Hope all is well with you and the rest of the GoodSound! team. I am enjoying the articles and your intense passion for affordable audio gear.
What do you think of Aperion Audio's Forte Tower compared to their bigger brother that Jeff Fritz reviewed last year, and any other similarly priced floorstanding loudspeaker? Also, are you as "enthusiastic" (from Hans Wetzel's article "Honesty in Reviewing") about this speaker as Mr. Fritz was about its bigger brother, or is there another speaker in that price range that excites you more?
My listening room is 10' x 12' with ten DIY acoustical panels that are each 4" thick. My system consists of the Vincent Audio SA-31 preamplifier, Odyssey Audio Khartago stereo amplifier, Emotiva ERC-1 CD-player, Vincent Audio PHO-8 phono preamplifier, Shunyata Research Diamondback power cables, and Transparent Audio MusicWave speaker cables with MusicLink interconnects.
Speakers are the Parts Express' MTM kit. I also have two subwoofers by Dayton Audio, powered by an O Audio subwoofer amplifier.
This is fun again when I don't think about the return shipping of trying out speakers for a few weeks! I tried a pair of Wharfdale EVO2-30s, but thought they sounded too recessed, and I had to pay $107 to return them. Ouch!
Thanks in advance for your help,
I'm glad that you're enjoying the site's content -- we take a lot of pride in our work.
I've only briefly heard Aperion's Grand Verus Tower, and their Intimus 5T, which I recently reviewed and now costs only $632/pr. -- a bargain! Based on what I heard and saw of the Grand Verus Tower, Jeff's review is probably still right on target. Given that you have a relatively small listening room, but also have a pair of subwoofers, I think you could be happy with either the Grand Verus or Forte towers. One thing to keep in mind is that the Grand Verus is noticeably the more substantial loudspeaker -- it weighs 67 pounds, as compared to the 30 pounds of the Forte. Combined with the dual 6" woofers found on the Grand Verus, you might find their flagship model having far more robust bass. If it were me, I would probably ditch the subwoofers and rely solely on a pair of Grand Veruses.
As for other speakers in that price range, you definitely have some options. I am currently listening to a pair of Definitive Technology's BP8020-ST speakers, which retail for $1200/pr. The BP8020-ST is a bipolar speaker with a built-in powered subwoofer. It delivers a broad, but very focused sound. I also have in for review GoldenEar Technologies' $2000/pr. Triton Three, which also makes use of a built-in powered sub, as well as an Air Motion Transformer tweeter. The GoldenEar is a more relaxed sounding speaker than the DefTech, and offers better bass extension. My most unorthodox, but probably most emphatic recommendation is KEF's $1500/pr. LS50 minimonitor. I recently heard them while covering the TAVES 2012 audio show, and they are terrific. They offer better clarity through the treble and midrange than anything I currently have in my listening room, and that includes my reference Mirage OMD-28s, speakers that once retailed for $7500/pr. Since you already have a pair of subwoofers, you'd have excellent, almost full-range sound for a reasonable sum. I don't like being over-the-top about any product, for fear of sounding like I'm pandering; however, the LS50 is that good. . . . Hans Wetzel