New Tekton Pendragons On The Way


I am quite thrilled and also quite nervous in having ordered a pair of the Pendragon speakers this afternoon. I am doing this mostly on the reviews and also after receiving communication from Eric Alexander, owner of Tekton Designs.

Let me go back a little. I recently changed the tubes in my Rogue Cronus Magnum integrated from the KT120 to EL34 tubes. I have fallen in love with the EL34 sound and now my present speakers sound thin unless really cranked. I attribute that to it's 89db sensitivity whereas the Pendragons have a 95 db sensitivity. This should give me a much fuller sound at lower volume levels.

This is my secondary system in my home office and I play it 8 hours a day so it gets much more use than my reference system downstairs in our living room. Many of the reviews both pro and consumer say it's the speaker for someone who loves music. So now the wait begins to receive them. Supposedly they keep this in stock now in the basic black finish which is what I got. I would be thrilled if I got them by the end of this week but that is pretty unrealistic I guess.

If anyone has experience with these speakers, I would especially like to hear. If anyone reading this has any thoughts, kindly post them.
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If i may ask.Will you keep a thread going.I am currently talking to Alex.I am looking to upgrade at a reasonable price based on the economy.I have a fulley rebuilt and modded pair of dahlquist dq-20s.Wow these are now amazing.I now again want to go further.With the help of a friend The Audio Tweak I have awesome cables,stands,ETC. Star Sound Has Provided Many Things In My System That are superior to other products at a fair price.I also am using Harmonic Presision Monoblocks.Ican attest these are far superior to many products at many times their cost.Cant wait to put the Pendragons On my platforms and smile.With My BAT Preamp and my HP100 monoblocks I hope they will Be my last speakers.I have a love for music but also love to hear Things That other Speakers Can't reveal.I'm sure these will be fun And give me most of what i want.I'll get Stats or monitors too for transparent detail if needed Later.If alex can get a color and a cap upgrade in my ballpark i think we will have something special.Can't to wait to hear owner feedback as well.RW
" I attribute that to it's 89db sensitivity whereas the Pendragons have a 95 db sensitivity. This should give me a much fuller sound at lower volume levels."

I don't see why that would be true. You're not just buying more efficient speakers like the ones you now have, you're buying something completely different. There's really no way to tell how the new speakers will sound next to your old ones, until you put them side by side and do some listening.
I'm currently demoing a pair of the M-lores, not anywhere
near the Pendragons in the Tekton line, but still following
Eric's design philosophy. My impressions pretty much mimic
the review published by Stereo Mojo. They are extremely
dynamic and have a natural tonal balance. They spread a
soundstage just beyond the outside edges of the speakers.

My biggest problem with the M-lores is they don't render a
three-dimensional image. The image is at the plane of the
speakers and doesn't extend behind or in front of them. The
very much remind me of the Magnepan MG12s and 1.6s I had,
great tone and detail but a very flat image. I don't think I
saw this in any of the reviews I read but on closer readings
I'd say it is between the lines.

As for the dynamics at low volume, the M-lores don't really
sound fuller, but they do highlight the dynamic shifts in
the program material. I pulled out my db meter during my
last listening session to check them. What I noticed when
listening at an average 65db level was when the music jumped
up a bit, instead of going to 70 db, the meter would hit
higher peaks up to 75 db. It did seem to accentuate the
program differences. My measurements are not scientific and
really should be taken as anecdotal; just used to make my
point. Hope that makes sense.

I said I'm demoing the speakers but I bought them used,
that's how I demo equipment lately. At the price, the M-lore
is a bargain, at the used price I'll sell mine for, they're
phenomenal. It all depends on what you find important in a
speaker.
How do you know its the speaker that won't give much image depth and not another component? I'm not saying that you're wrong, I've just had components that would do the same thing. Any time I put it in the system, it went from 3d to 2d. And it didn't matter what the system was, it always flattened the image.
Depending on room acoustics, placement and setup of speakers is critical to having the best results including sound stage depth.

In general, speakers like the tektons that emit all sound via the front will likely sound better closer to front wall than others. Room acoustics will come into play as always though here.

Also, I have found that that the foundation the speaker sets on is a key to best sound stage and imaging overall. Ideally you do not want to be able to detect any acoustic energy being transmitted to the floor.

In lieu of a solid concrete foundation or equivalent, isolating speaker stands might be worth a try. Most speakers and stands inherently couple to the floor. Some focus on decoupling from the floor.

For example, in most rooms with typical suspended plywood floors, I would want to hear speakers like the Tektons setting on a pair of isolating stands like those from Isoacoustics available on AMazon.

The imaging and sound stage difference with these under my front ported Triangle Titus monitors is night and day, the only way to get the Triangles to image like I knew they could in that room.
How do you know its the speaker that won't give much image depth and not another component? I'm not saying that you're wrong, I've just had components that would do the same thing. Any time I put it in the system, it went from 3d to 2d. And it didn't matter what the system was, it always flattened the image.
Zd542

I have two other sets of speakers (check my system page) that I use and both of them throw a very deep image in basically the same location. Also had both the Maggie MG12s and 1.6s in this basic spot and neither of them gave me much depth. The MG12s had more depth than the larger 1.6s. Could be the room size or the tilt the MG12s had.
My system page doesn't show the amp I'm using now which is a First Watt M2 which provides 25 watts of class A power. You should hear this amp with the Meadowlark Kestrels. Talk about image depth, wow.
I'm not saying the M-lores are bad. They definitely are not, especially when price is figured in. They have amazingly accurate sound. We all have our sonic priorities. And I'll admit I'm crazy for 3d sound. Maybe it comes from the 80s when I owned the Bose 901s:)
Timhru,

The upward tilt of the Meadowlarks might be helping with soundstage and imaging by changing and delaying reflections somewhat, especially in a modest to smaller size room.

The isoacoustics stands I use with my Triangle Titus monitors also provide optional upward tilt (in addition to decoupling the speakers from the floor which cleans up the bass and enhances all the rest as well accordingly) and the difference with and without those stands in regards to both detail and imaging/soundstage is night and day in my wife's 12X12 with cathredral ceilings, acoustically challenged sunroom.

The larger Isoacoustics stands might fit/work with the Tektons...not sure about the size specifics. if so might be worth a try.
Thanks Mapman. I meant to address your comments but ran out of time.
I have the M-lores placed on 2.5 inch MDF plinths. The plinths are firmly spiked to the floor and the M-lores are stick to the plinths with blu-tac. I tried the speakers tilted back a few degrees but preferred them with about .5 degree tilt.
Oddly though, my room is also 12x12 (within a few inches) with a 3x6 ft bump for entry door. The room was very disappointing when I first set the system up. Even with room treatments the room was just bad.
I read a thread on another site talking about square rooms and how to make them work. The solution I found was using a diagonal set up for the speakers. Amazing results. If you have some spare time and haven't tried it, give it a shot. I'd love to read your reaction.
I have 12X12 cathedral ceiling sunroom (on second level) and 12X12 office directly below at foundation level.

I've used diagonal setup in the office from time to time with good results. At foundation level, sound energy transferred to the floor is a non issue with both rooms there so nothing special needed below any speakers I use there.

On teh second level, with suspended plywood floors typical with newer construction, the floor transmits a lot of energy in both rooms there and isolation from the floor is key.

Can't use diagonal placement practically in teh sunroom, but the Isoacoustics stands with just a slight tilt up in a more conventional speaker setup otherwise does teh trick to a tee. Spiking conventional taller heavy stands to the floor on that level does not work nearly as well. In teh small room teh low placement with slight upward tilt and the isolation capabilities of the Isoacoustics stands in particular are the key. In my other second level larger room, I have the bottom ported OHM Walsh speakers there on Auralex subdude platforms for similar isolation.

I find with the upper level floors, you have to totally isolate the speakers from teh floor for best results in regards to detail soundstage and imaging. The devil is in teh details of the stands/solution used and how effective they are at isolating from as opposed to coupling with the loosy goosey floor.

In a small room in general, low placement with upward tilt essentially tricks teh speakers into thinking the room is larger and help with soundstage and imaging specifically, similar to corner placement.

Could effective isolation from the floors still be an issue in your case with teh Tektons? if so, might be worth addressing before giving up.
"And I'll admit I'm crazy for 3d sound. Maybe it comes from the 80s when I owned the Bose 901s:)"

You should have kept the B word to yourself. If the moderators catch you pulling a stunt like that, you'll be ex-communicated for life.
I am a 3-D sound fanatic as well. But it's the SOTA mbl demo I heard a few years ago in a very well done custom showroom that drives me there. That and what I hear at live performances. I will never have any rooms like those to work with most likely, but have managed to do pretty well with a somewhat reasonable budget in the rooms I have, some more so than others. In all cases you have to take the room and acoustics into account and go from there. Each room is at least a little different, some way more so than others.
Could effective isolation from the floors still be an issue in your case with teh Tektons? if so, might be worth addressing before giving up.
Mapman

I have some vibrapods I can put under the M-lores to decouple them from the plinths. I'll give it a try. Although, the other speakers used in the same position have no problem being spiked to the floor.

I'll give it a try. Although, the other speakers used in the same position have no problem being spiked to the floor.

You should have kept the B word to yourself. If the moderators catch you pulling a stunt like that, you'll be ex-communicated for life.
Zd542

lol. But I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them. They could really rock the house back when that was a priority for me.
Call me crazy, but these days I tend to believe that with the right setup, a lot of way more modest speakers can sound like mbl or Magico. If done well. I'm finding isolating speakers from interacting with floor is a must, however one gets to that. One way is build quality of speakers and stands but there are other ways as well. Concrete foundations and isolating speaker stands and platforms another.
Tim,

Worth a try if you already have something. Can't hurt. My gut says that unless your floor is rock solid to start with, isolating the Tektons, which seem to use a good quality larger bass driver in a modest build cabinet at their price point, as best possible should only help. Just a gut feel based on similar experiences. Why not try under the Meadowlarks as well just to see/hear as an experiment?

I have yet to audition any Tekton speakers but they are high on my "hit" list to hear and remain on my short list of higher efficiency speakers for modest cost worth trying.

I would likely have moved on from my Triangle Titus monitors already towards that end if not for having discovered the Isoacoustic stands. A tube amp with those is not out of the question still someday.
Any chance we can back on topic? With that being said, the speakers shipped yesterday and should be here on Monday. There is a 60 day money back guarantee (less shipping) so this seems like a no-brainer to me.
Timrhu,
Your experience with the M-Lore s completely the opposite of my experience. My M-Lore's in my room is extremely holographic 3-D. Not that I needed to do this test, but I did. With the Sheffield test disc I get outstanding imaging and depth; real deep depth 15-20 feet back if it is in the recording. Despite the M-Lore only being 34" tall I get realistic height and the soundstage extends well beyond the speakers. In fact, I generally have a 14 foot wide stage in my 14x16 foot office. If in the recording such as Neil Young's "Greatest Hits" the rhythm guitar is 4-5 feet in front of my speakers to my left. Neil is set back several feet behind the speakers. Room, ancillary equipment. May not in actuality be the speakers.

Back on topic, I think you are going to love the Pendragon's provided your room has the space to accommodate them. Read, or watch Andrew Robinson's review on You-Tube of this speaker. I also own the Lore. You are in for a treat. Best, Rob
Apologies to Stereo5 for hijacking the thread. We did get a bit carried away.
" I think you are going to love the Pendragon's provided your room has the space to accommodate them."

My room is 40 by 50 as it is almost the entire second floor of my home.
Wow! Should be outstanding. Good luck. Best, Rob
Thanks, I am quite excited. What boggles me is that FedEx shipped both speakers with a Master tracking number, yet the speakers got separated somewhere in Utah and now they are on 2 different trucks going to the local FedEx distribution center near me. FedEx told me that it is quite possible to get 2 delivery's on Monday with 1 speaker each. Oh yeah and there is a hurricane to worry about for Sunday night-Monday as well. Can only happen to me.
Hurricanes can be a problem for sure.
FedEx is delivering the speakers tomorrow instead of Monday. I guess they are speeding things up just in case the hurricane strikes. I had to call my boss and change my personal day to tomorrow, but it's all good. Will post a couple of pics once they are set up. I still have to lug these things up a flight of stairs to my second floor office.
Congrats and keep us updated.

Shakey
Speakers arrived, one of them has damage in the top right corner thanks to FedEx being so careful. I posted a pic in my virtual system under the "Office System".
I've dealt with FedEx claims before. Since you bought them new from Tekton, it should go very smoothly because the item is new, and coming directly from the factory. It gets through all the valuation red tape. FedEx will probably ask you a few routine questions, but you should have no problems at all. If you bought them used, from a private seller, there would be a lot more for you to do. You'll have no problems.
I guess the speakers didn't live up to the hype. No report on the sound......

Shakey
Shaky,

If you want to know more about the speaker, send me an email through Audiogon. The speakers offer a different perspective, one I am not used to.
Stereo5,
Why not share your thoughts with the rest of us? There is a lot of interest in these speakers, and I would be interested in your impressions.
Stereo5,

I have owned the speakers. I am Ozzy from AA and I posted to your thread. I am just curious what you thought. No need to worry about talking about them in an open forum, that's what this place (and AA) are all about. You still get to send them back if you don't lke them.

Shakey
If he bought them with a 30 day audition period he's probably afraid about getting his money back. I felt the same way years ago about the HCAT preamp.
Sometimes it takes time to truly understand what a component does right or wrong. What's more reliable, snap judgement or long term audition?
I'd like to hear more also. Would expect Tekton and Rogue Cronus Magnum to do good things together.
"Sometimes it takes time to truly understand what a component does right or wrong. What's more reliable, snap judgement or long term audition?"

You'll get no argument from me. However, nothing wrong with an initial assessment, as long as it's prefaced that way. No one will hold one to a first impression if long term listening bears out a different opinion. I've been there before myself.

Shakey
I didn't want to say anything in public because I don't want others to get the wrong idea about the speakers. Keep in mind this is with my equipment in my room. First off, Eric Alexander was very accommodating to me. I wanted the speakers for last weekend and Eric made it happen. I am really thrilled that he went out of his way to make it happen.

I received the speakers Friday morning via FedEx. The boxes are huge and had no less than 8 red fragile stickers on the box in addition to large writing saying they were high end furniture and to treat it as such. With that being said, FedEx did manage to damage one of the speakers. The box with the damaged speaker had holes in it and tears. FedEx certainly didn't heed Tektons instructions on safe handling.

I got in touch with Tekton right away and made them aware of the situation and they offered to send out a new speaker immediately as replacement. At the time, I declined the offer.

THE SOUND: I put around 30 hours on the speakers over the weekend, listening for all the usual foibles. I was concerned the highs would be too bright with 3 tweeters in a line array. Not so, the highs were very smooth and never, ever called attention to themselves. The mids were overall smooth as well. The imaging and sound staging were everything an audiophile/music lover could ask for and I never felt they didn't deliver.

It was the bass or lack of it that was very problematic for me. No matter where I positioned the speakers and I moved them all over the room, the bass was very anemic. I am positive it was a room interaction somewhere, but that was the deal breaker for me. Male voices that were normally deep were very light sounding with no sense of body. Again, this is in my room which is large with 70's style shag carpeting and slanted ceilings.

I know it is not the fault of the speakers in any way and I really wanted to keep them, but I knew I would never be satisfied with the bass so I am sending them back this Thursday. You may think I am being a bit hasty, but I went down this road before with another pair of speakers 5 years ago, but instead of returning them, I tried to fix the problem by throwing a lot more money into the system. Nothing helped, and I didn't want to experience that again. I didn't want to go through the anxiety and sleepless nights another time.

So there you have it. I really wanted to keep the speakers but they just didn't work in my room. The fit and finish of the speakers is outstanding and I really don't understand how Eric can give you so much for so little cash outlay.
Any chance they're out of phase? Maybe the terminals on one speaker were wired backwards. Compared to the hassle of sending them back, it's worth reversing pos/neg on one speaker to see if the bass shows up.

Of course you may already have done that.

Since those woofers are commercial-grade units with pleated surrounds, I wonder if they demand a longer and vigorous break-in. Those should have bass out the wazoo. But "should" and "is" are two different things.
Already thought about the phasing and tried reversing the leads on one speaker. Really no difference in sound. No amount of break in would magically give me bass where there was none.
Very surprising. In my 15 x 26 ft room the bass was fine. Not overblown, but there when it was supposed to be.

Could the xovers have been damaged in shipping? Something sounds amiss.

Shakey
10-06-15: Stereo5
Already thought about the phasing and tried reversing the leads on one speaker. Really no difference in sound.
Are you sure about that? If the two speakers are not connected with the same polarity there should be a reduction in bass, as well as vague and diffuse imaging, and probably also a midrange that sounds strange. If there was truly no difference when the connections to one speaker (not both) were reversed, I'd have to think that something else is wrong.

Good luck. Regards,
-- Al
I don't pretend to have any technical acoustic knowledge, but my speakers, Klipsch Epic CF-4s have (2) 12" woofers in a similar high-low arrangement like the Pendragons, with a horn in the center, and they are also not nearly as powerful in the bass as you'd expect by looking at them.
After using them happily for a few years, I was reading somewhere (can't recall where) that with one woofer higher and one lower, there is some sort of cancellation effect that lessens room modes, which I guess is good in some cases, like mine, since my room is 13'x11', but that may be the reason why they are not working well in your room.
Feel free to jump in here Al, and others who know a lot more than I do.
Almarg,

When I say no difference, yes the sound was diffused and vague, but since the bass was weak, the difference if any was slight. I brought the speakers downstairs and inserted them into my main system. The room is 16 by 18. The bass was excellent in that room with a solid state amp and all tube preamp. The physical size of the speakers made it impractical for the room which means TV has to go as well as one of the chairs. Not doable, and as good as the Pendragons were in the main system, they still weren't close to my Golden Ear Triton Ones that is in my main system.

The Pendragons were bought only for my secondary system and just didn't work with the room. There is nothing wrong with them as they sounded like night and day in my main system. I put my Odyssey Kismet Reference floorstanding speakers back into the secondary system minus the granite plinths they were on previously and they sound much better. I had the speakers on sharp cones sitting in a holder on top of the granite plinth. Now, coupled directly to the floor with the sharp cones had solidified the bass on the Kismets. I will keep what I already have.
Not every speaker works for everybody, that's why we have choices. I am just baffled why your room is so problematic with this particular speaker.

I once bought a pair of Coincident Super Eclipse IIIs that were highly thought of, and on another occasion some Aerial 7Bs. I couldn't get rid of those speakers fast enough, much to the amazement of some. Just didn't work for me.

At least you will come out in pretty good shape amd not lose too much. Lesson learned.

Shakey
FWIW I've read the guy behind Tekton prefers SS amps with his speakers despite their reputation as high efficiency speakers that are an easy load for a tube amp.
Thanks, John (Roxy54). The technical aspects of speaker and driver design are not a forte of mine. But I believe you are correct that a spaced dual woofer configuration will tend to help with respect to room modes. However I suspect that in the case of your speakers the main reason for the less than expected deep bass extension is that the woofers, which apparently were designed and manufactured by Klipsch, together with the overall design of the speaker, were such that deep bass extension was sacrificed to some degree in order to make possible enough sensitivity at low frequencies to support the very high sensitivity of the horn-loaded high frequency driver. As you may be aware, deep bass extension, sensitivity, and also compactness of cabinet size, trade off against one another in the design of a speaker. And I note that your speakers have a specified sensitivity of 102 db, compared with the already high 95 db of the Pendragon.

Regarding Stereo5's experience with the Pendragon, like Shakey I'm somewhat baffled, but my guess is that a key factor is that the speaker was presumably designed with the expectation that its bass would be reinforced by the acoustical effects of typical placement in typical rooms, and of course his 40 x 50 foot room is decidedly atypical.

Best regards,
-- Al
Al hit it pretty well, but also worth pointing out that the Goldenears contain powered bass drivers. That sets a high bar for potential bass levels that most any modest size high efficiency speaker in particular will likely never match on its own, especially if room acoustics provide no boost, along the lines Al talked about.

There are reasons high efficiency full range speakers are not very popular overall these days. They tend to have to be very big and very expensive in order to compete with the alternatives in regards to bass levels, and bass sells.
As a long-time reader but infrequent poster on this forum, I want to thank everyone who contributed to this thread for their thoughtful, informative, reasoned, and friendly contributions. Thoroughly enjoyed it! I think this is an example of about the best that Audiogon has to offer in its discussions.
You should let them play for at least another 40-50 hours and reassess the bass. I suspect 50% of cases where the owner is disappointed with a new components is due to not letting the component break in. I have experienced this myself and felt a little sheepish after I had all but written a bad report on a speaker/amp/whatever and then after a few more days, realized the component now sounded glorious.
Ladok........

The speakers were broken in enough and when I put the speakers in my main system downstairs, the bass was good. It's the room, not the speakers.
I know you're relieved that you diagnosed the problem. It's a wonderful hobby when you get it right!
"The speakers were broken in enough and when I put the speakers in my main system downstairs, the bass was good. It's the room, not the speakers."

Just to be sure, try whatever electronics you had good results with, in the problem room.
Hi Al,
I have to agree with you. I actually bought a Mac 402 for these speakers after using a Mc 2105 for several years, and the effect on the bass was noticeable but not by much.
I now use an 8 watt Audio Note, and there is somewhat less drive, but the bass is still very satisfying for me, as I don't make loud, deep bass a priority. The speakers sound very balanced to me, but of course I can understand some wanting deeper bass output.
The drivers were indeed purpose-built for those speakers, and are very unusual in that the magnet is a powerful neodymium one as I recall, but it is quite small!