11 December 1999
Basar and I had agreed that the Alon Circe and the ProAc
3.8's were the two best sounding speakers of Hi-Fi
99 Chicago show. First I ordered the ProAc's and later on Nejat
ordered the Alon Circe's together with another Alon speaker made especially
to be driven with low power Single Ended amplifiers: it is called the Alon
Nejat is a very wise person: he now listens to the Alon Lotus SE's at his place and at the same time gave the Alon Circe's (distributed in Turkey by Proplan Ltd.) to his best friend Cuneyt Borcbakan for an initial break in. Of course this was not the only reason, he also wanted to hear their performance when driven with a powerful amplifier such as the Krell FBP 600C.
Alon Circe's tweeter and mid driver are working as dipoles (see their pictures in my Chicago show report) and this feature makes them a very airy, open sounding speaker devoid of any boxiness (the box only exists for the bass unit). They have an incredibly three dimensional presentation of the sound stage with considerable height and width. Off axis listening is more satisfactory than most other speakers (including mine).
Although the speakers had only played for few hours, I found them to be very balanced and to have a very neutral tonality (very British in this respect). They were also remarkably relaxed, effortless and untiring. I generally don't like forward sounding speakers, these were totally the contrary: the image had always a center back location. Once properly broken in and correctly driven these speakers have the potential to be a dream! Well done Nejat!
Alon Circe's crossover is in an external separate black box which allows "tri-wiring". Alon suggests "tri-wiring" or "bi-wiring" but does not recommend "single-wiring", hence they provided only one jumper per speaker. Nejat had also bought Alon's own "tri-wired" speaker cable called the Black Orpheus. So, next we tried different cable configurations against the Black Orpheus.
If you go back to my Cuneyt Borcbakan re-visit notes, you will notice that Cuneyt was in search of a good speaker cable for his new Wilson Watt/Puppy 6 speakers. Well he found his dream cable. And what a cable!!! It probably does more positive to the sound than a good amplifier does. It is the MIT MH 850 IVO Shotgun with three huge boxes per cable (see picture)!!! So, first we wanted to try this cable alone although "single-wiring" was not recommended by Alon. For such application we had to fabricate a second jumper from an ordinary electrical cable. Alon was right, this configuration was not so satisfactory. There was some tonal improvement, but the sound stage lost its coherence and the bass became loose.
Next we added Van den Hul - Revelation cable to drive the bass, while MIT MH 850 IVO Shotgun was driving the mids and treble. This gave the best result: the bass became tighter, the stage became wider and deeper, mids became fuller and sweeter. We also tried to reverse the roles between the two cables but this time the depth disappeared and the sound became relatively edgier and brighter.
Finally we tested Krell's own CAST connections against conventional Kimber KCAG balanced interconnects. With the Kimber's the bass became very controlled, tonality became more natural and slightly drier but the stage depth became considerably shorter. This is an area to explore, I guess.
Nejat is now willing to bring the Alon Lotus SE speakers to my place and try them with my Single Ended amplifiers. I think it will be an exciting experience which will be reported on these pages.