ACOUSTAT 1 plus 1 Floorstanding Speakers

1 plus 1

User Reviews (15)

Showing 1-10 of 15  
MrAcoustat   AudioPhile [Jan 09, 2011]

I have owned Acoustat's speakers for more than 25 years Spectra 22s - Spectra 33s - 2+2s - and finaly my favorite 3 pairs of 1+1s dollar for dollar there is'nt a better speaker out there i am including a couple of pictures you may choose the one you want mor the model number the fact that you have none available. MrAcoustat

mracoustat@videotron.ca

[IMG]http://i814.photobucket.com/albums/zz61/MrAcoustat/Andr08.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i814.photobucket.com/albums/zz61/MrAcoustat/Andr22.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i814.photobucket.com/albums/zz61/MrAcoustat/Andr15.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i814.photobucket.com/albums/zz61/MrAcoustat/Andr23.jpg[/IMG]

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
atigus1953   Audio Enthusiast [May 12, 2005]
Strength:

Excellent image, nice and tight bass, maybe not the lowest.. non-fatigue factor.

Weakness:

Getting the right room and amp.

Found these at a yard sale. Asking 500.00 but got them for 200.00. This is my 4th pair. Only reason I have sold others in the past was because of low ceiling height. These speakers seem to do most things very well. Running them with a 100 watt hybrid int-amp. In my room they image nice. Bass is nice and tight, and as other owners say, no listener fatigue. I am not sure, but this pair that I have now dont seem to have that 1 sweet spot where if you move your head approx a foot or so either way, you lose that side. (beaming) I think they call it? Anyway, I removed the grill cloth (cat attacked) and also used a hair-dryer (carefully) to tighten up the membranes. Cheap upgrades. Opened up the sound considerbly. Will try spikes to see if there are any improvements.

Similar Products Used: Acoustat 2+2, Acoustat 3, 1, 4, Quad esl-63, Yamaha NS1000M (for sale), Martin Logan CLS2z, Sequel,
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Anthony Pierre   Audiophile [Mar 12, 2000]
Strength:

Everything electrostatics are known for

Weakness:

Critical placement and extreme bottom end

I bought these speakers new in the mid 80's. They have the Medallion modification. When I was looking to replace my DCM TimeWindows/AudioPro combo, I was intrigued by these speakers. Their size and appearance caught my attention in addition to a few reviews that I had read. I liked and listened to Maggies, but did not like how they sounded on large classical works (my main listening). They were limited in their dynamic range and bottom end response. The Martin Logan CLS was good, but again, limited dynamics. I auditioned the 1+1's and compared them to their larger sibling, the 2+2's, Pro Ac's and Duntechs. I thought that the 1's sounded better. They were faster, and didn't sound as heavy as the 2's (strange considering that the 2's were really two 1+1's put together). They had the imaging of the Pro Ac's (deep soundstage, correct image height), but feel short of the Duntech Sovereign's which excelled in every audio aspect. But then, they were three times the price and would have required a moving company to deliver and help me set up. After extensive listening, I bought the 1+1's. Setting them up out of the box was easy (you have to attache the transformers, base and speaker together). Getting them "right" in my room took a little time. They need space (the more the better) behind and on the sides of these speakers. They just don't work well close to or against a wall. When they were "right" they presented a wide AND deep soundstage with plenty of image height!! You could actually visualize the placement of instruments/singers or whatever in a good recording. They have the dynamic range that almost satisfied my large scale classical works (here, dynamics win hands down). They were fast in transients, and reproduced the audio spectrum seamlessly (something about full range speakers). You can hear the brushes as they move across cymbals. The pads on saxophones opening and closing as they are being played. All the little details that are recorded in the music (and they have to be there in the first place in order to hear them) are present. These speakers will also allow you to hear the differences between cables and other equipment. They are that revealing. They are amp hungry. Powered them for a long time with a Carver 1.5t and then Counterpoint SA220.
I haven't heard any speaker that has made me regret my purchase. And there is nothing in the price range that I can afford (under $3k) that would make me replace them. Inspite of their size, they disappear when music is playing. I love them!

Associated equipment: Counterpoint SA3 preamp, SA2 headamp, SA220 poweramp, VPI/Koetsu analog, Marantz DVD/CD player, and assorted MIT, Monster, Distech, Esoteric cables and interconnects.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Michael D   Audiophile [Mar 05, 2001]
Strength:

imaging, midrange, presentation

Weakness:

low end, not the last word in dynamic

Bought these in 1986, sold them in 1994 to upgrade other equipment - big mistake, as I have been searching for a speaker as good as these since. They are the best I have ever owned, and the technology is 20 years old!
They are rolled off on the very low end and can use a good sub to complete an astounding full range system. They are also rolled off on the very extreme high end (thankfully, when compared to metal dome tweeters - sssss) which to my ears makes for a much better sound. I found them quite easy to drive with 50 watts and up.
They soundstage beautifully, especially if you have a big room and can get them off the wall. Meticulous set up is both fun and key.
These are a gem. If you can find a quality pair for around $500+, do not hesitate to buy them. High end nirvana.
By the way, change the fuses ever year or two, it can dramatically improve these.

Similar Products Used: Dynaudio 1.3, 1.8, magnepan, apogee, martin logan
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Craig Davies   Audiophile [Sep 14, 2000]
Strength:

Most everything!

Weakness:

The last octave.

These are one of the best speakers period. The fact that they are no longer made is a crime. They love tubes and need power to bloom. They are as revealing as any speaker made. If the music they are making does not sound right, it's something else in your system. These speakers let you hear the differences in the mics used in the recording. These are a musicians speaker (a professional musician turned me onto them). They are the exact inverse of a microphone, point source, no crossovers, almost no moving mass, dipolar. I think that a nation wide pettion to draft Jim Strickland back into making these is in order! I will NEVER sell mine. I often like to read while listening to music. The 1+1's will always make me put my book down and like a tractor beam, they pull me into the music. I lose track of time and find that the music becomes a transcendental experience. If you desire this kind of experience, find a pair ASAP.

Similar Products Used: Quads 63's and 57's
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
mark g   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 02, 2001]
Strength:

highly accurate

Weakness:

needs a huge room, and an amp with lots of current.

if you can get a set, do so. they are great. i had given up being an audiophile until i got these speakers as a gift.

the previous owner thought one Acoustat speaker was blown. it turns out that both worked on my system from the start. it was his inadequate amp that blew a channel, trying to provide enough power. i've been wary, but i've had no problems powering them with a consumer crap solid-state amp with meters that run to 250 wpc (a no-model-number Radio Shack close-out orphaned from a console cabinet setup). my neighbors have complained, but not the Acoustats or the amplifier.

i read that Acoustat was bought by Halfler which was bought by Rockford Fosgate, who was able to provide me with an Acoustat user manual photocopy in January 1998. an Acoustat manual PDF i found online is at ftp://soundmark.net/pdf/AcoustatManual.pdf.

these speakers sound terrific. i've owned EPI 100, Boston Accoustics (100?), Klipsch KG2 before the Acoustats. i also design and build speakers, upgrading my commercial setup each time one of my designs exceeds my current commercial loudspeakers. i gave up hope to exceed the Acoustats.

the frequency response is the flattest i've ever heard. there is no cabinet resonance or other peak or dip that i notice. i record live music regularly, and with the Acoustats for the first time i can hear only the accoustics of the venue and my microphones, but not the frequency response characterstics of my loudspeakers. note that i have the Acoustat subwoofer, which i inderstand did not accompany with the earlier 1+1 models.

once in the dorms i walked down the hall to discover what kind of stereo loudspeaker was producing the dynamics and bass kick of a live drum kit. it was a real drum kit. duh. take that, switch it around. my Acoustats are the first speaker to produce realistic enough dynamics to fool someone outside the room into thinking i have a piano or guitar player in my apartment.

one of the weirdest things i recall from the first days is that the vertical image is always at ear level with these 8' tall panels. when one is close to most speakers, the cone/dome tweeter essentially determines the point source location of any sound coming from that cabinet. ribbon tweeters are better, but they are linear and provide an off-axis position that can be determined even by untrained ears. with planar speakers like Acoustat 1+1 electrostatics, when i sit or stand or move between, the lead vocalist's mouth, as well as every instrument, is always at the same height as my ear. the effect is lost 9-12 feet from the tower, but this starts out very strange and presently becomes delightful.

they need space. the sweet spot is over 10 feet from the speakers. my couch is only 4 feet from them, which is not enough room for using them as mains for a video setup. with one Acoustat at 4 feet and one at 6 feet, the sudio does NOT sound like it's coming from the video screen in between. i have used a Carver Sonic Holigraphy unit and a Pioneer spring reverb to make the close range sound appear to come from the video screen instead of the too-close speaker.

my preferred listening chair is behind the couch and credenza, about 13 feet from each speaker. o my gosh. i will never give these away. you don't know what you're missing.

i dropped out of the audiophile scene sixteen years before i listened to Acoustat 1+1 electroststic speakers. they are so awesome, i'm upgrading the rest of my system to the same level.

Similar Products Used: home designed ribbon tweeters
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Drew   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 27, 2001]
Strength:

Amazing clarity and soundstage, overpowering appearance.

Weakness:

Overpowering appearance, bottom octave kick.

About 15 years ago, I remember auditioning a pair of these at The Stereo Shoppe in Boise, Idaho. They were the best sounding speaker that I'd ever heard, but as a starving college student, I didn't have the $1800 to drop on a pair.

A couple of years ago, I stumbled across a used pair at the very same store and snapped them up for $400.00. These have the $300 Medallion transformer upgrade as well.

This particular set was made in 1987 or 1988. They still sound fabulous. They produce a sort of "presence" and finely detailed soundstage that I have very rarely heard before.

They aren't as prone to the weak bass that most electrostatic speakers are because they are physically very large, so they can move a fair amount of air. But they do miss out on the lowest octave, I think, but for my music listening, I don't notice that.

I find that vocals, piano, guitar and the like sound just wonderful on these speakers.

The drawbacks? They are absolutely unforgiving of poor placement. The "sweet spot" is very, very small, and if you aren't in it, the speakers definitely do not sound right. Also, like most electrostatics, they require a large amount of power to play loud. I initially powered these speakers with a Denon PMA-520, 70 watt per chanel integrated amp, but I could hear the amp clipping at moderately lound volumes. Fortunately, a friend of mine was upgrading some older equipment and I bought his Carver TFM-15CB. The extra dynamic power and relatively high current made a big difference.

The size of these speakers is both impressive and a drawback. They do take quite a bit of room space in order to sound their best and the "wife acceptance factor" is very low, at least in this household.

I'd say that these speakers are somewhat of a risk since the company is long out of business, but there is a thriving community of enthusiasts that modify, repair and upgrade their Acoustats, so maybe the risk is not so high.

For the money I paid compared to the performance I get, I simply can't find anything to match them. And I'll never give them up.

Similar Products Used: Quad 63
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Christer Ohrnell   Audiophile [Dec 01, 2001]
Strength:

Upper bass,mids and lower highs. I use 2 pairs connected in parallell which makes a tough load on the amp, an Audio Research 100 transistor amp.

Weakness:

Demanding load. Difficult to set upp for proper imaging. Kind of plastic coloration in lower mid.

Stunning with brass-band music. Anyone out there with a suggestion how to modify them?

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Ed Park   Audiophile [Jan 07, 2002]
Strength:

Transparency, imaging, immediacy, clarity, speed, balance, 'musical'-ness.

Weakness:

None of any significance.

I have the 1+1S (with subwoofer) that I bought new in their first year of production (always thought I got them in '83, but have recently learned they weren't made until 1984). I am still using them, 17 years later.

I have always bi-amped them with Audio Research electronics as follows:

EC-21 crossover
D-60 (solid state) dedicated to the subwoofer
D-90 (tubes) dedicated to the panels

and they sound so good that I've never tried them any other way. I suspect bi-amping reveals these speakers' full capabilities, some of which are compromised using a single amplifier setup (even more so than other speakers).

I also use the Beveridge pre-amp when it's working.

You can listen all day without fatigue. I've never felt that urge to move "up" to something "better" in a speaker, or that there was more to hear in my recordings, though perhaps this reflects limits to my "audiophileness" as much as it speaks for the speakers.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jessica   an Audio Enthusiast [Jul 20, 1998]

I recently bought these speakers used for $500 and they are truely amazing. These are full-range electrostatic panel speakers (no cones). They are just under 8 feet tall and around 11" wide. They are comprised of two electrostatic panels, one panel wide with one stacked one atop the other (Acoustat also made a 2+2 and 3+3 around this vintage which were respectfully 2 panels wide, and 3 panels wide). New these speakers apparently sold for $1800 in the early to mid eighties. I should also mention that Acoustat is no longer in business.
I've been listening mainly to Stax electrostatic headphones since 1985 mainly because I haven't been able to find a speaker that I liked, that sounded as good as the Stax, and which I could afford. I happened across these at a local dealer that also sells Martin-Logans, and I finally decided to give them a listen (after listening to the Logans and really liking them). Wow, here was a speaker that was really fast, clean, and open. I mostly listen to Pop/Jazz and I love the female voice (Kate Bush, Sara McLachlan, KD Lang, Melissa Etheridge, Loreena McKennitt), acoustic guitar, harp, and percussion. In otherwords I love midrange clarity, good high frequency extension, and fast transient attacks, and these electrostatics (plus all the other electrostatics I've heard) excel at these things. When properly set up in a room (which is difficult) they portray a soundstage that was on par with the Martin-Logans. On Philip Glass's 'Akhnaten' (Act I Scene 3), there is a GlockenSpeil that is so well defined in space that you can hear each pipe in it's own spatial location as it is struck. Also Sting's 'The Soul Cages' track 6 has two acoustic guitars layered on top of each other yet each is very well defined both lateraly and front to back. Plus you can hear great detail in each guitar (especailly when I upgraded my speaker cables to Goertz MI 1).

On the down side these speakers don't have very deep bass extension (maybe 40HZ, the Martin-Logan arieus's seemed to go just a tad lower), but the bass that is there is extremely well defined with lots of texture, and definately not boomy which I hate. Also the sweet-spot is very small. Moving even a few inches side to side will cause the 3D nature of the image to collapse, although there is little effect on tonal balance (something I did hear with some of the Magneplanars; move off center and there was a noticable treble fall off). These speakers also do not play very loud, nor do they have huge macro dynamics (ie orchestral triple forte won't be much louder than double forte). But micro-dynamics is great. Also these are not easy speakers to drive, but they aren't impossible either.

For the right styles of music, these are truely exceptional speakers (especially for what they are selling for used). If you have listened to Martin-Logans, Magneplanars, Apogees, or Quads and have been bitten by the 'panel bug', but don't have the cash resources that these speakers usually demand, keep your eye out for some used Acoustats. For the price of a good bookshelf speaker, you can get a truely high-end speaker that will certainly stay with a system through many upgrades. My only problem now is that I want to upgrade everything else to really make these speakers shine :)

Associated Equipment:
Amp: Parasound HCA500 (75Watt 4ohm, 20amp high current design)
Preamp: NAD 1155
CD: Philips 920
Headphones: Stax Lambda with SRD-7 (original design)
Interconnects: Tara Prism 22
Speaker cables: Goertz MI 1 (really great synergy with these speakers)

Rating: On absolute scale against other truely high-end speakers I've heard these rate 3.5 to 4, but given their price (used) they have to be a 5.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 15  

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