Post Your Spirit-1 Impressions Here

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Aether Audio

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Post Your Spirit-1 Impressions Here
« on: 22 Jun 2010, 02:57 pm »
Guys,

Please post your impressions of the Spirit-1s in this thread.  Thanks!  :thumb:

The first reports from the tour are located here:

http://www.audionervosa.com/index.php?topic=2325.msg24751;topicseen#msg24751

Take care,  :D
-Bob

lonewolfny42

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Re: Post Your Spirit-1 Impressions Here
« Reply #1 on: 4 Jul 2010, 05:53 pm »
Bob....

I had the opportunity to hear the Spirit 1 speakers yesterday at Evan's home...nice work !!  :beer:

They looked good....and "sounded" even better. I hope others partake in this audition tour...their well worth hearing. :wink:

Good luck with the tour.... :thumb:

                             Chris

ted_b

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Re: Post Your Spirit-1 Impressions Here
« Reply #2 on: 5 Jul 2010, 03:32 pm »
Bob....

I had the opportunity to hear the Spirit 1 speakers yesterday at Evan's home...nice work !!  :beer:

They looked good....and "sounded" even better. I hope others partake in this audition tour...their well worth hearing. :wink:

Good luck with the tour.... :thumb:

                             Chris

Chris,
Can you expand on ""sounded even better"?  What did you like about them?

lonewolfny42

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Re: Post Your Spirit-1 Impressions Here
« Reply #3 on: 7 Jul 2010, 05:37 am »
Ted...

Quote
Chris, Can you expand on ""sounded even better"?  What did you like about them?

Had my Mini's at Evan's to compare with the Spirit 1's.....both had a very similar sound, but I thought the new Spirit bass went a little lower than the Mini's.

I don't want to "spoil" Evan's review...so I'll stop now and wait for his comments. :thumb:


sfox7076

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Re: Post Your Spirit-1 Impressions Here
« Reply #4 on: 7 Jul 2010, 05:50 pm »
I've had them for a few days, but was ill for one of them, so I have not finished an initial impression write-up yet. The bass is amazing though.

Shawn

BobRex

Re: Post Your Spirit-1 Impressions Here
« Reply #5 on: 7 Jul 2010, 06:46 pm »
Ted...

Had my Mini's at Evan's to compare with the Spirit 1's.....both had a very similar sound, but I thought the new Spirit bass went a little lower than the Mini's.

I don't want to "spoil" Evan's review...so I'll stop now and wait for his comments. :thumb:



I'm staring at the picture thinking what's wrong, what's wrong?  Then it hits me!  Where's the beer bottle?

lonewolfny42

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Re: Post Your Spirit-1 Impressions Here
« Reply #6 on: 10 Jul 2010, 04:16 am »
BobRex ...
Quote
Where's the beer bottle?

Left it on the outside patio...it was empty... :(  :lol:



Ted....
Evan has posted his audition comments here....Link...

ted_b

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Re: Post Your Spirit-1 Impressions Here
« Reply #7 on: 10 Jul 2010, 02:27 pm »
It would be nice to Bob, etc. if he'd post here (at least copy-n-paste).   

Cacophonix

Re: Post Your Spirit-1 Impressions Here
« Reply #8 on: 10 Jul 2010, 03:07 pm »
Yeh ... i dunno why people are posting their impressions on that site when the tour idea seemed to originate here. Atleast cut n paste here as well ...

ooheadsoo

Re: Post Your Spirit-1 Impressions Here
« Reply #9 on: 10 Jul 2010, 06:27 pm »
Quote from: evan1
Hi guys

I just received from Aether Audio their new Spirit 1 speakers and  just want to give a quick impression compared to my Songtowers. I will give a more detailed review later this week.These speakers  can go low, like Bob had posted on AC.They totally disappear in my room. I also like the way snare drums and cymbals sound on these but compared to the Songtowers they are missing something in the Vocal  area. The vocals  seem to be faint ??  I know these are only a 2 way speaker so some may say that is the reason and the Songtowers do excel in the midrange dept. Piano is like WOW. I guess  you could call it the attack and decay ? I am listening to Kenny Drew "Impressions ". I will throw more music at them later. I will also say that they are power hungry . I am using an Odyssey Candela preamp and a Butler TDB 2250 amplifier and my normal listening level for my volume knob is about 9-10:00 and these I have it about 12:00 or a little higher. These things are very heavy around 45lbs each. The cabinet seems to be well built and solid. I think the color is a dark cherry.
So far I am pretty impressed with what this speaker can do for its size. Now if I can only get that bass from my Songtowers.
More listening impressions to follow after I am done with the house chores since my wife fractured her leg last week Duh!

Quote from: evan1
First one to demo them for his tour. I'm actually getting adjusted to the sound. Listening to Sara K. Very good imaging. Must resist.

Quote from: evan1
I've been listening all day and I have to say I am enjoying these speakers immensely. They are very tranquil . They reproduce music very well even at low volumes.I guess my earlier observation of differnt volume settings were a mistake ? I can't believe that these go so low ,I feel like I am rediscovering music again in a different way.

Quote from: evan1
Just a final summary of everything I have heard from the Spirit 1

Well the time has come. I have not listened to my stereo all week and when I turned it on I was heartbroken. I knew something was missing. The Spirit 1's. Then I remembered Lonewolfe lent me his TP Mini's ,so I hooked them up and VIOLA . The sound that was missing. Almost, except for the bass.The Spirit1 goes much lower. The Spirit 1's were gone and this was the only way to experience them again. The Spirit 1's have a very natural "you are there" sound to me. I keep emphasizing the bass only because they go low and bring out the lower registers in my music and add such a great deal of dimension. The imaging is superb, the best I have heard in my room yet. Cymbals are so real sounding that I get chills up and down my spine. I can raise the volume and the music is clear and precise and no distortion,effortless. Every instrument is separated from each other superbly. I never thought I would be so GA GA over a monitor , but I am. And you know what is going to happen now ?

Thanks to Bob Smith of Aether Audio for the demo and for making one of his designs easier on the wallet. And only because of no custom cabinet. Otherwise I think these would cost more than the Mini's.

Here is a list of associated equipment

Odyssey Candela
Butler TDB-2250
marantz SA15S1
Salk Songtowers

ted_b

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Re: Post Your Spirit-1 Impressions Here
« Reply #10 on: 10 Jul 2010, 06:33 pm »
Thanks, but he has his impressions across several posts.  Hopefully he lives here too.

ooheadsoo

Re: Post Your Spirit-1 Impressions Here
« Reply #11 on: 10 Jul 2010, 06:47 pm »
He explains on the other forum that JohnR banned him from AC.

JohnR

Re: Post Your Spirit-1 Impressions Here
« Reply #12 on: 11 Jul 2010, 02:21 am »
Actually, he's not banned, I just haven't gotten around to removing his IP blocks yet.

evan1

Re: Post Your Spirit-1 Impressions Here
« Reply #13 on: 11 Jul 2010, 12:37 pm »
Thanks John

Guys I posted my reviews on AN because it would not be fair to Bob if I couldn't give my impressions of his fine speakers

evan1

Re: Post Your Spirit-1 Impressions Here
« Reply #14 on: 20 Jul 2010, 11:34 pm »
Anyone else listening to these speakers yet ?

Aether Audio

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Re: Post Your Spirit-1 Impressions Here
« Reply #15 on: 2 Aug 2010, 07:16 pm »
Guys,

sfox7076, just finished his audition, but we have yet to hear from him.  They're on their way to a studio in TX right now and will be moving on until everyone that's interested has completed their evaluation.

In the mean time, one pair has sold, so that leaves 4 pair left at he discounted $1,500.00 price.  As a side note, this first customer opted to have them upgraded to the Spirit-1 "SE" version, which you will find further information about here on another thread.


Take care, :D
-Bob

Charles Xavier

Re: Post Your Spirit-1 Impressions Here
« Reply #16 on: 15 Aug 2010, 11:14 pm »
 I was just reading the posts on these and it seems it might be what I'm looking for, but no one seems to be posting impressions ? I thougt this was a tour ? Need to upgrade from my Baby Advents.

lonewolfny42

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Re: Post Your Spirit-1 Impressions Here
« Reply #17 on: 16 Aug 2010, 12:47 am »
I was just reading the posts on these and it seems it might be what I'm looking for, but no one seems to be posting impressions ? I thougt this was a tour ? Need to upgrade from my Baby Advents.
Evan1 did post his impressions...on another site...here's what he said...

Quote
So far I am pretty impressed with what this speaker can do for its size. Now if I can only get that bass from my Songtowers.

Quote
I've been listening all day and I have to say I am enjoying these speakers immensely. They are very tranquil . They reproduce music very well even at low volumes.I guess my earlier observation of differnt volume settings were a mistake ? I can't believe that these go so low ,I feel like I am rediscovering music again in a different way.

Quote
I'm listening to Bill Frisell "East meets West". I swear I am in the audience. on the first track "I heard it through the gravevine " the soundstage is so huge. The guitars sound like there coming over the halls sound system with a little reverb from up above with the drums dead center in the back behind the speakers. Wow. These speakers have such a realistic presentation.

Quote
I never thought I would like a monitor. In my mind I always felt that they couldn't sound like much

Quote
I have then spaced about 8 ft apart with a slight toe in. and about 10 ft away from me. And yes these guys love power.

Quote
Just a final summary of everything I have heard from the Spirit 1

Well the time has come. I have not listened to my stereo all week and when I turned it on I was heartbroken. I knew something was missing. The Spirit 1's. Then I remembered Lonewolfe lent me his TP Mini's ,so I hooked them up and VIOLA . The sound that was missing. Almost, except for the bass.The Spirit1 goes much lower. The Spirit 1's were gone and this was the only way to experience them again. The Spirit 1's have a very natural "you are there" sound to me. I keep emphasizing the bass only because they go low and bring out the lower registers in my music and add such a great deal of dimension. The imaging is superb, the best I have heard in my room yet. Cymbals are so real sounding that I get chills up and down my spine. I can raise the volume and the music is clear and precise and no distortion,effortless. Every instrument is separated from each other superbly. I never thought I would be so GA GA over a monitor , but I am. And you know what is going to happen now ?

Thanks to Bob Smith of Aether Audio for the demo and for making one of his designs easier on the wallet. And only because of no custom cabinet. Otherwise I think these would cost more than the Mini's.

Here is a list of associated equipment

Odyssey Candela
Butler TDB-2250
marantz SA15S1
Salk Songtowers



sfox7076 has not posted anything.... :scratch:

sfox7076

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Re: Post Your Spirit-1 Impressions Here
« Reply #18 on: 25 Aug 2010, 12:27 pm »
Will post in the next day or two.  Sorry, illness and work got me behind. 

sfox7076

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Re: Post Your Spirit-1 Impressions Here
« Reply #19 on: 25 Aug 2010, 08:08 pm »
Part 1 (and I am a lawyer, so I take tons of notes):
My write up has taken a lot longer than I initially planned.  I had tons of work, an illness, an unrelated medical issue, and tons of work.  However, now I am ready to write my review.  Let me start off with a little executive summary regarding these speakers.  They are worth the price asked or more.  They do sound great.  The bass that comes from them is amazing.  You will literally be looking for the subwoofer hidden in the corner when listening to these.  No, there is no sub, just an amazing amount of bass coming from these speakers.  I will likely not be buying them because 1) they are too big for the use I need them for in my office, 2) they are not as good in the mid-range and the high-end as my SongTower RTs, so I won't replace my current speakers in my living room, and 3) the cabinets are a bit big box retail store looking for my taste.  I note that I am a wood snob.  My wife and I only own solid wood furniture.  Anyway, time for the review:

Rooms

Two of them here.  One is the main living room.  It’s about 20’wide (speakers on this wall) x 15’long x 11’high.  However, the room is open on to the kitchen/dining area, making the room closer to 40’ by 15’ by 11’.  It’s a lot of space to cover.  The main listening position is 10’ from the front wall with the speakers 8-10’ apart.  The other room is the office.  It’s about 10’ by 9’ by 11’ ceilings.  Speakers on the 10’ wall.  No other openings to deal with.

Initial Non-listening Impressions:

The packaging was bigger than anticipated (but I later learned why), with the boxes weighing in at 43 pounds each.  The boxes were cat-5 cable boxes, but upon opening them, I found some form of pressed wood and 2” of Styrofoam to protect the speakers.  This was clearly not going to let damage occur to the speakers during shipment. 

Pulling the first speaker from the box, the weight of the speaker was in line with what I had anticipated by the box weight.  These speakers are substantial, but you do not need a forklift to get them out of the box.  The size of the speakers was bigger than I had imagined.  I forgot to measure the cabinets, but they are 18”h x 10”w x 16”d, with a curvature in from the front baffle to the back of the cabinet.  They are not as big as floor standards, but they are the largest bookshelves I have ever taken possession of. 

The cabinets themselves were built very sturdy.  They are sturdy and do not appear to have any construction issues.  I believe that these are the cabinets sold by Parts-Express.  They were veneered in a light cherry like finish that was made to look like it had aged 4-5 years from the time it was cut (as many know, cherry starts out light and ages to a reddish color over time).  I would not call the veneer real wood (though it may be).  It just looked like the cherry veneer you would find on a Polk speaker bought in Circuit City in 2004.  It just wasn’t a high class look for a $2000 speaker.  Now some people don’t care about the look of the veneer and would rather sink the money into the other components of the speaker, and that is fine, but my wife has to give the purchase a stamp of approval, and I have a thing for real wood, so these speakers don’t quite measure up in that category.  Off the bat, my wife hated them, while I wanted to hear them (in my office) before determining whether I could live with the veneer. 

Finally, the grills looked fine, but did not stay affixed to the speakers.  The grills each contained magnets which were supposed to hold fixed to the front baffle of the speaker by the heads of the screws used to hold the baffle on.  These screws had been torqued down below the surface of the baffle, so the grills didn’t stay on.  Most people I know don’t like grills on their speakers when they listen, so this may not be an issue for some.  My wife requires the grills to be on.  I am sure the production versions of these speakers will have the grills hold tight.

In sum, on the non-listening aspects of these speakers, I was a little underwhelmed.  They were bigger than I thought they would be, and they looked like they had come from a big box retailer because of the cabinets used.


Listening Impressions:

I set the speakers up on makeshift speaker stands because I wanted to listen to them in the environment that I normally listen to them (i.e., my living room).  This connects them to:

Anthem D2v2 w/ARC room correction;
Audio by Van Alstine Ultra 550 (hybrid tube amp)
Arcam CD72
Apple Airport Express
Oppo
Tivo Series 3

I do not use room correction when listening to music, so I did not have to adjust the ARC, I just turned on the system.  I started my listening session by playing a live version of “Tripping Billies” by Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds on the Live at Luther College CD.  This recording is all acoustic.  The CD is two guitars and Dave Matthews’ voice.  The first thing that struck me was that these speakers were less efficient than my other speakers, so I had to turn the pre-amp higher than I normally would.  So with the level adjusted, I started to listen to the music.  The first thing that struck me was how deep the speakers went.  I actually went to make sure that the subwoofer I use for HT was off and that the Anthem was set to not route to the sub.  It wasn’t.  These things go as low as almost any speaker I have ever heard and much lower than any bookshelf I have ever heard.  I didn’t expect them to go so low.  I didn’t do in room measurements at the time, but I am sure it was below 40Hz.  When I ran ARC later (just for fun), it showed in room response down to at least 35HZ.  I was in awe at the bass.  However, the mid range and the high end were not as defined and clear as the sound I am used to with the ribbon tweeter STs.  I would not call these muddy by any means.  They are still very good, but not as accurate as my other speakers.  This may partially be because of their being one less woofer on the mids and the tweeter used not being as accurate as a ribbon, but that was my impression.  Regardless, I was really impressed at the sound coming from these bookshelves.  I kept marveling at how I heard notes below 40hz that I would not hear listening to other speakers.  These speakers do not need a subwoofer.  Yes, they go that deep.  My wife asked me why the “guitar and vocals” had been sucked out of the room. 

About that time, I realized that maybe I needed to tweak their setup.  I toed in the speakers a bit less than I had and started the song again.  It resolved some of the mid range detail better, but the high end remained more or less the same.

I moved on to my next song.  I like to listen to songs that are not recorded well when hearing new speakers.  Most great recordings produce great results on almost any speaker.  However, a bad recording cannot hide flaws unless the speakers hide them for it.  This is a double edged sword as a speaker that hides certain flaws well often misses the details you want on good recordings.  This results in a speaker that is not fatiguing, but doesn’t give you the detail you want (in my experience anyway).  This is a weird way of listening to speakers, but that is what I do.  Anyway, I popped in Coroner’s Gambit by the Mountain Goats and dialed up Insurance Fraud #2.  It’s kind of an odd song, but it displays a lot for a lo-fi song, and these speakers did not disappoint.  They accurately portrayed the songs flaws, but were not fatiguing.  It’s hard to explain, but it has the mix that I want in a speaker--detailed and not fatiguing.  I actually liked the Mountain Goats on this set of speakers better than on my current set because I thought they conveyed the feel of the lo-fi sound better and in a way that would let me listen to it for hours without missing the detail of the songs.