Tekton Design Lore

Category: Speakers

I have owned a pair of Tekton Design Lores for over a month now. To cut to the chase, these are astoundingly good speakers for the money - as in, at $1,000 a pair, perhaps the best value in audiophile speakers I can think of.

The speaker is a bass-reflex floor-stander using some type of pro-audio-source 10" wideband driver (Eminence, I think) with a soft-dome tweeter. I don't recall the frequency-response specs offhand (more later) but, as would be expected from the design, it is in the "high-efficiency" category with a specified sensitivity 98 dB/W/m.

The speaker is very balanced, dynamic, coherent, and has excellent tone. There - that's the summary. In fact, I have around 25x their cost worth of source & electronics in front of them (retail price - not what I paid) and if I had to I could live with them as my last speaker in anything other than a huge room. I think this is due in part to how good they are and also in part to how good really good gear can sound through even modest speakers.

I suppose I need dissect the speakers sonically, as reviews do. Starting with the bass, the low-end is surprisingly extended AND tight. When I saw a picture of the Lore with the two very large bass ports, I admit the first thought I had was that this was going to be a one-note-bass speaker - not at all. And I have them only about 6" from the front wall (in a 16x20 room, with two large openings). The bass pitch definition is very good! I can follow jazz bass lines very easily. For rock, there is just "about" enough reach, but the sound is just a bit light (in this room). Of course, that is absolutely no surprise at all - for rock in my opinion you really need a -3 dB point around 30 Hz or better to get all the music. I would estimate the speaker's in-room -3 dB point to be in the 35-40 Hz range.

Of course, tuning a speaker for bass reach is a matter of math: driver parameters, cabinet type & size, cabinet tuning. I have only a rudimentary understanding of those things but I will say that the designer of this speaker made some very good decisions.

The midrange is very, very good, with the coherence one expects from a widebander but also the lack of peakiness that's still fairly rare. The Zu speakers share this same flat frequency response and very full tonality (and of course use a similar driver). In fact, I do think the Lore sounds quite a bit like the Zu speakers in the midrange. The overall tonal balance is a bit on the warm side.

I was expecting the excellent midrange but not necessarily the very impressive bass performance of this speaker. I also was not necessarily expecting to be as pleased with the treble as I am: it is *very* well-integrated, and delicate, with good extension but never sounding brash. I have to say I prefer the treble integration and overall sonics (certainly possibly just a matter of preference) over that of Zu (I have owned Druid & Definition Mk 2).

Of course the speaker also has the dynamics you'd expect from the design. It's quite dynamic, especially considering the size & driver complement. However, a design with, say, two 10" wideband drivers is quite a bit more dynamic!

What's most important is the overall flavor of a speaker, and this one is almost perfectly balanced and easy to listen to yet does excel in areas like detail and dynamics as well.

I am "between" main speakers now, but, honestly, this speaker is so freaking good - in absolute terms, not just "for the money" - I could live with it for good. In fact, it is seriously making me wonder what the point of far more expensive speakers is. (Please don't judge that statement harshly unless you've heard them!)
I was neglectful in not listing my system:

Analog: Basis Ovation TT, TriPlanar arm (an early one), Ortofon Rondo Red cartridge, Tom Evans Microgroove+Z phono preamp

Digital: Audio Note Kits DAC 3.1 fed by Mac Mini

Linestage: Tom Evans Vibe/Pulse (Lithos 7)

Amps: Audiopax Model 88 Stereo, Graaf GM20 (push-pull OTL), ModWright KWA-100SE. (All three amps are good matches with plenty of power. The ModWright is obviously overkill in terms of power but has about all the nuance, microdynamics, and smoothness of excellent low-power amps.)
Nice review Paul. How to the Lore's compare with the Tonian Labs TL-D1 that you once had, if you can recollect?
I have a pair of the new version of the Tekton Katz. I'm using it in the bedroom along with a great CD player (Rega Apollo) and a very inexpensive and middling amp (Jolida FX-10). I bought the amp just as a way to dip my toe into the world of tube amps.

In any event I am blown away at the Katz's sound. There is nothing about it that is an issue. I have them on 3 inch high stands tilted up another inch in the front.

I've not heard anything in the price range that is close. Plus, Eric is a great guy and incredibly helpful. The wood work is first rate as well.
I have the Tekton Katz Meow Version 1 with the Fostex FF225 driver. It was my first full ranger / crossoverless and I've been listening to full rangers ever since. There's something about them that just sounds right, so simple and pure.

I've had Zu Omens since December and Tekton Lores for a few weeks as well.

I share Paul's enthusiasm about the Lore, couldn't have said it any better actually. I've thrown different music, volumes, amps and rooms at them and they hold up really well no matter what. They give you what you give them. Lots of power in a big room and they play loud but stay clean. A 3-watt SET amp in a small room and they give an intimate presentation, nice and full. Never ever harsh. An abosolute steal at the selling price.

I compared the Lore to the Omen in the "Zu Omen or Tekton Lore" thread here on Agon if anyone is interested.

The TL-D1 is a very special speaker. However, I have not had a pair for nearly two years, and never in this room. Here's about all I'd venture to say:

- The Tonian's live cabinet gives it a way with expressing the microdynamics of percussion instruments I don't think I've heard before.

- It is not quite as entirely free of peakiness as the Lore.

- The Tonian's ribbon tweeter, and especially its integration, is a marvel.

- The Lore's larger driver has much more area and hence moves more air and is more dynamic.

- The Lore has substantially better bass extension (not a ton - but noticeably better).

In a small room, for acoustic music, the TL-D1 is nearly unbeatable at any price IMO and an insane bargain. The Lore is somewhat more versatile and has strengths of its own.