Review: Alon Petite Monitor

Category: Speakers

I have owned the Alon Petites for 5 years now. However, for the past 5 years I’ve been living in small apartments with suspended wood floors, and they never sounded quite right. The bass was actually somewhat boomy. They weren’t bad, just not great. For the first time, they are finally being setup correctly in a decent room, albeit somewhat large. The current room is an L-shape in the basement. The speakers are 3 feet from the back wall and approximately 3 feet from the side. I sit 11 feet from the speakers. The Alons are placed on 24” HS series sand-filled Target stands. I am running an analog front-end. The speakers are two-way with a 5 1/4” woofer and a tweeter which is sourced from their Alon IV model.

The most important aspects of sound for me are imaging and midrange presence. My
musical tastes are still evolving. As of right now, I listen mainly to jazz, female vocal, and
techno/dance. The worst thing a system could do to turn me off would be a tizzy or
etched treble. For the most part, I use female vocals to test upgrades in equipment.

Setup is somewhat tricky though. Apparently, the drivers are not time-aligned from the
factory. So, you must raise the front of the speaker 2” higher than the rear of the speaker.
I had to get longer spikes for the front of the stands. It looks kinda stupid though. I feel that
Acarian systems did not finish the job when designing these speakers. They should have
thought of this problem to begin with like some of the other manufacturers by sloping the
front baffle. Anyway, I first tried 1” then 1.5” and the treble was still too forward and
somewhat bright. 2” evened things out a lot. Everything is much better integrated and
smooth. 2” higher gives a 9 degree slant, which is apparently recommended my Acarian
Systems. Speaker cables should be bi-wired for best results. I had been running a single
cable, then added a second run and the bass was more apparent and the midrange seemed
to open up a bit more too.

The highs are somewhat rolled-off compared to my previous Eminent Technology LFT-IV
speakers. Then again, those are planar speakers. But, the Alons are much more dynamic
and really can swing with music. Being small, they definitely do not do much bass, but
boy do they image well. I did not feel that orchestral music was reproduced convincingly
either. The Radio Shack SPL meter could only record up to about an average of 80-85dB
with peaks of 90dB. When pushed, they started to break-up a little with a forward treble
and blurred midrange. This is definitely not a good speaker for bass lovers. I listen to New Order and some other techno stuff on LP every once in a while, and the bass is very tight and tuneful, but not much there in the way of impact. Although, given the large basement I am currently in, that would add to the problem. I still have a pair of Paradigm Phantoms which go to the 30Hz region. What a big difference in bass output, not contest. Then again, the Petite’s treble and midrange is in another league.

Overall, quite engaging especially on female vocals and chamber music. Mono records
sound very good too. Its liquid midrange is most evident on my ‘Unforgettable’ Dinah
Washington mono Mercury LP. She’s giving me a private concert! In addition, any tweaks make a noticeable difference through the speakers, so they are also very transparent. The better the signal, the better they’ll sound.

When used within their limits, they are a quality speaker. I must admit that they are ‘polite
audiophile’ speakers. Also, I would like some more meaningful low-end frequency
support. Bass was never an issue before now, but I think it's because of the larger size room. However, they are musical and that is the name of the game. If money was no
object, I would would be looking to upgrade though.

Associated gear
Aronov SA-60 amp, Music Reference RM-5MkIII preamp, DIY Vampire CCC speaker cable, Merrill KT-1 TT, Morch UP-4, Stanton CS-100.