|Aperion Audio Intimus System (522D-LR/522D-C/S10)|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Speaker Systems|
|Written by Christopher Zell, Ph.D.|
|Friday, 01 August 2003|
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The surrounds are identical to the mains and center, which makes for impeccable timbre matching, but does not give the listener the option of diffuse, however, you can get a diffused surround effect through placement and positioning of the speakers in relation to the walls. This is not a particularly important issue for me, since I leave my reference surrounds (Revel S30) in the direct position rather than dipole most of the time anyway. This may perhaps be more important to those with smaller rooms where direct surrounds will be more easily detectable as individual sources, and those who are more movie viewers than multi-channel music listeners. Secondly, the 522D’s slight tendency toward leanness and edge may not always be suited to inexpensive, mid-fi receivers, which unfortunately is a frequent pairing with speaker systems in this price range. You don’t need to break the bank to get decent, non-aggressive performance out of a receiver, but I would advise choosing carefully rather than just buying whatever is cheapest at the local mega-store selling dishwashers and ovens in the booth next to the Home Theater demo room. One thing to note is that, although I was not able to fully ameliorate the 522Ds’ minor edginess by altering the setup and loudspeaker positioning in my main listening room, they were more tamed and musical when I tried them in fellow reviewer Tom Garcia’s home. Like every loudspeaker system I have ever heard, room acoustics and speaker positioning have a huge effect on the final sonics, so don’t underestimate the importance of adjusting and optimizing your system and surroundings. This is where the benefit of the 30-day trial period comes in, so you can be confident that the Aperion loudspeakers will be well matched with your listening environment.
In this price range, there will inevitably be tradeoffs, but I believe the Aperions are a real player in this range, especially because of the savings from Internet-only sales. Please don’t take my occasional criticisms during the course of this review as a condemnation of this loudspeaker system, but rather as a compliment that these speakers can be compared with much more expensive setups. As good a value as I feel the 522D satellite loudspeakers are, the S10 subwoofer is the real star of the show. I must admit, I was initially a bit disappointed when I discovered the review system came with the mid-sized 10-inch driver based S10, and not the 12-inch, 250-watt S12 subwoofer. But this attractive, unassuming unit was able to really pressurize the numerous rooms I tried it in, some large, all the while sounding musical, and not sticking out unless called for by the source material. Not only did the S10 work extremely well as a part of the 5.1 Channel INTIMUS Theater/Audio loudspeaker system, but I think it is an excellent choice in the under $500 subwoofer market by itself. The S12 is a significant step up from the S10, something you should hear. Overall, I was very impressed by the Aperion 5.1 Channel INTIMUS Theater/Audio loudspeaker system, and heartily recommend it to anyone looking for a complete surround setup anywhere near this price range.