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  • After a long search for low buck replacement speakers the winner is...

    My ancient Infinity RS3as originally purchased in 1982, rebuilt several times, finally gave up the ghost because there were no replacement drivers left in the entire world. And I looked. I'd been dreading their eventual demise and had been looking for potential replacements for years. Suddenly being bereft of main system speakers lent a sense of urgency.

    After a bit of handringing I called Eric at Tekton Design and ordered a pair of plain jane Pendragons at the reduced holiday sale price. Fedex dropped them off a week later and fortunately I had my own dolly to handle the rather large boxes. Carefully unpacked them and set the shipping boxes aside in case I felt the need to use the sixty day money back gaurantee. The packing went in the recycling bin two days later.

    These things are big, I possibly should have paid more attention to the dimensions and ordered the smaller Enzo XLs. No, I can live with the size. They do sort of look like the monoliths from 2001: A Space Odyssey looming in the front of the room. A bit hard to do fine positioning with once the spikes are in.

    Imaging - The Pendragons do not image quite as well as a small set of standmounts I have. But they do present a stable image situated between the speakers. Working on dialing things in and room treatment indicates this will improve.

    Detail - They do not match little JVC single full range wood pulp driver speakers I once had. To date I've never heard ANY other speaker that would resolve certain detail as well. But the Pendragons are pretty detailed. A couple cuts on the old Absolute Sound CD that HP wrote liner notes for sounded very good, nothing missing in action there.

    Dynamics - These things are 96 dB efficient hooked to a 200 watt amplifier. Dynamics are not an issue.

    Frequency response - Getting pretty much down to 20 Hz in my room and I'm hearing organ pipes I've never heard in my room before. Finding a nasty room node that never raised it's ugly head before too. On the other end it extends nicely without that piercing rising dB level as frequency rises that passes for detail which I hate. Very smooth. But crank the volume and they will certainly overload an untreated room.

    Load - Eight ohms nominal and apparently no really bad impedance drops or spikes and no really nasty phase shifts. My amplifiers, including some pawn shop specials have no difficulties. A few watts gets them bogeying. I really like to try a good tube amp with them.

    They sounded good out of the box and as they've broken in they've only gotten better. Every once in awhile I throw in something like AC/DCs live cut "For Those About To Rock" and crank it up. The pyrotechnic canon shots are attention grabbers at somewhere north of 110 dB. Sheila Chandra is an interesting vocal artist and a couple of her songs are new agey but very relaxing and presented smoothly as they should be. Cassandra Wilsons deep voice on "New Moon Daughter" the same. Detail without etch or glare. Anna Netrbko and Elena Garanca performing Offenbach is sublime, although they would be sublime on anything better than a nine transitor radio so I guess they're presented as extra sublime. The Reference Recordings Minnesota Symphony of Lizts Le Prelude is suitably thunderous.

    At $2,100 these things do not have any weaknesses. Well, aside from the cosmetic issue of stark monolithic appearance. That could have been taken care of if I had been willing to spend more money on an automotive paint job or exotic veneer which are available at upcharge. A couple of cans of Krylon would address that if I feel the need. Or a trip to a friends whose company does those car and bus wrap things. Maybe a Monet or Matisse wrap? Roger Dean of the old Yes album illustrations? A calander wrap, new scene every month? Could be fun.

    $2100 is not inexpensive for me, but these things are worth every last pence. I've heard speakers at multiples of that price that do some things better, but not everything better. I've heard speakers in multiples of that price that do nothing better. Made in Utah with US sourced components. For $2,100. I'm happy, my neighbors not so much.
    Last edited by Rust; 02-20-2016, 02:33 AM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Rust View Post
    My ancient Infinity RS3as originally purchased in 1982, rebuilt several times, finally gave up the ghost because there were no replacement drivers left in the entire world. And I looked. I'd been dreading their eventual demise and had been looking for potential replacements for years. Suddenly being bereft of main system speakers lent a sense of urgency.

    After a bit of handringing I called Eric at Tekton Design and ordered a pair of plain jane Pendragons at the reduced holiday sale price. Fedex dropped them off a week later and fortunately I had my own dolly to handle the rather large boxes. Carefully unpacked them and set the shipping boxes aside in case I felt the need to use the sixty day money back gaurantee. The packing went in the recycling bin two days later.

    These things are big, I possibly should have paid more attention to the dimensions and ordered the smaller Enzo XLs. No, I can live with the size. They do sort of look like the monoliths from 2001: A Space Odyssey looming in the front of the room. A bit hard to do fine positioning with once the spikes are in.

    Imaging - The Pendragons do not image quite as well as a small set of standmounts I have. But they do present a stable image situated between the speakers. Working on dialing things in and room treatment indicates this will improve.

    Detail - They do not match little JVC single full range wood pulp driver speakers I once had. To date I've never heard ANY other speaker that would resolve certain detail as well. But the Pendragons are pretty detailed. A couple cuts on the old Absolute Sound CD that HP wrote liner notes for sounded very good, nothing missing in action there.

    Dynamics - These things are 96 dB efficient hooked to a 200 watt amplifier. Dynamics are not an issue.

    Frequency response - Getting pretty much down to 20 Hz in my room and I'm hearing organ pipes I've never heard in my room before. Finding a nasty room node that never raised it's ugly head before too. On the other end it extends nicely without that piercing rising dB level as frequency rises that passes for detail which I hate. Very smooth. But crank the volume and they will certainly overload an untreated room.

    Load - Eight ohms nominal and apparently no really bad impedance drops or spikes and no really nasty phase shifts. My amplifiers, including some pawn shop specials have no difficulties. A few watts gets them bogeying. I really like to try a good tube amp with them.

    They sounded good out of the box and as they've broken in they've only gotten better. Every once in awhile I throw in something like AC/DCs live cut "For Those About To Rock" and crank it up. The pyrotechnic canon shots are attention grabbers at somewhere north of 110 dB. Sheila Chandra is an interesting vocal artist and a couple of her songs are new agey but very relaxing and presented smoothly as they should be. Cassandra Wilsons deep voice on "New Moon Daughter" the same. Detail without etch or glare. Anna Netrbko and Elena Garanca performing Offenbach is sublime, although they would be sublime on anything better than a nine transitor radio so I guess they're presented as extra sublime. The Reference Recordings Minnesota Symphony of Lizts Le Prelude is suitably thunderous.

    At $2,100 these things do not have any weaknesses. Well, aside from the cosmetic issue of stark monolithic appearance. That could have been taken care of if I had been willing to spend more money on an automotive paint job or exotic veneer which are available at upcharge. A couple of cans of Krylon would address that if I feel the need. Or a trip to a friends whose company does those car and bus wrap things. Maybe a Monet or Matisse wrap? Roger Dean of the old Yes album illustrations? A calander wrap, new scene every month? Could be fun.

    $2100 is not inexpensive for me, but these things are worth every last pence. I've heard speakers at multiples of that price that do some things better, but not everything better. I've heard speakers in multiples of that price that do nothing better. Made in Utah with US sourced components. For $2,100. I'm happy, my neighbors not so much.

    Thanks for the review The Tektrons sound like a speaker more of us should get to know: I know Steve L. has highly recommended the speakers. The industry needs more companies like Tektron.

    How did you find out about them?
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

    Comment


    • #3
      I like the design, albeit I've not heard it. Two 10" mid/woofers and a trio per side of SB ring tweeters to control dispersion looks like a very interesting set of design choices. I also like the sensitivity and impedance being at 8ohms. I'd love to try some KT88s or 6550s on those. The price is great for what looks on paper to be a speaker built for having a good time.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm expecting a new model in for review later this year. I requested the Enzo XL, but not sure what I'll be getting. Eric is often working on new things. I still haven't found a speaker in the $1000 price range I'd rather use than the Lore, though I am hoping to hear to the new Andrew Jones designed Elacs with the concentric driver that will be the same price.
        But from what I've heard, Tektons offer up a sense of dynamics, excitement and realism that few other speakers anywhere near their price can deliver. I'll gladly trade off a little bit of resolution for that.
        I recently found out a co worker at my office won a pair of Pendragons that HomeTheaterReview gave away in a contest. He didn't know I reviewed gear until then (saw my review on their website) and I didn't know he was into home theater.

        I've been trying to talk Eric into showing at THE Show Newport, and I understand things went well for him at RMAF, so maybe next year more people will get to hear his stuff.
        Last edited by Steve Lefkowicz; 02-20-2016, 02:40 PM.
        Steve Lefkowicz
        Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
        -
        Analog: Linn LP12 (MOSE/Hercules II), Ittok, Dynavector 19a, iPhono2; Pro-Ject RPM-1 Carbon, Sumiko Pearl, iFi iPhono.
        Digital: Samsung 300E5C notebook, JRiver Media Center 26, Tidal HiFi and Qobuz Studio), iFi iDAC2, iFi iUSB3, iPurifier2.
        Electronics: Burson Conductor Virtuoso, DIY switch-box with TKD 10K pot, Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S, Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso, Jolida JD1000P, B&K ST140.
        Speakers: Tekton Double Impact, Tekton Lore, Magneplaner .7, ELAC Debut2 B6.2, Debut F5 and Debut B6, Emotiva Airmotiv B1, Sound Dynamics 300ti.
        Interconnects: Morrow Audio MA1, Vermouth Audio Black Pearl, Nordost Solar Wind, Audioquest Evergreen
        Speaker cables: Morrow Audio SP4, Vermouth Audio Red Velvet, Nordost Solar Wind, Nordost Flatline, Audioquest Q2.
        Digital cables: Straightwire USB Link, Aural Symphonics Digital Standard xxv USB, Belkin PureAV.
        Accessories: Sound Organization turntable shelf, Mondo racks, Pangea Audio Vulcan racks, Pi Audio Group Über BUSS, Monster HTS2000 power conditioner, Sound Organization speaker stands, Pangea Audio speaker stands, Kinetronics anti-static brush, Pro-Ject VC-S record cleaner, Spin Clean record cleaner.
        Headphones: Schiit Valhalla amp, Meze Audio 99 Classic and 99 Neo, Beyerdynamic DT770Pro, 1More Triple Driver Over Ear, 1More MK801, 1More Triple Driver IEM

        http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...ounding-system

        Comment


        • #5
          Myles - A friend had mentioned that he was considering one of the Lores because he was downsizing his living arrangements and mentioned an article in Positive Feedback that Steve Lefcowicz had authored on the same. That led to the article by John Zurek on the Pendragons. Much searching of the internet ensued. It seemed almost inpossible that the Tektons could provide the quality of performance cited at the price point. All the reviews were uniformly positive. Then Herb Reichert wrote about the Enzo XLs. Finally I managed to contact a couple of owners. While some customer service issues were mentioned, primarily due to being a small startup, everyone was uniformly satisfied by the product.

          I cannot overstate how pleased I am with the performance especially given the price. Eric Alexander is doing a lot of things right. I wish him continued success. I just hope his avocation for designing and building great stuff is not overwhelmed by the business end of things like Arnie Nudell and others.

          Jack - I would dearly like to hear a couple of tube amps on these things. They are very efficient and from what I've been able to determine with what I have on hand, present a very benign load. Tubes could bring these things to another level. I think they could just about be driven by my preamp output although I am not going to try that. Headphone amp maybe? I think a class A triode amp might have some real magic with these but not a micro amp. That many drivers require some current to provide grip. Not pentodes used as triodes though, I feel the extra grids could cause some attenuation of or interference with the signal. After all, pentodes were not designed to operate as triodes.

          Steve - I am not aware of any other brand of speaker, especially sourced and built in America, that can offer the combination of musicality, dynamics or frequency extension this price. Or significant multiples of this price. The shear power of the soundfield is nuts and yet at reasonable levels there is more than a bit of delicacy. I see Eric has a just introduced a couple of new designs but think I'll be quite happy where I'm at for a long time.

          Comment


          • #6
            One thing I like about my Lores is how well they handle a wide variety of amplifiers. I usually use either a 15 watt KT88 single ended amp or a 105 watt solid state (MOSFET) amp. They don't need much power (we rocked a large room at a friend's house with them using a 5 watt Almarro A205A EL84 amp), but have tremendous power handling capability. I was really taken by how well they responded to the 200 watts of the ModWright KWA200 integrated amp. Even at the same levels, they were just astonishingly fast and powerful sounding compared to what either of my regular amps could do with them. Unlike some high efficiency speakers with limited power handling, that are designed primarily for low powered tube amps, the Tektons simply give you more options in amp choices, with overall power simply not being a critical factor. The only issues I've heard so far is they didn't seem to play well with Class D amps, though I've only tried two so far (iQ audio M300 and the PS Audio Sprout), with neither of those amps really being able to produce anything interesting.
            Last edited by Steve Lefkowicz; 02-21-2016, 12:29 AM.
            Steve Lefkowicz
            Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
            -
            Analog: Linn LP12 (MOSE/Hercules II), Ittok, Dynavector 19a, iPhono2; Pro-Ject RPM-1 Carbon, Sumiko Pearl, iFi iPhono.
            Digital: Samsung 300E5C notebook, JRiver Media Center 26, Tidal HiFi and Qobuz Studio), iFi iDAC2, iFi iUSB3, iPurifier2.
            Electronics: Burson Conductor Virtuoso, DIY switch-box with TKD 10K pot, Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S, Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso, Jolida JD1000P, B&K ST140.
            Speakers: Tekton Double Impact, Tekton Lore, Magneplaner .7, ELAC Debut2 B6.2, Debut F5 and Debut B6, Emotiva Airmotiv B1, Sound Dynamics 300ti.
            Interconnects: Morrow Audio MA1, Vermouth Audio Black Pearl, Nordost Solar Wind, Audioquest Evergreen
            Speaker cables: Morrow Audio SP4, Vermouth Audio Red Velvet, Nordost Solar Wind, Nordost Flatline, Audioquest Q2.
            Digital cables: Straightwire USB Link, Aural Symphonics Digital Standard xxv USB, Belkin PureAV.
            Accessories: Sound Organization turntable shelf, Mondo racks, Pangea Audio Vulcan racks, Pi Audio Group Über BUSS, Monster HTS2000 power conditioner, Sound Organization speaker stands, Pangea Audio speaker stands, Kinetronics anti-static brush, Pro-Ject VC-S record cleaner, Spin Clean record cleaner.
            Headphones: Schiit Valhalla amp, Meze Audio 99 Classic and 99 Neo, Beyerdynamic DT770Pro, 1More Triple Driver Over Ear, 1More MK801, 1More Triple Driver IEM

            http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...ounding-system

            Comment


            • #7
              An update in the Tekton Design Pendragons.

              They've been in the house for two months now and gotten a lot of play. I thought they were really good out of the box and they've only gotten better as the surrounds and spiders have worked in. I've been using Kimber 12TCs which have better bass reproduction than the Audioquest Rocket 88s they replaced. Every amplifier from a little 25 watt Yamaha to the 200 watt Rotel sounded good, although the additional power of the Rotel gave much greater impact on the leading edge of transients. Going old school teenager, Black Sabbaths "War Pigs" at full power defines physical impact, actual physical impact of being hit by the sound waves. It's wonderful, a fountain of not misspent enough youth.

              They are everything I said they were previously in spades. At their price point there is nothing that can touch the overall performance of the Pendragons. At twice the price for that matter.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hmm very interesting indeed.ive known about tekton since he started pretty much.ive been interested for a while now.
                digitalphile here yay

                Comment


                • #9
                  Pharoah - It looks as if Eric is growing his business too. The price of the Pendragons has decreased while the number of options has increased. The Lore and Enzo lineups are seeing similar changes too. All the options are very reasonably priced. It seems Eric certainly isn't sitting on his hands.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ive read some reviews,and forum discussions on these.there is a reviewer i forget his name.he sold his [email protected] 802 diamonds,and kept the dragons.
                    digitalphile here yay

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      That would be a real shock given the 802s ran about $16,000 last time I looked a couple of years back. I mean, I really like my 'dragons and think they perform way above their price point but wow.

                      Comment


                    • #12
                      Hi Rust, what other speakers did you consider before settling on the Pendragons? They sound wonderful.
                      Kronos Sparta -> Trinity Phono -> Trinity Pre -> CH Precision A1 -> Magico S7s

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Steve - An 8:1 price ratio is pretty significant in my book. I know these things are really really good with respect to my preferences but to knock off what is considered a (much more expensive) benchmark? Really knocks the commonly accepted price to performance model on its butt.

                        Allen - I had considered and auditioned Paradigm Studio 100s (apparently recently discontinued), Paradigm Signatures, Magnepan 1.7s and 3.7s (the "i" version not out at the time), the Revel Performa 208, the Bryston Middle T, older Thiels (which are apparently no longer in production). Basically the under $10,000 range of things concentrating on around $5,000. None of them really tripped my trigger. Listened to the Sonus Faber Futura which tripped my trigger a bit although way past my price range, but so beautiful to look at.

                        The longer I've had them and the further I've gotten into my music collection the more impressed I am. Let's just say long into the foreseeable future I won't be looking for a replacement.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Very cool. And you put them up against some stiff competition. Happy to hear you're happy!
                          Kronos Sparta -> Trinity Phono -> Trinity Pre -> CH Precision A1 -> Magico S7s

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