Monitor Audio Gold Reference 20 Floorstanding Speakers

4.91/5 (11 Reviews) MSRP : $2995.00


Product Description

More compact than the Gold Reference 60, the three-way Gold Reference 20 nevertheless packs a massive punch. Its unique dual cavity cabinet design is a variant of that used in the larger Gold Reference 60. Puresound crossover technology allows the mid-band section to have a wider frequency window than usual. The result is stunning clarity and purity right across the audio spectrum allied to superb integration and musical presentation.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (11 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by kevinzeoli a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: June 9, 2012

Bottom Line:   
I have been an audiophile for the past 25 years, and have never come across a speaker in this price point vs. performance ratio. As always build quality is superb, fit and finish is comparable to the best speakers on the market today. The speakers do many things right, given the cost vs.performance ratio. In my opinion these speakers cannot be touched for their used market price point.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2010



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Flavio Dias a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: May 17, 2010

Bottom Line:   
A big, well balanced sound. I play it with Mark Levinson 33H or tubed MacIntosh MC275. Superb. Better than B&W's and Dynaudio's at the price level. Recommend.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2010



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by swarfy a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 7, 2010

Bottom Line:   
After looking for a decent set of GR20s for a while, I came across a pair in immaculate piano-gloss black for £700 GBP on e-bay. I'm not a great fan of piano-gloss normally, but boy these are a work of art.

But looks are nothing without sonic abilities. This is where the MAs come alive. If you like absolute precision these are the speakers for you. The treble is pin sharp almost to the point of sibilance, poor recordings can come across like nails down a blackboard. Get rid of the wire grille on the metal dome tweeter to open up the treble response and remove a little hardness.
The mid-range is crystal clear, like someone striking a bell. There is almost no colouration at all. What comes out of the amp hits your ears.
This is where I come to the only downside of these speakers, they need good amplification, preferably Bi-amped. If you use sub standard amps the bass punch becomes flabby or bloomy. Punch is the operative word for the bass. There is extension and weight but it's just so well controlled. If you're after groundshaking bass buy a sub or GR60s. If you want revealing, musical and involving sound look no further.

These speakers are now starting to appear at reasonable prices. Grab yourself some, given the right source components, you won't regret it.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Eric_K a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 10, 2010

Bottom Line:   
The GS 20 are fantastic value for money. Before purchasing them I had the opportunity to compare them directly to Dynaudio Focus 220 and Contour 1.4s, Thiel CS1.6, Monitor Audio GS 60 and other brands.
The GS 20 are perfectly balanced with a deep punchy bass and clear mids and highs. I liked them better than the GS 60! Finish is beautiful (I have the rose wood version) and the connecting terminals are of high quality (also bi-wire if you like that).
All in all I am very pleased and I would not hesitate to recommend them.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2009



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Kid Bongo a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 3, 2007

Bottom Line:   
OVERVIEW:
Frequency Response: +/- 3dB 30Hz-30KHz
Sensitivity: 89dB
Nominal Impedance: 6?
Power Handling: 150 W (rms)
Dimensions (HWD): 925 x 200 x 300 mm
Weight: 22Kg

TREBLE:
The treble of the GR20s is lightening fast and reproduces transients superbly. The wealth of detail they supply is most impressive and makes a cogent argument for metal dome tweeters.
Stereo imaging is solid and they do an admiral job of reproducing the acoustic environment of the recording but ultimately the treble suffers from ‘point of source’ in that one was aware of beaming.
Removing the wire grills is an absolute must, but the dust covers can be used to subtly attenuate the signal.
Of greater concern is the fact that the treble can be sometimes be splashy and sibilant and has a nasty habit of revealing the quality of recordings – not always a good thing – and as far as any MP3 sourced music is concerned, utterly unforgiving.
I personally like the treble of the GR20s and I think the quality is appropriate for a £1500 speaker.
Bottom line: The treble will appeal to detail freaks and those accustomed to working with studio monitors; those who like a warmer, less sharp sound may find them unnecessarily keen.

MID:
This is clearly the focus of the GR20s. The mid range, in particular the upper mid, is most impressive. Metal drivers repay the listener with pin sharp precision and an alacritous response time. The clarity with which voices are replayed and positioned shows the engineering skill that has been employed on these drivers.
One of the finest tests for a loudspeaker is the reproduction of the human voice, and in particular choral music. The GR20s do an admirable job of unravelling the complex mix of human voices and only really become a little unstuck at the lower mid range register. Piano is conveyed realistically and possess a certain lucidity that only comes with metal drive units.
Bottom line: The mid range is enchanting but just you wait till you add valves to the mix!

BASS:
The bass of GR20s is very average for a speaker of this price point. Let me qualify this remark. At £1500 one begins to expect a certain quality and whilst the GR20s make the grade, it’s not by a comfortable margin.

The GR20s is a dual chamber reflex design that utilise two ports, each tuned to 30Hz, and unpredictably there is a slight hump in the frequency response here. This is no bad thing as most UK rooms will have a mode resonance of around 40Hz, so they load the room nicely. However, the front firing port does exhibit minor port noise but in fairness, despite the volume does not chuff (the sound produced by too much air trying to move through too smaller aperture).

You must keep these speakers under control! Inferior electronics will result in a flabby, uncontrolled bass devoid of rhythmic timing; they need a stern hand and current to really perform well. I tested mine with a number of amplifiers ranging in price from £100 to £1500. Obviously pricier amplifiers performed better, but those amplifiers that provide better damping and can produce decent currents reward the listeners with bass that is fast and tight, and ultimately times well with the mid and treble.
The GR20s utilise two drivers, one exclusively for bass and the other working from the upper mid down to the bass, and I personally found the bass reproduction superior to the GR60. It’s not as deep or loud but it is more natural and ultimately easier to control. The GR60s are a tricky load and need first class amplification and are frankly a little uncouth at £2200 (sorry chaps). If you’re listening in a smaller room I would recommend foam bungs on the front ports to lessen the bass and also suppress the port noise. Do not bung the rear ports, the mid really suffers as a result, better to experiment with placement.
Bottom line: The bass is exactly what you would expect at this price point, but considering the staggering speed of the mid and treble drivers may seem a little lacking. Big rooms will need a Subwoofer for that first octave. Those who favour natural, even bass will prefer a transmission line design rather than a reflex, but you knew that.

The finish:
The finish is acceptable at £1500. Perhaps this would have been impressive twenty years ago but it’s pretty much par for the course these days. I would surmise the finish as typical. My biggest criticism is that the binding posts are so close together making it difficult to install custom cables; it really is unforgivable at this price.
Bottom line: The GR20s are to speakers what Volvos are to cars: boxy but safe.

Systems:
Whatever your audio predilections, you can’t drive these speakers with a typical valve amplifier. But valves are what this speaker needs to even out its minor imbalances. Valves give a minor raise in bass, a slight curtailment in treble and really let that mid-range shine through. I would advocate a valve pre-amp or CD player with a valve stage. If you have bright sounding ancillaries then the GR20s are going to seem oppressive and overwhelming, but match the electronics to the speakers’ particular audio signature and they really stand out from the crowd at this price point.
Bottom line: System matching is a must. Well duh!

Overall:
I think most listeners will be really pleased with the performance of the GR20s. They’re not the last word in high fidelity, and they are fairly system dependent but at £1500 they stand out from the competition with an unparalleled mid range and treble, and that bass isn’t so bad. The GR20s need a long run in; metal driver are nefarious for this. At £1500 I genuinely feel that only PMC can offer any competition at this price point and these are two very contrasting styles. I have no hesitation in recommending these speakers but be aware that if you audition them, odds are they won’t be properly run in and will sound pretty shill.


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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2005

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Shop




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