Review: Alon Model I Speaker

Category: Speakers

This is the second pair of Alons I have owned. The first being the Alon Point V, reviewed earlier on Audiogon. So impressed was I with the Alon Point V I just had to find a pair of Alons that were further up in the range. About two years ago did find a pair of Alon Model 1 at a used audio store. They were being auditioned by someone there before me. Listen along with the first buyer and both of us agreed these are very special indeed. Price used was $990.00. Lost out on those as the first buyer bought them that day. However I knew I had found the speaker I wanted for my system. Since then it has taken over two years to finally locate another pair. Finally found another pair of Alon Model 1 in the optional oak finish.The optional oak finish was a $300.00 option. Had to travel some 1,200 miles roundtrip to get them, but has been more than worth the trouble to acquire. Us audiophiles are an odd lot to travel hundreds of miles for used gear,oh well part of the hobby I guess. The Alon Model 1 appear so infrequently for sale is testament of their enduring value. Audiophiles that have them, keep them.

The Alon Model 1 are open baffle design for the tweeter and midrange, while the woofer is in an enclosed non ported cabinent. The Alon Model 1 are bi-wireable and appear to use Cardas five way binding post. Using the Alon Black Orpheus speaker cable in bi-wire configuration. Also the Alon Model 1 come with floor spikes installed from the factory. These are adjustable spikes in order to level the speakers and make proper contact through the carpet to the sub floor below.

A list of CDs and LPs are listed below that were auditioned in use of the Alon Model 1 speakers for this review.

The Classe CDP .5 CD Player was used in the playback of CD discs. Using a Forte Model F44 preamp.

Ben Webster At The Renaissance (Contemporary Records OJCCD-390-2)
The Royal Ballet Gala Performances (Classic Compact Discs CDSCD 6065)
Peter And The Wolf - Boston Symphony Orchestra (Sony SK 64079)
Jurassic Park Motion Picture Soundtrack (MCAD 10859)
We Get Requests - The Oscar Peterson Trio (Verve 810047-2)
You Won't Forget Me - Shirley Horn (Verve 847482-2)
Sneakers Motion Picture Soundtrack (Columbia DIDP 078100)
On Every Street - Dire Straits (Warner Brothers 26680-2)
Trio Jeepy - Branford Marsalis (Columbia CK44199)
Paris Jazz Concert - Louis Armstrong (RTE 1001-2)
Braveheart Motion Picture Soundtrack - London Symphony Orchestra (London LC0171)
Patriot Games Motion Picture Soundtrack (RCA 07863 66051-2)
Hook Motion Picture Soundtrack (Epic EK 4888)
Highlights From The Plugged Nickel - Miles Davis (Columbia CK 67377)

If you are still into vinyl and you should be, the Alon Model 1 speakers add a depth of realism that is hard to imagine. Just one seamless presentation after another.

Listed below are the vinyl LPs used for evaluation. Turntable is Oracle Alexandria with Sumiko Premier FT 3 Tonearm and Grado Platinum cartridge. Preamp Forte Model 40p using the phono section routed through Forte F 44 preamp. Power to the Alons provided by Forte Model 7 Mono Blocks at 75 watts rms, pure class A.

Bob James - Hands Down (Columbia FC 38067)
Hiroshima - Self Titled - (Arista MFSL1-525)
John Coltrane - Blue Train - (Blue Note BST 81577)
Wes Montgomery - Bumpin' - (Verve V6-8625)
Rickie Lee Jones - Self Titled - (Warner BSK 3296)
Wynton Marsalis - Live Blues Alley - (Columbia PC2-40675)
Eric Gale - Forecast - (KUDU Records KU 11)(CTI Records)
Kenny Burrell & Grover Washington Jr - (Blue Note BT 85106)
Earl Klugh - Finger Painting - (Blue Note MFSL 1-025)
Larry Carlton - Friends - (Warner 23834-1)
Sadao Watanabe - Autumn Blow - (Inner City IC 6064
Doobie Brothers - Minute by Minute - (Warner BSK 3193)
Santana - Zebop - (Columbia FC37158)
Pat Metheny Group - American Garage - (ECM 1-1155)
Frederick Fennel - Cleveland Symphonic Winds - (Telarc 5038)

Seldom in speaker design do we get high definition coupled with muscality. The Alon Model 1 speakers are one of those speakers that handle both with great resolve of the musical signal. At times these speakers are holographic in their presentation filling the room with a musical presentation that one feels they were in the room when the recording was done.The sound stage is wide and deep with a solid layering of the instruments involved. With the Alon Model 1 I have heard music in the grooves and on disc that I had not heard before, just an uncanny ability to deliver the music with a solid rendering. These speakers do not get in the way of the music, but let the musical performance come through in a most convincing way.

One of the great litmus test for a apeaker to resolve is that of piano music. The piano has so many tonal balances and octave ranges that many speakers cannot reproduce acurately. Clearly the Alon Model 1 excels in this test. the Telarc CD Malcolm Frager plays Chopin. The Alon Model 1 was able to give a commanding presentation of this most difficult material handling both ends of the musical spectrum with authority. Joe Sample one of the most accomplished jazz pianist of our time and his disc Pecan Tree was a joy to listen to. Joe Samples playing came through with a verve that one would just have to hear for themselves. While Larry Carltons disc Sapphire Blue reinforced the point that the Alon Model 1 speakers can grab you and put you into the music in a very special way.

In the weeks that have passed several people have listen to the Alon Model 1 speakers and each have come away more than impressed with the overall musicality of these speakers. In fact most are seeking out the Alon Model 1 or other Alon speakers for their systems. It is amazing just how many audiophiles are unaware of Alon Speaker Systems. When new in 1993 these drew rave reviews from TAS and Stereophile. Now I know the reason behind those reviews. Alon speakers are something special indeed and are worthy additions to any hi-rez system. Listening fatique is absent and one can listen and appreciate day in day out. These are true reference speakers by any stretch of the imagination, only surpassed by more expensive Alons.

Recently Alon is now known as Nola speakers(Alon backwards)due to change in partnership in 2004.

In 1995 or 1996 the Alon Model 1 became Alon Model 1 MKII. I have not heard those,but for the life of me I do not know how these could possibly be improved upon. But those do exist. This review has dealt with the originial Alon Model 1 speakers.

At the used price points of the Alon Model 1, there is nothing that can come close to these speakers. And at the new prices for speakers on the market for what you will pay for used Alons, there is nothing even remotely close to the Alon Model 1 speakers.

I can and truly recommend the Alon Model 1 speakers, they have more than impressed this audiophile who has been at this for 47 years. This is an icon product that will impress and continue to do so for many years. To pass up a pair of Alon Model 1 speakers for something else would be regrettable indeed.

The Alon Model 1 speakers weigh about 50 pounds each stand 37 inches tall with grill covers in place,are 9 inches wide with a depth of 13 1/4 inches with grill cover on. the Cardas connectors add another 1 inch of depth.

Sold for $1,590.00 new in 1993 in Black Ash Finish. Was available in other finishes for an additional $300.00. Average used price for basic Alon Model 1 is $770.00 one of audios true bargains in used equipment.

I do recommend the use of Alon Black Orpheus speaker cables as these bring the Alon speakers into another realm of accuracy. Not cheap but well worth the price of admission.

I would like to thank Aris Audio and Brooklyn Audio for helping pull this deal together and for all their help.

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Can you please tell me what you think the minimum power a (single-ended) tube amplifier needs in order to drive these speakers for classical (piano and symphony) and opera music (not very loud). Some reviews suggest not very much, others say they need lots. I don't need them for Home Theater.
Thank you.
I have powered these with a Pass Labs Aleph 3, which is 30 WRMS per side into 8 ohms, with zero problem. Not to earth shaking levels mind you, but loud enough for the dog to run for cover. Although Alon recommends a minimum of 50 WRMS per side the Aleph had no problems at all. To err on side of safety I would not use anything less than 30 WRMS per side. Just my opinion.
I have owned two pairs of the ALON II's,and loved them.I would love to buy another pair,but have reservations.
1.Shipping damage- both pairs sustained minor wounds in transit.
2.No MFG support.I am worried about replacement parts.
It seems that some manufacturer should take note of the popularity of these older models and reproduce/update them.
Just my $.02
Congratulations on your purchase-you chose wisely
I drove 600 miles round trip to get the Alons I have. Would drive that far again, if need another pair. For me they are that special to go after. Unless have original shipping cartons in good condition, very risky to ship.
Thank you for your responses.
An update - the seller of the Alon 1 unfortunately stopped communicating so I did not manage to buy them. However, I now have a pair of Alon II's in very good condition but without floor cones. I think they were made in about 1999. The manual says they require 200(!) WRMS per side. I've only had them a couple of days so am still positioning them.