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Acoustic Energy 1-Series

Thropplenoggin

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Jan 6, 2014
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Any thoughts or takers?

http://www.acoustic-energy.co.uk/#!1-series/cper

The 103 floorstanders look nice.

Snippets from reviews here

Throppers
 

nopiano

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Feb 15, 2009
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The 1 series is pretty much brand new, and I didn't go to the Bristol show this year so haven't heard them. In my books they have a good pedigree as AE speakers always sound good to excellent (for the money) to my ears. I go back to the original AE1 which was magic in its day and is still pretty stunning.

Worth seeking out an audition rather than worrying about reviews.
 
T

the record spot

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The 101 has just enjoyed a very positive review in the current issue of HiFi World. For a similar price, check out JBL's Studio 230 also just out.
 

AEJim

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Nov 17, 2008
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Hi Throppers,

Thank you for your comments on the 1-Series. I think What Hi-Fi? will have a review of the 103's out sometime soon, they've had a pair for a while now.

The 1-Series were a bit of a "soft" launch in January as they arrived around the time we handed over UK distribution to Henley Designs which meant there was a gap as we got things up and running and they started to handle the UK Marketing. Reviews are starting to come in from around the world now and have fortunately all been very favourable so far! Hopefully more UK ones to follow!

If you need any info please feel free to ask.

Cheers,

Jim.
 

Thropplenoggin

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Jan 6, 2014
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Dear Jim

Thanks very much for your response.

I have to say, I am extremely interested in the 103s, which are very aesthetically pleasing. I've also read the glowing review on HiFi Wigwam, and look forward to WHF's review.

I've just moved house (today, in fact!) and am about to buy my first separates system. The lounge where the hi-fi will go would, I feel, benefit from floorstanders and your 103s have the requisite Wife-Acceptance Factor. I am keen to demo them, but am thinking of pairing them with an Exposure 1010 amp (50w per channel). Have you tried this combination? The specs suggest they are quite an easy drive at 89db.

My only other query relates to the warranty and how long it is.

Thanks for your help.

Throppers
 

AEJim

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Nov 17, 2008
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Hi again Throppers,

Well the 103's should work well in most systems and rooms, it was an important part of the design process to make them an easy speaker to live with.

You can place them very close to walls with little detriment to the sound because of the front ports, which should help the "wife acceptance factor" (I've had a pair in my office for a few months about 6" from the back wall and they sound great there).

They're easy to drive, the 89dB figure on these is pretty accurate and the impedance is very easy going - the lowest they dip is 6 Ohms which should be no problem for any mainstream amp to deal with. I've not tried them with the Exposure but have ran them on 25 Watt class D amps with no issues. They're predominantly designed on Naim amps and I know traditionally the sound signature of Exposure has been likened to a "beefier" Naim sound so I wouldn't envisage any acoustic matching issues.

The warranty is 3 years and so far we've had no returns on any 1-Series so they should prove reliable, long term high volume isn't a problem with the 103's as long as the amp isn't distorting, I often test at 90-100db from about 10 feet away and I haven't had any problems (aside from any damage it's doing to my ears!).

As with all big Hi-Fi purchases I'd definitely suggest getting a demo at a local dealer if possible, especially for your first system to make sure you're happy that you're getting what you expect!

Good luck!

Jim.
 

peterpiper

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Mar 20, 2014
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AEjim

I would imagine these to be the equivilents of the 109's in their day, how do they compare ?
 

Thropplenoggin

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Jan 6, 2014
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Hello Jim

Once again, let me thank you for your lengthy and detailed response, which has answered all my queries. I am now extremely eager to get a demo lined up and will arrange one pronto in my locality.

I'll report back when I do.

A very grateful Throppers
 

AEJim

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Nov 17, 2008
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peterpiper said:
AEjim

I would imagine these to be the equivilents of the 109's in their day, how do they compare ?
Hi Peter,

That's right, I used the 109's as a comparison in the later stages of the design as well!

There are many variables and the two models share no common components but I did aim to recreate the "meaty" sound of the 109's as well as retaining clarity throughout the upper mid and treble. There are tonal differences but overall I think the two models do share that common sound signature. I try to avoid harshness where possible and that easy-going sound was also a trait of the 109's.

Played next to each other they actually sound quite similar - I'd say that which you'd prefer would depend on personal taste more than one being better than the other. The 103's do edge it in terms of detail and clarity which is most likely down to the sealed mid-chamber, I've not seen this mixture of part sealed/part vented cabinet used often but in my opinion it worked very well and is something I'll likely introduce on future models.

Cheers,

Jim.
 

AEJim

Well-known member
Nov 17, 2008
74
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18,545
Thropplenoggin said:
Hello Jim

Once again, let me thank you for your lengthy and detailed response, which has answered all my queries. I am now extremely eager to get a demo lined up and will arrange one pronto in my locality.

I'll report back when I do.

A very grateful Throppers
Hi again Throppers,

No problem at all! Please do let us know how you get on, I always appreciate feedback - good or bad! It helps us in developing new product and is most welcome!

Good luck with the demo!

Cheers,

Jim.
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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The record department at work uses a pair of AE Aegis Evo Ones and I'm always extremely impressed with their musicality. It is a nicely balanced sound with plenty of detail but a lovely sense of everything hanging together.

My only ownership experience of AE speakers was Compact 1s. These shared a similar quality but were just too limited for lower strings, but if these two experiences of AE speakers are anything to go by, I'd say they should be on anyone's list to hear.
 
T

the record spot

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peterpiper said:
plastic penguin said:
So are AEs similar to Tannoy?
Kef are more similar to Tannoy IMO due to them both using dual concentrics in most of their designs
I'd agree with this; the integration of the tweeter unit in the main driver is impressively done in the DC4s. Much bigger sound than you'd expect from a box this size, so I can only assume much of this is thanks to the driver arrangement.
 

peterpiper

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matthewpiano said:
The record department at work uses a pair of AE Aegis Evo Ones and I'm always extremely impressed with their musicality. It is a nicely balanced sound with plenty of detail but a lovely sense of everything hanging together.

My only ownership experience of AE speakers was Compact 1s. These shared a similar quality but were just too limited for lower strings, but if these two experiences of AE speakers are anything to go by, I'd say they should be on anyone's list to hear.
I have heard the evo3 floorstander a few times, it was the replacment for the 109 i think, very similar sound

Had a few speakers in my house over the years... MA BR5 then the BX6, KEFCoda9 , TannoyV4 Tannoy 605, Whafedale10.2, but its the AE109 that I keep going back to for musical enjoyment, classical and jazz sound good on these, no screechy strings with those tweeters, they may be too polite at low levels for some tastes, but they come alive at higher volumes
 

Thropplenoggin

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Jan 6, 2014
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I wanted to return to this thread in the hope that Jim would respond.

I now have the Acoustic Energy 103 floorstanding speakers paired up to an Exposure 1010 amp. I feel too inexperienced with hifi to go into great analytical detail so bear with me as I try to put my thoughts into words.

This seems to me to be a solid enough set-up though I am beginning to wonder about the speakers and/or amp synergy.

The speakers/amp sound superb with well-recorded piano (Jeremy Denk's Goldberg Variations) and polyphonic voices (Gesualdo, Tallis). The orchestral detail is stunning - I really hear into the recording, picking out details (a triangle here, a violin there). It seems to handle orchestral tutti very well - the amp providing more than enough 'grunt' when needed. I never raise it more than 9 o'clock on the dial (I'm a bit scared to, TBH, in case I bust something! though I never feel I need to, either.)

In rock/pop, etc. everything sounds crystal clear and well-presented, though I often seem to notice the bass in the mix (the pulse in Grizzly Bear's Deep Blue Sea). It can occasionally dominate/distract. I don't know if it's me noticing things because of clarity and proper hi-fi reproduction or if it's too dominant.

Another noticeable feature is with orchestral bass lines. Mahler 4's slow movement in the Ivan Fischer/Budapest Festival Orchestra version. The bass does seem to reverbate/boom. In other bass-heavy orchestral music, too (Shostakovich 8's 2nd movement, the Adagietto in Mahler 5).

Could this be cabinet resonance? Bad speaker-amp synergy?
Because the speakers haven't been properly run-in yet?
Because of the speaker set-up: two mid/bass drivers? (see specs here)
Or a room factor (furniture/windows/etc.)?

They are front-ported and away from the walls. Perhaps it's just a running-in feature, but I'd appreciate Jim's/anyone's thoughts.

I felt the review in this month's WHF was overly harsh - these are not 3-star speakers. Again they fall back on their 'flavour of the month' (Q Acoustic 2050i) but I did wonder whether my amp might be better suited to the QAs. I also appreciate that this is still a budget speaker and that cabinet resonance will not be eliminated at this end of the £££ scale.

I was also happy with the detail revealed by my new NAD CD player but this has now been returned due to a clicking sound on certain CDs, which has rather put me off this brand. I'm now running my Sony Blu-Ray player through a Musical Fidelity V-DAC II, and this sounds good enough to me for now. I'm deliberating whether to get a refund and a s/h CD player (Marantz 67SE, Rotel 965) or stick with the Blu-Ray/DAC.
 

nopiano

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Though I have never been a lover of Exposure amps, I would be looking at position in the room before anything else. Of the speakers, that is. With your orchestral bass playing - nice choices, btw! - move one speaker at a time, or if that is tricky, walk around the room. Bear in mind that standing up will mean reduced treble, due to it being directional. Or maybe get a partner to move them while you listen. Start by moving away from boundaries to see if the boom or resonance lowers. Obviously basses do resonate a bit, but there should not be undue emphasis of one pitch or note.
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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One of the things the Exposure 1010 definitely doesn't do is lay on the bass. If I had to characterise it in this respect I'd even say it was possibly ever-so-slightly on the lean side, and this is having tried it with quite a few different speakers including some Wharfedale Diamond 10.4 floorstanders that really do need gripping to avoid boom.

I agree with nopiano - experiment with speaker positioning. It is quite amazing how much difference it can make,
 

peterpiper

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Mar 20, 2014
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I too doubt its the amp, dominant bass sounds like a room/speaker placement issue,

AE floorstanders dont shy away from bass either ! ,but its usually of the tight variety my AE floorstanders sound tight and tuneful, 15 years running in though !!

alumininum cones do need to some time on them apparently, I had some MA BX floorstanders that did sound unruly at first but did settle down 'boom' wise after a month ot two but it never really went away completey,
 

Thropplenoggin

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Jan 6, 2014
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Thanks to everyone for your help.

This is the temporary set-up - that's a widescreen telly on a wooden plinth to the left of the left speaker.

I know it's all a bit messy and basic - cables not long enough to allow for wider separation as yet. The speakers are on spikes, one on a granite chopping board, the other on a bamboo one - a trial to see if this changes the bass issue: it hasn't.



Bigger picture here: http://postimg.org/image/z4xle7bbz/
 

peterpiper

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you say the orchestral detail is stunning, you obviously like the sound, could you not exvhange them for the 301 standmounts which I would assume will give similar sonic character but less extended low end ? but also without that 'boom'

just a thought
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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Looking at your picture, and knowing the 1010 amp and the general character of AE speakers, I'm very surprised you are having bass issues. Perhaps you could try moving the speakers further apart and further from the back wall once you have some longer cable, but I am slightly at a loss. Maybe, as Peter Piper suggests, the floorstanders are just too much for the room and you would be better off changing them for the 301 or even 101 standmounts, but I'm not sure.

I can't remember whether you said, but is your dealer nearby? It could be worth asking if they'd do a home visit to help you get the system working as you wish.

As I said previously I'd describe the overall character of the 1010 amp as slightly on the lean side, and heavy bass or thickness is the last quality I'd attribute to it. As I've said to others previously, it could be too lean for some...
 

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