What's up with Talon?

Has anyone here heard if Talon Audio is in trouble? Some
posts on audioasylum indicate possible problems.
Designer Thierry Budge left the company. I don't know much else.
They sure aren't selling the heck out of their speakers, that's for sure. Good enough sounding speakers, probably not a good marketing Co. however...
I spoke to Mike the other day, he was out of the country for a few weeks. He is very busy with a new model coming out last time we spoke.

Happy Listening.

I know there most popular model (Khorus?) it's price in the used market dropped like a stone when the newer model came out a year or two ago.if interested in buying look to used market and compare the two.Know that there was post a while back where people were asking 'why is this happening" but the possible improvement verusus the huge slash in used market a number of responders were skeptical that you could get that much more from same basic design that had benm upgraded.Man when you think about it is am,zing how many audio companies survivbe at all given the num,bers of competition.
Spoke with Mike recently and asked him that very question point blank....

Was told that the designer leaving (only one of several on staff) was VERY mutual and that it had more to do with differences in design and opinion then anything else. And that the decision for the designer to leave was made and implemented even before the Firehawk began; it just took a while to get to the public.

Mike's an amazingly good guy who has been going through some personal hell and is now, finally, ready to give his all to Talon with no distractions.

Plus, apparantly he has some financial backing for the company that is strong, suportive and very interested in seeing him succeed.

He made it very clear that Talon is here for the long haul and is already working towards long term plans, new (even better) speakers and loftier goals.

Watch out Logan and Wilson, here comes Talon!!!
How would the contributors to this thread compare Talon firehawks to comparably priced speakers of other well known companies? It sounds that they are technologically as advanced as any brand out there, but I have not heard a lot about them, nor are there many in the "virtual systems". There are 2 pairs of the firehawk diamonds currently for sale here, as well as a non diamond firehawk and the prices seem reasonable given the price for a new pair.
The hallmark of Talon speakers is dynamics. They are amazing performers with pretty much anything, but the floorstanders, especially, have lower frequency extension that rivals speakers twice their size and cost.

I do not have extensive experience with the different models, just the Hawks and the Firebirds. You might want to E-mail "Bigkids" directly as I think he has heard most of the line based on his writtings in these chat groups....

You will get slightly different sound from other speakers, but not better sound. Kharma's may be a bit better for jazz and small quartet, Wilsons may be better at large scale orchestral, and there are so many other great manufacturers it's crazy. Truthfully, they are all so good it's scary. Try to find the speaker that suits your needs best, then mate it with an amp and pre-amp that suite the speakers and your style well, and then make sure your wife won't throw you out of the house when she sees it all!!!

Happy listening.
Talon Audio, upon losing their former head of design, Tierry Budge, apparently has had to take a new look at their business model and product line. I was curious to see what their new speaker, the Firehawk, would sound like at the HE2005 show, especially in the areas of deep bass reproduction and dynamics. Much to my disappointment, when I auditioned (of all things) a "Kenny G" song (done with Toni Braxton, called "That Somebody Was You"), in which deep bass abounds, there was none to be had. To my understanding, this was supposed to be a new "statement" loudspeaker, but to my ears, it did not deliver. In the meantime, Tierry went on to a new company called Escalante Design, whose speakers are already garnering rave reviews. I have heard Escalante's speakers, and am extremely impressed; all the more significant when you consider that I CURRENTLY own: Genesis Vs, Talon Khoruses, Apogee Duettas, Snell B Minors, Ohm Walsh 4s, and various other speakers and subwoofers. What can I say? I like to play with speakers...but I will be getting rid of some of them in the near future, after my Escalantes arrive. As they used to say in Marvel comics: "'Nuff said."
I am a fellow Talon owner and a word of note/caution to prospective buyers. I don't know that the status of Talon is at the moment but if I was looking to purchase their product, I would be wary. I spoke with Mike Farnsworth 2 weeks ago because I had a bad tweeter in one of my Khorus X. At that time I also asked him about what center channel speaker and he said that he had a Peregrine X center channel that was just traded in. He offered it to me at a pretty good price and I agreed to purchase it. Well I sent them a check that they cashed back on Nov. 2 and still no speaker. However, what is more disturbing is that all my emails and phone calls have gone unanswered. I have been unable to contact anyone at Talon for over two weeks. When you call their main number you are presented with two options (1 Sales, 2 Support). Option 1 brings you to basically a distributer that is located in Ohio. They just take the orders and forward them along to Talon. At least that's what the person who answered the call told me. I've been leaving messages and send emails to mike@talonaudio.com all with no response.

This is pretty surprising because in past conversations Mike was very helpful and courteous on the phone. I'm not sure what to make of it all. I'm at the point now where I'm drafting a formal letter of complaint that I will send via certified mail. I will give Mike and Talon 10 days to respond and remedy this situation, after which I will file complaints with the Better Business Bureau, the Consumer Protection Agency, and the FTC under the 'Little Acts' guidelines. Finally, if it comes down to it, I will seek legal action.

I still have hope that this is all just some mixup and that perhaps Mike has been travelling the past few weeks. However, if they have time to cash a check they should be able to also have the time to ship the product.

Just one consumer's story.
Well, it figures that just after I write this, I finally get a call from Mike telling me that he will have the speaker shipped on Monday. He mentioned some sort of emergency and that he had to be out of town. I'm glad to finally hear back from him. I wasn't worried about having to wait to get the speaker but rather the lack of communication. I just didn't know what was going on. Plus, I'm not sure what their corporate structure is like there but it's strange to not be able to contact anyone. If someone could just have sent me a quick email saying something to the effect of "We have received your emails and messages and we are currently experiencing delays. Your speaker will ship in n days. Thank you for your patience". Well then everything would have been fine.

So now I eagerly await my new center channel. I can't wait. Well I guess I can since I have been.


You should be a bit more careful with your postings. I understand that you were abit concerned, but E-mails like yours have literally killed a company! Especially one going through some changes like Talon is.

The internet has become a posting board for gut reactions and knee jerk responses with no filter or lag time built in. A first reaction is usually inaccurate and an impule response is ALWAYS harmful.

You have now posted an E-mail on this site which will be picked up by every single person who is interested in buying a pair of Talons and uses Audiogon as a source of information; which for a small high end speaker like Talon is pretty much EVERY customer. If all they read is your first posting (and even if they read both) then you have done a great disservice to Mike and his company.

I know "freedom of speach" and all, but lets all be a bit more careful with our gut reactions. Small companies don't run like IBM and can't afford customer service like BUY.COM. Hell, my small store (and, NO, I don't sell Talon) is only open one day a week - and customers have to wait until the following week to get a response to their messages.

Forget Talon for a second. Let's just be more careful with our postings guys.

Sorry, but I don't think Nisi was out of line at all. His post was respectful, gave Mike the benefit of the doubt, but expressed concern over something he has every right to be concerned about. I did not find it to be "knee jerk" or a "gut reaction". He attempted to use the appropriate channels of communication for (what I consider) an excessive amount of time. Only then did he take his issue public. Good for him.

If you can run a company where 1-week (or over 2-week) turn-around time on customer support is acceptable...then hats off to you. However, the premium paid for product like Talon speakers is not just for the product itself, but for other tangibles and intangibles - customer service being but one of them.
My post was neithed knee jerk not was it impulsive. I beleive that I was more than patient given the circumstances. It is my opinion that if they had the time to deposit and cash my check then they should have been able to take appropriate steps to have the speaker shipped. At the very least, an email or phone call notifying me that they received payment and that the speaker would be shipped soon thereafter. I can understand that a small company faces many challenges in doing business and that shipping delays are to be expected. However, the lack of communication was of more concern to me.

Also, it seems I may be back in the same situation. After receiving a message on Friday, I have attempted to call Mike several times. I even sent him an email thanking him for his message. As of today, Tuesday, I still have not heard from him. Is the speaker shipped like he said he would in the message? I don't know because it seems near impossible to get a hold of anyone. That was my point.

I'm curious if the same would hold true if I called and specified I wanted to spend $50,000 on some speakers and that I needed them ASAP. I don't know.

One last thing and then I would like to consider this topic closed. Most of the equipment that I own is from small companies. One of the reasons that I prefer small companies is that I've found their service to be top notch. I am very, very happy with my Talon speakers. They sound amazing and I hope to be a part of the Talon family for a long time to come. I'm hoping that this incident is an isolated one and I'll leave it at that. Even great companies have problems every now and then and perhaps that was the case here. If there are other small companies that are reading this, I respectfully suggest that you do your best to respond to your customer's correspondance.

I will post a follow up once I get my speaker.


Check cashed on the 2nd.

Posted public complaint on the 11th.

Drafting formal complaint/threats letter to be mailed right away, also on the 11th.

Hmmm, 2nd to the 11th, 6 whole working days later?? Yeah, thats knee jerk!

I'm impatient too but... Scheesch!

Also, they may have wanted your CHECK TO CLEAR!
Again, forget Talon for a second.

Just keep in mind that ONE negative posting can be VERY hurtful to a small company while ten or more positive postings may still not be enough to generate a sale.

Considering the huge volume of great speakers out there, we are actively looking for reasons to cross a speaker manufacturer off of our short list when in the market for a new pair of speakers.

If a posting even suggests something negative about a manufacturer, distributor or retail store I can 100% guarantee you that there will be at least one person whose purchasing decision will be changed by that posting.

All I am saying is to be careful about our negative postings and give adaquate time to remedy the situation before posting ANYTHING. If you feel the nejed to post something to "Warn" potential buyers, then wait until the entire scenario has resolved itself and then post the whole story, including the way the company, store, etc. handled the solution.

As we all know, the times that problems exist is usually the opportunity to let the manufacturer, dealer, etc. shine and truly show their support. Half a story is worthless and usually only hurtful.

9 days, business days or not, is plenty of time to answer a customer whose check you have CASHED (not deposited, Mattnshilp), especially when there are rumors already running around about the company. If anything, as a business owner, I'd be right on top of it more than usual under Talon's present circumstances. What exactly would they be so busy with right now that they can't email someone who is concerned about a paid order?

And was it, BTW, necessarily a complete coincidence that Nvlashi heard from them just after posting what he did?

No sympathy for Talon here.
"What exactly would they be so busy with right now that they can't email someone who is concerned about a paid order?"

They could be plowed under replying to impatient customers! Especially considering the precipitous urgency due to the "rumors" and their "present circumstances."
Thank you, Opalchip, for supporting my comments.

YOU, yourself, state that there are RUMORS floating around the web! None of them founded in reality or fact. Hurtful rumors that are totally untrue if you actually go to the source and ask.

I'd like to start a rumor that you actually hate jewish people (just an example, I AM Jewish so I figure it was a safe example). I can guarantee you that someone will believe it and the rumor mill begins. Then someone else will accuse you of being an antisemite when you make a comment about liking bagels or something.

The internet is dangerous. Rumors go unchecked and strengthened. In this case, Mike of Talon didn't even know this thread existed until I told him about it. So we are all sitting here discussing the stability of his company as if we are stock holders and NONE of us has a damned bit of an idea as to what is actually going on!!!!

And FYI Nvlashi, Nrenter and Opalchip.... Mike was on holiday with his kids for the past two weekss or so and the company was pretty much closed other then production during that time, as far as I understand. Again, not 100% confirmed, but that's what Mike implied in a brief E-mail I just got from him.

So I have an idea everyone. Let's get back to talking about how good Mike's speakers are and how hard he is trying to provide us all with the most amazing product he can within the confines of a limited budget (whatever budget it may be). AND let's stop making up stories and complaining about crap because we are immature, inpatient and trigger happy to judge and post hurtful remarks as soon as the opportunity arrises.

There are jobs at many throw away newspapers across the country for people like that. They usually have headlines like," Boy has sex with girl for lunch and then eats her for dinner!" or "Elvis lives in my refrigerator!"
If Mike was on vacation, then there is no excuse for ther not being a simple message on his phone line indicating such. That tech has been in place for many, many years. And an auto-reply for his email stating he is vacation until such date, and to either wait or a contact number to reach in an "emergency".
This isnt brain surgery, and is irresponsible for any company to not take these simple steps to protect itself in such a volatile industry.
Hey, Nvlashi...

I read on an on-line forum that a guy got an e-mail from Mike at Talon that implied that he may have been on vacation for the past couple of weeks. He's not 100% sure, but that should be enough to help you rest easy.

If it's posted on the 'gon, it must be true.
I absolutely agree Jdcrox. No arguement there. And a simple message would have avoided this whole issue.

But I still stand on my statement that I think the posting was and will be far more hurtful then the 10 days or so the person had to wait for a response. Mike doesn't deserve to have negative postings about his companies stability and then panic postings saying,"Well, since I had read that the ocmpany was in trouble I got concerned."

The REAL truth is, if this thread had never been started then poor Nvlashi would never have been concerned about the companies stability and would never had reacted to the delay in his response and would never had posted the note he did...

Think about it!

It was not my intent to cause harm to Mike or his company. Nor was I ripping him here on this forum. As I stated in my original post, he has always been courteous, patient, and forth right with me when I have spoken to him. The whole situation with me was caused by a lack of communication. As I have stated, it doesn't matter to me if something is delayed and takes even 6 weeks to arrive. But what does matter is to have someone answer and respond to phone calls and/or emails. I work at a small company myself and if I'm away on vacation, I have an auto response stating that I am away and will respond when I get back. Also, if the person seeking help needs immediate attention, they can always be forwarded to someone who can help them. It has been my experience that effective communication is vital to any business, small or large.

Having said all this, I just spoke with him at length this evening and learned that he has indeed been away that past couple of weeks and has been taking care of some personal issues. I do feel a little remorse posting what I did because Mike is a really nice guy and Talon makes amazing products. I may just have really bad timing and caught him during a bad time frame. I respectively suggest that he look at providing another means of communication whereby when he's away tending to buiness matters or on vacation, another person can respond to phone calls and email. A company that makes a product as good as Talon deserves to have support that equals that product.

So the update to my speaker is that it is on the way (was shipped today) along with the replacement tweeter. Mike also very generously lent me his WBT crimp tool to use.

I'm thinking of purchasing a pair of Ravens to use as surrounds. Now that would be a great 5 channel system (Khorus X II Front, Peregrine X Center, and Talon Rears).
Thank you for that poinyent and intelligent addition. And thank you for proving my point even further. It's the people who AREN'T posting and are just reading in silence that absord this crap like an alcoholic drinks Coltrain.

This is getting nowhere. For those of you who feel the need, my point is going unheard. Please continue to post unfounded rumors and hearsay until the only companies that can survive are the huge giants. And then let's all pay their outrageous prices instead of thanking the little guy for offering high quality product for a reasonable price.

Talon is just fine!

There has been some disruption to to personal issues that have taken me away from work. My mother-in-law passed away from cancer late September. I was taking time off to take care of my kids so my wife could spend time with her mother. Also, since August I have been going through a divorce with my wife(timing is interesting?!) and have taken additional time off. The time off has proved to be successful for we have all legal issues resolved(as of last week) and are simply going through the rest of the legal process.

Unfortunately, due to all the time off taken I have dropped the ball on many issues. I have been feverishly catching up and will be back to normal by next week. As they say, "when the cat is away the mice will play". It is amazing how much more work is accomplished when I am at the office.

Finally, I have been up front and shared personal issues in explaining "what's up?". This does not excuse my neglect for handling or properly delegating business issues. This is only an effort to shed light on why there has been a disruption. I am taking a risk with this approach. However, I am passionate about Talon and the amazing loudspeakers we produce. This passion is also shared with the many customers who share this passion. Their patience and faith has been a real boost for me during the past several dark months. Their enthusiasm is invigorating and is why I am in this business.

Talon is committed to advancing loudspeaker design. Our current products are prime examples to this committment. Also, our committment to the upgradability of our products is another example. We have greatly increased efficiency, lowered THD, improved phase, and extended frequency extremes. These advancements are rewarding, but the customer's own satisfaction is the final reward.

Happy Listening,

Michael Farnsworth
Talon Audio

Am I to understand that my starting this thread may have caused Talon irreparable damage? It was certainly not my intent. As an owner of Talon Audio speakers, I have followed
with interest any magazine review,chat thread or 'for sale' add regarding their product that I could find. I've never assumed that seeing alot of their speakers up for salepointed to problems with the company. Nor has it bothered me that their head designer moved on. Those are some of the issues that have been brought up in response to my initial question. What has concerned me is my local dealer dropping their product, a noticable decrease in marketing efforts (not the least of which is a for all intents and purposes dead web site),and an all to familiar voice mail message when trying to phone them.

But all that aside, my concerns were actually addressed early on. Both Bigkidz and Brieshayna indicated that they had spoken with Mike at Talon and that all is well (at least as well as things can be for a small manufacturer in the world of specialty audio). What does bother me now is your suggesting that I was somehow ignorant of the effects that my posting could have on a company such as Talon. I was seeking information regarding the status of a company whose products I hold in high regard. That information was not necessarily easy to find through traditional means.Was this irresponsable on my part? I don't think so.If Mr. Farnsworth is as you have said now aware of this thread, then maybe he could find the time to address the concerns voiced here himself.Other manufacturers have contributed on A'gon before. If he is to busy with his duties running Talon to make this possible, then all the better. Perhaps you can fill us all in.

(p.s.....To avoid confusion, note that my original posting was made using my e-mal address. I have since remembered my log-in and password.)

Thanks for the update. I was not berating you. it's just that I have actually seen two companies fold indirectly due to rumors and hearsay (totally untrue mind you) that were started on this very Audiogon posting site. Not completely due to it, but as a result of the comments and concerns posted, his sales dropped precipitously within 4 weeks of the postings and the thread that followed.

I totally agree that Mike needs to fine tune things a bit, and I'm sure he will - especially after thsi little incident.

But for now let's get back to talking about Talon speakers....

It sounds like your system is going to be pretty sensational. Have you spoken to Mike about designing a bipolar speaker for on-wall rear mounting situations. It seams as if many people are starting to use a full 5.1 or 7.1 Talon system and that would make a nice addition... Let us know how it sounds when it's all up and running. And what equipment are you driving it all with? One monster multi-channel amp or separates?

Wow...What timing on my last post.

Sorry to hear about your situation. You certainly provided more information than any of us had any right to expect. I sincerely hope that my posting this thread didn't have the adverse affects Mattnshilp feared. My best wishes for your future. I look forward to dealing with you again.

As I stated in my previous post, my concerns were addressed early on. Talon is alive and kicking, which is what I was hoping to hear. I do regret, however, that you would consider my last contribution to this thread crap, be it poignant and intelligent or otherwise. Again, my purpose was not to spread rumors or further speculation about a company's demise. I was seeking information from someone who had it to give. Was I wrong to use the phrase "in trouble" or ask about "possible problems"? In hindsight perhaps I was. But I had nothing else to go on. Before I am going to commit financially to a company, I prefer to have some idea about how steady the ground is under that company. Especially in the high end audio world. As someone who purchased one of the last new Threshold T-200's before that iteration of the company went under, I have experienced the negative. I am relieved to hear that is NOT the case with Talon.

(p.s....One more time for any of you bottom feeding silent types who are drinking this up like your favorite cheap swill...That is NOT the case with Talon.

After speaking with Mike and some other speaker designers/manufacturers at length about the pros/cons of bipole/dipole vs. direct radiating surrounds, I'm leaning towards buying some full range surrounds like the Raven. I've been looking at some high end surrounds like Revel, Wilson, and the Aerial SS3. I spoke with Klaus over at Odyssey Audio and they've got a very interesting product which has received little to no press. It's a 2'x3' speaker that is 3 inches thick and has a frame around it. You supply them with whatever artwork you want and they laser scan and print the same art work onto an acoustically transparent canvas. So basically you've got art work that are your speakers. The use all ScanSpeak drivers and frequency response is excellent, down to 45Hz at -1.5db. The idea of having some Picasso prints hanging on the walls as surrounds is pretty cool. Plus the price is $2000 which given the quality of the drivers and the ingenuity of the product, isn't bad at all.

So now it's a decision of whether to go with the Ravens or try the Odyssey product. The only hindrance I have with the Odyssey speakers is that because of the strange and irregular dimensions of my room, there really are no side walls which have the necessary space to mount them. One sidewall is 15 from the listening position, the other is 6 ft away and slightly ahead of the listening position. Not ideal to say the least. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of options with rearranging the room layout. Perhaps my next apartment. In this particular configuration, the Ravens may work out better. However, it would be nice to have the rears be located above the listening position and with the Ravens that won't be possible. Decisions, decisions.

I own a full Aerial Acoustic surround set-up (10T's up front, CC3 center and SR3 surrounds ) and am VERY happy with it. I have always thought the SR3 surrounds did an excellent job of doing what they do. But my room has the necessary rear wall to provide adaquate rear reflections to make the dipoles do what they are supposed to. My two channel system is totally separate.

I own a custom home theater company and frequently encounter rooms that are not amenable to bipoles (which really require very specific room geometry to work to their greatest effect). The best choice IMHO is a direct radiator placed approximately 2-4 feet behind the listening position facing either backwards if there is something to bounce off of or straight out into the room; not pointing at the listener. The goal of a surround is to provide NON-point specific dispersion - that's why dipoles are ideal.

I have found these techniques work rather well for home theater. If, however, you are doing this for SACD/DVD-A multi-channel recordings then a complete direct radiating system is better suited to reproduce the surround channels. Of course, if you are doing an SACD/DVD-A surround system for multi-channel recorded music only, then the speakers themselves need to be placed in a different positions altogether...

if you want to draw out your room and scan or digi-photo it and E-mail it to me, I'd be glad to help as best I can. Just E-mail it to me and I'll see if I can make any suggesitons.

Bye the way, I am not trying to talk you out of the Ravens as they are an amazingly good choice for your needs. And if you already have Talon mains then your best bet is to match everything up Talon with the mains...


PS- Isn't it more fun talking about this kind of stuff? :-)
Mike has had my speakers for 4 long months! will not return my calls. I'm thinking maybe he is going out of Business?? can't git any answers need help.
I E-mailed Mike regarding an order that I have pending and mentioned your name and your unhappy posting. Hopefully he will respond.

I know he's not great about answering voice mail messages left on his # at the office. Try E-mail maybe...

hello goners, its been 5.5 months since any comments about talon .. any news out there about the co. and circumstance surrounding them?>... they made? excellent product and ihope mike is still in business... any comments would be appreciative... thanks... ps. sent email on 5-11-06 and it was returned........
I'm certainly not "in the know" but things haven't looked good. Thier website is down. I've really enjoyed the talon products. I've got the early version of the ravens and a later version of the khites (center and rear). I'd love to complete the system with a ROC sub. Hopefully they'll be back.

SHERPA hello ,your right ,their product was excellent and still one to beat!i have the khorus x series 2 and wont be giving them up any time soon.. hope talon comes back, we will all benifit musically speaking ...
They are without a doubt some of the best products available at any price. But I don't know what they're future is. I spoke to their national rep/distibuter at TMH Audio and was told that even they (Talon's own rep firm) haven't been able to get a response from Mike or anyone at Talon. They even went so far as to say that they still believe strongly in the Talon products, but right now are cautioning buyers as to the cloudiness of the situation. I really hope this is only a temporary bump in the road for what I believe to be America's best up - and - coming Loudspeaker manufacturer.
I agree Talon makes or made, whichever the case may be, incredibly musical speakers. I love my Peregrine X Mark IIs.
they look cool, too.

the speakers, that is
Anyone know if escalante desing has desappear?
And escalant-desings has desappear?

How i can contac?