Test Report: Monitor Audio Shadow On-Wall Speakers and RXW12 Subwoofer Page 2



My review system was three Shadow 60s for left/center/ right, two Shadow 25s for surrounds, and one RXW12. I started by wall-mounting the Shadow 60s around my 72-inch Stewart projection screen. As I implied earlier, attaching the Shadows to the wall is a piece of cake. What came before was more challenging.

Usually on-wall speakers are installed using in-wall speaker cables for a cleaner look. My storeroom has six different kinds of in-wall speaker cables. (Weird, I know, but it comes with the gig.) Five are 14-gauge, one is 16-gauge. I tried to connect some 14-gauge wire into the Shadow 60s’ screw terminals, but the screws weren’t long enough to clamp down on the 14-gauge wires. I ended up having to tin the ends or the wires with a soldering iron to thicken them up. So an in- staller will have to do that or get 12-gauge wire (which is fatter, stiffer, and harder to fish through walls) — an unnecessary inconvenience.

Next came the two Shadow 25s. I fussed with the same frustrating speaker-cable issue I encountered on the Shadow 60, cursing Monitor Audio’s industrial designer the whole time. Then I attached the metal foot to each one, plopped each speaker on a 30-inch- high stand, and placed them to the left and right of my listening chair.

All speakers were connected to an AudioControl Savoy 7-channel amplifier, fed by an Outlaw Audio Model 975 surround processor and various source devices. The Model 975 also fed the RXW12, which I placed in my “subwoofer sweet spot,” the place along my front wall where a single subwoofer sounds the best from my listening position.

Like most speaker makers, Monitor Audio neglected to specify a subwoofer crossover point for the Shadows in its manual. After some experimentation, I settled for 100 Hz with the Shadow 60 and Shadow Centre, and 120 Hz for the Shadow 25.