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Face-Off III: Monitor Audio GR-10



Monitor Audio GR-10 Bottom Line:

Excellent sound
Great Imaging
Tight and accurate bass

Slightly forward midrange
May sound sibilant with poor electronics.

From the moment we unboxed these beauties, it was apparent Monitor Audio meant business. They had the unusually good build quality, look and feel from their predecessor Studio Series, but with a more up to date look sported by the dimpled cone and silver phase plug on the woofer.

The cabinets passed the "knuckle test" with a nice deadened thud, raising my confidence that these speakers not only had a beautiful appearance, but also a great build quality.

These speakers shared none of the virtues of the budgeted and overrated (in our opinion) Silver Series. The GR series employ considerably better drivers (especially the tweeter), higher quality crossover parts, and more solid cabinetry.


Monitor Audio GR-10 cross-over

The resultant choices of better parts were clearly evident by the incomparably better performance that the GR-10's demonstrated over any of the Silver Series products and even the Gold Series predecessors, known as the Studio Series. Gone was the bright, compressed and boxy sound of the Silver Series, and in entered the more musical, open, dynamic and balanced sound befitted by its looks and price point. After extensive listening sessions on these speakers, the only major gripe with the GR-10's was that the midrange tended to sound a bit too forward on certain source material. This is more of personal preference than actual criticism of design. In fact, on certain source material, such as Harry Connick's ("We Are In Love") CD, the forward midrange presentation on the song "Heavenly" was preferred. Harry's voice really sounded lifelike and three dimensional as all the textures of his voice were neatly presented on these speakers. Rebecca Pidgeon's voice truly shined on the GR-10's. You could hear breath each time she began singing a new verse. Her voice was clear and right in front of you. We felt the GR-10's were the closest competitor to the 61-LSE's in the type of high fidelity sound they both offered. The 61-LSE's had a more open top-end revealing all of the subtleties and nuances of stringed instruments. The GR-10's managed to do a lot of things right, however we do generally prefer a more evenly balanced midrange sound characteristic from a loudspeaker, while some people may prefer the more "in your face" sound that these speakers conveyed. Adding a subwoofer to these speakers really helped to balance the overall sound of the system, as they tended to sound a tad on the thin side without one.

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