GoldenEar Aon 2 loudspeakers

01.10.2015..
GoldenEar Aon 2
GoldenEar Aon 2

We meet here to talk about a very special Hi-Fi product, even is some people is still complaining about the absence of innovations or new approaches in the Hi-Fi world. I do not agree. This product, in fact, proves me right. We are talking of the GoldenEar Aon 2 bookshelf speakers. They are quite small, compact. The company is from the USA, young, and unfortunately not very known in Italy, however their experts can boast years of involvement in other loudspeakers companies. In America, they are boosting the market with their products, focused on loudspeakers of new conception and good performances at moderate prices. I have read many positive reviews about GoldenEar’s models. The object of our test is the entry-level machine of their entire production.

 

Aesthetic and functions

I would stress the fact that the approach is original and innovative. A truncated pyramidal manufacture with two 6-1/2" side-mounted planar low frequency radiators and a High-Velocity Folded Ribbon tweeter, never seen before by me. The 6” woofer, hence not small, has a central finned cylinder that, presumably, conveys the aerodynamic fluxes made by the movement of the cone. The tweeter is slightly out of axis towards the right side of who is looking from the front. It is like in the ’70-’80, before the universal acceptance of the symmetry of the drivers between right and left. I think that this solution has been chosen for economical reasons mainly. However, all those holes in the cabinet require a good engineering work in order to optimize shapes and materials and get a good rigidity to the cabinet together with a good performance. Another innovation is the cloth around the speaker that you can close with a lace on the top like a bag and that is hidden by a shiny lid. The cloth is fixed on the lowest part of the cabinet by a double-bottom made of shiny plastic material. I think, however, that we can get a better performance without the cloth, although is very difficult to remove it completely. The connectors are metallic, substantial and monowiring, also provided by a banana plug.

 

Listening impressions

The first impression with the Aon 2 is a spatiality out-of-the-common. The sound stage is very deep and the instruments well separated. The sound fills very well the space between the speakers and beyond. The best results was with the speakers towards the listening spot.

The tone becomes very good after at least seventy hours of run-in. The high frequencies are well defined and pleasant, never aggressive, not very extended. The mids are correct and the mid-low range is a bit prominent. The low frequencies are amazing with respect to the size and volume of the loudspeaker, although they do not reach peaks of articulation. But they are very compact, aren’t they? Thanks to the mid-low there is a good sense of body. The overall balance has some compromises, but the outcome is appreciable.

The dynamics, always with respect to the dimensions, is good and most enjoyable at a certain volume level.

The detail in not pushed, but enough lively and fast. Attacks and releases are correct and make appreciate, ad example, timpani and all the percussions.

To make some test, I have utilized a similar system. A two-way speaker of the 70’s by Celestion: the Ditton 15. Actually, the difference of the internal volume comes out in favour of the Ditton, thirty-three liters against the fourteen of the Aon 2, as well as the dimensions of the woofer and the radiators. The comparison has been quite interesting. The Aon 2 have been proved superior in the reconstruction of the sound stage, while the 15 have more immanence and a more natural tone. The handling power of the Aon 2 can reach two hundred watts, while with the Ditton you have to stop at thirty watts to avoid destroying the tweeter, as many say, although they can reach a quite high sound intensity.

I suggest for the Aon 2 quick and not grave power cables, better with silver or coated copper conductors. The amplifications have to be, possibly, bright and powerful, better if solid state. Stiff and heavy stands.

 

Conclusions

First, I want to applaud the innovative courage of GoldenEar’s engineers. They have made something new and well performing, at a reasonable price. This bookshelf speakers are suitable for small rooms, but with the right amplification also for bigger ones. They are suitable for who privileges a good three-dimensionality and sessions without any listening fatigue. Lastly, I would say that I am looking forward to listening to the floorstanding speakers of the American brand.

 

Selection of listened music

Max Bruch, Concerto per violino e orchestra, Heifetz/Sargent/NSO, CD Living Stereo/Sony

Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Riding with the king, File FLAC 24/88

Jethro Tull, Living in the past, CD Chrysalis

Johannes Brahms, Violin sonatas N. 1-3, Perlman/Ashkenazy, CD EMI

AAVV, Flute, CD doppio EMI

AAVV, Soul Feelings, CD doppio IMPH

 

 

Official technical specifications

Weight: 12lbs (product)/14lbs (shipping)

Dimensions: 8˝x12˝x10˝ (WxHxD)

Driver Complements:

One - 6˝ Cast-Basket Mid/Bass Driver

One - HVFR™ High-Velocity Folded Ribbon Tweeter

Two - 6-1/2˝ Side-Mounted Planar Low-Frequency Radiators

Frequency Response: 42Hz - 35kHz

Efficiency: 89dB a 2,83V/m

Recommended Amplification: 10 - 200 watt/channel

Nominal impedance: 8ohm

 

Official Italian dealer: to Il Tempio Esoterico website

Official current price in Italy: 990.00 EUR per pair

Associated equipment: Fabio “Puzzled” Barbato system

 

 
by Fabio Barbato
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