Monitor Audio Silver 8 floorstanding loudspeaker

Monitor Audio Silver 8

The overall presentation is hearty and generous, definitely offering a lot of sound for the money. Bass from that pair of C-CAM woofers goes very deep, even if it sounds perhaps a tad fulsome at times, but before you start to wonder if using the Silver 8s would be a bit like living with Brian Blessed, fret not; the clear impression is that this is a loudspeaker that tries hard to convey the broad scope of signal presented to it. It is far from being one of those loudspeakers that works fine within tightly constrained limits, but not well at all outside them. Instead, the Silver 8s will make a decent stab at anything you care to send their way.

They will boogie when asked: they can do scale, weight, and authority; timing is respectable; and soundstaging is generous and well-proportioned. When the price is taken into account, it’s quite a package – and as an all-rounder, the Silver 8 delivers a satisfying and well-judged performance.

I set them up in the sort of system they might typically inhabit, in this case teamed with a Creek Evo CD player and integrated amp: a combination which can, for all its modest price, deliver a lot of what I want from a system in terms of sheer music-making. If you are on a budget, this is where it starts to get worthwhile, so it was interesting to discover what the Monitor Audios brought to this particular party. And ‘party’ isn’t such a bad way to describe it – these are fun loudspeakers with a big, confident sound, deep and spacious soundstage, and respectable dynamics.

Of course, better electronics bring out better sound, especially in the bass; although the combo turns in surprising bass depth, the Silver 8 is capable of greater bottom-end definition than the Creeks can muster. The Dies Irae from Britten’s ‘War Requiem’ on the Turtle Records sampler The Spirit of Turtle [TR75538] had that deep and open soundstage, with plenty of air and space, but the dynamics relied heavily on that bass for their effect, and then mostly in terms of its weight. Dean Peer’s ‘Mars’ from the same album didn’t have enough impact because the bass, while weighty, lacked sufficient speed, attack, or precision to give that ‘right between the eyes’ effect that is so overwhelming when you hear this piece on a truly great system. That said, few systems at any price manage this particular trick, on this particular track.

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