To Ron Doering,
I want to start by saying that I really enjoy reading your reviews, particularly those for equipment on the affordable end of the spectrum. Since everyone has to watch their pennies these days, it's great to get some help finding equipment that's genuinely musical but doesn't break the bank.
I have purchased a pair of Aperion Audio 4Ts, and I'm breaking them in for two weeks before sitting to listen carefully. I wanted to ask about the way you placed them in your room. You said that you had them immediately against the wall per the Aperion instructions, but everything I've been able to find in their documentation says to have them 2' or more from the wall. They are front-ported, so I thought the only deficit that might be caused by closer wall placement might be image depth, but you said they imaged beautifully. Just wanted to double-check with you on that.
I saw that you run an NAD integrated; I've had a Marantz integrated for a few years now. Its midrange is very fluid, but it's not the most composed on dynamic passages. I don't know how much exposure you've had to the rest of the NAD range. My room is about the same dimensions as yours (11' by 14'), and I've read that NAD's lowest-powered integrated (C 316BEE) is very good. I thought I'd ask if you had heard anything about it, and would expect it to be up to muster with the 4Ts. Since I live in an apartment, I don't play anything very loudly, but classical music is 90 percent-plus of what I listen to and by nature it is very dynamic. So I thought the small NAD might be worth a look. If you have any thoughts or other suggestions let me know. Ditto on a CD player: I'm using the Oppo 980H, which is OK but a bit metallic on strings and winds. In case you're wondering, I'm rebuilding a system from the ground up after many years of just listening through headphones.
Thanks for the kind words and encouragement. My Aperion review goes back a year now to November 2009 and because I no longer have a copy, I cannot say for certain whether Aperion's 4T product manual that I used is the same as the one available today. Still, I did give a gander at the current setup manual available online and I see no specifics as to speaker placement with regard to the front wall, although the figure does suggest a close proximity. In any event, the manual does rightly recommend that you experiment with placement and trust your ears!
You did not indicate the model of amplifier you now use or its vintage. My understanding is that it has only been in recent years that Marantz has pulled itself back out of the mid-fi doldrums it swam in for so long. They appear to now be making some impressive gear, but I have not yet had the opportunity to audition a Marantz component. If you haven't yet heard, the NAD "house" sound is fast, dynamic, and punchy. At 40Wpc the C 316BEE is in the ballpark with my older C 325BEE, so I should think you will get good results.
Could the C 316BEE be improved upon? I'm afraid only you and your bankbook can decide that. Have fun shopping and let me know what you end up with. . . . Ron Doering