Tekton tweeter design


Hi everyone,

I found a cool, fact filled thread with some smart DIY'ers over at the DIYAudio forum about how the Tekton tweeter arrays are wired and how they work.

Kind of interesting in how they were innovative in some ways, and in others did some questionable things. Reminds me of Infinity, who developed crazy crossovers in large part by ear, which we can now really improve upon. Still good sounding, but in hind sight we wonder about them.


https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/multi-way/336743-help-understanding-tekton-tweeter-array-schematic.h...


Please, keep your flames over here on Audiogon. :)
erik_squires
Oh please, not ANOTHER Tekton thread! 
I don’t mind the Tekton threads. Much better than the over the top PPT threads : $100 per ml magic goo, $600 magical little mats, and now $6000 !!! Mystery devices to wire into your breaker panel. The hyperbole is non stop and ridiculously repetitive. My post will soon be deleted because I dared to question the faith based tweaks
No flaming from me. They are great sounding speakers!
Erik.... whether someone is a tekton fan or not....many are curious as to what the array is and how it works....so thanks for the link. 


Maybe  your thread name should be “Tekton Tweeter Array Design and Workings”. 


Two things the diy thread doesn’t touch on.........( and might just be opinion anyway)


1.  Is the top end... the portion covered by the single tweeter only as good as the tweeter being used?..... and


2.  Is the midrange being covered by multiple tweeters arrayed together potentially better than a high single high quality midrange?


And finally... as pointed out in the diy thread... how does tekton sell the impact monitors for $2000 delivered when the drivers alone retail for more than $800. 


Again, thanks... fun and informative. 


1 - Yes, if you mean, the quality of the sound. However, it's the dispersion that's the key unique attribute of this design.

2 - The controlled dispersion is the main attribute of the array. It will act more like a line array or ESL in that it will have a rather large mid range, with the top end of a tweeter.


It would be interesting to compare an arrangement like this with something much more conventional, like an Eminence coax.
In the case of this particular speaker, one thing I noted was the choice of low crossover slopes between the 6" (or whatever) mid-woofers and the tweet array.


I felt off axis response could be greatly improved, especially vertically.


Patrick, having examined the actual parts, also makes the point that there are some parts that seemingly don't have to be there at all.
I noticed “problems” with the vertical dispersion of this tweeter array. The highs seemed to change a lot with small changes in listening position height. No big deal I guess, just something I noticed with the impact monitors I owned.
Hi @travbrow

Part of it is by design. Having a tight beam means less room interference. The speakers will sound more like headphones when you are in the sweet spot.


But part of it was how they tweeters would remain integrated off axis. That part is clearly lacking based on the measurements.

@travbrow.   My point/ question was that this is not an expensive or exotic tweeter.... so how well does it do piano... or trumpet... or cymbals.... or saxophone or other hard to get right tones?  Is the tone/pitch good or is it outstanding?   All of the reviews of the models with this array would seem to point toward outstanding.  What was your observation?


As for using 6 tweeters to act as a midrange because of being lighter weight and hence faster... based on price alone the 6 tweeters would be similar to a good midrange driver... presumably the “sound” must be better or why go this route?


The tekton array has garnered lots of good comments... so understanding “how and why” it works is interesting. 
One thing I know is not happening, is you are not getting better sound from lighter, more drivers. That's a myth that has been debunked numerous times.

In terms of extension, dynamic range and distortion, large drivers with equally large motors rule.
I wanted to say, in case this wasn't clear, that I am neither a fan boy nor a detractor of Tekton.


I think they are ugly, but I think the tweeter array is interesting, and their ability to sell the speakers at the prices they do is amazing.


I've also had issues with the crossover design, but a lot of the conventional wisdom thrown at them about the arrays having comb filtering, etc. has just not borne out to be true in any of the measurements.

My point is just I don't really wish to help or block Tekton sales, but I hope the work by Patrick over at DIY Audio helps those technical geeks here to learn a little more about what goes into evaluating speaker performance and design.
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On the ugly comment, I'm surprised they haven't done something about the looks by now.  It could be a real money maker to upgrade all of the cabinets with curved sides, magnetic grills or even some nice wood grain finishes.  

The woofers seem to be lowest bidder off the shelf varieties, but at least with improved cabinets and some grills, they could move into much improved sales.  
@213runnin


If you look at the linked posting by Eric on his website from back in January....he acknowledges that there is a market for better looking products as well as products containing state of the art components.


How do I know that Tekton's designer has his act together?  Because the drivers in my Tekton Enzo 2.7s are dirt cheap, yet they sound pretty good.  A perfect example of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts.  Now, if they would produce a speaker that was the size of my Enzos or the size of the Impact Monitors with quality drivers (maybe some kind of Be or Diamond tweeter) this company would be very hard to beat.  
Wouldn't they sound better with a single really good tweeter then a bunch of cheap ones?
We are back to pricing the steak at the restaurant.


These are relatively inexpensive soft domes, but very nicely performing. Probably perform much better than a lot of micro-motor tweets in famous named kilobuck speakers out there.


The interesting part of the array, @soundsrealaudio, is the large planar wave front. It can narrow dispersion, and increase clarity at the listening location. So it acts kind of like an ESL, only with a much smoother response and dynamic range! :)


Again, I'm not the biggest fanboy in the world of Tekton. I'm just saying, this is a novel approach, and an interation on ideas from the 80s and it is executed well and at a very fair price point.
Snapsc, most people would agree that talk is cheap.  For example, it’s easy to say that the looks of his speakers could be improved, etc.  It’s quite another thing to actually do anything about those very plain looks,

My comment was in part an observation of Tekton’s product line over the last several years.  They’ve had a long time to make improvements and are only now paying lip service to the issue.  Offering different paint colors is just putting lipstick on a pig.  

Danoroo, my comment on cheap off the shelf drivers wasn’t a knock on sound, but on age.  Will such drivers last 15 years?  I can guarantee that they will suffer worse long term with sunlight than others with more robust materials.  And I’m really hoping that at least the surrounds are rubber and not foam. 

Hi erik, I have PM'd you with a question.
Hey Jetter,

For technical questions like that, DIYAudio is a better place than Audiogon. :) 

Best,

E
erik,

You say you are "...neither a fan boy nor a detractor of Tekton," yet you are the originator of this thread and the most frequent responder. I have to ask you, what is your affiliation with Tekton?

Please don’t tell me that you are just an enthusiastic audiophile trying to spread the gospel of Tekton because they give you goosebumps.
tonykay, your way off base on your insinuation towards erik, to the point it makes one wonder what your beef is. erik doesn’t own Tekton and is just describing the different technology used in the tweeter array of the speaker.

Your adding the drama.
Hey Tonykay :


You say you are "...neither a fan boy nor a detractor of Tekton," yet you are the originator of this thread and the most frequent responder.


I have no financial interest in Tekton or any other. I make my own speakers, and like to talk technology.  If you'd like to build my speakers, the design is free and here:


https://speakermakersjourney.blogspot.com/2017/12/snr-1-two-way-high-end-diy-monitor.html


Please don’t tell me that you are just an enthusiastic audiophile trying to spread the gospel of Tekton because they give you goosebumps. 


I haven't actually heard Tektons! :) 



My point to this thread was there were some Tekton threads about the tweeter array which weren't rooted in very good speaker/acoustics theory, so I thought I'd point A'goners to some really good analysis by someone I admire over at the DIYaudio thread.  My hope is for armchair speaker critics to see how Patrick deconstructs them and compares them to other types of arrays.


As I've said before, there's good and bad points of the Tekton designs, but the array is innovative and worth discussing more accurately.

Best,
E


jetter,

erik did a good job of explaining himself, but I'm sure he appreciates your leaping to his defense. I really have no issue with erik, I'm just tired of these random and all too frequent Tekton threads.
tonykay…..Erik is a nicer person than I am.

In my world its not ok to make-up insinuations about someone when you haven't bothered to invest the time to know their interests. That's whether or not you are tired of Tekton threads.
I cracks me up when someone has a problem with a Tekton post. I have the double Impacts and enjoy them with my Parasound equipment, I think they do a nice job of reproducing my Tidal selections. I watch these posts go from something informative to another Tekton bashing session and I wonder why you can’t just keep on reading and keep your opinions to yourself. I don’t comment on many things that I may not agree with because I’m sure you guys don’t give a crap about what I think and I’m good with that. There’s an old saying that if you don’t have something nice to say, keep your comments to yourself, why is that so hard?
erik

I am not sure how you could possibly assume that a large number of tweeters is going to narrow the dispersion….I was watching a nice story about how they were able to photograph a black hole . With telescopes in Antartica, Chile and a number of other countries. They had to focus the incoming radiation….well they used extremely sophisticated devices to accomplish that feat. Not sure a bunch of tweeters is going to focus quite that well.

I do like the " box fee " sound of ESL's but to my ears the focus seems to move around. An analogy would be watching a 3D movie, a good 3D movie. Not quite real and a little shaky. The attraction for most is the unboxed sound and not the " pin point " imaging.

Not sure how you might conclude that the performance of each tweeter might "best" that of much more high end tweeters.
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I am not sure how you could possibly assume that a large number of tweeters is going to narrow the dispersion…


I'm not assuming, I am estimating. It's called physics. The larger the effective radiating surface, the lower the frequency at which beaming occurs. Basic principle of driver and speaker design.  See the analysis over at DIYaudio which includes the drivers, crossovers, and beaming.



Not sure how you might conclude that the performance of each tweeter might "best" that of much more high end tweeters.


What I said was much more nuanced than this, but if you believe that MSRP = High End, we will have to disagree forever. What I actually said was:


[Tweeters used by Tekton] are relatively inexpensive soft domes, but very nicely performing. Probably perform much better than a lot of micro-motor tweets in famous named kilobuck speakers out there.


Yes, I said they are high value and there are some tweeters out there I really don't like, which are those used by Focal and B&W with tiny motors. I stand by that. I don't like the sound of them and never will, when compared to a well made, full motor version even at these value prices. If Tekton charged 10x what they do, would you suddenly call them high end?



Best,

E
BTW, I use a version of a ring radiator previously used by Krell, Sonus Faber, Magico and YG Acoustics in my desktop monitors. It's not that much more expensive (at least at retail) than the tweeters Tekton is using.


My point is, judging performance on price alone is really not a good idea.
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I don’t get it with you and your strange obsession with giant motors made of lousy magnets.

I call slander. Where have I been obsessed? I just don’t like micro magnet tweets, based on sound, measurements and compression. They tend to suck. If I was obsessed with anything it would be with good AMT tweeters. The tweeters I like are some liked by many top brands too, so what IS your problem with them?

I don’t get your strange obsession, @kosst_amojan, with comb filtering, even when it’s been proven that

  1. You don’t know how to read measurements
  2. They don’t actually have comb filtering
  3. You wouldn't know what comb filtering sounds like if your life depended on it.
But hey, bring that up a few more times, please.


Anyway, there’s not much more useful stuff I can add here. As I’ve repeatedly stated, my goal here was narrowly focused: I wanted to discuss the innovation in the tweeter array accurately and point those who are curious to more resources to see how they can be analyzed.


It was never to sell Tekton, or to nit pick their aesthetics or every electro-acoustic design choice.


As I’ve said before, the tweeter/mid array is curious and innovative, and in that sense should be pretty exciting to speaker design geeks in the same way planar speakers and large speaker arrays like the IRS or McIntosh brands have used in the past. Unless you are named "kosst" in which case "comb filtering" reflexively exits your mouth with little idea what you mean.


For certain, cost, aesthetics, pleasure and value are not things I want to rehash here as all that gets us far afield from the "hey, they are doing something cool and interesting" discussion I wanted to have. Perhaps one of the few, truly innovative things I've seen come down the speaker design pipe in a long time.

Best,
E
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First a disclaimer.. I don’t own currently Tekton and I haven’t heard the array. 


I like what Eric has done for two reasons. 


1.  He designed something he knew from theory might be problematic.  Then he tweaked it and probably demo’d it for people and then retweaked and re demo’d over and over... and finally brought the product to market.  The market listened to it... they measured it... and a lot said we like it... and many bought it... and I’m certain that further tweaking is under way that will bring forward more improvements. 


2.  Often times, it takes challenging science and conventional thinking to advance the state of the art. 


If if you go back and look at Tekton circa 2013 and prior... really nice wood grains were an option... but Be and ribbons were not. Over the next 5 years, I suspect he got a lot of calls asking for painted options, for Be, for a ribbon option and he responded... and the market responded by saying we like what we hear. 


As as I see it, he is helping to change the market and grow the market with his actions... and we all benefit.... why?  Because KEF, Jim Salk, Spatial, et al are doing the same thing... pushing the conventional boundaries and thinking. 


Final thought... I owned Tekton Lores and loved them. I own Salk Veracity STs now and love them also. Both of these speakers are a lot more musical than what I owned 20+ years ago. So my message to everyone making audio products is ignore imposed constraints and conventional thinking when possible and keep pushing the boundaries. 
mastercraft1990,

You wrote, “...I’m sure you guys don’t give a crap about what I think.”

Well now see, there is something we can agree on!
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 Does this post have merit?Maybe/ maybe not.Audiogon is as stated on their logo  "the high end audio community" so just maybe this post is more suited for the DIY forums.IMO the problem and the flaming is as seen in the first followup to this post " Oh please, not ANOTHER Tekton thread!" is a constant  pushing this company down our throats by a handful of users and one reviewer .Ive heard the monitor only ,nothing up the chain but absolutely nothing i would bother with.Maybe give us users who don't feel Tekton is the greatest ever a break from this non stop "free advertising"or move it over to a Tekton forum which i'm sure there are.The speaker forum section I avoid now most the time,much better info in the amp,cable,digital,analog sections for  what I thought this site was intended ..the highend community,IMO.
This thread has merit because the community talks tech all the time and there was a lot of tech talk about how the tweeter array worked that was not very well informed.

Personally, I'd rather not talk about whether they are decent speakers or not. :)


Best,

E
Maybe,the missed point is Tekton and its fan base make this speaker forum a non read with its continuous and relentless postings ,comments,recommendations for the 21st century greatest speakers available.I see how the post could be interesting reading,but not now ,not at this time.For me and im guessing others.
Pretty easy way around that chief. If its got Tekton in the title of the thread don't read it. 
Tempest, teapot, but honestly this thread would have stopped ages ago if we weren't arguing over whether this thread should be here or not. 


:D :D :D

My interest in the subject matter has always been narrow and limited.
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Hi Eric @tektondesign 
You could have let this thread die. I was ready for that.
But please, it isnt just American brands who have shipped production over seas. Please don't disrespect Americans all by themselves.
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What's wrong with Eric Alexander explaining his tweeter array? He has his patent doesn't he? What's the big secret? Most explanations about this array are "Vague" at best.
I think the discussion in DIYaudio are pretty comprehensive.
Thank you Erik for starting this interesting topic as well as your contribution to this forum. Hope to hear more from others about speaker design.

Regarding ss amplifiers, thanks to people like N. Pass, the DIYaudio community has never been more exciting.   

...just wish others would follow in his footsteps.

Sigh, if only my desktop firewall would allow me to browse the DIYAudio forum during the day!