The sight of fifteen tweeters on a speaker surprises almost everyone who sees them for the first time. How could that possibly work? Wouldn’t there be comb filtering? Won’t it just sound terrible? Once the skeptics hear the music, all their concerns tend to turn to awe instead. The sound of this patented tweeter array has a way of changing minds.
Eric Alexander, who you may know is the founder of Tekton Design, is also its sound engineer. He’s the one that comes up with all the loudspeaker designs and tests them. When he talks about his array, he mentions that it’s pretty polarizing in the industry. Where did he get the idea for this array of tweeters? To learn more, we’ve got to go back 20 or 25 years.
Eric’s a lifelong musician and he used to be a professional drummer. He says he loves making speakers though and isn’t keen to get back into drumming and touring with bands. For a while, he was designing loudspeakers and playing in a band at the same time. That’s when he says he had his epiphany.
His band rehearsals would be going for 3 or 4 hours once a week, and since rehearsals are pretty low stress, he was able to play and also enjoy the music. He says, “So imagine playing music all night long – a live garage band scenario – and then going home and sitting down and listening to what I thought at the time were some of the world’s best loudspeakers and having a moment of, ‘Holy cow, what is this? This does not sound anything like what I just experienced back with the band.’”
He adds, “I challenge anyone – you could go and have that same experience today. Call the hottest local garage band or go to the symphony hall and ask if you can sit in on a practice session and get next to where the conductor stands and listen to what is actually going on. Folks, that’s real music. That’s real, real music. Shouldn’t an audiophile want to have a real music experience, not something that’s dulled down and warmed down and liquid fluid sounding? That’s not music.”
When he realized that loudspeakers weren’t replicating the sound of live music very accurately, the fire was lit and Eric started looking for a way to make recorded music sound like it does in real life. Over many years he’s worked on refining and perfecting his loudspeakers to sound more like live music; energetic, lively and dynamic. He’s pushed and pushed and pushed trying to improve this formula with every loudspeaker he releases. He says he’s not out to take over the loudspeaker world, he just wants to share the magic of live music with everyone.
One day, Eric realized there was a real size discrepancy between a violin string and the drivers on a speaker. A violin string can produce sound at 440 hz, yet the weight of the moving mass of a violin string is far, far less than the weight of the driver that normally reproduces sounds in this range. Eric wanted to know exactly what the size discrepancy was, so he measured a violin string from neck to bridge on a violin, cut it, and weighed it. It weighed ⅓ of a gram. The 8-inch drivers normally used to reproduce the sound of a violin in the 440 hz range, even the best ones, weigh around 20 grams. That is a huge difference in mass, and becomes problematic when its job is to reproduce the sound of the ⅓ of a gram violin string at 440 hz.
So how exactly does he reproduce the sound of ⅓ of a gram of moving mass? He says he has three ways to do it, but the way he does it in his loudspeakers is the cheapest and best bang for your buck, which is how his loudspeakers can be so affordable and sound so fantastic. This is where the patented tweeter array works its magic. As it turns out, the moving parts of tweeter drivers only weigh between .2 and .5 grams, and he has all the tweeter drivers except one (which reproduces the highest frequency sounds) working in unison in the midrange, each moving ⅓ of a gram at 440 hz (sound familiar?) to reproduce the sound of a 440 hz note on a violin accurately.
You may be wondering, “What about comb filtering?” Because the midrange tweeters are working in unison, there is no comb filtering as all the sound arrives at the same time to the listener’s ears. Only the middle/center tweeter reproduces the higher frequencies, so it doesn’t cause comb filtering either. Stereophile has measured the Impact Monitor and found there is no comb filtering, and in fact stated that the Impact Monitor has the best average horizontal polar response in the bookshelf stand category in the history of Stereophile and all of their measurements.
The proof is in the pudding, as they say. Many audiophiles, reviewers, and even Grammy-winning artists have raved about them. Some even go so far as to say they have a “perfect midrange,” a compliment that Eric says he’s never heard uttered about any other speaker. Nearly every review about Tekton Design’s speakers says they sound like speakers several times their cost. It’s not hype, it’s science. And it’ll knock your socks off.