Review: Tekton Design Pendragon Speaker

Category: Speakers

This is my "initial" impression of the new P-Dragon loudspeaker and as former Tekton Lore owner, if it is worth the $1,500 upgrade over the Lore, and also to make an official review thread for future owners, as I am sure there will be many after hearing what this monster can do.

As I posted many times in the Tekton Lore vs. Zu Omen thread on Audiogon, I was thrilled with the Lores and they could have been easily been a long term speaker for me. The Lores actually (and finally) got me off the speaker brand merry go around. The only limitations were due to physics – because as many individuals have reported – the Lore has no real shortcomings in design / execution. Here is some experience and wisdom for you: The Lore based speakers, unlike many conventional speakers, have the ability to sound totally convincing on live recordings, and yet still seem to smooth out poorer recordings and allow them to sound musical. This is bizarre and I am not sure how or why this is, but who wouldn’t want the best of both worlds!

The Lore is a very dynamic speaker, but with a single FRD it has to work a little harder in larger rooms. My room is in between mid-size and large, but it is an upstairs loft area so there is quite a bit of cubic volume with a downstairs opening and staircase in the back of the room.

When Eric offered his new P-Dragon, which is actually a Lore based speaker but a more complex design in that it features 2 new Eminence FRD’s and a triple tweeter array, opposed to the Audax Gold tweeter in the Lore (which is quite good also). The drivers are more capable in terms of bass extension and have tremendous excursion capability. The cabinet is also designed to be more inert as it needs to be because as I will mention, this new P-Dragon moves some serious air!

With the Lores, I used a pair of 25w Quicksilver Mini Mites with EL34’s. But since I opted to upgrade to the P-Dragon, I needed to make room financially, so I sold the Quicksilvers and I am now using a 12.5 watt Class A Xindak MT-1 that uses EL84’s (happens to have a very sweet and seductive sound to it). I wanted to mention this because I essentially downgraded my amp about ½ the price, as well as ½ the power. I was also not able to do a side by side with Lore since I sold them the day I purchased the P-Dragons. Again, I needed the cash to fund this, but I do remember the Lore sound quite well!

Just an FYI I am in the process of breaking in my P-Dragons so I will continue to post as they reach milestones in the break in period. They did take a little more time with placement, just due to the sheer size of them! The P-Dragon is almost intimidating upon first glance, at 54” tall and over 80# each. The build quality is similar to Lore – excellent with no frills in terms of the look.

Out of the box and after initially dialing in placement using a basic equilateral triangle setup, this is what I noticed: a VERY similar flavor of sound compared to Lore, but with MUCH greater dynamics, impact, bass extension, and sheer musicality due to all of these added dimensions to the music. And do not fall into the misconception that a larger speaker can’t do nuance and pinpoint imaging, because this speaker may be one of the best I have heard in that area, granted it does need more care with placement. So far, in my room, the Xindak amp is a perfect match at 12.5 watts, and I am not missing the “Quicks” at all!

Bottom line thus far: this new P-dragon has the potential to be the best speaker I have heard! It is leaving nothing to be desired. It does everything the Lore did and transcends it in areas where physics limits the Lore’s ability. With Lore, I would have to give it a little volume to get the sound to be nice and full (in my room), but with P-Dragon, it is a fuller sound even at very low volume levels, and when it reaches 90+ dB, the impact is just breathtaking. I am talking serious dynamics and impact that you can feel! Woofer excursion completely different than Lore – this speaker moves some serious air! So picture a speaker that is voiced like the Lore with a similar presentation, but with a much fuller sound, serious bottom end thump and improved clarity in all areas (especially at higher volumes), because it does everything so effortlessly – that is the best way to sum up the P-Dragon. All of this and keep in mind this is out of the box and with a $600, 12.5 class A tube amp!

If you have the room for it, and desire the benefits that I described, then P-Dragon is easily worth the $1,500 upgrade, and as far as I know, it has no real competition yet. The Zu Omen Def costs over $500 more and is nowhere near the size of this speaker and has a single tweeter, so can they really be compared?

Honestly, there are no speakers out there anywhere near this price that can move this kind of air, and have the amount of resolution and nuance that this speaker can do. It is in a class of its own. Well done, Eric!

Associated gear
Cary CDP-1 cdp
Xindak MT-1 integrated 12.5 Watts class A
Q cables type 2 Litz
Dcca Powerwave 5 on cdp

Similar products
Tekton Design Lore
12 + conventional speakers including Dynaudio C1's, Focus 220 II, PSB Synch One, VSA Jr Mark II, Carver Amazing, ML Ascent, Quad ESL 989, Rega RS7, PSB Stratus Gold to name a few...
Thanks for the thoughtful review. I'm wondering what my Cary SEI 300B or Golden Tube 300B, might do with these speakers. Heck, I just bought (still breaking in) Jolida FX10 as desktop/ small room integrated to go with Tekton 4.5s, maybe even they will be good with the Pendragons; that would be something...
Nice review. How do they sound when you walk around the room (does the tonality change) and how coherent do they sound if you are 6-7 feet away?
I would think the 300B amps would be a fine match for normal to somewhat loud listening levels. I also want to try a single ended amp at some point. I am having NO issues cranking up a bit with 12.5 watts.

As far as the tonality when I walk around the room, I haven't noticed any issues. My former PSB Synchrony Ones suffered from this - not the P-dragons.

As far as 6-7 feet away, I am sitting about 6 feet away as my room is "just" enough size for them. They sound excellent from that range - no issues at all.

I am liking these speakers more and more as the days go by. They are the most full range speaker I have every owned - I am hearing fullness in the music I have never heard before. Bass is tight and very controlled , and certainly insanely powerful - I am stil in awe that 12 watts is behind this :)
Nice review GP. As an owner of 2 pairs of Tekton's speakers I can only imagine how good those sound. Way too big for my room though.
I have a set of Pendragons on order as well, and should get them in a few weeks. The room I plan on putting them in is 22 feet X 27 feet. I have a few different amps, including one Tripath 5W, which I'm going to try on them.
Very nice review. I have been eyeing these speakers myself. You have some interesting room treatments there,do they make the sound ummmmm more "delicate"?
I have the treatment (about 7 69x24 1" panels) in the corners (behind the speakers) and on the back wall. Since I am sitting about 6ft from the speakers, the highs do not seem affected by it much. It does, however, tighten up the bass. My room is just enough size for these speakers and the treatment helps in that sense as well.
What are the Pendragon's specs?
There have not been "official" specs listed; however, the manufacturer has given me a verbal of 98db efficient, and the low end 10db lower then Lore (i.e., 20hz). I have not measured the P-dragon but it certainly has more weight then Lore... and far greater impact and dynamics.
Gpowered, how big is your room?
I just got my Pendragons today.

First impression: They are large and heavy (this was written right after moving them into my listening space).

Second impression: Listening to them has brought a smile to my face.

I just have them hooked up to my Yamaha RX-Z9 integrated amp right now as I've been working (I work at home), having put a few random pieces on so far. The presence/fullness of them when listening to one piece (Blind Boys of Alabama - Amazing Grace) tempted me to dig around the pipe organ pieces... that was when I found myself smiling.

I'll do more critical listening over the weekend also trying out the other amps I have and likely write a full review next week sometime.