Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment


Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

  • SoundStage! Shorts - KEF's New R Series for 2018 (September 2018)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Simaudio Moon 390 Digital/Analog Preamplifier and Streamer (September 2018)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - EISA 2018-2019 Awards Introduction (August 2018)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Simaudio's $118,888 Moon 888 Mono Amplifiers (June 2018)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - Totem's Tribe Tower (May 2018)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Amphion's Three Newest Argon Loudspeakers (April 2018)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - Making the Hegel Mohican CD Player (March 2018)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Estelon Lynx Wireless Intelligent Loudspeaker (March 2018)
  • SoundStage! InSight - McIntosh's Five New Solid-State Integrated Amplifiers (January 2018)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - Amphion's Krypton Loudspeaker (January 2018)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Anthem STR Preamplifier and Power Amplifier (December 2017)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - McIntosh Laboratory MA252 Integrated Amplifier (November 2017)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Hegel H90 and H190 Integrated Amplifiers (October 2017)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - How Hegel's SoundEngine Works (October 2017)
  • SoundStage! InSight  - Estelon History and YB and Extreme Loudspeakers (September 2017)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - What Makes Hegel Different? (August 2017)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - Estelon Extreme Legacy Edition Loudspeaker (July 2017)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Amphion Overview and Technologies (July 2017)
  • SoundStage! Insight - Totem Acoustic Signature One Loudspeaker (June 2017)
  • SoundStage! Encore - The Cowboy Junkies'
  • SoundStage! Shorts -- Anthem's STR Integrated Amplifier (May 2017)
  • SoundStage! Shorts -- Paradigm's Perforated Phase Alignment (PPA) Lenses (March 2017)
  • SoundStage! InSight -- Paradigm's Persona 9H Loudspeaker (March 2017)
  • SoundStage! InSight -- Contrasts: Dynaudio's Contour and Focus XD Speaker Lines (February 2017)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - New Technologies in MartinLogan's Masterpiece Series
  • SoundStage! Shorts - Dynaudio/Volkswagen Car Audio (December 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Gryphon Philosophy and the Kodo and Mojo S Speakers (January 2017)
  • SoundStage! Shorts -- What's a Tonmeister? (November 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - AxiomAir N3 Wireless Speaker System (December 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Bang & Olufsen BeoLab 90 (November 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - Gryphon Diablo 120 Integrated Amplifier (October 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Dynaudio History and Driver Technology (October 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - The Story How Gryphon Began (September 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Devialet History, ADH Technology, and Expert 1000 Pro (September 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - Devialet's Phantom Loudspeakers (August 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - McIntosh Home Theater and Streaming Audio (July 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - McIntosh MC275 Stereo Amplifier (June 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - McIntosh History and Autoformer Technology (June 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - NAD Viso HP50 Headphones (May 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - GoldenEar Technology's Anechoic Chamber (May 2016)

Hello GoodSound!,

Hope all is well with you and the rest of the GoodSound! team. I am enjoying the articles and your intense passion for affordable audio gear.

What do you think of Aperion Audio's Forte Tower compared to their bigger brother that Jeff Fritz reviewed last year, and any other similarly priced floorstanding loudspeaker? Also, are you as "enthusiastic" (from Hans Wetzel's article "Honesty in Reviewing") about this speaker as Mr. Fritz was about its bigger brother, or is there another speaker in that price range that excites you more?

My listening room is 10' x 12' with ten DIY acoustical panels that are each 4" thick. My system consists of the Vincent Audio SA-31 preamplifier, Odyssey Audio Khartago stereo amplifier, Emotiva ERC-1 CD-player, Vincent Audio PHO-8 phono preamplifier, Shunyata Research Diamondback power cables, and Transparent Audio MusicWave speaker cables with MusicLink interconnects.

Speakers are the Parts Express' MTM kit. I also have two subwoofers by Dayton Audio, powered by an O Audio subwoofer amplifier.

This is fun again when I don't think about the return shipping of trying out speakers for a few weeks! I tried a pair of Wharfdale EVO2-30s, but thought they sounded too recessed, and I had to pay $107 to return them. Ouch!

Thanks in advance for your help,
LaDedric T.

I'm glad that you're enjoying the site's content -- we take a lot of pride in our work.

I've only briefly heard Aperion's Grand Verus Tower, and their Intimus 5T, which I recently reviewed and now costs only $632/pr. -- a bargain! Based on what I heard and saw of the Grand Verus Tower, Jeff's review is probably still right on target. Given that you have a relatively small listening room, but also have a pair of subwoofers, I think you could be happy with either the Grand Verus or Forte towers. One thing to keep in mind is that the Grand Verus is noticeably the more substantial loudspeaker -- it weighs 67 pounds, as compared to the 30 pounds of the Forte. Combined with the dual 6" woofers found on the Grand Verus, you might find their flagship model having far more robust bass. If it were me, I would probably ditch the subwoofers and rely solely on a pair of Grand Veruses.

As for other speakers in that price range, you definitely have some options. I am currently listening to a pair of Definitive Technology's BP8020-ST speakers, which retail for $1200/pr. The BP8020-ST is a bipolar speaker with a built-in powered subwoofer. It delivers a broad, but very focused sound. I also have in for review GoldenEar Technologies' $2000/pr. Triton Three, which also makes use of a built-in powered sub, as well as an Air Motion Transformer tweeter. The GoldenEar is a more relaxed sounding speaker than the DefTech, and offers better bass extension. My most unorthodox, but probably most emphatic recommendation is KEF's $1500/pr. LS50 minimonitor. I recently heard them while covering the TAVES 2012 audio show, and they are terrific. They offer better clarity through the treble and midrange than anything I currently have in my listening room, and that includes my reference Mirage OMD-28s, speakers that once retailed for $7500/pr. Since you already have a pair of subwoofers, you'd have excellent, almost full-range sound for a reasonable sum. I don't like being over-the-top about any product, for fear of sounding like I'm pandering; however, the LS50 is that good. . . . Hans Wetzel