Athena AS-F1's or AS-F2's....Which to choose?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Kevin Alexander, Jun 6, 2003.

  1. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    Is there a reason to go w/ the AS-F1 over the AS-F2 Athena floorstanding speakers? Will there be a huge difference other than bass extension on the AS-F2's? A subwoofer should make up the difference, right? I have a Sony DA4ES receiver w/ a Sony SAW-M40 powered sub. For those of you who have done a side-by-side comparison, will I miss anything going w/ the F1's over the F2's besides a little more bass? Thanks.
     
  2. Steven Lanham

    Steven Lanham Auditioning

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    I'm looking for the same anwser. What surrounds are you looking at?
     
  3. SteveAnd

    SteveAnd Extra

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    I'm going with the f2's. I spent quite a bit of time auditioning them at Worst Buy, and even though I could only listen to their non-changable settings(on the receiver, etc), I was really impressed more with the F2's. Listen to the F1. Sounds good. Switch to the F2 and you get a much fuller soundstage. The F1 doesn't reproduce the full spectrum when compared to the F2. The only other way I can explain it is that the F1's sound way better than any other speaker on display at BB, but seem somewhat flat compared to the F2's. Good luck in any case.
     
  4. Hank Edwards

    Hank Edwards Extra

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    Howdy,
    I bought the FS-1's And couldn't be happier. I am running the FS-1's as my mains along with the rest of a Klipsch Quintet system and a KSW-10 sub. I am using an entry level Sony reciever to power my system. When I got home to really listen to these gems I popped in a copy of Toshiba Heat. This disc has anything from Pop to Big Band, I think it is a Sheffield Labs recording. Wow! do these things sound awesome at home. As for HT they do an outstanding job. For my taste the FS-1's when accompanied by a sub provided all the midrange & midbass I could hope for, and made an overall improvement to mt HT system. I am picking up the Athena center chanel next weekend, and cant wait to hear the improvement. Good luck.

    Hank
     
  5. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    OK, I just got back from Best Buy to do a more critical review of the Athena floorstanders (if that's really possible in a BB store) and here's my findings of the F1's and F2's.....

    First off, I switched back and forth between the F1's and F2's for about 30 minutes w/ Jazz, Pop, Classical, Country, Rock, and Rap. With Jazz and Classical music, you are very hard pressed to find a difference between the F1's and F2's, but w/ every other genre of music the F2's sound noticably fuller w/ a bit more clarity and resolution.

    With the F1's and F2's, you'd think that the only difference would be a little more bass from the F2's since they have an extra bass driver...that's what I was expecting. Was this difference worth an extra $200 for the F2's?...To me, absolutely! I am now convinced that if I get new Athenas', they will definately be F2's. If I had never heard the F2's, to me, the F1's would still merit a purchase from me - they are the 2nd best sounding speakers at BB, second only to the F2's.

    Now that the F1/F2 decision is cleared up for me, here is the bad news that came out of my listening session w/ the Athenas.....the matching Athena center channel did not seem to have the crisp, clear, and detailed sound that the F1/F2 speakers had - not at all! The center channel sounded muffled and a bit compressed...sorta like the Midnight mode on your receiver. If the Athena floorstanders are overachievers, consider the AS-C1 the matching underachiever. I listened again and again, but the AS-C1 just didn't sound right.

    But here's an added kicker.....The center speaker that went w/ the Athena Point 5 speaker system, although smaller, had the great clarity and detail (for its size) that you would expect from the AS-C1. This smaller Athena center channel, although being out of place if mated w/ the F1/F2 floorstanders, sounded great in the Athena Point 5 system. These were just my observations, but I am curious to hear other experiences w/ the AS-C1 center speaker.
     
  6. Bill_Wil

    Bill_Wil Stunt Coordinator

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    Kevin

    I totally agree with just about everything you said about the Athenas. I listened to them this past weekend in the same manner you did. Back and forth between the F1 and F2 and I was also surprised that the difference was much more than just the bass. Even the highs seemed better even though they use the same tweeter. Maybe its just that the sound seemed much clearer.
    Then I tried to listen to the AS-C1 but there was no sound coming out of it at all. It couldnt have been hooked up and I couldnt get anyone to hook it up. I'm thinking maybe the center you listened too might not have been hooked up right. Its always a possibility at that place. If you have another BB near you maybe you should go there and try to listen to it. Either that or just buy it and if it sounds like crap at home return it. I'm also going to be getting the Athenas soon I hope. Good luck and if you buy the center let me know how it sounds at home. Thanks!!
     
  7. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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  8. SteveAnd

    SteveAnd Extra

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    Kevin,

    When I was auditioning the F1's and F2's, I naturally had to listen to every other speaker in the Athena line(and all the other speakers at BB). When I listened to the C1, I was very unimpressed. It sounded like it was being forced or strained, yet providing a very minimal all-encompassing soundstage. I still feel that the vast majority of center channel speakers out there do not compare to their larger floorstanding or bookshelf counterparts. Anyway, as I was listening to it in disbelief, I turned the front and rear speakers(components of the BB Athena C1 home theater button) completely around so that I could more closely listen to just the center. That made things much worse. I certainly would never buy one. I would agree that the smaller center from the point 5 system sounds much better than the larger C1. For that test, I liberally disconnected the system sub and turned the satellites around as well. Still sounded pretty good, at least better than the C1.

    A few years ago, I went through center channel hell. I honestly couldn't tell you how many speakers I went through to try and find one that fullfilled my wishes as an "ideal" center. I ended up with an Infinity Overture 1, which has a frequency response of 35-20k, 1 tweeter, 2x4" mids and a powered 8" woofer/mid-sub. Fantastic sound for a center. If Athena would only make a shorter version of the F2, then they would have a seriously kick-ass center for everyone. You may find the center to be more of a challenge than the fronts or rears. In any case, these annoying stores were set up so that people can "play" with the equipment. Take them up on that and try to create a listening environment uncolored by other speakers that are connected to the same button on the console. Good luck in any event.

    PS-I tried to pry open the cabinet housing all of the components powering the speakers, but simply managed to knock the entire display out of commission. I slowly made my exit at that point.
     
  9. Jim_Lindberg

    Jim_Lindberg Auditioning

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    I auditioned the Athena's also at bb... the center was NOT even hooked up! Noone even knew how to do it...and they wouldn't let me! Oh well.. the f2's sounded so good, I am going with the asc1 for timbre matching, etc.

    I may have another source for the Athena's! Will let you know how it goes, if I can swing the deal.. probably save about 150-200 for a set of 5! j-bo
     
  10. Steven Lanham

    Steven Lanham Auditioning

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    I think it’s a conspiracy. I too tried to audition the Athena speakers at BB but without success (Vernon Hills, IL). First, the Athena speakers were in the same listening area as the Sony speakers using the Sony control panel. Unfortunately, the center speaker wasn't connected. Also, only the left front AS-F1 was connected and that was it! And when it did work, it cut off after 30 seconds. The Point 5 system was connected, but only for 30 seconds before it too cut off (I don’t even think all speakers were connected though).

    What a joke!
     
  11. Steven Lanham

    Steven Lanham Auditioning

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    I would really like to hear from an ACTUAL OWNER of any Athena set-up that uses the above mentioned C1 speaker. Based on our collective experiences with BB and their less than ideal set-up, I don't think it's fair to judge a speaker from a 30-minute audition using crappy equipment, connects and salespeople.
     
  12. Hank Edwards

    Hank Edwards Extra

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    I second that about a true in home review of the center chanel. Here I sit with the cash, and all intentions of picking one up this weekend, and now I can't help but to feel gun-shy. Someone please give me back the confidence I had before reading these quite informative posts this morning. I guess I could be the guenny pig?


    Hank[​IMG]
     
  13. SteveAnd

    SteveAnd Extra

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    Hank,

    Just look at how awesome the F2 is. Don't listen to the C1, just buy it and give it a try. Theoretically, the same company & technology should equate to a similar sounding speaker. If you go to BB with those thoughts in mind, just walk in, grab a salesman and tell them you want the C1. Of course, you will have to post your experiences here ASAP[​IMG]

    Steven,

    The BB display is limited to 30 seconds of play time. You just have to keep pressing buttons every 30 seconds to keep things going.
     
  14. Steven Lanham

    Steven Lanham Auditioning

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    Oh I kept pushing the buttons alright - again and again and again. I even kicked it (really) and said a few choice words. Still didn't work.
     
  15. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    Hank, you are in the perfect position to do an in-home review of the C1. This is your calling soldier. Now get down to Best Buy right now and do your job!!!![​IMG]
     
  16. andre-k

    andre-k Agent

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    You should probably check out the Klipsch sf-2's as well at best buy. They are around the same price and many think they sound better(including myself). I also heard that they work better with lower end recievers.
     
  17. Hank Edwards

    Hank Edwards Extra

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    I currently am using the Klipsch center that came with the Quintet set. The drivers are very small,3" I think, and the sound is a bit on the bright side. All things consideder the Klipsch does sound Fine. I am simply looking for a meatier sound stage. I couldnt find a SF-2 on BB's web site, they had the SC-5?

    Hank
     
  18. Bill_Wil

    Bill_Wil Stunt Coordinator

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    Hank

    The Klipsch SF-2 is listed on the website but its a floorstanding speaker and you were looking at the center channels.
     
  19. GalenC

    GalenC Auditioning

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    I have a pair of the F2's as my mains, a pair of the larger B2's as my surrounds (had to order them), and the C1 center. I added the JBL Studio 12" sub. Powering it all is a Yamaha 5650. Granted, it's my first HT, but I've been really impressed.

    On my day off I went in and got permission to grab the larger of the Klipsch Synergy floorstanders, the F2's, and the JBL Studio 12" floorstanding speaker and audition them all for a bit; listening to some movies, some DVD-audio, and a couple CDs I'd brought in. I was less than thrilled with the Klipsch speakers. It was a toss-up between the JBL's and the athena speakers. I think I made a good choice.

    It was frustrating trying to listening to any of the speakers as they are intended to be setup in the store. Unfortunately, no one at the store-level is allowed to touch any of that stuff, simply because some of them know what they're doing, but a lot of them don't.
     

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