How do you troubleshoot a pair of Aerial 10Ts?

I just returned from a long drive to pick up a nice pair of Aerial 10Ts, only to be very disappointed with lean bass and thin sound. The imaging and midrange was wonderful but the low end authority just stunk. A direct A-B comparison with my Soliloquy 5.3s revealed that my "upgrade" wasn't really "up."

Not to be discouraged, I went through the usual troubleshooting which included checking all connections, verifying that the drivers were indeed working, polarity, positioning, alternate impedance taps, etc. I have narrowed the problem down to the following (assuming that there is nothing wrong with the speakers themselves):

1) My SF Power 2 needs new tubes
2) Different cables may correct this
3) A more powerful, non-tube amplifier may be in order

To all 10t owners:
Have you ever tried a comparible tube amp with these speakers? Does my story sound at all familiar?


3) I had Sonic Frontiers SFM 160's and they didn't do the job. These speakers like solid state and power. The Soliloquy's were a much better match to your tube amps.
Allison2 -

Go solid state with 10Ts. The 10Ts require more serious power than any other speaker I have owned.

Now, as you probably already know, it isn't the sensitivity that determines how a speakers will react to different amps, but the resistance.

There was a FABULOUS posting here about a hear ago that explained all about resistance of the speaker, versus sensitivity. How it was a myth that tube amps can't run speakers to depths and volume that solid state can. I thought it was a bunch of hocus pocus, as I was running massive Krell 350Ms to the Energy Veritas 2.8s. So I took my tube amp, an Allegro (unsure of the power, guessing around 60wpc's) and connected it to the 2.8s. WOW! That was music, better than even the 350Ms. I had all the bene's from tubes on the upper end, and truly good bass, tight, fast, it was very nice!

I love to listen to music pretty darn loud, and have been known to shut amps down for poor electrical quality at this house. So, the tube amp I had will run out of gas before the 350Ms did, BUT still quit loud! Point is, that may be the only drawback. BUT AGAIN, now we are talk Aerial 10Ts.
Those speakers have more bottem end than ANY speaker I have listened to, which include B&W Matrix 801, Nautilus 802, 801 (yes, the 801, which was enemic in my room) and of course the Veritas line, Dunlavy SC-IV, Thiel 3.6, Hales Transcendance 5, and many more. The 10Ts, with clean, good quality solid state WILL NOT BE WEAK with the 11.7" driver.

That is my findings, and Stehno, he will be here shortly!
(Hi Stehno!!)

You need a powerful solid-state amplifier, preferably at least 200 watts per channel. The Aerials need a lot of power.
the 10Ts need a high current amp to make them work. I have VTL 185 monoblocks and aerial said they were the minimal requirement to make the 10Ts work. Fiddle with speaker placement as well as they appear to be pretty sensitive to that. I didn't buy a pair because i though the bass was too boomy. Turned out that it was likely the room i heard them in but the point is generating bass is not a problem with the speakers.
You will hear Piezo's point a lot. Few things in audio are better-settled than the 10T's need for tons of power. A dealer told me that he thought the Levinson 33's were not enough. That may be an overstatement, but if your room is big enough for the speaker to make good bass, the 10T will respond better the more good quality juice you can give it. I have a small, heavily treated room and use a Sim W-5. That's a powerful amp with a huge damping factor and my system poops out at about 105dB. It sounds great and that is pretty loud, but it's not as loud as the Boston symphony sometimes gets. In any event, these speakers are not lean or shy at all and if your room is not the culprit, then you are right to suspect the amp.
I currently own the Aerial 8's which are quite similar to the 10t's. I drive the speakers with two Classe Ca-150's in mono and found that they love power. They come alive at low and high listening levels. The bass is tight and impressive. Good listening Steve
My Aerials did not come alive until I upgraded from 150 watts to 300--solid state. These speakers are not boomy--they, like so many have stated, have a real appetite for power. When they are well fed, the bass is fantastic. I also found the bass improved greatly with sound anchors under them. I have contemplated tube amplification, but I feel that I will need to spend a lot of moola on tubes to get the degree of power the 10T's crave. Good luck! And one more thing--just rested the anchors on aurios pros bearings and wow, well worth the money!