My Take on the Tekton Array, Experiences to Date


Based on my albeit disparate (different rooms and systems) experiences, as a reviewer of 14 years, and having built hundreds of systems with a wide variety of genres of speakers including arrays and panels, this is my succinct initial critique of the Tekton array technology. I have enough experience with large speakers of many genres that I can grasp the operation of different designs, including arrays in a straightforward manner. If you wish to see the speaker systems I have reviewed, see my bio and reviewing history at Dagogo.com.

I spent an evening at a new friend’s home hearing his setup with the Tekton Moab speakers. Nice, plenty of positive things to say. However, it was quite obvious that the array adds convolution to the imaging, especially with more complex music. Voices are split in prismatic fashion and I could hear the grouping of drivers’ contributing to that. It does have a more stringent sound, and does not excel in that system at warmth, even though a relatively recent AR preamp and Pass 30.8 Monos were in use. The bass was ok, but certainly not overwhelming in terms of impact or tonality. For $4K some good scale, acceptable presence and impact; reminded me of a low to mid line Magnepan or Vandersteen, a bargain, but with idiosyncrasies. Before I get to my critique, the obvious benefits of the Moab are large scale it has inherently as a big tower, the respectable bass and LF at the price point, and the grandeur of the center image, which is a faux recreation of panel speakers’ splayed center of the sound stage.

The interesting thing is what happened when the owner visited my home and heard my new to me as of two months ago Wharfedale Opus 2-M2 Monitors with the Legacy Audio XTREME XD Subs. In terms of relative soundstage as regards seating position and speakers, my perspective is that the Opus cast as large a soundstage due to the much closer seating position (approx. 2x closer) as the Moab. Frankly, for all the tweeters purportedly giving the Moab such incisiveness, not really. The 3" soft dome of the Opus 2-M2 to my ears in this system was much more precise and elegant, without the smearing of the multiple drivers’ launch. Tonally, I prefer the Wharfedale/Legacy combo from top to bottom. Dynamics favored the bookshelf/sub combo, too.

My new friend’s reaction? Incredulity, stating several times he could not get over the sound quality of the setup. He grokked at the price of the used pair of speakers. From my experience hearing two Tekton speakers now, both times in close succession (one time at a dealer just across the hallway at a show, and the other the same evening in my room following the visit to hear the Moab) to each other, the 3" soft dome of the Wharfedale is more exquisite than the array of tweeters of the Moab, and sacrifices nothing in terms of soundstage when the seating position is forward. I pursued the Opus 2-M2 to achieve a similar result as a pricey ATC or PCM speaker with similar soft dome mid, but at substantial savings. I succeeded brilliantly, based on several previous listening experiences with such speakers. I’m rather more excited about this development than the refurbishing of the pair of Ohm Walsh Model F speakers I worked on last year about this time. I could cough up the Ohm speakers without much problem, but wouldn’t dream of giving up the experience of the Opus and Legacy Subs.

This is not a definitive assessment as I have not conducted direct comparisons in my own room. My opinion could change substantially were I to do so. Am I shocked that the Moab owner was gobsmacked at the performance of the Wharfedale bookshelf speakers and Legacy subs? No. I rather enjoyed telling him that the Opus 2-M2 is a lower end speaker system for me. :)

Imo, a person has fundamental ignorance of the performance characteristics of different genres of speakers if they suggest, or worse boast, the Tekton array of tweeters has better refinement and precision than other genres of speakers when it comes to imaging. Anyone who understands design knows you can’t splay the image with multiple drivers and achieve superior coherency simultaneously. And, no, I do not care what claims are made about it; I have heard the effect twice in near term comparison to dynamic speaker systems, so fans and makers can claim what they wish, but I go with my ears and comparisons, of course with the same music selections.

I have refrained from commenting at length about the Tekton signature until I heard it again. I was absolutely correct in my initial assessment of the Tekton monitor I had heard at AXPONA about two years ago. At that time I sated the Tekton tweeter array did not have the precision, density and purity of center imaging of the Ryan Speaker bookshelf in the room nearby. I had the precise same experience between hearing the Moab and the Opus 2-M2. When I have the same experience twice, I am confident that I am locked in on the reality of the differences of the genres of speakers.

I’m neither for, nor against Tekton. It’s a different flavor of speaker. As I said about two years ago after the experience at AXPONA, the design will have its idiosyncrasies, as do all genres of speakers. Fanboys may rail, people who have moved on might concur. Whatever. I have zero interest in arguing my impressions. I will not call them conclusions, as that would require a direct comparison. Would I think anything significant might change in my assessment. No, I do not. But, I’m experienced enough and not so presumptuous that I would expect no chance of it.

douglas_schroeder

Thanks for the review. The Tekton speakers are good for the money

 

"At that time I sated the Tekton tweeter array did not have the precision, density and purity of center imaging of the Ryan Speaker bookshelf in the room nearby. I had the precise same experience between hearing the Moab and the Opus 2-M2. When I have the same experience twice, I am confident that I am locked in on the reality of the differences of the genres of speakers."

Well written.
Thanks.

Ah, correction; "At that time I stated..."  

Post removed 

Nicley written with a hint of finally getting something off your chest. 

All the best,
Nonoise

Something you missed. That tweeter ”array” as you describe it is not actually being used as a tweeter as you allude.

I would expect a large speaker with many drivers to work best in a larger room at a greater distance than a pair of standmounts. Seems like a hard comparison to make apples/apples.

Ozzy, yes, it acts as midrange.  Thank you for clarification. 

Mapman, look at my system.  I use big towers habitually.  I love violating the rule of big speakers only for big rooms, arrays as well. Seating position changes relatively not so much.. YMMV

LOL spellchecker had you as "madman" 

You are correct they are an array of tweeters not being used just for tweeters.

I've seen a few and heard a few inline arrays of mid/domes and inline arrays of ribbon tweeters that sure were nice. Infinity QS1, Swan, PS, DIY a few times. Wonderful..

I still for the life of me can't figure out why Tekton doesn't have a line array. All those speakers and not one line array or even a hybrid. Weird.

Seems to have tried every combination on the planet, though.. Wow..

Oops yes well madman…..that’s my evil twin.

Doug very nice review. If you are talking about the set up at Axpona where the Tekton impact monitors are using parasound gear? I feel that set up does not synergize at all. Before I’ve listen to that set up, I’ve had my impact monitors set for about eight months. If that is the system I’ve heard, I will not buy my monitorsOn the right systems for me the impact are very dynamic and very musical. I used tubes , my viva integrated, vpi tt and digital source Marantz sacd 8005.Nordost Heimdall Speaker Cables , interconnects Teo audio ultra , audience au24.

Two years ago maybe more, my friend and I went to visit Teajay. And we listen to the Tekton ps 12 , I think he is using threshold amp, 2 modified sub, nice transport and tube Dac , my guess it’s mhdt orchid.That system sound so musical and palpable, very live sounding as well. My friend and I end up buying the ps 12, he sold his monitors, I kept mine.Doug I love my wharfedale as well.i have their 2 monitors.

Nice to hear from you, jjayctoy. I appreciate your input. It's all good.  :)

Magnanimous reporting of experiences.

Validates the view from here. 

There is point source, line array, D'Appolito and mush.

 

Does anyone realize our resident MOAB guru millercarbon is conspicuously absent from this thread??! He should be on this like hair on a gorilla.

In fact, a quick check shows that he has not posted in 3 days.

Something is amiss. He seems to live and breathe this forum. Something like 12000 posts in a couple of years?

Most of you know miller and I are in no danger of vacationing together, but I certainly wish him no ill will. I wonder what’s up, and hope he is all right.

Doug my friend found out , I own the Tekton impact monitors, He said he heard them that same year we heard them at Axpona .He said the impact sounds terrible. He end up not buying Tekton.Before pandemic, I have invited Him, to see if he will change his mind.He did not show up.

thecarpathian  +1, yes where’s MC?

The tekton speakers are mid-fi at best, they're okay for the money

But don’t you know that when you add $2 springs to the moabs, they sound better than the $1M Wilsons! That’s what MC has stated before.

Give me a pair of Tannoy Dual Concentric speakers any day of the week.

Point source

Can sound great in a man cave or nearfield - the way to go !

yes the mythical $1m Wilsons at Definitive in Seattle….. hardly…..but why let facts get in the way of wandering Chuck ?

Does anyone think an entry level Raven integrated is more musical than an ARC Ref10 and M160 ? illusion, self delusion maybe..or just ego….

So, ya…the ignore button works….just skip over the self serving “ blather “….

The number of Tekton threads and discourse is just insane. I still would like to hear a pair but their lovers and detractors are so over the top I can’t imagine myself going out of my way to hear them. Their fans on this site are such arrogant blowhards that it would be hard to be totally objective. (Of course this comment will be weaponized as a "hater" comment.)

Not gonna lie though...I read all the Tekton thread as irritainment sonI am not helping I suppose.

There is point source, line array, D'Appolito and mush.

 

Where is the line array in a Tekton.?

@douglas_schroeder Thank you for this articulate and informative reminiscence. The cautions about listener preferences seem more borne of diplomacy because (my guess is that) when the majority listen, they want imaging to be focused, not "prismatic." They sit in a chair and listen for individuated instruments or sound sources (in the case of electronic music). Most are not at the back of a long room, bopping to the diffuse sound of a (say, rock) concert. Of course, some like power and "liveness" in the sound, and they can get that from Tektons. For me, that’s akin to the kind of affection that I have for food which, upon later reflection, I realize is full of salt, fat, and sugar -- lots of immediate pleasure, but not enduring aesthetic form or sustenance.

 Does anyone realize our resident MOAB guru millercarbon is conspicuously absent from this thread??! He should be on this like hair on a gorilla.................Maybe he's hiding out over on the FB Tekton site until the facts and reality go away and it's safe to shill again.

Looking at the first paragraph, I can see why it might be construed as a review. I prefer that it be considered impressions rather than review, because of the lack of immediacy and direct comparison. If I have given the impression that I consider it a review on a par with my other work, I wish to clarify that. I get it when people call these things informal reviews. No problem. 

I changed my post to say reminiscence. I can see why "review" would fit, insofar as it offers context, description, and evaluation leading to at least a perfunctory judgment. That’s more than a reminiscence but less than a formal review. Since this is a forum, a formal review would be a bit out of place.

+1 hilde45  Thanks! 

 

I need to get away from this machine and workout!  :) 

I’d like to know at what frequency the midrange array is low-pass filtered, and the slope of that filter. Depending on that frequency and slope, the related wavelength could result in a very complex series of comb filtering effects. Danny Richie covers this topic in a number of his excellent GR Research Tech Talk YouTube videos.

Peter Walker created a somewhat-related coaxial deign by propagating the highest frequencies from only the center of the ESL driver in his QUAD 63 loudspeaker. To prevent comb filtering effects and to achieve perfect time alignment (the two VERY related), he created a point source ESL driver by using rings of time-delayed elements, each ring delayed in time relative to it’s closest inner neighbor. The 63 is the only loudspeaker to have perfectly reproduce a square wave.

Now THAT’S design genius.

I've not heard any Tekton speaker, so cannot offer an opinion on sound.

But I have seen them, and I would have a hard time living with something that looks like the outcome of an unholy tryst between a coffin and a spider...

Top Secret images of the Newester  and Besterest  Eva Tekton speakers in development …

 

Very well written. Even in a fairly large 40 x 27 x 10 room, vocals are unclear. 🙄

Ask the forum moderators about the missing poster

tsushima1, is that a personal picture, that is, did you see those speakers or pull the image from the Net? Either way, it’s a terrific shot! People gawking, the presumed owner beaming with delight shows the evident insanity of the hard core audiophile! My type of guy! :)

The image is small; is that a man’s head behind the uppermost array’s far left side? Now THAT’S a speaker, one you have to CLIMB to adjust!

This reminds me of some of the wonderfully earthy stereos I have seen when traversing the globe. India, China, Vietnam, Africa, Italy, Peru, Ecuador, etc. - I have seen and heard some systems that seem as much contraptions as stereos, but oh do the people love them! I have taken pics of several of them, too. Every now and then I encounter an image and a huge smile comes to my face. Street stereos are not uncommon in many parts of the world.

One of my most precious audio "components" does not even make music. It is a paper facsimile of a boom box that I redeemed with a bit of money from a fate worse than the consignment shop, a religious ceremony meant to send the device to ancestors in the next world who would presumably enjoy it. Callow man that I am, I deprived them of their music!

Come now, I’m not that shallow. It’s not like I took it off a family. It was an example our tour guide brought onto the bus. When we learned of the ritual of burning paper goods to send them on, we had our curiosity satisfied with examples the tour host brought, including a paper dress shirt in packaging with a paper foil gold watch, and some money from the "Bank of Hell". That, too, I found irresistible!

This is the best part, the boom box is Panasonia (not a typo) brand! Clever!

If our 27 spring under right and 24 spring under left channel and paint 6 spring orange on right and 9 green on left and put 3 rock in electric panel image get more stable than my rockport Lyra. Oh my goodness this site make me pee pant leg.
this guy give decent gear review but I like to see more product like rike and high end wavac.

Tekton, oh dear....

This will be the most active thread of the weekend. 

I'm shooting for best thread of all time! ;) 

Perhaps a "most hits in 24 hours" prize?

 

Notice the isolation-granite on granite.

One thing I appreciate about good critical reports such as Doug's is that, whether one agrees with a report's conclusion or not, the general discussion is advanced by the logic and description.

Too many reports about gear are hyperbolic, good or bad, and there's no advance of the more important questions -- such as, what aims and qualities are most valuable and why. Once we have a more well-grounded take on aims and qualities, then the products which take people by (marketing and fanboy) storm are more easily knocked down a peg. And that's how, kids, you win the war. ;-)

I just bought a Shunyata power cord off MC that was delivered yesterday. I went into the personal messages to send him a thank you and next to his user  name on the top of every message it says “Suspended”. Anyway hope he’s doing well. 

I'll never forget good old what's-his-name!

What did he do now?

Suspended

About time. 

 Voices are split in prismatic fashion and I could hear the grouping of driver

Are you saying that the vocals sound like the head is moving around facing different directions while they're singing like a prism scatters light or it's breaking up the sound into different shades like a rainbow?

it was quite obvious that the array adds convolution to the imaging, especially with more complex music

Lost me again.  Why would it be obvious that the array adds convolution to the imaging, and what does that mean?  Are you saying it's harder to pick out the location of the second chair trumpet in the orchestra?  The oboe sounds like a clarinet? If it's an amplified source the sound would come for the speaker placement not the instrument. How could anything add convolution unless there's a phase shift?  Is that what' you're hearing? 

I understand how difficult it is to put words to the sounds your hearing due to the limitations of language and that I could be coming across as a "Huge Richard" here but I've heard the MOABS and can't for the life of me relate what I heard to the descriptions you're describing.  I'm not saying you didn't hear it but I can't personally fathom what the heck you're talking about..  

Remember Paul Harvey's The Rest of the Story? 

This is the rest of the story. 

 

My goal here is neither endorsement, nor opposition to the Tekton technology and models I have heard. How about a bit of backstory for your edification? 

After hearing the bookshelf at AXPONA and being less than impressed, I was going to write off the company. However, reviewing has taught me to not dismissively judge products. Knowing the novelty of the array, I contacted Tekton about 15 months ago and had a lovely conversation with Eric Alexander, the owner. I contacted in order to arrange for a review of the Encore, a less reviewed model. I had no interest in the bookshelf and small models. Why should I spend my time on such when I can do top line products? That is why I had not much motivation to hear the smaller models. I would not buy any speaker in the past several years of reviewing apart from a home audition. 

That was 15 months ago. In the initial weeks that followed the speaker was being prepared. The idea was to review a new design, one with the soft dome tweeter replaced by a ribbon. a new spin, a different flavor. It seemed the delivery would happen in a shorter, not longer time period. 

I liked that, because I want to be first, not the sixth reviewer. There would be a delay due to the heavy build schedule. No problem, I have waited several months previously for a manufacturer to catch up. I have been reviewing long enough to know the patterns of relation to manufacturers.

I presume due to the insane build schedule, Tekton's communication dropped off. I presume that business was bustling and little time to pursue the review. I have had this happen previously, and I take no offense at it. Companies can get so busy that they would not wish for another review; they are running at top speed and do not want to push customers further out from their timeline. As a fledgeling reviewer I had to swallow my pride to understand that, but as a veteran I hardly concern myself with such timelines anymore. In my experience most companies will not come out openly and simply tell the reviewer that they do not need another review. The reviewer has to figure it out. 

But, theoretically a review should eventually happen. When a company is not getting me the speaker more than a year later, in nearly all cases it is a sign that the review is not much desired due to the above conditions. My perspective is that I awish to be first into the unexplored forrest, not the fifth or eighth. I like bringing a product to the community's attention, not watching five other guys do so. I tend to lose interest when I am at the back of the line. Can I do my own research and arrive at my own conclusions? Of course; I don't even read other reviewers. I get through Absolute Sound and Stereophile in about half an hour. In 95% of the cases for the past few years I don't read the articles, I just glance at potential new products. I could care less what other reviewers think. I may have gone back once in 5 years to read a review. If I want to know a product, I will arrange for it and conduct my own interview with the maker. 

I am neutral about the company and product. It's great that so many are finding joy in using it and at a reasonable price. It's actually been quite nice to avoid the rancor about the company and speakers. It tends to be polarizing, like Magnepan and Vandersteen. Woe be to anyone who does not worship at the feet of the designer and nit picks at the sound! I don't have much patience for that. To have quietly recused myself was rather nice! Now that I have no personal motivation and have shared some thoughts, I plan to contentedly bow out of the arena. 

I have been largely silent since that time in regard to Tekton. That is because of the pending review and imo the obligation to not muddy the waters with my opinion, nor be in conflict of interest. But, I have cancelled the review. Consider my impressions here (I won't call it a review, as it's pitifully short compared to my normal work and not very in-depth, nor done with a direct comparison in my room) as my contribution to the cause. Take it with however large a grain of salt you wish; just watch that you don't choke on it!  ;)

Let no one think that have a grievance or issue with Eric or the company. I am not upset or in distress over any of these developments. My conversation with Eric over a year ago was positive, and I have no reason to think things have changed in regard to his/the company's attitude toward me. I have had only brief contact verbally with the receptionist in the past six months. I was going to cancel the review a few months ago, but she told me they were buried in builds, so I held off. But, it has been another few months and no contact. I do not wish to put thoughts/words into the company's mouth, nor to arouse suspicion. How a company treats a reviewer (i.e. in regard to timely communication and delivery of product) may be somewhat different than how it treats the customers, and I have seen many different variations of that throughout the 14 years. I see it as simply a swing and a miss between a company and reviewer, which has happened to me several times  with a variety of companies from small to big concerns. I do not have disdain towards Tekton for being slow in fulfilling the verbal agreement. I do not see it as evidence of a problem at the company. I do not give detractors permission to use my experience as fodder to lambaste the company!

In an effort to be helpful to the company, I  in my email rescinding the review I suggested that another Dagogo.com reviewer could take the review. My intent is not to leave them without an article if that is so desired. Perhaps I am excising the most dramatic product I would ever lay hands on. Hmmm... doubtful. I continuously look at, and look past dozens of products. Winners? Losers? Diamonds in the rough? Duds? They're all out there. Which is the Encore? I never got to hear it, so I defer that question to a colleague. 

As the Tekton review faded, another novel speaker has come to take its place. Sometimes reviews are a game of musical chairs (pun), with no way of knowing which will be left standing and which will end up in my listening room. 

I have not shared in this thread a couple of analytical thoughts in regard to the Tekton array technology. I probably would have discussed them had it been a proper review. I may share them someday, but that is my prerogative.  

 

 

danager, I know you are not arguing with me. I appreciate your call for clarification. I have not looked at measurements to correlate what I am hearing with the specs and measurements. If I were to do so, then I might be able to discuss it from a measured performance perspective. I have shared listening impressions, which is fundamentally different than a review with measurements. I do not typically include measurements in reviews, and all are free to accept or reject my work based on that.  :) 

The simplest way to understand what I have described is to hear in short order a good traditional dynamic speaker in a comparable system, or ideally the same system in the same room, in comparison to the Moab, or other Tekton speaker. This is the ideal way to intuitively grasp such descriptions and accept or reject them. I do not expect anyone who has not had that experience to have the means to make such a determination. Any given speaker in isolation can sound either perfectly coherent or muddy to any given listener. Lack of comparison between differing technologies is not instructive as to where the speakers reside on the performance spectrum of any given parameter of sound quality.  :) 

In other words, you would have to hear it to understand, which is why I will answer, but will not argue/debate you about it. BTW, the "convolution" characteristic is part of all arrays, not just Tekton. There is a degree of that with the Legacy Audio Whisper speaker, too, as it has four mid-bass drivers. The effect of the four point wave launch is immediately discerned as one moves from it to another genre of speaker. There are pros and cons to all these idiosyncrasies of speakers, for all genres.   :) 

@tablejockey

 

Tekton, oh dear....

This will be the most active thread of the weekend.

Or as they said back in the 50’s: duck and cover.

@douglas_schroeder

Thanks for a great write-up on your impressions of the Tekton’s.

@douglas_schroeder 

I owned a pair of Tekton Electron speakers briefly. My take on the array was that the mid-range and treble produced a flat response, but there was an odd effect. It seemed as if the stage was made up of cardboard cutouts and sounded synthetic, if you will. It did not sound finely resolved or realistic to me. Is this what you mean when you describe the sound as convoluted? 

Doug - Nice musings. Just a thought Polarizing since 1977… ha

Best to you

Jim