Some thoughts on ASR and the reviews

I’ve briefly taken a look at some online reviews for budget Tekton speakers from ASR and Youtube. Both are based on Klippel quasi-anechoic measurements to achieve "in-room" simulations.

As an amateur speaker designer, and lover of graphs and data I have some thoughts. I mostly hope this helps the entire A’gon community get a little more perspective into how a speaker builder would think about the data.

Of course, I’ve only skimmed the data I’ve seen, I’m no expert, and have no eyes or ears on actual Tekton speakers. Please take this as purely an academic exercise based on limited and incomplete knowledge.

1. Speaker pricing.

One ASR review spends an amazing amount of time and effort analyzing the ~$800 US Tekton M-Lore. That price compares very favorably with a full Seas A26 kit from Madisound, around $1,700. I mean, not sure these inexpensive speakers deserve quite the nit-picking done here.

2. Measuring mid-woofers is hard.

The standard practice for analyzing speakers is called "quasi-anechoic." That is, we pretend to do so in a room free of reflections or boundaries. You do this with very close measurements (within 1/2") of the components, blended together. There are a couple of ways this can be incomplete though.

a - Midwoofers measure much worse this way than in a truly anechoic room. The 7" Scanspeak Revelators are good examples of this. The close mic response is deceptively bad but the 1m in-room measurements smooth out a lot of problems. If you took the close-mic measurements (as seen in the spec sheet) as correct you’d make the wrong crossover.

b - Baffle step - As popularized and researched by the late, great Jeff Bagby, the effects of the baffle on the output need to be included in any whole speaker/room simulation, which of course also means the speaker should have this built in when it is not a near-wall speaker. I don’t know enough about the Klippel simulation, but if this is not included you’ll get a bass-lite expereinced compared to real life. The effects of baffle compensation is to have more bass, but an overall lower sensitivity rating.

For both of those reasons, an actual in-room measurement is critical to assessing actual speaker behavior. We may not all have the same room, but this is a great way to see the actual mid-woofer response as well as the effects of any baffle step compensation.

Looking at the quasi anechoic measurements done by ASR and Erin it _seems_ that these speakers are not compensated, which may be OK if close-wall placement is expected.

In either event, you really want to see the actual in-room response, not just the simulated response before passing judgement. If I had to critique based strictly on the measurements and simulations, I’d 100% wonder if a better design wouldn’t be to trade sensitivity for more bass, and the in-room response would tell me that.

3. Crossover point and dispersion

One of the most important choices a speaker designer has is picking the -3 or -6 dB point for the high and low pass filters. A lot of things have to be balanced and traded off, including cost of crossover parts.

Both of the reviews, above, seem to imply a crossover point that is too high for a smooth transition from the woofer to the tweeters. No speaker can avoid rolling off the treble as you go off-axis, but the best at this do so very evenly. This gives the best off-axis performance and offers up great imaging and wide sweet spots. You’d think this was a budget speaker problem, but it is not. Look at reviews for B&W’s D series speakers, and many Focal models as examples of expensive, well received speakers that don’t excel at this.

Speakers which DO typically excel here include Revel and Magico. This is by no means a story that you should buy Revel because B&W sucks, at all. Buy what you like. I’m just pointing out that this limited dispersion problem is not at all unique to Tekton. And in fact many other Tekton speakers don’t suffer this particular set of challenges.

In the case of the M-Lore, the tweeter has really amazingly good dynamic range. If I was the designer I’d definitely want to ask if I could lower the crossover 1 kHz, which would give up a little power handling but improve the off-axis response.  One big reason not to is crossover costs.  I may have to add more parts to flatten the tweeter response well enough to extend it's useful range.  In other words, a higher crossover point may hide tweeter deficiencies.  Again, Tekton is NOT alone if they did this calculus.

I’ve probably made a lot of omissions here, but I hope this helps readers think about speaker performance and costs in a more complete manner. The listening tests always matter more than the measurements, so finding reviewers with trustworthy ears is really more important than taste-makers who let the tools, which may not be properly used, judge the experience.


ASR is using that comprise their accepted model of what a high fidelity item of whatever type should do and not do to be rated well. The discovery and validation of some hitherto unrecognized mechanism by which perceived listen quality could be more closely aligned with measurable phenomena would be warmly received. ASR uses the Flo


The ASR CFO is still a Revel dealer (Madrona digital), right? Has he managed to put most of his herd on the Revel train (boost sales a bit)? They sound kinda dry and sterile to my ears though the panther always golfs when it sees Revels apparently.

After he got banned on the various forums, does he continue to maintain multiple hidey accounts on the same forums? Or is he finally busy with his followers on his own forum?

The whole point of owning audio equipment is to listen to and enjoy music.  In evaluating individual components there are objective factors and subjective ones as well.  How it tests is important, but how does it sound and how does that make you feel?

Take a piece of classical piano music that has been recorded many times such as Bach's Goldberg Variations.  There are pianists who play it with perfect virtuosity - technical brilliance - but their interpretations are lacking in feeling.  Subjectively something important is missing.  Others convey the music with similar technical brilliance but with a whole level of subjective interpretation that transports the listener to a better place.  Both interpretations would 'test' equally well if you were measuring how fast and accurately they were playing the notes, but the subjective interpretations would be vastly different - and that you cannot measure.

The same applies to audio gear.  It can test perfectly but sound sterile, or at the other extreme test imperfectly but sound musical and engaging.  

Think of all the steps and equipment involved between the pianist playing in the recording studio to my listening to those same notes from a cd reproduced in my living room audio system.  

ASR emphasizes how it measures and not how it sounds, which is missing the subjective musicality in the equation.  I would encourage their members to go to concerts and recitals and listen to more live music and well recorded and well interpreted music as these are important dimensions beyond test measurements.  Don't just test the car, but look out the window and enjoy the journey it takes you on.


I own Tekton Lore Be's and enjoy them very much.

I have purchased 3 pairs of better speakers in my 50 year experience. Epicure 20s, Linn Nexus, and Lore Be's.  I still have the Linns and still rotate them into my setup. I love the way the Lores deliver mid bass. They sound as good or better than the Linns which were $1200 some 35 years ago.

Bottom line... I care how they sound in my room with my gear, not how they measure.

That is not the point. The point is Eric threatening people with lawsuits is the issue. One would work with people, like Andrew Jones does, not bully people.

If you like Tekton, great, but the behavior of the designer is what is turning off people not the speakers.