file AON 3

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squidwidly Posted 7 years 7 months ago
#717
After auditioning a number of bookshelf speakers over the last 2 weeks, I finally stumbled upon the Aon 3's. I originally went into the store to listen to the Paradigm Studio 20's, and after 30 seconds, I knew they weren't for me. The bass drum sounded really artificial. Then the guy asked if he could hook up the Aon 3's (to a Peachtree iDecco). I was immediately hooked. They only had the floor models in stock so I bought them at a slight discount...bonus... they're already broken in!
I brought them home and hooked them up to a couple different amps. I really liked the Peachtree combo, so I bought a used Nova off Audiogon...that should be here any day. Until then I used my old Denon home theater receiver paired first with a McIntosh MC2505 amp. This amp sounds fantastic on my Dahlquist DQ-10's, but just so-so on the Aons. Then I hooked up a Bel Canto Evo 200.2 and it sounded much more open and the drums had more snap. I actually have this amp for sale, because they didn't pair well with the Dahlquists. Now I'm going to hold off until I can pair it with the Peachtree Nova. May the best amp win!
The best way I can describe these speakers is "balanced".
It's not warm, midrange-fat or overly bright. To my ears, they're absolutely perfect, although I did use a small Mirage MM-8 sub to fill in the lows a bit.
Soundstage and imaging are fantastic. Nice and wide and deep, especially with the Bel Canto amp. They just make me smile.

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Moderator Posted 7 years 7 months ago
#723
Thanks, great review!

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squidwidly Posted 7 years 7 months ago
#727
Just thought I'd give a quick follow-up on my Aon 3/amp matching.
I got my Nova today and spent a couple hours switching between :
1. The Nova's amp
2. Bel Canto
3. McIntosh
All were using the Nova as the DAC/PRE through an airport express/optical connection.
The Bel was very energetic, but the cymbals/high hat didn't sound quite real...they were like hyper cymbals.
But I liked the excitement and punch.
The Mac had it's signature fat midrange and the best sounding drums (I'm a drummer...this is how I assess things :) ) But the horn sections and some male voices
were just too much.
Those both gave me the most listener fatigue, and I plan on having a lot of long listening sessions.
So...The Nova wins for now. Besides having the best bass extension, it wasn't spectacular at anything in particular, yet I couldn't fault it for much either and it was the most enjoyable to listen to for an extended period of time. And although I got the Aon 3's as demos, I'm not so sure they have 100 hours of break-in time yet. All I know is, I'm keeping the Aon's...it's the amps that have to fight for a job.
The following user(s) said Thank You: T Cobe

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