Speaker upgrade from Acoustic Energy AE109


New member
Aug 10, 2019

I'm thnking of changing (upgrading hopefully) my 109's to £500 floorstanders

The109s were great speakers in their day and still are, its just that in my new room they sound bit dull at low volumes and I have to turn the wick up a fair bit in my new room to get them shifting.

Also, they need to be to least 2 feet off the back wall and its not the biggest of rooms I have (5 x 4).

Bass can sound boomy and a bit indistinct in my room, and I've never managed to get the kind of pinpoint soundstaging I've heard in a hifi shop. I'd like far beter soundstaging and more "realism" from my new speakers, more involvement.

I've shortlisted Rega R3's and JmLab Chorus 714s with the Regas ticking all the right boxes so far.

* Are these in fact much of an upgrade?
* I know the Rega's can be used close to the back wall, can the Focals?

I have the Cambridge Audio 640 A/C combo and will be replacing the CDP with a Squeezebox played through my Beresfod DAC.

* Does the Cambridge Amp play nice with the Regas?

Speaker cable wise, I'm using Paul Speltz Anti-Cables which I found opened up the dark boomy sound of the 109s a lot. I have Van Damme 4mm stuff lying around as well, so it will be interesting to see which is best for the new speakers.

Lots of questions, thanks!


New member
Jul 28, 2007
Firstly Rega R3 or JM Labs will not be a major upgrade imo. They might be some improvement but not a major one.

Beresford DAC is very good considering it cost just over £100...Would it be a big upgrade? Again I am not too sure. It will certainly sound more HiFi with bigger soundstage and good low level re-production. I can't answer other questions because I don't know!


New member
Sep 6, 2007
IMO i feel that the Rega R3's would be a sideways step as well.

Have you considered the B&W 685's or possibly 2nd hand B&W floorstanding speakers.

I'd suggest the M/A RS6's as well but from past demop's i've found the C/A sound to be too clinical and IMO it doesnt match well with M/A speakers.

Ive had the AE109's and they were superb speakers at the time (they still are as my dad has them in his dining room with an Arcam Alpha 10 integrated amp and Rega Planet CDP and they still kick out hell of a sound!)


Well-known member
Aug 17, 2007
I loved my 109s but my cat put small hole in the foam surround that holds the cone so i gave them to my dad - changed to the award winning mission in the 73 series can't rem which model number - then on to RS6s and now RS8s


Thanks for all the replies.

After experimenting with all the suggestions given, (room placement etc) I've hit the sweet spot with these speakers in my room.

Guess, what?

The bass bloom is totally gone, replaced by a very clear, very
projected dynamic sound. The OPPOSITE of how they sounded set up the
way they were.

Sounds like a different system.

I'm keeping the 109s.

Why? I didn't know they could sound so bloody good.

All the stuff I thought was missing is now all there - in spades. I
never gave Room Treatment stuff a second thought - its made all the
difference in my system in my room.

Heres what I did, and I'd recommend ALL of these steps to someone with the same problems I was having.

1. Put them back on 1" granite slabs

(Reduced bass boom through the floor I guess?)

2. Biwired them

(Anticables and Van damme seperate runs for the + and - (NOT Bass and
treble bizzarly - tried that and this way sounded MUCH better - two
seperate A and B speaker sockets on my amp feeding speakers - is this a
kind of poor mans biamping? I dunno. Just sounds better.)

3. Moved my sofa 4 inches (yes FOUR inches) off the back wall

(The muddyness seemed to be gone. Is this a case of Reduced room reflections of bass messing up the imaging?)

4. Moved speakers closer to back wall.

(No more boom through the floor, so no need to have them so far out.
Moving them closer "locked" the sound better, and imaging is now wide
of the speakers, front to back and has real height.

With these slight changes, my sytem has completely lost is boominess and dull charactaristics.

Theres a physicality now to what I'm hearing. Everything has real weight and sounds far more realistic.

Music is so more "direct" sounding now - the point of the song, the
inflections in way the guy plays a sax, the aggression in piano
notes....its all there. I've never heard this stuff before in my
system. Never.

And I never spent a penny.

Now I know my upcoming squeezebox is gonna sound at its best and I dont need to fix problems elsewhere.

Thanks very much guys for all your advice.