Sunday 2 April 2023

The Monitor by Alexandria Audio Just Became The Special One

Bookshelf speakers have its own merit and one who have gone through the phase of owning a pair (or a few pairs) will understand how special a bookshelf can be. For yours truly, the few pairs I had before were prime in their time in my set up. JPW, Mission, EPOS, PMC are just some of the brands that have landed in my set up before I moved to floor standing ones. So, when I was given the chance to have a listen to The Monitor by Alexandria Audio, I could not say no as my first impression listening to them in the shop was extra ordinary. 


Although it is a bookshelf, the size of the cabinet is not at all the typical size of a bookshelf speaker. At 14 kg per unit, it stands at W 280 x H 450 x D 330 mm as it is fitted with an 8" woofer as the foundation of the design. The paper cone woofer is designed with high sensitivity and extended bandwidth to deliver a more natural and tight bass transient response. The neodymium tweeter is also designed at high sensitivity with high power handling and short waveguide to have a better dispersion control. Combined together in a birch plywood cabinet, The Monitor has a sensitivity rating of 90dB.

For a more detailed specs, click here.


  1. Take Five by Dave Brubeck Quartet - DSD
  2. Take Five by Kenichi Big Band - TIDAL MQA
  3. The Sound of Silence by The Ghost of Johnny Cash - TIDAL 16/44
  4. Time To Say Goodbye by Andrea Bocelli - PCM 16/44
  5. Soolaiman by Neil Diamond - QOBUZ 24/192
  6. Enter Sandman by Metallica - TIDAL 16/44 Hi Res
All tracks played via ROON on HiFiROSE streamer feeding into Aavik D280 DAC.


I only had the speakers for about 2 weeks but because it was already fully run in, it was totally a mesmerizing 2 weeks.

Take Five by Dave Brubeck

This track has always been my go to song for the 1st impression in my system. The Monitor delivered an exceptional deep and extended bass despite being a bookshelf. Rich and deep bass that did not overshadow any other part of the sound spectrum. The sound of the percussion especially the snare was crisp and at the right level of clarity. Each tingling sound of the tip of the drumstick that hits the ride cymbal was also sharp and dispersed accordingly. Every instrument on this track came out in harmony and it compliments each other nicely. The saxophone, although airy, still sounded luscious and engaging nevertheless. I was told that these speakers will sound even better if given a bigger distance between them. I can only imagine how bigger the presentation would be.

Take Five by Kenichi

This upbeat version of Take Five will usually get me going even more as its a new breathe of fresh air to this masterpiece. The double bass intro was already giving me goosebumps and once the saxophone came in, it became clear that The Monitor can really blast out a complex arrangement like this one. It kept its live ambience as if the band is just in front of me performing but at the same time, retained the tight and deep diving bass.  The percussion somehow took a back seat on the overall presentation. The snare did not sound as crisp as the original track. The sound stage is still as huge as before, in fact might even sounded bigger given its live ambience.   

The Sound of Silence

In the recent months, there is no other track that I go to test out vocal play. I was fully engaged when listening through The Monitor. It really gives detailed presentation of the vocal spectrum. Deep but at the same time the little details of Todd's vocal can be clearly heard and experienced. Even though the track is heavily dominated by the vocal, the little string works in the background can still be clearly heard an experienced, indicating The Monitor does not leave any of the details of the music out from the overall presentation.

Time To Say Goodbye

Now, even though the previous track nailed the vocal down, it still not as fulfilling as Time To Say Goodbye by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman. This is such a classic duet but if played through a poorly designed speaker, one may not be able to deliver the huge and energetic vocal presentation and also the overall orchestral presentation. Sarah's vocal sounded sweet and luscious with no hint of sharpness even when she was belting out certain high notes. Andrea's vocal on the other hand  continue to sound deep similar to the other tracks before.


Now, this is is the highlight of the review session. This track on QOBUZ at 24/192 is a gem when it comes to its musicality and recording/mastering quality. The stereo imaging can really be experienced as The Monitor presents you with such a whole some but at the same time, a well positioned musical presentation experience. Right amount of tight and deep bass, luscious and melodious vocal and the huge sound stage provided me with one lively and engaging session, pulling me into such  an enjoyable experience. This is how one need to experience this track.

Enter Sandman

The final track played is of course my all time favourite Metallica song, Enter Sandman. Many speakers I reviewed will start to show its weakness when playing this track. Good at jazz, vocal, ballad tracks but when a heavier music like this one is played, all joy in life just disappear. Not the case for The Monitor. It delivered this song with such authority that I would say that this speakers is The Special One as it is not fussy to belt out any musical genres with ease. It is not the best of I heard for this track but it is not far off from what kind of sound I like to hear on this track. The one that was most noticeable for me was the guitar riffs. It did not sound as ferocious as Kirk Hammet sound when playing through a floor standing speakers.


If I ever wanted to go back to a bookshelf speaker set up, The Monitor is The Special One that I will go to. Somehow, at this stage I can't think of any other bookshelf that can deliver such a powerful performance that can easily outplay some of the floor standing speakers out there. High sensitivity design that can adapt to various musical genres with a presentation that brings out the best of recordings and mastering. If I am asked to describe The Monitor in 3 words, it would be - Musical, Engaging, Punchy 

If you would like to demo The Monitor, please contact Gan at Uniq Fidelity

Uniq Fidelity Sdn. Bhd. ( Gan )
M1-7-07 8Trium, Jalan Cempaka SD12/5, 52200 Bandar Sri Damansara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+60 11-3134 7900


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