Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment


Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

I’m not sure why, but there’s always something particularly exciting to me about unboxing a new pair of tower speakers. Maybe it’s because it’s the only unboxing process that feels like an undressing—I don’t know. Or perhaps it’s just the extra effort involved. If I had to bet, though, I’d guess it has something to do with that first fleeting instant of discovery—that moment when you figure out which side goes up and what accessories greet you upon first popping the tape and opening the cardboard flaps.

Monitor Audio

With Monitor Audio’s new seventh-generation Silver 300 ($2250/pair, all prices USD), that first fleeting glimpse includes a look at the speaker’s robust feet and dual port plugs, which I have to admit are smaller than I expected—they somewhat spoiled the surprise of seeing the ports for myself for the first time. There’s also a nice diagrammatic sequence detailing exactly how to extract the Silver 300 from its packaging without wrecking your day. Or your back.

Monitor Audio

Open the flaps up fully, and you get a better look at the feet, as well as screws and carpet spikes, should you choose to use them. You can also get a better look at the expanded polystyrene foam end caps that protect the speakers themselves, plus a bit of what appears to be low-density polypropylene sheet foam protecting the finish of the speaker.

Monitor Audio

Despite being the second-largest tower speaker in Monitor’s new Silver 7G lineup, it was quite easy to tip ass-over-tea-kettle. And this was mere days after surgery in which I was instructed to lift no more than five pounds, mind you.

Monitor Audio

With the box pulled off the top, you can see how well-protected and well-packaged the Silver 300 is. I do wish each box had another piece of expanded polystyrene foam around the middle, but since the speakers arrived unharmed, it’s hard to grumble. If Monitor is going to cut costs somewhere, this is where I’d prefer they be cut. For whatever reason, though, Bruno was not happy about any of this.

Monitor Audio

And here we arrive at another reason why I get such a kick out of unboxing speakers. Most of the time, we reviewers have no choice in terms of finish options, so there’s this moment of surprise when you discover the color of the speakers you’re going to be spending a few weeks or months with. In this case, I won the lottery and got the Natural Walnut premium veneer, by far my favorite option of the new 7G Silver line.

Monitor Audio

I’m not sure if it’s a consequence of getting review units or if it’s a cost-saving measure, but for whatever reason, my Silver 300s didn’t come with Allen wrenches for putting on the feet. No worries, though—my handy Tekton Everybit set has just about any and every bit I could possibly need in situations like this. Turns out that the Silver 300’s tootsies require both 7/64″ and 3/16″ hex bits, so if you’re buying these speakers sight-unseen, perhaps plan ahead and grab a couple of appropriately sized keys.

Monitor Audio

With the feet secured, I had a choice to make: carpet spikes or no carpet spikes. In this case, I decided to experiment with the no-spikes option first. If I find that it makes much difference at all in my room, I’ll detail that in my full review.

Monitor Audio

With the protective paper peeled down, you can finally see the rather small rear-firing bass-reflex ports of the new Silver 300. It’s heartening to see, actually. The smaller diameter of the ports means that, if need be, I’ll be able to place the speakers closer to the back wall—at least in theory.

Monitor Audio

And there we have it: a fully unpackaged and assembled Monitor Audio Silver 300 7G. I wish my photography skills were sufficient to do justice to the finish, but I think it’s nonetheless plain to see that this is a gorgeous little speaker. I’m leaving the grilles off for now because I just can’t get enough of those C-CAM (Ceramic-Coated Aluminium/Magnesium) midrange and bass drivers. I’ll of course do some listening with grilles on as well.

Monitor Audio

Last, but certainly not least, a closer look at the 1″ C-CAM Gold Dome tweeter and Uniform Dispersion Waveguide II. It’s as gorgeous as it is functional, and I continue to be pleasantly surprised by what Monitor has been able to put together at this budget level. Does it sound as good as it looks, though? Well, the answer to that will have to wait for my full review, coming soon to the pages of SoundStage! Access.

. . . Dennis Burger
dennisb@soundstagenetwork.com