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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would just like to get some peoples opinions on the ACI line of speakers. I've been hearing really good things about their Titan and Force subs, but have heard little about their current speaker lines (the Saphire III's not being one of the 'current' lines, since they are discontinued). Since they are an online retailer I haven't heard any of the speakers, so I'm just looking for subjective opinions and comparisons.


I have heard the full line of Paradigm Studio speakers and could probably use them as a comparison point. How about compared to Rockets as well?


I'm probably going to be buying speakers for my home theater in the next few months, my budget is dependant on whether I buy from a retailer here in Canada, or online, but let's say somewhere in the range of $2-3K USD not including a sub. I currently have a Yamaha DX-V1000, 100Wx5 receiver.


Thanks,


Mike
 

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There is a member with the username Kendrid who has a pair of ACI's that he is very fond of. If he doesn't chime in, you could always PM him.
 

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I have had the experience to hear the SV12 woofer from a friend. Their woofers are very well built. Smooth and powerful bass. However, I feel that Adire Audio Subwoofers (I own one), have better value for the money.


James
 

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Yeah Russ, I'm here.


There are a few of us ACI owners here. I don't think the new line has been out long enough to gather many reviews. If you haven't noticed, this forum is Rocket/Diva dominated. Audioasylum has more ACI owners.


I own the Sapphire IIIs, which are discontinued. They still have a few pair left (I believe at least). The replacement is due to be announced this month.


I have A/B compared them with the Rocket 750s. The 750s have incredible bass. It is very natural and tight. Standing bass guitars sound incredible, as do acoustic bass guitars. I haven't heard a sub that can reproduce bass as accurately as the 750s.


I preferred the midrange/trebel of the Sapphires a tad more than the 750s. It is more detailed without being bright. They both excel, but there was something about the Sapphires that I preferred (and not that I own them). The owner of the 750s agreed on most tracks that the Sapphires were a very small step above the 750s.


Both speakers have a huge soundstage. You can be off axis from them and they still sound great.


I also had the Ellis 1801s with the Rockets and Sapphires. I preferred them over both speakers. They are made by one guy and take a while to get. My understanding from the owner is that they also have a bad resale value, since very few people have heard of them.


If you are into bass oriented music, the 750s are a good choice. Most of my listening does not involve music with a lot of bass so for me the Sapphires are a better choice. If I can ever get my basement finished and move my 2 channel system there, I'd definetly consider 750s for the HT room.


Mike D of ACI joined this forum a few weeks ago. Maybe he will provide some reviews of the new lineup. I am also curious as to what people are saying.
 

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Mike, I’ve heard and owned quite a few ACI speakers. Every ACI system I’ve heard has offered terrific sonic value. For example, the Emerald LEs I have in my family room continually amaze me with their musicality. I’d rather listen to them than a lot of very expensive systems I’ve heard. A friend of mine has an HT system comprised of 5 Emeralds and a Titan II sub. He’s using one of the better Marantz receivers and it is a really fine sounding system for movies and music. I have not had the opportunity to hear any of the real new stuff. I have seen a handful of very positive postings on the Veritas centers and the Talisman over at SMR and AA. I think those are actually the only new systems that ACI has started shipping. I know when I checked a few weeks ago, they were not yet shipping the LFM.


One thing is for sure, ACI pretty much wrote the book on selling speakers factory-direct. They’ve been doing it successfully for a long time. Their customer service is exceptional, it has to be as they do little or no advertising. Instead, they apparently rely on very satisified customers like me to keep coming back and bringing their friends.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the input. I'm basically in that situation that everyone comes to at some point, trying to find the best 'value' for the money. So my options are to buy a Canadian made product like Paradigm, which offers a good relative value compared to buying it in the US, or buying online, where I have to deal with the exchange rate and possible duties (if the speakers are not built in North America) along with shipping. So I need to rely on other people telling me what they think would be a good system. I learned about ACI through AA, where they do seem to discuss them a little more, but they do not usually discuss Rockets there. So I wanted to find out people's views that might be able to compare the 'value' to a product like the rockets.


What I meant by new products was really just current products. It is just more helpful to me to hear about products I can buy new, rather then good products that I can't buy new anymore.


James, are the Adire Audio Subwoofers just a DIY, or do they have fully built powered subwoofers?


The Force sub might be closer to the price range that I would be looking at for a sub, is it that much of a comprimise over the Titan?


Are the Sapphire's (or their upcoming replacements) or the Emerards sufficient on their own for music? Or would they need a sub?


Thanks,


Mike
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by circularduck

[BAre the Sapphire's (or their upcoming replacements) or the Emerards sufficient on their own for music? Or would they need a sub?

[/b]
I run my Sapphires off of a Jolida 302b tube amp (or Denon 3802 depending on if I am listening to music or HT).


For music I often run them without a sub. The frequency response goes down flat to 64hz, which is plenty for most of my music. If I am listening to rock I usually turn on the sub, but for female vocalists and 'soft' music I don't use the sub.


The other day I was listening to Master of Puppets from Metallica with the Sapphires driven by the Jolida. I was listening at levels around 85db. I thought I had the sub on, but it wasn't. After a few tracks I realized it and turned it on. It does help fill in the lowest bass, but I was happy without the sub on also, as the Sapphires were doing a good job with the kick drum.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by circularduck
Thanks for the input.


What I meant by new products was really just current products. It is just more helpful to me to hear about products I can buy new, rather then good products that I can't buy new anymore.


The Force sub might be closer to the price range that I would be looking at for a sub, is it that much of a comprimise over the Titan?


Are the Sapphire's (or their upcoming replacements) or the Emerards sufficient on their own for music? Or would they need a sub?


Thanks,

Mike
The Force is a very good sub. It really sounds just like the Titan, just not quite as loud. Depending on your room size, and how loudly you want to play, it may well give you enough output. I have listened to my Emeralds without sub and as wonderful as they are, I definitely prefer using them with the Force. With the Force they have the full range of a large speaker with the pin point imaging and spaciousness of a mini-monitor. I think I mentioned that my friend has 5 Emeralds and a Titan. It is a wonderful system and right in your price range. I don't know what the new Sapphire will be like, looking forward to finding out!
 

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Mike:


As John mentioned, five Emeralds and a Force or Titan makes for a very fine music/HT system. All ACI speakers are designed first and foremost to be great reproducers of music. They also have the dynamic range that is needed to successfully reproduce HT tracks.


I'm sorry to say that I don't know how the duties and shipments to Canada work, but my sales staff knows about that and I can find out. ACI speakers are built here in the U.S. (including the amplifiers used in powered subs and new models like the Veritas and Talisman).


As far as model availability: We announced that the Sapphire III would be discontinued several months ago. When I checked inventory yesterday, there were only a few pair left. They are likely sold by now or will be very soon. We will be announcing the replacement Sapphire within a week or so. I can tell you this, it sings! Yes I know, as head of the design team I'm not the most objective reviewer. I can tell you that we've had quite a few people in to listen, and the consensus is that it is really an amazing monitor. It is a ported design with a cabinet that is significantly larger than the Sapphire III. We've tuned it to keep the same tight, well defined bass quality of the Sapphire III, but now the bass goes significantly deeper and with greater authority. We've kept the same smooth, open, non-fatiguing sound of the Sapphire III. And, we've managed to significantly improve the transparency through the upper midrange, lower treble, while improving dynamics as well. I'm very excited about this speaker!

The new Essence center should begin shipping just after Christmas. We have a number of customers who've been patiently waiting for their orders for months.

We are currently backordered on Emeralds. Cabinets are scheduled to come out of production by late next week. We're hoping to get at least a handful of the backorders out in time for Christmas but it will be close.


As regards using the new Sapphire or Emeralds for music without sub, you bet. The new Sapphire in particular has pretty potent bass. I have a pair of Emeralds in our kitchen-living room area. I do use a Force sub with them. This is quite a large area and they do a great job.


I'd be happy to answer any other questions you might have. Thanks for asking!
 

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Any idea of the price on the 'new' Sapphire? Will photos be available in a week? Efficiency (will a tube amp drive them)?


My wife has never liked the looks of the Sapphire IIIs. I doubt she will want to spend the money on new speakers (pregnant), but I can always try :) Maybe if I get her in one of those good moods.


A very curious (and happy) customer.


Side note: I read on a forum that you are a special education teacher. Is this true? If so, it is very impressive that being a speaker designer isn't your main job!
 

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Maybe the title of this thread should be 'ACI - Best speaker mfg for the money -EVER?'


:D
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Kendrid
Any idea of the price on the 'new' Sapphire? Will photos be available in a week? Efficiency (will a tube amp drive them)?


My wife has never liked the looks of the Sapphire IIIs. I doubt she will want to spend the money on new speakers (pregnant), but I can always try :) Maybe if I get her in one of those good moods.


A very curious (and happy) customer.


Side note: I read on a forum that you are a special education teacher. Is this true? If so, it is very impressive that being a speaker designer isn't your main job!
Kevin:


Overall, the new Sapphire will cost us more to build. That said, I hope we can at least introduce it at a similar price to the Sapphire III LE. I¡¦ll know more in a week or so when I look at some of the figures. I¡¦ve been spending a fair amount of time listening to the prototypes and they are really wonderful. Wish I had more time to just listen! Photos will be available soon. They will initially be prototype photos; the production units will not be ready for a month or so. Tube amp? No problem. I have always endeavored to make sure that our designs can be used in the real world. I don¡¦t have a sensitivity spec at the moment, but we will when we release this beauty.


I think your wife will like the look. My wife loves the new look. No question, the newer look of textured black with real hardwood has been very well received.


Yes, I am one of those folks who has two vocations he loves. From about 7:30 to 4:00 I run an alternative program at Logan High School in La Crosse. Logan is an excellent school. President Bush came here last year because of our record of high academic achievement with a very diverse student body that has a very high poverty ratio. This is not a job; it is an adventureƒº I¡¦ve been a teacher for exactly as long as ACI has been a company . . .25 years. I am blessed to have a great team at ACI. Everyone on the team makes the customer our first priority.
 

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Mike,


Definitly worth checking out ACI. I have the following ACI speakers


Jaguars L/R (original style)

Veritas (center)

Sapphire III (sides and rears)

Titans w/SV12 (L/R subs)


Mike and the rest of the ACI group are a very good bunch.


Shawn
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm really interested in this now. I am not planning on buying speakers for a few months still, so I'm waiting to see what the new Sapphires will be like. I'm still exploring my options, but I like all the positive opinions people have of ACI speakers on this forum and AA.


Has anyone compared the Paradigm Servo 15 to either the Force or Titan? For me, the Titan would cost a little more then the Servo 15, but not that much.


Mike
 

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I'll chime in to say...


Wonderful company...


Superbly engineered products...


First rate people to deal with...


Wishing you all the very best...


mls
 

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Mark:


Thank you for your kind comments!


Mike:


We have now taken pictures of the new Sapphire. I am hoping that we may be able to get a preliminary webpage ready within a day or two. I'll post back here as soon as the page goes up.


Thanks to all!
 

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Quote:
My wife has never liked the looks of the Sapphire IIIs.
I'll admit that the old style Sapphires IIIs weren't too spectacular with respect to their appearance. The LE cabinets do look much nicer. But aesthetics are so subjective.


Shawn is right about ACI customer service. It is excellent. All of the folks at ACI that I have dealt with have been extremely courteous, helpful and knowledgeable. Mike's a great guy.


I have Sapphire III LE L/Rs, Veritas center, Emerald surrounds and an original Titan sub. The system does very well in my small apartment setup. If I had the cash, I'd love to try the Veritas Vs all around for HT duty. I'm very curious about the new Sapphires too.
 

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I also have the Sapphire III LE's. I listen to 2-channel music and I have a third Sapphire for the center channel for home theater, as well. These speakers are so smooth with good bass. Transient response and impact are excellent. I'm driving them with an HK AVR-520 A/V receiver. Both music and H/T are excellent. They will play plenty loud. I use an M&K subwoofer that blends great with the Sapphires.


Mike D. has always been very helpful and has answered many questions. ACI is a great company. By the way, the LE's look gorgeous - mine are in cherry. The cherry cabinets darken significantly with age (~ 1 year) and now blend beautifully with my cedar wainscoting. Cherry naturally darkens with age.


Check em' out!


Greg
 
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