Help!! needed with older pair of Monitor Silver 3i speakers - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-06-2013, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone know where to find specs for a pair of bookshelf/small stand Monitor Audio Silver 3is? I purchased them in the late 80s/early 90s and several moves later have lost the technical info. I still like their sound, which is good since I have very low funds to replace them, and they are beautiful wood. Monitor Audio website does not have anything at all. I've Emailed them but no response so far.

I admit that I am not a serious audiophile so feel free to share not-super-technical advice. I have been running my system from an 80s-era Adcom preamp/receiver combo. Not a top end one, but pretty decent. I was considering buying an inexpensive digital system or at least a receiver(stereo not home theater), but really don't like the stuff I hear at Best Buy, etc. (either sound tinny or so heavy on bass that everything else is lost or just can't hear over store noise) and the stereo people there say they can't match the quality of my current setup. They don't have anything set up for listening so I can't confirm.

There don't seem to be any true home audio stores left in Birmingham, AL so I am stymied. Looking for info so I can start upgrading bits and pieces at a time. I looked through several audiophile magazines but they are focusing on a far different price bracket and knowledge level than I can afford right now.

Guessing the first thing to upgrade is receiver/amp so can stream from computer (I have everything in Apple Lossless) but don't know what power I need to match on speakers.

I listen to everything from classical to Broadway to rock to folk to country - basically everything but hiphop/rap. I do not need really loud, but just good, clean 2 channel sound. Not interested in full home theater setup.

Or if by chance there is a digital setup that could match this quality (and there may be tons of them for all I know), for less than $800, any suggestions would be appreciated.

I posted this in another forum, but since I'm new to this, thought I might get more results from this forum. Any help would be gratefully received.
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-06-2013, 03:15 PM
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Amplification type 2-way - Passive
Input impedance 8.0 Ohm
Sensitivity 88.0 dB
Power output 100.0 Watt

When all else fails - RTFM!

♫♫♫ Two Channel Rules! ♫♫♫

GO SEAHAWKS!!!
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-06-2013, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. That will help me get started. I've forgotten what I used to know about audio, but at least I now have a starting point for relearning!
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-06-2013, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
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So, if I have inefficient speakers (88dB) and low power amp (officially rated at 60 watts/unofficially at 80 watts) am I missing a lot? I haven't listened to music much in the last few years but am gettiing back into it. Memory is that he system sounds good and I never crank it up really loud. Are there any references/books (not super-technical) that could help me figure this out?
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-07-2013, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcksnssn View Post

So, if I have inefficient speakers (88dB) and low power amp (officially rated at 60 watts/unofficially at 80 watts) am I missing a lot? I haven't listened to music much in the last few years but am gettiing back into it. Memory is that he system sounds good and I never crank it up really loud. Are there any references/books (not super-technical) that could help me figure this out?
I think 88dB @ 8 Ohm would draw the same current from your amp as 91dB @ 4 Ohm.
I listen to 85 dB 8 Ohm speakers connected to an 8 WPC 300B tube amp and use about 30% power on the volume dial. 60 WPC will go a long way to make a lot of noise.
I doubt that a modern solid state stereo amp will give you a significant increase in sound quality over your Adcom unless you are willing to spend some serious shekels.
Driver technology has come quite a way over the last 20+ years, but if you like the sound from your speakers there is little point in replacing them. Although: I drove 200 miles to bring my 1990 def tech floorstanders to a brick and mortar real stereo store (not big box) to do a direct comparison before committing to a pair of prototype floorstanders that had caught my ear. Big difference - the def techs were quite rough in comparison...
If you want to stream from your computer you could get a (wireless) outboard DAC and keep the rest of your system. Save some $$ in the process.
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-07-2013, 04:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcksnssn View Post

So, if I have inefficient speakers (88dB) and low power amp (officially rated at 60 watts/unofficially at 80 watts) am I missing a lot?

88 dB isn't low efficiency for home audio. 87-92 dB more or less is pretty much average efficiency. 80-83 dB is low effficiency.
Quote:
I haven't listened to music much in the last few years but am getting back into it. Memory is that he system sounds good and I never crank it up really loud. Are there any references/books (not super-technical) that could help me figure this out?


The real issue is whether or not your preferred loudest listening levels are causing audible distortion in your electronics or speakers.

Note that listening levels greater than 85 dB SPL cause the ears themselves to start to distort internally, and at some point certain frequencies may cause a shattering sound in your ears. This often happens while listening to choral music.

As I've been showing by running a computer model, your speakers themselves may be the weakest link in your system by causing audible distortion particularly at lower frequencies. Many of the tower format speakers that are sold with pretensions to being full range speakers and eliminating the need for subwoofers are actually technically incompetent below frequencies as high as 120 Hz or even higher. It is the rare non-subwoofer that is actually competent below 40 Hz.

One problem is that unlike professional amplifiers, consumer amplifiers generally lack clipping indicators. Most of us are left to detecting distortion with our ears which is problematical for the reasons just given.

There is technical equipment like oscilloscopes and acoustical measuring equipment that could be used for this purpose, but only a minority (admittedly seemingly an increasing minority) actually have this equipment at their disposal.
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