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I was thinking of auditioning the Ariel 20T speakers as well as the center channel that would go along with it. In addition I also plan on auditioning the Revel Salon 2 and the comparable center channel.


I presently have Thiel CS6 for left and right and an MCS-1 center speaker along with Thiel in wall side speakers and their Powerpoint surrounds. My amps are Levinson and DVD / processor is Meridian 861 / 800 respective


Does anyone have any experience with Ariel and specifically the 20Ts, and Revel, specificallyh the Salon 2 as well as the Thiels? What is your opinion? I do get a great sound stage and imaging from the Thiels, but they are very unforgiving and somewhat forward. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Ariel speakers?


Also I know that you want to keep the L-C-R speakers tonally the same but can you go with L-C-R speakers from one manufacturer and sides and surrounds from another?


Thanks,

Ken
 

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Ken,

After auditioning Wilson and PMC speakers last month I installed 3 20T's Same for LCR behind my 12 foot wide At Stewart Cinecurve screen this December.

The speakers are run by 3 Theta Citadel 1.5 amps and the processor is Theta Casablanca 3 with 3 extreme dacs.

In my entire 10 years in this hobby - I have not heard anything like a Aerial 20 t regardless of price.

I had a industry top calibrator come out from out of town who told me that there are only two installations with 3 20-Ts out there although there is a software company owner whom most people know in Seattle who has 7 20 Ts.

I have six triad in wall Gold as Sorrounds run by theta Dreadnaught. My installer thought I would he ok with Silvers as Gold are overkill for surrounds but I requested him to install Gold's any way.

I am not kidding but my calibrator who is top notch and stayed in town for 3 days to correctly install the speakers and calibrate (It is a 3 men job) had tears in his eyes (not literally) once the speakers were set and room calibrated.

Out of all the speakers he set up in his career of 30 years and his clients are top notch including nightclubs in New York he said that this was the best sounding set up he has ever done.

You need to recognize that my room is highly engineered so without a good room you cannot get what any speakers can truly deliver. Proper set up and calibration is a must to get most out of your speakers.

Unfortunately I have not heard the Revel Salons.

The 20 T is a ribbon speaker, once you hear ribbons there is no going back.

Good Luck and send me a PM if you have questions.

Ash
 

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Ash,

That's a very interesting read. Congratulations on the 20Ts.



Can you please describe the room dimensions and sub-woofer(s) being used as well? Thanks.


P.S. Did you consider going with Aerial Acoustics for the entire set-up or did you find the Triads to be better performers?
 

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Haroon,

Thanks.

I have two Aerial SW12 subs behind the screen and two Triad Bronze In wall subs one in right wall column and one behind.

Sub placement and calibration is extremely important for how the room sounds.

It is along story but after working with a number of experts (going through two not one calibration) and actually 'listening' versus what is 'theoretically right' I went with QSC DSP to control subs and Sorround speakers.

I had bought 6 Aerial SR3's to install us surrounds but due to aesthetic consideration of the room went with Triad's.

The Triads are great speakers specially for my room meant for movies and music concerts.

My room dimensions are 18 feet wide, 26 feet deep and 11 foot ceiling (the room is in my gallery you can search by 'Ash' I do not know how to post a link). The room won CEDIA Bronze award in the Large Home theater category for technical design this year.

Ash
 

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The Aerial 20Ts are fabulous speakers. Just keep in mind that the ribbon tweeter has fairly limited dispersion at higher frequencies and listening off axis changes the sound significantly - there are some good reviews of the speaker out there which provide details. Something to keep in mind depending on the acoustics of the room.

Ash, which PMC speakers did you listen to, and what did you think?

The Bogg (another Ash!)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the comments. I am not really familiar with ribbon tweeters. What are their characteristics? Also when you say off axis, how much is off axis? My Thiels are about 11' from where I sit and the speakers are about 9' from each other due the the screen.


Thanks,

Ken
 

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The PMC I heard were MB2XD system and one of the smaller Speakers.

The Atrial 20 t ribbons have a very broad horizontal dispersion and narrow vertical dispersion.

This is very good for home theater applications specially when there are maximum 3 or 4 rows on riser.

Ken - the ribbon speakers have a certain 'air' about them which gives a very open sound.
 

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If you are thinking about 3 Aerial 20Ts for L-C-R, I doubt you could do any better--the 20Ts are phenomenal speakers.


However, if you're thinking of mixing 20T L & R with a different center, that would be a very poor choice. The importance of a seamless matching center cannot be overstated, it is the most important speaker in the system for both music and movies, and unfortunately it is the one component that is consistently compromised.


There is no center (even Aerial's) that will match the 20Ts. You will hear the shift in timbre each time a sound pans across the front, it will be a perpetual source of distraction and frustration.


If you can't do three 20Ts, you would be much better served IMO by using better matched speakers for L&R. If you're thinking of the Aerial CC5 center, then LR5s crossed over at 40 Hz are an ideal match. If you're considering the Revel Salons, do some research into how well the Ultima Voice2 center matches the L&R you're considering (I haven't heard that match so can't offer any advice).


BTW, both the Aerial and Ultima Voice2 centers are a particularly good design in that they have a tweeter mounted vertically above the midrange driver. This eliminates the shifting sound across the listening area due to lobing effects that are inherent in the M-T-M driver array most centers use. Both these companies have done their homework and I don't think you'd go wrong with either. I think it would be a mistake, however, to try to pair the 20T with a non-matching center.


Cheers,

Philip Brandes
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I hear what you are saying about matching timbre across the front three speakers, and of course Ariel is aware of that widely know fact and still offer a center channel that I am sure they sell AS a center channel for the 20T's.

Ken
 

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Sorry I should have clarified - it's the vertical dispersion as Ash mentioned. Audition them at your usual listening distance and do the stand-up/sit-down and see how much difference there is - it will depend on your listening distance.


I haven't had a chance to extensively audition the Aerial speakers but would love to. I was initially thinking of the LR5 and when I decided to go up a couple of price brackets I had considered the 20t but there were no stocking dealers near Toronto and I never managed to hear them before settling down with my current speakers.
 

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I luv my four Aerial 9s, CC5 and three SW12s - but for the first time in recorded history, I must agree with Sir Brandes - due to the unique ribbon tweeter of the 20Ts, either use three 20Ts across or expect a mismatch sonically. Aerial came out with the CC5 prior to the 20Ts. Very few home theaterites have 20Ts in their system - if there were a lot more then I think Aerial would have come out with a matching ribbon center channel. So if you go 20Ts go all the way and be sure to get three across the front, better yet, do your whole system in them. HA!
 

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The beauty of getting 3 Aerial 20T is that Aerial builds them after they get the order. So my 3 speakers are totally matched and as explained to me by Michael Kelly prior to ordering that Aerial takes pride in matching the speakers.

The bad news is that I was told I got lucky that they had the 3rd speaker available although my left and right are flat back finish and center is Glossy. . . .

It seems that if you want three you need to pay for four but you may want to check with them on this.

If you are going to use a At Screen make sure to put the grill on the tweeter of center speaker as the ribbon is shiny- I learnt this the hard way.
 

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As advised to me by various experts (and I am not one) - In any set up having LCR same is the way to go. Before I got the 2OT I had three LR5's.

The reason why people use horizontal centers is if they do not have space behind the screen or do not have AT screens which the Stewart Microperf is, this is really a compromise.

The LR5's and 20T's have same depth and the area behind the speakers should be acoustically treated as in my case the speakers barely fit (in depth) behind the screen.

The beauty of the 20 t is that it has air ports 'Under' the speaker which over comes space restraints behind At screens but care must be taken to spike the speakers (and create a hard space under them for example by settingthem on plywood instead ofcarpet) and give them good breathing room 'under' the speaker.

Due to these and other characteristics such as horizontal dispersion of its ribbons you get the best of both world's -'Audiophile' and HT speakers....

Last night we watched the Celine Dion Concert 'A New Day' Just unbelievable sound.

Ash
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken6217 /forum/post/12866385


Thanks for the comments. I am not really familiar with ribbon tweeters. What are their characteristics? Ken

In the past, ribbon tweeter were able to offer a "faster" sounding tweeter. Lighter, more airy sounding and more relistic reproduction of things like cymballs , IMO. Metal dome tweeters seemed to lag behind. IMO, that has changed. So much emphasis was placed upon getting the midrange right that I feel the tweeter was over looked. However, I think the new tweeters have largely taken that advantage away from ribbon tweeters. In the 1990's I heard ribbon tweeters reproduce sounds in what I considered a more realistic manner than any speaker with a metal dome tweeter could emulate regardless of price that I had heard. In the late 1990's that begin to change. If you notice, exotic tweeter material are touted more now than was the case. In the 1990 companies like B&W mainly touted the Kevlar midrange. Now, it's the diamond tweeter.
 

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Thanks, bulldogger -I owe most of it to Dennis Erskine who built my room and what I have learnt over last 10 years - a lot of it from this great forum. We could build a space which is aesthetically great without compromising audio and video.

To be frank, I have still not gotton over my setup and I am still in awe.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ash Sharma /forum/post/12873492


Thanks, bulldogger -I owe most of it to Dennis Erskine who built my room and what I have learnt over last 10 years - a lot of it from this great forum. We could build a space which is aesthetically great without compromising audio and video. To be frank, I have still not gotton over my setup and I am still in awe.

We are all in AWE of your room and Aerial gear, [email protected]@@
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Out of curiosity has anyone listened to the 20T's and the CC5 center channel in a HT setup and discerned a tonal difference between the speakers, or are you just assuming their will be a difference due to the difference in tweeters?

Ken
 
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