Review: AAD Loudspeakers 2003 Speaker

Category: Speakers

I was hypnotized, beguiled and bewitched into trading for a pair of AAD 2003 loudspeakers (one of Phil Jones' creations)recently. What a wonderful speaker!! It features a fairly unusual complement of drivers for a mid-to-large floorstander; a 25mm gold-clad horn tweeter and two 150mm (5-1/4") mid-bass drivers. The cabinet is a tower design, and is EXTREMELY rigid and inert. Each cabinet weighs in at a hefty 140 lbs., which is a little surprising given its size and driver array. The cabinet finish on my pair is a gorgeous natural rosewood veneer over what must be substantial MDF enclosures. The cabinets are 46" high, 8" wide and 15" deep. The enclosures are ported in the rear via two smallish ports integral with the their brass connection plates.

The sound is genuinely full-range, with bass extension down to a surprising 23hz. The frequency response is listed at 23hz to 30khz. The highs are a bit on the bright side, but not fatiguing. The bass, as noted above, is more than adequate. I listen to a wide variety of music, and found that these loudspeakers easily conform to virtually all genres and tastes. For classical and orchestral arrangements, weight is missing from the lowest organ notes and tympani strikes, however. I guess there is only so much the laws of physics will allow from two 5-1/4" drivers. The extension is there, it just does not have the "slam" that large drivers can produce.

The all-aluminum drivers are capable of producing sensuous nuance and detail, however. These are sophisticated speakers intended for sophisticated gear. They are somewhat power-hungry, with 50-400 watts needed for optimal performance. I drive them with Parasound's excellent 350 wpc HCA 3500 monoblocks, and they sing appropriately. Excellent mid-range performance with chilling vocal reproduction. Absolutely no trace of the typical horn-driver harshness or brittleness; the tweeters really perform more like a good soft-dome; say a Scanspeak revelator. Because of the small mid/bass drivers, these speakers are capable of extremely fast attack and speed. I can find no hint of congestion on even the most complicated passages, even at higher volumes.

Aesthetically these speakers are hard to beat for the price. The fit and finish of the natural rosewood is beyond reproach, and the fixed art-deco metal bars that serve as grilles are both gorgeous and sonically transparent.

AAD is still in business, of sorts, through Phil Jones' new company "True Sound." I strongly recommend the AAD 2003 for those looking for a quality used full-range speaker for small to mid-size listening environments. Strongly applauded!!

Associated gear
Cary Audio 303/300 tubed CD/DAC
PS Audio PCA-2 stereo preamplifier
Parasound HCA-3500 amp
Denon DP47f turntable
Tripp Lite power regenerator/line conditioner
MIT cables

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