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Monitor Audio BX2 ?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Can anyone comment on these bookshelves? How is their SQ, soundstage, bass, etc.


If any comparison of them can be made with some other bookshelves (or Swan speakers), it will be better.

post #2 of 5

Hey dragonball,


I've been a long time reader of Head-Fi.org, but never posted before today.


I have a set of RX2s (Silver Series) for my PC speakers so I can't comment directly on the BX2s.  They weren't out when I was shopping around.  I've read a lot good things about the BX series with favorable comparisons with the Silver series. .


I spent a lot of time listening to the RX1s & RX2s at my local dealer and compared them to my HT Paradigm Reference Studio 20 v2 and an old set of Paradigm Atoms (original PC speakers).  The Atoms served well for many years, but I decided it was time to upgrade the entire system.  I originally considered replacing the Paradigms in the HT with something like the Studio 60s and moving the 20s to my computer system.  After I created a new PC around the Xonar STX card, I built the rest of the system from there. 


I liked the Paradigms, but I haven't been shopping for speakers in a long time so I thought I'd listen to some new stuff.  I really liked the Monitors when I first heard them in the dealer's showroom.  Actually, I first heard them from outside the room and they sounded remarkable from the store lobby (there was some jazz on with a horn section). 


I liked them so much, that I quickly narrowed it down to the RX1s and RX2s.  I selected the 2s for their better bass and slightly better midrange.  Both models had surprising bass output for bookshelves - and it was very tight bass with excellent transient response.  Midrange and treble are remarkable.  I was able to spend a lot of time listening to the Platinum PL300s connected to $150k worth Krell electronics and found the RX models stood up very well in comparison.


I listened to them in the store set up on 26" stands and was concerned about using the as near-field monitors.  Luckily, I was able to try them at home before making the final decision.  The biggest difference between the 2 locations was bass.  I was pretty disappointed when they were on my desk but my desk is positioned where there is no rear wall so I expected it. I heard plenty at the store, so I didn't worry too much.  I picked the 2s since I figured I might build a dedicated 2(.1) channel system around them at some point.  The BX2s have front ports so they might not be as sensitive to rear-wall distance for bass response and should offer more flexibility in placement for most desktop set ups I've seen posted here.


In reality, your ears are going to be the best judge.  No two poeple hear the same so what I like in a speaker may sound like nails on chalkboard to you.  The best recommendation, is to listen to speakers in your price range with your music.  Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of B&M dealers around and I've heard & read too many horror stories about poor service and bad attitudes.  I was lucky to find a store and salesman that actually ordered a set of RX2s in the finish I wanted and hooked them up for a week to break in before I came in to listen and compare against the RX1s!  (Reminds me of the days when I used to do that for customers when I worked in retail audio in the early 80s.)  I paid full price, but the salesman spent hours of his time and I was thrilled with the entire process. 


Some more about my set up:  I use an old Velodyne CT-80 sub for help in the bass.  It's pretty crappy compared to current subs, but it was free and it's more to deal with the limitations of the room layout's lack of bass in my chair.  The RX2s run full range and the sub is crossed over around 50 Hz through a Parasound 2100 pre-amp.  I picked it because of its ability to integrate a sub.  I can adjust the sub gain from the pre-amp so I can tweak it on the fly from my chair.  Once the RX2s were fully broken in, it took me a while to optimize things but I am extremely happy with the set up.  I guess that's part of the fun...  I can't wait to hear what a really good DAC can do...


Hope that helps a bit.  Sorry for the long-winded reply - I guess I have some pent-up stuff to contribute as pay back for all the useful information I've gotten from the members here.


- Bob










System housed in an Antec P183 case for quietness (located behind desk to keep fan noise down)

Intel i5-750 quad core processor, 8 GB DDR3 memory, 1TB WD Caviar Black drive, Asus Xonar STX with LME49720 op-amps.

Windows 7 64-bit with JRiver Media Center 15 running analog out configured as WSAPI Event Style.

Audio ripped to a file server with a 1TB RAID5 array for storage.  Format is WMA Lossless or FLAC.

Network is wired gigabit.

(I've been ripping and storing my music collection on a server since 2003 so it's been a long process of learning and tweaking.)


Audio Gear:

Parasound 2100 Pre-amp

Vintage Adcom GFA-535ii power amp (60 wpc)

Monitor Audio RX2 speakers bi-wired

Sony DVP-NS755V DVD/SACD player (used for SACDs only)

Sony ST-S707ES AM/FM Tuner



AKG K702

Audio Technica ATH-AD700

Sennsheiser HD280 Pro

No headphone amp (will be the next purchase).



post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Dear BLenarcik,


Thanks for your detailed reply in describing about the RX series. Yeah, i have also heard that BX series borrows some features from the RX ones.


Can you comment whether the BX series will require a costly amp/DAC (>200$) to really shine?


Also if someone can comment on the sound signature of BX series, whether it is warm or if the treble is bit sharp. I would prefer a warmer sound and my main usage will be music listening.

post #4 of 5

Good question.  The RX2s are pretty neutral but very revealing of subtle detail, but I much prefer that over warmer sounding speakers.  If paired with a brighter sounding amp, the overall sound might not be to your liking.


You'll probably hear more of a difference between DACs, but a good amp with decent power would help a lot.  While amp design has advanced over the years, I think an older well-regarded amp would be a great way to keep costs down.  There are a lot of deals on older gear on Audiogon.  I would recommend getting a newer DAC - there's a lot of advancements lately at all price points and most can now handle higher sample rates and bit-depths. 


As to how much power (and therefore how much to spend), both the BX2 and RX2 have the same sensitivity (90db) and pretty similar recommended power range (30-100W vs 25-100W, respectively).  They differ in nominal impedance - the BX2 is specified as 8 ohms whereas the RX2 is 6 ohms.  My Adcom is rated at 60W @ 8 ohms and I originally had an AudioSource Amp One rated at 80W @ 8 ohms driving them.  I like the Adcom better and given they are about 3 feet from my ears, I don't need a lot of power to be satisfied.  I auditioned them in the store paired with an NAD C375BEE integrated amp rated at 150W which i really liked.


I found this review: http://www.whathifi.com/Review/Monitor-Audio-Bronze-BX2/.  The same site reviewed the RX1.  Both commented on the speakers being picky about matching gear but I prefer to think of it part of the fun. 


post #5 of 5

I bought Monitor Audio BX2 speakers a few hours ago from John at Cosmophonic Sound (NYC store).  Even during an in-store test with flat controls and fresh from the box they sounded great.  I would suggest listening to any speakers before deciding to buy.


After listening to them for a couple of hours now, and using a (consumer) Sony CD player and a Yamaha A-700 integrated amplifier...all different kinds of music...very impressed.  I am moved by their sound and I wouldn't expect more from sub-$500 speakers.  I listened to enough high-end systems and my ears are good enough to recognize quality speakers.

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