ACI Customer Reviews

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Mike Dzurko

Re: ACI Customer Reviews
« Reply #40 on: 6 Jun 2007, 04:01 pm »
Just wanted to report on my setup of ACI Force subs.
Got them BEHIND me in the corners, which turned out to provide the flattest response.
All I did was connect my processor's sub output to one and loop it through to the other (using RIGHT inputs), set the level halfway and I never had to twiddle any knobs since.
Amazingly, the bass level synced beautifully with the speakers (Linn Kisto processor set to 80Hz, all speakers SMALL), in  all modes: SACD, CD Stereo+Sub and movies!
I never felt the need of changing the bass level.
The bass is now quite tuneful and never annoying (I'm not an explosion addict).
I love it!
And believe me, I have been experimenting endless with my previous single sub (REL Strata V)...
I have placed my surround speakers (Linn Akurate 212) on a solid block of wood, same size, and this sits on the sub, leaving ample bare cherry wood for anyone to admire, at the same time providing the correct height for the surround speakers.
Well done ACI and thanks for your personal response to my queries and subsequent order! :D
Barend (Holland)

Barend:

Thanks for writing! I knew you'd enjoy your pair of Force XL :)

Mudslide

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 444
Re: ACI Customer Reviews
« Reply #41 on: 9 Jun 2007, 07:53 pm »
I have auditioned (way too) many speakers over the last couple of years looking for that "just right" set.  That includes a couple of different ACI models.  Hopefully I'm not letting the cat out of the bag here, because I have another thread on A/C looking to buy older ACI's...but I acquired a pair of 18 year old ACI LX's that are as elegantly, revealingly musical as any speaker I've listened to, Aerials, Sonus Fabers, Martin-Logans, B&W's, included.

This particular pair was not well kept.  The finish was gouged and abused.  But after hearing their perfect performance, I realized they deserved better.  I outfitted them with new duds (red oak veneer and grill cloth)...and voila, I get a "WHAT ARE THOSE?!!" smile from listeners.  The LX's I believe were sold in both kit form and as finished speakers, and are amongst ACI's earlier efforts.  The tweeter is a Vifa and the woofer is an 8" custom design.  I haven't taken any meters to them, but I'd guess from experienced comparisons that the FR is in the region of 50-20,000 Hz.  From my previous tests of ACI speakers, I'd also surmise that the response is nearly ruler flat across the range.

I use them as my office system, where I play 95% of my music.  They are driven by an Emotiva BPA-1 integrated amp and a highly modified JVC XL-Z1050.  All cables are Audioquest (not that I believe cables make much, if any difference...I don't).  The LX's are VERY revealing and are, as Mike D. might tell you, "just right"!  Modern, well engineered recordings bring the artists to life in my little corner of the world.  I've listened to literally hundreds of speakers, and these are the "rightest" of all 2-way transducers I've ever heard.  I'm by no means an audiophile with a large budget and exotic gear.  So I admit to limited experience...especially home listening room performances.  But to me, these two little guys will never have to worry about abuse again.  I'm keeping them until my ears fall off.

When I play some smooth acoustical music, such as Sevenmoore, which blends acoustic and electric guitars with melodic strings, fast/deep rhythm from the bass and drums, elegance from keyboards or piano...I drift off to where the artist wants to take me.  For rock, the LX's are as dynamic as I can stand.  Voicing is tremendous with both male and female timbre being spot on.  And imaging....oh my....voices and instruments seem to float upon the air, pinpointed and nowhere near the speakers.  Because of the narrow nature of my room, there is no opportunity for the LX's to stretch their legs...so I can't comment on imaging outside the speaker placement.  But with what is allowed by my setup, the soundstage is both deep and detailed.  Orchestral numbers are almost TOO big for such small speakers.

Just for fun, I briefly A/B'ed these for music and cinema with my mains in my home theater setup.  While they didn't match the dynamics of my huge, exceedingly efficient mains setup, I felt they over-performed for their size and output potential. 

I guess I just want to thank Mike Dzurko for putting out good equipment for a LONG time.  Good job, Mike.  One of these days, I'll be able to afford a nice Force XL to give me the last octave not covered by these wonderful ACI LX's.
 :thumb:

Mike Dzurko

Re: ACI Customer Reviews
« Reply #42 on: 11 Jun 2007, 11:50 pm »
I have auditioned (way too) many speakers over the last couple of years looking for that "just right" set.  That includes a couple of different ACI models.  Hopefully I'm not letting the cat out of the bag here, because I have another thread on A/C looking to buy older ACI's...but I acquired a pair of 18 year old ACI LX's that are as elegantly, revealingly musical as any speaker I've listened to, Aerials, Sonus Fabers, Martin-Logans, B&W's, included.

This particular pair was not well kept.  The finish was gouged and abused.  But after hearing their perfect performance, I realized they deserved better.  I outfitted them with new duds (red oak veneer and grill cloth)...and voila, I get a "WHAT ARE THOSE?!!" smile from listeners.  The LX's I believe were sold in both kit form and as finished speakers, and are amongst ACI's earlier efforts.  The tweeter is a Vifa and the woofer is an 8" custom design.  I haven't taken any meters to them, but I'd guess from experienced comparisons that the FR is in the region of 50-20,000 Hz.  From my previous tests of ACI speakers, I'd also surmise that the response is nearly ruler flat across the range.

I use them as my office system, where I play 95% of my music.  They are driven by an Emotiva BPA-1 integrated amp and a highly modified JVC XL-Z1050.  All cables are Audioquest (not that I believe cables make much, if any difference...I don't).  The LX's are VERY revealing and are, as Mike D. might tell you, "just right"!  Modern, well engineered recordings bring the artists to life in my little corner of the world.  I've listened to literally hundreds of speakers, and these are the "rightest" of all 2-way transducers I've ever heard.  I'm by no means an audiophile with a large budget and exotic gear.  So I admit to limited experience...especially home listening room performances.  But to me, these two little guys will never have to worry about abuse again.  I'm keeping them until my ears fall off.

When I play some smooth acoustical music, such as Sevenmoore, which blends acoustic and electric guitars with melodic strings, fast/deep rhythm from the bass and drums, elegance from keyboards or piano...I drift off to where the artist wants to take me.  For rock, the LX's are as dynamic as I can stand.  Voicing is tremendous with both male and female timbre being spot on.  And imaging....oh my....voices and instruments seem to float upon the air, pinpointed and nowhere near the speakers.  Because of the narrow nature of my room, there is no opportunity for the LX's to stretch their legs...so I can't comment on imaging outside the speaker placement.  But with what is allowed by my setup, the soundstage is both deep and detailed.  Orchestral numbers are almost TOO big for such small speakers.

Just for fun, I briefly A/B'ed these for music and cinema with my mains in my home theater setup.  While they didn't match the dynamics of my huge, exceedingly efficient mains setup, I felt they over-performed for their size and output potential. 

I guess I just want to thank Mike Dzurko for putting out good equipment for a LONG time.  Good job, Mike.  One of these days, I'll be able to afford a nice Force XL to give me the last octave not covered by these wonderful ACI LX's.
 :thumb:

Heck of a writeup! The LX was and still is a fine speaker . . .  and yes, we have been at this a LONG time  :D  And still learning and having fun . . .  we're just getting started!

Mike Dzurko

Re: ACI Customer Reviews
« Reply #43 on: 24 Jan 2008, 03:51 pm »
To make it easier to find additional customer review threads I will be listing links here: 

Another Force XL customer review thread:
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=49532.0

Another Sapphire XL customer review thread:
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=49255.0

Another Sapphire XL and Force XL customer review thread:
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=48949.0

Another Emerald XL customer review thread:
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=45436.0

Panorama with Stereo Maestros review thread:
 http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=31863.0

Another Emerald XL and Force XL customer review thread
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=41553.0

Another Sapphire XL customer review thread:
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=43399.0

griller

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 178
Re: ACI Customer Reviews
« Reply #44 on: 8 Apr 2008, 01:51 pm »
Here's a link to my thread on the Sapphire XLs

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=50063.0


Superb speakers!

Eric

Re: ACI Customer Reviews
« Reply #45 on: 9 Apr 2008, 06:11 pm »
Great review

jonbee

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 766
Re: ACI Customer Reviews
« Reply #46 on: 29 May 2008, 08:07 pm »
I've not posted on the ACI forum before, but I wanted to pass this along.
I've posted a review of Force XL Subs on AA:

http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/speakers/messages/26/268579.html

Great job Mike! They truly deliver the musical goods, and are certainly the best sounding subs at anywhere near the price.
« Last Edit: 29 May 2008, 08:20 pm by jonbee »

Mike Dzurko

Re: ACI Customer Reviews
« Reply #47 on: 30 May 2008, 03:15 pm »
I've not posted on the ACI forum before, but I wanted to pass this along.
I've posted a review of Force XL Subs on AA:

http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/speakers/messages/26/268579.html

Great job Mike! They truly deliver the musical goods, and are certainly the best sounding subs at anywhere near the price.

Jonbee:

Well written!  Thanks for doing this. Be sure to enter a short quote here when you get a chance:

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=54874.0


stereocilia

Re: ACI Customer Reviews
« Reply #48 on: 12 Nov 2008, 04:26 am »
The Sapphire XLs, for me, have been a learning exercise in using the right tool for the job.  Basically, my Legacy Focus 20/20s are just over the line for being too big for my room.  Were it not for a support beam right in the middle of the room and if my ceilings were just a little taller, the story might be different.
   The Sapphire XLs allow me to set the listening area at about a 25 degree diagonal with plenty of space around the speakers, and plenty of walking space in the room while keeping the support post behind the plane of the front baffles.   Previously, this setup put me way too close for all the sounds from the individual the drivers to integrate.  Alternately, I could have placed the speakers very near the wall and into the corner – not ideal for many reasons, either.  With the much smaller Sapphire XLs, no problem.
   Lately, I really like The Great Lake Swimmers albums.  There is a sense of space and warmth which is much more evident in my system now then I’ve ever heard.  There is some reverb, but instead of smearing the sound it adds to the grand sense of spaciousness in the recording, and none of the detail is lost.
   Some reviews seem to point to the Sapphilre Xls as being relatively laid-back, perhaps lacking the high-frequency sizzle of a more neutral speaker.  If that’s true, then I think most other speakers are just too forward sounding, because these sound *exactly* right to me on that scale.   I remember listening to “Placemat Blues” by Slobberbone in my Grado SR80 headphones.  This song has splashy cymbals all over the place, but I noticed that in the headphones it didn’t dominate the whole thing.  In just about every other speaker I’ve ever heard, the cymbals seem to be way too prominent.  Well, the Sapphires presented more like the headphones, with the added benefit of better spacial separation, detail, and energy.
   What other reviews have been correct about is the naturalness with which sibilants and strings are rendered.  Sibilants don’t sound so much like spray cans, nor do they sound like they’ve been through a studio de-‘s’-er.  (The Donald Fagan Kamakiriad album seems to me like the sibilants have been surgically reduced on every system I’ve heard it.  I really like this recording, actually.)  In R.E.M.s Talk About the Passion, I think the string instruments vary greatly in how clear, fast, and rich they sound from system to system.  They sound real enough to give me goose bumps with the Sapphire XLs.  Speaking of R.E.M., I just recently noticed the drumsticks clicking at the beginning of Find the River.
   On some recordings, like Modern Guilt by Beck, at loud levels, I do worry about the crazy-long excursion of the little woofer.  I have never heard it distort at levels I personally consider as loud as I would ever like to listen.  I have never tried to push the speakers to my UCL (uncomfortable loudness) limit; there’s just no good reason to do that.  They play plenty loud.
   They also go deep enough to be satisfying.  I could see how a subwoofer would be beneficial, but I’m certainly not in a big hurry to get one.  I have a sub in my car which I finally have dialed-in, so I have a fairly good handle on the subwoofer setup basics.
   Overall, I’m thrilled with the addition of the Sapphire Xls in my system.  My wife agrees.  I left out some of the standard review fare: fit and finish, buying experience, trying different equipment, how they sounded as they broke in, which kind of wine to drink when listening to them....
   It’s getting late so I’ll leave it here.  Oh, one more thing, kind thanks, Mike and everyone at ACI, for getting this speaker so completely right.
« Last Edit: 14 Nov 2008, 01:36 pm by stereocilia »

Mike Dzurko

Re: ACI Customer Reviews
« Reply #49 on: 12 Nov 2008, 05:41 pm »
Stereocilia:

I know when you were listening at the show you were really loving them. But, then one always wonders "are they going to do it for me at home".  I knew they would  :D  and now that you've had some time it is cool to hear that you are really enjoying them. You made a couple really good points I want to talk about a bit, but gotta run right now. Will drop back in when I have a few moments.

Thanks Much!

sts9fan

Re: ACI Customer Reviews
« Reply #50 on: 14 Nov 2008, 01:46 pm »
In the short time I listened to the XL's in Stereocolia's room I was floored.  They sounded fantastics.  I was shocked he was going from mammoth 5 way beasts to small monitors but I think my number one comment was: "good move!"

I can't wait to give them a longer listen. 

stereocilia

Re: ACI Customer Reviews
« Reply #51 on: 14 Nov 2008, 04:48 pm »
In the short time I listened to the XL's in Stereocolia's room I was floored.  They sounded fantastics.  I was shocked he was going from mammoth 5 way beasts to small monitors but I think my number one comment was: "good move!"

I can't wait to give them a longer listen. 

Thanks   :thumb:  I should mention that since you came by the stands are now filled with sand for even better sound.  Half-way through the sand-filling procedure I played a little music and the un-filled channel was a fraction louder which makes me think it was ringing.  With the sand, the bass energizes the room a little better now, and the imaging is slightly better.

In my review, I forgot to mention how consistently good the sound is even at very low volumes, which is useful when the little tike is in the in-bed-but-not-yet-asleep zone.

griller

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 178
Re: ACI Customer Reviews
« Reply #52 on: 18 Nov 2008, 08:41 pm »
Funny you mention the improvement made when filling the stands. I noticed pretty significant improvements myself when I filled my Sanus stands.