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This review first appeared in the April 2010 issue of hi-end hifi magazine High Fidelity of Poland. You can also read this review of the Monitor Audio RX2 in its original Polish version. We publish its English translation in a mutual syndication arrangement with publisher Wojciech Pacula. As is customary for our own reviews, the writer's signature at review's end shows an e-mail address should you have questions or wish to send feedback. All images contained in this review are the property of High Fidelity or Xavian - Ed.

Reviewer: Wojciech Pacu
CD player: Ancient Audio Lektor Prime
Preamp: Leben RS-28CX
Integrated amp: Leben CS300
Power amp: Luxman M-800A
Loudspeakers: Harpia Acoustics Dobermann
Cables: CD-preamp Wireworld Gold Eclipse 52, pre/power amp Velum NF-G SE; speaker cable Velum LS-G; power cords Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9100 on CDP, 2 x Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC7100 on preamp and power amp
Power conditioning: Gigawatt PF-2 Filtering Power Strip
Resonance control: Finite Elemente Ceraball under the CDP
Review component retail: zł 2.790/pr

For some time now, the Silver RX series from Monitor Audio has been hot. Awards, comparison wins, positive reviews and more turned it into a major market player. Of course they aren’t perfect—there are no such products—but they don’t cost much especially given the technologies that have been applied and the sound they produce. Certain details are thus worth pointing out. One cannot suppress the impression that everything possible at the budget was done on these models including parts previously reserved for their more expensive lines. Take the drivers for example. Earlier those appeared in the Gold and Platinum series respectively (the gold-plated C-CAM tweeter and ceramic composite coated mid/woofer).

The unusual mid/woofer mounting trickled down directly from the Platinum series and bolts the driver not to the front baffle but clamps it with a bolt from the back to additionally stiffen the enclosure and minimize vibration. The first company to use this type of mounting at least on a broader scale was Magico whose front baffles are metal [incorrect – Phil Jones for one used this scheme many years prior to Magico in the Boston Acoustics Lynnfield project – Ed.]. Magico of course is an ultra hi-end company who can afford to go the extra mile. The Monitor Audio RX2 is dirt cheap in this context. Here such solutions are astonishing!

In addition to the usual reference system, this review also used the Leben CS-660P power amp, Music Hall’s CD 25.2 front end, the Black Stork turntable with 3Q tonearm and Air Tight PC-1 Supreme cartridge and the Thorens TF 309 with Denon DL-103SA pickup.

Sound: I used the following discs - Kenny Dorham, Quiet Kenny, New Jazz/JVC, JVCXR-0049-2, XRCD; Julie London, Julie is her name. Vol.1, Liberty/EMI Music Japan, TOCJ-90014, HQCD;  Paco Puente, Dance Mania, RCA/BMG, BVCJ-37436, K2 CD; Nat King Cole, After Midnight, Capitol Jazz/EMI, 520087, SBM CD; Bill Evans, Peace Piece and Other Pieces, Milestone, M-47024, 2 x LP; Kraftwerk, Tour the France. Soundtracks, EMI, 591708, 2 x 180g LP.

If I had to characterize these loudspeakers relative to the other three models in this series—the Dynaudio DM 2/6, KEF iQ30 and Xavian Primissima—I’d say that the Monitor Audio is as well balanced as the Dynaudio and puts out bass which extends even lower than the KEF but offers equal treble excellence. From the Xavian it inherits the ability to cast big virtual sources without overexposing the bass region. Without such references, I’d simply call the RX2 well balanced, very clean and with fully defined frequency extremes. That’s really something. The sound detaches from the boxes and we appreciate how the extra rigidity of the enclosure undermines boxy colorations. This reminded me of Harpia Acoustics speakers at higher prices. The Monitor speaker had a similar timbre and the sound de-correlated from the speakers just as easy. This was beautifully apparent on Julie London’s Julie is her name mono album. The sound was vast, not compressed into a thimble and arrived from slightly behind the midline between the speakers. Nothing pointed to the fact that in truth the sound arose from two boxes on either side of this window. Everything emerged from a black background between them.