Aperion Intimus 633 Concert System review: Aperion Intimus 633 Concert System

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.5
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 9.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Six-piece speaker package includes tower speakers, full-size center speaker, bookshelf speakers, and powered subwoofer; superb sound quality; gorgeous, furniture-grade finishes; 10-year warranty; free shipping, plus 30-day in-home trial.

The Bad Expensive; this plus-size system may be a bit much for intimate home theaters.

The Bottom Line Aperion's Intimus 633 Concert system is a slam-dunk winner, delivering equally amazing sound quality from DVDs and CDs.

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Editors' note: This system was formerly known as the Intimus 6-Series 5.1 System E. Aside from the name change to Intimus 633 Concert, the system is otherwise identical.

We took our first look at Aperion a few years ago when the online, direct sales company offered just one satellite speaker and three subwoofers. That was then; Aperion's ever-expanding line now features a bunch of new models, all boasting upgraded technology and improved sound quality. We reviewed Aperion's top-line 5.1 configuration, consisting of its latest Intimus models: two 633-T tower speakers , the 533-VAC center-channel speaker , two 632-LR bookshelf speakers, and the S-10 subwoofer . To say we were impressed with the system's build quality and performance is an understatement. The Intimus line blew us away--it's an audiophile-grade speaker package that sounds equally amazing with DVDs and CDs.

Design
If you're looking for a small lifestyle system, this ain't it. The Aperion Intimus 633 Concert system qualifies as Hummer-esque, mostly because it includes a pair of statuesque 633-T towers , but the 533-VAC center speaker , the 632-LR bookshelf speakers, and the S-10 powered subwoofer are all hefty specimens. The towers are the largest ever offered by Aperion; they stand 41.5 inches tall, 10.1 wide, and 18.1 deep. The speakers weigh 70 pounds each, 14 more than Aperion's other brawny floor-stander, the 533-PT powered towers. The 533-VAC is 19 inches wide and 8 deep. Continuing the full-size theme, the 632-LR satellites measure 15 inches high and 12.75 deep (534-SS dipole/bipole surround speakers are also available). And the S-10 sub is hardly compact--after installing its floor-leveling spikes, the bad boy stands close to 18 inches tall, and it's almost 19 inches deep.

Pick up any Aperion speaker and the first thing you'll notice is that it's a lot heavier than you thought it would be. Here's why: instead of relying on commonplace 0.5- or 0.75-inch-thick medium-density fiberboard (MDF), Aperion cabinets are constructed from 1-inch-thick high-density fiberboard (HDF). The heavily braced cabinets minimize resonance to produce more accurate sound. And unlike the cheesy, vinyl-wrapped surfaces that are the norm for a lot of speakers these days, all of Aperion's speakers sport real cherrywood or high-gloss piano-black finishes.

Features
To ensure proper timbre matching, all Aperion speakers utilize the same 1-inch silk dome tweeter. The Aperion Intimus 633 Concert system's 633-T and 632-LR are each fitted with a brand-new 6.5-inch composite woofer--the tower speaker uses two woofers while the 632-LR has one. The 533-VAC center speaker is a three-way design boasting two 5.25-inch woofers, a 4-inch midrange driver, and the same 1-inch dome tweeter. The 10-inch subwoofer receives its marching orders from a 200-watt amplifier.

New to this round of Intimus speakers is Aperion's HD-X3 impedance-leveling crossover technology, which is said to produce better sound, greater efficiency, and an easier load for amplifiers than the crossovers used in previous generations of the company's speakers. On the connectivity front, all of the speakers are fitted with gold-plated five-way binding posts, so no matter what sort of connector you're using, hook-up chores will be hassle free. They will accept single or dual banana plugs, spades, pins, or bare wire.

We don't usually dwell on shipping details, but Aperion's online direct-sales approach is worthy of note. The company's extrathick foam packing materials and blue velour "socks" protect each speaker on its way to you. And to top things off, Aperion includes a high-quality sound-pressure meter to help you get the best sound from your system. Aperion is so confident you'll love the system that the company sells it with a 30-day, money-back return policy. UPS Ground shipping is free (ditto return shipping if you're not satisfied) in the continental United States. To top it off, the system is sold with a 10-year warranty.

Performance
On Constantine, Keanu Reeves stars as a supernatural detective tracking down evil spirits that reside among us. When our hero is accosted by swarming demons, hell-bent on destruction, the Aperion Intimus 633 Concert system demonstrated its talents. The demonic murmurings and chatter oozing out of the surround channels enveloped our home theater and exorcised the S-10 subwoofer with ominous thunder. The horrific DVD massaged the 633 Concert's home-theater muscles to the max, and the 533-VAC center speaker delivered every nuance of Reeves's performance.

Surround music was next on the agenda, and DVD-Audio discs gave the entire system a chance to pull out all the stops. Phillip Glass's otherworldly masterpiece, Koyaanisqatsi, starts with a massive, low organ growl, and the S-10 decoded every floor-shaking pulse. The disc's holographic sound field was presented without gaps, the immersive spatiality maintained impressive focus and scope. The soaring vocals, acoustic guitars, and harmonica of the Grateful Dead's Workingman's Dead DVD-A were gloriously natural.

We turned to stereo music, and the marimba and drums propelling "Forever for Her" from the White Stripes' new Get Behind Me Satan CD emerged with a tactile presence over the 633-T towers. The sound was clear, transparent, and detailed. The big speakers aren't afraid to rock out, so we indulged our fantasies with the Rolling Stones' Live Licks CD at maximum volume without casualties.

We next moved the 633-T towers out of the way and tried the 632-LR bookshelf speakers upfront, and damned if the smaller speakers didn't hold their own--and more. No, the 632-LR can't match the 633-T's brawn, but after a bit of fiddling with the S-10 subwoofer, we had everything working in perfect harmony. The 632-LRs would be a great alternative for smaller home theaters and music systems.

As you can see, we were doubly impressed by the Aperion Intimus 633 Concert speakers. The systems scored in our home-theater auditions and sounded amazing with music. Sound quality of this level will cost you, but given Aperion's risk-free money-back guarantee and solid warranty, we found it worth every penny.

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Where to Buy

Aperion Intimus 633 Concert System (black)

Part Number: 130 Released: Jun 15, 2005

View the upgraded version of this discontinued product.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Jun 15, 2005
  • Color high-gloss black
  • Speaker System Type home theater speaker system
  • Nominal (RMS) Output Power 200 Watt
  • Amplification Type active subwoofer, passive satellites
  • Connectivity Technology wired
  • Type Speaker system
  • Speaker System Configuration 5.1-channel