NEW WAF-1 speakers by Tweak City Audio - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 273 Old 08-17-2009, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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http://tweakcityaudio.com/index.php?...emart&Itemid=1

Music so high you can't get over it....music so low you can't get under it!
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post #2 of 273 Old 08-17-2009, 11:06 AM
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I thought they had closed down?
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post #3 of 273 Old 08-17-2009, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Nope.....things got real slow, and a wee bit sideways. But, they (Craig and company) just rolled out their new WAF-1s. My understanding is subs are in the works, too.

Music so high you can't get over it....music so low you can't get under it!
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post #4 of 273 Old 08-17-2009, 03:34 PM
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Yet another cheapo speaker.

I guess there are more speaker brands than there are cereals and chips in the
supermarket.
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post #5 of 273 Old 08-17-2009, 03:36 PM
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Yawn... Old news, already posted a couple days ago... http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1170663
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post #6 of 273 Old 08-17-2009, 06:14 PM
 
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Graphic Guy - Thanks for the props. It will take some time, but as more people get a chance to hear these Danny Richie designed little gems, it is probable the term "cheap" will be replaced with "value".

Danny and our OEM did a terrific job of combining a furniture quality cabinet, high quality drivers and a well designed crossover which will allow an audiophile on a budget the opportunity to get a real wood finish speaker with excellent neutrality and dynamics at affordable prices.

The first purchasers are voicing their thoughts, and so far, it is positive.

Thanks again.
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post #7 of 273 Old 08-17-2009, 09:30 PM
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Rough crowd for you Craig...
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post #8 of 273 Old 08-18-2009, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandarf View Post

Yawn... Old news, already posted a couple days ago... http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1170663

Hilarious title on that thread! That was pretty shocking.
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post #9 of 273 Old 08-18-2009, 05:08 AM
 
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Matt has a rather dry sense of humour.
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post #10 of 273 Old 08-18-2009, 05:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

Matt has a rather dry sense of humour.

Nooooo.... no way NOT Matt.

BTW, congrats on the new toys Craig! I look forward to seeing/hearing them sometime.


John W.
Indy
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post #11 of 273 Old 08-18-2009, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

Graphic Guy - Thanks for the props. It will take some time, but as more people get a chance to hear these Danny Richie designed little gems, it is probable the term "cheap" will be replaced with "value".

Danny and our OEM did a terrific job of combining a furniture quality cabinet, high quality drivers and a well designed crossover which will allow an audiophile on a budget the opportunity to get a real wood finish speaker with excellent neutrality and dynamics at affordable prices.

The first purchasers are voicing their thoughts, and so far, it is positive.

Thanks again.

Hey Craig....glad to see these puppies hit the street. May be using these gems for a 2nd HT room. $600 for 6 speakers of this caliber, great looking, even better sounding, well....that got my attention.

Success to you and TCA for "birthing" your speakers. Now, about those subs.......

Music so high you can't get over it....music so low you can't get under it!
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post #12 of 273 Old 08-24-2009, 10:10 AM
 
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For an update - a few guys have received their WAF-1's, and my crack sales team (Jack and Ray) came to my place on Saturday to hear a 5.1 system.

The link is here: Listening Impressions of WAF-1's and new subwoofer

I am really looking forward to more people getting to hear these speakers - they are pretty darn good speakers, regardless the price.
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post #13 of 273 Old 08-24-2009, 10:13 AM
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post #14 of 273 Old 08-24-2009, 10:21 AM
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Can someone post the specs and measurements of the WAF-1? when they were first talked about oh....LAST YEAR I was interested because their price point was very good.


I think I was on a pre-order list for the Scamp 10 and original measurements look great but that was a long time ago too. Its great they have something on the street now.

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post #15 of 273 Old 08-24-2009, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

Can someone post the specs and measurements of the WAF-1, when they were first talked about oh....LAST YEAR I was interested because their price point was very good.

Link - Announcement of for sale and links

Link = TCA Store site with specs
(the site can be kind of slow to upload for some reason)


"$229 / pair - delivered in the continental United States
Special Gizmo v1.0M / pair of WAF-1 Package
For a limited time, we are offering a package of a Gizmo v1.0M AND a pair of WAF-1s for $309.00 delivered (in the continental United States). Regular pricing for the Gizmo V1.0M is $119.00 and a pair of WAF-1s is $229.00. "

----------------------------

Specifications
System: Two-way, direct-radiating system, vented enclosure with rear port
Finishes: Rosewood (wood veneer)
Drivers:
Tweeter = .787 inch (20mm) dome tweeter
Woofer = 5.25 inch (133.35 mm) doped paper cone woofer
Crossover point between tweeter and woofer 2000Hz
Frequency Response:
Port Open: 50Hz - 20kHz, +/- 3db from 65Hz to 18kHz
Port can be sealed for wall mounting; will work with 80Hz crossover point
Impedance: 8 Ohms nominal
Efficiency: 86dB (@ 1 watt / 1 meter)
Grill: Recessed; removable
Cabinet: MDF
Dimensions: 10.5" H x 7" W x 10" D (approx.)
Weight: 11 lbs each
Shipping Weight: 26 lbs. per pair
Additional Information:
Video Shielding: No (matters only for CRT/tube TV's)



Mike
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post #16 of 273 Old 08-24-2009, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graphicguy View Post

Nope.....things got real slow, and a wee bit sideways. But, they (Craig and company) just rolled out their new WAF-1s. My understanding is subs are in the works, too.

How do these compare to the X-LS models that AV123 used to sell?

I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. -- Winston Churchill
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post #17 of 273 Old 08-24-2009, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KlipschHead281 View Post

How do these compare to the X-LS models that AV123 used to sell?

Craig may (or may not) have compared them and would be able to answer.

Mark (mfeust @ TCA) posted here that he was going to compare the following:

- TCA WAF-1
- av123 X-SLS (1st)
- av123 Ref .5 (later after unearthing them from storage)

I think he got his WAF-1's on 8/22/09, so he hasn't written up a comparison yet.


Mike
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post #18 of 273 Old 08-24-2009, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_WI View Post

Craig may (or may not) have compared them and would be able to answer.

Mark (mfeust @ TCA) posted here that he was going to compare the following:

- TCA WAF-1
- av123 X-SLS (1st)
- av123 Ref .5 (later after unearthing them from storage)

I think he got his WAF-1's on 8/22/09, so he hasn't written up a comparison yet.


Mike

Thanks, one last thing, is it my eyes or do the drivers look like regular paper cones in the pictures in this thread but they look like composite on the TCA website? Was there a switch to a different supplier?

I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. -- Winston Churchill
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post #19 of 273 Old 08-24-2009, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KlipschHead281 View Post

Thanks, one last thing, is it my eyes or do the drivers look like regular paper cones in the pictures in this thread but they look like composite on the TCA website? Was there a switch to a different supplier?

The drivers changed.
Post #13 above has the new drivers (I'm told).

I'm ordering the Gizmo v1.0M/WAF-1 combo now, so I'll have them soon.
I really don't need them, but I think I have a good use for them.
I'm on the board of directors for a charity and will use them as a donation for an upcoming event.

Mike

PS - I think more "professional" photos will be coming soon and a site update.
BTW - I have no affiliation with TCA. I've just been on the TCA forum for a while following things.
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post #20 of 273 Old 08-24-2009, 04:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KlipschHead281 View Post

Thanks, one last thing, is it my eyes or do the drivers look like regular paper cones in the pictures in this thread but they look like composite on the TCA website? Was there a switch to a different supplier?

The carbon drivers looked cool, but sounded terrible. The drivers as we finished them measure and sound great - in fact, the measured out at +/- 2 dB from 68 to 18,000 Hz, and +/- 3 dB from 65 to 20,000.
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post #21 of 273 Old 08-24-2009, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

The carbon drivers looked cool, but sounded terrible. The drivers as we finished them measure and sound great - in fact, the measured out at +/- 2 dB from 68 to 18,000 Hz, and +/- 3 dB from 65 to 20,000.

Thanks for clearing it up, they look like great performers.

I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. -- Winston Churchill
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post #22 of 273 Old 08-27-2009, 08:36 PM
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This is what I have for some mini-review / comparisons:

Comparisons:
- Ray3 and Ajax (Jack) (@ TCA and TCA staff) - TCA WAF-1 vs. av123 ELT525M, Ascend 340, Dana 930
Ranking: Ascend 340 ~= Dana 930 > TCA WAF-1 > av123 ELT525M

- droht (@ TCA) - Ranking: av123 Ref 1 > Usher S-520 >> av123 Rocket RS250MKII > av123 x-ls classics (Ninja mods)
The differences between the 520s and the 250MKIIs are both significant and subtle to me. The Rockets do some things really well. I loved jazzy female vocal-type stuff on them. And they did nothing badly to my ears. But the Ushers take it another step. They really get out of the way of the sound, making me much less aware of speakers at all and feeling much more like I am "there". Great details and not a bit harsh.
I listened pretty extensively to Ref1s, 250MKIIs, ninja-modded x-ls classics and Usher S520s in the same set up. I rank them as follows: Ref1s followed very closely by Ushers. Much larger gap to 250MKIIs, smaller gap to x-ls classics. In my set up (nearfield, non-optimal, at moderate SPL) I actually prefer the Ushers to the Refs, but in a more conventional set up with less compromises I prefer the Refs.

- carpediem (@ TCA)
- "Overall, they are a neutral sounding speaker, which does much more right, than wrong, to my subjective ears."
- "The WAF-1 speakers did a good job with overall presentation. There was separation of instruments, as well as multiple voices in their proper placement. The mid-bass had proper pacing, and the overall sound was pleasing with a trueness to it."
- "Having you think I now believe the WAF-1 speakers are the be all to end all, and can be compared to speakers costing 5-10 times their cost, that would not be the case. In the end, we are talking about a capable, fun and enjoyable speaker coming in a little over $200, then including shipping/handling for a total of $229. Clean sounding, with decent bass, and an overall true presentation, which also throws a decent soundstage. All of this in a speaker which comes in real veneer, passes the thumbs up look from the family and is an overall pleasant sounding speaker."
- Other speakers discussed: ELT525M, X-LS Encore, Ref1 w/full Ninja work ; Tukan (fast, articulate and clean sounding) B&W matrix/805 (large soundstage and presentation with good pacing), ProAc Response One (overall good speaker, with very good spaciousness, but needed room)

- Mark (mfeust @ TCA) - TCA WAF-1, av123 X-SLS, av123 Ref .5
- "First impressions, nice sound, neutral and natural but not much bass at all. I let them play for about 20 hours before listening again. WOW what a difference in the bass, much better much lower. Obviously the 5.25 woofer will only go so low, good to about 60Hz in my room but the bass of this speaker down to the 60Hz is very good and tight. The biggest surprise to me was how much sound these little speakers can put out. The WAF-1 will fill any space in any home with more sound than anyone would think by looking at this speaker. Most instruments and vocals sound very real and believable on the WAF-1s."
- vs. av123 X-SLS: "...the X-SLS has more weight and more oomph but does not sound as natural as the WAF-1. I have always liked the sound of the X series speakers. I used the Zune > Gizmo > X-LS in my office 12 hours a day, 5 days a week for several years and really liked this sound. The X series speakers are just filled with warm and fuzzy. The WAF-1s are a great speaker for music and home theater in a small to medium room. They excel at being very neutral and natural sounding."
- vs. av123 Ref .5 (LINK - pending - he has to unearth them from storage):


Mike
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post #23 of 273 Old 09-01-2009, 11:35 PM
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I dunno, having these rear-ported seems a bit of a lost opportunity. You know that wives dictate placements as well as appearance.
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post #24 of 273 Old 09-02-2009, 04:32 AM
 
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The rear ports can be plugged, which makes for a 75 Hz rolloff at the typical sealed 12 dB per octave. This is excellent for on wall placement or for inside a cabinet, especially with an 80 Hz crossover.
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post #25 of 273 Old 09-03-2009, 03:30 PM
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I hope you guys don't mind if I post my review here as well. It probably should have been posted here instead to begin with.

Tweak City Audio WAF-1



Before I begin, I have a few things to say... 1) I write really long reviews...jeez. I apologize for that. 2) With that said, it's been a while since I have done this, so forgive me if I am not as methodical and thorough as I have been in the past. I doubt you'll mind, though, as it's long enough as is.

As many of you know Tweak City Audio was founded by fellow forum member and Audio/Video enthusiast, craigsub. With the economy taking a turn, and even though he had just gotten things off the ground, Craig decided to hold off on his plans and cease any further production for a while. Well, that time is over and this month TCA released their first speaker; a monitor-style 2-way called the WAF-1 (we all know what WAF means ).

I ordered a pair of the WAF-1’s, and they arrived Friday afternoon last week. They arrived much speedier than I thought, so kudos to Craig and his team for a quick delivery. The speakers were unmolested, but I sure was worried as the box had a nice punch/dent in it. Close inspection ensued and I discovered no driver or veneer damage (also confirmed in my listening sessions). The only aesthetic anomaly was what looked like a dirt mark transfer where the initial impact occurred. Oh well, I can live with a scuffed grill.

After running the speakers for 5-6 hours downstairs while doing chores upstairs, I went down for my first real listen. I was pleasantly surprised at how “BIG” and enveloping the sound was. The soundstage on Nine Inch Nails’s “The Fragile Left” was literally room filling. Now excited I ensured proper setup and toe-in, cleared the basement of the children’s toys and began to listen. After what seemed like 5 minutes of listening to Daryl Stuermer (it was really 40), I was interrupted and could not listen again until the following week. What I heard had me excited, mostly because the sound was impressive for such an affordable speaker. Still focusing on what I just heard I decided to break out a pair of speakers that I had forgotten I owned and compare them to the WAF-‘s at the next opportunity available. Those speakers were Canton LE103’s. I remember really liking the Canton’s when I purchased them just under a decade ago, and with the price being about double that of the WAF-1’s, not to mention the larger sized driver, I figured it wouldn’t be a fair fight. I was wrong.

The Tracks selected were chosen for no particular reason other than they are what I’ve been listening to lately. Incidentally they are pretty diverse and cover a few different genres of music. The music selection is as follows:

Rob Thomas – “All That I Am”
Daryl Stuermer – “Land Of Confusion”
Dream Theater – “Misuderstood”
Tangerine Dream – “Too Hot For My Chinchilla”
Jack Johnson – “Upside Down”
NIN – “Into the Void”
Diana Krall – “Temptation”
Joe Satriani – “Rubina”


Having the place all to my lonesome was crucial in order to be able to critically review the speakers, so thank God Tuesday was that day. After a quick level match settings check (used pink noise to find the proper dB on the preamp and marked the knob by covering it in masking tape, then notching where each speaker should be turned up or down to. Not exact science, I know, but I didn’t care). I kicked things off with “All That I Am” by Rob Thomas. The dinging of the xylophone (I assume that what it is) extended well beyond the speakers, almost sounding as it was next to me. It grabbed my attention quickly, putting a smile on my face. I know monitor style speakers are suppose to image well, but $229 monitors? Yup. Getting back to it, the vocals were clear and precise, being presented in a very large manner. “Big” and “full” are two words I wrote down while listening. Separation of instruments was also very good, as I easily distinguished everything including the different tones of the xylophone. In comparison, the Canton’s were also very clear, with a slight edginess to them. It became immediately obvious that this speaker had a “brighter” sound to it, with more sibilance/hiss. Some might prefer this because minute details are easier to hear, but I grew weary and fatigued by it later though the audition (more on that to come). Vocals were also big and tall, but thinner sounding. The sound stage was large and imaging was precise. I’d call it a draw as far as those two attributes go. Separation of instruments was also good, with the subtle nuances being a tad easier to hear through the LE103’s.

Next up was Daryl Struermer’s “Land of Confusion.” I love guitar, something that is fairly obvious if you know me. What can I say other than Daryl (ex-Genesis member) can play! Starting off with the Canton’s this time the instruments were clear, with an “in your face” presentation. The hits to the cymbals were a little shrill, with too much sibilance. Back in the day I was drawn to a brighter sound, as I didn’t know any better and maybe due to my room acoustics, but these days it’s just too much. Daryl’s guitar was very clear and had a big sound, though not as big as the WAF-1’s. It was also a little thinner sounding than I thought it should be. Maybe it’s the recording (we’ll see)? Bass was punchy and tight; slightly better than the WAF-1’s due to lower extension and larger woofer. Moving on to the the WAF-1’s was like listening to a better recording of the same song. There was no midrange thinness or forwardness to it. It wasn’t laid back, but rather smooth and groovy. This was the song that I started bobbing my head to and that really got me into the music. My focus shifted from “analytical reviewer” to “music lover.” What I did write down was that the ambience of the song was superb. Everything was captured pretty precisely. It was definitely a more “you’re there” experience than on the Canton’s. The sound stage was a little larger on the WAF-1’s, but neither of them blew my mind in this area (the recordings fault, maybe). The bass line of this track is very groovy, and it came across very well, with a nice fullness to it (but thinner on the Canton’s, regardless of the larger woofer). Separation of instruments was good, with everything being clear. Again the Canton’s were clearer, but at the expense of my ears telling me to run for the treble knob and turn it down (it was disengaged on my preamp, in case anyone cares to know).

Moving along to another rock n’ roll tune I threw on Dream Theater’s “Misunderstood.” DT is my favorite band, as they can pretty much do anything they want (concerning rock and metal styles) and still be impressive. Their recording quality varies from good to not good, but their production makes up for it. Listening through the WAF-1’s the acoustic guitar and ambience in the beginning of the song was enveloping. The sound stage was very large, extending many feet beyond the speakers on both sides. It had a 3-D, holographic presentation, which I immediately appreciated (I am a sucker for that). Overall the sound was very neutral, with tight, lean bass and airy highs. The ambience and air in the vocals clearly came through, giving James’ voice a holographic presentation (just as it’s supposed to). Usually when I listen to Rock ‘N Roll/Metal styles I could care less about the vocals and I just focus on the musicianship of each band member other than the vocalist, but this was not the case listening to this song. I mainly focused on vocals because I love the way they were recorded and how they were reproduced through the WAF-1’s. In contrast, the Canton’s also captured the ambience and holographic sound, with a little more detail being captured. In that sense the holographic sound was enhanced, but the voice sounded thinner (again), and the sibilance walked the line of too much. Bass was more extended and punchy through the Canton’s, as it should be with the bigger driver. At this point I decided to forgo running both speakers full range and instead cross over to my subs. I was desperately missing the low extension that neither monitor provided (no fault of theirs, as there is only so much one little driver in a small enclosure can do), not to mention the midbass punch. The midrange on both speakers opened up a little due to this, so it was win win for me.

After a short break due to fatigue (perhaps from the Canton’s) the next track up was Tangerine Dream’s “Too Hot for My Chinchilla.” What a great title! Tangerine Dream would probably be considered “New Age,” or “Outer Space” music…who knows? Listening through the Canton’s the sound was clear with an overbearingness to it. The sound stage was a decent size, but not enveloping. This is an instrumental song, and overall it had good ambience through the LE103’s, but was a little thin and lackluster. Swapping over to the WAF-1’s gave me more of the sound I was looking for; fuller, bigger and more neutral. The thinness was gone, at the expense of a little loss of clarity. Sitting through this atmospheric song, I much preferred the fuller, more neutral sound as opposed to thin and bright. Sure, details were a little harder to hear, but I think it was a more accurate presentation. If not, I didn’t care because I preferred it. I should note that the bass response was much better having crossed both speakers over to the subs. And yes folks, I ran them flat (used REW to be sure).

Jack Johnson’s “Upside Down” was the next tune to be heard. This track has great bass and is very well recorded (most of Johnson’s stuff is). Through the WAF-1’s Jack’s voice was very clear and had a large presence. I was easily able to distinguish the vocal harmonies, as well as the decay of the instruments in the end of the song. Sibilance was a little bright, but not too bad. Finally, the sound stage was a decent size, but not as big as on some of the other tunes. Listening through the Canton’s Jack’s voice was very clear, while being slightly thinner (are we seeing a pattern here?). No offense to those who like an “in your face” upper midrange and high frequency sound, but it was just ruining the human voice for me. My ears told me “no more,” but I trekked on. Imaging was precise, just as it was on the WAF-1’s, with the sound stage being a little smaller through the LE103’s. At the end of the song I took another break; just couldn’t take the edginess anymore I guess…

After my break I decided to try out some Nine Inch Nails. Everything I’ve read about Trent Reznor has been positive, with many people proclaiming he’s a master of sound. Well, his music isn’t for everyone but I understand why people praise his efforts. His skills cannot be described accurately, and you just need to experience them, so I won’t bother with that. I will say that the dude knows how to produce an album, though. Moving forward, “Into the Void” was very clear through the Canton’s. They threw a huge sound stage and produced pinpoint imaging. I could easily hear the panning of whispers throughout. I won’t go into describing the bass, as it was mostly the subwoofers, but NIN provides plenty of it, and it’s just so cool to experience. Swapping over to the WAF-1’s resulted in no less of clarity, with the sound stage growing larger and imaging improving a little bit. At times during the song some of the sounds seemed to be coming from directly next to my left ear. Cool! The overall presentation was smoother and easier to listen to, but without ruining the ambience of the song. Honestly, this song was cool through both sets of speakers.

The second to last track was “Temptation” by Diana Krall. I don’t often listen to Jazz, but the set of pipes that Miss Krall has makes me more enthusiastic about it. The song opens with a cool bass line than just screams “smooth, dadio, smooth (picture a sly looking kat with a smoke in his mouth, a slick straw hat and an aura of subtle confidence surrounding him…kind of like those dudes in Back To The Future part 1 who played music at the school dance).” The song never really “picks up,” but it just has that ultra cool swagger to it. I dunno, maybe it’s just me, but I can “dig it.” Anyway, Diana’s voice was very clear and powerful through the WAF-1’s. It was both large and full. The sound stage was averaged sized, and instrument separation was very good. Sibilance was decent, with good timbre of instruments. The piano sounded very large and enveloping. Moving onto the Canton’s clarity was slightly improved, while Miss Krall’s voice was not (thinned out, AGAIN). Her vocals lost their power IMO. Separation of instruments was a cinch, while cymbal sibilance was overbearing. I don’t know how I lived with the HF’s of these LE103’s almost a decade ago. Finally vocal ambience was good and the sound stage size was slightly smaller than through the WAF-1’s.

My final song choice is one that has grown dear to me: Joe Satriani’s Rubina. It’s a beautiful song that Joe wrote for his wife (Rubina). It’s an instrumental, but I still can’t help but feel the emotion that went into it, as if Joe was singing sweet nothings to his love. In other words, vocals were not necessary for me to “get it,” as the music speaks to me on its own. While listening to “Rubina” through the LE103’s the sound stage was large and instruments were very clear, but with edginess to them. Imaging was great, but cymbal sibilance was piercing at times. “Rubina” has a lot of ambience to it, but there was almost too much; it kind of ruined the presentation for me, taking away some of the enveloping fullness. Once the lead guitar kicked in I had had enough of the Canton’s – it was thin and smaller sounding than I remember. Quickly swapping over to the WAF-1’s my confidence was restored in the song. There was no loss of detail, though they were a little harder to make out, and the sound stage was even bigger, sustaining that sense of ambience and fullness. The lead guitar sounded MUCH bigger and holographic this time, and the triangles were as easy to make out as they were on the Canton’s, but with a more accurate presentation (not too much ZING). I was surprised to have again connected with a song emotionally while listening to the WAF-1’s? Why? Because price is always on my mind, and it’s so easy to ignore a speaker in a lower price bracket. I guess I am little bias in that I usually pass over said speakers, but shame on me if I would have passed over this one (I won’t be making that mistake for future listening sessions).

To be sure I wasn’t all enthusiastic about the WAF-1’s solely based on the fact that, in comparison the Canton’s made them superstars, I went through the entire catalog of songs again later that evening when the family went to bed, this time only listening to the WAF-1’s. Yup, they still had that magic that a $200ish speaker shouldn’t (or so I thought).

In conclusion, listening to the WAF-1’s was a bit humbling for me. They performed superbly for their asking price, while having a look that will pass WAF (hence the name). Did I expect them to hang with my SongTower’s? No. Did they? No. Should they have? No. What they do for less than $300, however, is throw a huge sound stage, give the listener a sense of neutrality that I have not found in any other speakers in this price bracket and help introduce the listener to some very good sound quality, all while not evening coming close to breaking the bank. For an “entry level speaker” you’re getting a heckuva lot for your money in my opinion. Do they have flaws? Of course. However, are you really going to gripe about them considering the cost of the speaker and how minor they are in retrospect? Only you can answer that, but my answer is “nope.”

For what it’s worth, I was expecting a good product, but not this good. No, let me re-phrase: not this good for this little. They aren’t giant killers, but I think they are very good for the money. Yup, I cannot get past the price/performance ratio when it comes to audio. Sue me. I’d love to see more comparisons made, with B&M’s being the main focus (stuff found in Best Buy and what not). I think anyone that is considering Bose or some cheap HTiB really needs to consider going this route instead. Bose has a great marketing team, but they don’t have the sound quality that these little WAF-1’s do. I don’t know if TCA offers a trial period like some other ID companies, but if not I’d still say take the risk. You may just be blown away by what these speakers can do for the price.


For those interested, here is the WAF-1's frequency response (measured at one meter in my room. I will try to take everything outside and get a more anechoic-like measurement if I can):



Obviously these little guys are true performers for your dollar. For what it's worth, they throw a sound stage as big as my SongTower's and image almost as well. I wasn't expecting that at all.

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post #26 of 273 Old 09-03-2009, 04:10 PM
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Good looking, and apparently great sounding, speakers with a blue chip pedigree. What's not to like?
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post #27 of 273 Old 09-03-2009, 04:36 PM
 
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Brandon, I know this was a tough review for you. Getting a pair of $229 speakers (this will change in 2010, but we will hold the price until then) is not exciting.

When I first heard the final design, I was not expecting much either. They were a pleasant surprise here, too.

Thank you for putting this many hours in to do this review. It's easy to see a lot of labor was expended on this.

You did an outstanding job relaying the sonic characteristics of the WAF-1's.

One "small" note on future shipments from our OEM, each speaker will be individually boxed, with the foam rubber covering each speaker 360 degress, then the pair of speakers boxed again.

Hopefully, this will "UPS / Fed Ex Proof" them.
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post #28 of 273 Old 09-03-2009, 06:12 PM
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That's great news, Craig! I am fortunate enough to have had no damage done to the speakers themselves, but the 360 degree rubber covering will pretty much ensure an unmolested delivery. Good stuff!

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post #29 of 273 Old 09-03-2009, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

Brandon, I know this was a tough review for you. Getting a pair of $229 speakers (this will change in 2010, but we will hold the price until then) is not exciting.

When I first heard the final design, I was not expecting much either. They were a pleasant surprise here, too.

Thank you for putting this many hours in to do this review. It's easy to see a lot of labor was expended on this.

You did an outstanding job relaying the sonic characteristics of the WAF-1's.

One "small" note on future shipments from our OEM, each speaker will be individually boxed, with the foam rubber covering each speaker 360 degress, then the pair of speakers boxed again.

Hopefully, this will "UPS / Fed Ex Proof" them.

Bummer to hear they'll have to go up in price... So are you planning to keep the satin black at $229 when you get them, but the rosewood will go up? Or is the WAF-1 going up in price regardless of finish?

On a side note, I haven't spent alot of time with my pair, but so far I am impressed... Nice work Craig and Danny!
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post #30 of 273 Old 09-04-2009, 04:02 AM
 
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The price increase will be relatively minor ... likely $249 per pair in SB and $269 in Rosewood. The new packaging is not inexpensive , and keep in mind, this is still including shipping.

We could have switched to vinyl, or done other things, to save $$$. In the end, keeping the same quality was more important to us than keeping the $229 price.

I hope this comes across as it is meant ... even at $269 delivered for Rosewood, the WAF-1's are an outstanding value.

And we still have almost 4 months at the $229 price, too.
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