For the evaluation, I used the Silver 500 with my Bryston BP-26 preamp and 4B3 amplifier, Moon by Simaudio 280D DAC/player, Rega Apollo CD player and VPI Scout 1.1 turntable. Cabling was primarily Nordost (Heimdall 2 / Tyr 2) with some Zavfino interconnects/power cords. The Silver 500 was also used with a Rega Elex-R integrated with satisfying results. For comparison purposes, I used my Audio Physic Scorpio 25 Plus loudspeakers.
I thought I’d include a couple tracks from the repertoire I used in my evaluation of the Monitor Audio Gold 300 loudspeaker. First up, Yes, Please! by Fourplay and the track “A Little Fourplay”. From the first few notes it’s clear that this track has great bass and conveys strong rhythm, which is why it’s one of my go-to tracks for testing audio gear. Much like my experience with the Gold 300, the sonic character that jumped to the forefront with the Silver 500 was its dynamic prowess. The presentation had a somewhat overt flavor, though not offensively so but to the contrary, it was simply exhilarating. Bass was wonderfully taught and noticeably punchier and more dynamic than my resident Scorpio 25 Plus loudspeakers, most noticeably from lower through to moderate volume. The Silver 500 produced bass that was cadenced with no overhang and well-articulated. Fun? Oh yeah, and then some. When it comes to bass, the Silver 500 is a terrific player, ticking all the essential boxes not only at its price point but at multiples of its price. As much as the bass was excellent, I also took note of how well the Silver 500 handled female vocals on this track, not only was the voice delivered clearly but there was a lifelike warmth and smoothness to it as well as delightful presence.
On to “Sweet Jane”, from the Cowboy Junkies The Trinity Sessions. Here the Silver 500 showed its ability to convey Margot Timmins sultry and gentle voice in a lifelike manner, with detail and fleshly warmth, yet absent of any undesirable emphasis on sibilants. The instrumentation was well sorted out within a well-sized soundstage, having depth, breadth and layering. Taps of the ride cymbal rang out with pristine clarity and authentic metallic timbre. There was no treble dryness or harshness to distract from enjoyment of the music. It soon became evident how well integrated the midrange and high frequencies were, a consistency that carried right down through to the low frequencies. Focusing on the bass region, the opening kick drum strikes were produced with considerable weight, pulsing through my room with tactile feel as much as sound, the dynamics evident at moderate and even low volumes. Turning up the volume resulted in bass that remained well-controlled yet shuddered within the confines of my 13’ x 19’ room. The Silver 500 can surely rock, while at the same time being well mannered and finessed.
Next up was vocals by Keb Mo, and the song “Am I Wrong”, from Lee Ritenour’s album 6 String Theory. Keb’s voice hailed up-front and clear, with that smooth throaty character that makes him so satisfying to listen to. The Silver 500 flatters great vocal recordings, combining delicacy and smoothness with captivating musical vibrancy. Paying attention to the driving bass guitar, I heard all the body, grunt and texture I’ve come to expect from the track. Body and colour, combined with realistic energy was how the Silver 500 conjured up the harmonica – no thinness or shrillness to speak of, demonstrating high quality of the tweeter and crossover. From memory, I would say that this 6th generation Silver Series is a clear step up in sophistication and performance from any previous generation. Heck, you might even want to call them ‘Gold’.
Improving on something that is already very good is not an easy task but Monitor Audio has done just that with the Silver 6G Series. The Silver 500 is a true all-rounder, able to coax generous detail from recordings, while consistently sounding musical and possessing tremendous dynamic ability. It’s a speaker that is happy to go from playing chamber music and classical, onto jazz, pop and rock, as well as even punk or heavy metal. At its price point, the Silver 6G Series is likely the sweet spot in the Monitor Audio loudspeaker line-up; a speaker to please the audiophile, music lover and even those that party-hardy.
Monitor Audio Silver Series 500 Loudspeaker (6th Generation)
Price: $2,500 US / pair