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Floorstanding loudspeakers
Monitor Audio Gold Series GX200

Price: 10 990 zł

Manufacturer: Monitor Audio Ltd.

24 Brook Road | Rayleigh | Essex
SS6 7XJ | United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 1268 740580, Fax: +44 (0) 1268 74058

Distribution in Poland: Audio Center Poland

WWW: Monitor Audio
Polish www Monitor Audio

Country of origin: Great Britain

Text: Marek Dyba
Photographs: Marcin Olszewski, Monitor Audio

Monitor Audio is another manufacturer I'm not particularly familiar with. I have a friend who had some MA speakers and than replaced them with a higher model so I might say he's a MA fan. I had a chance to listen to them couple of times in his place (I can't really remember particular models) and I found them sounding quite good but, from my point of view, not really involving or exciting. Taking into consideration what country they come from I might say (no offense if any British are reading that) that they sounded bit „British” meaning cold and lazy. The top line made by Monitor Audio is called Platinum, and the line called GX Gold is claimed to derive from the top line using some solutions designed for Platinum, but offered at much more reasonable prices (which surely means some compromises). Brand new pair of a new loudspeakers model called GX200 Gold was delivered to my friend reviewer who had to perform a job a breaking them in. Obviously time he had wasn't quite enough as over the first few days in my room sound of GX200 still evolved. And finally, after another couple of days … .

To date we tested:


Recordings used for listening sessions:

  • Buddy Guy, Living proof, Silvertone Records, 88697-78107-1, LP.
  • Metallica, Metallica, Warner Bros Records, 511831-1, 4-LP Set.
  • Ella Fitzgerald & Duke Ellington, The Stockholm Concert 1966, Pablo Live, 2308-242, LP.
  • Lou Donaldson, LD+3, Blue Note Stereo, MMBST-84012, LP.
  • Miles Davis, Sketches of Spain, Columbia Stereo, PC8271, LP.
  • Kate Bush, The sensual world, Audio Fidelity, AFZLP 082, LP.
  • The Ray Brown Trio, Soular energy, Pure Audiophile, PA-002 (2), LP.
  • Arne Domnerus, Jazz at the Pawnshop, Proprius, ATR 003, LP.
  • Dire Straits, Communique, Vertigo, 800 052-2, LP.

Let me start first with description of the first impressions of external design. These speakers are real beauties and even though I realize that some Readers hate this sentence I have to write it – my wife loved them. These were tall, lissom, nicely finished, by accident their color fitted to our room very well, and even black plinths and gold-ish finish of diaphragms seemed quite stylish. Usually one doesn't get to many chances to admire the back side of loudspeakers but if he does in this particular case one would be also delighted. Namely GX200 are equipped with very nice double WBT speaker posts, very solid and good looking jumpers, and even the bas-reflex ports look particularly good. You might claim that you don't care weather other inmates like the design of your loudspeakers or not but if you use them in your living room you really should care. System should sound great for us and look at least good for the rest of the family – than our crazy hobby should be safe. These MA speakers almost guaranty „love at first sight” (almost as there is always someone with totally different taste). My very first sonic impression on the very first day was like: “oh boy! This BR is really a boomy one” - fortunately manufacturer delivers alongside speakers also very nice foam plugs so I used those immediately. Unfortunately even after couple of days of breaking these loudspeakers in it didn't cross my mind to take the plugs out. I did it only shortly before the end of this review and realized that that boomy bass from BR almost disappeared. Sure I could still tell that this was a BR kind of speaker but it didn't bother me as much as it usually does.

These speakers took me by surprise (considering my previous brief encounters with this brand's products) delivering very lively, “fresh”(I mean fresh in a poetic sense), energetic sound, that immediately attracted attention and invited to get involved in music. I haven't heard any speakers for a while that would play on listener's emotions so easily. OK– it's possible that I was somehow effected by general “spring time” mood – it's the time when plants start growing again and getting green but also people feel much better, stronger, more optimistic – and so did I, but did it cloud my judgment? I don't think so. But it's also quite possible that this is how GX200 Gold effect listeners. Treble is delivered by a ribbon driver – so lively, vibrant, sparkling treble is no surprise. I think the the midrange was very slightly but still rolled off which made treble to sound even better, more open. I can't tell for sure if this slight roll-off is a permanent feature of those speakers intended by designers or maybe it disappears when they are fully broken in – I didn't have enough time to establish that for sure, although it seemed that sound already stopped to improve which might have suggested that breaking-in process was finished.
Another surprise, an important one - these ribbon tweeters are not so directional as such drivers usually are – so called sweet spot was wide enough not to worry to come back to exactly the same, perfect spot on the couch after each change of record side. Bass was fast, tight, dynamic, and very close to make me really satisfied - what I missed was a bit of more weight in this range. I missed more weight to the bass range in recordings with kettledrum, or bass drum (even with BR ports open) – „unfortunately” after spending some time with Hansen Audio Prince V2 loudspeakers I refer all speakers to them (specially to their bass range), which might not be fair considering their price (roughly 40 kUSD), but man needs to have his reference, right? Obviously this is a relative term (I mean “too much of something” or “not enough”) because comparing MA's bass with other speakers I tested this month (Tonsil Pulse and Xavian XN250 Evo) the former delivered low range with much more power, weight and better extension. Previously mentioned Hansen speakers cost 8-9 times more than GX200, so they have to do most things much, much better and not only comparing to MA but also to most loudspeakers on the market .Even forgetting about this extreme comparison I still claim that GX200 Gold might use just bit more weight and extension in a bass range.

There is another upside of using ribbon to reproduce high frequencies – it uses its full potential to reproduce huge, three-dimensional soundstage. Instruments are precisely placed, each of them occupying particular space, each having very natural size, plus there is a lot of air and empty spaces between sound sources filled with sound waves traveling around, bouncing off obstacles and walls.

This creates an impression of a absolutely unforced, precise presentation each time when you listen to a good recording using Golds. If you have a lot of not that good (from technical point of view) recordings you might not find GX200 too friendly. If your recording contains brightness or harshness in treble – you will get just that, sibilants – here they come, no hiding, no covering up – just plain and simple – what you put in – MA will deliver out. That's what high-fidelity is about. If you don't like bright, hipper-detailed, “surgical” speakers – don't worry, I don't like those either, but since I really enjoyed listening to these GX200 Gold you might like them too. Surely they will show you flaws of each recording but without over-exposing them – yes, they are there, but they won't spoil listening to your favorite music. Unless you have SO bad recordings, but you don't, do you?

As I already mentioned midrange seemed to be slightly rolled-off. So when I listened to well known vocal recordings I had an impression that vocalists took a step or two back on the stage. It has also to do with how these speakers build the soundstage. From GX200 Gold offering such a alive, energetic treble one could expect a soundstage starting way ahead of the fronts of speakers, but that's not how they do it. All the events on the soundstage happen behind speakers line. Layering is very good but distances between layers are smaller than usually. Different placing of both speakers might change that to some extend but than it would also change other aspects – soundstage width namely and I wouldn't like it. Using their really good resolution GX200 deal very well even with most dense recordings, and even these smaller distances between layers couldn't spoil the effect of great transparency.

I have to admit that my first close encounter with allegedly slow, lazy British speakers became surprisingly interesting experience. Instead of expected slow, bit boring sound I got kind of an eruption of energy that reminded me more of a carnival in Rio than a ball in Buckingham Palace. There is a lot of joy, enthusiasm, “loose” in GX200 sound – you can't just play music and sit there reading a book – they won't allow that drawing your attention to music and dragging you in. It doesn't really matter what kind of music you play – the MAs will hypnotize you, force you to feel the rhythm, sing along, or use any way possible to become a part of that musical spectacle. Surely speakers that present music in such a way will be better partners for rock, blues, jazz or Mozart than for one of Wagner's operas. But …, there is always some “but”, I listened to Mozart's “Requiem” and I like it too. MAs made this requiem Mass more about emotions, feelings – even if these were sad once. They also made this performance more live-like, more tangible, so I would say that GX200 found a way to use their set of skills for the benefit even of such a specific piece of music. These are speakers for people who want to get involved in music, who like to be energized by it, who want to forget about surrounding world while totally consumed by their favorite music. Trying to be objective I need to say these are not perfect speakers (if there even are any), but the minor flaws (and as mentioned before it is possible that some of them disappear when drivers are fully broken in) won't really bother 99% of potential owners at least not enough to discourage them. I enjoyed listening to these ones very much so shall some day a proposal to listen to Platinum line speakers arise, I will grab it without hesitation as they might fulfill my personal expectations even better. It's worth mentioning that there are also other models in GX Gold line – monitors, subwoofers, central unit and so on so one might build even a multichannel system or a home theater system if he will.


GX200 Gold is a three-way, floorstanding speaker sporting a GX ribbon tweeter, 4' midrange driver and two 5' woofers. GX ribbon is based on some solutions taken from C-CAM used in Platinum line. It delivers wide range of frequency as it starts already from 2,6 kHz and makes it way up to 60 kHz. Mid- and lowrange drivers sport large coils, rigid, casted baskets, strong magnetic drives and very light but also rigid RST (Rigid Surface Technology) diaphragms made of aluminum and magnesium alloy. The midrange driver is housed in a dedicated enclosure. Crossover (with crossover points at 400Hz and 2,6 kHz) is fixed on a special panel mounted at the bottom of the cabinet to separate it as well as possible from drivers. Internal cabling is done with MA's own Pure Flow Silver cable. Rigid 20mm MDF construction throughout, employing radial and cross-bracing techniques for high rigidity results in low cabinet coloration. Side walls are curved for increased rigidity and to reduce internal standing waves. Cabinets received metal mesh grilles that are fixed with invisible magnetic fixing that provides clean visual styling when used with the grille off. I highly recommend taking them off before each listening session. Single bolt through driver fixings are used for improved bracing, rigidity and driver/baffle de-coupling. The cabinet stands on a special plinth equipped with adjustable spikes. Additionally customers receives rubber feet that will protect the floor from sharp spikes.

Technical data (according to Manufacturer):
System: three-way
Frequency response: 35 Hz – 60 kHz
Sensitivity 1W/1m: 89 dB
Nominal impedance: 8 Ω
Recommended amplifier: 100-150 W
Crossover points: 400 Hz and 2,6 kHz
Dimensions (including plinth and speaker posts): 995 x 274 x 370 mm
Weight: 22,2 kg
Finishes: - dark walnut
 oak
 bubinga
 piano black lacquer
 piano white lacquer

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Reference system: