A few days into my evaluation of Aperion's Verus II Grand bookshelves, I sent one crashing to the floor. I was barely recovering from major surgery and pretty loaded up on elephant narcotics, and when I walked into my two-channel listening room I collapsed, reaching out on my way to the floor to grab what I could for support. What my hand happened to hit was one of the Verus II Grand speakers, and I watched it tumble almost as if in slow motion, off of its stand, bounce off the corner of my gear table with a thud, and plummet to the floor, careening off the shelves behind it one-by-one on the way down, like Yosemite Sam in the cartoon where he has to not cuss at Bugs Bunny if he wants his one million pounds sterling.
I mention that merely because I would have expected the speaker to chip or nick or scratch or scuff or even dent after such a spill. Despite their hefty weight (fourteen pounds packed into a cabinet measuring just 13 by 7.5 by 9 inches), the Verus II Grand cabinets come across as a bit... delicate? Is that the word I'm searching for? They're certainly graceful, what with their elegantly curved side panels. And the glossy cherry finish on these things is at least three steps up from anything you'd expect on a speaker that sells for $799 per pair.
At any rate, it's certainly not the sort of finish that you would expect to take such a violent fall and come through it without a blemish. And yet, once I managed to pick it back up and plop it on its pedestal, that speaker looked no worse for wear than it did when I pulled it out of the satin-lined velvet bag in which it shipped.
If you've ever put hands on Aperion's original Verus Grand bookshelf, perhaps that's not much of a surprise to you, because the Verus II Grand, introduced in 2017, borrows much from its forebear. It relies on the same 5.25-inch Kevlar woofer, and when seen from the front with the grille intact it looks virtually identical. Under the hood, though, you'll find a newly patented one-inch axially stabilized V2 silk dome tweeter, upgraded internal crossover components, thicker internal wiring, and upgraded 12-gauge jumper wires between its bi-wirable binding posts in lieu of rigid metal jumpers.
Rated frequency response of the Verus II Grand bookshelf is 59-20,000 Hz (±3dB); 54-22,000 Hz (±6dB). Nominal impedance is rated at 6Ω, with 87dB sensitivity and recommended power input of 30 to 200 Watts.
That brings us up to date with the 2017 launch of the Verus II Grand, but Aperion Audio recently made another tweak right before sending my review samples: the addition of a Treble Mod, which consists of a jumper giving you a choice between standard voicing and a 3dB roll-off of higher frequencies, with the attenuation starting at 3.5 kHz. This rolling change is so new that it doesn't appear in the Verus II Grand's instruction manual, and only as I was wrapping up my review did it appear in photos on Aperion's website.
We'll dig into the Treble Mod more deeply in the performance section.
Just beneath it you'll find the Verus II Grand's gorgeous five-way binding posts, which might give you a bit of a fuss if you're using a bare-wire connection, since the jumper wires that bridge the high- and low-frequency speaker level connections are held in place with spades. So, if you're going the bareback route you'll need to be careful to not let those slip out as you're making your connections. Come on, though. A speaker this fancy-pantsed deserves a good set of banana plugs.
Above all of the above, you'll find the speaker's tuned port, which in typical Aperion fashion (even for their more affordable and less fancy-pantsed Intimus line of speakers) is flawlessly tapered into the finish of the speakers, with a smooth transition and a carefully engineered flute to minimize turbulence. The port is also constructed from a really nice soft-touch material whose effect on airflow is a complete mystery to me, but whose effect on the fit and finish of the speaker is undeniable (I mean, assuming you spend any appreciable time at all 'round the back of your speakers).
For the bulk of my evaluation, I drove the Verus II Grands with Micromega's M-150 Integrated Amplifier, eschewing that unit's excellent room correction entirely. For a brief spell near the end of my evaluation, I moved the bookshelves into my bedroom home theater system, running them sans center speaker or surrounds, but with an RSL Speedwoofer 10S, to get a sense of their performance in a 2.1-channel AV setup.
Click over to Page Two for Performance, The Downside, Comparison & Competion, and Conclusion...
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