Features: Intimus 5B Speakers and Bravus 8A Subwoofer
Contrary to their name, the best placement for bookshelf speakers is on stands, not a bookshelf. Stands place the speakers at the correct height when the listener is seated and help get the best audio performance. Wall mounting is also an option. The Intimus 5B speakers have dual ¼" threaded inserts on the back for connection to a wall mount bracket. The inserts are spaced according to industry standards so wall mount brackets from several manufacturers, including Aperion Audio are compatible. The 5B speakers are magnetically shielded so they can be safely placed near a television or flat panel display.
The Aperion Audio Bravus 8A powered subwoofer completed the 2.1 channel system. The 8A features a down-facing 8-inch aluminum cone driver powered by a 100-watt amplifier. The enclosure is ¾" HDF with internal bracing and like the bookshelf speakers, it has a solid feel and beautiful finish. Spikes on the bottom of the subwoofer raise it off the floor a bit.
In general, the 5Bs had a very satisfying sound, good for easy or critical listening. The silk dome tweeter was crisp with plenty of detail but no edginess, and the midrange sounded open and transparent with very good dynamics. The acoustic guitar and shaker in Lawrence Juber's "Mosaic", a DVD-Audio recording from AIX Records (arguably one of the best recording labels) was reproduced with excellent resolution of subtle musical details. The banjo in John McEuen's "Miner's Night Out", another very good AIX recording, had great transient response combined with the spot-on imaging of the fiddle.
The Intimus speakers had wide dynamic range in Zephyr's "Now Is the Month of Maying", a unique recording featuring twelve a cappella vocalists standing in a wide circle around a microphone. The multichannel version of this recording is extraordinary and the stereo down-mix is no less impressive, even without the surround sound experience. The volume range of the vocals in this recording transition quickly from low to high then rapidly back to quiet, a challenge for any speaker (or amplifier), yet the 5Bs seemed to handle the wide dynamic range effortlessly and with good clarity.
The Bottom Line
Aperion Audio recommends an amp with 25-200 watts per channel, but it should be noted that the Intimus 5B speakers have a low sensitivity spec of 84 dB. An amplifier with at least 50 watts per channel would be a good idea to get the best performance from the speakers. My Yamaha stereo amp with 70-watts x 2 was enough, but more power might deliver improved dynamic range.
The days of the audio salon are in the past, but hearing speakers in your home is the best way to choose the right ones. Buying direct has its advantages and the Aperion Audio 30-day no-risk in-home audition is a tempting offer. It may become irresistible when you hear the Intimus 5B bookshelf speakers and the Bravus 8A subwoofer. Check out Aperion Audio for more information
- Mid/Woofer: 5.25" Woven-Fiberglass
- Tweeter: 1" Silk-Dome
- Frequency Response: 75Hz–20kHz (+/-3dB)
- Impedance: 6 ohms
- Sensitivity: 84 dB
- Enclosure: Ported
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 6.75" x 12" x 8"
- Weight: 14 lbs
- Price: $225 each
- 8" aluminum cone
- 100-watt amplifier
- Frequency Response: 36Hz-160Hz
- Enclosure: Ported
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 13.5" x 15" x 13.5"(w/feet)
- Weight: 33 lbs
- Price: $319.00
- System: $769.00
- Contact: Aperion Audio