ACI fans, their new "baby Essence" center is close....

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Bob-N, Oct 30, 2003.

  1. Bob-N

    Bob-N Supporting Actor

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    Hey all,

    I thought there hasn't been much talk lately about ACI's speakers so I thought it was time for a new one. Here's the link to their new center:

    http://www.audioc.com/speakers/Protege/intro.htm

    ACI is taking preorders on their new smaller center channel called Protege. The speaker (from the specs) look like a smaller version of the essence with two 5.25" woofs, one 4" mid and their 1" silk dome tweeter. I can't wait to get my hands on one. Been waiting for it since I received my Sapphires a few months ago. There is introductory free shipping and handling and at $500 for the no-wood panels version (add $50 for basic woods), it should represent a great value as with their other lines. For comparison, I bought my CDMCNT for $525 as a demo and it's only a 2 way system (one mid/woof, one tweeter).

    (blatant plug coming)

    I just wanted to confirm the great customer service I recently received. After a couple weeks after receiving my Sapphires, I noticed about a inch long scratch on one of the oak panels that was not caused by shipping (packaging and wrap are on par with SVS's, double box w/major foam inserts). I emailed Mike at ACI and he said that I could send them in whenever I was ready. So after break-in and my comparison testing (CDM1NTs) I emailed my request back in and also mentioned that there was also some odd black markings that looked kind of link small cigarette burns (but smaller). Again ACI said "no problem". I tossed them another wrinkle that I had an HT get together planned in two weeks and would they be able to get it back in time? Yet, again, they said no problem, issued a call tag (yes, they paid for shipping both ways!) and got the speaker back to me in record time, 10 days. Considering that I'm here in California and they are in Wisconsin, I was astounded at the turnaround. The speaker came back perfect with the panel replaced and looking (and smelling) factory fresh.

    To give equal time to the B&M store I bought my CDMs from (SF Stereo in Mt. View), they also provided good service in that the first set of 1NTs had some white residue that wouldn't come off the wood veneer. They promptly took the speakers back and replaced them. So I've had bad luck with marred speakers, but good luck with service. Go figure.

    I'm still in speaker bliss and am patiently awaiting for the Protege to appear on my door step in about two weeks.

    Bob
     
  2. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    I have read nothing but good things about ACI's products. I have heard a pair of Panoramas(very nice!), and hope to be hearing a pair of Sapphires soon.

    If the new center lives up to ACI heritage, then it should be a steal at $500!
     
  3. Bob-N

    Bob-N Supporting Actor

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    Yes, this center may be the best value of the bunch. I can't wait!
     
  4. David*RT

    David*RT Stunt Coordinator

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    Has anyone heard their larger Centers like the Essence?

    What is the sonic characteristics compared to ribbons?.....
     
  5. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    David, I am getting an Essence in about three days, but unfortunately I have no experience with ribbon speakers.
     
  6. Mike Dzurko

    Mike Dzurko Stunt Coordinator

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    Just an update on the Protege:

    First cabinets arrived Friday. First batch of crossovers are nearly complete. Final assembly and testing should start tomorrow. We should begin filling backorders late this week. I believe that intro pricing will expire at the end of this week or whenever we actually start filling the existing orders. Hope everyone had a great weekend!
     
  7. Tim Ranger

    Tim Ranger Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike,

    A couple of questions.
    1) Do you have any plans for a left-right (vertical) version of the new Protege? I would think that would be a hot ticket. Just like you can get Essence for center and Essence V for the sides .. .
    2) I see you are now offering free shipping. I have a friend who's thinking of ordering ELTs. He can't decide between you and av123. He likes your better warranty. IF he could get the free shipping as well, it would make it a no-brainer. TIA
     
  8. Bob-N

    Bob-N Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the update Mike. I was going to email sales but this update is fine.

    Tim, you should call Mike or sales and see what they can do. For me, all things being equal, wouldn't the better warranty be good enough to order from ACI? Either way, both AV123 and ACI are great in my experiences and will stand behind their products 110%.
     
  9. Mike Dzurko

    Mike Dzurko Stunt Coordinator

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    >>>1) Do you have any plans for a left-right (vertical) version of the new Protege? I would think that would be a hot ticket. Just like you can get Essence for center and Essence V for the sides .. .
    2) I see you are now offering free shipping. I have a friend who's thinking of ordering ELTs. He can't decide between you and av123. He likes your better warranty. IF he could get the free shipping as well, it would make it a >>>>no-brainer. TIA

    Tim:

    We are discussing the idea of a vertical Protege. It does make a lot of sense. We'll make the decision within the next month or so. I'm guessing that we'll probably go for it. Just a matter of time/space/money[​IMG] The money isn't too much problem, the space and time obstacles need to be overcome.

    A lot of people have told us they really appreciate the coverage of our warranty. It would be important to me as a consumer, that is why we offer it. On the free shipping, yep, one of my guys jumped the gun on that offer. It was suppose to have some qualifiers added to it. As it stands, right now, it includes everything we sell. Thanks for asking!
     
  10. Tim Ranger

    Tim Ranger Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Mike! I hope you do decide to do a vertical version of thenew center. I think it would be a great way to build a HT.

    Bob, if it were me, I'd jump on the ELT from ACI in a second. Been completely happy in all my dealings with ACI. I'll pass the info on to my friend. I suspect he'll be calling ACI.
     
  11. Bob-N

    Bob-N Supporting Actor

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    Tim, you're set. Get your bud going on those ELTs. I was able to listen to them briefly at a gathering a couple weeks ago and the wood finish is really nice. As I recall, it is a birch veneer. Virtually seamless as I recall. Oh yeah, the sound was good too especially for the price.
     

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