105db/W high efficiency speaker suitable for low power SET

Arion Audio The Apollo System Open Baffle Line Source Loudspeaker System | Full-Range | Charlotte, North Carolina 28278 | Audiogon

Last week I went to Disney World at Orlando from Seattle by air stayed there for 4 days and then drove 7 hours to Charlotte, NC dropping by Savana, Georgia and Charstown, SC.

I auditioned Arion Audio Apollo System at showroom on Charlotte, NC for 3 hours on 18th of January.

Showroom is 20ft (W) x 30 ft(D)x 12 ft(H).

I brought 7 CDs that I am familiar with.

Mike of Arion is using CEC TL0X transport to drive EmmLab DA 20 and use his own preamplifier.

TJ full music 300b monoblocks are used to drive main unit above 120hz.

Then the bass unit (two 10 inch drivers) was driven by Arion amplifier( 500W for 4 ohm)

He also play VPI turntable.


The first CD is Trio by Schubert played by three maestros.

It has a stable image and musicality.


The second CD is "Songbird" by Eva Cassidy.

It sounds pleasant but fall short of details that I had heard at my system.

I thought it was because of higher details offered by Silbatone 300B amplifier and plasma tweeter of Lansche 4.1 speakers.

But Mike also got disappointed with the sound and played same album on Vinyl with his VPI turntable.

Then it sounded much better with clean details but still slightly fall short of my system.

HIs CEC TL0x may need service.

Mike also mentioned that music server his friend brought sounded better than CEC TL0x.

Nevertheless I kept going with other 5 CDs that I brought.


I played this CD to test layering of chorus and dynamics.

Soundstage is deep and wide matching my current system.

Also I did not notice any reduction of dynamics.

Thus it passed test with good results.


I played track 7 of "Sister Drum" by Dadawa at ear aching volume.

I played this to test ultimate dynamics , low bass and efficiency of speakers (105db/W).

Even with full volume at moderately large room, 8W amplifiers did not show no sign of strain or clipping.

Thus I am inclined to believe high claim of efficiency.

Then I played this CD to test bass and overall atmosphere.

It sounded wonderful with well integrated bass.

When you have line array tweeter and bass unit, bass may get behind.

But his open panel bass unit give quick and controlled sound with no problem of integration with main tower.

I played one more CD to test soundstage and it passed.

Thus this system is worth considering for those who have small power SET amplifier.

After I am back to my home on 19th, I had listened to Lansche 4.1 (99db/W spec but real efficiency aroudn 95db/W) driven by 8W Silbatone SET amplifier with original WE 300 tube made in 1930’s.

I could not play loud as Arion Audio Apollo System that I had heard at Mike’s showroom.

But I got more transparency and details through my system.

I also could play loud enough for most of music in my listening room.

If I use Silbatone SET amplifier on Arion Audio Apollo System, then I may also get nice transparency and details .

Silbatone Acoustics JI-300B Integrated Amplifier Review By Steven R. Rochlin

My listening space on third floor attic is moderate size (20ft x 20ft x 15ft[H])

Thus I do not have enough to place Lansche and Arion Apollos side by side.

If I go for Arion, then I shall set up separate listening space at living room on second floor ( 20ft[[w] x 30 ft[D} x 20 ft[H]).

It is a lot of work with acoustic treatment.

Although I like Arion Apollo system, I have not made up decision to buy it yet.

Some horn based system also have high efficiency but they tend to have some coloration out of horn.

But Arion Apollo system sound very clean without any notable coloration having lot of potential for low power SET amp.

I will get Western Electric vintage big horn speaker if I can spare 300K$ now.

It is really good with natural dynamics.

I had listened to several model of Avantgarde but I found them not to have good integration with subwoofer.

The problem is their horn sound very fast but subwoofer lag behind.

Western Electric system use field coil unit which integrate well with horn.

Cesaro also offers option of field coil unit.

Most speaker use permanent magnet.

Field coil unit use electric coil magnet which produce much higher efficiency and fast transient.

But it is costly to make good field coil unit.

If I were you, I would keep the JBL speaker for another 2 or 3 years while trying high power SET amplifier like Line Magnetic 508.


Have you heard the GT Audio Works GTA 3.1R or the Pure Audio Project Quintet and if so, can you comment on either compared to the Arion Apollo speakers?  

I would like to get nice vintage horn speaker someday.

You have got a nice one.

It will be wonderful to have chance to listen to your vintage horn system. if you need SEO Service you can try this for your website