Aperion Verus Grand Bookshelf loudspeaker Measurements

Sidebar 3: Measurements

I examined the performance of the Aperion Verus Grand Bookshelf loudspeaker with DRA Labs' MLSSA system, using a calibrated DPA 4006 microphone to measure the speaker's frequency response in the farfield, and an Earthworks QTC-40 mike for the nearfield responses. The Verus Grand's voltage sensitivity is specified as 87dB; my estimate was close, at 86.3dB(B)/2.83V/m. The speaker's nominal impedance is 6 ohms, but other than the region between 120 and 400Hz, where it reaches a minimum of 4.15 ohms at 160Hz, the impedance magnitude remains above 6 ohms across the audioband. While there is a combination of 6 ohms and –40° electrical phase angle at 120Hz, a good, 8 ohm–rated amplifier or receiver should have no difficulty driving the Verus Grand.

The traces in fig.1 are free from the small discontinuities that would suggest the presence of cabinet resonances. However, investigating the vibrational behavior of the enclosure panels with a simple plastic-tape accelerometer did uncover a strong resonance at 516Hz on all surfaces, especially the sidewalls (fig.2), as well as a lower-level mode at 406Hz. It's possible that the 516Hz mode is too high in frequency and the 406Hz mode too low in level to affect the Aperion's sound quality.

Fig.1 Aperion Verus Grand Bookshelf, electrical impedance (solid) and phase (dashed) (2 ohms/vertical div.).

Fig.2 Aperion Verus Grand Bookshelf, cumulative spectral-decay plot calculated from output of accelerometer fastened to center of side panel (MLS driving voltage to speaker, 7.55V; measurement bandwidth, 2kHz).

The green trace in fig.3 is the tweeter's on-axis response, taken without the grille. The Verus Grand's tweeter appears to be set a couple of dB too high in level compared with the woofer (blue trace), which correlates with BJR's finding that the speaker's upper registers "sparkled," with percussive transients "appropriately fast." The crossover to the woofer is set low, at 1240Hz; the tweeter's relatively limited dynamic range below 2kHz might have led to BJR's finding the piano's upper register to seem a bit forward. Although the woofer appears to peak a little in the upper bass, this is entirely a function of the nearfield measurement technique. The port's output (red trace) peaks between 40 and 100Hz, with the corresponding minimum-motion notch in the woofer's output occurring at 59Hz, suggesting only moderate bass extension. The port's midrange output is commendably free from resonances.

Fig.3 Aperion Verus Grand Bookshelf, acoustic crossover on HF axis at 50", corrected for microphone response, with nearfield responses of woofer (blue trace) and port (red) respectively plotted below 350Hz and 600Hz.

The blue trace in fig.4 shows the farfield response of the Verus Grand Bookshelf without its perforated metal grille, averaged across a 30° horizontal window centered on the HF axis. BJR preferred the sound of the Verus with the grille in place; this is shown by the red trace in this graph. The treble response is indeed a little more even with the grille on. Again, the apparent rise in response in the upper bass is a measurement artifact. The speaker is maximally flat in the upper bass, with its output down 6dB at the port tuning frequency.

Fig.4 Aperion Verus Grand Bookshelf, anechoic response on HF axis at 50", averaged across 30° horizontal window and corrected for microphone response, with grille (red trace) and without grille (blue), with complex sum of woofer and port nearfield responses plotted below 300Hz.

The apparent presence-region flare in the horizontal-dispersion pattern (fig.5), indicated by the cursor position, is due in part to the small dip on axis between 2 and 4kHz filling in to the speaker's sides. But it might also add to the forward presentation of the piano's upper registers. Other than that, the horizontal radiation pattern is even, with the top octaves not falling off to the sides as much as with conventional 1" dome tweeters. In the vertical plane (fig.6), the Aperion maintains its balance over a wide angle.

Fig.5 Aperion Verus Grand Bookshelf, lateral response family at 50", normalized to response on HF axis, from back to front: differences in response 90–5° off axis, reference response, differences in response 5–90° off axis.

Fig.6 Aperion Verus Grand Bookshelf, vertical response family at 50", normalized to response on HF axis, from back to front: differences in response 45–5° above axis, reference response, differences in response 5–45° below axis.

The Verus Grand Bookshelf's step response on the tweeter axis (fig.7) reveals that both drive-units are connected with positive acoustic polarity. I initially thought that because the decay of the tweeter's step doesn't quite blend with the start of the woofer's step, the optimal listening axis is just below the tweeter axis. However, the discontinuity is actually present in the tweeter's output when the latter is examined on its own; perhaps it is a reflection of the small plate that supports what appears to be a secondary suspension at the center of the dome. The cumulative spectral-decay plot (fig.8) is clean, and free from delayed resonance energy.

Fig.7 Aperion Verus Grand Bookshelf, step response on HF axis at 50" (5ms time window, 30kHz bandwidth).

Fig.8 Aperion Verus Grand Bookshelf, cumulative spectral-decay plot on HF axis at 50" (0.15ms risetime).

Aperion's Verus Grand Bookshelf offers superb measured performance; though that slightly elevated tweeter level adds air and sparkle, it needs to be taken into account when matching the speaker with the other components in a system.—John Atkinson

Aperion Audio
18151 SW Boones Ferry Road
Portland, OR 97224
(888) 880-8992

rjbat's picture

I'm wondering how you like this speaker compared to the NHT Classic Three? I will probably try both the Three and Verus Grand bookshelf in my living room. Measurement-wise, I haven't been able to find a better measuring speaker under $1K than the Threes.

marty48's picture

I own a pair of Aperion 6B speakers which I like very much.  I was advised that I should use them for a while before making any judgements about the sound.  I think there is some validity to this suggestion as the low bass did improve after maybe 30 or 40 hours of general use.  Did the author do this or did the this occur naturally as the review was in progress?  Well written review.

Robert J Reina's picture

Regarding your comments on my review:

1) I did not compare the Aperion directly to the NHT but like the NHT Classic 3 very much. However,  I did compare both the Aperion and the NHT to the Epos M5i so if you reread both reviews you may be able to extrapolate a comparison by using my comments on the Epos as a benchmark;

2) Not everyone believes in break-in, but I feel that most high quality components improve with break in. Every pair of speakers I review in stereophile has been subjected to at least 50 hours of break in.  In the past, I've found that with many speaker models low bass and high level dynamic range can improve with break-in.

3) Mike Creek occasionally discontinues speakers when he has new ideas. My understanding is that Creek's goal with the Elan series was to create a line of speakers that are easier to drive and have less costly cabinetry than the M series.  I plan to review a speaker in the Elan range at some point in the future. That being said, I stand by my love for the M5i speaker and it still holds up to currently available speakers.  It should be a great buy today in the used speaker market.

Hope these comments help.  Sorry it took a while to respond to these. Have been traveling quite a bit recently and a more of a "glossy paper" guy than a "web" guy.