Upgrading from AE Elite 2 Speakers

Violator

Well-known Member
Want to go to floorstanders and like the look/reviews of the AE Radiance 2's, which can be had for a decent price.

Anyone any comments on these, or anything else that would be a decent upgrade? budget around £800 (I've also just ordered a BK DF Monolith if that changes things :))
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
What is the rest of your equipment? Is this pure stereo or surround sound? What amp do you have? What other speakers do you have?

Given that you are looking at AE Radiance, can we assume you are going for quality over quantity?

If you want clarity, consider Dale Lektor 6 or Focal 716 or 726 (726 a trace over your budget, but close in price to the AE Rad-2). Focal are a stunningly clear speaker.

Google-UK Shopping Search - Dali Lektor 6

Focal 716 - Google Search

Focal 726 - Google Search

If you can raise your budget a trace, consider the Dali Ikon 6, a very highly acclaimed speaker, for about £975/pr -

Dali Ikon 6

This is the Mark 1 version, the newer Mark-2 version is about £1200/pr.

All that said, while I don't have a lot of information about them, all indications are that the AE Radiance are also very good speakers.

The best you can do is give a few speakers a listen, your ears will tell you everything you need to know.

Just a few thoughts.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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Violator

Well-known Member
Hi Steve/Bluewizard

Sorry my specs are in profile

Pioneer VSX-AX2AS-S
Samsung LE40A686
BKElec DFXLS200 Sub (Mono on way!)
AE Aelite 2 Fronts
AE Neo Centre
MA BRFX Surrounds

Yes I'd prefer quality over quantity :). Thanks for the info, I will check those out.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
I'm curious how you find the Aelite 2?

DISCONTINUED ACOUSTIC ENERGY AELITE 2 SPEAKERS (PAIR) - available from Superfi UK

To some extent, your satisfaction with the Acoustic Energy speakers will guide you forward. If they are just OK, then you might want to consider switching brands. However, if you like them and are merely considering upgrading to better speakers, then the Radiance might be a good choice.

Next, how satisfied are you with your amp?

VSX-AX2AS-S (Archivé) - Pioneer France

DISCONTINUED PIONEER VSXAX2AS HOME CINEMA RECEIVER - available from Superfi UK

And are you sure it is not the weak link in the chain? Though fairly, I would expect this to be a very good AV amp.

Given that you have a Subwoofer, and an AV/Surround setup, the bass response of the front speakers is not that critical. All speakers I suggested, including the Radiance 2, have decent bass, but not ultra-deep bass.

I think it gets down to weighing the options, and comparing the Radiance to other similarly priced speakers. I do know that the Ikon and Focal are very highly regarded for their clarity, and the Lektor are not far behind.

Having said that though, there is nothing wrong with the Radiance 2, a highly rated well balanced speaker, so it is really down to what appeals to your ears and, yes, what appeals to your eyes.

The last consideration, is the Center speaker. In general one should try to brand and series match the Center with the Front speakers. Given you have a AE Neo Center, that pushes the scales toward more AE speakers. But, if you intend to eventually upgrade the center, then certainly other brands are worthy of consideration.

That's probably not much help, but it really does get down to giving a listen to a few speakers, and seeing which appeals to you most.

Steve/bluewizard
 

Violator

Well-known Member
Thanks for the advice BlueWizard. I'm quite happy with the AElites as speakers, I just want something a little 'fuller' and clearer at the front. I think my amp is more than adequate, and the centre will be fine at the moment. The only thing I'm really thinking about is whether to wait until I have the new sub before changing them out.
 

Violator

Well-known Member
Thought 'sod it' and ordered the Radiance 2's for a very respectable price. I hope they live up to expectations :)
 

Violator

Well-known Member
New speakers arrive tomorrow :smashin: Is a 'run-in' period still recommended?
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Just keep in mind that more money, or bigger amps, or bigger speakers, don't necessarily provide you with more; at least, not more raw quantity. What you are buying is clarity, which, when people actually finally hear it, can be surprising.

The owner's manual might give some sense of the break-in period of the speakers. This can vary for a few dozen hours to a 100 hours or more.

But, I would expect them to be pretty nice right out of the box.

Get a few hours on them, then post back with your initial impression? That is always valuable information to the forum.

Steve/bluewizard
 

Violator

Well-known Member
Just keep in mind that more money, or bigger amps, or bigger speakers, don't necessarily provide you with more; at least, not more raw quantity. What you are buying is clarity, which, when people actually finally hear it, can be surprising.

The owner's manual might give some sense of the break-in period of the speakers. This can vary for a few dozen hours to a 100 hours or more.

But, I would expect them to be pretty nice right out of the box.

Get a few hours on them, then post back with your initial impression? That is always valuable information to the forum.

Steve/bluewizard

It's not quantity I'm after Steve, it's quality :). I'll probably give them a few hours run-in then and then test them properly. I shall of course report my impression :)
 

Violator

Well-known Member
So far so good. Couldn't resist a quick test at medium volume and the difference is immediate. Clarity is much improved, noticing little sounds or ambient noises a lot more. Bass response is better, more punch but seemingly with less effort from the speaker.

Now running in, so will do proper sound test tomorrow, but impressions so far are :smashin:
 

AEJim

Active Member
Glad you're enjoying the Radiance 2's so far! :)

They were nominated in Hi-Fi Choice awards for speaker of the year (and would have won a group test that for some reason they weren't put into - Paul Messenger's own words, though we did win a group test the month after at least with the AE1 SE's! :)). Some of our distributors say it's their favourite current model too.

They were designed with clarity and timing as the priorities, basically to be musical. The bass isn't the lowest around but it is solid and fast, generally far more important for most music!

Look forward to hearing how you feel about them as you get more use out of them, I think they do share characteristics with the Aelite 2's despite the different form factor, both very enjoyable speakers in my book. (The Aelite 2's were underrated, numerous staff from other Hi-Fi manufacturers bought them off us for their own use!).

Cheers,


James Luce
Brand Manager
Acoustic Energy Ltd.
 

Violator

Well-known Member
Good to see some AE representation Jimrod :)

Had a few days to run in these beauties now and I can safely say they get better and better.

Clarity, vocal and musical is superb. I find myself hearing new sounds in tracks I consider myself very familiar with for many years. The bass response, coupled with the sub, is far superior to the Aelite2's (good as they were), again they bring out mid-bass sounds I'd not noticed before.

Bring a whole new life to many of my favourite films and music :smashin:
 

Violator

Well-known Member
So will be pairing these beauties up with my new BK Monolith on Monday. Should they compliment each other well?
 

pete s

Active Member
Just read this with interest, as a pair of Radiance 2's is on my shortlist. I don't seem to be able to find a local dealer who has these to be run back-to-back against some other options. With the very competetive prices I have seen these going for I might just have to jump in and take a risk. I'm just not sure that paying almost double for some PMC's is going to yeild enough of an improvement to warrant the extra £'s!

Any more feedback Violator now you've had these a while?
 

Violator

Well-known Member
Well Pete S I can comfortably say if you go for these you will not be disappointed, the performance/£ ratio is very good indeed.

They do need a few hours run in for sure. I mean they sound good out of the box, but after a couple days use you'll start hearing them 'loosen up' and become even clearer.

And that's one thing that impresses me, not just the mid-bass and treble, but the sound clarity is fantastic.

I have mine bi-amped for that extra bit of performance and couldn't be happier really.

:smashin:
 

Violator

Well-known Member
Am upgrading my centre to a nice new Radiance as well now. Looking forward to that :smashin:
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
keep us posted. You seem very impressed with the Radiance speakers. I'm glad.

If you feel you want to write up a full review, we would be more than happy to read it. You should especially have some nice insight as to the Aelite 2 vs the Radiance 2.

So far, it sounds like a very sweet speaker.

Steve/bluewizard
 

AEJim

Active Member
Just as an FYI the October issue of What Hi-Fi? (due out tomorrow) features a Radiance 5.1 with the 2's as main speakers! They seem to like the speakers and integration a lot but mark the package down for the "loose" sub - 4 Star overall.

This is a little odd to me as the Radiance/Neo sub is always well reviewed, including by this very site and just a few months back got 5-Star in What Hi-Fi? itself! The Neo sub is a little cheaper but the only difference between that and the Radiance one is finish, the wood veneer basically costing more. To go from winning a group test (it wasn't a head to head as such but rather a selection of subs reviewed together and the Neo one came out with the best write up) and being a great sub to being "loose" and lacking punch makes me think there was either a problem with their unit (though it would have been tested before shipping) or they set it up wrong. Or of course if I was being cynical they may have simply wanted to push the other packages more, which I shouldn't really say but I am a little miffed how their opinion could change so much in such a short period...

Anyway, the basic info of the review was that sub aside, they liked the package a lot so I hope you will too! As Blue Wizard said, please feel free to write a review if you have the time or inclination!

Cheers,


James Luce
Brand Manager
Acoustic Energy Ltd.
 

Violator

Well-known Member
Speaker arrived today, just fitted up, but not had chance to test properly or calibrate yet. But I will be tomorrow :smashin:. First impressions visually are good, it looks great :). Notice as well it has option to bi-wire/bi-amp which I hadn't seen in the reviews, alas I have no way to bi-amp the centre, shame really...
 

Violator

Well-known Member
Calibrated and running-in now. Will post an update in a couple of days once it's settled in a bit. So far, it sounds promising. Vocal clarity is much improved (even though I thought it was good before) and again I'm noticing little details I hadn't before.
 

Violator

Well-known Member
Well I'm very pleased with the centre, lovely bit of kit. Now my thoughts are turning to the rears. The Radiance 1s are a decent price, but would they provide a decent upgrade over my MA BXFXs? Would I be missing out at all losing the BXFX bipole feature?
 

AEJim

Active Member
Hi again Violator,

Glad you're enjoying the new centre! :) While the Radiance 1's would be a better tonal match, the front/rear integration isn't as crucial as with the front three speakers. I would say you'll be fine with the system as it is, I'd only really recommend that upgrade in terms of cosmetic matching or if you were noticing obvious discrepancies in balance/character between front and rear.
 

Violator

Well-known Member
Haha Jimrod I expected a harder sales pitch from you :). Yes I'm enjoying the centre very much, it certainly brings the front stage up to a good level. Unfortunately I'm not so up on the 'technical' side of sound, I know what sounds good but probably not so much why. Hence lack of 'review'.

My MA BXFXs are still good yes, I just thought it might be nice to have the whole setup Radiance.
 

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