Surround Sound Speaker Systems
- Written by Jim Clements
- Published on 14 June 2012
Design and Setup of the Aperion Forte Home Theater System
These are sleek, slim towers with curvaceous cabinets. They are true 3-way designs with a pair of cute little 4-1/4" Kevlar woofers, a single 4-1/4" mid with an aluminum phase plug and a 1" silk dome ring radiator tweeter. All these drivers are new designs and they sound terrific.
Truth be told, this system is designed for smaller rooms than mine. And even with both woofer cones dedicated to reproducing the bass, these two 4-1/4" drivers only have the same radiating area as a single 6" driver. But I still got acceptable response down to around 80 Hz at my listening position that's 12' from the front speakers. So I'm operating under the assumption that the woofers have capable motor structures.
Besides transient speed and nimbleness, another positive off shoot of the smaller cones is that the cabinet is narrower than most. This fact, in conjunction with the curvy cabinet profile means you have a recipe for better dispersion and imaging. I found the open sound staging to be a signature quality of the Verus Fortes.
The midrange is mounted near the top of the cabinet, above the tweeter. It has an aluminum phase plug and operates over the narrow but critical range between 800 Hz to 1.8 kHz.
Aperion calls this new tweeter an "Axially Stabilized Radiator". It looks like a ring radiator with an added center pin that is mounted on the small arm that passes over the front of the driver. Here is a quote from the Aperion engineering team, "[With typical ring radiators] there is little to resist [the dome's] rocking since the entire suspension is located in a single plane. The whole idea of our Axially Stabilized™ tweeter is to attach the diaphragm's center in a different plane than the ring-suspension in order to restrain this rocking. We see this as an important refinement to the ring radiator type of tweeter . . . The practical significance is that our Axially Stabilized Radiator™ tweeter is especially controlled around its natural resonance frequency, which allows it to operate much deeper into the midrange." Accordingly, this driver picks up the signal from a low-ish crossover point of 1.8 kHz.
Aperion makes no mention of the crossover topology in the Verus Fortes, but the concept of a true 3-way design avoids many of the complex phase, response and driver interaction problems that are endemic with the more common (these days) 2-1/2 way designs. So kudos goes to Aperion for the 3-way design.
The slim towers come with metal outriggers and floor spikes. They also have the little metal discs to protect hard floors from the ravages of the spikes. I rarely use such discs because they tend to be unstable, but Aperion's version of the discs looked like they would be fairly stable if you decide to use them. The mounting screws for the bases were different between the two front towers, indicating that they were from different production runs. Over time, the female inserts came loose in the tower that had the shorter screws.
The grilles are cloth-backed metal grilles that are attached by very strong magnets. I wouldn't expect them to buzz or rattle. I had trouble removing the grilles at first, up until I found out that I could just "bonk" the speaker with the heel of my palm and the grilles would pop off.
The system Aperion sent included a Verus Forte Center speaker and a pair of the Verus Forte Satellites for the rears. I mention these here because they feature a new driver design too – a coincident array that Aperion calls the PhaseSync Driver. This nifty little unit has a 4-1/4" Kevlar driver with a nested ASR tweeter at the acoustic center. This design lends good timbral consistency across a wide range of seating positions that was particularly noteworthy with the center speaker. These drivers further reinforced the system's already strong sound staging capabilities.
The sub that Aperion sent along was the Bravus II 10D. This little cube has a 10" aluminum cone main driver and a pair of side-mounted 10" passive radiators. The sub is powered by a 500 W RMS plate amp. The sub is pretty basic with limited controls, no EQ but a rugged textured black finish on its sturdy cabinet.
I placed all the speakers in the usual positions for my room – the sub in the front left corner, the towers 10' apart, the center on a shelf below the screen and the rears on shelves near the rear corners of the room. I found that I got the best results when the tweeters of the front speakers were aimed directly at my cranium. So I toed in the mains to face directly at the center seat and I used the included heavy rubber bases to tilt the center speaker so it was aimed at ear level.
I crossed over the mains at 80 Hz, the center at 100 Hz and the rears at 120 Hz.