Originally Posted by golfmantoo
Thanks Paul. I care more about imaging than loudness so appears Monitors are the way to go. I also considered using Gold Monitors up front, but wasn't sure I'd get the bang for the buck in my setup since they cost about 80% more. Your thoughts? How do they differ and how much quality and loudness would I hear in my room without the acoustical treatment.
Although they appear similar in many ways, the Silver Monitor and Gold Monitor are quite different. The Silver monitor uses premium 5.25" woofer/mids from the Scan-Speak Revelator series, like the mids used in the $7,500 Platinum LCR. As I stated, the Seas tweeter is also used in the Gold LCR, Gold MiniMonitor, and Silver MiniMonitor products. The sound of the Silver Monitor is natural, detailed, articulate, and uncolored up to fairly high output levels. The rather compact size of the InRoom Silver Monitor, and the availabilty of a 4"-deep InWall (as well as a 6"-deep version) make it versatile, and a great speaker to fit into tight spaces.
The Gold Monitor is quite different, and it's one of those speakers that when heard in a good room on good demo material elicits the response, "HOLY CRAP!!"
I've never heard a more detailed, natural treble out of a speaker using a non-ribbon or electrostatic tweeter. Crystalline treble sounds effortlessly float from this speaker, devoid of glare or harshness. (I hate to sound like I write for "The Absolute Sound," but it's true.) The Gold Monitor uses 7" versions of the Scan-Speak Revelator woofer/mids, and they handle much more power than the 5.25" drivers, and extend lower into the bass. In some 2-channel venues, Gold Monitors can be run full-range. But the star of this speaker is the tweeter. It's the best tweeter Triad uses, including the excellent tweeter in the Platinum LCR. The ring radiator with phase plug has response extending to 60 kHz, and it's fairly flat to 40 kHz. Long term continuous power handling (RMS) is an insane 160 watts. (Treble requires less power than bass, and music contains transients, and few sustained tones like what's used in RMS testing.) I would guess the tweeter can handle 400 watt peaks of short duration. At a high 94.5 dB sensitivity, that's loud. If you purchase the R-2904 tweeter from a discount house online, you'll pay between $330 and $370 for one of them. (That's a lot for a freakin' tweeter.) Many speakers in the price range of the Gold Monitor use tweeters that can be bought for $20-$30.
So the Gold Monitor is 85% more than the Silver Monitor. Whether it's worth it is up to you. I've had three Gold Monitors in my system for ten years, and I have no urge to change. Five years ago I bought a Z06, which was 60% more than a standard Corvette. Again, I have no desire to ever own a different car, having purchased something ridiculously stupendous. I tend to make far fewer purchases than most consumers, but they are generally of higher quality, and I've found that I have long-term satisfaction and no desire to upgrade. For me, it's cheaper in the long run. Everyone is different. Again, listening to Silver Monitors is "WOW!," while listening to Gold Monitors is "HOLY CRAP!!"