Acarian Aln Petite loudspeaker & PW-1 woofer system Review context

Sidebar 2: Review context

The speakers were reviewed in my relatively small living room: 17" by 10" by 8" high in the primary dimensions, although it's part of an "open plan" living room/dining room/kitchen layout. I placed them along the long wall, which means I listened more or less near-field. They benefited greatly from rigid, nonresonant stands—I used a pair of Cliff Stone's 24" Foundation stands, which are filled with aggregate and were spiked through the carpet to the concrete subfloor. Although the Petites are quite efficient and can be driven by modestly powered amplifiers, I used the Pass Aleph 0 monoblocks for their wonderful transparency and unwavering image stability. The preamp used was LAMM's Model L1. At the front end were Theta's Data Basic II/DS Pre Basic III and the Well Tempered Reference/SHO/Gold Aero dB45 combos.

All of the components were plugged into two API Power Wedge 112s. Interconnect was Kimber KCAG, speaker cable was Alón Black Orpheus—an extremely interesting design that has little bulk, even in bi- and tri-wired runs. The speakers were thoroughly run-in before audition with burn-in tones, my Rykodisc A Day on Cape Cod: Babbling Brook, and abundant quantities of music. Only one pair of speakers was in the listening room during the auditions.—Wes Phillips