Acoustic Energy AE3 loudspeaker Review System

Sidebar 1: Review System

Equipment used during the preparation of this review included a Mark Levinson No.23.5 power amplifier, the French YBA 2 preamplifier or the Mod Squad Line Drive Deluxe passive control unit, the former feeding the power amplifier via 15' lengths of AudioQuest Lapis unbalanced interconnect, the latter via 1m lengths of AudioQuest Diamond.

Source components included a Linn Sondek/Lingo/Ekos/Troika setup sitting on an ArchiDee table to play LPs, an Aiwa portable DAT recorder and a Revox PR99 to play master tapes, and the VTL D/A processor driven by a Meridian 602 transport via Mod Squad Wonder Link. For a magic two weeks, I also had the use of the magnificent Mark Levinson No.30 D/A processor (RH is working on a review) driven via an AT&T-type glass-fiber optical link by a Wadia WT-3200 transport, which gave me about the most natural sound from CD I have yet experienced. As have others, I have found that the best sound from CD is to be obtained when no other crystal-clocked components—computers, other CD players and processors, etc.—are turned on.

My room measures approximately 19' by 16.5', with a 9' ceiling. The wall behind the speakers is faced with books and LPs, while further book- and CD shelves occupy the positions on the sidewalls where the first reflection from each speaker would occur. The room is carpeted and there are also patches of Sonex foam on the ceiling to damp the first reflections of the sound. The other wall has RPG Abffusors behind the listening seat to absorb and diffuse what would otherwise be early rear-wall reflections of the sound that might blur the stereo imaging precision. Tube Traps are used in the room corners to even out the room's bass resonances, the result being a relatively uniform reverberation time of around 0.2s from the upper bass to the mid treble, falling to 0.15s above 10kHz.—John Atkinson

Acoustic Energy North America Inc.
111 Lenox Street, Suite 106
Box 314, Norwood, MA 02062
(508) 695-8090