Tekton Impact Monitors


Hi All,
I'm relatively new to Audiogon but have trolled the discussions for a few months. I have been listening to Spendor LS3/5As driven by a Quad 34/306 combination since the late 1980's and decided that it was finally time to upgrade my speakers. I love the Spendors but they are very limited in dynamics and scale. I auditioned the SVS Ultra Bookshelf speakers and while they brought some additional scale they simply didn't have the sweet midrange that I can't live without. I listened to some open baffle speakers (Emerald Physics) and loved them, but their size and need for space worried me, and I found them less satisfying at moderate and low volumes, where I do a fair bit of listening. I was fascinated by all the discussion regarding Tekton speakers and was considering getting a pair of Enzo 2.7s, but after a short discussion with Eric I followed his recommendation of the Impact Monitor with upgrade. They have the 7 tweeter array and a pair of 6.5" woofers and are rear-ported. I use a pair of SVS subs (the sealed variety). The Impact Monitors are simply amazing. The midrange is oh-so-sweet (very similar to my Spendors, but with more air) and the detail, even at low and moderate listening levels, is superb. The imaging is even better than my Spendors managed and the scale is huge and is much more music-appropriate. My system is really quite modest but now when I walk into my listening room (doubles as our living room - thankfully my wife appreciates Hi-Fi) I get the audio-show feeling of "being there". I have a Denon DP59L turntable with a DL110 HO moving coil cartridge running through an Emotiva XPS-1 phono preamp and the Tektons are absolutely incredible with classic rock on vinyl. I'm not sure how Eric managed it, but these speakers are superb, even with my 30 year old Quad electronics. I believe they are basically the top 24" of the Double Impacts, but are rear-ported rather than front ported. I can heartily recommend them and Eric and his team are great to work with. I'm not sure how many other Impact Monitors are out there since the pair I have are S/N 0005 and 0006!  
ky1mag
I have the Double Impacts. I have only a slightly higher level of equipment feeding them. They replaced my B&W 804s after taking the 60day trial. I am very impressed with Tekton just as you are. Glad you are enjoying them and the more hours you put on them the better they will sound, of course. But be aware. Since I've gotten them the upgrades have begun! They tend to motivate you that way. But paying Tekton prices for that level of performance left a lot of budget room for other upgrades. Another nice thing about the product line.
Hi bullitt5094. Thanks for the response and the warning. I was gazing at some QUAD II forty amplifiers this morning! I'll try to be strong...
LOL Yea, well, so far for me, new Phono Pre-Amp installed and new DAC arriving today. Both Schitt products and neither really budget buster. On the other hand, new Odyssey Kisment Preamp and Power Amp on order. THAT would be the budget buster. It is replacing my Denon 4520 that will now be used for HT duty-only. I've also decided to upgrade and swap my Double Impacts to the new Special Edition versions. Those are scheduled to ship next week. Zero rating on the strength meter for me.
You are an example to us all! What kind of an example is debatable.

By the way, what are the "Special Edition" versions? I don't see them on the web site. 
LOVE my monitors! running them with REL subs and am quite happy.I did'nt realize it, but I have serial numbers 1 and 2. maybe they will be worth millions some day! They are the last pic on the Tekton site under customer gallery.
Hi giantsalami,
That is way cool. Thanks for responding and it is great to hear that you feel the same way about them that I do. Great looking setup! 
Hello ky1mag,

Congrats on your new monitors,I own the DI's in my main system and I have considered the monitor version for my smaller room 2nd system.

Here is a little explanation of the magic in sound that you are probably experiencing.

Even though these are tweeter transducers the six of them that form the circle, based on what frequencies they handle, radiate acoustically as if they were one six inch mid-range driver.  The transducer in the middle is being used as a tweeter and handles the high end frequencies up to 30Khz.  So, acoustically you have a six inch mid-range driver with a coaxial mounted tweeter which means it functions as a single point source.  Now, by Eric figuring out how to make this work you get all the advantages of a coaxial driver, however the mid-range array weighs close to nothing leading to blazing speed/dynamics/micro-details compared to a regular six inch driver, regardless of what materials it is made out of it cannot be as light in weight.  Yet, you still get not only remarkable transit response, but great control because each driver is small and well behaved.  The closet you could come to this regarding weight/control would be a ribbon or AMT which cannot be used as a coaxial design as a single point source.  Brilliant on his part!

The more I listen to the DI's regarding mid-range and high frequencies they easily rival any panel design/ribbon/AMT I have had in my system and surpass them in low end extension/dynamics and overall macro-dynamics,micro-dynamics and brings out realistic nuances from the music.Truly a magical sounding speaker at any price.



Enjoy,

Kenny.
ky1mag I realize I'm a bad influence and I'm proud of it! At least I don't have the $20K speaker wires... yet.
The SEs are not on the site yet. They are a model Eric is likely to route through exclusive dealers at some point. They will have totally different components from the standard DIs. I actually don't know what those components will be, honestly. Working on a level of trust with Eric. I'm trying to imagine how they could improve a whole lot over the DIs I have right now, but Eric says it will be night/day difference. He told me the DIs would be better than my B&Ws and was correct. I REALLY doubted that, but took the 60 day trial. So no reason to doubt his analysis vs his own product.
ky1mag and kdude, thanks for the"tech" on the impact set up. I talked to Eric about writing a review, but I'm just not good with superlatives. I actually did write one, but said a swear word as an adjective and Agon nixxed it. Anyway, they just put out details and nuances that just keep me saying "wow, that was cool" (That is the P.C. vesion of the deleted review) This is my 5th pair of spekers and they are staying! 
The new Schitt DAC just arrived. Already have it on the audio treadmill trying to whip it into shape for listening tonight. More Schitt in the system is a good thing!
I have considered upgrading my KEF LS50's, however they are part of a large desktop system, (4' x 6'), and the Tekton monitors may be to large for a desktop system. Does anyone have any experience with both the LS50's and the Impact Monitor?
Hi audionut22,
I have not heard the LS50's in my system, but have in an audio shop (in Chicago). They are outstanding speakers, but the sheer scale of sound coming from the Impact Monitors is on a different level. They are much too big for a desktop system, IMHO. I'm listening to a Tuba Concerto right now and the scale of the orchestra sound (and the Tuba) is outstanding. The LS50s sounded big for their size when I heard them, but would still be quite far behind the IMs. The midrange speed of the IMs is also amazing. Keep in mind the IMs are 24 x 10 x 13. They are like a short tower speaker.
I just measured my LS50’s including the IsoAcoustic stands and they are 20.5"h x 8"w x 9.5"d, with the concentric tweeters level with my ears. So, the audio sickness in me says, Hey, they aren’t much bigger than what I have now ;-)

I also have a pair of HSU STF-1 subs under the desk to fill in the lower bass, due to the KEF’s are a little lacking there. 

However, I am sure the IM’s would look a LOT bigger than the LS50’s on stands. The IsoAcoustic stands are 8.5" tall so there is some "see through" space below the KEF’s, making them appear smaller.

I would be an interesting desktop system with the Tekton’s, but it probably wouldn’t pass the WAF test ;-)

Thanks for sharing your impressions about the Tekton Impact Monitors. I am very intrigued by these speakers, after reading all the raves about the DI. I like monitor/bookshelf speakers, and I do not think I would be happy with the massive DI. I currently own a pair of B&W 805 D3 which are very nice, but I am wondering how the Tekton Impact Monitors would compare (considering they cost 1/3 of the price of the 805).
Hi Stelo,
I haven't listened to any of the B&W 800 series in a long time, so I can't really comment about that comparison. I was listening to some early Susan Tedeschi last night and I was really impressed with how the Tektons kept all the instruments sorted out and separate from Tedeschi's gravelly voice. Keep in mind that the DIs would not be much bigger than the IMs on stands, but still I agree they would be imposing depending on the size of your room. Eric has a return policy, so I encourage you to give them (the IMs) a try. 

ky1mag - what size of room are you using the Impact Monitors in and how far away do you sit from them? Also what height of stands do you use? Thanks
Hi sbayne,
I'm listening on the short side, so to speak. The room is 13 x 35 or so and I'm listening across the 12' width. The speakers are 9' apart and right now are sitting directly on top of my SVS subwoofers until I get some stands. The tweeters are just below ear level when I'm in my favorite Ikea Poang listening chair. The front baffle of the speakers are about 30" from the wall and toed in so that they are aimed at a point 4-5' behind me (behind the back wall). This places my ears about 8-9' away from the speakers which is perhaps a little close. The only downside to these speakers that I can discern, and it may be the listening set-up, is that the soundstage is precise but small compared to my LS3/5As. Of course the scale achieved by the IMs is much bigger.
ky1mag - Thanks! Helps a lot.
I'm going to order a pair of these speakers.  Any recommendations for 22" or 24" stands with a top plate large enough to accommodate the Impact Monitors?
Hi danoroo
I haven't made the commitment to stands yet. Right now my IMs are sitting directly on top of my SVS subwoofers (on rubber feet) with the subs spiked to the floor. Seems to be working, but of course I will give some stands a try in the fall when I have more time to investigate. I suspect giving them some space (on stands) will open the sound up even more. I am loving these speakers. 


I was going to start a thread and found this one.  After reading much of the DI thread, I am close to buying the monitors.  I have a small room/office that is about 8x12 and my speakers are on the long wall about 6' apart.  I am currently running B&W CM5's and have had the 602's, which are similar in size to the Impacts.  Since my configuration is on the near field side, I emailed Tekton and Eric responded.  He said that the monitors would do well in my situation.  

I am supposed to be selling some gear this weekend and I will probably pull the trigger.  Did you guys go with the upgrade?  At $400, I feel it is probably worth getting, I don't want to be wishing that I had done it after I get them :)  I am also strongly considering buying the Micro ZOTL that everyone loves.  If it drives the DI's that well, I am sure it will be more than adequate for the monitors in a small room.
@why0why , don't be fooled by the size. The monitors are not quite as sensitive as the DI's.  The MZ2 might still be all you need however depending on the size of your room.
Thanks for the info.  I have also been considering a Rogue Audio Chronus Magnum.  I figured I would get the speakers since I have a stack of SS amps that I can go through in the mean time.  I also have a small tube amp that I can try too.
I am interested in these monitors . I am using Ohm Walsh 2.2000 satellites on top of REL Q201e subs . I have a high pass filter in my amps set to 50hz and are using a DSPeaker Antimode 2.0 there is another pair of subs in the room for distributed bass . I am afraid of giving up the Omni sound but like the technology behind these speakers .    
Well, I made the tough decision to return my Impact Monitors. I did extensive A to B comparisons with two other bookshelf speakers I have (my Spendor LS3/5As and some extinct Esper Systems speakers; both very warm mid-range specialists) and made the tough choice. Part of the problem is that my listening room is not dedicated and there is very little flexibility in positioning. I borrowed some stands that just did not work and having the IMs sitting on my subs did not get them up high enough. I even tried giving them a little up-tilt. They are great sounding speakers, as I described in my earlier posts, but are quite forward by comparison to my other speakers (which are too laid-back for many folks). When I toed them in so the tweeters were close to directly pointing at the listening position, I found the sound too forward and lacked mid-range warmth (rear-facing ports may have something to do with this). When they were facing directly forward the sound was fuller but the imaging had a hole in the middle (I was too close, probably). 

The IMs have very big sound for their size, and I think my listening position was too close, at least for my ears, and there is no fixing that. I definitely miss the big sound, in particular for classical, but that is only a small part of my listening. I'll try to answer any specific questions but I'm happy that Eric has a generous return policy. 
@why0why  I was concerned about the size of the Double Impacts when I ordered them as well as how they would do in a moderate sized room.

After having lived with them for five months, I would be comfortable putting them in a smaller room and in a 'more' nearfield setup. They do okay closer to the wall, but I'd personally bring them out into the room.

So I don't believe you should have any issues / concerns with the Impacts. 

Have you considered the Double Impact 'Rear' 7 Tweeter Pair augmented by a sub(s) for your application?
@why0why The monitors I had (see last post) were upgraded. Interestingly, they did not have the ring radiator tweeters, but instead had the dome tweeters that some other Tekton models have (like the Brilliance I believe). As I explained in my last post, these have big, detailed sound and for my ears did not really work when pointed directly at the listener with a 7-8' equilateral triangle positioning. Hope this helps.
@david_ten Thanks for the input. I have looked, but I can't tell what the difference is with the rears, they look like the monitors.  I do have a sub.  Not only is the size of my room sub optimal, but the layout is too.  There just isn't much I can do. 

I am building a theater in the basement sometime over the next 12 months.  It is going to be about 15'x17' with 10' ceilings.  I have considered getting the DI's for it and using it as a listening room as well.  But I still use my current room much more often and that will continue.
@ky1mag This is the situation that I am in and I am skeptical that they are going to sound good in this position.  I have a chance to get some B&W 805's for a fantastic price, close to $1000 below market.  I have considered getting them for my current situation and maybe just getting the DI's for the theater.  Your experience is pushing me in that direction.
@why0why I have full DIs with the upgrade and I also have B&W 804s. I can't listen to my 804s unless they are angled away from me pretty severely. They are bright. The DIs sound better angled away too, but they are still good direct-on. The B&Ws, on the other hand, are unlistenable when pointed right at you as far as I'm concerned. I realize neither of these are exactly what you're evaluating, but I just wanted to let you know I have the 804s and the DIs in the same room and this is my experience with them. I believe the 805s have the same tweeter as the 804s, but not certain. And I had the 804s for years and loved them. The DIs are MUCH better sounding speakers. I was very surprised.
@bullit They do have the same tweeter. Thanks for the feedback.  And the roller coaster goes back down :)
I actually have some B&W DM602s I use for my desktop speakers. You can point those anywhere, but I wouldn't consider them in the same class with either the B&W 8s or the Tektons.
@ky1mag and @why0why   

Ok, .... I'm confused...it might be because of the title.

Can either or both of you clarify.... Are you referring to the Impact or Double Impact?  And are you referring to the top half of this speaker, either the Impact or Double Impact? I understand that the OP opted for rear porting.

Thanks.
Thought we were talking about this... http://www.tektondesign.com/impact-monitor.html
Thanks Bullitt.  Can OP or why0why confirm?
@why0why, @bullitt5094 and @david_ten. I think we were confused by the different names...I am only referring to the Impact Monitors. I have not heard any other Tekton speakers. When I called Eric about the dome tweeters he assured me that the domes gave better performance in this model and Karma (via email, if I remember correctly) implied that the Impact Monitors will have the domes in the future and that they just hadn't had a chance to update the photos and description on the web page. Wonderful speakers, but just did not work in my space, with my rather modest electronics (and with my ears & tastes).  I also wonder about burn-in and if some of the changes over time could actually have been perceived as negative (again, to my ears), due to the detail that these speakers provide. Maybe too much of a good thing?
I am referring to the Impact Monitor as linked above.
I have serial #0003 & 0004, so we’ve got all 3 owners of the Impact Monitors here (until ky1mag sent his back). I’ve had them for 7 weeks, and I’m keeping them. I have a medium size room, 13’ x 15’, have them on the short wall about 3 ft. from the front wall and 3 ft. from the side wall, roughly 8 ft. apart. I’ve got my 2 Emotiva DSP10 subs corner loaded in the front corners of the room. I have the Monitors firing straight ahead, they image better that way, and I have no problems with center fill.
I listen to classical orchestral music (just got in the Mahler 3rd with Fischer/Budapest, it’s one of the best orchestra recordings I’ve ever heard, simply amazing (Channel classics CCS SA 38817)) and solo piano music (take a listen to Guido Agosti’s arrangement of Stravinsky’s Firebird on BIS 2150 SACD, "A La Russe", beautiful recording) or Albert Tiu playing Brassin’s arrangement of Wagner’s "Magic Fire music" from Die Walkure on "The classical elements" on Centaur.
As to the sound: when Eric shipped them he said they sound "Smooth as silk" and that’s as good a description as any. I do hear a more natural, organic sound and a airy 3-D midrange than I’ve heard from other monitors, and they have good dynamic range as well. They give me all the SPLs I need for Classical orchestra/Piano music (I’m driving them with an Oppo 103, Bifrost AKM 4490, NAD Preamp, Class D amp).
The 6 tweeter array that covers the midrange unravels orchestral textures like nothing I’ve ever heard with good depth and dimensionality. FWIW, They might be the best Monitors I’ve heard-

pawsman
@ky1mag  and @why0why  Thank you for clarifying.

@ky1mag  It's too bad that they didn't work out for you. But I completely understand. And I hope you are able to find another pair that meet your needs.  The most important part was doing what you did, which was to audition them in your own room and setup. 
Pawsman,

I'm glad you are enjoying your Di monitors and that was a very good description of the sound you are hearing.

I listen to quite a lot of piano music and I must have speakers and system that gets it right.
I also use full orchestra music as a system test and that can be a deal breaker also.

Enjoy the music,
Kenny.
ky1mag,

I commend you for at least trying the monitors in your own system,and I'm curious to know how much time did you put on them and also could you clarify how they first sounded vs how they differed in sound when you made your decision.

Kenny.
Pushing 3 months on my monitors. I still am just enjoying the hell out of them.I will be swapping the Odysseys back in soon to compare. These are not bright to me at all, just really great sounding speakers. I would be interested in hearing the difference with the dome tweeters compared to the rings. I listen mostly to rock, prog, 80"s metal, blues and these just do everything right.
@pawsman Thanks for the input on your Impact Monitors and I totally agree about the scale and "impact" they can produce (appropriate name, really). I do have a question, though, if you don't mind. Do your Impact Monitors have the ring radiator tweeters or the domes? I've never knowingly heard a speaker with ring radiators since dome tweeters are much more common. 

I appreciate this discussion...learning a lot.
@kdude66 Hi Kenny
I had the IMs for a little more than a month and listened a lot during that time. I would guess I had 125 - 150 hours on them when I finally made the decision. We left them running with FM radio or CD on repeat for several days while we were out. My impression was that they became even more detailed over time and while they were never harsh the midrange seemed to lose some warmth and roundness. Over the last few days I did A to B comparisons and that's what convinced me. Not that the IMs are any "better" or "worse", just that they weren't going to work in that room with my ears. Now I'm repeating myself...I apologize. 
My DI's have the ring radiator sb acoustics tweeters but I'm wandering which dome tweeter that Eric is now using in some of his speakers,I wander if it's the Peerless Typhani by chance,I haven't found this answer by anybody and Eric is such a busy guy I'm not going to bother him just for that.

Kenny.
Kenny, My monitors have the peerless ring tweeters. hmmmm...  cheers, Jeff
kdude66, ky1mag, giantsalami:
My Impact Monitors have the Tymphany dome tweeters and SB Acoustics 6 1/2" mid/bass drivers (this info from a phone call with Eric).
The Website still has the picture of the original ring radiator tweeters, they haven’t gotten around to changing it I guess. These are rather large, powerful Monitors, and do need some room to breath; they certainly wouldn’t work as a desktop speaker, IMO, but they do need a sub (or 4) to fill out the extreme bottom end. BTW, Pentatone is another Label with awesome sound quality; just listened to Dvorak "Overtures" with the Prague PO/Hrusa, on a Hybrid SACD; fantastic recording of an orchestra.
whyOwhy: The Impact monitors are not nearly as high sensitivity as the DI, you will definitely need more than 1 Watt to drive them. .
I heard the KEF LS50 at an Atlanta Dealer about 1 year ago; they were impressive, very clean, pinpoint imaging and a true point source, but don't have the scale, dynamics or Impact (sorry) that the Impact Monitors have-

pawsman
kdude66, giantsalami, pawsman  - The IMs that I had were equipped with SB Acoustics dome tweeters. You could see them through the reflex port. Very interesting. 
Yes the monitors would be about 91db with 1 watt at 1 M.

Now I'm getting very confused with all these different tweeters that have been used in the Monitors.

Kenny.