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Pioneer TAD EX speakers

post #1 of 149
Thread Starter 
Anyone heard these. My understanding is that they use the TAD drivers which are some of the best out there. Find them on the web site but seems no dealer for them here (but sold in Europe).
post #2 of 149
I saw them also on their site, but as far as price goes, it seems to be something out of this planet, or totally unreal, IMO.

In other hand, they should have a bloody good sound. Never heard about the TAD drivers before; seems to be some kind of new high-tech development .

Cheers / Avliner.
post #3 of 149
very good sounding model 1

http://tadhomeaudio.com/model-1.html
post #4 of 149
TAD has been around a long time, hornys are very familiar with their products as they make some of the best compression drivers and woofers out there.

Originally Pioneer hired ex JBL engineering honcho Bart Locanthi to design a line of high efficiency woofers and compression drivers for horns. No expense was spared and as a result the stuff was pretty much reverse engineered JBL (why not) but the compression drivers were the first to use beryllium diaphragms, this gave the TADs a more extended high end than the JBLs and Altecs of the time. Some consider the TAD 4001 the best compression driver out there. Not me, I prefer the Altec 288 and JBL 2436 but the TAD is VERY fine.

Locanthi also designed the famous Pioneer HPM speakers, speakers which still have a strong cult following and enjoy high used values.


http://www.proaudiodesign.com/search...AD&advsearch=1
post #5 of 149
I've been keeping my eye on these speakers for a while now. The S1-EX received Japan's very high-end Audio Accessory magazine's 2006 Gold 'Overall Product of the Year' award, its highest honor. It also tied with the B&W 800D for 'Large Speaker of the Year'. To my eyes, these speakers have one of the most beautiful designs I've ever seen. And based on the stories so far, they may actually sound better then they look! But I'm still scratching my head as to why Pioneer didn't brand them here in the U.S. as a TAD model or at least under the Elite brand because these things are not cheap. They cost $9000 a pair! That's Wilson Sophia territory! OK, used Sophia territory. Either way, these are definitely going to be a tough sell for Pioneer. Oh, and you can't get them in solid black. Still, I can't wait to hear them! Hopfully they'll be at HE'06 in June. See ya there!
post #6 of 149
I had a chance to listen to the TAD-1 for 20 minutes at a CEDIA a couple of years back. They were incredible. And I'm used to listening to high-end speakers. The clarity along with their open, natural sound was stunning. From the lowest lows to the highs, the sound was clean and coherent.

I think they were going for $40,000/pr.

They don't much effort into selling them in the States. I've never even heard of a dealer who carries them.
post #7 of 149
I wonder why Pioneer didn't put them under the Elite label.

They used to put out some decent high-end stuff like the TZ-F700 and TZ-9 under the Elite label but seem to have phased the speakers ranges out. Maybe there's a contractual obligation with TAD not to or are they just downgrading the Elite moniker.
post #8 of 149
I am told that these speakers will only be available at 5 dealers in the US.
post #9 of 149
Just stumbled across this:
http://www.homecinemachoice.com/cgi-...?reviewid=6368
It may be on the short side but its an actual review of the Pioneer EX line.... and its in English!
post #10 of 149
I had never heard of these until yesterday. They have a full page ad in the current Stereophile Magazine. Very nice looking speakers. They show the full 5.1 set-up...

Beryllium Tweeter...

The listed website in the ad is www.exspeakers.com
When I go there it says coming soon but it's already in the ad?

This is the one in the ad. http://www.hifibitz.co.uk/product.asp?id=5128

-Rick
post #11 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newest Hobby View Post

I had never heard of these until yesterday. They have a full page ad in the current Stereophile Magazine. Very nice looking speakers. They show the full 5.1 set-up...

Beryllium Tweeter...

The listed website in the ad is www.exspeakers.com
When I go there it says coming soon but it's already in the ad?

This is the one in the ad. http://www.hifibitz.co.uk/product.asp?id=5128

-Rick

I'd love to own a pair of these bad boys. Did you read review? They like them to say the least.

Anyone know of a dealer that actually sells these speakers?

-Brian
post #12 of 149
Finally! I heard the S1-EX's at HE'06 and they were everything I was hoping they would be! They just completely immersed you in sound. And what a sound. Pure, rich, incredibly dynamic. Easily the best sound at the show for their price range and in my top 5 overall, cost no object! But I definitely have to mention that the Bel Canto REF1000 amps were a significant factor in the speakers having such great sound. Here's why.
Towards the end of the last day, I stopped by for one last listen but the REF1000's weren't hooked up anymore. Now a highly respected hybrid amp was. I was curious to hear this combo but after the first few seconds, I could tell that the magic was gone. Now it sounded just like every other demo that didn't do anything for me at the show. What a difference!
Andrew Jones agreed with me about the negitive change, but was very gracious when the amp's rep came back to ask what he thought. This lesson taught me a couple things. One - the REF1000's are freaking amazing, and when driving the S1-EX's, they truly showed what this speaker could do. Two - Brits can make just about anything sound like a complement! You're one smooth talker, Mr. Jones.
post #13 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by dicey View Post

Finally! I heard the S1-EX's at HE'06 and they were everything I was hoping they would be! They just completely immersed you sound. And what a sound. Pure, rich, incredibly dynamic. Easily the best sound at the show for their price range and in my top 5 overall, cost no object! But I definitely have to mention that the Bel Canto REF1000 amps were a significant factor in the speakers having such great sound. Here's why.
Towards the end of the last day, I stopped by for one last listen but the REF1000's weren't hooked up anymore. Now a highly respected hybrid amp was. I was curious to hear this combo but after the first few seconds, I could tell that the magic was gone. Now it sounded like just about every other demo that didn't do anything for me at the show. What a difference!
Andrew Jones agreed with me about the negitive change, but was very gracious when the rep came back to ask what he thought. This lesson taught me a couple things. One - the REF1000's are freaking amazing, and when driving the S1-EX's, they truly showed what this speaker could do. Two - Brits can make just about anything sound like a complement! You're one smooth talker, Mr. Jones.

I noticed the same thing about the amps. Good thing I have the REF1000s waiting for the S1-EXs that are due in a few weeks.

Kal
post #14 of 149
Pioneer never ceases to amaze me with remarkable resources on hand. Air Studios had a hand in voicing the S-1EX, S-2EX, and the S-7EX models that were designed in France. More info here:

http://www.airstudios.com/pioneer/speakers.shtml

Also, their Elite surround receivers get input from them also. I am testing & evaluatiing their VSX-72TXV model at the moment, and the sound exceeds all my expections IMHO.
post #15 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Duminy View Post

Pioneer never ceases to amaze me with remarkable resources on hand. Air Studios had a hand in voicing the S-1EX, S-2EX, and the S-7EX models that were designed in France. More info here:

http://www.airstudios.com/pioneer/speakers.shtml

Also, their Elite surround receivers get input from them also. I am testing & evaluatiing their VSX-72TXV model at the moment, and the sound exceeds all my expections IMHO.

Great link! And I agree that their receivers sound very good but they have major problems when it comes to ease of use and just working properly for that matter.
post #16 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

I noticed the same thing about the amps. Good thing I have the REF1000s waiting for the S1-EXs that are due in a few weeks.

Kal

I can't wait to read your review! But in a way, I don't have to. I lived it!
I'm glad you got to hear them with the REF1000's and not just with the "other" amp. If I would only have heard them with the "Amp X", I would have walked out majorly disappointed. Class-D amps have truly come of age and I think they are going to flip the whole audiophile applecart completely upside down. Its not just the Bel Canto's either. The Red Dragon Leviathon's in the Acoustic Zen room paired with the AZ Adagio speakers where flat out jaw-dropping!
post #17 of 149
I got to hear the setup at the HE show as well.

Simply outstanding! Most impressive sound I heard at the show at any price.

Kal...I envy you!
post #18 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by dicey View Post

The Red Dragon Leviathon's in the Acoustic Zen room paired with the AZ Adagio speakers where flat out jaw-dropping!

I was not that impressed with the AZ setup.
post #19 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

I was not that impressed with the AZ setup.

I went to this room twice at the urging of a fellow reviewer. The first time, I heard two selections and, while both were good, the system was outstanding with the second. On a second visit, I was not impressed at all. Unfortunately, I didn't bring any of my own discs, so all I can say is that the system had 'potential.'

Kal
post #20 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

I was not that impressed with the AZ setup.

WHAT!?! To me, this room was a very close second to the Pioneer EX room. The only thing that this set-up lacked compared to the Pioneer set-up was the very lowest bass. Thats it! And considering that the speakers are a "simple" 2-way design that cost half the price of the Pioneer's, I was totally blown away at how good they were. Perhaps you only heard the system with unfamiliar recordings which weren't that great because the AZ guys pretty much let you play whatever you wanted, good or bad. And thats the way it should be, by the way, 'cause there were a few rooms that weren't quite as gracious (coughlammcough).
post #21 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by dicey View Post

WHAT!?! To me, this room was a very close second to the Pioneer EX room. The only thing that this set-up lacked compared to the Pioneer set-up was the very lowest bass. Thats it! And considering that the speakers are a "simple" 2-way design that cost half the price of the Pioneer's, I was totally blown away at how good they were. Perhaps you only heard the system with unfamiliar recordings which weren't that great because the AZ guys pretty much let you play whatever you wanted, good or bad. And thats the way it should be, by the way, 'cause there were a few rooms that weren't quite as gracious (coughlammcough).

I did get to play some of my own material and I don't think they came close to the top to bottom detail of the EX's. Don't get me wrong, they are not bad speakers, they just didn't impress me like the EX's. They do look cool though.
post #22 of 149
Fair enough, dude. But to me, they were awesome.
post #23 of 149
That's fair too.
post #24 of 149
Good evening all,

I had the pleasure of listening to these at HE2006, and they were indeed among the best sounding loudspeakers that I heard at the show! I also had the honor of speaking to Andrew Jones, who spent a few minutes at our booth on the final day. We talked about some of the same topics that some of you mentioned earlier in the thread.

Anyway, fantastic speakers!
post #25 of 149
I head the TADs earlier this year at CES. I think then they were paired with Pass Labs amps. I can remember the music played had a lot of bass, and the room was quite warm due to the amps.

What hybrid amps were temporarily switched with the Bel Cantos at the HE show?

- Steve O.
post #26 of 149
I didn't know Pioneer made decent, let alone great sounding speakers. I wish I could have heard them. Can anyone compare the sound to another manufacturer and model?
post #27 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

I didn't know Pioneer made decent, let alone great sounding speakers. I wish I could have heard them. Can anyone compare the sound to another manufacturer and model?

Nuance,
They own TAD, and a lot of the tech that went into the Model-1 trickled down to the Pioneer EX. I bet they would get better marketing if under the TAD brand.

To me, accurate, detailed, revealing, immersive.
post #28 of 149
Dear Nuance,

The Pioneer S1-EX speakers are using trickle-down technology from the TAD Model-1 speakers. To keep costs at a lower level than the top of the line TAD speakers, Andrew (lead designer of both TAD Model-1 and Pioneer S1-EX) proposed the use of magnesium midrange drivers instead of beryllium on the S1-EX, while still retaining the beryllium tweeter for the S1-EX. Also, the cabinet construction is not nearly as complex as the TAD Model-1, so the price ends up being substantially lower. The combination of components works great and sounds truly fantastic!

Sincerely,
post #29 of 149
Cool. Gotcha. Thanks for the info guys (I was wondering what TAD was).
post #30 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

Nuance,
They own TAD, and a lot of the tech that went into the Model-1 trickled down to the Pioneer EX. I bet they would get better marketing if under the TAD brand.

To me, accurate, detailed, revealing, immersive.

I asked Mr. Jones, in his honest opinion, what percentage of the TAD Model 1's sound quality the S1-EX's would give you. He thought for a couple of seconds and then said, "80...85%"! Wow.

Another cool thing is, while there is a Pioneer logo on the grill cloths, there is a permanent "TAD" logo painted on the back of the speakers. So all ya gotta do is remove the grills and - BAM! - instant TADs! I'm sure that was Andy's idea.
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