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Athena Technologies S2
11 Reviews
rating  4.73 of 5
MSRP 
Description: a 2-way design that can be used as front speakers, or rear channel speakers in a surround system.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (11 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bruce Tai a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 15, 2002

Bottom Line:   
This is a reasonably priced speaker which serves all kinds of music well. It has the dynamics to handle Mahler’s symphonies, the details to portray a chamber concert, the tonal balance to distinguish a Guaneiri from a Strad, the ambience to bring listeners closer to performers, the muscularity to make be-bop loud and fun and the gentleness to prevent old mono recordings from sounding harsh. It is accurate but not cold or coarse around the edges. Of course it does not have the life-like, lush, warm, airy sound that could create you-are-there sensations. You need really deep pockets to own that kind of sound, and those who do, including some hi-fi reviewers, sometimes criticize well-designed budget speakers for lacking musicality, as if one needs all that money to enjoy the music. No way! Music is an abstract art and the ultimate musicality is in the heart, not the equipment. What is needed is a stereo system that does all kinds of music justice, so one can set out to explore all the wonderful music out there.
When a pair of S2 is docked on a pair of P2 active subwoofers, the result is true full-range sound from 25 to 20k Hz. I have never heard subwoofers integrating so well with mini-monitors, not even at hi-fi shows. Now I really enjoy organ music, not because of its plentiful low bass but its enchanting higher pitches. However, without sufficient bass, organ music (and jazz) can sound top-heavy and dull. Athena S2/P2 is not ultra-refined in any way, but its balance toward all music genres is a very rare quality in hi-end speakers regardless of price. Audiophiles care about whether their speakers sound magical with their best recordings, but music lovers care about how their speakers sound with all their recordings. I have auditioned other acclaimed products in this price range. Meadowlark Swift sounds more refined and airy but limited in bass and dynamics. The pair I auditioned also exhibits a strange resonance in upper mid-range which affects violin, piano and female vocal. Energy C-9 produces bigger and fuller sound but misses the deepest bass notes and the intimacy of individual instruments. S2/P2 artfully blends the clarity of mini-monitors and deep bass of active subs, and hence handles all music genres with conviction. It definitely deserves the year-end award for exceptional value from Soundstage.

System:
Sony DVP-NS900V SACD/DVD Player
Jolida JD301 Tube/MOSFET Integrated Amplifier
Tivoli Model Two Radio
Athena S2/P2 Spearkers

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $320.00

Purchased At:   GNP Audio



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Seasong46 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 27, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I purchased a pair of S2 speakers about two months ago. Placement is not a variable in my living room, there is only one spot to place them. It took a little while to brake them in and /or tweak them (or the room)with my equalizer.
These speakers are wonderful. The nuance of vocals, as well as instrumentation, is excellant. I have been listening to the Beatles since the beginning and I don't think I really ever heard Lennon or McCartney's voice with such presence and substance until listening with the S2s. I could go on and on with examples of how the S2s bring new life to very familiar music. They seem quite at home with rock, folk, jazz or classical. I have been listening to music through AKG studio monitor headphones for the last 10 years. It's great to have the room filled with detailed, warm, and robust music once again. I added a Velodyne sub to add a little more deep bass as the S2s are rated down to 50 Hz. The S2s alone, though, have plenty of bass for their size.
These really are great speakers given their performance, price, and appearance. I don't understand why they would stike someone as unattractive. Anyway, it's the sound that counts and the S2s sound great.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $375.00

Purchased At:   Hippos in Albany NY



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mr Gespenst a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: April 25, 2002

Bottom Line:   
These are good speakers. The imaging is very accurate. The overall sound is very clear; there are no missing sounds. The power handling is great. These speakers do go VERY loud without distortion or anomalies. Bass response is good. Treble and midrange are excellent. These speakers sound best through a direct amplifier (one that does not manipulate the treble or bass, they simply amplify the natural sound from the source). This is usually only the case with MUCH more expensive speakers.
There are a few drawbacks to these speakers and this product line. The faceplate looks ridiculous; it's uneven with the cabinet at the top. The fabric covers have WAY TOO MUCH plastic framing that does interfere with the sound (though it's very, very slight). The port is poorly designed and the insulation can occasionally be seen through them.
The main drawback is the whole speaker/subwoofer mating thing. Why did they do that? The metal bars on the bottom of the S2 are ugly and sonically impairing. Also, there is only one rear rubber support, creating some sort of screwed up unstable tripod thing which is totally ridiculous. I say to the manufacturers, "Just give the damn things normal stands!" From what I have read, the connecting rails on the "matching" subwoofers (P2s) are just as annoying. While it superficially appears that this feature allows for expandability, this is not true. What the hell was preventing us from buying 2 subwoofers before? Manufacturers have always timbre matched their speakers (or tried). The last and most annoying attribute of these speakers is the manufacturers label. It is attached to the bottom of the speaker and extrudes from the cabinet. So guess what happens to it! It breaks off. The little stupid things about these speakers can really piss a guy off. The cabinet finish is good, but man, these speakers are UGLY and cheap looking (in my opinion anyway).
The bottom line however is that these speakers sound good, REALLY good. So good in fact that all the little acoustic modifiers become very apparent with the S2s (room size, wall deflections, etc.). This is NOT because the speakers are bad, it is actually because they are so much better than other speakers. Most speakers do not produce enough clarity to have their overall sound adversely affected.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   Visions



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Scott Richardson a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 21, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Similar sound to their siblings, the S1's but a slightly fuller experience, with even better bass performance.

The sound of the S2's is very wam and sweet because of the drivers that have been used. They make music very natural and never harsh, your ears never tire of listening to them.

The bass extension on these is darn good considering, the modest size of the enclosure. I am using a Yamaha RXV2095 Receiver, and I do not need to crank the volume much to get these to play loud, as they are very efficient, at 93dB 1w1m.

All of my music now sounds clearer, and sweeter than it ever has, and they match perfectly to my rear speakers, the S1's by Athena.

These blend great with my subwoofer also, which is custom made. I have had issues with previous speakers getting the sub to blend in.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $755.00

Purchased At:   Sydney Hi Fi Miranda



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Chris a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 25, 2001

Bottom Line:   
Very happy with the purchase. The best part about the speakers are the looks. They are very attractive. Very easy to set up. Base is great, fully adustable for each tower and tons of hookup options.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   800.com




Reviews 1 - 5 (11 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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