The Rockport Mira's are awesome and would be my choice by far of the two.
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First, I want to thank you for your responses.
I want to be careful here, so please bear with me....
I'm curious if general "knowledge of the brands" is driving these comments. I mean, MA's reputation is clearly nowhere near Rockport's. But brand knowledge may not be sufficient in this case. Or then again, it might be!
Specifically, have you (Kennyt, Cmalak, Team212, Jfrech) had the opportunity to hear the $11,000 Monitor Audio PL300? It is supposed to be a much better performer than anything else M.A. has released previously. The British mag "What HiFi" said:
"The PL300s are far and away the best speakers we've heard from Monitor Audio and we can't think of similarly priced rivals we prefer."
and the surprising statement:
"The PL300 are some of the best speakers we've heard"
I've also been told by several audiophiles that the original Rockport Mira is a bit laid back in the highs (one guy I have a lot of respect for said they are "colored, like Sonus Fabers") and I've heard the Mira 2 was a substantial improvement, etc.
So that is why I'm wondering if you have actually had the chance to hear both specific models in my little quest (Kennyt and Jfrech made it clear they have heard the Mira's). Thanks again for your helpful responses.
I have heard the Rockports (Mira, Ankaa, Acquila, and Altairs). I have also heard Monitor Audio speakers in the $6K range (forget the model now) and just comparing house sounds, I much prefer Rockports. Rockports sound natural, tonally dense and like real music but with all the resoluton and dimensionality that typify high-end audio speakers. The Monitor Audio speakers sounded like hi-fi speakers to me, tipped up in the treble region, somewhat analytical, a little thin in terms of tonal balance, although plenty of bass. So I admit, I have not heard the MAs in question and I am a big fan of Rockport speakers and Andy Payor, their designeer, but I am giving you my best guess.
I totally agree with Ricred1 that there is no substitute for listening for yourself and making your own mind up. We can give you our opinions but we all have different priorities in what we look for in a speaker and your tastes/preferences are the only ones that matter. Plus, you should make sure that whichever speaker you choose will play nice with your audio gear, so that is another reason why you should try to audition these speakers ideally at home with your gear or at a dealer with gear that most closely approximates what you have at home.
Whatever you decide, good luck and enjoy. Researching and auditioning gear is always fun.
Thanks so much for your follow-ups. I agree Cmalak, I really do need to hear these before I purchase, and I intend to. I also value the experiences of those on Audiogon, and I appreciate the feedback I'm getting here.
I certainly didn't mean to argue with anybody, just wondering what the background experiences were, as I read your responses. And I wanted to mention that both speakers may be outliers / different from their company's normal 'house sounds'.
Thank you again.
I don't think the Miras would be considered an outlier of Rockport's sound or design philosophy, although it seems clear the company is now using different drivers in their new models that may very well sound different from legacy models. Not sure about the MAs in this regard. Whose "house" sound you prefer is anybody's guess, but aside from that you've got one speaker that's the cheapest model (now that the Mira Monitor is dead) from an ultra high-end speaker designer and another that's at or near the top of a very good but more mid-fi designer. Personally I like the trickle down situation more than trickle up, but again sonic preferences will be most important driver -- just another way of thinking about the choice between the two and what you're getting.
I'd also mention at this price level you've got a huge amount of excellent alternatives from the likes of Joseph Audio, Nola, Silverline, YG, Vandersteen, etc., etc. I'm sure the PL300s are good speakers, but I'd be sure to hear models from at least a few of these other manufacturers before making any decisions regardless of what you think of the Rockports. Best of luck.
Hi Hukk, I've been a Rockport owner for 6years heard MA's in the UK when I lived there
I just cannot see MA coming out of the plateau of their sound that I've heard over the years
The Rockies have a much more refined pedigree and musical presentation.
No disrespect to MA owners the speaker fits comfortably into its buyer niche-- but the Rockports are I'm afraid a cut above.