Sound Advice Column: Acculine speakers a fantastic find, home theater without a center channel


Acculine A1 bookshelf speaker- exotic speaker technology for $249

Sound Advice
By Don Lindich

Q: I recently purchased a 50″ Plasma and need to make a decision. I want to have the surround sound experience with it and plan to either purchase one of the boxed home theatre systems or attempt to put together a component system myself. I have two pair of old Boston Acoustic speakers which although old, were recently still providing great sound. They are the floor standing A100’s and the bookshelf A40’s. The only issue is that their foam needs to be replaced but that’s a minor issue, as I understand that I can get replacement kits from Boston and do it myself. My question is whether these would provide a good basis to build my system around. If I use the speakers I plan to buy either an Onkyo or Yamaha receiver.
-Dennis Pappalard, Allison Park, PA
A: I would stay away from box systems- end of story! They can’t come close to even the most modest component system. Either the Onkyo or Yamaha receiver is a good choice, so the speakers are where I will try to advise you.

If you want to try your Bostons, just put the Al00s an even distance from the left and right of the TV and use the A40s as surrounds. When you set up the receiver, set the Center Channel setting to “None” and the receiver will use the left and right speaker to create a virtual center speaker.

I would recommend getting new speakers to get the most out of the high-resolution sound available today. Also, it will be hard to match a enter channel to your Boston speakers.

I came across an amazing find lately- the Acculine speakers from The Audio Insider. Acculine speakers use a unique leaf tweeter that is typically found only in VERY expensive speakers. They speakers are very well made, with solid cabinets with high quality aluminum woofers. I currently testing a pair of A1s and they are extremely impressive, providing tremendous detail and rich, natural sound.

The A1 bookshelf speakers list for $249 per pair, the A2 center for $179 each. So two pairs of A1s (front and surrounds) and one A2 comes to $677. Add the Parts Express Dayton sub for $125 and you have an amazing speaker system for $800. Add your Onkyo receiver and for around $1100 total you have sound without compromise. I can’t overstate how good they sound, given the price it is quite amazing. You can see the Acculine speakers at and the Dayton sub at

You may also want to try the Insignia NS-B2111 speakers from Best Buy if you do not have the budget for the Acculines. They are under $90 per pair and have very satisfying sound. I’ve been recommending them for over a year and readers have been universally pleased.

Q: I’m looking for a good, inexpensive stereo setup. I’m going to follow your advice and get a refurbished, entry level Onkyo receiver and the Insignia speakers you have recommended. You recommended 4 speakers…but I don’t have space for a surround setup in my current apartment. Can I get just 2 speakers for a receiver with 5.1 channels? And if so, which channels would these speakers have to be hooked up to?

-Arthur Cunningham, Pittsburgh, PA

A: Yes- just set the receiver to stereo mode and it will work fine. You use the left and right front channels. Be sure to use a digital connection between your DVD player and receiver for the best sound quality.

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