By LS Loo
This review is of a pair of bookshelf speakers – the Silverline Minuet Supreme Plus, one of the lower-priced bookshelf models from Silverline Audio based in Walnut Creek and Concord, California. Silverline Audio is a well-established company known for designing and manufacturing loudspeakers. The company makes interconnects and speaker cables as well.
When I unpacked the review item, I was really surprised as the speakers were almost only half the size of the resident Opera Prima 1.5 speakers. The first thought that crossed my mind was how this little baby would perform.
My audition pair came in Real Rosewood veneer and obviously there was extreme effort involved to ensure the fit and finish were excellent. There were no hard corners or to any sharp edges to contend with. The Minuet Supreme Plus is the smallest speaker offered by Silverline measuring at only 9” x 5.5” x 9.25” (W X H X D).
The Minuet Supreme Plus is a two-way speaker with a 1” silk-dome tweeter and a 3.25” midrange-woofer with pulp-paper-cone. Both the tweeter and woofer are well protected by a neat black cloth grille.
At the back was the bass-reflex port just above the binding posts; therefore these speaker are not recommended to be positioned too close to the rear wall. The gold-plated binding posts support the usual connection types and have separate terminals for the low and high frequency drivers, making possible biamping or biwiring. A pair of metal connectors functioned as jumpers to connect the pairs of terminals. You will find two pairs of very robust binding posts, which are tightened using the attached plastic-insulated thumbscrews to accept the usual spades and banana terminations. Specifications quoted a frequency response of 55Hz-28kHz, a crossover frequency of 3,500Hz, a nominal impedance of 8 ohms, and with a sensitivity of 88.5dB that should be very friendly to most amplifiers.
The whole auditioning session took place in my 19’ X 14’ X 10’’ (L X W X H) living room. The speakers were positioned 7.3 feet apart and my listening seat was 8.6 feet from the speakers. Each Minuet Supreme Plus was placed on 30” stands in order for the tweeters to be level with my ears as my listening seat is a bit high.
Sources included my truly trusty old re-clocked Marantz CD94 MK II CD player. Copland CTA-10 and CTA-504 took over the amplification duties.
The Minuet Supreme Plus does remarkably well in the upper registers. As you go higher up the scale, the sound tends to become much more mellow, especially when playing a violin solo, and when the soloist hits full swing and plays close to the bridge, it gets increasingly edgy but doesn’t become unbearable in anyway. In terms of detail, this speaker does well throughout the entire spectrum. Playing the album Talking Timbuktu, the starting guitar notes are rendered with full expression instead of just a toneless bass note. Furthermore, the undertones/sub-harmonics of the guitar notes also have rich texture.
The Minuet Supreme Plus excels in the way it shapes the human voice, and you may say that the sound is a bit sticky and creamy but is tastefully done. Voices seem more natural and the illusion of the singer is very convincing to me. Playing Leonard Cohen’s Ten New Song and his ‘magnetic’ and attractive ‘juicy’ voice was excellent.
As for its bass performance, given its size, it does remarkably well. It’s no seismic inducer but the way it works within its limits is admirable. The speaker knows its own limitations and doesn’t try to go beyond that. Drums and bass notes are delivered with conviction and weight, yet remain under control. The speaker also has enough speed to deliver the necessary edge.
I like these little speakers and the Silverline Minuet Supreme Plus seem to be the end of my quest for a new entry-level pair of quality speakers. There is so much about this speaker to be admired – its musicality and midrange performance besides its big, rich sound that competes with its rivals in the market. Most important point is it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to own a pair.
The Silverline Minuet Supreme Plus has established itself as the high-value performer bookshelf speakers to me. Try to play your favourite track via these speakers and I am sure you will feel reluctant to let them go.
Silverline speakers are sold by The Audio Store. Contact Mr Aw at 03-78872233 for an audition.