What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Mon, 13 Jun 2011, 2:15pm

Acoustic Energy AE1 Classic

Tested at £1000
80100
4

Classics, certainly. But not quite the best around

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For

  • Substantial build
  • an open and informative sound

Against

  • The treble can be provoked
  • they could sound a touch more organic

Being consistently successful for more than 20 years isn’t easy, but the Acoustic Energy AE1 Classics have managed it with aplomb.

They’ve evolved in that time, of course; this version features cabinets that are glossier on the outside and thicker on the inside.

But they’re still lined with concrete – not everything changes.

If pampered with high-mass stands, the AE1s summon a coherent, expansive soundstage with the emphasis on integration and focus.

An eloquent midrange
With the Creation’s Biff Bang Pow, there’s casually efficient timing with tautly expressive low frequencies and an eloquent midrange that’s on the lean side but loaded with information.

This confidence carries through to the top of the frequency range, although careless system matching will put their hackles up.

This edginess, and a slight lack of fluidity compared with some here, prevents the AE1 Classics receiving an unequivocal recommendation – but they seem set to endure for a while longer yet. 

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