These SS-A1L were to remain on loan only until my APM-77's drivers would be restored.
But... I'm gonna keep'em.
They sound DIVINE. FABULOUS. FANTASTIC. BEAUTIFUL. FULL. WIDE. INCREDIBLE, really.
Very directly revealing of a record's technical qualities but never getting harsh, always allowing the listener to pass through
the bad sound and still listen to music.
All the bass needed for rock'n'roll, too, and so much so that I haven't missed my APM-77Ws so far !
Sure no 30Hz oomph to speak of but so what ? To rattle the windows I can plug my electric bass and get way lower than that :)
Distinction, however, is the key word : like the SS-A5, tonal quality is simply magnificent.
Stereo spread is just as amazing, with incredible depth and pinpoint precision : bio-cellulose was no gadgety gimmick.
The A1L is a 4 Ohm speaker with SPL rating around 86 or 87dB so, like the bigger A3 and A5, they do need amps with *some* current capacity,
not wimps crumbling through a forte or after a fiesta of low E strokes. The Precise P7 I use now is the lowest limit possible, the F55 is indeed
a better match (but not as good sounding by itself... and blown relay anyway since last week) but a Victor A-X9 would probably be perfect here.
No idea of the production run, remember this was an EU-only model, but there must have been about 500 pairs made - tops.
As for many other Sony products, why the A1L wasn't advertised for is beyond my understanding.
Real bookshelf size, too, which is very good for me because I do have many, many, books, and CDs, and LPs and DATs and LDs and argh - too much.
As all models from the Voce series (and unlike the APMs which are less demanding on that), placement is very important :
they can sound like sh-- in one spot and heavenly elsewhere.
As I am typing this, they are playing in the next room (the computer area, where I work most of the time, is behind the yello-ish wall visible below),
and it seems that room is entirely filled with music : top to bottom, clearly in stereo but sort of "everywhere". This tweeter is MAGICAL.