Aperion Intimus 6 Series Home Theater Speaker System Page 2

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The Short Form
Price $2,582 (as tested) / aperionaudio.com / 888 880-8992
High-value sound, with capable components inside and flawless beauty outside.
•High-end fidelity, with a particularly sweet front trio •Switchable dipole/bipole surrounds •Top-notch, traditional appearance
•Towers' midrange too laid-back for some program material •Small surrounds can't always keep up with super-sized fronts
Key Features
633-T ($499 each) •1-in soft-dome tweeter, (2) 6.5-in woofers; 41.5 in high; 70 lb 634-VAC ($495) •1-in soft-dome tweeter, 5.25-in midrange, (2) 6.5-in woofers; 25 in wide; 39 lb 534-SS ($245 each) •(2) 1-in soft-dome tweeters, (2) 5.25-in woofers; 10.5 in high; 16 lb S-12 ($599) •12-in driver; 250-watt RMS amplifier; 15 x 20.5 x 21.5 in; 66 lb
Test Bench
The 633-T showed excellent bass extension, along with a bump at 100 Hz, a floor-bounce notch at 200 Hz, and a 3-dB elevation near its crossover. The 634-VAC center delivered the same sound to on- and off-axis seats; its Cabinet mode attenuates sub-500-Hz output by 2 to 3 dB. The surrounds behaved as expected, with the Dipole mode showing notably more low-end rolloff than Bipole mode. The sub averaged 104 dB maximum SPL from 25 to 62 Hz and hit absolute max SPL of 112 dB at 50 Hz. - Tom Nousaine Full Lab Results
SETUP I wrestled the Aperions into my rooms typical sweet spots, but given the center speaker's notably wide sound field, I ended up placing the towers slightly farther apart than usual. The 634-VAC, a recent addition to Aperion's lineup, is quite substantial for a center, measuring 8.5 inches high and 25 inches wide. It offers the vertically arrayed midrange-tweeter arrangement that Sound & Vision favored when we tested the Aperion 5 Series a couple of years back (see review), and it adds a new "VoiceRight" feature: a slide switch that compensates for stand mounting or placement in a cabinet near a TV screen, where interaction with the screen surface can emphasize bass and degrade clarity. The latter setting indeed proved best for the shelf underneath my 50-inch Samsung DLP TV.

The dipole/bipole surrounds gave me pause. My room has two distinct speaker locations: one that's optimal for dipoles (which put the front-facing drivers out of phase with the rear-facing drivers) and one that's best for bipoles (with all the drivers in phase). After auditioning, I chose an intermediate location for the speakers (on the side walls, 3 feet behind and 2 feet above the listening position), which allowed me to switch them according to program material. Generally, I used the dipole mode for movies and for music with mainly ambient content in the surrounds (such as most classical music) and the bipole mode for music with "direct" content in the surrounds (as in much pop music). The surrounds are a mirrored pair marked "left" and "right," and I carefully complied.

MUSIC PERFORMANCE Over the course of 2 weeks, I took these speakers to Audio Boot Camp for a serious audition, playing light classical to heavy metal and everything in between.

On stereo pop, such as Santana's Supernatural, the towers' ear-height tweeters delivered a crisp sound on the guitar solos, with excellent fingering detail - as well as lots of air for the snare drum and hi-hat. Male vocals were warm and, along with some keyboard lines, just slightly pulled back. The rhythm guitar was slightly muddy at first, but a little playing with the speaker-to-wall distances and toe-in brought it out. The floor toms and kick drum were solid, with a tight punch and good musicality overall. Dynamic linearity was okay, but the towers did strain a bit when pushed to loud levels.