Before I go too far describing the Aperion 6T’s design innovations, I have to gush a little about the wood. Aperion’s cherry veneers are stunning; the rich deep color and satin finish are impeccable. Speaker manufacturers toss around phrases like “furniture grade” finish a lot, but Aperion’s cherry is in another league. Sure, the 6T is also available in piano black, but the difference is less dramatic, compared to everybody else’s piano black. The cherry is a knock out.
Aperion is a pretty conservative company and doesn’t claim to reinvent its speakers every year or two. Having said that the Intimus 6T’s 1-inch silk dome tweeter and woven-fiberglass mid/bass driver are new designs. Instead of the usual medium-density fiberboard cabinets, Aperion uses 1-inch thick high-density fiberboard to suppress resonance. This sort of substantial build quality is above and beyond what you’d reasonably expect in a pair of $1390 speakers.
Aperion sells direct with a risk-free, 30-day in-home trial policy, ships for free, and the company doesn’t charge sales tax! Oh, and if you bought the Aperion Intimus 632-LR bookshelf speakers I raved about in Playback Issue 5, but now crave the big speaker sound, you’re in luck. Aperion’s trade-up policy will give you 100 percent credit for your 632-LRs towards the purchase of a pair of 6Ts! The policy extends to all Aperion speakers and subs, for up to one year after initial purchase. And once you’re settled in, the speakers are backed up with a 10-year warranty; that’s double the usual coverage.
The 6T sounds big; there’s a confidence to the sound that was apparent from the get-go. The low end is clear in ways few speakers in this price class can match. It’s not so much that the 6T goes deeper, but its control and definition are exceptional. Imaging is another strength—the 6T can unfurl vast holographic recreations of the original recording venue.
The heat radiating from “Caravan” on Cassandra Wilson’s Loverly CD [Blue Note] was intense and the band’s jungle rhythms had the sort of kinetic sock we associate with much larger speakers. ‘twas toe tappin’ good! Wilson’s sultry pipes floated above the fray, sounding sweetly balanced and completely natural.
Turning to Arcade Fire’s CD [Neon Bible, Merge], the 6T was unperturbed by the mighty church organ chords that open “Intervention,” and even when the rest of the band kicks in there was no sense of strain. You get the feeling this speaker can handle anything. Its powerful low-end totally nailed the visceral power of the band, and further listening confirmed the treble range was just as capable. Neon Bible’s basic tracks were recorded in a church, and the 6T’s resolution revealed the band playing in that space. Imaging was spacious and wide open, with a nice portrayal of depth.
Aperion may have raised the stakes to new highs with the 6T. Bass is big and taut, and the overall distortion levels are low. And thanks to Aperion’s direct sales approach, you don’t have to take my word for it.