Monitor Audio Studio 50 loudspeaker Review System

Sidebar 2: Review System

Initial tests suggested that tubed amplifiers were not well-suited to the Studio 50. Despite sounding good, they clearly couldn't deliver the degree of low-end grunt of which the speaker is actually capable. (Presumably, the speaker's low impedance below 50Hz was responsible). Despite the promising 90dB specified sensitivity, tubed SE amplifiers need not apply.

I had a range of amplifiers on hand. The Audio Research VT150SE did the '50 justice, working from its 4 ohm matching connection, but at a reduced peak output level. Krell's KAS-2 really took hold of the Studio 50, stretching the speaker to its performance limit. Both the Krell KSA-100S and the Sonographe SA400 showed fine matching. On the preamplifier side I used an ARC LS22 and a C-J PV12, as well as dispensing with a preamplifier when I used a Krell KPS-20iL CD player.

The sealed-box loading of the '50 suited it especially well to analog disc replay, this supplied by a Lingo'd Linn LP12/Naim ARO/van den Hul Grasshopper IV GLA cartridge fed straight into the PV12. Cone excursions due to low-frequency disc excitations were at a minimum, helping to deliver a notably stable result.

Speaker cables were Siltech LS4-180 and van den Hul Revelation, while interconnects were Siltech FTM-4 and van den Hul The First. Comparison speakers included the Wilson WATT/Puppy 5, the Quad ELS-63, and the Wilson WITT. Only one pair of speakers was present in the listening room at a time.—Martin Colloms

Monitor Audio Ltd.
US distributor: Kevro International
902 McKay Road, Suite 4
Pickering, Ontario L1W 3X8, Canada
(905) 428-2800