|Aperion Audio Intimus 633-T Loudspeakers|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Floorstanding Loudspeakers|
|Written by Andrew Robinson|
|Wednesday, 01 August 2007|
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As much as I love high-end gear and the brands associated with it, I have a special place in my heart for the little guys. While you can hardly call a brand such as Aperion “little,” they don’t quite have the brand equity of, say, Paradigm, Definitive Technology or B&W. Still, Aperion has made a name for itself over the years by producing well-regarded and very good-sounding speakers at surprisingly affordable prices, which they sell direct to the consumer, with a 30-day money-back trial period, via their website. While Web-based consumer electronic sales are nothing new, Aperion’s website stands apart from some of the competition, in that it doesn’t appear to be homegrown. Aperion’s website, www.aperionaudio.com is nicely designed, extremely informative and has a stylistic flair to it equal to some of the biggest names in the business. But don’t think all this design flash is meant to distract you from a substandard product. No, the new Intimus line of speakers, especially the 633-Ts reviewed here, is quite good.
The Intimus 633-T tower speakers arrived at my home hot on the heels of a slew of budget gear. If there is anything I’ve learned from the past few reviews I’ve done, it’s that the word “budget” should be only applied to the price, for the various products’ performances were anything but. Nevertheless, the 633-Ts are budget speakers in that they’re easy on the wallet, retailing for a modest $499 each or $998 for a pair. My pair came finished in a brilliant black lacquer piano finish. Aperion also offers the 633-T in a medium cherry at no additional cost. I must comment on Aperion’s packing, which is among the best I’ve ever seen. The speakers were double-boxed with a simple foam casing that completely cocooned the speakers, wrapped neatly in their black velvet bags for safekeeping. Fresh out of the box, the 633-Ts exuded a sense of class and sophistication not found with speakers in the Intimus’ price bracket or even some beyond. Before they ever were plugged in, I got the feeling I was in for something special, and I get the feeling Aperion truly believes that their products are in fact special.
The 633-T is pretty standard for a floor-standing speaker in terms of size, measuring in at 41-and-a-half inches tall by 10-and-a-quarter inches wide (at the base) and 18-and-a-quarter inches deep. It is surprisingly inert throughout its cabinet, which weighs an impressive 70 pounds. The 633-T has a two-way design, with a single one-inch silk dome tweeter mounted above two six-and-one-half-inch carbon fiber mid/bass woofers. The 633-T has a front-ported design, which means you can place it a bit closer to your front wall than a rear-ported speaker. It features a single pair of gold-plated binding posts capable of accepting bare wire, as well as spade or banana plug cable adaptors.
Behind the scenes, the 633-T has a reported frequency response of 38Hz to 20kHz, with a 90dB sensitivity rating into six ohms. Aperion recommends a solid 50-300 watts per channel to get the 633-Ts to sound their best. While I did use the 633-Ts in my reference rig for a spell, I can safely say you don’t need 300 watts on tap to make the 633-Ts sing. In fact, most of today’s entry-level to mid-fi receivers will power the 633-Ts beautifully without the need for more power.
While this review will primarily focus on the 633-Ts, Aperion was kind enough to loan me a matching center speaker, the 634-VAC, which retails for $495 and compliments the 633-Ts beautifully both physically and sonically. They also sent along one of their subwoofers, the S-12, which is a 12-inch, 250-watt powered subwoofer retailing for $599. Both are available in either piano black or medium cherry at no extra cost. If you needed rears, which I did not, Aperion makes those, too. Regardless of what system you choose to build Aperion has got you covered. Hell, they’ll even sell you cables. I really do like this approach to manufacturing and marketing. While my system is comprised of numerous components from various manufacturers, I can’t help think of consumers like my parents who don’t necessarily have the time or the inclination to search far and wide for an interconnection, which is why companies like Aperion are able redefine value in more ways than just price.
Once unpacked, I went ahead and set up the 633-Ts in my reference system, which consists of a Mark Levinson No. 433 multi-channel amp, Meridian G68 surround sound controller, Toshiba HD-A20 HD DVD player, Sony Blu-ray player and modified Apple TV, with all the visuals being handled by my trusty Sony “Pearl” projector. As my time with the 633-Ts continued, I swapped out my Mark Levinson and Meridian gear for the recently reviewed Yamaha RX-V861 receiver. Lastly, I decided to move the entire speaker system upstairs into my new home office, which is where the gear remains to this day, powered by the Yamaha receiver and mated to my Apple Pro Mac, Denon universal player and 50-inch HDTV Vizio display.
Regardless of which system or the room they were in, I found the 633-Ts remarkably easy to set up and a bit forgiving of room placement and/or conditions. While the 633-Ts responded favorably when given a bit of room to breathe, especially in regard to their placement from the front wall, they didn’t require it the way most loudspeakers do. In terms of set-up, I found the 633-Ts and the rest of the Aperion speakers to be some of the easiest I’ve encountered thus far.