Loudspeakers

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Ed Selley  |  Oct 14, 2010  |  0 comments
Acoustic Energy AE1 MKIII - £2,000 Acoustic Energy gives its traditional substantially built miniature a classy cosmetic makeover Acoustic Energy’s 1988 debut with the diminutive and defiantly pro-look AE1 caused quite a sensation when it first appeared and effectively launched the brand. This £2,000 per pair MkIII is the middle model of three current variations on the same tiny two-way theme. Unlike the much less costly Classic with its ‘utilitarian’ pro-style presentation, this MkIII’s piano black enclosure has some seven layers of high-quality lacquer finish, while the front panel is decorated by a 10mm-thick, shaped and polished aluminium sheet, reinforcing the baffle and concealing the driver mounting hardware. As the substantial total weight of 11kg implies, the exceedingly hefty build continues beneath the surface.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Dec 11, 2018  |  0 comments
Acoustic Energy made a great name for itself back in the late eighties and has gone from strength to strength ever since. Following a recent management buy out, the Gloustershire-based company has a renewed sense of momentum with various new speaker designs – several of which I have sampled – including the AE109 (HFC 425), a highly capable entry-level floorstander from its 100 Series.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 01, 2017  |  0 comments
Having set up shop 30 years ago, the first speaker that Acoustic Energy made has gone on to become its most famous and enduring. The original AE1 was the little speaker that could. What it could do was largely defined by what the considerably older granddaddy of classy compact monitors, the BBC-designed LS3/5A, couldn’t. In other words, it excelled where the seductively mid-neutral old-timer was most obviously compromised – namely in its bass power and extension, loudness and dynamic range.
Ed Selley  |  Jan 09, 2012  |  0 comments
High-class baby Massive construction is just one of the key features that singles out Acoustic Energy’s Reference 1, says Paul Messenger Back in 1988, Acoustic Energy made a very impressive debut with its original AE1, a small Proaudio-oriented speaker that, at the time, essentially re-invented the concept of the modern highperformance miniature. The company has undergone numerous changes since then. Its original founders have long since moved on and the company is currently owned by Malaysian interests, which also provides a source for inexpensive production. The perennial AE1 The AE1 and a number of variations on its theme have been reviewed in Hi-Fi Choice on a pretty regular basis down the years.
Ed Selley  |  Dec 23, 2011  |  0 comments
Amphion Argon 1 An unconventional standmount from one of hi-fi’s newer companies, based in Finland Amphion is a relatively young brand, founded in 1998 and brings some interestingly different techniques to the party. The most obvious of these is the large waveguide that surrounds the tweeter and matches the diameter of the bass/mid drive unit. This has several implications. The prime purpose is to control the tweeter’s directivity, presumably to avoid the directivity discontinuity that usually occurs in the transition from bass/mid driver to tweeter.
Ed Selley  |  Dec 01, 2011  |  0 comments
It’s a gas The Helium 410 is Amphion’s smallest speaker, but as Ed Selley discovers it still packs a punch The premise of an advert, inviting you to listen to a speaker with the volume turned down, might not be the most obvious way of selling it to a wider audience. For Amphion however, there is a reason for this unusual approach. The entire range is designed to offer excellent intelligibility and clarity even at very low volumes. The Helium series is the entry-level offering in the range and the 410 is the smallest speaker in the group.
 |  Feb 02, 2015  |  0 comments
There is a school of thought among certain loudspeaker manufacturers that what’s good for studios is alsogood for the home. One of those manufacturers is ATC, the Acoustic Transducer Company, which builds professional and domestic monitors and voices both in the same way. In studios monitors are used to reveal problems, to highlight sounds that shouldn’t be there. Monitors are a fundamental tool of recording and mastering, the window into the production.
 |  Jan 29, 2015  |  0 comments
There’s something odd about ATC’s SCM40 – it doesn’t look or feel like almost any other loudspeaker in its price class. It’s almost as if someone has forgotten to style it, like they’ve taken three drivers and put them in a box designed to do the job and then gone home. This is in marked contrast to many rivals, which have all kinds of stylistic flourishes. Despite looking rather ‘old school’ – albeit in a timeless sort of way – the SCM40 is actually a new model that came out in 2013, replacing a 2007 design of the same name that looked as if it had been launched in 1988! ATC, it seems, doesn’t pay too much attention to matters of fashion.
Ed Selley  |  Mar 13, 2012  |  0 comments
Little wonder Channa Vithana enjoys the musical delights of AudioSmile’s diminutive Kensai standmount loudspeaker. . . Most loudspeakers remain a disappointment to me, as so many manage to strangle the life out of music – there are only a precious few I’ve heard that truly satisfy in the music-making stakes.
 |  Jan 29, 2015  |  0 comments
Apparently, wireless speaker systems are like buses. No sooner had Elipson’s impressive Planet LW and Bridge system passed through the Hi-Fi Choice review process (HFC 387) than the Audiovector Ki 1 Super Discreet System hovers into view. On paper, the similarities are striking. The Audiovector system comprises a pair of the Ki 1 standmounts and the company’s Discreet hub that form a self-contained system uncannily like the Elipson.
Ed Selley  |  Mar 02, 2011  |  0 comments
Life partner Audiovector’s 'upgradable' speakers can be improved when funds allow. Paul Messenger investigates a unique proposition from Denmark The Ki-series is relatively new and also relatively inexpensive by Audiovector’s standards. The Ki 3s are the sole floorstanding models in a range that also includes a standmount and home cinema oriented variations. But each Ki-series model comes in three versions – Standard, Super and Signature – with superior engineering features as one moves up the ladder.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 24, 2017  |  0 comments
Conveniently, you can count Denmark’s major speaker makers on the fingers of one hand. But while DALI, Dynaudio, Jamo and B&O could all rightly claim to be hi-fi savvy household names in the UK, you’re probably a little less familiar with Audiovector. I’m pretty sure the company’s home town of Copenhagen wouldn’t be quite such a wonderful place without it, though – not least for its highly unusual policy of making upgradeable speakers. Yes, you can send your base level standmount or tower back to the factory for a shot of material fettling so that when you unpack it for the second time, the déjà vu stops when the music starts and it sounds a whole lot better than before.
 |  Jan 23, 2015  |  0 comments
Buyers have come to know what to expect from the £1,000 price point. Lavishing this sort of sum buys you a physically largish box that is nicely if not luxuriously finished. It gets you a decent set of drive units, and you’d expect to be looking at three per speaker at least – and that’s precisely what you get here. Here’s a three-way, four driver floorstander that’s just over a metre tall when sitting on its plinths (not shown).
Ed Selley  |  Oct 11, 2011  |  0 comments
Ken goes to Boston Boston Acoustics’ new range has been tuned by Marantz’s Ken Ishiwata for European ears. Ed Selley goes hunting for the ‘signature’ sound Boston Acoustics are one of the major players in the American speaker market, producing a full range of conventional box loudspeakers, custom install products and car audio. Since the company was acquired by D&M holdings – which oversees Denon, Marantz and McIntosh amongst others – it has been raising its UK profi le. The A Series speakers are the new entrylevel range and made its low key debut at Bristol this year.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 04, 2019  |  First Published: Feb 08, 2019  |  0 comments
As Oscar Wilde once observed, “…but some of us are looking up at the stars. ” Actually, for budget-conscious audiophiles, it’s kind of mandatory. Personally, I fantasise about being able to drop £16. 5k on Bowers & Wilkins’ flagship 802 D3 floorstander – undoubtedly the thing my larger listening room has been missing out on for years.

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