NRPavs    SOLD items 2016 archive 1  Athena Technologies  AS-B2.2B-1  speakers 1st pair   details
SOLD items 2016 archive 1 product details : 

Athena  Technologies  AS-B2.2B-1
stand   speakers - 1st pair
Athena  AS-B2.2B-1  stand / front  speakers  :  front  view
Athena  AS-B2.2B-1  speakers  :  right  profile
Athena  AS-B2.2B-1  speakers  :  drivers  closeup
Athena  AS-B2.2B-1  speakers  :  backs  view
Athena  AS-B2.2B-1  speakers  :  left  profile
Athena  AS-B2.2B-1  speakers  :  size  scale
   SOLD January 2016 on trademe  to Auckland
S/Ns: 8001796 / both
  sitemap    Athena Technologies  AS B2.2 [1st pair]  stand  speakers specifications                         Back to NRPavs Home  
                 Athena Technologies  AS-B2.2B-1  [1st pair]  speakers - black ash / silver grey :
Description :
   2-way rear vented stand speakers
   Review, Goodsound March 15, 2006:
   Athena Technologies, Energy, and Mirage are all brands produced by Audio Products International, based in Toronto, Canada
   Currently one of the leading speaker companies in the world, API made significant headway in the early 1990s and, along with such competitors as Paradigm and PSB, helped to establish Canada’s reputation for making world-class speakers at reasonable prices
   Now acquired by Klipsch and then Audiovox, Athena’s Audition Series (AS) retains this spirit of progressiveness in its appearance as well as its sound
   Description :  Athena Technologies’ AS-B2.2 speaker comes in a single finish - a synthetic yet realistic black ash that is grainy and tactile
   At [H x W x D] 400 x 200 x 241mm [15.75"H x 7.875"W x 9.5"D], the speaker is a bit tall and narrow for a bookshelf monitor, which only adds to its sleek profile. This bass-reflex design is ported in the rear, and connection is made via gold-plated five-way binding posts that can accept bare wires of up to 12 gauge
   The one-piece faceplate is covered in a smoky silvery composite material that presents a contemporary look that should integrate nicely with most home-theater setups. The AS-B2.2 is magnetically shielded, which enables placement near a video display
   Its plain black grille bends slightly outward from its four protruding silver pegs. The grille is easily removed, does nothing to improve the Athena’s sound, and arguably even less for its appearance. I left them off
   Minus its grille, the AS-B2.2 looks striking. At the top, a 1" Teteron tweeter sits like a reflective gray bubble, secured by four small silver screws to an oval enclosure fixed in place with four more small screws. Below this is a large black dust cap in the center of a 6.5" polypropylene woofer that matches the color of the tweeter
   This driver has a black rubber surround and is secured with more silver screws. The third circle on the face of the speaker is a discreet black button near the bottom with the brand name in small lowercase silver lettering. All of this detailing -- pegs, screws, letters -- combines with the attractive shades of the dominant silver styling to catch the light and sparkle in contrast with the black of the box itself
   Setup :  The AS-B2.2 has a reported impedance of 8 ohms, a claimed frequency range of 50Hz to 20kHz, and can handle up to 150 Watts per channel. I drove them with an NAD C320BEE integrated amplifier. Given that the NAD’s 50Wpc rating is widely thought to be conservative and the Athena’s sensitivity is rated at an impressive 91dB, very little gain was needed to drive the speakers to satisfactory listening levels
   I connected them to the amp with 9ft runs of Element Cable’s Double Run speaker cable terminated with banana plugs, placed them about 8’ apart on stands that put the tweeters at my seated ear level and the speakers 3’ from the front wall, and toed them in slightly to optimize the treble response. I played CDs on my trusty source, the all-purpose Pioneer DVD-353, linked by Monster Cable interconnects
   Sound :  Since the introduction of the compact disc, the songs of innocence on Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run have hidden behind a wall of sound washed with mud. With the release of a beautiful digital remastering in the album’s 30th Anniversary 3 Disc Set [Sony 94175], however, the recording’s initial analogue power to move, remind, and inspire has been restored, wrestled away from classic-rock cliché
   From the opening harmonica of "Thunder Road" to the horns on "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out," through the saxophone downshifting of the title track and the pretty piano and violin of "Jungleland," the AS-B2.2 was involving, musically alive, and balanced between airy highs and unexpectedly strong low frequencies: I was grabbed and threatened to be pulled under by the bass and kick drum on "She’s the One."
   While not quite bringing the recording studio into my listening room, the AS-B2.2 was able to present details previously subsumed in the mix, such as background vocals and the sound of the glockenspiel, and made me feel good about being able to give this remastering its due
   Tenor saxophonist Louie Belogenis explicitly traces his roots to John Coltrane and Albert Ayler, with the same agenda (transcendence) and a similar vocabulary (ecstatic). On Unbroken [Tick Tock 01], his first release as a leader, he is backed by bassist Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz and drummer Kenny Wollesen, who frequently establish modal grooves and repeated bass vamps that, through the AS-B2.2, induced a pleasantly mild hypnosis. The notes of the double bass struck with the weight of a brick dropped on a stack of cotton on "Transmission," and on "Bells Canto," the shaking and ringing were rendered with crisp realism. Belogenis’ timbre is alternately hoarse and whispery, high-pitched and urgent, smooth and mystical, with a touch of vibrato; the AS-B2.2’s natural, laid-back presentation handled it all
   On their own, Chris Whitley’s National Steel guitar playing and vocals, the latter ranging from breathy whisper to cracked falsetto, can be bluesy, soulful, and sexy. Rocket House [ATO 21501] adds layer on layer of drum programming, turntable scratches, synthesizer blips, and pinpoint tape looping to transform Whitley’s bare-bones approach into a great meal for the ears. Through the Athenas, daughter Trixie’s girlish, disembodied backing vocal on "Chain" and "Serve You" seemed to come from the back of the soundstage, while the instrumentation and additional effects were properly positioned in the foreground. The aggressive break beat on "Rocket House" was rendered with tightly controlled quickness, as was the transient speed of the clipped, syncopated rhythms of "To Joy." "Vertical Desert" offered a textural challenge of vocal pitches, swooping keyboards, and spatial atmospheric effects that the Athenas met with characteristic warmth
   By now, I’d given in to the Athena’s seductively smooth midrange and plush bass extension. It also proved a wonderful speaker for reggae, reproducing Burning Spear’s Marcus Garvey [Mango 539377] and its miasma of Robbie Shakespeare and Ashton "Family Man" Barrett’s bass playing, as Earl "Chinna" Smith’s skanking guitar chops and Winston Rodney’s keening, incantatory vocals cut through the smoky haze. Rodney doesn’t sing so much as chant, and on the title track, the Athena accurately conveyed the loping rhythm and lyrical repetition of his phrasing, its audible nuances intact. On "Slavery Days," Rodney’s lead was presented in sharply detailed contrast to Rupert Willington’s and Delroy Hinds’ more mellifluous supporting voices, all in three-dimensional fashion. But I kept coming back to Jack Ruby’s production, as if the CD had been mixed on the antique, idiosyncratic, patched-together gear in Lee Perry’s Black Ark Studio. The bass was hardly seismic, but if a speaker can have the sound of tubes, the AS-B2.2 is that speaker
Conclusion :  Athena Technologies’ engineers have made some choices that almost always must be made in a loudspeaker at this price point, and the AS-B2.2 is likely to appeal to a specific taste. It’s tilted in the direction of politeness, with a full midbass and a satisfying, softly sweet high end. This suggests that a tube amplifier would recess its sound to the point of being closed-in, but that pairing is unlikely for the entry-level market Athena has evidently targeted with the AS-B2.2. But with a lively, modestly powered amplifier, the speaker’s looks and sound should achieve a lushness uncommon for the price
   In short, the AS-B2.2 offers maximum musicality at minimum cost. With its sweet treble, warm midrange, and well-engineered and surprisingly smooth and palpable bass, it would be extremely difficult to pay less than $249/pair and get as much as this speaker delivers ... Jeff Stockton

Specifications :
  -:®:-    Vintage : Mid 2000s model
  -:®:-    Design : Rear vented box, 2-way Loudspeaker System
  -:®:-    Nominal Impedance : 8 ohms
  -:®:-    Power rating : 150 Watts
  -:®:-    Frequency response : 50Hz to 20kHz
  -:®:-    Sensitivity [at 1m / 1w] : 91dB
  -:®:-    Dimensions [H x W x D] : 400 x 200 x 241mm
  -:®:-    Weight : 7.5kg each,  - 9kg packed each

   SOLD January 2016 on trademe  to Auckland


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