Tekton Design Moab

Ordered a pair just now. In Dark Gray, to which Tammy immediately said, "Oh the Charcoal is beautiful!" Charcoal sounds better than Dark Gray (even though we are talking about the same color!) so Charcoal it is!  

My beloved Talon Khorus do still sound awfully good. It will be interesting to see how the Moabs stock out of the box compare with these tweaked and modded warhorses. Both the strength, and the weakness, of the Khorus is using the 10" woofer to cover so much midrange. Its a strength because it makes for a very smooth and cohesive sound. But its a weakness because its asking a lot of such a large driver to go so high. Talon makes up for it with their isobaric design. Mounted inside and directly behind the woofer is another identical driver facing the opposite direction. The idea is this relieves the front facing driver of having to compress the air inside the cabinet. This does allow for a much faster response, and is a big reason for the wonderful music the Khorus produces. 

I have a feeling however it is no match for Eric Alexander's ultra-low mass driver array solution. Only one way to know for sure. So we will just have to see!  


Showing 8 responses by listening99

Actually, I find they make a much finer impact visually than my past two sets, not just because the Moabs demand attention, owing to size, but because the tweeter array and stature of the speaker are so damn interesting to look upon. I went with white, which creates great contrast against the black driver array.

Ordering the Moabs prompted me to repaint the room and the adjacent stairwell, so the whole area just glows now, with new contrasting paint and the massive speakers.

I almost feel that its best not to brag about the sound, because it's exciting to see how people react to them without putting my finger on the scale... I will look forward to your impressions, MC.
I've just sat again with my Moabs, with woofers ranging a neat 7'10" from my left and right ears, and the drum work on a variety of my jazz pieces arrives, in a word, "whole," with no evidence of bass note separation in the woofers of each channel. The top woofers are about 2" further away. Very much alive sounding.

I did spend many hours cumulative over the first five weeks moving the speakers around, dialing in the bass. They now sit 40" out from the back wall, and about 2' from each side wall, in a 14.5' by 12' room. Standing the spiked speakers on two Ikea bought bamboo cutting boards brought considerable shape to the bass octaves, and the bass feature was a serious concern of mine given the modest size of the room. Did not like moving the 135lbs/each around the room and I could have made it easier with a little more planning. I sort-of wrestled the right one up on the cutting board and was fortunate not to make a mistake.

The point is that the effort/expense/choice has resulted in sound quality that leave me saying to impending owners that I don't want to say (much of) anything to influence initial impressions for anyone else...

In sum: I'm having more than a small amount of "good times" almost every evening... 
Have any of you tested the 1watt efficiency at 1m of your Moabs? 

If I'm running two (Moabs) in a small room (12x14.5) and they truly operate at the stated 98db efficiency, does this not suggest that I could get by handsomely on a flea watt amp, of just a watt or two? I watch the SPL meter when listening to my music and peaks are around 85-87db in 99% of my listening...
I appreciate the clarification, MC. You might have helped me a bit, here...

I have spent some time with SPL calculators that take into consideration speaker distance from walls, speaker distance from listening location, etc. 

For instance, using 


and inputting 95db efficiency, without placement considerations and 40 watts, I'm told I can achieve 106.3 db...  the 40 watts is the 4ohm output rating of the Aegir. Even at 20 wpc (which is lower than the stereophile measurement at 8ohms), it calculates 103.3 db.

Perhaps it makes sense if I calculate this as a peaks volume with the pre-amp at 100% volume. Maybe that's it... 
@mapman What I have heard, from one Moab owner, is that the Moabs can drop as low as 3.1 ohms, but this statistic may not correspond with the selection of drivers Eric has moved to. I understand he is no longer using scanspeak tweeters. 

Also, the Aegir, in terms of heat, draws current for a class A bias to 10 watts and extends class A to a large extent to its rated output. I am repeating what I've read, so I'm open to learning anything you might have to offer here, but Schiit has made it clear that this is a hot running amp. The Nuforce, comparatively, runs much cooler and more easily achieves greater output. You might know that somehow they are squeezing 36db of gain from 80watts per channel. I wish I knew how that was possible, when the Aegir is putting out a claimed 40wpc; so it would seem it should rival the Nuforce in gain, but no.

@almarg I appreciate the breakdown. I am reading the 2.83 volt figure on the website, but it is not specified for 4 or 8 ohms. The Ulfberht claims 99db with 2.83 volts into 4 ohms. This being said, I'm still not finding 95 db without considerably drawing from the guts of these machanisms.

For Q 2: Your comment indicates a quarter turn lower setting from an active pre-amp. Can you state this another way? Are you saying your starting volume with an active pre is the same volume as a passive but with an extra quarter turn of potential gain? Does the active pre-amp confer 25% more voltage?

Q3: Thanks for the claims concerning max volume... I might check this out... Interestingly, volume varies widely with the recording, so the real impact of 22db is a bit of a mystery...

I appreciate the perspective that claims ascending value is indisputably tied to ascending dollar figures, but I dispute that claim. It's just too easy to debunk with a little careful consideration/reasoning. As we well know, costs do not all go into parts and technical finesse. In some cases, you are paying for the fancy rhetoric that obscures the realities of parts and technique. High dollars can go to many things that appeal to ideas and images we cherish, while evading capture by the sensitive ear. Let's not be too absolute about all of this, as there are beautiful pieces selling for $50K, as well as $799.00. I believe the Aegir is a beautiful piece; others agree, but I don't really need their support.  I just want to understand the interaction between an amp and my pre-amp and my speakers, so I can feel my way through. This has been an outstanding approach for me... If you have a subtle refinement, please let me know...  
For all the Moab hunger out there, I have a set of questions that might reveal something interesting about claimed efficiency of the Moabs, as well as amplification considerations...

Context: I'm not one of the high-rollers on the website, but I'm quite sure there are a number of people out there who would die for a good deal on a hot system. I think the Moabs are special, and yes I do love the aesthetic.

My tendency is to look for the very best I can buy at the lowest possible dollar. I went for the Moabs after doing abundant research and knowing I could return them, take a hit of maybe $400, and have a killer adventure while doing it. I understand the need to hear things and not make a big mistake, but I actually think there are good mistakes to make, particularly if you know it's not going to crush you. In truth, you probably shouldn't even consider the Moabs if losing the shipping fee is going to become a nightmare scenario for you. They are a pain in the a*** to move, for sure.

So, I started my Moabs on the diet of an amp that really is an amazing find for the dollars: the Nuforce STA200 - 80wpc. It's not Raven level, I'm sure, although I don't really know what a Raven sounds like. Also, Raven is out of order on their low end integrateds, yet they claim they will be catching up soon.

In terms of the Nuforce, for all of $500, I imagine it would be nearly impossible to beat. It can easily run the Moabs with peaks into the low 90db range, without difficulty. I've hit brief peaks in brief listening bursts of 98db without much trouble, either. Still, I'm finding it very difficult to reconcile the claim that the Moabs, or other speakers, are producing 98db out of one watt. The knob is considerably up on the dial by the time you are hitting 98db (peaks), so it certainly looks like much more than 1 watt consumption. Either way, the Nuforce was and is wonderful, and the $500 is icing for the likes of a deal-seeking-guy like myself. Nevertheless, I did run into some (potentially significant) heat issues when pushing the amp, and I've written elsewhere about how hot the amp became when pumping Lorde's "Royals," which I understand is fairly unique in its outstanding bass demands.

Subsequently, I decided to go class D, with another well reviewed high value amp, the XTZ 300w channel into 4ohms amp. They run cool. They have big bass. They are clean, low noise floor, good sense of instrument definition. They also seem to torque, in degrees, some of the sound images. I learned something about how I process new products with the XTZ, because initially I was attracted to what came through as "differences" in the sound, yet I subsequently found out that those differences were not necessarily positive. For instance, hand claps stuck out initially, but then I found that they were less authentic, more plastic. Vocals came through as though in box, or a room that is too absorptive. I had some feeling that the box quality may have indicated the impacts of the recording space, so this seemed like a good thing at the first. However, with the Nuforce, voices were more full, free from the box, natural. I sent the XTZ back after a full month of play - they offer a 30-day trial. It was a good experiment.

I'm now three days into the Schiit Aegir, another value item. Lovely rich sound - has lifted microdynamics into the soundstage that I never really noticed before, voices have more shape, piano keys are much more fully formed. I'm only three days in and have yet to return to the Nuforce for comparison, but I'm loving what I'm hearing thus far. I'm not wild about the heat, but I'm running two small USB fans that do a decent job of dispelling more than half the heat load.

My main complaint is that I'm running the Saga+ pre-amp, a passive pre, to about 80% of its volume, while hitting peaks in the upper 80db range. I'm not really one to do a lot of blasting, so I won't be running with 85-90 continuous and expecting 95-100 db peaks very often, but there will be times when I want to do this... So, where am I, in terms of this goal... it's weird to make another purchase only to find out that you are already thinking about where to go next, but I am... concerned about the limits here... First, why can't I get my 98 db for 1 watt efficiency from these speakers? To be clear, my room is 14.5x12 and I'm 8' from the speakers, which themselves are about 8' apart. The room has plenty of furniture, so I'm sure there is some absorption. Ceilings are 11' high at the center peak.

So, my questions:

First, why is it so hard to achieve 98db on the Moabs without pushing my amps to their limits? Does this have implications for the various amp suggestions people are making for these speakers?

Second, what role, in terms of increasing db at a set volume, would an active pre play here? I'm curious as to how a Freya, or others, might interact with the amp and the speakers...

Third, what problems am I looking at, for both the speakers and the amp, by running the volume mostly at 75-85%, and up to 100% some of the time? By the way, I have not attempted a 100% expression of the amps power with the Moabs - should I?

I'm hoping this offers some useful reflection on the path of the Moabs, with perhaps the semi-value-oriented consumer in mind.

Best regards...
I’ve had my Moabs since February, enjoying almost every minute of it. In my smallish room they have taken some patience, because these are speakers with generous bass that is diminished if the speakers are shifted too far into the corners.

My biggest challenge has been with amplification. I’m essentially on a tour of amplifier options. They run better than expected on my NuForce amp and I know many of you have heard me speak on this, so I’ll move to where I’ve been over the past several weeks.

First, I went class D, buying a well reviewed XTZ amp, boasting 300wpc into 4 ohms. The amp is stable down to 2.7. Bass was excellent. Vocals were boxed, perhaps truncated or pinched, as though coming from an over dampened room that did not integrate with the overall soundstage. At first I thought I was hearing the distinctive character of the recording chambers, but soon it became clear that the Nuforce produces fuller vocal characteristics and does everything else just as well... So, I returned the XTZ.

Now, I’m fourteen days into a Schiit Aegir. Lovely amp. Took me a solid week to relax into and fully appreciate the unique and high quality sound of this component. It Imparts enough spacial information, including bass density to make it clear that better amps are on the market, compared to both the NuForce and the XTZ. With respect to spacial information, using Patricia Barber’s "Modern Cool," songs 1) Touch of Trash and 7) Company, the soundstage emerged with the kind of layering that makes listening addicting. I sat in a state of constant fascination at the interactive call and response elements of the first track which the amp + speakers reveal in so much delicate playfulness. "Company" includes great drum-work and other features that are worth taking in, if you haven’t listened to this album carefully in recent times.. Compared to the NuForce, the added spacial information, captured by the Aegir, delivers a strong dose of positioning and distancing of instruments. The NuForce just doesn’t do that - maybe it offers occasional hints. This might, in both cases, also be subject to further room treatment, which is a relatively unexplored feature of my setup.

My next curiosity is tube amplification. I wonder what you all can tell me about Moabs and tubes. I’m seeing interesting options from Jolida, Decware and Dennis Had, even Prima Luna. I’m very tempted to keep the Aegir and I’m likely to do so, but I hear so many high flying claims about tube living that I feel I must scour your minds to see what I might be missing...

Again, I’m wondering particularly about the lower cost offerings as that is clearly where my focus resides. The Moabs will remain my most costly feature for the foreseeable future. This is to say, Decware at the top end of my possible future amp outlay - they have a 20wpc amp for about $2500.00. Jolida has tube content on offer in the $1-1.5K range. Dennis Had sells his 10wpc creations for about $1.7k, but this is really about the quality of the sonic upgrade, moving up from an Aegir.

Anyone speak to the plusses and minuses of a tube amp for this particular speaker? I’ll state one final consideration, that Ralph (Atmasphere) constantly reminds; I believe I’m paraphrasing him correctly in noting that 4ohm loads diminish the lowest bass octave with tube amps. I’m sure there are variables, and perhaps some of you have useful information to share...

Thank you,
Any particular pieces of music you are expecting to lay on the Moabs with their/your/our maiden voyage?