what you want and by the sound of it you have learned to enjoy the chopping and changing. I just feel exhausted looking at that list!

Ian
 

matthewpiano

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daskeg said:
Have you ever tried to work out what your net spend has been on all this, or have you managed to sell them on/return them and break even?

I know its been said before but the most obvious conclusion from looking at that list is that a lot of time and money has been spent on loads of different budget speakers when one pair of second hand PMCs might have done the trick a long time ago.

I guess you might argue that the experimentation has got you to the stage where you know what you want and by the sound of it you have learned to enjoy the chopping and changing. I just feel exhausted looking at that list!

Ian
Yes, the thought has crossed my mind before but in the end I have enjoyed the experimentation and I've always done pretty well at selling stuff on and not having to put too much additional money into things. I think I've learned a lot and as a result I feel in a better position to enjoy what I have now and in the future. I used to get really worked up about it but I've learned to see it as a learning curve. I still have a few bits and pieces that I intend to sell now (couple of amps, some speakers and a CD player) and anything I get from those will go towards a carefully planned future upgrade, but future really does mean future at the present time.
 

Lo Fi

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Personally I hope people do buy speakers other than MA if they dont all the other manufacturers would go out of business and MA prices would be sky high.

Then I would not be able to afford them
 

garyw77

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matthewpiano said:
Hi The Limey!

My next speakers will be PMC DB1i but it won't be for a while. For now I'm enjoying the MAs and want a few months (or longer!) of enjoying a well-rounded budget set-up before I make any further changes. Also, in the current economic climate, I'm trying to cut my spending right down. In the meantime I will be de-cluttering the spare room (!) and putting the money to one side for when that rainy day comes and I finally make a move on a pair of DB1i.
You won't regret it, the Dinky boxes have probably been my best HiFi purchase ever for what pleasure and improvement they are giving me :)

They are quality, simple as that ;)
 

ABM78

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I love my Dynaudio's, I have not had a lot of experience with hi-fi components but I went through Wharfedale 9.1's and B&W685's first without much enjoyment (i have to buy blind, don't have a lot of choice) I would only be comfortable from here to upgrade the Dyno's with other Dyno's. No where to test MA's, am I missing out? What I don't know wont hurt me :)
 

ABM78

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I love my Dynaudio's, I have not had a lot of experience with hi-fi components but I went through Wharfedale 9.1's and B&W685's first without much enjoyment (i have to buy blind, don't have a lot of choice) I would only be comfortable from here to upgrade the Dyno's with other Dyno's. No where to test MA's, am I missing out? What I don't know wont hurt me :)
 

nopiano

Well-known member
matthewpiano said:
I think I've learned a lot and as a result I feel in a better position to enjoy what I have now and in the future. I used to get really worked up about it but I've learned to see it as a learning curve.
That was my experience too, though it was mostly without much expense on my part, as I worked for over a decade in a hi-fi store on Saturdays (20 years ago, mind). Listening to everything, trying some at home, and setting it up in lots of customers houses gave a great insight into how everything works together (or doesn't).

The most satisfying thing was getting great performance from modest gear - we didn't sell hi-end stuff. Well balanced but modest works a lot better in most living rooms than something with great potential that doesn't really gel. Fair enough to splash out if you have a sizeable room, and are prepared to spend time and money to fine-tune everything.

And to the OP, the diversity of speaker sounds and designs is one of the most interesting things about this hobby!
 

Bobbyhifi

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nopiano said:
And to the OP, the diversity of speaker sounds and designs is one of the most interesting things about this hobby!
Ahh, but that was sort of my point! Reading through that last issue it would seem that the reviewers obvisouly don't think there's much variety to be had, recommending one brand over any others in nearly all instances! I haven't bought the latest issue yet, I'm on lates and only just woken up! So I don't know if the outlook is any different this month.

Thanks for the replies though, didn't expect this to start a thread this big. Thanks for the input from Clare too, I think it must be hard for reviewers. You'll no doubt get your favourites but in Hi-Fi system matching is also important so your reference systems and rooms will work better with some equipment than others, how do you maintain a fair balance in reviews? Are all components tested with multiple rooms/systems? I can't see that being viable with the amount you cover but then how is fairness achieved if your reference system fits better with some equipment than others? It's interesting to me as I've always had problems system-matching and getting it all to work in my room, often being disappointed by a lot of well reviewed gear.
 

matthewpiano

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nopiano said:
matthewpiano said:
I think I've learned a lot and as a result I feel in a better position to enjoy what I have now and in the future. I used to get really worked up about it but I've learned to see it as a learning curve.
That was my experience too, though it was mostly without much expense on my part, as I worked for over a decade in a hi-fi store on Saturdays (20 years ago, mind). Listening to everything, trying some at home, and setting it up in lots of customers houses gave a great insight into how everything works together (or doesn't).

The most satisfying thing was getting great performance from modest gear - we didn't sell hi-end stuff. Well balanced but modest works a lot better in most living rooms than something with great potential that doesn't really gel. Fair enough to splash out if you have a sizeable room, and are prepared to spend time and money to fine-tune everything.
This makes lots of sense to me and it is one of the reasons why I'm sticking with this current set-up for the forseeable. It is modest, but it works well together and swapping from my Chord cables to my QED and Atlas ones yesterday (I've built up a collection of a few different cables too!) has really just been the icing on the cake in getting the best out of it.
 

Lo Fi

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Boom and brightness are often in the ear of the beholder but a lot of other information can be assessed by the reviewer without bias i.e. what is the detail like bass, mid and top, etc.

I still say for me that MA are very dynamic and offer good value for money at any given price point I feel MA take a lot of beating.
 

Clare Newsome

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Bobbyhifi said:
Ahh, but that was sort of my point! Reading through that last issue it would seem that the reviewers obvisouly don't think there's much variety to be had, recommending one brand over any others in nearly all instances! I haven't bought the latest issue yet, I'm on lates and only just woken up! So I don't know if the outlook is any different this month.
It is, as my post on page one details :)

Bobbyhifi said:
I think it must be hard for reviewers. You'll no doubt get your favourites but in Hi-Fi system matching is also important so your reference systems and rooms will work better with some equipment than others, how do you maintain a fair balance in reviews? Are all components tested with multiple rooms/systems? I can't see that being viable with the amount you cover but then how is fairness achieved if your reference system fits better with some equipment than others?
Our reference systems - and our acoustically treated rooms - are designed to be as neutral as possible.

We also use a range of price-comparable kit (and often kit from above/below the price range, too) to build suitable systems around a product - to understand which partners it will work best with (not always the class leaders).

In addition, we experiment with positioning/stands etc to give products the best chance to shine. For speakers, that's especially key - from choosing the best distance from a wall, to whether toe-in is required, to whether they thrive on heavier stands, just to give three examples.

Yes, it takes a lot of time - but we've got a full time team of people that work together to achieve it.

More on our test rooms and how we work to get the best from all the products on test here - click for video.
 

dannycanham

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I've heard some quite negative opinions on your acoustically treated rooms from the the more technically adept audiophile. Largely that they are getting a little too close to semi-anechoic. A neutral room wouldn't be acoustically treated for a start.

....looking at that video I'd agree with them. Those rooms would push for a bias towards systems that wouldn't sound great in a standard carpeted, rugged, curtained and sofa'd room. It explains alot of your reviews. They aren't designed for neutral, they are designed for the brighter side off of neutral.
 

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