Monitor Audio Silver 50
Bookshelf speakers (Satin White)
Our take on the Monitor Audio Silver 50 by Crutchfield's Kramer Crane
Dynamic performance from a compact powerhouse
I had the opportunity to audition Monitor Audio's Silver 50 bookshelf speakers at our headquarters prior to their launch. I came away from my listening session with a renewed appreciation for the company's craftsmanship and engineering capabilities. Simply put, these slender speakers are outstanding. Read on for a closer look at what makes them tick.
The Monitor Audio Silver 50 bookshelf speakers offer dynamic full-range sound in a compact form factor (shown in walnut with grille removed).
Six generations of Silver speakers
The Silver 50s are part of Monitor Audio's Silver "6G" Series — the sixth generation of the company's "sweet spot" lineup, which falls between their Bronze and Gold Series speakers.
So what's new?
The Silver 50s are considerably smaller and lighter than the previous Silver 1 speakers. That's because Monitor Audio wanted to create a slimmer, more aesthetically pleasing design with the same high level of performance. The Silver 50s meet this goal and more.
The 1" gold dome tweeters use a rigid-but-lightweight design that delivers clear, detailed highs and realistic reproduction of instruments, vocals, and dialogue. Each speaker's 5-1/4" C-CAM® woofer delivers textured, accurate midrange and punchy bass. And an advanced crossover network helps ensure smooth, full-range sound throughout the speaker's frequency range.
A solid cabinet with a luxurious finish
Monitor Audio speakers have long been known for their sturdy, vault-like cabinet construction. The Silver 50s' rock-solid enclosures resist vibration that can color sound and reduce accuracy. The exterior is finished in a beautiful wood veneer. And Monitor tops off each speaker with an attractive "floating" magnetic grille that features invisible attachments to give it a clean, classy look.
My listening impressions
I found the Silver 50s surprisingly capable for their size. The trio of female vocalists on The Wailin' Jennys' "One Voice" filled our large training room with warm, soft tones without a hint of distortion or harshness — a considerable challenge for speakers this size. And Amos Lee's "Lightly," which features an up-tempo beat and a wide dynamic range, rang through with precision and authority.
The bass from these relatively small speakers was palpable. I believe the Silver 50s are an excellent choice for a high-end stereo or home theater system where space is a premium.
Build a complete Monitor Audio Silver system
Complete your Silver Series home theater system with these voice-matched speakers:
Round out the low end with the thunderous Silver W12 powered subwoofer.
- frequency response: 52-35,000 Hz (-6dB)
- sensitivity: 87 dB
- impedance: 8 ohms
- recommended amplifier power: 40-100 watts
- ultra-rigid, lightweight C-CAM® (Ceramic-Coated Aluminum/Magnesium) cone material delivers high efficiency and low distortion
- 1" gold dome C-CAM tweeter for detailed sound and extended high-frequency response
- 5-1/4" C-CAM woofer with RST® (Rigid Surface Technology) to enhance stiffness and reduce mass for greater speed and accuracy
- single bolt-through driver attachment provides mechanical decoupling and increased cabinet rigidity
- bass-reflex (ported) design with HiVe® II technology for minimal turbulence and high velocity airflow
- high-quality crossovers with polypropylene film capacitors for smooth, full-range sound
- two sets of binding posts allow bi-amping or bi-wiring
- beautiful satin white finish
- removable magnetic grilles
- 6-1/2"W x 10-5/8"H x 10-9/16"D
- weight: 13.25 lbs. (each)
- warranty: 5 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- 2 Bookshelf loudspeakers
- 2 Grilles
- 4 Jumpers (pre-installed)
- 8 Rubber feet
- 2 Foam port plugs
- Owner's Manual
- Important Safety Instructions
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Features and Specs
|Tweeter Size (inches)||1|
|Midrange Size (inches)||N/A|
|Woofer Size (inches)||5.25|
|Frequency Response||52-35k Hz|
|Mounting Bracket Included||No|
|Recommended Stand Height (inches)||28-31|
|Parts Warranty||5 Years|
|Labor Warranty||5 Years|
Silver Series: Revered by audiophiles around the globe, Monitor Audio's award-winning Silver Series enters its sixth generation with a host of new features that make it perform even better than previous generations. Monitor Audio's Silver Series combines engineering excellence with fabulous design to create an audiophile-grade hi-fi or home theatre loudspeaker. The Silver Series loudspeakers produce abundant dynamics, rich textures, and immense detail that allow you to enjoy absolute clarity and pinpoint imaging.
Note: The Silver Series consists of bookshelf loudspeakers (50/100), floorstanding loudspeakers (200/300/500), center-channel loudspeakers (C150/C350), and a surround loudspeaker (FX), plus a powered subwoofer (W-12) to create a complete home theater system.
Two-Way Bookshelf Loudspeaker: Monitor Audio's Silver 50 bookshelf loudspeaker utilizes a two-way driver design with a newly designed 1" C-CAM Gold Dome tweeter and a new 5.25" C-CAM RST midbas concave "dished" woofer. Powerful magnets in the Silver 50 drive large, 32mm voice-coils to ensure impressive power handling and incredibly low distortion.
- 1" Tweeter: The newly 1" C-CAM (Ceramic-Coated Aluminum/Magnesium) Gold Dome tweeter, features a vented Neo magnet system, optimized for lower distortion and cleaner sounding treble. This innovative venting technique along with a damped rear chamber improves clarity and widens operating bandwidth.
- 5.25" Woofer: The ultra-compact Silver 50 introduces a completely new version of Monitor Audio's special 5.25" C-CAM RST midbass woofer with a concave "dished" cone profile for optimal damping and improved midrange clarity. The C-CAM woofer also utilizes a unique build ring/voice coil-cone coupling mechanism (DCF), optimized to reduce high-frequency cone break-up and increase the critical voice coil circumferential rigidity. A cast polymer driver chassis design provides improved rigidity and damping characteristics.
- High Quality Crossover: The Monitor Audio Silver 50 employs a high-quality crossover (3,000Hz) with premium grade, bespoke polypropylene film capacitors, air-core and low-loss laminated steel-core inductors to seamlessly blend the sound of the tweeter and woofer together for a natural sounding audio image. Pureflow silver-plated OFC copper internal cabling means the highest-quality transfer throughout the signal chain.
C-CAM Technology: C-CAM driver technology is used throughout the Monitor Audio Silver Series loudspeaker line-up, providing coherent tonal balance and sonic signature across the entering audio frequency spectrum.
- C-CAM Gold-Dome Tweeter: The gold dome tweeter found in the Silver Series family of loudspeakers is formed from a ceramic-coated aluminum/magnesium alloy, gold anodized to a specific thickness for ideal stiffness and damping characteristics. Its new profile and surround geometry have been developed using advanced modeling tools, to provide the optimum qualities for accurate sound reproduction. The new design moves the first order of breakup to beyond 35kHz, producing a linear response way beyond audibility, which matches the wide frequency bandwidth available from HD music and cinema sound formats. The gold dome is thinner, lighter, more rigid and therefore more efficient than domes made from other materials which are prone to distortion in the audio band.
- C-CAM Cone Woofer: Ceramic-Coated Aluminum/Magnesium is used to construct the woofer cone in the Silver Series loudspeakers. C-CAM is a material originally developed by the aerospace industry for jet engine components. Its properties are ideal for loudspeaker cones being extremely rigid, yet light enough to yield high overall efficiency. In manufacture, aluminum/magnesium alloy undergoes a three-stage stress-relieving process to remove surface deformation and molecular weakness. Once formed, the alloy cone is subjected to a high temperature anodic coating process in which a layer of pure ceramic alumina is depleted onto its surfaces to a depth of 50 microns, producing a completely rigid sandwich of alloy and heat-dissipating ceramic material. Conventional cones are liable to flex or twist in operation, producing a significant level of audible distortion. C-CAM cones have a much higher resistance to bending stress and therefore exhibit much greater fidelity over their entire operating range.
RST (Rigid Surface Technology): The Silver Series combines Rigid Surface Technology (RST) with its C-CAM cone woofer design for a stronger, lighter weight cone. The Rigid Surface Technology (RST) cone profile was inspired by the Japanese art of Origami, which demonstrates how a very light material (like paper) can be strengthened and made more rigid by making small and precise folds on it surface. Developed and perfect using sophisticated computer modeling (Finite Element Analysis), the Silver Series midbass drivers have been strengthened by a pattern of dimples. RST significantly increases cone rigidity, allowing the radiating surfaces to resist mechanical bending forces, which can twist the shape of conventional driver cones to produce distorted sound. The strengthening effect of RST means that Monitor Audio can use thinner, lighter and more responsive C-CM cones which provide speed and accuracy while offering greatly reduced distortion. The RST patterns also help to displace standing waves that can propagate on the cone's surface.
HiVe II Bass Reflex Port: The Silver 50 bookshelf loudspeaker uses a bass reflex cabinet (rear-firing port) with Monitor Audio's HiVe II port design for greater efficiency and bigger bass response from a compact bookshelf speaker. The HiVe II bass reflex port is shaped to have the same effect on airflow as a gun-barrel on a bullet. Rifled grooves inside the port help to accelerate the flow and reduce turbulence, so air moves in and out of the port more efficiently, for a faster more dynamic bass response.
Note: If the bass is too boomy, you can insert the included foam port plug into the speaker's rear-firing port to tighten and lessen the bass.
Rigid Construction: Strategic cabinet bracing and Monitor Audio's bolt-through technology creates an amazingly solid speaker. Not only can it play louder and cleaner than its size suggests, it delivers an incredibly well balanced, pure midrange for a natural sound. Design criteria ensure that the Silver 50 will make the most of smaller living spaces by being placed close to a wall and yet still deliver clean, punchy bass. You will only hear well-balanced, pure midrange without ever a hint of box coloration.
- Single Through-Bolt Mount: The tweeter and woofer are fixed to the cabinet with single through-bolt driver fixing mounts. This single-through-bolt mount design provides mechanical de-coupling and enhanced midband clarity and resolution. The through-bolts also act as rigid cross bracing to give a very solid non-resonant cabinet.
- MDF Enclosure w/ Magnetic Grille: The Silver 50 employs a MDF enclosure for accurate, uncolored sound. Rigid 20mm MDF construction is used throughout the enclosure with radial and cross-bracing techniques for high rigidity and low cabinet coloration. In addition, the bookshelf speaker comes with an acoustically transparent magnetic cloth grille.
Dual Gold-Plated Binding Posts: The Silver Series bookshelf loudspeaker has two sets of gold-plated binding posts connected by wire-jumpers. The gold-plated binding posts will accept bare wire (up to 10AWG), pin connectors, & banana plugs (single only). To use banana plugs, you will need to remove each binding post's plastic insert. Using the dual posts, you can bi-wire or bi-amp the speaker. Bi-wiring or bi-amping the speaker provides improved bass & treble performance.
- Bi-Wiring: Bi-wiring can provide noticeable improvements in the overall transparency of your loudspeakers. Run separate speaker wires to the low & high frequency drivers from a single amplifier (the upper set of binding posts are for the high frequency drivers; the lower set of binding posts are for the low frequency drivers).
- Bi-Amping: Bi-amping allows you to use separate amplifiers for the high & low frequency sections of your loudspeaker for greater dynamic range & lower distortion. We recommend that your separate amplifiers have identical gain to preserve the speaker's voicing balance.
Note: If you decide to bi-wire or bi-amp the speaker, you must remove the jumpers between the terminal posts (failure to do this could result in damage to your amplifier and loudspeakers).
Applications: The Monitor Audio Silver Series 50 bookshelf loudspeakers can be used for the front or rear channels in a home theater system, or standing alone in a strictly two-channel stereo system.
- Placement Options: As front channels in a home theater setup or as a 2ch speaker system, the bookshelf loudspeaker should be positioned so they create an equidistant triangle between the speakers and your main listening position. The speakers should be positioned 6'-10' apart from one another, 6"-12" from the back wall, at least 3' from the side walls, and at ear level in your seated listening position. The speakers can be "toed" in and angled toward the main listening position to create a more distinct stereo image. As rear speakers in a home theater setup, the speakers should be positioned directly to the left and right of your main listening position, or directly behind the main listening position and 6'-10' apart.
- Mounting Options: The Silver Series 50 bookshelf loudspeaker comes with self-adhesive rubber feet to prevent movement and vibration on top of a table, shelf, or stand. The rubber feet add approximately 0.125" to the overall height of the speaker. Optional PinPoint heavy duty side-grip wall-mounting brackets (sold separately - see accessories tab) can be used to wall mount the speaker.
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Why did you buy this?
Was looking for higher end bookshelf speakers for both 2 channel stereo and home theatre use. Wolf and Lori recommended these for my space and my tastes. Can't wait to hear them! [ ERIC Apr 05, 2018 ]