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Monitor Audio speakers - history websites?

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

  1. JezmondTutu

    JezmondTutu pfm Member

    The 7's imho were an absolute giant killer of a speaker.

    I remember hearing the Cornflake Shop's room at Penta with Roskan tt and Exposure amps and it was one of the best sounds there.

    Personally I think they bettered almost all the MA range - certainly wiped the floor with the uninspiring 14's.
  2. titan57nl

    titan57nl Member

    You mean normal 7 or the 7 golds? (guess the first one)
  3. Siemdj

    Siemdj New Member

    Last weekend I was in a second hand store with my girlfriend. Usually I don’t like that kind shops, but sometimes you do something for your lovely woman… But this story has a happy ending!

    In the audio corner I spotted two Monitor Audio speakers among plastic Sony and JVC speakers. Price 10 Euro, I was stunned! So I did not hesitate, forgot my girlfriend and went straight to the pay desk. Surprise number two: they were not 10 Euro each, but 10 Euro for the pair!

    At home I did some research. It’s very difficult because there is no database with classic speakers. But I think they are MA 100 Gold speakers.

    10 euro for 2 Monitor Audio MA100 Gold speakers?! It's idiot. Though they are old, the quality seems good!
    My question, what was the price of these speakers back at the day? And how do I treat this relatively old speakers?

    Sorry for my poor English, I am Dutch and trying ;)

    I will upload some pictures.



  4. The Captain

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

    What's dutch for 'Ooff you're a flaming rotter!' ? lovely tweeters, in fact my favs/ the best 'budget' ie sub £500 speakers tweeters ive ever heard/ would grace a very serious speaker no probs. 10 euros! dont know thesespecifically, ive had bigger 'golds' among many MA's. i bet they're wood veneer tho/ probably dry, so just work some wax/moisture back into them. fine lookers indeed. b'stard- bet that translates ok.
  5. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I, too, had a pair of MA5s. Late '70s, I think. I had small Celef Monitors before & swapped them for the '5s. Bad move. The Celefs were great, I realised with hindsight. Not until my Spendor BC1s arrived did I recapture something of the Celefs. BC1s were better, but Celefs had a superb bass. Drinking straws in the reflex port !? Am I correct that the Celefs had a KEF B200 Mid/Bass & an Audax tweeter ? Surely Celef was Celestion & Kef .
    Where was the Celestion ( presumably an HF1300) tweeter ? In an earlier model, presumably... Martyn Miles .
  6. lawrence001

    lawrence001 pfm Member

    Coming back to this thread again after a couple more MA speaker purchases.

    Have bought a pair of R952/MDs in rosewood I think. Tweeters were not 100% so I got my money back and he never came to pick them up. So I reluctantly swapped with the identical tweeters out of my MA9's and now have one of the nicest pair of speakers I've ever heard for total outlay of £35 including mint MA7/9 stands and repairable MA9's . Bargain of the century I think!

    Check out the reviews of the 952 on Gramophone and Stereophile (2 or 3 there) - the most transparent speakers at any price! Also got the manual and a nice leaflet with the 952's titled Project '87 which was the name MA gave to their development, and a dealer price of £599 written on it. Project 87 seems to involve the initial introduction of the metal dome tweeter at the top end of the range compared to the very common 352 etc (hence 852/MD and 952/MD). These then became standard fit across all the next range (Monitor 9, 14 etc), presumably as a result of the excellent reviews, which were then later made in gold and ultimately the gold Mk IIs with a different gold tweeter as in Siemdj's pics, and seem to have influenced MA's speakers ever since. So the rare 952's have a special place in MA's product development history.

    Interestingly the 952's have holes in the bottom to put the spike inserts into. Apparently these were optional back then!

    Again interestingly the 952s and 1st version of 9, 14 etc have the same tweeter as the Musical Fidelity MC4's - which are probably my favourite speaker, and it's no coincidence I love them both.

    Anyway, having loved the 952's I decided to splash out £100 on the Monitor 14 Gold mk IIs, my favourite of the two is yet to be decided. Would love to hear more of other people's experiences of any MA speakers around this time. Annyone in London fancy a listening session and AB comparison?!
  7. lawrence001

    lawrence001 pfm Member

    Hi Bigblue, if you can send me any copies of MA literature around this time, I would be very grateful. Like some others those links to the set you uploaded just don't seem to enlarge for me. I'm also interested in price lists for the 352/852/952 range, and the Gold Mk IIs. I always consider 10% of original price to be a bargain. If I have to justify a purchase I use inflation/RPI calcs to give me a current value of the original selling price! Even more of a bargain if I can get them at 10% of the original price!!
  8. lawrence001

    lawrence001 pfm Member

    Just one more post I promise...

    I thought I knew the whole range now nd then I found this. Didn't know about the 952 gold version (unless it's a mod). Odd that the serial number sticker has been changed - I wonder if MA changed over the tweeters to gold at the end of the line to sell the last ones - is that a handwritten M on it?


    And even more bizarre is the topmost woofer. Is it the angle of the camera or is it an off centre desing? Very strange.
  9. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I had pair of MA5s in the seventies. Bought them on a whim, but didn't like them. Bought a pair of Celef Monitors. Lovely... Martyn Miles .
  10. herb

    herb music live

    HiFi Review May/June 1987 quotes R952MD £599.15 and R852MD £349 (ES14s were £295). I have just retired my R852MDs after 22 years from new, what a bargain! Now replaced with new Harbeth Compact 7s. It is an improvement but not as much as I was expecting.
  11. contrem

    contrem New Member

    I've bought a pair of Monitor Audio MA7 speakers on a bit of a whim for £25 and have been sent a scanned copy of the spec sheet for them from Monitor Audio (they responded within about 2 hours of me sending them an email - very impressive).

    I'm hoping that one of you knowledgeable people can help me work out whether they're any good or not!

  12. woodgnome

    woodgnome New Member

    Just to reassure you I have a pair of MA4,s purchased for just over £220 IN 1977 from Hardman Radio in Manchester they're still in perfect condition and work fine if your MA7 are undamaged they-re a bargain and will probably outlive you
  13. dweezil

    dweezil pfm Member

    I'm still using MA4s in the office system. Blew the tweeters a few years ago and Wilmslow Audio knew exactly what to send.
    Even the vintage IMFs are still working, a freebie 10 years ago now in the bedroom system with rescued (from a skip) Rotel amp.
  14. SimonB

    SimonB pfm Member

    Hi Guys,
    I thought I would add to this thread with my recent experiences with these 1980’s Monitor audio speakers.

    Needing a cheap pair of speakers for my Rented place I bought a pair of R852/MD with the dark metal dome tweeter. They sounded good, but a little sharp up top and lacked a little base in my admittedly sparsely furnished and bright place. Given that they go for less than £50 and perform something around ES11 level (I guess here as not compared in same room). They are good value.

    Anyway I was looking at how to improve things and came across a Pair of R952’s and put in a low speculative bid and won! These are the gold version and contrary to what was mentioned above these were 100% official factory version that came in about 1 year after the original introduction in 1988 (so 1989) and continued until 1991’ish.

    The high notes on these are significantly smoother than the 852’s and the bass has more snap. The imaging and coherence expands on the 852’s as well. They are darker and more reserved overall though so Naim amps should match OK (only had a quick try of my Nait 2 so far and hitting the low level channel balance issue due to their sensitivity).

    If you like MA speakers and come across a pair of 952’s buy with confidence. They are sealed and have a sensitivity of about 89db and are probably the best speakers I have owned (Mission 780 / Epos ES11s / Tannoy 611s / MA R852s).

    P.S – My Aura VA100 Amp matched quite well with the 852’s except for a little control on the lowest notes. Therefore I imagine it would be a great match with MA7 and MA9’s and the smaller R series models where they have less bass.

  15. DrNick

    DrNick New Member

    I found this thread after looking for details of Monitor Audio Monitor 9 speakers on the web. I bought a pair in 1991 from Raleigh Hi Fi in Chelmsford, to go with my Arcam Alpha 3 amp and Rotel RCD-955 16 bit CD player. It was quite a good setup, and later I added an Arcam Black Box II to really smooth out the CD sound. I kept this rig until this year, and in all that time, I heard maybe one other person who had a setup I actually liked more. Anyway, I have always found the ability of these speakers to reproduce female vocals to be amazing. There is also plenty of bass and drive to them, they really have done it all for me. I should add that mine have silver tweeters, not gold. My wife loves these speakers too, they still look perfectly smart and modern, and the piano finish is just lovely.

    In this last year I've bought an Arcam AVR300 amp, to enable me to run a 3 speaker setup for films (might add the rear two in future) and to offer the ability to connect up some other digital sources directly. I was getting a bit tired of changing inputs by hand to the old black box. One of the features much commented on in reviews was that this new amp can use channels 6 and 7 to bi-amplify the front two channels. I thought this would be the way to go, but had to buy some new speakers to do this, so began looking, and eventually bought a pair of Monitor Audio BR6, which did show me that bi-amping would work, but were just not as good as the old Monitor 9's, unless you wanted massive volume. The treble was in fact quite a let down. Compared to the Monitor 9s they had 'air' at the top end, but no 'presence', female vocals shrank back in the mix, whereas the 9s really pull out vocals nicely. Now, when I had bought the Arcam amp, the chap who sold it to me had Monitor 14 speakers and mentioned that he had converted them for bi-amping, and after selling on the BR6s I began to wonder if I could do this to the Monitor 9s. I have pulled out the crossover, which is just on the back of the terminal plate, and here it is.


    Here is the circuit


    So, R1 is 5W 2.2 Ohm, C1 is an Alcap 50 V low loss electrolytic 3.3 microFarad +/- 10% cap, and I do not have the inductor values. Both could be about 0.3mH or near, given a 6 kHz crossover frequency?

    Looking at how simple this crossover is, I'm planning on converting the speakers to bi-amped reusing the existing inductors and with new polypropylene caps from Wilmslow Audio http://www.wilmslow-audio.co.uk/supersound-polypropylene-capacitors-68-c.asp. As the ferrite cored inductor for the bass is stuck down pretty well, I'm going to leave it where it is, and add a new terminal plate for the treble above it, and then just snip out the treble section from the existing crossover and make the new one on the back of the new input. I've ordered the bits with new resistors too, so I'll post photos and some impressions when I've done it. Anyway, any suggestions would be welcome. I've fixed amps and electronics in the lab at work, so not a newbie exactly, but I've not played with my own hi-fi stuff at home. I also have a B&W LCR3 centre speaker which has 2 caps in series with the tweeter, so I'll be replacing them too, but that's maybe off-topic.

    P.S. Thanks bigblue for posting up the information about these, it's nice to see!
  16. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    By one of those odd coincidences, so am I. No problem with the drivers so far (fingers crossed).

    First heard them decades ago when they were first released. Always thought they sounded a bit bright but still hankered after a pair. More than happy with them for a second system.
  17. DrNick

    DrNick New Member

    I've finished converting the Monitor 9's to biamped, and they sound fabulous.


    I kept the original cross over and clipped out the treble section and then made a new cutout below the original location for sockets for the bass with just the ferrite cored inductor, then made the new treble sections and put them above.

    It's made quite a difference to the bass, and seems to have have clarified the midrange a bit too. The top end has sharpened up, but that might just be replacing the 20 year old electrolytic cap from the crossover with a new film one. The ability to go loud seems to have increased a bit, and I'm very happy with how it has worked out. Total cost £30. Next I'm building a sub to go with them!
  18. 73Chaz

    73Chaz pfm Member

    Just to add to the Monitor Audio fun; I recently bought a pair of Studio 2s from Conan of this parish (it was on a whim after a very boozy sunday afternoon). They are pretty cute though - excuse the mess, and sound decent too. Eventually I will be wall mounting these, the room is work in progress:


    somewhere in that spaghetti under the desk you may note a pair of Meridian 205s which seem to do a good job of driving these. I wouldn't exactly call them a party speaker - obviously - but great timing and midband makes a nice combination.


  19. 73Chaz

    73Chaz pfm Member

    Just giving the Studio 2s their first real work out since i took ownership. They certainly don't mind a bit of current. Amazing coherence. And a bloody big sound for something the size of, well, something not very big. and that is with very sub optimal positioning.

    I like!

  20. cashkey

    cashkey Member

    reviving an old thread.
    i found n bought a pair recently n have started actively looking for more pairs.
    currently, i have found 3 pairs in a month!
    cleaned all of them up and painted the screws and badge gold in colour!
    i have the 1)non-ported, 2)ported, and lastly the 3)gold MKII...
    dunno if i can upload pictures..
    will try n see if i can in the next post..
    these speakers have incredible sound staging n clarity!!!

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