I spent quite a bit of time with them. I was somewhat disappointed with the overall musicality. I thought that dynamics were very good, but, they lacked refinement.
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sirspeedy, if you didn't see this thread, you might find it interesting.
The consensus seemed completely contrary to Jtinn's experience.
But I'm sure the fact that Jtinn doesn't sell the TAD-1's has nothing to do with his impressions ! :)
I have only heard the TAD speaker at CEDIA and CES, not under better circumstances. They are extremely dynamic sounding and have a very extended frequency range. But, they sounded quite hard and metallic. Was this the nature of the speaker or the electronics (primarily Bel Canto)? I don't know.
I just happened to be auditioning the speaker with Dr. Edgar (Edgarhorn) and he thought this was the inherent characteristic of the beryllium TAD drivers. He said that he loves the dynamics and clarity of TAD metal drivers, but could never tame the metallic signature when used in his designs.
In short, this is a speaker one must hear when shopping in this price range. It does something other pricey speakers don't do, specifically, bring the music to life. But, the excitement may turn to annoyance in the long run. If the hard, edgy and raw (sounds a bit unrefined) quality cannot be tamed, I personally would pass on them. On the other hand, I also don't like the lifeless, dull quality of some other premium speakers like the Avalon Eidolon, Kharmas and Grand Utopias.
Another quite dynamic speaker worth giving a listen to in this price range is the Overkill speaker using the Manger driver. It has a very narrow listening window (poor dispersion of highs) and some problems with integration with the bass driver, but it does give music that jump factor I favor. My own speakers, SAP J2001 (twin) are, unfortunately, recently discontinued (for something that retails in the US at $22k and looks like it was assembled in a garage, it seems hard to believe the manufacturer's claim that it is too expensive to build).
Larryi - I think the metal drivers that you refer to are DIFFERENT from the Be drivers used in the Model 1. These are a brand new design and are likely not available for use in an aftermarket application.
I met the designer of the TAD Model 1 through a transaction here on AudiogoN and based on my coversations with him, I have no reason to believe that Dr. Edgar has ever had the opportunity to use the same drivers implemented in the Model 1.
Besides, at a retail pricepoint, the drivers alone would be upwards of $1,000 EACH.
No, I heard the TAD-1 speaker. Dr. Edgar and I heard the TAD-1 at CEDIA (I just happened to be there when he was there). I again heard it at CES. At CEDIA I had a chance to talk to Dr. Edgar after the demonstration. We both agreed that the speaker had incredibly lifelike dynamics. When I commented that it sounded a bit too metallic and hard, he said that he has tried all sorts of things to tame that quality in the beryllium drivers that TAD does sell (not the same drivers as in the TAD-1) but could not do so. He said that this was a bit frustrating because, aside from this quality, he really likes the beryllium drivers they do sell.
I hope I did not sound too negative about the speaker, because I think they have great promise. I hope to hear them in a different setup than the ones at CEDIA and CES.
I have had the TAD Model One on and off for the past two years and presently own a pair. Early demonstrations using the Model One revealed great potential. Latter demonstations using electronics configuations yeilding greater lower level resolution truely bring out the best. At present I us a Pass preamp, Pass X600s for the bass ( 100Hz.) The digital to analogue converter for 44.1k material is a Pacific Microsonics Model 1 and high res. material off the hard drive uses a Pacific Microsonics Model 2, or Benchmark, or Genex converters.
Tmfidelis,I am extremely interested in this design,and am considering them for the future(not soon though).Could you tell me how large your room is and if you think a 200 watt per ch. Rowland could be acceptable.
Do you bi-amp?What type of music do you play?What were some previous speakers you owned?What are the most appealing characteristics of the TAD sound?Imaging,etc.
Sorry for all the questions,but,getting feedback on this design,other than show reports,is tough!!
Also,currently I own an updated Avalon Ascent series 2,supported by a fabulously well inegrated REL STENTOR sub bass system.I have no complaints about this incredibley capable set-up,but will be moving in a couple of years and may morph into the TAD.I like the design,regarding massive dynamics along with the finite inner detail that I currently get.Any thoughts?
Thanks SO MUCH for your reply!!!