was showing their next generation Heritage line of products in Room 7154. Mark Casavant was explaining their new state of the art Horn Technology that went behind their Klipsch Heresy (4th gen), Klipsch Cornwall (4th gen) and Klipschorn (6th gen) speakers.
I was already impressed with the new Heresy and Cornwall models.
Mark asked me to go into the next room where they were playing the Klipschorns.
Oh my God! Now this blows the Heresy and Cornwall out of the water. What impressive and effortless dynamics. This is what made the legendary Klipshorns so famous with a 70-year legacy.
Mark explained how the new Klipschorns need not be placed in the corner, as the corner baffles are now built in at the expense of a heavier product weight.
They weigh 220lbs each and will sell of $15,000 a pair.
While the sound was immediate, effortless with stunning dynamics of a live orchestra with thunderous bass slam, it did not quite match the delicate refinement of the treble I experienced with the Sanders Electrostatic 10e panels.
The Tekton MOABs had similar dynamics and deep bass rumble as the Klipschorns while still retaining the seamless coherence, delicacy, resolution and micro-dynamics as the Sanders System throughout the midrange and treble.
If I were to choose amongst these three, I would pick the Tekton.
I began to wonder how the MOABs were pulling off this feat at a much lower price point of $4,500.
The extreme dynamics and deep bass can be explained through physics. The Tekton system was using the brute force approach by having 4 12” woofers mounted in a pair of giant ported enclosures. The MOABs were using 12” Eminence Professional speakers.
What about the seamless midrange and treble that sounded like an expensive electrostatic panel?
The Tektons were using an array of 7 small tweeters clustered together to act as a midrange. Effectively you are getting a large midrange with very low mass
. This was the key to revealing the overtones and harmonics.
What about the Lobbing effect from multiple tweeter drivers?
The 7 tweeters were mounted as close as physically possible to eliminate the Lobbing distortion.
The result was a giant panel in classic D’Appolito configuration – MTM flanked by two woofers at the top and bottom.
The function of the midrange was being handled by 7 tweeters in close proximity.
This is how the Tektons were getting the smoothness, detail and resolution of an electrostatic.
When you listen to an electrostatic panel, what immediately mesmerizes you is that there is no separation between the midrange and treble. There are no separate drivers. The sound from the entire panel is seamless. You get a uniform solid wall of sound.
The Tektons were mimicking this through their clever midrange array.
Male vocals typically go down to G2 (98Hz) while female vocals go up to G5 (784Hz). This is the critical vocal range from G2 to G5 that can make or break a speaker.
If one can get this region just right, it can fool your brain into thinking you are listening to a live person speaking/singing in front of you. The Tektons have nailed this.
Eric mentioned that his display model was using tweeters in the $10 to $50 range. Nothing fancy here. This reminded me of the late John Dunlavy. I use to visit his demo rooms at CES and marvel at his massive monoliths. The Dunlavy SC-IV was a classic. They offered tremendous value at $4,500. Later he designed the SC-IVA, SC-V and SC-VI models.
Once I had the pleasure of hearing a pair of Dunlavy SC-Vs driven by Krell monoblocks at CES in the Krell room demoed by Dan D’Agostino himself. It was an unforgettable experience. Mr. Dunlavy never cared to use expensive drivers, however, his creations measured ruler flat +/- 1dB on axis and sounded far better than anything at that price point. They were the ultimate headphones.
I think Eric by trial and error has hit the mark with his MOAB design. It is the perfect speaker from my standpoint and I would not change a thing.
From this point onwards I visited each demo room trying to find which speaker can beat the performance of the MOABs. I kept going back to Room 11116 several times a day to refresh my audio memory.
was introducing their Concert Grand Reference Gold 2 speakers at RMAF in room 4125. This event was widely publicized well in advance.
It was a sight to behold.
Talk about expensive drivers. You name it, it had it. The fit and finish was at par with Wilson Audio. They were not cutting any corners.
These ultra-high-end speakers are priced at $250K. If you ever want to experience a live concert via a pair of transducers this will do it. Expectations were running high.
However, I was disappointed at their room selection. It was way too small as you can see from the pictures. This event should have been hosted in one of the exhibitor ballrooms on Convention Center Level 3.
When you are making the effort to drag in these 275lb speakers and show them to the world for the very first time, one should book and prep a room of adequate size with utmost attention to detail.
Do you see any room treatment? None.
Yes, they were playing music through these beautiful speakers all day long, but the tiny space did not allow them to breathe. This was unfortunate. The balance was off. The trumpets sounded shrill.
They should have just used them as static displays like Daryl did with his Master Chronosonic. You need an appropriate, properly treated showroom to display your $250,000 product.
I hope they come back next year and get things right.
It was 5pm. I went up to the Tekton/Parasound room and spent the rest of the day listening to excerpts from a wide variety of music till closing time 6pm on Friday.
Eric and Richard and rest of the staff from DonWalkerAudio.com were gracious hosts. They could feel how excited I was about their system, and gladly answered all my questions.
I went back to my hotel room and began learning all about this brand till the wee hours of the night.
More to follow with Day 2 highlights...