AAAVT Mini B Hi-Fi loudspeakers

29.07.2012..

The two mini loudspeakers look elegant in their lacquered black frontal and in their traditional dimensions, with a mark of distinction given by the interlaced Kevlar of the membrane of the small woofers. Rear firing reflex port, monowiring. The joints of the grids are somehow approximate: some plastic inserts, screwed roughly on the grid frame, have stuck in their housings the first time I tried to take them away. It is not a big deal, though, since I do not use the grids. It is just a remark on the quality of the manufacture.

The drivers are two – as often are in a two-way speaker. A one-inch tweeter in plastic and transparent material and a five-inch mid-woofer in black Kevlar equipped with a quite huge dust cap. The crossover is screwed on the back panel and has two budget connectors suitable for banana plugs. Efficiency, as normal for this typology of loudspeakers, is not very high. Yet, also a T-amp can drive them. But this is not the best match, as we will find out…

 

In my “garage” system, I have connected the AAAVT MINI B HI-FI to different solid-state configurations and to several power cables. In particular, the 50W AAAVT TA2022 digital amp, the Gainclone power amp with 20W LM 1875 tubes and the Trends Audio 10.1 in 10W power amp configuration. The last two amplifiers driven by a T-amp TC754 preamp. In general the sound is very dynamic, with a present bass range, although not very deep but taut and never overflowing, with pleasant mid frequencies and a bit prominent high range, as well as a certain tendency in accentuating the sibilants. A quick comparison with the Mission M32i - same typology and price category of loudspeakers – shows a radically different set-up. The M32i are full-bodied with the tonal balance moved downwards. The MINI B HI-FI are brighter, more rapid and more present.

With the described matches of amps– if you do not listen in prevalence to voices, mostly female – you can adapt. Just follow the advices I am about to give you. You can feel good emotions, thanks to the dynamic and quick performances, unusual for their class, that underline with accuracy the velocity and the powerful excursions of music.

Among the solid-state amps, the best synergy is with the Trends. In comparison with the more energetic partners, it is less dynamic but with a better tonal balance, capable of better keeping at bay the high range and offering something more in terms of depth of the soundstage. In any case, with the voices, the sound of all this amps matched with the MINI B HI-FI, is a bit tiring.

I think that some countermeasure is to be due in order to alleviate such problem.

 

Different are things with the tests I have made at home. Since the beginning, I have got a sense, then confirmed by the kind and competent Mauro Scarabotti, AAAVT’s holder, that the set-up of these loudspeakers is calibrated on a tune amplification. Therefore, in my home system, I have immediately connected them to the Yarland Dreamwork M84, a small tube amplifier with the EL84 tubes, which I consider the champion within the range around 300.00 euro. Well, actually, this match performs better. The frequency response is linear, with very controlled high, lively and concrete mid, a bit attenuated but agreeable and present bass range. Now listening to Madeleine Peyroux or Dido is a real pleasure, without sibilants and with a good definition on the entire range, except for the lowest one. However, the favourite genre of these MINI-B HIFI is, in my opinion, the instrumental classical music, with emotional presentations both of great orchestras, like the Royal Philharmonic, and the soloist instruments like the clean guitar of Georg Gulyas or the sublime and dynamic piano of Benedetti Michelangeli. Surely not without some criticality essentially tied to the high range, which is a bit exuberant, but if you keep well in mind the list price of 199.00 euro, the verve and the presence of the playback have something more of what is normally offered within this category. Also the image starts to be interesting, with a sensation already tangible and structured in three-dimensionality, feature that has been founded also with the big orchestras.

 

An impartial advice: to get the best performances, have them positioned with the tweeter at ear height and above three, better four, Deflex Polipods, damping feet that second the expression of the bass range and the image in an effective way and are low-cost. For the power cables, do not use silver, copper is better. I have got good results with the QED Micro or with some budget cables for loudspeakers with dielectric in transparent rubber that I bought at the supermarket. As far as the sibilants are concerned, I suggest keeping them straight, paralleling and not orientating towards the listener. Another thing: take some half felts for chairs or some small stripes of Blue Tack and similar and stick them close to the tweeter on the internal side. This operation should facilitate the reduction of the “sss”. Put the speakers, wives or partners permitting, on stands or rigid supports, with a lot of air around.

 

In summary, the MINI-B HIFI are bookshelf mini loudspeakers, with a fine look if kept without the grids, not expensive, and they interface preferentially with small valve amps with the EL84 tubes. The main sonic features are dynamics and velocity. They prefer classical and instrumental jazz music, some possible problems with the sibilants in the voices. If you are looking for a low budget injection of rhythm and soul in your music, you could find, with these speakers, an adequate solution.

 

 

Selection of listened music

Dido: No angel, BMG CD

Madeleine Peyroux: Dreamland, HDCD Atlantic

Brahms: Hungarian dances / Dvorak: Slavonic dances; dir. Walter Weller, Antal Dorati, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Decca CD

Georg Gulyas: Albeniz, Ponce, Tarrega, Proprius CD/SACD

Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli: Steinway Legends, DG double CD

Lee Konitz, Brad Meldau, Charlie Haden: Alone together, MP3 file 320 kb.


Official technical specifications:

Frequency range: 55÷20.000Hz

Sensitivity: 87dB 1W/1m

Nominal impedance: 4/8ohm

Suggested amplifier: 5÷50W

Dimensions: 185x300x253mm (WxHxD)

Weight: 9,4kg


Official Italian dealer: to AAAVT website

Official current price in Italy: 199.00 EUR

Associated equipment: to Fabio "Puzzled" Barbato system

 
by Fabio Barbato
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