The British speaker producer Monitor Audio is no stranger to Alpha-Audio and your humble servant has already taken care of some speakers of the legendary brand. The different Studio and the amazing Silver 300 passed by and left a good impression. Not only because of their sound but also because of their exceptional finish. Today we look maybe the finest one yet: The Monitor Audio Gold 100, a beautiful, compact monitor with a timeless look. Let’s check it out!
You may already have seen that this is now the fifth version of the Gold 100. Monitor Audio chooses to update their series every few years and that way of working has clearly payed off. We can even say that their speakers are among the best in the world in every price range. The different series go from Bronze to Platinum with the Studio as the highlight. This latest version gets a lot of its components from the Platinum series and we heard that right away!
Construction and appearance
The Monitor Audio Gold 100 is the only monitor that remains, which means that the Gold 50 is gone. A logical decision, it seems. Next to the Gold 100 we see two floorstanders; the Gold 200 and 300. Simple and clear. Each speaker comes in four different designs: gloss white or black, walnut and a beautiful ebony. Our white version is very neat and looks modern and sleek. The black accents at the front and on the top contrast beautifully with the white. In the other versions, the silver accents stand out more.
What is striking is that the new model looks completely different shapewise than the previous one. The new Gold 100 is slimmer and looks a bit more ‘normal’. The edges are nicely curved and the front is a bit calmer. Given its excellent finish, it will easily find a place in the living space. At the back we see two pairs of speaker connections connected by jumpers. The Studio’s great stands can now also be used for the Gold 100 and together they form a beautiful duo.
The Monitor Audio Gold 100 5G is a two-way monitor with a ribbon tweeter and a carbon driver. At first glance nothing special, were it not that Monitor Audio has long left its own mark on these components. Their version of the ribbon is a so called MPD-transducer (micro pleated diaphragm) which was polished a bit for this version and also got another wave-guide. The famous C-CAM driver is derived from the Platinum series. The separate Hive passport is now in its second version and the cabling inside consists entirely of silver plated Pureflow copper.
On paper all small adjustments, but because they mainly looked at the Platinum series, the result is a completely new speaker. Monitor Audio tried to put as much of the Platinum as possible into the Gold without raising the price and we feel they have succeeded. The more standard shape of the cabinet is fine as long as the performance is better than the previous model.
According to the distibutor, this loudspeaker has to play no less than 400 hours to break in. And from then on it gets better and better gradually. We can understand why, because a lot of effort has been made to get everything as stiff and rigid as possible. Our model already had seen more than 300 hours, so we didn’t have to use the port damping. We even thought they’d lost some of their magic and soul when we filled up the port. At high volume – when hearing damage may occur -the bass can sometimes clog up a bit, but if you play at normal listening levels you won’t have problem.
That brings us to the most striking specification of the Gold 100 namely the sensitivity of 86db in 4 ohms. Now numbers don’t say everything because the Gold 100 is actually relatively easy to control. However, it doesn’t make friends very quickly and it will be important to find a suitable amplifier. With the modest but exquisite Keces E40 for example, we lack control and the bass dominates. With the versatile Hegel H120 (review follows) it doesn’t go very well either. Strange.
The Hegel H190 was a good combination according to colleagues Yung and Jaap, witness their adventure at Poulissen (Dutch). Our Benchmark AHB2 is also doing very well. Now there’s control, grunt, speed and punch. So the Gold 100 does need some power and especially grip to come into its own. A set of monoblocks, a potent Class D amplifier or bi-amping may improve performance even further.