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Aerial 10t -- A good choice for home theater??

542 Views 11 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Nick Satullo
I am still looking at speakers and in my quest have run across a pair of very good condition Aerial 10Ts for what appears to be a reasonable price. My question is whether such a speaker, while excellent for music, will be a good HT speaker.

My inclination is to buy the best musical speaker I can as it will be the most accurate. However, others have told me that good HT speakers have smaller drivers so as to be able to respond quickly for "ultimate resolution" of a fast-changing HT soundtrack. The 10Ts are on the large side, to say the least. (I would be mating them with my current subwoofer, a M+K v-125.)

Is there truly a difference btw HT speakers and good music speakers? Anyone have an opinion on these particular speakers? They really do sound great and this seems like a good buy, although any suggested price points would be appreciated too (speakers are black and have a few places where paint is chipped; no cone/surround/cabinet issues).

Thanks so much.

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Im sure Steve B will also chime in, but heres my $0.02:


these are amazing speakers for HT! I agree with your inclination to get the most musical speaker. I believe that most full range dynamic speakers that are "musical" also make excellent home theater speakers. The aerial cc3 center is one of, if not, the best centers around (Aerial will introduce a higher end center, the cc5 at sometime in the future- dont know when- sorry).

I got the 10ts for both music and ht and I couldnt be happier. That said here are things you need to know:

the 10ts can be a smidgen bright. I dont find this to be a problem, usually bright speakers fatigue you and Im never fatigued by the 10ts. My point here is make sure your preamp/processor has a thx or re-eq mode to tame the bright movie soundtracks

the 10ts are not the most efficient speakers in the world.

youll need a lot of power for these speakers. I wouldnt put anything less than 200wpc into 8ohms on them (they are 4ohm speakers and a good amp should double from x into 8 to 2x into 4 (or close to 2x)). I found that going from a 125wpc into 8 amp to a 250wpc into 8 amp made a world of difference: bass tightened up and I heard more detail in all the frequencies.

the 10ts can provide good low bass feedback but adding a subwoofer makes a good difference. When I got my 10ts I figured I didnt need a sub- and for just music you dont really need one. But Steve B said, try adding a sub and youll notice a difference. I waited until Aerial made their own sub, which is fantastic, and it really makes a difference. I would put my systems lower bass performance at like 7/10 before the sub and now more like 10/10 after (10/10 is the best possible result given my rooms acoustics)

I dont know who told you that you need small drivers for HT but theyre wrong. What you need are the right parts for the job. The 10ts arent everyone's cup of tea- some people dont like the sound or looks- but they are IMHO a top notch speaker and worth a listen.

- Jerry

[This message has been edited by aerialman (edited May 04, 2000).]
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The 10Ts would make an awesome addition.

These speakers, along with the associated center, surrounds, and subwoofer, have created a system that I am extremely pleased with. The beauty of the Aerial system is that it has such good performance in both HT and music environments. You can definitely buy better speakers in this world, but the 10Ts are way up there. Read the latest issue of Stereophile Guide to Home Theater for a review of an Aerial system w/7B mains.

I'd also recommend getting the serial # of the 10Ts. There have been lots of incremental changes and I believe the biggest changes were after 100565, but this is off the top of my head. Call Michael and ask him about it.

How low does that sub of yours go? I'd recommend the Aerial SW-12 -- it an amazing piece of work. The 10Ts can do 28Hz at -2db and 19-22Hz at -6db. You need a sub that can fill in the freqs from 20-28Hz, at the very least...I'm not sure your M&K will do that.

Best Regards, Mark

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Thanks for the speedy replies. To fill things out, I am trying to do this on a budget, if you can ever call 10Ts a budget setup. Yes, i will spring for the CC3, I think, and if I can the SR3 as well.

In regard to the front end requirements, I am going to use an Outlaw 750 amp with 165 WPC @8 ohms, >250 @4 ohms. Hopefully this will suffice for now, but I understand the "power-hungry" nature of some speakers. For the pre/pro, I'll be using a B+K ref 20. I know neither of these choices are ideal, however, that's what works in the budget. While the B+K doesn't have re-EQ at this time, I think it should be upgradeable later when the ref 30 comes out. In the meantime, I understand it does tend towards the warm side.

I just couldn't swing the $5000 pre/pro-amp setup at this time. Hope I've not gone too far wrong but, in the future, maybe I can upgrade.

I assume that NHT and other "mid-fi" companies really don't have anything to compare to the performance of these-- they would certainly be less expensive.

thanks again for the good advice.


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What can I say? I have had four 10Ts for more than three years now. The 10Ts and my Bryston 7B amps are the only stuff that hasn't changed in my system the past three years

(along with my Dwin 7" CRT projector). Go for it! And you'll be able to get a CC3 used in a month or two, when I and others start receiving the CC5 that we ordered, which will hopefully start shipping next month!
Well, I think I am going to have to do it! I really fell in love with Ariel speakers after listening to about 10 other brands. The openness, imaging and clarity just blew me away, even in their smaller units.

Hearing that the CC3 is going to be available is great too. If anyone can sell me one at a reasonable (?) price, let me know!

I have been reading this thread with interest. Being in the market for speakers, I never really considered nor heard this line of speakers. I have just bought the Sunfire Theater Grand processor and Grand amplifier (5 channels @ 200 Watts/channel). Would this system be sufficient to drive these high end speakers and would it sound okay with the 10T's? Or should I be looking at a better processor to drive Aerial 10t's in a surround sound setup?
The Ref 20 will do fine until you are ready to make a change. It's actually a very nice piece in its price range. I had one for awhile, and the 4090 before that. I'd deal with amplification first, when you get around to it.
I agree- the B&K stuff is nice. Btw- if you find the sound too bright- which I dont think you will, you can always notch trebble down slightly.

- Jerry
I dont know that much about the Sunfire products but what I would do is check the specs on the amp and see how it performs into 4ohms. if its around 400 wats per channel into 4ohms then I think youll be fine. I would also call Aerial, usually Mike Kelly, who is the founder of the company, answers the phone. He is extremely knowledgable and polite.

- Jerry
Well, to let everyone know, I bought the 10T today. I am waiting for the Ref 20 to arrive, should have been here Friday but so what. I am confident that I did the right thing with these Aerials, even though I did sort of blow the budget. These, i think, will be keepers for a long time to come.

Thank you all for your input and suggestions. this is a fantastic forum.

I'm late, but here to tell you that you did the right thing. The Aerials kind of grow on you. The sound seems to spring from a realm of absolute quiet, as if it's the most natural thing in the world. And, yes, this is just as true of the center channel as the mains. I've recently read that my speaker cables may have a little something to do with the background "quiet," (Nordost Red Dawn), but I seem to recall it before the addition of the Red Dawn.

As for the surrounds . . . while I'm fine with the Aerial SR3s that I have, I happen to think that surrounds really still don't have the source material to show off just yet. Perhaps with some DTS tracks, but you can easily get by on less amplification (100 wpc) to the surrounds, and they'll do just fine . . . with what information ever gets sent to them.

However: Home Theater or just music listening, I disagree with Michael Kelly on one point--you definitely need a subwoofer with this setup. While he might be changing his "tune" now that he makes one, I remember him telling me two years ago when I purchased the Aerials that I should only use one for Home Theater, and sparingly at that. While the 10ts are probably as good as it gets for a passive speaker, I've grown so accustomed to what a hard-hitting-yet-capable-of-finesse (aka "musical")active subwuoofer offers that nothing else can do the trick for me.

Enjoy the Aerials. You'll put your speaker-buying behind you.
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