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Acarian Systems Alon I
9 Reviews
rating  4.44 of 5
MSRP  1795.00
Description: Acarian Systems Masterpiece of Value Sonic Ecstasy


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Reviews 1 - 5 (9 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by lazar a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: November 17, 2013

Bottom Line:   
100w min. high quality power amp, very good tube preamp, bi-wiring crucial or even bi-amping if possible and the results are very, very good with all kind's of music.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2000

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Byron4 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: November 30, 2011

Bottom Line:   
This is a very difficult review because these speakers have been in my main listening system for the past 18 years and I really enjoy listening to them regularly. In 1973 I bought a pair of ESS AMT-1 speakers which really impressed me at the time. A couple of years later the Dahlquist DQ-10 speakers came out and they were as good as anything I had ever heard. Talk about buyer's remorse the Dahlquist DQ-10's were not only a great speaker, they were the same price as my ESS speakers. I regretted never buying a pair. About 16 years later I was in a stereo shop and I heard a pair of speakers called the Acarian Alon 1's. I was so impressed I immediately bought a pair. Later I found out the reason I liked them so much was the designer Carl Marchisotto came from Dahlquist and this was a continuation of the Dahlquist open baffle speaker design.

The Acarian Alon 1's have some quirks that made it a difficult speaker to enjoy. First the original woofers were not very good and seemed to blow fairly easily. I read on the internet forums that other owners had the same problem. I went through two pairs of woofers in the first six years of ownership. Later a different pair of woofers from Acarian Systems were offered which I have used for the past 12 years with no problems. They also can be a very bright and forward sounding pair of speakers so they are not compatible with a large number of transistor amplifiers and pre-amplifiers. My Parasound amplifier was a very good match. I am currently using an inexpensive ASL Line One tube preamplifier and a pair of Quicksilver Mini-Mono 25 watt power amplifiers. Using the Quicksilver 4 ohm taps this is a great combination despite only 25 watts. A third problem is the lack of deep bass. I have heard them with a number of different setups and it does not have deep bass. I wonder about some of the reviewer's comments about these speakers having excessive bass because I used an SPL meter to show that it rolled off from 50hz down to 40hz. Bass is almost completely gone by 30hz. Finally these speakers required a very long break-in. If you buy them used this is not an issue.

Now for the good part. When properly set up with the right matching equipment they have a wide open natural sound that I can listen to for hours. The sound I get reminds me of the expensive systems I heard at the home theater shows. I can almost imagine the musicians right there in front of me. This setup allows me to listen and enjoy the music without trying to fix anything. The only thing missing is the deep bass which is a compromise I can now overlook. I think they are much better speakers than the current Nola (Carl's new company) offerings the Boxer ($1,500 plus stands) and the Contender ($3,400). They also cost $1,200.00 at the time as opposed to the current version of these speakers the Nola Viper 1a's $4,000 price.

These speakers show up used on Audiogon and are worth considering. My Magnepan MMG's gave me less problems and are extremely enjoyable even though they require a lot of power. The MMG's would cost new about the same as the Alon 1's would run used. The Magnepan 1.7 and the Vandersteen 2ce Signature are half the price of the Nola Viper 1a's if you want a current pair of new speakers. The older versions were the Alon 1's competition in 1993. Finally I have been living with these for 18 years and will probably keep them as my main speakers for a long time. The sound I get now would be close to 5 stars however because of the aforementioned problems I am giving it only 4 stars.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Scott S. a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 2, 2007

Bottom Line:   
I picked up a pair of these unusual speakers at a great price. After initially underpowering them, I paired them up with a more powerful amp (120Wx2). When compared to my JMLab Chorus 707's and Vienna Acoustics Haydn's, the Alon's fell clearly short in high-end response. Lower end was noticeably enjoyable, but the overall experience was lacking. I had hoped to keep them as conversation pieces, but I can't justify the investment. I was not impressed.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   online

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Joeranium a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: May 13, 2003

Bottom Line:   
For me it is simple. Can I close my eyes and feel that the band or the singer is there ? Can I feel the emotions that the music delivers.

I can live without a thundering bass, but I need airy and detailled mids and highs, it is my bread and butter.

I was looking for a pair of intermdeidary speakers while waiting for my Merlin VSM's to arrive when I bumped into these speakers, that I did not even know existed ! They were sitting in a corner, covered with dust, but when I heard them, it was love at first listen.

In fact, these intermdeiary speakers are going to stay alot longer than I planned and will be in my living room with my 300 and 845 tube SET, however, this baby needs power and it will get plenty of that with the Manley 250 watt Neo Classic monoblocks.

If you are on the market for a great speaker at a great price, give the Alon I Mk II a listen, you may keep it for a long long time....

Happy Listening and always enjoy the music...

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $950.00

Purchased At:   Singapore

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jim Burnes a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: July 19, 2001

Bottom Line:   
This is a review update. After living with the Alons for
several years, I'd like to point out some additional observations.

(1) The bass performance is, like everything else, dependent
on room placement. I just moved them to face the side of the room and got a lot more bass re-enforcement. Not too
much, but defintely a richer experience.

(2) Wow, the holography is marvelous. I still listen to new recordings and stuff comes from the sides and behind me. Better yet I can verify in soundtracks that the sounds are placed correctly in 3D space. This is not just an accoustic trick. Its so good its sometimes disconcerting.

(3) When listening to well-recorded movies I can actually detect different 3D soundfields. One soundfield belongs to the actual movie dialog and microphone placement and the background music is presented in a completely different 3D soundstage. Wonderful.

(4) Well recorded piano and vocal tracks are so wonderful that you will just want to lay back and listen all afternoon.

(5) Sometimes I find myself deperately wishing for the high-end sparkle of the Dunlavy SC-1, SM-1 series. I enjoy both
of these manufacturers. Dr. Dunlavy disagrees with the dipole radiator design, but I find it works very well.

I found mind used in Hawaii. Had them shipped to St. Louis. Will never regret that decision.

good luck,

jim burnes

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1996

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   Private Sale

Reviews 1 - 5 (9 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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