Review : Amazon Basics Passive Bookshelf speaker and Audiocrast A54 stereo interconnect
Budget Esoterica Review Magazine
August 2021 Issue
Are these my dad's Sonus Faber speakers?
Based on the way the Amazon Basics speakers sound in my very entry level system i would say that they are excellent speakers at the price and far beyond. I hooked them up to a Cambridge Topaz AM5 integrated amp and a Teac PD-D2500 carousel cd player using the very inexpensive Audiocrast A54 stereo interconnects and JSC 16 gauge speaker cable. I mounted the speakers , which look much better in person i might add, to a pair of 20 inch Target stands. Imagine what the offspring of a marriage between Sonus Faber and Dayton Audio would look like and that will give you a good idea of their appearance. The fit and finish of the speakers is really outstanding. They arrived in a generic brown box in perfect condition. If you pass on these speakers because of the way they look you will be missing out on one of the greatest audio bargains currently available.
As you know Amazon Basics is the specialty brand of Amazon.com. As far as looks and sound goes i would say they are well beyond the definition of "basic". The speakers are small and fairly heavy for their size. Measuring 6.91 inches x 7.41 x 10.61 and weighing a total of 13.88 pounds for both speakers per the Amazon web site. Bass is handled by a 4 inch woofer and is crossed over to a 1 inch tweeter. A quick visible inspection shows the drivers to be of very good quality. They have 50 watts power handling and a frequency response of 50 HZ to 20,000 kHz.
I recently discovered an Ebay seller called, "kolding audio", based in China. This store sells high quality cables for very reasonable prices. For $14 with free shipping i purchased the Audiocrast A54 interconnects with locking connectors. The cable uses 6N OFC copper with silver plating. Good mid range smoothness with excellent highs and lows.
Listening to track number 10 ,"It Don't Seem Right" , from Modern English , Take Me To The Trees , i was impressed with the transparency, detail and stereo separation. Towards the end of the song the bass kicks in very nicely considering the size of the driver. Highs were crisp even though my amp usually has a slightly shelved down treble response.
But put on an excellent recording by Cal Tjader and it is the musicality and tone that delights the ears. Track number 4, "The Prophet", from the entertainment promos cd will show you just how clean the tweeter is. Switching to track 5, "China Nights", the vibes have a little bit of a tube like quality and i noticed a good amount of treble energy coming from the left speaker. The percussion on track number 6, "The Whiffenpoof Song", sounded almost as natural as some of my much more expensive speakers and tonal color was right up there also. While listening to the rest of the cd i got the feeling that a very good quality crossover was implemented into this speaker as the transition from woofer to tweeter seemed almost seamless.
I think both the Audiocrast interconnect and Amazon Basics speaker come close to what most entry level audiophiles are looking for. If they don't please you then you are probably used to listening to much more expensive gear. I would like to see Amazon Basics come out with more gear as their speakers have very impressive sound and build quality. The only thing i didn't like was the speaker wire connectors which are very small and will probably not take anything bigger than 16 gauge wire. The speakers and interconnect both come highly recommended.