I'm mainly writing this to pay homage to a product that has served me so well over the last 10 years that I think it deserves some recognition. It should be noted now that they are now no longer available new but make a cracking 2nd hand buy. Monitor Audio has a good reputation for producing good sounding speakers that also look quite nice too and the Monitor 3's are no exception. They are very slim but do stand 1m tall so they look elegant whilst taking up little floor space. Each speaker has 2 mid/bass drivers (both 5 inch diameter) and a gold domed tweater for the high notes. People either love or hate this tweater - it can add a metallic sheen to the sound - but some would argue cymbols are meant to sound metallic. They are available in a variety of veneers but don't settle for anything other than the Rosewood - it's gorgeous. The level of workmanship on the cabinets is truly extraordinary, they have lovely curved edges and feel as solid as real wood. When I listened to these speakers I noticed that the main difference between these and say, a pair of B&Ws, was that they separated the instruments much better (ie it was easier to hear the oboe and the clarinet) and hence seemed to be suited to classical music. After I got them home I realised that rock wasn't too much of a problem either indicating that they are essentially 'neutral'. The mk1s are 'infinite baffle', meaning they have no ports, but mkIIs onwards are ported to let the bass go a little deeper. If like me you prefer your music fast and exciting then go for the unported variety. You'll lose a little bass extension but gain bass control (less boomy). Other advantages of the speaker are: 1) Good sensitivity - no high power amp needed. 2) Natural sounding with voices. 3) Good all rounder, suits all music styles. Disadvantages: 1) Not the last word in bass! If you can get your
hands on a pair, expect to pay £200 quid or so, they should serve you well but you ain't getting mine!