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Athena AS-F1 w/ reciever (maybe)

 

New member
Username: Tinyman

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jun-05
Ok, hopefully this isn't something that's been beaten to death, and I've just failed to find. I'm thinking of Athena AS-F1 speakers (2), but I can't figure out how to know what to pair them with. I don't think I can run them off of my AIWA mega-great-system.

Current setup (don't laugh): AIWA NSX-V2100 (mostly working) I found at a garage sale for $10. High quality, I know. My living quarters are a 10x15 room, carpeted (if that matters). But with a job coming up, I was thinking about trying to find some nice audio.

The only things that I really want from the setup are:
a) radio
b) take audio input from my computer
c) CD capability would be nice, maybe connect it to play movies.

Could anyone suggest a few reciever/components that would be a good match for them, or alternatively speakers that would be comparable to Athena's (trying to keep prices down, if possible).

Also if it's not too much trouble, how much would I be looking at to purchase a system like this? I understand the Athena's will run me up to $300, but I don't have any real estimate for any other components.

Just as a note, I can understand some technical talk. Just finished my 2nd year as an electrical engineering major (no experience in audio however).

Thanks in advance,
Tinyman
 

New member
Username: Tinyman

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jun-05
Sorry, I forgot to mention a couple things:

1) I'm a classical musician (violin, 12 years) so I listen to a number of classical recordings for my practicing, and almost all my music is classical.

2) My intention for speakers will be focused on music. If they perform decently (I.E. can beat my current AIWA speakers) on movies, that's more than enough for me.

Sorry about the second post,
Tinyman
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 727
Registered: Mar-05
Peter,

If you like Athena, add $100 and get the Athena AS-F2s from audioadvisor.com for $400 shipped.

For classical music (plus jazz, instrumental, or vocal-dominated music) Ascend speakers will give you unbeatable bang for your buck, their midrange and treble is spectacular. A pair of the CBM-170s which are possibly the most widely well-reviewed Internet-direct speakers I've ever come across, runs $340 shipped. Amazingly accurate, flat frequency response---bad recordings will sound really bad, and good recordings will sound REALLY good. Do a google search for them.

ascendacoustics.com

For the receiver, a refurb Harman Kardon HK3480 or AVR-130/135 should run you around $200 from Harman Direct on eBay with full original warranty (brand new is $300 from jandr.com).
 

New member
Username: Tinyman

Post Number: 3
Registered: Jun-05
Thank you for your response Edster922, I will certainly look into the Ascend CBM-170's. The reason I had considered Athena AS-F1's is not because I am partial to the brand (I know very little of speaker brands), but because they seemed to be fairly popular speakers.

Could you explain some of the differences between the Athena AS-F1 and AS-F2 series, or is it just the sound to them that warrants the extra $100? And, if comparing the CBM-170 to the Athena AS-F2, would you consider the CBM a superior set? I will look more into them certainly, hopefully find some comparisons. I have my quantum physics test in oh... 13 hours, so I can't really look for reviews at the moment

So estimated, I should probably consider a decent system (within the speaker range price of $300-$400) to be in the ballpark of $500-$600, or slightly more? Sorry for all the questions about this.


Tinyman
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 749
Registered: Mar-05
The AS-F2s are Athena's flagship speaker and have an extra driver so they have more of a room-filling power than the F1s.

The CBM-170 is a bookshelf speaker and the AS-F2 is a tower so they're apples and oranges. My feeling on towers is that they require a lot more power to sound their best, and that what they provide in terms of extra bass extension is usually paid for by a loss of accuracy in the midrange and treble (where 90% of classical music is)...unless you're talking about towers that cost $1500/pair and up.

On the other hand tower speakers when driven by an expensive amp may be preferable if you're someone who likes to really really crank up the volume to ear-bleeding levels.

As a classical music lover I think you'd be much happier with the accuracy and transparency of the Ascend speakers. In a small to medium sized room the CBM-170s will be fine especially used together with a Hsu STF-1 sub (together $640 shipped), in larger rooms (my LR is about 4000 cubic feet) the CMT-340s ($570 shipped) are better.

Who knows, you might just decide that you're happy with the HK receiver and the CBM-170s and no subwoofer.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Twebbz

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 88
Registered: Apr-04
The Athenas are incredibly transparent and detailed. They are so revealing that if you put garbage in you will hear garbage out. So, I'm not sure what music from the computer will sound like. Some CDs are mixed hot and the Athenas will not mask the bright sound. I have the AS-F2s with a NAD C370 integrated amp @120Wpc and I think they are great. The sound is big. Bass is very deep but not boomy. The AS-F1s are very good and I would recommend them for a smaller room...the AS-F2s for a medium to large space. AND...use QUALITY amp to drive them. The Audition line has been changed. All components under the grill are now silver to match the baffle. This won't affect the great sound I'm sure. The Athenas should start to reappear at your BEST BUY soon. Check www.athenaspeakers.com
 

Bronze Member
Username: Twebbz

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 89
Registered: Apr-04
EDSTER...have you ever listened to the Athenas? The AS-F2 has the ability to sound EXCELLENT at low listening levels. The midrange is awsome...so detailed, so clear. The overall sound is very balanced. There are NO trade-offs for being a floorstander. Same goes for the AS-F1. Pop in the Vivaldi "Four Seasons" CD for a demo if you like classical music....incredible!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Twebbz

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 90
Registered: Apr-04
....and forget the sub with the Athena AS-F2.2 and AS-F1.2, no need. The bass is that good.
 

New member
Username: Tinyman

Post Number: 4
Registered: Jun-05
Rick,

What does it mean for a CD to be mixed hot? Is it a specific encoding format that can be used, which has a lower quality?

I understand that the audio coming out of my computer probably won't be that great, the output signal is probably fairly distorted. For that I'll probably just have to try them out at home, and see if it's to my satisfaction I think.

I'm headed out today to look at some speakers and recievers, so thank you all for the responses. With some luck, I'll have a clearer picture of what I'd like to purchase, and the price range I have to consider.


Peter
 

Bronze Member
Username: Twebbz

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 92
Registered: Apr-04
Peter, what I mean when I say hot is that you will hear that the treble is emphasized. Mostly female voices will have the S's popping out at you, almost sizzling sometimes. It's not something you can adjust with the treble control. I'll bet the CD people do this because so many people now use low fidelity equipment and these CDs might otherwise sound dull. I never hear this on vinyl LP's. Classical CDs don't do it either. I have some small Polk bookshelf speakers too that I've used. They sound dull overall and mask this treble emphasis. They never, ever have sparkle and life coming from their tweeters like the Athenas do. They are good for backround music and nothing more, in my opinion.

DO GO LISTEN to lots of stuff before you buy. Even go into highend stereo shops with YOUR MUSIC in hand. Just tell them you'd like to listen to what they have. You don't have to tell them how much money you have to spend. Never feel that you are obligated to buy ANYTHING.

Rick
 

Bronze Member
Username: Twebbz

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 93
Registered: Apr-04
Peter...Forgot to mention that that POP & ROCK CDs tend to be "hot". Not classical or jazz.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 778
Registered: Mar-05
Rick,

> ....and forget the sub with the Athena AS-F2.2 and AS-F1.2, no need. The bass is that good.

I believe that, Rick---because you have a NAD c370 driving them. When I added some vintage NAD separates recently the bass output on my Ascend 340s doubled compared to how it was on my Marantz 5400. An ordinary receiver does not get the same results.

I listened to the Athena F2s very briefly at a client's house, he had a Yammie, can't remember which model. They had more bass than my Ascends but thought the highs were a little piercing and the mids were not as full.

And it wasn't a bad recording...Dire Straits' "Brothers In Arms" which is VERY well mixed.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 779
Registered: Mar-05
PS. That said, if I were buying floorstanders for under $1000 I'd go straight for the AS-F2s...
 

New member
Username: Tinyman

Post Number: 5
Registered: Jun-05
Well, I'm still open to different types of speakers, but if I can find the Athena AS-F1 and AS-F2 side-by-side, it will be good to compare them.

Have a few pieces that I plan to try:
Pablo Casals & Jacques Thibaud (cello and violin), the recordings aren't very good, about 90 year old recordings that have been remastered, but I do want to know how it will sound on old recordings

Sibelius - Much heavier music, more concentration in brass, more low tones

Itzhak Perlman - violinist, and the recording is pretty nice, so it will be the upper registers

Still looking for some choir/vocal music. Hopefully get an idea for performance from that.

Went to Best Buy today, with no luck really. Didn't have either the AS-F1 or AS-F2 models, which was what I was looking for in particular.

I did get to try a few JBL speakers, but it sounded kind of dull really. However, didn't have much of a music selection though, and best buy is not a great place to figure out if it sounds great... going to be moving in the next couple days, so hopefully I can go out again for another trip in maybe a week or so. In the meantime, some reading on recievers is called for I think...

I'll take your advice on the AS-F2's into consideration Edster, although I'm not sure I really need a seperate subwoofer. Once I get to try out some different models, I'll think about that.

Thanks,
Peter

 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 784
Registered: Mar-05
Peter,

if you're listening 90% to classical, my bet is you wouldn't really need a sub even with the Ascend 170s and definitely not with the Athenas.

Do you live in or near a major city? You might be able to locate an Ascend owner who'll let you come listen...that's how I made the leap. Check here:

forum.ascendacoustics.com
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 49
Registered: May-05
Heck with that, Edster. Tell him just to preview fronts like you did me.

I'm sorry Art BUT the wife just gave me the go ahead to try the CBM 170s and A/B them against my existing 15 year old Rock Solids and BAs. I'm thinking that unless Edster is wacko, that will lead to the purchase of the rears, also 170s, and a center 340C. We'll see. I'm going to pull the trigger tomorrow with James, who has been a real nice guy by the way. Wish me luck!!!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Twebbz

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 95
Registered: Apr-04
EDSTER...When I first bought the Athenas I used them with a YAMAHA RX-595 receiver at 80Wpc. I know exactly what you mean about the highs, piercing and thin. I was stressed and sought advice here. HAWK told me to go with the NAD and even mentioned that www.saturdayaudio.com was having a clearance on the C370 for $200 off retail. I snatched one and a C422 tuner too. I'm very happy with the sound. Some rock and pop CDs do sound overly "crisp" but classical and vinyl LPs never do.

My room now is about 17X19 but I'm moving in the fall and the room there will be a large "great room" with a vaulted ceiling. I can't wait to open up the Athenas in a room like that. They need more space I think.

I've ordered Axiom M50ti's for a den 10X11. Have a Rotel RX-1052 @ 100Wpc to drive them with. I didn't choose the Athena AS-F1 because they were off the market with the change and I did not know what was going to happen with them. Also, the M50ti has the same driver setup as the AS-F2. Two woofers(6.5" instead of 8") and a dome tweeter in a ported enclosure. I'm thinking/hoping I'll get a similar sound. I also wanted different toys to play with.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 818
Registered: Mar-05
NAD and Rotel...man, you live well!

When's the Axiom gear set to arrive? I'd be curious to see how they compare to your Athenas.
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 700
Registered: Feb-05
Good luck David. The Ascends should work well for your application.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Twebbz

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 97
Registered: Apr-04
Ordered the Axiom M50ti "blems" from the factory outlet on June 2. They quoted two weeks, so I have another week to go.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 828
Registered: Mar-05
I'm curious, how much of a B-stock discount did you get?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Twebbz

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 98
Registered: Apr-04
10%...$630. Retail was $700. Shipping is free. I think they are a little overpriced...compared to the Athenas. Canadian labor as oppossed to Chinese, I guess. They say the aluminum woofers are more expensive than polypropylene too.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 839
Registered: Mar-05
$630 shipped, that's not bad if they turn out to be as good as people say. What would your return shipping be, around $50?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Twebbz

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 99
Registered: Apr-04
Hmmmmm...Can't be too much. Ann Arbor, Michigan is just a 5 hour drive from Toronto, Ontario.
 

New member
Username: Tinyman

Post Number: 6
Registered: Jun-05
Hello again,

I've been doing a bit of looking around for a reciever, and I've found a reciever that is interesting to me. It's a "Kenwood VR-606" reciever. Stereo it has 100W per channel, which seems to be easily enough to run Athena AS-F1 speakers, does AM/FM tuning etc. No CD or DVD player, but it has:

Video Connections

• Video Inputs: 3 Composite, 3 S-Video (Total)

• Video Monitor Outputs: 1 Composite, 1 S-Video

• Video Record Outputs: 1 Composite

Audio Connections

• 6-Channel Analog Audio Input

• Digital Audio Inputs: 2 Coaxial, 1 Optical

• Headphone Jack

• Stereo Analog Audio Inputs: 6 (Total)

as the inputs to the system. Does anyone have experience with the Kenwood line of products, and could provide input as to whether or not their line of recievers would be likely to be adequate?

I don't currently have a television, so I'm not really looking into a reciever that can play DVD's, in case that is any concern.

Thank you for the input about the Yamaha reciever, I'll try to steer clear of them (unless I find one I really like for some reason - no reason not to try a couple).


Peter
 

New member
Username: Tinyman

Post Number: 7
Registered: Jun-05
Just dropping a note. The Athena AS-F1 speakers are on sale at Bestbuy.com

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=5335924&productCategoryId=cat03044 &type=product&tab=1&id=1051806301800

$76 dollars each, and $30 for shipping, but they are backordered! I'm really thinking of trying to get a pair though, if I really don't like them (which I don't think will happen, realistically) I can return them under the bestbuy policy I believe. Just have to check to make sure it also applies for backordered items.

that's about $140-$150 dollars off if you paid the full price (2 speakers). Nothing to be sneezed at.


Peter
 

Bronze Member
Username: Twebbz

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 100
Registered: Apr-04
That's a great deal for the AS-F1s. I've bought stuff at Best Buy and taken it back. It's no problem, no questions asked. Just keep all your paperwork from the purchase.
I had a Kenwood 50wpc stereo receiver for a number of years. It was OK (kept loosing it's Tuner preset memory)...but I would check out Harmon-Kardon for a budget receiver. Onkyo too. The Athenas are very efficient and 100Wpc is plenty to drive them.
 

New member
Username: Tinyman

Post Number: 8
Registered: Jun-05
Okay, I'm back. I've done some looking into recievers, and here's what I've come up with.

Speakers: With that Best Buy deal, the F1's would cost me $212 shipped for 2 speakers. They are backordered though... I don't know if they will even get any of them in. I checked Athena's website, the F1 is now a discontinued speaker, with the AS-F1.2 (2nd generation) coming in, and I don't see this sort of a deal happening with the F1.2, I think they are just trying to sell off all the old F1's before the new ones come shipped, so I hope they still have some.

Reciever: Onkyo TX-8011 reciever. It's basic, but it seems like it may be a good investment. I couldn't really find an HK reciever I liked, maybe I was just looking in all the wrong places. That is about $140, not including the taxes.

Questions:

What's the difference between the Onkyo TX-8011 and 8211? They are both 50W stereo, four audio inputs, and have the same rated frequency responses. Comparing the two on circuit city's website, I can't find any difference between the two, except the price.


I have to call customer service tomorrow to ask about some specifics of the shipping and everything.

1) how long of a timeframe do I have to return the speakers, and when does the time start (when I recieve them, when they shipped them, etc).
2) If they are backordered and discontinued, is it still a valid order (will they be able to get some to ship to me)? I don't know where they are going to get them from, if they have run out..


Confusion has happened,
Peter
 

Silver Member
Username: Twebbz

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 103
Registered: Apr-04
Hmmmm...Yea, I looked at the TX-8011 & Tx-8211 quickly and I don't see what the difference is other than appearance. You can compare them at www.onkyousa.com. Maybe spring for the TX-8511? Remember, you'll have this receiver for a long time. Personally, I'd like more power. There are only two Harman-Kardon stereo recievers, HK-3380 @ 80Wpc, HK-3480 @ 120Wpc. Go to www.harmankardon.com.
No BEST BUY in your neighborhood? You think they would give you a raincheck on an out of stock item? If so, you could wait for the new stock. I'm sure they sound the same. Maybe contact Athena and ask them about availability.
 

Silver Member
Username: Twebbz

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 104
Registered: Apr-04
I received a response almost instantly from ATHENA to the availability question...
They said that the BEST BUY STORES will not be carrying the Audition Line anymore, just the WS Plasma Series and the 10" subwoofer. They are are trying to have the BEST BUY website carry the Audition line. So, don't count on them getting a couple of old AS-F1 for you. ATHENA did say that other online stores will be getting stock soon since they started to ship the new Series 2 product last week. Check www.audioadvisor.com. There are others on their "Where to Buy" page.
I don't think you'll get them for the low price though.
 

Silver Member
Username: Twebbz

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 105
Registered: Apr-04
Check www.BestPriceAudioVideo.com
$139 each with free shipping.
 

New member
Username: Tinyman

Post Number: 9
Registered: Jun-05
I just called Best Buy, and they basically said that this specific item is waiting for the supplier to ship more units to them. I'm assuming they meant Athena Technologies, and Athena has stopped producing the AS-F1 series. So my guess is I'm not going to be getting a pair of these at that price, which is a pity.

Thank you for the links Rick, I'm still weighing and considering what I need. The main reason I brought up the Onkyo TX-8011 and TX-8211 is that I found them refurbished, at only about $90 each. I'm headed to look at some recievers/speakers again today at circuit city, and I think they stock the 8011/8211, possibly the 8511.

That deal from bestprice is pretty nice though, shipping from bestbuy was about $60, so knocking that off the top brings down the price nicely. I'll give consideration to that, and also it may be time to look into a different brand of speakers.
 

Silver Member
Username: Twebbz

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 106
Registered: Apr-04
Happy Shopping!
 

New member
Username: Tinyman

Post Number: 10
Registered: Jun-05
Thanks Rick! I did have a great time, and I did find these Pioneer speakers:
http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Pioneer-Bookshelf-Speakers-S-H253B-K-/sem/rpsm/oi d/60380/rpem/ccd/productDetail.do

I thought they sounded fairly nice (clear sound, especially on vocals) but the lower ranges didn't sound quite right to me, and in the end I decided against them.

Ordered:
2 Athena AS-F1's (Best Buy backordered, expected ship date 6/19). If they never get shipped, I can cancel the order at no charge, so I don't see how I can really lose. Price (with shipping): $212

Onkyo TX-8211 reciever. It's basic (50W per channel too), but I got a nice deal on it, came to be $102 with shipping I think it was.

Final price: $314 approximately. I'll still need to get some speaker wire, what gauge should I be looking for? I imagine the thicker the wire the better, so maybe 14 gauge wire?

Thanks everyone for the help, you've all saved me a lot of headaches, and almost certainly quite a bit of money, for what I think will be a nice audio system. I really do appreciate all the input, and friendly advice I got.

Once I get the reciever/speakers in, I'll make sure to post to give my final impressions on it!

Thanks once again,
Peter
 

Silver Member
Username: Twebbz

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 112
Registered: Apr-04
Yes Peter, Let me know how the set-up sounds. Remember to allow the Athenas to break in a bit. They may sound a bright at first. Give them a few days. You may want an upgrade in power someday so a more powerful Onkyo or Harman-Kardon would be good. If you want something a little bit better, a NAD (as I have) would do the trick nicely.
 

Silver Member
Username: Twebbz

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 114
Registered: Apr-04
EDSTER...I'm sending my Axiom M50ti's back. They were good in a small room, silky highs and good midrange punch but then I moved them to a larger room to approximate the den in the new house...not enough bass. I don't want to fool around with a sub. So, they are going back and I ordered old stock Athena AS-F1s. Having the AS-F2s, I KNOW they will sound good. By the way, I've been looking at the Series 2 Athena Audition line. In addition to the change in color behind the grill, They have lost weight bigtime! The AS-F2 was 55 Lbs, now 44 Lbs. The AS-F1 was 45 Lbs, now 29 Lbs! Interesting...I wonder if the weight change affects the sound. I hope not because Series 1 sounded wonderful.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 896
Registered: Mar-05
wow, big change there. I'll be curious to hear your comparison of the F-1s and F-2s.

I tend to associate weight in most things audio with quality, though I'm sure there are many exceptions to this quasi-rule...such as Paul's beloved CVs that weigh a ton. Have been curious about the new Athenas myself...
 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1300
Registered: Jan-05
IM sure those 'small' bookshelf speakers can put-out as well as a 'midsized' bookshelf.

HEH
 

Silver Member
Username: Thx_3417

Bournemouth, Dorset United Kingdom

Post Number: 366
Registered: May-05
Hay

Paul you know what, you're a jerk

You like calling me a "communist" don't you say it to me in person, you Redneck, YANK!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Tinyman

Post Number: 11
Registered: Jun-05
Just got this email from BestBuy

"The item listed below is not yet available to be shipped. We expect to ship it from our distribution center within the next 25 days."

About what I expected. I'm going to give it a while, and just let that order sit. Who knows, maybe something will actually happen with it. Realistically, I think I'm going to have to cancel that order and look elsewhere for speakers though. For now though, it's no burden to me to have an order placed - if they actually can meet the deal, great, otherwise I can cancel anytime and order differently.


I'm curious about the AS-F1.2 also. Odd that they dropped so much weight, that's about 2/3 of the weight of the AS-F1 series. However, if the AS-F1 series is very nice, I can't see that Athena would regress in their sound quality (I'd hope not at least). Don't really know enough about speakers to speculate as to where Athena lost all that weight though.

Still hoping to get the Series 1 line, but if that order just goes nowhere (which is very likely), then I might put some thought into the Series 2 line. Either way, I'm still looking into alternatives for the speakers.

Did you get the AS-F1 speakers off of bestpriceaudiovideo.com Rick? That deal is still very attractive, it's only $70 over what my current order for 2 AS-F1 speakers is. Would be great to know your thoughts about the difference between the AS-F1 and AS-F2 speakers.


Thanks,
Peter
 

Silver Member
Username: Twebbz

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 115
Registered: Apr-04
Yes, Peter...BestPriceAudioVidio.com. When I was shopping for speakers I originaly was looking at the AS-F1. Since I had LARGE ADVENT speakers from the mid-80's with just one 8" woofer and a tweeter in a big bookshelf cabinet on short stands, I thought that driver complement was what I wanted. So, When I heard the AS-F1 I was thrilled. THEN, "Hey what's up with that bigger speaker over there?" It was the AS-F2. I thought it was too big physically but when I turned it on, it was wonderful! I didn't wait for a sale and bought them at full price, $600pr. Don't get me wrong, the AS-F1 is a great speaker with big full sound. The AS-F2 sounds THE SAME...the sound is just bigger.
 

Silver Member
Username: Twebbz

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 117
Registered: Apr-04
Oh...What you'll find too is that the sound remains full even at low volumes. No need for a bass boost. Amazing!
 

Silver Member
Username: Twebbz

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 118
Registered: Apr-04
From ATHENA in regards to the VERSION 2 of the AS-F1...

"The character of the F1 has changed, the new version is a bit more punchy in the 45-60 Hz region. It's quite effective for kick drum. The depth change was due to people requesting a thinner product as deep TV's are becoming a thing of the past, and on wall, DLP types are becoming the norm. The weight change was due to a change in the wood composition, we had to find a way to make them lighter due to constant shipping damage. They are still well braced and an awesome value in their category."





 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 909
Registered: Mar-05
hmm, my bet is, Athena made a marketing decision. Hopefully the new speakers will still sound decent.
 

Silver Member
Username: Twebbz

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 120
Registered: Apr-04
Got my SERIES ONE AS-F1s today....pre-break-in bright but....

Ooooh BABY, THAT'S WHAT I LIKE, YEA!!

ROTEL RX-1052 DO'IN IT!!!!

Peter...DUMP Best Buy! Get the SERIES ONE while you still can at www.bestpriceaudiovisual.com at $139 each...FREE SHIPPING!

Puts AXIOM to shame.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Tinyman

Post Number: 12
Registered: Jun-05
Great to hear that you like them (maybe like them a bit too much) Rick! How long was your break-in price?

You're right! Screw Best Buy! I'm going to place the order with bestpriceaudiovisual.com and purchase from them instead.


Thanks Rick!
Peter
 

Bronze Member
Username: Tinyman

Post Number: 13
Registered: Jun-05
Great to hear that you like them (maybe like them a bit too much) Rick! How long was your break-in time?

You're right! Screw Best Buy! I'm going to place the order with bestpriceaudiovisual.com and purchase from them instead. The BB order is just going to sit there until it eventually gets canceled anyways.


Thanks Rick!
Peter
 

Bronze Member
Username: Tinyman

Post Number: 14
Registered: Jun-05
Oops, sorry for the double post there... disregard the first one, since it has a typo in it, but they basically say the same thing

Peter
 

Bronze Member
Username: Tinyman

Post Number: 15
Registered: Jun-05
Ouch... I just looked at bestprice, they are now out of stock, and I'm guessing they won't have the AS-F1 speakers coming in either, I don't see how they will be restocking something like that.

The speakers just seem to evade me! I think I missed them by a day. At this point, I think I'm going to be looking into alternatives to the AS-F1 speakers. Really is starting to look like that won't happen.

Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 is on the list of possibles, not quite sure what else to look for, so any suggestions are quite welcome. My reciever is going to be an Onkyo TX-8211.


Peter
 

Silver Member
Username: Twebbz

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 121
Registered: Apr-04
EDSTER has ASCEND...so you can talk to him. I think he has a sub-woofer with them though.

Keep the Athena Version Two AS-F1 in the back of your mind. Watch for the introductory price. www.audioadvisor.com had the AS-F2.2 for $100.00 off. I see now that they are gone. Weird...
 

Bronze Member
Username: Tinyman

Post Number: 16
Registered: Jun-05
Thanks Rick, I will be keeping an eye out for the starting price of them, the only seller of the AS-F1.2 that I have found so far is audioadvisor.com, and they are selling for $200 each (shipping included) which is a pretty high price to me.

I've had a bit of input from Edster about the Ascend, as well as reading up on them. However, if the Ascend's are going to need a subwoofer with them, that makes it difficult because I don't think the TX-8211 has a seperate output for the subwoofer.

I'll keep an eye out for the AS-F1.2, hopefully they will begin to show up among more of the retailers soon.


Peter
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 934
Registered: Mar-05
Peter,

Even if you don't have a subwoofer pre-out on the Onkyo, many subwoofers will have two sets of speaker inputs so what you do is, run speaker cable from the receiver to the "in" connections on the sub and then run speaker cable from the sub's "out" connections to the speakers---the sub should have an internal high pass filter that will send all the mids and highs to the speakers while reproducing the lows.

http://store1.yimg.com/I/hsusubs_1843_1037590
 

New member
Username: Sam2005_1980

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jun-05
Hi Peter,

Do you want a pair of Athena AS-F2 speakers for the price of 340$, excellent condition, but you have to pick it up from NY, you need a suv or a BIdG car to drive them home. (shipping not included in the price) thats about 180-200 bucks less than new ones, so just think about it. If you want them let me know your mail id/contact number in a mail at sam2005_1980@rediffmail.com, and i will tell you how to get them.

I also bought a pair of Athena AS-F2 speakers along with HK3480 reciever, these are not for sell, but this is also a nice combination, probably cost you around 600 bycks. jr.com is selling new HK-3480 for 268 including shipping. Another comination would be As-F2 with onkyo 8511 jr.com is selling these refurb for 129, i don't remember if that includes shipping.

Happy buying!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Tinyman

Post Number: 17
Registered: Jun-05
Thanks for the offer Sam, but I'm all the way out in CA! Appreciate the offer though, I just can't take that far of a road trip.



Peter
 

Bronze Member
Username: Tinyman

Post Number: 18
Registered: Jun-05
Just thought I'd post an update to what is happening.

I recieved the Onkyo TX-8211 reciever today. Connected my AIWA speakers to it, and there was a huge difference between that and my old system. First and foremost - no more static.. would hope that with a reciever like this though! I really like the reciever though, does everything that I need from it.

Nothing really new on the speakers though. Contacted Athena, and they are now just waiting for retailers to start posting the AS-F1.2 series for sale, so I'm still hoping to find an introductory price.


Peter
 

Bronze Member
Username: Tinyman

Post Number: 19
Registered: Jun-05
I got in contact with bestpriceaudiovideo.com, and they expect to stock the AS-F1.2 within 1-2 weeks, however they declined my request as to how much they would be offered for (perfectly reasonable).

With Audioadvisor making the introductory offer of $100 off for the AS-F2.2 (a very nice deal), I'm hoping that the AS-F1.2 will have a nice introductory offer attached, and hopefully live up to the reputation that the AS-F1 and AS-F2 line have gotten.

For now, I'll be keeping an eye on those two primarily, and with some luck I may get a nice deal!

Peter
 

Gold Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 1002
Registered: Mar-05
That's very nice of audioadvisor.com...
 

Silver Member
Username: Twebbz

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 140
Registered: Apr-04
Good Luck...I'd be eager to hear a reveiw of a version TWO Athena!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Afrogt

Post Number: 26
Registered: Dec-03
"When I first bought the Athenas I used them with a YAMAHA RX-595 receiver at 80Wpc. I know exactly what you mean about the highs, piercing and thin. I was stressed and sought advice here"

Rick, you are so right. I matched some Athena AS-F1's and B2's with my Yammy 595A and it sounds thin and shrill. But they sound sweet when paired with my HK 325. I've got Athenas in both rooms now and have swapped floorstanders with bookshelves back and forth just to compare the difference. They are definitely a better match with the HK and probably the NAD you have too.

I'm going to pair them with my Newcastle receiver next and test the sound. It can't be worse than the Yammy. I knew the sound of that Yamaha receiver was bright with my previous speakers. Mating them with Athenas made it even worse.

I'll post my results later.
 

Silver Member
Username: Twebbz

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 164
Registered: Apr-04
I've had the AS-F1s for a little while now, this is what I'm hearing. With LOUD music having heavy bass content, there is some smearing of the midrange. For example, Janet Jackson's "Escapade" song. There is deep forceful bass and a little organ in the backround. At LOUD levels the organ gets some vibrato. Turning the volume down to "reasonably loud" levels eliminates the situation. Then there is the song by Sarah McLachlan "Into the Fire". It has very deep bass notes. The very deepest of which are weaker than those reproduced by the AS-F2s. One more thing, Sometimes, depending on the song, I think the bass is a tad boomy (10x10 room boundry interaction?) so I just drop the bass 2 points (one notch on the Rotel) with the tone control and all is better. With the AS-F1s turning down the bass does not affect the overall character of the sound, control just seems to be restored. Again, The AS-F1 don't have the dynamic capability to blow the windows out and if you try, they sound stressed. So, if one wants to do that they should opt for the AS-F2 which have none of the little quirks I mentioned above.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Tinyman

Post Number: 20
Registered: Jun-05
Update to my situation:

Athenas: No luck at all really. The AS-F1.2 series is pretty expensive, bestpriceaudiovideo.com wanting $400 for them, and audioadvisor doesn't seem to carry them (as of yet, they only offer the F2.2, B1.2). I've still got an eye out for a pair of the AS-F1's though. I've seen them going on ebay, but there are plenty of other people wanting a pair of them, so the prices are getting high quickly.

However, I've been looking at a couple others. Any thoughts on the companies Pioneer and Polk audio? The Polk floorstanding speakers are $100 right now for the pair, and the Pioneers are bookshelf speakers, at about the same price.


In particular, the Pioneer S-H253B-K (http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Pioneer-Bookshelf-Speakers-S-H253B-K-/sem/rpsm/oi d/60380/rpem/ccd/productDetail.do),


and Polk R30 (http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Polk-Floorstanding-Speakers-R30-/sem/rpsm/oid/515 12/rpem/ccd/productDetail.do)


Does anyone have personal experience with either of these speakers, and could comment on them? Getting the AS-F1 speakers seems to be a diminishing chance as I go.

The advantage to using the Pioneer speakers is that I will be living in a 10'x15' room, so they are a bit more space efficient, however I'll only be living there for 1-2 years.

The only advantage that I know of with the Polk speakers is that they are about 1/3 the price of the Athena's... I understand they have a frequency range that bottoms out at ~55 Hz. However, if they are not that great of speakers, I'd much rather wait and save the money to buy a better pair of speakers, that will last for a longer time.

Thanks for the post about your Athena's Rick, I think the concern about the troubles of playing them loud won't be a problem for me - I don't like my music that loud anyways, and I'm prohibited from playing loud music at any time anyways.


Peter
 

Gold Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 1132
Registered: Mar-05
Peter,

Haven't heard the Pioneer but did hear the R30s and at $100/pair I'd call that a FAIR price---they are nowhere in the same league as the Athenas. They are somewhat attractive-looking and pack some decent bass (45Hz according to the Polk website) but it's fairly muddy/boomy bass and the 3/4" tweeter (identical to my R20s') is awful.

I haven't heard the Pioneer speakers but if both of these are $100 then I can't imagine the Pioneers being a whole lot better than the Polks.

If I were in your shoes I'd probably wait and buy better speakers. On the other hand if you move the R30s to surround duty later on when you upgrade you wouldn't need any stands and they'd be OK as surrounds.

BTW have you ever looked at the Fluance SV-6?

http://www.fluance.com/fldyhidetwbo.html

I've heard good things about it, the 1" tweeter sounds good at least on paper.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Tinyman

Post Number: 21
Registered: Jun-05
Well, I can't honestly see myself moving to a surround sound setup anytime soon. I'm headed down to circuit city tomorrow to try the Polk R30 and Pioneer speakers. Who knows, maybe I'll be surprised by the Pioneer's. Not the greatest listening environment, but it helps to get me in the right direction of whether or not they are worth serious consideration.

I'll certainly look into the Fluance SV-6, I only had a quick moment to glance over it for now, but it does look promising, certainly worth investigating more.

However, if I'm going to make a speaker purchase, I'd rather make a larger purchase and get a good pair of speakers, than take a big sale (The R30's are going from $350 to $100) and get a pair of speakers that I'm going to end up replacing.


Thanks for your input Edster,
Peter
 

Bronze Member
Username: Tinyman

Post Number: 22
Registered: Jun-05
Got to hear the Polk R30 speaker today, and I agree with you especially in the tweeter. In the mid-range frequencies the speaker sounded fair (not great, but $100 worth of fair) but once the high frequency instruments started playing, it was obvious the speaker could not handle it very well. I can't comment on the bass, because the music didn't have a complex line for that range.

The Pioneer speakers were actually kind of surprising. Very clear and crisp in the high regions, I did like that. Again, I didn't get much bass through them, that seemed to be their weak point to me. Overall I thought they were better than the Polk floorstanders.

Currently, I'm watching an ebay sell of a pair of AS-F1's, and if the price is right, I may try to bid on them. I also found a pair of AS-F1.2 speakers for $150 each, coming to a total of $330, all expenses included.

http://www.audiovideo-discounts.com/prod/speakers/as-f1-2.html

It's a store connected to Yahoo! so that gives some credibility to their authenticity I think, but they aren't registered as an Athena distributer. Anyone know of the company, and could comment on them? $330 is a very attractive price.

Thanks,
Peter
 

Silver Member
Username: Twebbz

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 189
Registered: Apr-04
Peter, it may be that this internet company is a new dealer for Athena but Athena has not updated their dealer list yet. I would ask Athena. They are very responsive.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Tinyman

Post Number: 23
Registered: Jun-05
Incredibly responsive... I got this email from them 15-30 minutes after contacting them.

"Hi Peter

Thank you for the heads up on this. I haven't heard of these guys
before. They are definitely not authorized by athena to sell our
products. I just placed a call into the sales manager for their
territory and will have their supply chain instantly cut off."

That's not quite what I meant to do... but from that, I'm guessing that they are out of the running.


Peter
 

Silver Member
Username: Twebbz

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 191
Registered: Apr-04
Interesting...You do want make your purchases from authorized dealers only, no matter what you buy!
 

Gold Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 1144
Registered: Mar-05
Wow, that's pretty amazing on Athena's part!

Personally Peter, I think if you're willing to pay $330 for the F-1s, what's an extra $170 for the F2s from a very reputable and authorized dealer like audioadvisor.com? In fact I've read of people calling them and haggling down their posted Internet prices...who knows, they might be willing to give you the F2s for $400 which would be only $70 more for a very nice flagship speaker.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Tinyman

Post Number: 24
Registered: Jun-05
Edster,

I will put some serious consideration for calling them, and seeing if they are willing to haggle down the price on the AS-F2's. If I could get it down to $400, I would certainly buy them. Even at the $500 level, the F2's seem to be a good price. As of right now, I think I'm looking at the AS-F1.2 line to be around $400 (I'm not taking the deal from the company offering $330...)

For now, my budget decision is going to depend on whether I get a certain job or not. It's a good summer position, and whether or not I get it will determine how much push & pull I have in my budget, so I won't know until the 12th or the 14th. If I get it, the F2 series is going to be in the consideration.

Whether or not I get it is another story, keep in mind that I got a refurbished Onkyo TX-8211 ($100), so I'm not sure what adding two additional 8" woofers is going to do in terms of the power.


Peter
 

Gold Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 1169
Registered: Mar-05
oops, forgot about that Onkyo...ouch!

I might actually go with the B2s and get a powered sub, in that case.

I've never been a fan of Mirage speakers, but once I heard a pair of Mirage towers running off an Onkyo 2-channel receiver and it was downright AWFUL. It's possible that the guy had the phase connection all screwed up, that's how bad they sounded.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Tinyman

Post Number: 25
Registered: Jun-05
Well, the Onkyo reciever is what I have right now, but in the case that it isn't powerful enough to drive a pair of tower speakers, not all is lost.

My father just recently had his old amplifier go bad on him (after 20 years or so, but part of it works), and in the case that this reciever is simply underpowered, he'd happily have it. He has a pair of B&W speakers that are at least 25 years old that he comfortably used with an 8 watt amplifier he built.

In the case that this Onkyo reciever wouldn't be able to power the tower speakers, I'll probably look for the HK reciever, at about 100W per channel. I figured that by getting the Onkyo, I didn't see any way in which I could lose. If it works for me, great. If it doesn't, my father said he would want it.

I've never heard Mirage speakers, so I don't know if they sound nice ordinarily or not, but with some luck I won't have that bad of a problem. The B2 speakers are a definite possibility, having smaller speakers will be an advantage in where I'll be living for the next 1-2 years.


Peter
 

Bronze Member
Username: Tinyman

Post Number: 26
Registered: Jun-05
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?A=details&kw=JBNE60&is=REG&Q=&O= productlist&sku=298527


JBL E80 Floor Standing speakers, Best Buy sells them for $720 normally, however I can pick up a pair for $360. Anyone have experience with this line of speakers (do they compare to Athena's) at all?

I did just go try the E60 and E80 models. The E60 seemed to have little bass, and was a bit scratchy in the midranges. The E80 performed much better in both these catagories, although I didn't hear too much in the high frequencies.

Between the Athena AS-F1 and the JBL E80, does anyone know which of the two performs better, seeing as there is only a $40 price difference between the two of them?


Peter
 

Gold Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 1177
Registered: Mar-05
I'd take the e80 over the f1, but the f2 over the e80.

I think Amazon and jandr.com often have Friday sales on the e90 series.

did you have a chance to talk to audioadvisor.com about dropping the price on the f2? just curious.
 

Silver Member
Username: T_bomb25

Dayton, Ohio United States

Post Number: 191
Registered: Jun-05
Just dont get the Pioneers or the Polks,I would go for the Athenas in your case,the JBLs are ok to
 

Silver Member
Username: Twebbz

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Post Number: 195
Registered: Apr-04
I thought the JBLs were dull compared to the Atheanas.
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