An ACI Upgrade - Page 12 - AVS Forum
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post #331 of 360 Old 05-27-2004, 03:14 PM
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just a quick note to the subscribers of this thread to share my excitement... ups.com shows a 35# box delivered to my doorstep this afternoon. i can't wait to get home!

i'm adding a pair of cherry emeralds to my burgeoning ACI family. they'll spend the summer in nh doing 2-channel duty and then come back to ma for some time in the rear of my ht. ever since buying the sapphires, i've wondered how the emeralds compare. it should be an interesting weekend. cheers!

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post #332 of 360 Old 05-27-2004, 05:32 PM
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Congratulations jstorerj!!!

Are they the on-walls or the regular emeralds? I think you'll be extremely pleased with how they sound. I've never had any speakers in that price range that sounded as sweet.
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post #333 of 360 Old 05-28-2004, 06:59 AM
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thanks. they're the regular emeralds. i just had time to unpack them and visually inspect them last night. it looks like they survived the trip with ups. i packed them back up and put them in the car for the ride north later today. looking forward to listening, but i've got to get some work done now.

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post #334 of 360 Old 05-28-2004, 07:46 AM - Thread Starter
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jstorerj,

Congrats on the new addition to the family, er... HT. Bet you'll have a lot of fun with them this weekend. (And good luck with the break-in.)

-Bill
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post #335 of 360 Old 06-13-2004, 10:55 AM
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I will be taking delivery of the Jag LFM combo in the next 2 weeks and will post reviews as they break in

But I was so much older then, I am much younger now
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post #336 of 360 Old 06-13-2004, 11:04 AM
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Wow, Erickh!!! I've been waiting to hear somebody's impression of the Jag LFM's. Will it be for a dedicated two-channel system? What equipment will it be mated with? Is it replacing other speakers? Sure wish I lived in Illinois. For sure, I'd be hitting you up for a visit.
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post #337 of 360 Old 06-13-2004, 12:29 PM
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erickh
Don't know what happened to your initial string, but glad it's here.
Looking forward to hearing about ACI's `Top Box'
E
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post #338 of 360 Old 06-13-2004, 01:36 PM
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MikeD,
Which situations warrant the formidable looking Veritas/Veritas V ?
is room size the only deciding factor?
i hear a lot of ppl talking about the essence, but never about the veritas? is it a niche model, low on volumes[in terms of sales] ?
and what freqencies do the powered woofer section handle?
have you ever considered lowering the freq response to make it a full range wall mountable spkr?
for a receiver/prepro with auto setup, do you reccomend the parametric eq of the veritas be bypassed/switched off?
sorry, too many questions....
thanks

P.S : although i'm from india and couldnt POSSIBLY afford them, i just liek to keep myself upto date , to save my friends in the U.S by steering them off cute HTIBs. :) also helps impress the girls.
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post #339 of 360 Old 06-13-2004, 06:33 PM - Thread Starter
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erickh,

Congrats on the new acquisition! It will be fun hearing about your impressions of these boxes. I would love to try that combo myself, but it would be necessary to first upgrade my home to accomodate them. Looking forward to your impressions!

-Bill
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post #340 of 360 Old 06-13-2004, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by F355
MikeD,
Which situations warrant the formidable looking Veritas/Veritas V ?
is room size the only deciding factor?
i hear a lot of ppl talking about the essence, but never about the veritas? is it a niche model, low on volumes[in terms of sales] ?
and what freqencies do the powered woofer section handle?
have you ever considered lowering the freq response to make it a full range wall mountable spkr?
for a receiver/prepro with auto setup, do you reccomend the parametric eq of the veritas be bypassed/switched off?
sorry, too many questions....
thanks

P.S : although i'm from india and couldnt POSSIBLY afford them, i just liek to keep myself upto date , to save my friends in the U.S by steering them off cute HTIBs. :) also helps impress the girls.
We leave for Europe tomorrow at 10:00am and haven't even started to pack or do a lot of the stuff I must do, so I'll have to be pretty brief. Great questions BTW! I'll be back in two weeks:)
The Veritas series is for those who want no compromise and want very precise control of the speaker's balance and the low end performance. The EQ covers the range from 80-300hz. If you already have EQ capabilites elsewhere in the system it probably isn't needed. The 80Hz second order high pass function provides a perfect transition to subs. I guess I don't see any reason to compromise that. Thanks for asking the questions. See you all in a couple of weeks!

Mike Dzurko
Audio Concepts, Inc. (ACI)
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post #341 of 360 Old 06-23-2004, 12:42 PM
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danbry39

These will be for a dedicated 2 channel that includes a Bryston 4Bsst amp, Bryston BP-20 Preamp and Arc am FMJ-23T CDP

But I was so much older then, I am much younger now
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post #342 of 360 Old 07-01-2004, 07:21 AM
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Just posted a new thread on the topic, but thought you guys may be interested. I had a lot of fun with the Sapphires (and Force) last night in two-channel. Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band - Swinging for the Fences was the cd and the "thud" you heard at about 9:34pm (ET) last night was my jaw hitting the floor. I had that "ACI moment" we all have at one time or another when you're listening in two-channel, but then start to question if your system is still in DD or PL. I just sat and stared at the Essence in the center and eventually had to get up and put my ear next to it to confirm that it wasn't producing that great sound. The Sapphires were just cranking out great sound, soundstage and separation. And the Force was keeping up, pumping out clean bass and rocking the foundation.

I'm still smiling.

:D

Everyone has a purpose in life. Perhaps yours is watching television - David Letterman
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post #343 of 360 Old 07-01-2004, 09:37 AM
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jstorerj
I'll assume you've checked out the DVD Audio version of Big Phat Band?
Pretty much puts you in the woodwinds section, so you'll need to repair the floor after you hit it - not to mention hearing solos coming from the Essence ;-))

Nice
E
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post #344 of 360 Old 07-01-2004, 09:48 AM
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nope - i'll have to give that a try too. life is good.

Everyone has a purpose in life. Perhaps yours is watching television - David Letterman
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post #345 of 360 Old 07-01-2004, 10:24 PM
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Bryston & ACI - Gotta be good stuff. Tell us more when you get it going.
E

BTW I'm eric h as well in real life
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post #346 of 360 Old 07-02-2004, 10:31 AM
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I will definitely post my findings. I just posted another thread talking about ACI's customer support

But I was so much older then, I am much younger now
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post #347 of 360 Old 07-08-2004, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
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It's been a couple of months since making my purchases, and I thought it might be of interest to post a follow up on the audio part of my system. To save you the pain of digging thru this long thread, here's my equipment list:

- ACI Panoramas as mains on Atlantis Pro stands mass loaded with 50 lbs of lead shot each
- ACI Essence center channel on a Sound Anchors center channel stand
- ACI Sapphires as surrounds on Atlantis Pro stands mass loaded with 10 lbs of sand each
- Velodyne FSR-12 subwoofer
- Pioneer Elite DV59AVi DVD player
- B&K AVR507 receiver
- DH Labs T-14 speaker cable to the front 3, MIT5 to the Sapphires, cheapo Monster cable to sub
- DH Labs BL-1 interconnects for SACD/DVD-Audio
- DH Labs D-75 digital coax cable

The big equipment tweaking is done, though minor tweaks continue. Mostly what I do these days is use the system and enjoy it.

Here are the questions I would like to have answered if I was shopping for HT products.

Q: Overall, how satisified are you with your system today?
A: Very satisified. On a 100 point scale, probably in the mid 80s.

Q: If you had it to do over, would you buy the same speakers again?
A: On the same budget, probably. ACI is one of the best values on the market today. Comparisons showed ACI speakers are about half the price of comparable products at the b&m's here in Ohio. I might be inclined to test drive more of the online vendors before making a choice. That said, I have no regrets.

Q: If you had it to do over, would you buy the same DVD player again?
A: Given the same budget, maybe. This unit is a good balance between quality and cost today. Given how rapidly this segment of the HT market changes, this decision could be different in a few months.

Q: If you had it to do over, would you buy the same receiver again?
A: Given the same budget, probably. With a larger budget, it would be tempting to move to separates. That said, it's a very flexible receiver that does more things than most people will ever use, and it sounds great. Perhaps the biggest omission is DVI support, but that may be provided in a subsequent upgrade.

Q: How does 2-channel sound now?
A: In a word, great. The Panoramas have continued to evolve in small ways, mostly in the area of smoothness. Some CDs that sounded harsh after the initial break-in are quite listenable now. Well recorded disks are a stunning. These speakers look like they will give long term satisfaction.

Q: How does HT via DVD sound now?
A: It depends on the quality of the disk, ranging from good to outstanding. With a top notch sound track, it sounds better than any of the local movie theaters.

Q: How does HD TV sound now?
A: It depends on the quality of the broadcast. Overall, very good.

Q: How does the Velodyne sub integrate with the ACIs?
A: Seamlessly. It's clean and musical.

Q: How transparent are the ACI speaker grills?
A: They block a surprising amount of content. For 2-channel listening, the L/R grills come off. For HT, the L/C/R grills come off. The grills stay in place on the surrounds.

Q: What were the biggest surprises in the upgrade?
A: (1) Speaker damage in shipping. ACI made it right, but I still grumble about UPS.
(2) How easy it was to sell old equipment on Audiogon.
(3) How the entire upgrade process seemed to take on a life of its own.
(4) How long it took to acquire the right components. It was over 8 months of investigation.
(5) How amazingly patient and supportive my wife was through the entire process.
(6) How much my wife likes and uses the new system.
(7) How the speakers have continued to evolve since the 200 hour mark.

Q: How do you feel about your upgrades given the total cost of your system?
A: Ultimately, this depends on what's important to you. Many acquisitions can't be evaluated solely on financial terms (cars come to mind). As a hobby and source of family entertainment, it can represent great bang for the buck. When I have doubts (there are days), playing some music or watching a good DVD reminds me why this was worth the time, money and effort.

Bottom line: I'm a happy camper.

-Bill
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post #348 of 360 Old 07-10-2004, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bill-99
Bottom line: I'm a happy camper.

-Bill

Bill:

That's what counts, and that is our goal here at ACI. When I make a purchase-investment, what matters to me is how do I feel about it months or sometimes years down the road. Would I do it again? Your detailed writings are a great reference for anyone contemplating a music - HT system upgrade. You approached the project in an organized and thoughful manner and you've reaped the benefits. Enjoy!

Mike Dzurko
Audio Concepts, Inc. (ACI)
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post #349 of 360 Old 07-10-2004, 02:33 PM
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hi mike,
any dipoles/bipole switchable surrounds planned? multichannel music is growing, but there are still quite a few takers for the "diffused" sound.
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post #350 of 360 Old 07-10-2004, 02:49 PM
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Bill
Thanks for the report. I continue to be amazed that there is nothing about my Essence that I want to improve. There's always been something about a tweeter or mid driver I wish were better with other models. I'm so used to the little mental notes I'd make while listening to different sources - darn, that's a little bright or man, the mid's a little canned. It just doesn't happen with my ACI.

Sometimes I just look at the thing and think....DAMN! that's squared away!

I have one more pair of ACIs to purchase later in the year (Panos) and I seriously doubt I'll consider another brand unless Mike decides to update the line.

E

ps - Mike, do the side panels make any difference with the box on a Panorama? I'd love to match my ArcBlack Essence if possible. Thanks
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post #351 of 360 Old 07-11-2004, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by F355
hi mike,
any dipoles/bipole switchable surrounds planned? multichannel music is growing, but there are still quite a few takers for the "diffused" sound.
Hello F355:

Although we do get a few requests for dipoles-bipoles, the numbers "seem" too small to make it worthwhile. I certainly welcome the input and will keep the possibility open if the demand would be high enough. Right now, we're up to 36 different speaker models and eight different wood choices (plus custom) and it is pretty difficult to try to warehouse and inventory so much. Thanks for the input, will keep in mind!

Mike Dzurko
Audio Concepts, Inc. (ACI)
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post #352 of 360 Old 07-11-2004, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by thedeskE



ps - Mike, do the side panels make any difference with the box on a Panorama? I'd love to match my ArcBlack Essence if possible. Thanks

E:

I'd recommend going with the black oak side panels. With the Essence, the side panels are small and mostly for appearance. With the Panorama, the side panels are quite a large space and the extra 3/4" is part of the damping scheme. Many people might not hear the difference with and without, but it is there if you listen for it.

Mike Dzurko
Audio Concepts, Inc. (ACI)
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post #353 of 360 Old 07-11-2004, 10:59 PM
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Thanks Mike

I suspected the extra weight was not all cosmetic.
Black it is ..

E
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post #354 of 360 Old 08-09-2004, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
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At a suggestion from thedeskE, I did some mass loading with my Sound Anchor center channel stand this weekend using lead shot. If you look at the pic of this stand on the ACI web site, I was able to add shot to the vertical tubes, and the two bottom tubes that are parallel. The one bottom tube that forms the center of the "H" is inaccessible and remains hollow. It took 20+ lbs of shot from a 25 lb bag.

What does it sound like? Not a huge difference, but it did seem to tighten up the Essence center channel bass a little and the top end seems a little cleaner, too. This is all IMHO, and YMMV.

Anyhow, it wasn't too expensive ($16) in case anyone is interested in trying it.

Happy listening,
-Bill
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post #355 of 360 Old 08-19-2004, 12:35 PM
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OK Bill, just because it's you, I'm looking for shot ;-))

My first set of Panos are breaking in. Impressive!
Now I know why some of you own multiple sets.
Even crossed at 80, these things are redefining the low energy in my room.
I love it!

E
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post #356 of 360 Old 08-19-2004, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
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thedeskE,

When you say "your first set", are you implying that there are more Panoramas on the horizon?

-Bill
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post #357 of 360 Old 08-19-2004, 06:58 PM
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No, but I wouldn't say it didn't cross my mind.

BTW Bill - here's the end result of the 5/8s plug. #4 inside (attached jpg of CC base)
I have a 1 1/2 end cap for the plate tube on the way (Outwater.com)
As if it isn't heavy enough now! My first bag is empty.
I think I can get it to 50lbs without the Essence.

Might as well share with the group (lead shot madness)
Yes we need meds.

E
LL
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post #358 of 360 Old 08-19-2004, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
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E,

How difficult was it to drill that hole in the center tube? Nice job, BTW. You, sir, are a bad influence. I may have to try this myself!

-Bill
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post #359 of 360 Old 08-19-2004, 10:51 PM
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No big deal if you do it right. Option1 - a monster drill with a special bit (Nah!) Option 2 - a normal drill with steel bits. start small and move up to the target size. I used 6 or 7 sizes.

Get your plug first. Mine was from Lowes at less than 2.00 for 2 in a pack.
Tip - most bit sets end at 1/2 inch, so careful with the size unless you have a big
steel bit.

Bill, you started this crap. don't even think about blaming me!
Then Again - I did join in didn't I?
No - It's defiantly your fault!
Don't try it - It doesn't work!

;-))
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post #360 of 360 Old 08-23-2004, 10:15 AM
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At the risk of preaching to the choir - the mid driver is calming down nicely at 80 hours (+/-) and I'm very happy with the full set of SS tweeters now in the main 5. What a relief! My older Vifa topped speaks can now get back to their main duty as my office speakers.
The most obvious improvement to me at this point is listening further in on music scores. Instruments, such as strings and horns are much more balanced in the mix (as expected with a 3 way) and just easy to hear in general. Not to say the Sapphires didn't do a fine job in the front, but this is really getting good with an all 3-way front.

As I said before, the transition to my sub is a nice surprise. Lots of energy coming from that 6.
I had to back off the sub a touch with the Ps in place.

2 people have commented on how rigid/inert the boxes are. Yep! Nice Huh!

E
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