What have other owners of Tekton Design Ulfberht Speakers discovered?


Now that I have lived with the Ulfberht's for close to a year I would like to share some assumptions about them with GON members, and see what conclusions that other Ulfberht's owners have come to based on their listening experiences. 

There is no doubt in my mind that the Ulfberht's are the most lifelike and musical speaker I have ever had in my reference system.  To think that a seven foot 21 driver speaker completely disappears in a totally accurate sound-stage,  (how large or small is based on the recording) like a small two way monitor is still a remarkable feat, indeed.  Many listeners to my home find it hard to believe how cohesive they are top to bottom and speak with "one voice".  Many large speakers can do "big" power music, but sound "big" on all music.  They can also blow out of proportion the size of individual players.  Not the Ulfberht's, they present any music in a natural manner, never exaggerating anything out of proportion.  Other special qualities of this speaker is it's overall "ease/effortlessness" regardless of volume levels, thunderous dynamics, its ability to pressurize the room with deep accurate bass frequencies and a sense of "aliveness" that you find in live music.

Some guidelines to optimism the Ulfberht's performance:

1) Get them at least four feet off the front wall and two/three feet off the side walls. My dear friend Ezra has his pair in a relatively small space, yet they sound beautiful.  Still, his pair is about five feet off the front wall and two feet off the side walls. 

2) I believe in most rooms a very slight toe-in gets you the the best center image, without narrowing the width of the sound-stage at all. The center tweeter should aim just on the outside of your head at your listening position.

3) Just like all Tekton Design speakers the Ulfberht's are a conduit, anything you put into them you will hear it.  Be prepared to use the finest source and amplification to tailor the sound of your system to your personal taste.

4) Even though the Ulfberht's are an easy speaker to drive, they love high current amplifiers to get the best out of them.  Right now, I have in for review a brand new model from Coda Technologies called the Number#8, beautiful looking with blue lighted meters, which has the current capability of 150 Amperes on a peak!  Without a doubt the Coda Number#8 is a superlative amplifier, you will get all the details when I write the review for hometheaterreview.com, and might be the best amplifier that has ever driven my pair of Ulberht's.  I have have tried six highly regarded amplifiers, they are all excellent in their own right and sounded great on the Ulberht's.  However, the synergy with the Ulf's is very special in many ways.   

   
teajay
@teajay  Thanks for starting this thread. There are Ulfberth related posts in @corellis 's DI thread...perhaps those folks can post summary experiences and findings here as well.

Your guidelines on optimizing the Ulfberths are super helpful.

As you say... I was really surprised by how well Ezra's Ulfberth BEs perform in his room. Given this, I would have no hesitation in bringing a pair into my slightly larger room. 
Mine are 4 feet from the front wall and 3 from the sides. There is 8 feet between them with my seats 10 feet from them and they are toed about 33 degrees. I tried a number of positions beginning with them facing straight ahead but the stereo image was poor. To complicate matters I have 2 seats side by side so I wanted a stereo image that was the same from each seat so it needed to cover about 3 1/2 feet. After much grunt work the mission was accomplished as these speakers are not easy to move. 
Looks like there are only 2 Ulfberht owners out there........hmmmm.
mr-m I don't remember seeing this post back in October so it might have gone under the radar a little.Sometimes Audiogon will quickly take down some postings & leave others up for days. I only found it because I wanted to see what Teejay has recently posted.
Do you recommend using Herbie threaded studs to move these heavy speakers around?
Herbie’s Giant Threaded Stud Gliders are a great solution for isolation and stability benefits as well as making the speakers very easy to move.
"Do you recommend using Herbie threaded studs to move these heavy speakers around?"
Only if you have carpet , if you have wood floors they will mar them unless you put felt underneath them.
That it is not cool to use "want to go back to my place and I'll show you my Ulfberht" as a pick up line.....
Hello All,

I have had my set of Ulfs since June 2018 and absolutely love them! I came from a set of the Tekton DI-SE's which were great in their own right but the Ulfberhts are on a completely different level. As Teajay described in his first post, they really do "disappear" in regard to the spaciousness of the soundstage and ability to be "conduit" to the music. Mine are positioned a little closer to the back and side walls, 2 feet from the back and only 5 inches from the sides due to an "enclosure" where my projector screen is. They are toed in about 30 degrees but the driver array comes out past the sidewalls approximately 4 inches into the room which I am sure helps with the imaging. Speakers before the DI's and Ulfs were Def-Tech Mythos ST-L Super towers, and I auditioned Golden Ear's Reference, a variety of Maggie's and others before settling on the Ulfs. I also have an Ulfberhts center channel and am driving all three of the Ulfs with Wyred4Sound SX1000R Mono-blocks X 3. 
Can the Ulf's be driven by a 10-watt 211 SET amp?
I have several amps I use with my Ulfberhts one of which is the Pass Labs First Watt Sit 3 which is rated at 18 watts into 8 ohms and 30 into 4. The Ulfberhts are rated at 99dba efficient into 4 ohms which I think is a little generous. For almost all my music the SIT 3’s will drive the Ulfberhts but some recordings which are recorded at lower volume levels just don’t have enough volume for me. What the SIT 3’s do play sounds simply wonderful. To answer you question sutts I think you will encounter the same issue but what it does play at sufficient volume levels will probably be magical. 
 After 1 month of owning the Ulfberhts with a Lyngdorf 3400 powering these big speakers I am a very happy listener.
 I experimented with getting a wider sound-stage, as I am a sociable person, and usually have 2 people.
 With much persistence, I tilted the speakers forward approximately 1/2 inch and the sound-stage immediately widened to accommodate 2 people.
 Question: I jury rigged the raising of these speakers with whatever i could find.
 Is there more professional way of just raising the rear? 

@jujubeez  Congratulations, first and foremost. Happy to hear that you are a "Very Happy Listener" now. 

Depends on the isolation solution you are using. I can see doing so with IsoAcoustic GAIAs, Herbie's threaded Giant Gliders, SoundoCity outriggers, Townshend, etc. etc. (as some examples).
How do the Ulfberhts compare to other high end speakers (revel salon 2, Focal sopra 3 etc).

Also I wonder if anyone has heard the new BE version. All those Be drivers look amazing.
Just received mine on Friday, I have about 4 hours playing / listening and they still have a lot of break in to go, but I can tell how great they will be. I currently am driving them with Parasound JC1 monoblocks / JC 2 preamp.  Waiting on a pair of Allnic A6000s which have 300BXLS so they will produce 60wpc of beautiful SET magic.  Also waiting on an Ayon Stealth DAC/Preamp.   I am sitting about 18 feet away, have them approximately 11 feet apart, about 5’ from front wall and 3 1/2 off sides. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.  I love a big soundstage with accurate reproduction.  What is the typical break in time?  Also breaking in a new pair of anti able speaker wire as well.  Thanks, Bob
@rmd1114 Congratulations on getting the Tekton Ulfberths. Your choice of the Allnic and Ayon pairing should sound absolutely wonderful on this speaker. I imagine, as the Ulfs continue to break in, you will be in for quite a show with your Parasound gear. Keep us posted!
Anyone thoughts on how the Ulfberhts compare to other speakers?

I am about to listen to a used model with a central Be tweeter and surrounding fabric tweeters.
@smodtactical  Is your audition in a home setting or at a dealer? I'm curious about your take as well as the system components fronting the speakers you will be listening to.

Some reviewers have elaborated on comparisons to other speakers. 
@rmd1114 out of the box the Ulf’s were showing potential but they were like a puppy that was eager to please but the coordination wasn’t quite there. As they were breaking in ,I had to occasionally move them to get the stereo image I was looking for. All told I think I had about 100 hours on them before I was completely satisfied. Once they reached that point they literally disappear. One of my buddies was shocked at the soundstage stating “I didn’t think a speaker that big could disappear like that”. Also once they are broken in and you know how they sound,  they  will very quickly tell you whether any changes you make upstream are a positive or a negative.
I have had my Ulfberhts since early March. It is the most significant audio upgrade I have made in the last 40 years. I have never heard any speaker even close to this price that sounds like this. Their specialty is providing the illusion of live music. Listening to them is great fun. They were a great buy at $12K. At $9K they are a steal.

I have been using the Parasound JC2/A21 combo with excellent results. I am going to try a Yamaha A-S2100 next week.
Hello,

New member here. Just want everyone to know how others may use these posts for purchase decisions.

I plan to order the Ulfberhts by the end of this week. Since this will be part of a home theater system I plan to also order the double impact center wide speaker. The reason for upgrading my center is the ohm rating. Currently my Klipsch RC-64ii center channel is 8 ohms. Mind as well go 4 ohms across the entire front sound stage.
The Ulfberhts will be a serious upgrade from Klipsch!
@lwin  @tomlhuffman great to hear positive feedback on Ulfberht. How do you find the build quality?

Also what other speakers have you  listened to and that you compared to Ulfberht?

I see lots of positive sentiment about these speakers but also some people feeling they are not very good and cheaply made. What do you think ?
The notion that a large speaker cannot disappear is a misnomer. It is relatively easy for a large speaker to do this, and it does not take special technology, patents, promotion, etc. I did that with the Vapor Audio Joule White, the Kingsound King III, the Legacy Audio Whisper DSW Clarity Edition, etc. (all reviewed). 

In addition, any speaker can show you the changes upstream. This is in no way unique to the Tekton designs. 

Line source and arrays will appeal in some respects, but they have serious drawbacks in some performance parameters. It is best for the prospective customer to understand those trade-offs. 

The dream of SOTA sound on the cheap is alive and well.  :) 


First, to ,douglas_schroeder, my fellow professional reviewer, your statements in your first two paragraphs are very truthful about reference level large speaker designs.

However, if you are implying that Tekton Design Ulf speakers are either a line source or arrays is not valid.  Because of Eric's breakthrough you have none of the sonic shortcomings of either of those designs.

Secondly, smodtactical, the build quality is excellent and I have compared my pair of Ulfs to scores of other speakers and still have not heard one that I would replace the Tekton speakers with solely based on performance.
teajay, that’s not what I heard when I listened to the Impact monitor at AXPONA last year. I heard the same sort of indistinctness that plagues line source and array designs. I went from that room to the Ryan Audio room where I believe the S610 bookshelf was playing - a "night and day" difference" so to speak. The cleanness and imaging of the Ryan was stupendous in comparison to the Tekton. No, it was not the electronics, but a fundamental difference in the design of the speakers. That was enough to tell me that at least in that iteration (or, precisely, that model) the Tekton design is plagued by many of the same problems as line source and array speaker systems.

Maybe that has been addressed since then. Maybe it is less pronounced with the larger models. I will remember your comments and refrain from an absolute judgement, especially since I have not reviewed them. But, seeing as how the similar methodology is being followed as with the Impact, I’m inclined to sit with my conclusion in regard to the sound until I get another chance to hear a Tekton, perhaps a larger one at a show.

BTW, modifying an array and giving it a different name to distinguish it from an array is not terribly important to me when my ears hear some of the same issues that are generated by arrays. I should also add that I can see why combining a multiplicity of dynamic drivers in such fashion would be appealing; a cross between a panel-like wall of sound and a dynamic speaker's impact. I would think it a valid and powerful design to certain listeners.  :)
I will not bad rap the electronics that were used in the room at Axpona were the Double Impact monitors were, but they were far from reference level, indeed.  Also, were the speakers were placed in the room lead, along with the upstream gear, to them sounding dreadful.  When I had them in-house for review they sounded  at least  at the same level as the excellent Ryan Audio monitors if not better for less then half the price of the Ryan Audio speakers.

You don't live to far away, you are welcome over to hear the Ulf or Moab speakers setup for optimum performance.  
teajay, that is very cordial of you, and I think a winning way to approach it. I recall a few instances where I had a difference of opinion and said to someone, "Come on over and hear for yourself." There certainly is no replacing the experience to discuss a product! 

I'll send you a message.  :)

@smodtactical I have been a Martin Logan owner for years. I love the sound of electrostatic speakers as I feel they capture more of that “live sound”. I did try a pair of PSB Imagine T 3 speakers before the Ulfberhts : they sounded very nice but my ML Summits were better.
The build quality is good. I did have an issue with one of the speaker binding posts which I was able to overcome. The paint used on my speakers took quite awhile to stop off gassing so if someone has chemical sensitivity in your house it could be an issue.  
There is no getting around the fact that these speakers are very large. It is like having Darth Varner and his twin in the room with you.
In hindsight I should have paid for a custom color & I didn’t have the option to add a few beryllium tweeters. It was either all or nothing. These speakers are very revealing and will tell you immediately if changes made upstream are a plus or minus. 
I am delighted with these speakers and would not hesitate to purchase them again with the changes previously noted.

@iwin what other speakers have you compared them to ?
@smodtactical ideally to compare speakers they should be side by side. Where I live the two hifi dealers top out at around 5 to 6$K for a demo pair of speakers. The PSB Imagine T 3 is close in price to the 9K$ I paid for the Ulfberhts. The critics love them. They were nice sounding speakers but my Logans were better. I swapped them for a pair of ML 212 subs.The Ulfberhts are fast like an electrostatic speaker but they pressurize a room like only a cone speaker can. 
is there a model in between Double Impact and Ulfberhts?
Yes, the Moab is at the 4500.00 price point:  https://www.tektondesign.com/


I love the line "because of Eric's breakthrough...."  Once again teajay tries to balance on the edge of a razor. 
The Stereo Times website list of the "MOST WANTED COMPONENTS OF THE DECADE" just went up this morning.  Along with three other Tekton Design models, the ULF's appear on the list.

Congrats to the owners of these great speakers!
Ok...let me add to this thread on these seemingly incredible loudspeakers. I am ordering a set of Ulf's based only on reviews since it seems that to audition a pair you would have to know someone with them. I am currently running Scansonic MB6's, a JLA Fathom F113v.2 and the JLA CR1 crossover....My Amp(s) are Odyssey Stratos (Extreme Version) Mono blocks. I love them and these new speakers would actually give them a chance to work instead of happily loping along crossed over at 90hz...with the 3000watts of the JLA doing all the work.

Reason I want to try to Ulfs even though I am happy with my system, is that I know there is much left on the table as far as how "good" it can get and I do know that most every speaker I would love to have is way out of my price range.....BUT it seems the Ulfs have the level of sound quality at a much more affordable level and I want to see where it can take my set up (I have not read one single negative word by an owner or reviewer)...
I have a dedicated listening room 14 x 26 with 21ft ceiling, top quality acoustic panels and corner traps etc...I am where I want to be with cables, interconnects, power cords, line conditioner, ground box...etc......NOW I WANT THE SPEAKERS!!!

Stay tuned...my order goes in tomorrow as I am still deliberating over color...But I think I am going with either the dark grey (probably easier re-sale if that ever became necessary) or blue in standard finish and will request the high frequency tweeter in Be. Whichever speakers sound best....the others (which are in prefect condition) will find there way here on Audiogon and defray a good portion of my outlay on the Ulfs.
@swoody Congratulations! Looking forward to your impressions of your Ulfberht speakers as well as the comparison with your Scansonic anchored system.
I have the ulfs and been wait8ng a couple of months for the center channel to show up before I install them. Also did the Be tweeters on all. 
@speedbump6  Interesting...wonder what the timeline will be for Ulf's?? I am up in the Bering Sea at the moment but should be home in a month....Also I wish there was a way to know if the Be tweeters are money well spent?! Obviously we know it is the material of choice on most top speakers other than diamond layering....Just wish there was a way to listen....Oh well! Like I say, I'm going with just the main high freq. tweeter in Be. No matter what I am certain I will love this speaker! 
When I ordered was told about a month, but it’s taking longer for the center channel. I heard their times are more like two months now, and I’m a bit past that. I did just the high frequency ones myself. Eric seemed to think it was a worthwhile upgrade when I asked him. The center channel is a special one designed specifically for the ulfs. Had a member on AVS forum who had just recieved his Ulfs tell me about it, so I made sure to ask for that also. 
@speedbump6  so what do you think of the ulf beryllium  ?
Also for those that heard them how do they compare to other speakers from well known makes at similar prices?
Imagine how much better the speaker would be if you fully modded the xover.....OMG times infinity! Very hard to remove (hot glued in) but if you removed it and moved it outside the speaker and upgraded every part on it.......OMG. In series with the midrange is an OK cap, an OK inductor and a OK resistor (I believe, that is what a person who looked inside his Encore told me). OK to superb is a big distance. If I were ordering this speaker I would have Eric hang all the wires from the drivers out of the back of the speaker and the stock xover could be then soldered to it.  With the stock xover already outside the speaker it will already sound better without the vibration of the speaker effecting it. Then you could take your time and mod the xover part by part and go into Nirvana one part at a time.....would be fun.
I am still waiting on my center channel, so have not set up the mains to try them yet. I emailed last Friday and got a response that they’re working to get speakers,out. I called this Monday and spoke to Eric, and never got a return call or email. He said he had 300 speakers to try to get out, though I doubt those three hundred were ordered close to three months ago now. I guess I’ll call again on Monday, I have a special case where I can’t show up with any of the speakers u til I have them all. 
@speedbump6 Just curious why are you waiting for the center channel, why not just set up the mains and start enjoying?
300? Wow... seems Eric is killing it!
I am emptying a storage I had from a prior home from 11 years ago. This was before I was married, and I need to have these all at one time so the wife thinks they’re from the old house, and not something I just went out and purchased, along with al lot of other equipment. I get one shot at it, and need to have them all before I finish emptying the storage. Otherwise they would already be in use.
That is why I cancelled my order a while back. Poor communication and a delivery date that was unknown. Also he wanted the money up front.
Good luck.

ozzy
Before these speakers are sold  do they play every different type of music on them ?
@speedbump,

that is hilarious although I can relate. I bring stuff in regularly but use the power of 10 rule. It costs a tenth of what I really paid for it unless I got a muthu of a deal then I’ll brag about it. 
Good luck my man!