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Acoustic Energy AE1 active

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

  1. Piksky

    Piksky pfm Member

    Quick update for the afternoon: well, the bass has certainly arrived. I’m running them full range whilst running them in, and after a quick check in on them I had to double check that the sub was still disengaged. Things are certainly looking up!
    PhilofCas likes this.
  2. Piksky

    Piksky pfm Member

    Well, I took them back today. Not because I didn't like them, but because they just didn't fit with me.

    They are superb. The upper mids and treble are just seamless and opened up the intricacies in recordings I've listened to for over a decade like nothing else. They also integrated with my sub better than any other speaker I've run in 2.1 (and there have been MANY) and even better I fine tuned the integration in about 20 mins, not the hours it usually takes. They can go loud if required. Sound staging is spot on too: could be a bit wider but depth is amazing and I could place instruments easily. There is very clearly something of the monitor about them. Finally, and most happily of all, I found albums that I've not been able to listen to for years because they've been recorded quite badly (i.e. cheaply) came through with a cohesion that made them simply the biggest joy to listen to.

    So why return them? Two reasons.

    Firstly, I listen to a lot of 'big' music. While I was perfectly aware of the laws of physics and the size of the boxes when I loaned them, I have had exceptional results with other smaller standmounts (especially dynaudio!) in the past so thought these would do fine, particularly because they're active. They didn't. It's not that the sound wasn't all there: it was. It's just that when there was a brooding atmosphere required they couldn't build it big enough, and when required to go BAM they only managed about 80% of the desired effect. Honestly, if the boxes were just a few cm bigger in height and width, and the main driver just an extra inch or so across, these would have it all. However as they are, they're just that little too polite for me.

    Secondly, I was never once fooled into believing I was listening to the bands live in my room in front of me. These speakers do an otherworldly exceptional job of delivering what is on the recording, but it's just that: a recording. These are hifi in its strictest sense. I was very aware that each cd was a superbly reproduced recording, and while for some people that's exactly what they want for me it isn't. I prefer to be fooled. However, I could have easily forgiven them this if they were able to produce just that little bit extra presence (see point one above). Regrettably, this was a two punch handicap that for me meant the search continues.

    But please don't mis-interpret what I've written here: this is strictly my ears in my room with my cds and my preferences. These speakers are gobsmackingly good and streets ahead of most other amp/speaker combos I've heard. They will reveal the most congested mixes bright as day, with the most gorgeously open and sweet midband. Even without the sub they go surprisingly low, but given how easily they integrate you may as well get one and go full range. And my word it is a full range sound.

    I won't lie: despite the fact they're back I will be cogitating for a fair while longer whether I can live without the presence of larger standmounts and the 'you're there' magic found elsewhere, because the ability to play all my favourites and have the most amazing musical experience every time is addictive.
    Fatmarley, PhilofCas and Phil Bishop like this.
  3. Phil Bishop

    Phil Bishop pfm Member

    Thanks for taking the time to write up such a detailed report.

    I use AVI actives and will continue to do so until they pack up. The problem is, when they develop a fault they probably won't be repairable as AVI are no more. The AE actives are thus on my watch list for that eventuality.
  4. Piksky

    Piksky pfm Member

    No worries at all. I hope you enjoy them if/when the dreaded day arrives...!
    Phil Bishop likes this.
  5. PhilofCas

    PhilofCas pfm Member

    Thanks too, great insight, cheers.
    Phil Bishop likes this.
  6. RoA

    RoA Well-Known Member

    They are likely under powered too. A hundred or so Watts more per speaker would probably not go amiss.

    Still, for a thousand pounds they seem good value. I did not try them at home.

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