Quality issues with Tekton speakers....

I was reading all the buzz about these Tekton speakers and after sorting through all the reviews, decided to order a pair of the Pendragon (the big ones... $2,500 a pair).

When they arrived, I found them to be boxed well and in perfect shape, although one thing was very noticeable once I looked at the speakers. The woofers had a slightly different tone (color). The upper woofer in each tower was basically dark gray or black (like most paper woofers you might come across) and the lower woofers were slightly blue in color. After looking on the web some, I could not find a Pendragon speaker photo ANYWHERE that had this color difference. Since they did not come with speaker grilles, I knew the color difference would bother me as long as I owned the speakers.

I contacted Tekton (Eric Alexander) via e-mail and explained the issue. After almost a week of not hearing back, I sent another e-mail and his response was...

(copy and pasted right from my e-mail)... " I'm sorry. Please refresh my memory. What seems to be the problem? Thanks, Eric"

I described the issue again and he offered to exchange the speakers. I said there was no need to ship back a huge pair of 85 pound speakers and have him send me another pair and suggested maybe he just send me grilles at no charge to cover the speakers and I could live with the slight color difference in the woofers. I really feel that grilles should be included in a $2,500 price tag however.

All of these e-mails took several days to answer by the way.

He agreed and said he would get the grilles out right away... they were sent a few days later and upon arrival, I realized there was a pretty big problem. I had a normal type speaker grill with 4 pegs on the back and a speaker with no peg holes. After all the time, e-mails, no answers, etc., I was not interested in wasting any more time with the matter and asked for a partial refund through PayPal and asked a simple question... why send me grilles for a speaker that he just shipped to me with no holes to put them in? His reply was to offer to make new grilles and send "velcro dots" to affix them to the speakers with.... WOW.

The WORST part about all this: Within 30 minutes of making a PayPal claim about the issue and asking for a partial refund from him, Eric tried to call me right away... now that there was money at stake.

The really sad part of all this is that the speakers actually sound pretty damn good now that they are broken in... I just hope the quality and communication come up to the same level for the sake of Tekton as a company.
You don't explain if speaker grills were originally an option. If they were, then it is understandable that he would send you the grill, probably thinking that you had the holes to stick them in. After all, apparently you didn't tell him otherwise. Were you assuming that they were magnetic?
In any case, I don't think that it was outrageous for him to suggest Velcro dots; they are a workable solution.
I am also curious about the amount of the "partial refund" that you requested.
It seems strange to me that when you requested the grill, you didn't take note that there were no holes.
I agree with Roxy. Very few manufacturers go to the trouble of installing magnets behind the baffle, then make the grilles optional.

As is the case with the Pendragons, the grilles are an option you request when ordering the speakers. As for the cost, there are far more expensive speakers that don't even offer the option of a grille.

As you said, the speakers sound very good. I had a pair for a while and thought they were exceptional for the money.

I'm inclined towards you view as well, I imagine most of these speakers are ordered without grills, so no holes for them. Velcro stick on grills are relatively common and acceptable. It seems although the builder's response time was a bit slow it wasn't egregious(IMO). When he did respond he seems to have been cooperative and flexible. Well anyway I see this as a minor episode. In the big picture you bought a "pretty damm good" sounding speaker for 2, 500.00 USD, that's a very good outcome.
I hope you continue enjoy them for years.
Grilles should absolutely be included for $2,500 as almost EVERY manufacturer includes a grill with their speakers. You are also missing the issue of the driver color not matching - this is an easy quality issue that should have been caught before they shipped.
You said he would exchange the speakers. Can't get much better service than that. Anything after that is a compromise to you it sounds like. You should change out the speakers. If Eric suggested that, then it is probably the best solution. Eric is a good man, and seems to run a very conscientious business. I have no affiliation with them and they do not know me.
I'm the first to ask this, so maybe it's a dumb question and doesn't apply because of how those are built but...is there some reason you don't just exchange drivers? There's no need to send the whole speaker back - can't he just send you a pair of color-matching drivers? I'm assuming they just screw into the baffle like so many other designs, and connect with the usual clip-on connectors. Is there some reason this isn't being tried?
I don't agree that most speaker manufacturers include grills. Really this seems like such a small matter (at least to me). Regarding the off color drivers, he acknowledged that and offered to exchange the entire speaker! This is going beyond the call of duty. The reality is that different things upset different people. Based on the information stated here, I'd be happy to do business with this company.
If the vendor offered to make an exchange to set things right, then they did the right thing given the situation.

Different vendors/products view and handle grills differently. My preference is to always have them included, although I can understand where some value oriented companies, like Tekton perhaps, might look to keep costs down anyway possible. I like that, as long as accompanied by timely customer service to address any issues when needed.
It's innovative and cool. Right is black and Left is white or visa versa or whatever colors. It's modern arts touche, so don't be obsessed with different colors! I'd rather enjoy it and would advice to OP same.
When I received my Pendragons from Eric there was a small issue with the finish on one of the speakers. He offered to exchange them or a partial refund. I opted to do the work myself and buffed out the speaker with rubbing compound and wax. Issue solved, and he credited 200.00 back to me. I think that was excellent service after the sale. Eric was very concerned about making me a happy customer.

I can only speculate that if the OP doesn't want to exchange for a new pair, which seems very fair, maybe he just wants to keep this pair and get a refund for a certain amount of money which he has still not specified.
Wow, this thread has me bewildered. People talking about how everything is cool because the company offered an exchange. But nobody is asking if the company offered to pay for the shipping to enable the exchange. Otherwise, how is it "very fair" for a buyer to eat the cost of returning speakers that SHOULD HAVE BEEN QUALITY CHECKED IN THE FIRST PLACE. How can one say it's "beyond the call of duty" to offer an exchange without knowing who's bearing the cost burden of that exchange?? I see comments like "Can't get much better service than that" and think "well, yeah you can, it's called having the speakers be right the first time". Speakers, to many people, aren't just sound-producing devices...they're furniture, to be admired visually. Having matching driver colors, where the match was intended, isn't trivial.

This isn't like ordering a 6-piece McNuggets and getting to your table and finding only 5 in the box and having to spend 90 seconds walking back to the counter to ask for the missing food. Re-boxing and re-shipping those things isn't a walk in the park, yet people seem to be trivializing that process.

You can toss out the delayed communication, the grill issue, the refund request, all of that. There's no getting around the fact that one of two things happened at the point of fulfillment of this order. Either 1) The builder never noticed that the drivers didn't match, in which case...WTF? Or 2) the builder did notice that the drivers didn't match, but thought to himself "eh, wtf..."

It seems like too many people here have been conditioned to accept mediocrity and just take it and keep smiling. Either that or there are some Tekton fans here dealing with a truckload of cognitive dissonance and no matter how this went the OP was going to come out of it looking unreasonable.

If Tekton did in fact offer to pay the cost of shipping both ways, I'd be happy to know it and would adjust my thinking accordingly.

Well said Bcgator...

The speakers should have been correct BEFORE LEAVING his shop.... it's called QUALITY CONTROL. Do you want to pay $2,500 for a pair of speakers, then they arrive and have a NOTICEABLY different color between the woofers ON THE SAME SPEAKER?

Ship back? The boxes ARE HUGE!!! And weigh almost 90 pounds each. Even if he were to offer to to that, the cost would be in the hundreds of dollars. He agreed to send a pair of grilles at no charge, fine. BUT HOW THE HELL DO THE ATTACH TO THE SPEAKERS???

The WORST part is the lack of communication... it is next to impossible to get an answer from him on anything for a week, then when I start a PayPal claim, he calls me personally on my cell phone with 20 minutes!!!!
Why not just swap out for the right color woofer cones. Replacing the woofers is easy. Not rocket science.
That was another option.... if I could get a response from the guy. I really wanted to have grilles and I asked more than twice about the grilles with no answer. Now I have to modify the grilles to get them to work.
The "mismatched" woofer colors have gone from slightly different to NOTICEABLY different. You ordered the loudspeakers without grills, the manufacturer gave you free grills (a $75 value), but you're still not happy.
And courtesy of Onhwy61, a reminder to all users to make sure you use the exact same adjective modifiers from post to post, otherwise your original post could be invalidated.
Personally, I don't expect the same six sigma quality control when I buy from a tiny Internet direct one man operation like Tekton that I would expect from an industry giant like a Dynaudio or a KEF. These are not assembly line mass produced soeakers. These are hand made one at a time affairs. So expectations should be adjusted accordingly. And because you ARE buying from this tyoe of small operation you are enjoying a product that would be many times more costly from a more polished large company macine.


Attach it with Velcro dots. You already said that.
+1 Jaxwired, Ohwy61, Shakeydeal and Roxy54. This is the proverbial molehill turned into a mountain.
You are all out of your minds... a person pays $2,500 for a pair of speakers from a guy trying to prove he can make a good pair of speakers for a decent price that sound good.

Then he will not answer questions about how the grilles attach or answer e-mails, sends a pair of speakers with woofers that have a noticeably different color and then sends grilles WITH PEGS ATTACHED TO THEM for a speaker WITHOUT PEG HOLES. Now, I have to cut those off and use velcro dots.

This is the normal that you clowns are used to accepting?
Audiofreak, I can bottom-line this thread for you...

Along with some helpful suggestions from people who don't have any financial/emotional attachment to Tekton, you're being minimized by two kinds of people here.

The first is the person who actually own Tektons and they're dealing with some latent fear that if the small, independent maker of their speakers were to receive enough negative "press" the company may go out of business and they'd lose access to parts, service, etc. They couldn't care less about your problem, except for hoping that your problem becomes muted so it doesn't indirectly someday become their problem.

The second is the person who has formed an emotional bond with the company, and your issue is creating tremendous cognitive dissonance that they can't compartmentalize. It's like showing up on a Hostess Apple Pie Lovers message board and announcing that Hostess Apple Pies gave you food poisoning - emotional distress galore.

In both cases, it's not their $2500 in play, and it ain't their molehill so to speak. They just want you to go away. And there's a good chance this thread will be deleted, in which case your molehill will have never existed at all.

Going forward, consider this whole situation a valuable lesson learned - about speakers and people. Like Jaxwired posted, should you ever again consider buying boutique, you now know the risks involved, but if you want the drivers to match you may want to consider KEF or Dynaudio (or B&W, Proac, Harbeth, etc)

Best of luck to you.
Hi Roxy54,
Off topic for a moment. Impressions of your AN Kit 300b amplifier, you can answer on my system page if you're so inclined.
Back to the thread topic.
Could you provide pictures of the loudspeaker drivers showing the different hues? And to clarify, there are no issues about the drivers sounding different?
Not sure how to upload photos... if you let me know how, I will do so. I am assuming there is no sound difference between them. He said that he buys the drivers 250 per order and "his guys" usually do a pretty good job of matching up the drivers. There is actually a review online where they talk about the different color in the paper woofers.
You literally read my mind. I was thinking just yesterday about messaging you personally about my impressions, because I wanted to bounce them off of you for your feedback and because I thought you would be interested , but I didn't think it would be of particular interest to everyone else. I will send you a message later today.
Until then, I will say that I am very happy.
Thanks, John
You act like its impossible to pull out the grill plugs and install velcro. So you have extremely minor cosmetic issue but act as though you've been severely wronged and that some how its right for you to try to damage the manufacturer.
I am merely letting people know that the communication from Tekton is a joke. I did pull the pegs out and it also tore up the wood some. And I will install velcro dots. I was not "severely wronged", but I think $2,500 is a lot of my money to have an issue like this with the woofer color. I figured that it would be easier for Tekton to make grilles and I could cover the problem, rather than sending out new drivers (that may still not even match). Are you dumb or something?
Just have him send you two woofers (of which ever color you prefer) and change them out.

Wow, that was tough. But even a "clown" gets it right sometimes.....

Hmmm... so now you see the photo. Any else to say? Don't you think you would want the drivers replaced or have a grill over them?
There is cetainly a very noticeable difference in the color of the woofers. That being said, the wood frames would not have been damaged if you had cut the pegs off instead of pulling them out.
Concerning the grill not being included, when you go to see the Pendragons on the Tekton website, the picture shows them without holes for grilles. Perhaps you should have asked about that before you bought them. I understand that like many of us, you weren't planning on using them, and the color difference necessitated using them, but I still think that the remedy was fair.
Treat my page as a gathering site for fellow SET/low powe r amplifiers -high efficiency speaker aficionados, that's how I see it. The OP's Shindo-Tekton is a good example. I bet it sounds excellent.
Alright Charles, I will do it that way. I just don't want to bore anyone with my personal impressions of the differences between my old SS amp and this new SET.
Roxy... I DID DO THAT. I asked like three times about how the grilles attached to the speakers - NEVER GOT AN ANSWER. There are many small outfits making speakers out there that are usiong magnetic grilles.

Let's talk about the fact that the speakers even left his shop like that!!!
Charlesldad... you have no idea. The shit is UNREAL. I feel like I have wasted so much time on all kinds of amps, cables, speakers, subwoofers, etc., only to be completely blown away by a 15-watt amp with effecient speakers.
Right and the photos on the website also show the speakers with matching woofers what's your point? Should he have asked if the woofers would match or perhaps if they would be wired properly? The fact that the speakers came like that is astounding to me. Why should he have to manipulate speaker grills to cover this mistake? I feel like so many audiophools are use to taking it in the arse by manufacturers and now feel like its the norm. Sad.
I would have exchanged the speakers whether or not Tekton paid for shipping. And I would have been annoyed regardless. The difference in color is unacceptable. And I would not have offered to replace the drivers myself for fear of damaging the finish during the process. The Pendragons are typically sold without grills as are many similar high end speakers. (For example, grills are not available for Zu or Audio Note speakers regardless of price.) I would not have settled for grills as a solution.
Audiofreak - I have had a similar experience. Charles and I both have 300b SET amps.
I certainly feel for you Audiofreak. If I spent $2500 on anything and it wasn't perfect, I know I would be PO'd! Regardless if it was purchased from a well established global giant or a small boutique ID company. If a company demands suggested list for a product, then the consumer has a right to expect a perfectly manufactured product free from any defects or flaws. As it was advertised.

This is the biggest reason why I am not a fanboi of any ID product - too many here today and gone tomorrow stories. Not to mention that many just cannot afford to deliver the superior customer service and return privileges (free return shipping included if not 100% satisfied) in todays marketplace. I would rather pay more upfront for an established product with a strong dealer support network to take care of me before and most important, after the sale.

I would push for a full exchange, especially after the grill debacle. Even with the grills on to hide them, I would always know about the discoloration of the drivers and the fact that I paid top dollar for something not perfect. But that's me. Good luck you brother and I hope it all gets sorted out to your complete satisfaction.
Hi Audiofreak,
Welcome to the club, I understand your journey. The good news is you've gotten it right for your needs and are very happy with your system's sound.
Audiofreak I would have felt the same way you do. He has been around long enough to have his quality control taken care of. I too have emailed him with no replies because I was seriously wanting to try his speakers out. No doubt they probably are good speakers but we take our audio very serious and to our hearts and to me this is unacceptable.
Thanks for the pics. I'm not sure if it would bother me, but I can understand it being a problem for others. I guess you could ask to exchange of drivers.
I do understand your disappointment, and I don't want to minimize your frustration, but I guess you have to weigh the cost of shipping against the look of the drivers (which don't look ugly, just different). There are many of us, myself included, who gambled on pretty speakers only to find them musically lacking in the end. From what you say, you are loving the music that they make, and that is the most important thing.
"This is why everyone hates audiophiles."

Yes, and this thread is also probably contributing to teen pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, drought conditions in California, and the decline in sales of 8-track tapes. Someone please delete this thread before someone gets seriously injured with a hula hoop and a 6-pack of Schlitz.