Aperion 632-LR bookshelf speaker

by | Sep 2, 2005 | Component Reviews | 0 comments

Aperion
 
632-LR
 
Bookshelf

Speaker

SPECS:
Dimensions (LR):     15″ H x 7-7/8″ W x 12-3/4″ D
Weight (each):   26 lbs.
Sensitivity:   86dB
Nominal Impedance:   8 Ohms
Frequency Response:   46 Hz to 20 kHz
Recommended Power:   50 – 200 Watts Per Channel
Enclosure Type:   2-Way Vented, Video Shielded
Warranty:   10 Years

aperionaudio.com
18151 SW Boones Ferry Road
Portland, OR 97224
888-880-8992
john.wanderscheid@aperionaudio.com


Designed right here in the Pacific Northwest, the Aperion 632 is built
in China to incredibly high standards.  Recently I had a chance to
give the Quad L21’s an extended listen and noticed that they too were
constructed in China.  Though the Quads were a little bit spendy
at $1200 a pair, the Aperion 632s are the entry level bargain of the
year at $598 a pair or $299 individually.

One of the ways the folks at Aperion keep the cost down is by not
having a dealer network — they ship directly to you.  The good
news is that the shipping is included at $598 and if you do not like
them, you can return them at no charge, provided they are still in
brand new condition.  After listening to them for a good month, I
can’t imagine they have to pay the return shipping bill often, if at
all.

The 632’s are available in Cherry and Gloss Black finish, and my test
pair were finished in black.  Normally, I’m not that hip on the
black, but these speakers are gorgeous.  They have build quality
that you would be impressed by if the price tag was $2000 a pair. 
Just a bit larger than what I would consider “mini-monitor” sized, they
are still pretty small speakers  weighing in at 26 lbs.
each.  Back to that fit and finish thing again: the cabinets are
very robust and pass the knuckle rap test with flying colors.  The
fronts are covered with a basic black grille that snaps off and the
back panel has a port along with a single pair of binding posts. 
These are two-way speakers with a 1” dome tweeter and a 6.5” woofer.

Frequency response (with no variation spec.) is quoted at 46-20kHz and
efficiency is 86db.  The 632’s have a rated efficiency of 86db,
but thanks to the new HD-X3 crossovers, provided a very easy load to
drive.  For initial break in, I just ran them with my old Marantz
2220B for about a week, but they even made that receiver sound much
better than it ever has, so for you vintage gear folks, this speaker
should be on your short list.  Even with 20 watts per channel,
they would play as clean and loud as I needed to.

Right out of the box, the 632’s had a very easy going sound, but after
about 50 hours, the mids did open up a bit and the bass seemed just a
bit tighter.  I did most of the rest of my listening on the new
Prologue 4 preamp and Prologue 5 power amplifier from Prima Luna and
was very happy with the combination.  Being a bit more of a tube
guy, I felt the Prima Luna was an excellent match for these speakers,
offering a very friendly sound. Just to be fair to the solid state
folks in the audience, I swapped the Prologue 5 for the Monarchy SM-70
PRO, which is about 25 watts per channel, class A and my favorite solid
state amplifier.

Whatever your preference, the Aperion 632’s won’t disappoint (however,
I do think they had a touch more magic with tube amplification). 
Not to get too exotic on cables, I used them with my favorite budget
cable, Home Depot’s 12-gauge extension cord with great results. 
To satisfy the audiophile crowd, I also used some DH Labs Silver Sonic
T-14, which is a nice upgrade and will only set you back about $90 for
a 6-foot pair.  The DH cable gave a bit more relaxed presentation,
enough so that this would not be money wasted on these budget speakers.

One of the nicest aspects of these speakers is that they are not
terribly fussy about setup.The 6” woofer had better bass than you might
expect and free of a midbass boost. I got the best balance between bass
and imaging about two feet from the wall on 24” high stands.  The
high end response, matter of fact the overall response of this speaker,
is very friendly.  Not rolled off, but not harsh, the only errors
I really found the 632s made were ones of omission.  You can only
expect so much detail and resolution from a small, budget speaker and
these speakers are considerably better than any other speaker I have
heard in this price range. The highest compliment I can pay them is
that everyone who took my informal poll failed and guessed that the
632’s cost between 1000 and 1500 dollars.

I played a wide range of music from jazz to hard rock and was not
disappointed with anything, so I would not pigeonhole these as a “rock”
speaker or a “chamber music” speaker.  If anything, they were a
ton of fun to listen to, because they lack just enough ultimate detail,
that those awful records in your collection still sound good.

If you are a newcomer to the world of high end sound and want to dip
your toe in the pool, I can’t suggest a better place to start than the
Aperion 632-LR.  Add a good integrated amp and CD player and you
can have some great sound for under 2500 dollars with speaker stands
and cables.  Should you move up the ladder in a year or so, keep
these speakers for another room in the house or your beach house; these
are keepers.

— Jeff Dorgay

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