ACI 25th Anniversary Saphires- Opinions Please

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by DanaA, Jul 14, 2003.

  1. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    ACI 25th Anniversary Saphires- Opinions Please
    Am considering getting ACI's Sapphires and their center channel for my system. These would be running in combination with the Rotel 1066 pre-pro and the Parasound 1205A amp (140 watts/channel X's 5). Can anyone share their impressions of the Sapphires' sound (warm, neutral, bright, detailed, musical, etc.) and how they work with both HT and music? In your opinion, are they well valued for the quality of the product?

    Also, I occasionally like to listen to my music pretty loud, well I like to blast them. Given my amp, will I be able to do so pretty safely with these speakers? The room will be about 14 by 16 feet.

    One final question involves placement. There are space considerations going on. The Sapphires would have plenty of room to breath from behind, but one of the speakers would have to be placed near the side of a big screen TV, maybe only 2-3 inches from it at the side, although I could lip it out 2-3 inches so that the front of the speakers extended those inches in past the TV's front. Will this significantly reduce the performance in things such as sound stage with this placement?

    Thanks anyone for your help. It really is appreciated.
     
  2. Steve_D

    Steve_D Second Unit

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    I can give you 1st hand impressions when I get mine and they are broken in, they should be shipped today. I researched everything, ad nauseum, and settled on these, at the very least for an in-home audition.

    However, I found this thread most helpful, (and it just happened to compare 3 brand/models that made my final list, other than B&W 805's, Tyler Acoustic Taylos, and GMA Europas):

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...light=sapphire

    Yes, you should extend the front out past your TV boundry. Due to their front porting and heavy construction, they should be less sensitive to placement than those with rear ports and/or cheaper construction.

    As for loudness, are you pairing these with a sub?
     
  3. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the response Steve. Yes, I have a Hsu VTF-2 in the room now.

    By the way, I had already read that thread. In fact, for the last few hours, I've been searching and reading all that I can. They really sound amazing, but a healthy break in period seems to squeeze every last ounce of harshness out of them.

    By the way, did you order a center channel too, or is this for stickly a two channel set up?

    Taylor Taylo's have been on my short list too. Like you, I've been doing exhaustive reading. It's not that I need a new set of speakers, but some of the bookshelves I've been reading about have had a very seductive appeal, as is the case with ACI. It sounds like I could sit back and relax for hours with sweet, liquid sound surrounding me. Pretty tempting.

    One last note: I too am very pleased with the front-ported design.

    Let me know how you like them. This may be hard to believe, but I'm excited empathetically along with you for your new purchase.
     
  4. Steve_D

    Steve_D Second Unit

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    Thanks...it'll be a month or so before I can really tell you...sorry! I have to squeeze a house move in here also, which is why I went away from my Paradigm Studio 40's.

    I ordered an Emerald for the center channel due to my own space and decor limitations, with the caveat that if I deem the Emerald insufficient, I can return them for full price on the Essence or another Sapphire. In HT mode, however, it gets crossed over at 80HZ so I'm not real concerned....time will tell.

    I'm waiting on the Emerald on-wall to be released for the surrounds.
     
  5. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    I have the 25th Anniversary Sapphires. I also have Emeralds, a Titan II and a soon to be coming Essence.

    The Sapphires are spectacular speakers, and they replaced the Paradigm Studio 40's before them. I have no upgraditis now.

    These speakers are PERFECT for my needs. They are neutral and have killer detail. They aren't as bright as the Paradigms, but they are in no way what I would describe as being warm. They are pretty neutral honestly. These are great speakers for all kinds of music, especially rock. They can DEFINATELY be blasted. The only way you cannot blast these is if you are using some kind of a bass boost (like a loudness button on the typical receiver) because even though they are rated down into the 40's hertz wise, you can overextend the drivers if you jack up the bass artificially.

    However with a good amp like the rotel, running the speakers with flat response, and a solid pre, you will have NO problems, even without a sub. If you run them in conjunction with a sub, make sure to use the port blockers for a more seamless transition and never look back. If you cross these over as small and have a quality sub, you will have to search quite a bit for anything significantly better.

    I am so much happier with these than the Paradigms. For music, for what I like, they are so much better it isn't even funny. And they don't back down in the HT comparison either. Fantastic speakers...you won't be disappointed.

    If you want comparisons, here is my setup...

    Anthem AVM-20 Processor
    Odyssey Audio Dual Mono Stratos amp
    Rotel 1050 for surrounds (will be replaced someday by an Aragon 80008x5).
    Sony SCD-555ES
    ACI 25th Anniversary Sapphires, Emeralds and Titan II.

    Good luck and have fun!
     
  6. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    That's exactly the way I want to feel. [​IMG]

    You guys are helping me make a decision. All I have to do is wait to see how high my yearly bonus check is to seal the deal.

    So far, all I've heard is positive feedback on these speakers.
     
  7. kevitra

    kevitra Second Unit

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    I am the owner of the Sapphires that were in the avsforum thread (username Kendrid).

    My opinions are in the thread, but to sum it up they are incredible speakers. I also have no 'upgraditis' (at least for them). I will be keeping them for many years, as I would have to spend quite a bit more money for a noticable improvement.

    The one thing the new Sapphires did was make me realize how much I need a new center channel. Unfortunately I don't have the clearance for the Essence, so I am looking at using an Emerald. I am waiting to talk to Mike when he gets back from his vacation.

    On the subject of volume: I owned the Sapphire III before the new Sapphire. During a party at our house we had them up to the 100-105db range (crossed over at 80hz). They handled it just fine. I haven't had the 25th Sapphire anywhere near that loud, but I would guess they can do it. Just be sure to cross them over. No woofer that size is going to take that much bass.

    Let us know if you get them!
     
  8. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Isn't fate strange. First of all, thanks for your responses and your thread was well read Kevitra. Unfortunately, one of our cats got hit by a car tonight. Has at least a couple of broken bones and there's definitely some herniation going on, as well as perhaps some ruptured organs. Anyway, to cut to the chase, the vet said repair could cost quite a bit, in fact more than I'd set aside for the speakers. We'll see in the morning when the vet reevaluates, but it looks like the speakers might have to wait. Again, thanks to all of you for your help. I'll let you know if things turn out OK and I can order the speakers.
     
  9. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    Dana, sorry to hear that. Hope everything works out for the best[​IMG]
     
  10. Tony Genovese

    Tony Genovese Supporting Actor

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    Dana:

    Sorry to hear about your cat. Hope he makes it. If he does get well, keep him inside. He'll live a long life and you won't need to worry about what is happening when he's outside.
     
  11. Steve_D

    Steve_D Second Unit

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    [​IMG] , sorry to hear that. Get the cat well, and by then you will have another 1st hand opinion.

    Kev,

    Thanks very much for the effort you guys put into that comparison. It was well done and well written...I just wished (but understand why you did not) you had not shied away from including a couple of B&M speakers like the 805 and maybe some SF or Revels or Dyns....but I can read between the lines [​IMG]
     
  12. kevitra

    kevitra Second Unit

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    Sorry to hear about your cat. Hopefully he is ok.

    Steve_D -

    I would have gladly had a pair of 805s there for comparison's sake, if we had access to them. If we did a comparison on a Sunday we might be able to get a dealer to loan us a pair for the day. I do know of one B&W dealer that I have borrowed a Rotel CD player from. I'm not sure if they would go for the $2500 speakers though.
     
  13. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    First the bad news, unfortunately the cat died. Thanks for all your thoughtfulness in this regard. It turned out to be better this way. He never came out of shock and died peacefully.

    My wife urged me to go ahead and get the speakers today, so, being her love slave, I capitulated to her desires to have me wantonly and selfishly upgrade my system again. Man, I'm a good husband. [​IMG]

    The best review I saw of them was over at AudioReview.com. It states [​IMG]
     
  14. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Just ran into a potential problem. Didn't know the Sapphires weren't shielded. I have a Mitsubishi 55 inch rear projection TV. When I called ACI about this, they said they recommended the speakers be placed about 18" from the TV, but, because of my room situation, one of them would have to go about 4 inches from the Mitsubishi. Any one else have theirs close to a RPTV or experienced problems in this regard? Thanks.
     
  15. kevitra

    kevitra Second Unit

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    DanaA - I have a Mits 55809. I will move one of mine next to it and see what happens. I doubt it will do anything since the tubes are at the bottom of the TV. They will be fairly far from the magnets.

    I would be carefull putting the Essence on top of your Mits (if you plan on doing it). 53 lbs is a LOT of weight on the TV. When I purchased mine I did a lot of reading at the Spot. There were many people that stated that their TV's started to bow in the middle after a few months with excessive weight on them.
    What people end up doing was getting a piece of tempered glass and putting rubber feet on the outside 3 edges (all but the front). That way the weight was distributed on the frame of the TV.

    An Essence..I am jealous!
     
  16. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Thanks a lot Kevitra. That really is going above and beyond. Yes, I'm jazzed about getting the Essence. Hoping that it will all work out.
     
  17. Steve_D

    Steve_D Second Unit

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    I have put unshielded speakers near my RPTV for years with no ill effects. Magnetic fields do not affect colors on RPTV like they do tubed TV's, however, they _may_ effect beam alignment.

    It is easy to test. Get an unshielded speaker. Throw up a cross hatch pattern either from the TV's built in convergence adjustment or a test disc like Avia or Video Essentials. Put your unshielded speaker where you plan on putting the Sapphire. Is there any distortion of the cross hatch pattern?
     
  18. kevitra

    kevitra Second Unit

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    I might not get to it tonight, but I should be able to sometime this week.
     
  19. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    I dont have an RPTV, just a regular tubed model, but I put one of my Sapphires on top of an armoire that houses my tv once, just temporarily. It was at least 12 inches from the TV and the top framing of the Armoire is about 1.5" thick solid Oak. I still got significant discoloration from the lack of shielding within a relatively short period of time, so the magnets in the Sapphires are NOT lightweights.
     
  20. Steve_D

    Steve_D Second Unit

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    Just found this on the support forum for ACI---

    Mike is working on a mid-size, Sapphire based center channel speaker. May not be out for awhile, and I don't know if he's gotten past the planning stages yet, but I bet he's found a source for magentic shielding cups for the Sapphire drivers and should be able to fit them in yours so you don't have to worry about it. He's on vacation this week (maybe my order put him over the top [​IMG]), but when he gets back I'm sure he could address the issue.
     

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