Acoustic Energy AE1 Floorstanding Speakers

4.81/5 (16 Reviews) MSRP : $4395.00


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Reviews 1 - 5 (16 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: July 31, 2006

Bottom Line:   
I have a small room. VERY small. It's incredibly awkward to fit in my hi fi and leave a good listening position so bought these. I did have Celestion A1s which were quite frankly too big. They were veiled and fantastically bassy but only good for dance/rock in my room. I sold them off and hunted for a bargain and bought some AE1 MKIIs for a STEAL. £300!! Admittedly without stands but I'm buying some enourmous industrial looking cones for the bottom of the speakers to perch on some sand filled atacama stands that are ok. Sound should be better after cones arrive.

I'm running them with a 100 watt (minimum needed as these are HARD to drive) MVL A2+ amp which is very high quality and was £1500 5 years ago. (I got it from ebay for £300, another bargain). I'm using studio speaker cable and solid silver gold plated interconnects (ebay again, these are great by the way!). My source is a highly modified Marantz CD 63SE that sounds more like a Naim CD5.

The sound is good. Much better than the Celestion A1s and my previous Mission Elegante speakers. However, they do not immediately grab you. You need to listen to them over a lond period and with lots of CDs, preferably at night. I am not getting 3D imaging at the moment but I think this is to do with 3 things, the speaker cable which is basically crap, the lack of good isolation on the stands and my room which only allows me to be 3m /14 feet from the speakers.

If I get 3D imaging then these will be perfect speakers. They do lack bass but I have an MJ Acoustics Reference I sub for that. (VERY similar to a Rel Storm. ) WIth this in place the sound is very well balanced and doesn't over-emphasise anything at all. The treble is perhaps the only weakness other than the bass. It is slightly cold but then this could be due to my CD player which has a slightly cold sound.

These speakers have fabulous resolving power and expose great detail in music. Voices are brilliant through these speakers too, very realistic and unveiled. The music is not relaxing through these speakers and there is a real immediacy and great energy to the music that is very engaging but in a way tiring. It's bizarre. Still, I'm going to keep them as it only becomes tiring after a good hour or so and I'm sure cables or other mods could remedy this.

They look great too, really cute. They are built to a very high standard and exude class. (Mine are rosewood). They respond hugely to system changes too and you can really hear cable changes through these for example so choose your system well and audition if you can, unlike me! They also need a meter or so from side walls and the back wall to sound their best but if you've all this then buy them!

Look on Ebay (UK)... £300!! Although they usually go for more - £450+. Still: Bargain.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1995

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   Ebay



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dave B a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: July 27, 2006

Bottom Line:   
AE1 MK-II
Sublime miniature that every audiophile should own at sometime.

Deservedly getting to be a legend

Buy carefully second hand

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $375.00

Purchased At:   UK private GBP



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by stéphane Macé a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 16, 2005

Bottom Line:   
The AE-1 speakers are well-known products, but I think that even the first model is worth listening in 2005 : I bought a pair of them 9 years ago (in London, where I found a discount retailer who sold them (pretty new, rosewood) at a very low cost (less than 600 $ whithout stands). I've recently upgraded my system, changing my old Rega Elicit for a Nagra PL-L preamp (a dream !) and a Pass Aleph 0.S amp (very smooth, delicate, large and deep soundstage if required on CD). The CD-player is a Mark Levinson ML 39. I must say the result is amazing : these AE-1 are very fast and "resolving". Their weaknesses (light brilliance in the upper frequencies, lack of bass) may easily be corrected by the choice of a smooth amp (I would recommand a valve-amp like Jadis DA-60) and additional bass (I use a Rel Stealth, another oldie !). Don't hesit choosing high-level products, like I did : In my room (5,50m X 5, 50m) the loudspeakers and the walls VANISH, and the sound is much better materialized than before (although the result was already quiet great using the Elicit). I fear (or I'm glad !) I have to buy MUCH MORE expensive loudspeaker models now (for a significative upgrade). If you have a little journey in GB, or find second-hand model at reasonnable cost, BUY IT ! (dont forget the STAE-1 stands, it's important)

(I apologize if I'm not clear, English is not my mother-language)

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1996



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

Date Reviewed: March 16, 2003

Bottom Line:   
The AE1s are quite simply the best small speaker ever made. They are also one of the best speakers ever made or any type. I bought a pair of Rosewood ones complete with the AE stands, and they very quickly blew me away.

The first thing you notice is that they are not impressive on first listen - certainly not in a 'hifi' kind of way, yet they were clearly very revealing.

Once aclimatized to their sound you realisze that what you are hearing is the rest of your system! The AE1s are so transparent and precise, any faults upstream will reveal themselves very clearly.

Synergy is not what the AE1s are all about - they are an absolute. A reference point. If they sound bad in your system, then it's your system that is bad somewhere, not the AE1s. They do have their faults, which to my ears at least are (obviously) a lack of deep bass, and a slight coarsness at the top. Previously I had been listneing to ribbon tweeters so that's expected.

However you quickly get used to that, and what you're left with is MUSIC of the highest order. They are fast, accuracte (pitch, timing everything) and utterly beguiling. Listen to them in-room or from another room and the music and detail comes through loud and clear.

I am utterly happy with my AE1s - every record I own sounds good through them (becuase I can at last hear the music on them), where as previously only a hand full of albums sounded like I hoped them to. Synergy can be a bad thing!

Don't buy AE1s unless you have a top-notch front end and an amp that can deliver plenty of current. they are also very VERY stand dependant, and I'd go as far to say only use the AE stands or somthing more substantial again - and fill the stands with lead and sand. Get them away from the walls and enjoy the music!

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   UK Dealer



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Uday Reddy a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: December 10, 2001

Bottom Line:   
This is a follow-up to my previous review. Recently I was auditioning the Aerial Acoustics SW-12 subwoofer to pair up with my AE-1 Signatures (a great subwooofer! I'm buying it next year!). The reason for this follow-up is that the system that was paired up with the SW-12 during the audition included the Revel Ultima Gems, plus $35K+ worth of electronics (Proceed CD/DVD player, Mark Levinson DAC and Pre-Amp and Accuphase monoblocks) which sounds like an unfair match-up compared to my Wadia 830 cd player and Jeff Rowland Concentra integrated feeding the AE-1 Sigs. However, there was little, if any difference! Whatever difference there may have been was probably attributable to the room and the acoustical treatments. The one recording used during the audition where I felt there may have been a difference was "Autumn Leaves" by Julian "Cannonball" Adderly. In this piece there seemed to have been more of a "spittle" sound in Miles Davis' solo. With all other recordings (jazz and rock n' roll), there seemed to be no difference at all. When I got home I played the same recordings at the same level and felt there was no difference. This tells me two things: 1. The AE-1 Sigs more than hold their own against Stereophile Class A-rated speakers and, 2. There are certainly diminishing returns with regard to sound quality with higher levels of spending. These speakers paired up with a good source and amplification will not disappoint!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $3995.00

Purchased At:   Sound By Singer, NYC




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