ACI manufactures or has manufactured the following equipment (click to expand models list):CD-Players
ACI web site (October 31, 2010): Audio Concepts, Inc. (ACI), has been satisfying discerning music lovers since 1977. Our goal has and always will be to provide exceptional product and service to music enthusiasts around the world.
ACI speakers are an expression of dedication to our customers and their desire for accurate musical reproduction. We believe you must audition speakers in your own home and in your own system.
Corporate Headquarters: Though ACI's humble beginnings in 1977 can be traced to Mike Dzurko's garage, ACI's headquarters since 1987 have been housed in Wisconsin's second oldest stone church. The converted church, (circa 1867), houses our corporate offices and final test and assembly facilities. From this base of operations, we are able to conceive of new designs, create working prototypes and engage in the final engineering of finished designs. ACI works with a number of local high-end cabinetry shops that build our enclosures. The drivers used in our designs are either custom made for us, or heavily modified by us. Crossover design and manufacture is done in house using only the very finest passive components.
ACI's headquarters also houses a professional recording studio that records acoustic, electric and multi-media. The studio, staff, and associated musicians are a welcome asset in our quest to develop the highest performance speakers possible.
Each of the core members of the ACI design team have their own laboratory and listening room setups. We'll tell you more about these facilities in Chapter 3, R&D.
We've partnered with Audio-Video Pros, a well-regarded local AV-HT custom installer, to bring you a brand new, state-of-the-art showroom. Audio-Video Pros' values of music, HT, quality, and customer service mesh nicely with the values of ACI.
The facility includes a dedicated 5.1 and 7.1 theater room showcasing a combination of Veritas and Essence models as well as the new Maestro sub. The Jaguar/LFM system is also be available for two-channel demo in this dedicated room. Most of the other ACI models are on working display throughout the showroom. Appointments are required. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ACI Research & Development
Two essential types of R&D are done at ACI: The first flows from the need to create a wholly new design, such as the Talisman. Being a powered, multi-driver design with a user adjustable interface for our new woofer control system the Talisman required that multiple new technologies be employed to execute the final design. The complex and heavily braced enclosure must work seamlessly with the driver complement, the onboard amplifier must be reliable and capable of extracting the maximum dynamic range from the systems and the user interface must control it all in a way that is both intuitive and precise. It's easy to see that new designs take a lot of time, money and expertise for a worthwhile result like the Talisman.
The second very important application of R&D is the ongoing refinement of existing designs. While not as glamorous as working on new designs, this continuing R&D is critical to building products of truly enduring value and musicality. The artisanship and quality of ACI speakers make this investment into continued improvement one that feels good to us and is appreciated by our customers. ACI products are built to last as well as continually providing a consistent level of musical performance throughout their lifetime of use.
How a New Product is Developed:
Let's take a quick look at what goes into to a new loudspeaker design...A new design's concept comes first. Quite simply, what is it and what does it do? A typical 2-way monitor appears quite simple on the surface...just two drivers a crossover and a box...what could be easier?
Well, if you only want to build run-of-the-mill, me-too type of speaker system then it's not very complicated. At ACI we refuse to build anything that's run of the mill or simply "just good enough". Our finished designs must readily and honestly compare with products costing two or three times their price or they will never bear the ACI badge. In defining our sample 2 way, we must know how large it will be, how much it will weigh, and how loudly it will play over how wide a bandwidth. From this most basic thumbnail, we can begin the process of selecting drivers that we know function well together. Since drivers and enclosures interact, the box is an essential part of our design process. Knowing and understanding how these interactions will affect the quality of musical playback is something that often requires the use of sophisticated measuring and computer aided simulation.
For this reason, ACI owns some of the very best and most advanced electro-acoustic software and hardware available. Some names that might be familiar to you include: LEAP, MLSSA, CLIO, and TrueAudio. Proper use of this type of software allows us to avoid serious and obvious mismatches in the design process and can sometimes be confirmatory of proper design decisions previously made.
However, computers and high tech software can never be used as a final arbiter of a product's worth or musicality. This judgment is the sole province of the mind / ear connection. This is why ACI maintains a number of Reference Rooms where we can listen to and judge prototypes, finished designs, and modifications of existing products. The rooms contain a variety of treatments to allow us the most complete and accurate impression of the speaker that we are evaluating. Of course, we use a variety of systems and rooms so that we can be sure our designs will work in the "real world". These rooms are crucial to ACI's design process. Like testing a car on a racetrack, nothing can take the place of the human ear. It's what ACI is all about.
Appearance is not an afterthought. The physical appearance of the speaker is firmly connected to the performance of the speaker. A perfect example is our use of solid hardwood panels. Available in a variety of woods, these hardwood panels help make an incredibly beautiful speaker. They also contribute significantly to a well damped, "quiet: cabinet design that will yield the optimum soundfield. With all of the technical advancements in audio and video, most loudspeakers are still based on a 6 sided enclosure. Fortunately, these 6 sided boxes can be quite attractive and when built to furniture quality standards like we do here at ACI, a loudspeaker can be a welcome addition to the most tasteful and well-decorated home.
ACI web site (December 2003): ACI was founded in 1977 by Mike Dzurko right here in La Crosse, Wisconsin. For the first few years ACI focused on custom building and experimentation. Literally hundreds of designs were built and tested against the reference of live music. Designs were continually being refined and optimized.
ACI then focused on taking the most successful designs and turning them into speaker kits that our more "hands on" customers would assemble for themselves. Gradually, ACI began custom assembling the speaker kits for clients. Both the kits and assembled models were sold consumer-direct to customers all over the world. During the early years, ACI also contracted to develop and build systems for other audio companies. Eventually, the number of DIY customers dwindled and ACI turned its focus totally to the design and manufacture of finished speaker systems.
In 1995 ACI saw the potential of the Internet as a way to work even more directly with our customers and early in 1996 ACI's first website went on-line. At the time there were less than 10,000 websites in the entire world!
The rapid development of home theater led to a critical decision for ACI: Should we remain a small manufacturer of high end two-channel systems or do we embrace the many challenges of home theater and expand our line to include powered subwoofers, center channels and other multi-channel specific speakers?
The decision was a difficult one, but has paid dividends to both ACI and our valued customers: Today ACI continues its adherence to our high end roots of quality while expanding our efforts into the growing home theater and multi-channel applications.