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Acoustic Energy AE1 active

Discussion in 'audio' started by Piksky, Mar 30, 2021.

  1. Piksky

    Piksky pfm Member

    Has anyone tried a pair of these?

    If so, how’d you get on? There are lots of glowing reviews online but very little forum mention from actual real life owners.

    I like the idea of a hifi tuned active monitor. I also like the lack of additional nonsense like the ls50w packs in: literally drivers and amps in a little box.

    What I like in speakers: soundstage, clarity and authenticity. I have a sub for bass duties.

    I’m tempted to try to arrange a home demo of a pair of these but would be keen to canvass any real world experience of them first if anyone has any?
     
  2. RoA

    RoA Well-Known Member

    I heard them some time ago in an unfamiliar environment. They look nice and sounded good.

    I did notice they ran them quite loud and it made them sound somewhat bright. - Good price.

    I eventually settled on Kef Actives.
     
  3. Phil Bishop

    Phil Bishop pfm Member

    If my AVI ADM9RS's ever give up the ghost I'll be looking at these :)
     
  4. Ed Rogerson

    Ed Rogerson Culturally irrelevant

    I really liked the passive AE1 back in the day and tried the active version at a dealer a couple of years ago. I really wanted to like the AE1s (a mix of nostalgia and a piano-black finish) but they sounded quite flat and thin compared to the KEF actives. The dealer flatly refused to consider a home demo (so I chose neither) but it's the only way to go if it's an available option.
     
  5. Paulq2

    Paulq2 pfm Member

    I have 2 sets of AE1 actives - they are incredible for the money and I haven't found anything that even gets close to them at their price point.
     
  6. Bluedroog

    Bluedroog pfm Member

    AE109’s were a speaker I absolutely loved when I first got in to hifi as a young teen. They just sounded so tight and fast in the bass, if a little crude on the top end.

    I’m an active speaker man these days and would love to hear the AE1 actives. Curious to your thoughts should you get the demo.
     
  7. Zagreus

    Zagreus Active Member

    I heard these at the Bristol show in 2017 and ordered a piano black pair with matching stands. I had to wait for delivery from China and received them in early May of that year. They are still in use today with a DacMagic Plus connected to the balanced inputs. They are used most days, sometimes for 8 or 9 hours and so far have been completely reliable.

    They can go very loud without sounding strained or harsh and are very transparent whilst stopping and starting with great speed. I listen to a wide range of music and I have found they can accommodate all that I enjoy. They are located around 750mm from the back wall and are in one end of a large room.

    I don't listen to a great deal of classical except some small scale ensembles but they handle orchestras reasonably well. Most of the music I have comes from the last 50 years but I am partial to some jazz from the fifties particularly Chet Baker.

    I recommend you seek them out and give them a listen.
     
    PhilofCas likes this.
  8. Curtis

    Curtis pfm Member

    Clean, slightly clinical.
     
    RoA likes this.
  9. Darren

    Darren All Business

    Guess you wont be shopping there again then? Did he give a reason?
     
  10. Piksky

    Piksky pfm Member

    Thank you very much all - I really appreciate it.

    Time to organise that home demo then as it sounds like that's the only way I'll know for sure.

    Thanks very much for taking the time to share your experiences.
     
    Ed Rogerson likes this.
  11. Ed Rogerson

    Ed Rogerson Culturally irrelevant

    Something along the lines of he’d then have to lose money on them as an ex-demo pair, which seemed odd as that’s what they were! I didn’t think it was worth spoiling the day further with an argument so left it at that.
     
    Darren likes this.
  12. PhilofCas

    PhilofCas pfm Member

    These have piqued my interest recently too, they do sound a great solution for reduced box count, mmmm, shall I sell my Spendor’s, Quad amp etc to make way for these.....
     
    Phil Bishop likes this.
  13. Piksky

    Piksky pfm Member

    Well, the loan pair are here. The shop didn’t have a demo pair available so I’ve got fresh out the boxes units.

    Time to get running in. Straight out the box not so great, but with just 30mins running time already they’ve smoothed out quite nicely. Let’s see...
     
    Ed Rogerson and PhilofCas like this.
  14. PhilofCas

    PhilofCas pfm Member

    Very interested to hear how you get on with them, what’s your source(s) please?
     
  15. Piksky

    Piksky pfm Member

    Just cd playing through a Myryad MDP500. I’m running a 2.1 system and have spent some time this evening integrating the sub with the speakers. I think I’m just about there.

    Not a lot of engagement going on thus far. The music is playing but I’m certainly not feeling like I’m being sucked in. Still, early days. I think I’ll leave them running for a couple of days and then come back for more listening.
     
    PhilofCas likes this.
  16. Phil Bishop

    Phil Bishop pfm Member

    I'll be very interested to hear how you get on too as if my current system gives up the AE actives are on the hit list, together with a streamer like the Bluesound Node 2i.
     
  17. Piksky

    Piksky pfm Member

    Well, running in is taking it’s sweet time. I’ve left an iPod playing on random 24/7 as I’ve only got these for 7 days.

    Not a lot of body to the sound last night. This morning not much better. This afternoon things are fleshing out better. Hopefully by tomorrow they’ll be on song.
     
  18. PhilofCas

    PhilofCas pfm Member

    Phil Bishop likes this.
  19. Phil Bishop

    Phil Bishop pfm Member

    Thanks, yes I had noticed a few deals a while back. Good to know they are still out there. I have run AVI actives for around 10 years ago and currently stream Tidal direct to them from a MacBook, when not playing vinyl. Sounds great. However, AVI are no more so when my current actives give up there will be no way of getting them repaired. Hence the interest in the AE actives.
     
    PhilofCas likes this.
  20. adamadamant

    adamadamant Member

    I run AE1s teamed with a Node 2i (streamer only) and a Chord Mojo as a DAC and I'm very happy with the overall sound. I tried using the Node 2i alone in DAC mode as well as in tandem with an Audiolab MDac I had spare, but overall I preferred the Mojo in the mix as it optimised the excellent detail the AE1s are capable of, while at the same time softening a tendency they have towards a slightly clinical and unforgiving presentation with some music.
     
    Phil Bishop and PhilofCas like this.

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