Mr Martens, here is a sincere question: how does this Aon3 sound when I put on my turntable a recording of an admittedly more harmonically and dynamically complex music (i.e. Blackalicious, Marilyn Manson, Bruckner, Strauss, Henze or Stockhausen) ? I've noticed a disturbing trend among the "high-end" reviewers ; The more expensive the speakers reviewed are, the smaller groups are used to justified the glowing review. This trend has originated with the esteemed Jon Valin as the extreme and, apparently much admired ruse, to introduce us, the suckers, to the "literature" of the audio reviewing, rather than to the actual reviewing - if there ever could be such thing,
I know, everything is in the "ear" of the beholder, but please , if you have to refer to a recording that you love in the context of any review, test the equipment with some other possibilities that we might also love, You know, the true music lovers can be quite eclectic, at least the ones I know.
Let me address your question by saying that the Aon 3 does quite well with moderately complex and dynamically active orchestral material (one of my favorite test pieces in this vein would be Getty's "Plump Jack" Overture as performed by The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and as conducted by Sir Neville Marriner); indeed, I think that when faced with complex/dynamically vigorous material the Aon3 performans better by far than most like-priced two-way monitors.
The caveat, though, would be that if you really want to push things (e.g., playing just about any of Mahler's biggest orchestral passages at high volume levels), you can eventually reach a point where the demands of the music will exceed the limits of the Aon3's performance envelope. On such occasions, the Aon3 doesn't sound "ugly," but it does eventually start to sound compressed, then congested, and finally just plain strained. But again, you really have to lean on the speaker pretty hard (listening at levels I personally would find unpleasant if not painful) before it begins to protest in any obvious way. On the whole, it's pretty graceful in dealing with the "big stuff."
Summing up: While I feel the Aon3 is far more dynamically capable than most monitors its size or price, it would still not be my favorite choice for a steady diet of power music played at high volume levels. For that purpose, either of GoldenEar's Triton models would be the better choice. 'Hope these comments are useful.
Best, Chris Martens
Editor, Avguide.com/Playback/The Perfect Vision
A few years back you gave a glowing review on the NHT Classic 3 speaker. Based on your review I ran out and bought a pair. I have been extremly happy with these speakers and your review was spot on. Your review of the Aon 3 reminded me alot of how you felt about the NHT 3 speakers. I would like to know your thoughts in how they compare. Thanks