If you are looking for high performance loudspeakers that are the result of the meticulous development process from a company that takes the science of sound seriously yet understands luxury, the Monitor Audio Platinum Series PL300 II ($14,500/pair) is worth a demo. It’s a new design, unveiled at last week’s AXPONA 2017 audio show in Chicago.
Monitor Audio’s specialty is metal-dome drivers, it claims to be the world’s foremost expert in developing this transducer type. It also has refined the use of ceramic-coated aluminium/magnesium bass drivers that are highly resistant to flexing. The company is been around for over four decades and knows what it’s doing when it comes to building great speakers, so check out this video from the show.
The Platinum Series PL300 II is one of three tower speakers in the lineup, falling between the PL200 II and PL500 II. It’s a three way design that contains four drivers and weighs 120 pounds per speaker.
Dual 8″ long-throw woofers handle the bass. A 4″ midrange and a 1″ AMT (folded-ribbon) tweeter take care of mids and highs. This system offers a frequency response of 28 Hz to 100 kHz (-6 dB) and offers a maximum RMS power handling of 300 watts. It’s a 4 ohm design with 90 dB sensitivity.
Monitor audio says you can expect 117.8 dBA of output from a pair, although the conditions for that measurement are not mentioned. Crossover points are set to 500 Hz and 3.4 kHz. These are good specs, but they only tell part of the story, a good listening session tells the rest. Here are my notes from the show:
“Fields of Gold” by Eva Cassidy on Songbird is a sweet, delicate track. Speakers sound euphonic, casting an impeccable soundstage that does not merely render the speakers invisible, it effectively eliminates the system as a distraction. No bass in this cut to speak of, but shows off midrange and treble prowess of the towers.
“Uptown Funk” by Brice Maxwell on Magic X had a funky vibe. With brash horns and driving bass, it’s a tricky mix. These towers make a recording that can sound congested on lesser systems feel open.
Now we’ve got proof of bass prowess. “Flight of the Cosmic Hippo” by Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, on Greatest Hits of the 20th Century. Even though they cost five figures, these speakers sound like they could be worth the asking price. The bass licks are super-deep, clean, and utterly guttural in terms of physical impact. At shows, normal rules of what represents value go out the window when you hear a great performance like this.
Lorde’s “Glory and Gore” from Pure Heroine are for folks who love speakers that truly, genuinely don’t need subs. Long story short, these speakers are real winners.
Wrapping things up, “Panic Station” by Muse from The 2nd Law rocked out. Crunchy guitar and a driving kick drum did the heavy lifting for the song. Monitor Audio Platinum Series PL300 II speakers delivered sonic goodness featuring seamless imaging, tons of detail, great bass, and notably exciting dynamics. Not merely competent speakers, these are a fun but also gratifying listen.