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 thinks $300 class D amps outclass 5k Pass and the like purely based on measurements. In reality it’s far from the reality unless you’re deaf! 

People on a budget should appreciate that ASR identifies many very cost effective products that perform well. Many are so cost effective that it makes sense to consider and compare. You might save a lot of $$$$s if that is something that matters to you. It does to me and I have found some very good values via ASR. Or if you think price always determines quality then probably not so much. You get to choose and be happy.

It’s not hard though to see where ASR reviews may represent a threat to vendors that fear their products may be undercut by others of lower cost. That’s a real possibility but one that benefits the buyer and works against some but not all “high end vendors”. Those that offer unique value or perhaps just an alternate good sound that may or may not measure well should be fine. But it’s clearly the buyers and the more cost effective product vendors that benefit. Other high end review sites that focus exclusively on “audiophile” customers help make up for that though.

People on a budget should appreciate that ASR identifies many very cost effective products that perform well.


When i decided to buy a preamplifier with tone controls for my secondary headphone K240 sextett, i read reviews about the new Fosi amplifier-pre... Then i read Amir review which was very enthusiastic...I bought it...

Not only it is good but better than we could think for a so low cost product...

Measured and  confirmed good specs are not enough for me  , enthusiastic users reviews for a new product unlike vintage one is not enough for me ...But put the two together and it is not hard to want to try for something under 100 bucks if you need it ...😁

And Amir wanted one for himself after his review ... Even with all his imaginary or real defects he had listen more low cost products than most users ...

Anyway i use all reviews by users and well as Amir one, the less credible one are most official reviewers 😊...

By the way this headphone amp did a better job to drive my top hybrid Akg K340 in a test than a tube amp i tried costing 20 times his price and i returned it ... I use the K340 only with my Sansui alpha though who is hard to beat... Think about how price tags could be misleading when synergy and the right amplification is needed ..

Acoustics rules audio not price tags..


I appreciate that @amir_asr  is here. He has been very patient with the attacks on him, on this forum.

Thank you.

Don't forget that both personal taste (subjective) and measurements (objective) come into play when buying equipment. People seem to forget this point.