Review: Monitor Audio Gold Ref 60 Speaker

Category: Speakers

I listen to mainly jazz: vocals and instrumental
and classical: opera and orchestral
I prefer a realistic, neutral sound with minimal coloration from the speakers.
The Monitor Audio Gold ref 60 speakers were a good match for my Musical Fidelity system, particularly with the musical tastes I have.
I have now had the speaker for 3 months. It was a close call between them and B&Ws 802. I am really pleased with my choice.
The speakers are well balanced and provide clear, neutral vocals with a deep and wide soundstage. Despite being box speakers there is minimal coloration. I have auditioned Martin Logans and the Monitor Audio is in no way inferior for vocals both jazz and opera!
These speakers are not for the hard rocker. They are full range but well balanced so that the bass is not overpowering. They tend to be a little bright though straight out of the box and need well over 200 hrs of break in.

Associated gear
Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 3D CD player
Musical Fidelity Nu-vista M3 int amp
Musical fidelity 3.2 amp (biamp)
QED Genesis Silver Spiral speaker cables
PSC Silver Litz II speaker cables (tweeter)
Audio Magic Stealth Power Purifier
BMI Shark power cables

Similar products
B&W 804,802
Celestion A series
Dunlavy SC-IV
I was interested in your review as I will be auditioning the reference 20 speakers this week for potential purchase (one less driver than the 60s). I wouldn't call myself a "hard rocker" but do enjoy what you may call "classic rock" such as Boston, Styx etc. as well as lighter sounds from the Rippingtons to Julia Fordham. Can you elaborate on your comments regarding the limitations on the bass and add comments on performance for value ?

thank you
I wanted to interject as I think I can help answer your question. I bought the 60's after auditioning the 20's for a long period of time. I previously had B&W CDM7NT's which like the B&W Nautilus series really have no low bass impact for their price range (even the 802's). They also have a huge midbass exaggeration which is annoying on some music. I found the 20's sounded kind of similar in that the bass extension isn't quite there though the top end is more neutral and there is less midbass exaggeration. I do think however that the 2 1/2 way design causes two problems, too much bass going to your midrange driver, and a tough load for your amp. When you push the 20's or my old B&W's with bass heavy music the midrange turns into trash in a hurry. A great example is track 3 of the Gladiator soundtrack, you have high levels of very low bass with extreme transients of brass instruments. On the 60's though they struggle with the lowest octave bass, the mids are unaffected and the overall presentation doesn't suffer. On the 20's or the 7NT's you simply had to turn the volume down dramatically to keep midrange clarity and focus. The 60's also can produce fairly substantial levels of bass, and have incredible transient punch. I listen to a lot of rock, pop, and electronic music and they handle all the styles much better than the 20's, though I prefer an accurate portrayal of the bass unlike some that listen to a lot of rock. Also these speakers will offer bass response directly related to your amp. I recommend at least 200 watts and a stout power supply in an amp to really drive them to potential. I have them hooked to a B&K Reference making 200wpc, but I want to upgrade to something more like the PS Audio Classic 250 which will really control the bottom end and make them sound effortless. The 60's are definitely the ticket if you have a larger room as well, I have mine almost 3 feet from the back wall and they still make prodigious bass for their size in a fairly large room. For the money I think the 60's are a better deal. If I was looking to save the $1000 on the 20's I would consider some other speakers, the 60's are that much of an elevation in my mind!