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Monitor Audio speakers - history websites?

Discussion in 'audio' started by ex brickie, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. ex brickie

    ex brickie pfm Member

    Anyone know of any websites that would give me the dimnsions of MA speakers from (I think) early 90s but could even be the 80s? As you will have seen on a previous thread I acquired a pair of Monitor Audio 7 speakers of which one has a naff cone. A fellow pfm'er suggested reconing but the cost of sending it to the recommended company in Oz was about £60. And MA quote £50 for a new driver (got them down from £85).

    The speakers were a freebie so I wanted to find another pair cheap - or a different sized model of the same era that might use the same size drivers. Then I could cannibalise them.

    So anyone know of any MA websites where I can find the details (size. spec) of the speaker parts? The MA website doesn't have old stuff and their interest is in selling me a part!

    Getting the cone fixed seems just as expensive I feel. A cheap replacement speaker looks like the answer (were they not very popular?)

  2. Uzinusa

    Uzinusa Happy Chappy

    can you post a picture with as much detail as poss? I have a pair of MAs in the loft.
  3. ex brickie

    ex brickie pfm Member

    Hi. I don't know how to post photos! They are definitely MA 7s - small bookshelf speakers. I need to find a website that has details of these plus others of the same era so I can see if any other models have the same drivers (then find a cheap pair 'cos I can't trace MA7s anywhere!)
  4. rontoolsie

    rontoolsie pfm Member

    I heard the line-up of MA speakers at a London exhibit some time back in the late 1970's. I remember the smallest (the MA7's) being the one that I preferred by some margin. So they may well be worth restoring, although fifty squid for a single driver may be too close to the original sale price of a pair to be palatable.
  5. Uncle Ants

    Uncle Ants I'm a Shop Keeper

    This is undoubtedly little help, but I used to have a pair of MA5s - late 70s/early 80s I think. The bass/mid drive units were actually made by KEF. I wouldn't be surprised if the same were true of the MA7s if they are the same vintage which rontoolsie's recollection implies.
  6. ex brickie

    ex brickie pfm Member

    Thanks guys. MA tell me they were about £300 new! Sounds expensive.... but might go some way to explaining the view that they sounded pretty good. Listening to one speaker doesn't set me alight though - which is why I don't want to spend £50 on them. It sounds tight I know but I have several pairs of speakers and need to lose some. Spending much on these isn't worth it - hence trying to find a cheap replacement driver

    The back of the driver makes no reference to KEF - just says Monitor 7 exclusive design made in UK! I can email a photo of the driver if someone sends me a pm - but what I really need to know is where to find the spec for them and others in the range at the time so I can check whether another model has the drivers I need. Gives me more options to look out for!

    Thanks again
  7. bigblue

    bigblue pfm Member

    I don't believe the Monitor 7 shares it's bass driver with others as it was the baby of the range (though later on I think an even smaller Monitor 1 was added). The next one up was the Monitor 9, with a bigger cabinet and driver, and then a 14, with two bass drivers ? I think the 7's were £180, went up a bit, and then evolved into the Monitor 7 Gold's at something like £250 which had a gold coloured metal dome tweeter instead of a fabric one. There might have been a 7 Gold II too. The 29" dedicated 7/9 stand was a single pillar design at £100. Take all this with a pinch of salt as it's all off the top of my head. I have some MA brochures somewhere which I'll try to find, though you may have to wait a week or so. The only thing I have to hand is a note of the dimensions, 343x165x175, tweeter 19mm, woofer 130mm. They are really lively, clear and can throw a good out-of-the-box sound, though just occasionally they can be a bit strident on some material (this is rare though). I bought my ones in 1993 just before the switch to the metal dome tweeters. Surely just buying another pair on ebay is the cheapest option ?

    My 7's are doing sterling duty on a long term loan to a friend.
  8. ex brickie

    ex brickie pfm Member

    Spot on Bigblue - your dimensions are absolutely right! Do you have a photographic memory?:D

    I'm an experienced ebayer with over 700 feedback and believe me these speakers are as rare as hens teeth (the main reason I hoped there was another pair in the range which had the same driver). I was given the speakers free and had hoped to use them on the end of a second (rather 70s vintage) Marantz system. I'm currently using B&W DM110s which have a nice sound but are not the prettiest speaker for a bedroom!! Now I've got the MA7s they look rather tasty and the sound through one seems pretty good (but not so wonderful that I'd pay £50 for one driver as I'm sure I could get equivalent speakers for less)

    The repairers I could come up with charge over £50 for a single bass unit re-cone and a new driver from MA is £50. I felt that a second hand pair might come along for £20 (OK maybe a bit more if they are any good) but NOTHING! Were these speakers not very popular in their day? What age would they be?

    Thanks for your help - if there is a larger model with the same unit it gives me a second option to chase (if I find anything to chase that is.......:D ). Otherwise it has to be extreme patience or the speakers have to go (hopefully the latter will be a joke)
  9. hifi_dave

    hifi_dave Hi-Fi Retailer

    I have looked high and low for decent info on the MA7 with little success. Models either side have been easier.

    However, I have found some sketchy info from the early 80's which might apply, though you may be referring to a later model, I'm not sure. Here goes:

    16h x 9w x 8d, weight 15lb. One 6.5 inch bass, one 1 inch HF, crossover 3 Khz, 8 ohm impedance. Price £97/ pair plus VAT.
  10. ex brickie

    ex brickie pfm Member

    Thanks for your help Dave. Bigblue definitely has the details right so if you or he can find the spec of other models in the range that will be great. Who is selling the drivers for the price you quoted out of interest? I've managed to beat MA themselves dwn from £85 to £50 for one woofer but I'm not sure I want to spend that much on these speakers. I'm convinced a second working pair would cost a fair bit less (if only I could find any!)

    Any more tips gratefully received.....
  11. bigblue

    bigblue pfm Member

    Definitely not a photographic memory, the dimensions and driver sizes came from a note I had saved on my laptop from when I was thinking about buying new speakers. The rest I remember as they were my first hi-fi speakers (out of a total of two pairs ever bought - currently using Dynaudio Contour 1.1's). I don't know why I said they had fabric tweeters either, they had a silver coloured metal dome behind a protective mesh.

    I am currently away from a scanner and some, but not all, of my hi-fi brochure junk, but have found a couple of MA pamphlets detailing the later Gold version.

    The first one has the range as Monitor One Gold / 7 Gold / 9 Gold / 11 Gold / 14 Gold. There is also the MA100 Gold (seems to be the One with shielding for av use) and then more expensive stuff, 700 Gold Mk2 / 800 Gold / MA1200 Gold Mk2 / MA1800 Gold Mk2.

    The second has similar stuff except the Monitor series are now 7 Gold II / 9 Gold II / 14 Gold II. The Reference Gold series are MA100 Gold / MA700 Gold II / MA1200 Gold II. The Studio series are Studio 6 / 20SE / 50.

    No dates are apparent on the pamphlets.

    Just to add to the fun I seem to remember a tiny Studio 2 which had alloy drivers like the rest of the series and was really expensive and said to be seriously good. I'm sure I had a Studio series brochure ...

    Driver details for the 7 Gold are "1M/Audio gold dome driver 19mm (3/4")" and "1 x 130mm paper cone driver with rubber surround, low distortion magnet system and high temperature voice coil". The One has a "... MA1/91 mid/bass ..." without size stated, though it looks different in the picture to the 7's and probably even smaller. The 9 has a 165mm driver which looks to be shared with the 11 and 14 (each of which have two of these drivers).

    I think the music flowing with seemingly little to do with the modest boxes trick the 7's pulled was special, especially for the price. Some more poking around finds a nice Cornflake Shop brochure (nice b&w photography of some people and their systems bought from the shop and grainy pictures labelled "Fig 6 Lee Perry" and "Fig 7 Igor Stravinsky", excellent !). And folded in the back, a sheet from the Penta 1990 show, with a £3k system of Roksan Xerxes front end, Onix amp and ps and Monitor 7 loudspeakers "£170" and 7 stands "£80". I remember it sounded absolutely excellent, and bought my amp (Aura not Onix) and 7 stands from the same shop a few years later when they were a touch more expensive (although they had a pair of Monitor 7's to dem, they were out of stock of new ones as MA were transitioning from 7 to 7 Gold so I got them elsewhere). That's probably enough reminiscing !
  12. DSJR

    DSJR Between us and them

    MA7's were mid seventies and sounded really good I remember - nothing like the MA5 which in early form was a bit sharp up top.

    It looks as if the model number was resurrected many years later...

    Monitor Audio have done some really good speakers over the years - and some true clunkers too, but the inexpensive bronze range seem good value for money.
  13. ex brickie

    ex brickie pfm Member

    They may have been good chaps but either they were so good everyone is hanging on to them - or they were a pearl which never took off! I'm amazed I've not seen a whiff of a pair on ebay for weeks...... and I'm worried now there is no other model I could steal a driver from!

    Still looking for help - no pairs in anyone's loft??! I'd keep mine as spare bits then!
  14. RustyB

    RustyB Registered Ginga

    It looks as if the model number was resurrected many years later...

    You're confusing the early "MA" range with the later "Monitor" range from the early nineties.

    The Monitor 7, 9, etc were distinguished by the black painted MDF boxes in contrast to MA's usual excellent and varied veneered finishes.

    The Monitor 7 was an OK speaker, but for some reason the tweeter is run too hot, so they're rather bright.

    I've spent a lot of time with the bigger Monitor 9, which matched a 165mm woofer and the bigger 25 mm ali dome tweeter in a sealed box, and IMO these are a great little speaker, well balanced, musical and capable of surprisingly potent bass with some help from the wall.
  15. mr-mac

    mr-mac pfm Member

    Oh... I have a set of monitor 9's in the house...

    Picked them up for £20 when I went to collect the sugden A88...

    Yeah so they are cheap 80's finish on the outside but they shoved my Linn Kan Mk1's straight out of my system.

  16. bigblue

    bigblue pfm Member

    Info about the Monitor Series (I presume it's fine to post brochure scans from the 90's and a single review reprint from a 1989 issue of a magazine no longer in print - if not, a moderator is welcome to edit / delete this post). Image hosting courtesy of imageshack.us, so they'll remain available for a year after last access.

    Monitor Series.


    Monitor Gold Series.


    Monitor Gold II Series.


    Recommended system :) (Penta 1990 show)


    Monitor 7 Hi-Fi Answers 1989 Review.


    P.S. My 7's have a more attractive smooth black finish rather than the grained one shown in the first brochure.
  17. mmterror

    mmterror pfm Member

    Still love my Monitor Audio 9's too. Wont part with them. They just work so well for me that I've never needed to change them though everything else in my setup has changed several times over the past 20 years.

    Mine have a lovely smooth piano black finish. Nothing tacky at all. They dont look particularly dated to me.
  18. The Captain

    The Captain ~~~~~~~~~~

    Terrific info bigblue-

    fwiw I had the flagship 14 mk II gold in '92 in that very cherry finish, they were great- superb cabinets/veneering and allround quality, in fact their fine/ ambient detail I've never had as good since. I picked up some rosewood 14's only last year for nostalgia's sake (for £25!) -again superb build. These late 80's/ early 90's models were the true MA's, and such good lookers too- the more modern 'bronze' etc onwards never had anywhere near the same cab or driver quality, in fact as if made by a completely different company Imo, complete garbage.

    I say renovate the 7's, they deserve a new driver I reckon.
  19. ex brickie

    ex brickie pfm Member

    Thanks Bigblue

    Can you pm me the docs in a different format? I can only open them in a very small size and when I try to enlarge them they are blurred. Any tips? I can pm you my email address if you can send them to me in larger size?

    Thanks again
  20. mmterror

    mmterror pfm Member

    Once enlarged, refresh the browser and they go pin sharp. That works for me anyway.

    Its funny the ad quote they give for What Hifi on the MA9. I remember the listing details for the MA9 in the back of the mag were far from complimentary. Very 3 star in fact. They were a little more generous to the MA7.

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