New Bronze Age
Sound & Vision|February - March 2021
BRITAIN-BASED Monitor Audio offers a wide range of loudspeakers at prices spanning from the bargain basement up to the penthouse that are cleverly named for a variety of metals: Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze.
Thomas J. Norton

The company must have run out of suitable metallic names when its Monitor series was introduced a few years ago— Steel or Aluminum (or Aluminium!) clearly wouldn’t do. But while that budget-priced series represents the entry point to Monitor Audio’s offerings, our saga here covers the next step up Bronze 6G, the sixth generation of the Bronze line.

All drivers in the Bronze series use the company’s C-CAM cone and dome material (ceramic-coated aluminum magnesium), said to minimize resonances. The cones of the bass-midrange drivers are also dished with no dust caps, further reducing possible colorations. All tweeters (apart from those in the company’s AMS Dolby Atmos speakers) employ waveguides covered with an acoustically transparent, hexagonal dispersion pattern grille, and the woofers in the 200 Tower and C150 center speaker are secured via threaded rods that extend through the back of the cabinet.

The 200 tower features dual rear ports (foam “bungs” are provided to block the ports if desired, though I didn’t use them) and employs two 5.5-inch woofer-midranges in a 2.5-way design. Both woofers operate in the bass region, but the bottom woofer is low-pass-filtered above 700Hz while the top one extends through the midrange until it’s crossed over to the tweeter at 2.4kHz.

The Bronze C150 center is a sealed, 2-way, horizontally configured design. Similar to the 200s, it offers dual binding posts for bi-amping or bi-wiring. (I used single wiring throughout.)

The sealed-cabinet Bronze FX surround employs a single 5.5-inch woofer-midrange and a pair of tweeters mounted at an angle on either side of the woofer. A front-panel switch allows for bipole or dipole operation (I used bipole mode, where the two tweeters are in-phase). The wedge-shaped AMS Dolby Atmos speakers (also sealed) each use a 4-inch woofer-midrange and one tweeter. Both the FX and AMS have slots on the back for wall-mounting, though I didn’t install them that way.

The compact Bronze W10 woofer utilizes a front-facing 10-inch long-throw C-CAM-cone driver, a 220W class-D amplifier, and a large, bottom-mounted passive radiator. Fixed legs give the latter ample clearance from the floor. An auto-sensing switch allows the sub to wake up when it senses a bass input, and there’s a polarity switch (0- and 180-degrees), a 24dB/ octave low-pass filter selectable from 50-120Hz (there’s no defeat position), and three selectable DSP modes: Music, Movie, and Impact.

The 200 and 150C come with magnetically attached grilles, while the FX, AMS, and W10 make do with pegs in slots. The only grilles I left in place for listening were on the AMS Dolby Atmos models. The latter are designed to sit atop the Bronze 200 and 50 and match those speakers in width and depth (the 50 is the smallest of the two Bronze standmounts and not tested here).

Unlike Monitor Audio’s more upscale ranges, the Bronze series won’t win any best-looker awards. Our review system was finished in a bland, matte-black vinyl, though there are three additional, more attractive, vinyl finish options: White, Walnut, and a two-tone Urban Gray. But at these prices you can’t expect Gucci design; most of Monitor Audio’s effort here was clearly put into the performance.

SETUP

I positioned the Bronze 200 towers 9 feet apart, with the Bronze C150 between them and just below my screen(s). The towers were positioned about 4 feet out from the wall behind them and angled toward the center listening seat. Two of the upward-firing Bronze AMS Dolby Atmos speakers were placed atop the front 200 towers and the other two behind the listening seats atop my Monitor Audio Silver 10s (pressed into service here as silent stands!). The two FX surrounds were positioned behind the rear AMS speakers and higher up.

To drive the nine speakers in the system plus the two Bronze W10 powered subwoofers, I used a Denon AVR-X6700H A/V receiver (reviewed in the December 2020/ January 2021 issue of Sound & Vision). Sources included CD, Blu-ray, and UltraHD Blu-ray discs spun on an Oppo UDP-203 player for movies and a Marantz UD7007 player for music.

MUSIC PERFORMANCE

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