Monitor Audio Silver 500 7G Loudspeaker Page 2

This speaker makes far more of an impact than does its entry-level brethren – its sound is bigger, bolder and more mature, and it has the ability to disappear from your mind when listening to music. With the right material, it engineers a wide, deep and seamless soundstage. The 50-litre cabinet and dual woofers delivers authentic, room-filling bass that melds with an evocative midband performance. It's a knockout.

'There Will Come A Time' [Monsters Exist; ACP Recordings ACPCD1804, 44.1kHz/24-bit] is one of electronic duo Orbital's oddest yet most involving tracks. Some of it is par for the course – fluid synthetic orchestration, effects panned across the stereo spread – but it's joined by a spoken word narration by science boffin Professor Brian Cox. His is a voice I know well, and the way the Silver 500 7G positioned him dead-centre, a floating presence dispensing words of wisdom while behind him keyboards flanged and drums thumped, was almost hypnotic.

Key here was the Silver 500 7G's scale. Sometimes with smaller floorstanders I find myself leaning in; with this pair I was leaning back, letting everything wash over me. Even a more down to earth track such as REM's 'Houston' from Accelerate [Warner Bros 9362-49874-1] benefited from the speaker's air-shifting output. And while this isn't a slick recording, due to a purposefully pressurised studio process, it sounded far more considered than I remembered, as the Silver 500 7G revealed both the detail in the percussion and in Michael Stipe's vocal, while giving its cello notes impressive timbral bite.

'Ai Du', from Ali Farka Toure and Ry Cooder's collaborative album Talking Timbuktu [World Circuit WCD 040] approached the honesty and intimacy of a live performance, and Monitor Audio's floorstander put on a show that made its ticket price look like an absolute steal. This jazz/blues fusion runs the gamut from buoyant basslines and calabash drums to a shimmering mandolin and vibrato viola, as its seven players vie for soundstage space. The separation and texture given to all its constituent parts was superb.


The bi-wire/bi-amp terminals may be combined with a solid link. Note Monitor Audio's 'bolt through' driver bracing and rifled 'HiVe II' bass ports designed to reduce turbulence. Bass extension is improved over the 500 6G

Generally speaking, the Silver 500 7G's high frequencies are crisp, clear and airy. There's some lack of sweetness, and I noted an occasional tendency for them to slip into bright, sharp territory depending on the recording. The high-fret bends during the guitar solo in The Marshall Tucker Band's 'Can't You See' [Tidal Hi-Fi download] appeared to find a place that the speaker's C-CAM tweeter didn't really agree with. Elsewhere, however, the loudspeaker's warm, enveloping voicing is sure to please its mid-budget audience.

Time spent positioning the Silver 500 7G reaps rewards. My pairing imaged very well – I didn't find them fussy regards toe-in to get them focused, and even when sat off-axis I still felt invited to the party. Yet the dual bass drivers' output requires some management. These speakers have considerable low-end reach and impressive stop-start ability, but site them too near boundary walls and these admirable traits can suffer. Four foam bungs are provided for the bass-reflex system, giving flexibility over tuning, and with the speakers positioned 45cm from my wall, I found using them on the lower HiVe port tightened up the LF.

Come Fly With Me
However you arrive at an optimal set-up, once there you're in for a treat. Spin 'La Grange' from ZZ Top's Tres Hombres [Warner Records; 96kHz/24-bit] and the Silver 500 7G locks into the crunch of Billy Gibbons' guitar and the boogie swagger of the rhythm section. Quite partial to the Top, I cranked this track up. PM's Lab report reveals a high sensitivity and an impedance that is broadly untroublesome, which in the real world appears to translate into a speaker that needs little more than a tickle to play loud. With power behind him, Gibbons' guitar solo flew, and I was in seventh heaven.

Hi-Fi News Verdict
Monitor Audio's big-boned Silver series floorstander gets off to a strong start thanks to a smart aesthetic and wallet-friendly pricing, and its appeal only grows when the music begins. The 500 7G's sound is large scale, full-range and peppered with detail, and it seems to expend no effort at all when asked to play loud. Audition at your peril, because once you've heard a pair, you'll want to buy them!

Monitor Audio Ltd
Rayleigh, Essex
Supplied by: Monitor Audio Ltd
01268 740580