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.


I do check ASR measurements, and I thank them for providing the service. However, this is the task for @amir_asr to figure out why some gear measures better than the other while sounding worse. Or that it measures great while consisting of crappy parts - Topping teardown is available for anyone to see.

ASR community reminds me of people who try to prove their point about sampling rates by quoting Nyquist theorem. While knowing little what does it actually proves. Or the difference between theory and actual implementation.

If Pass Labs measures not to Amir’s standards, perhaps Amir should write to Nelson Pass and ask. Or ask Viktor Khomenko in forums about BAT. I’d love to see their responses.

For some reason I trust Nelson with decades of products that people love and keep more than some Internet forum owner with a scope.

That's the problem with Amir, the guy doesn't listen to anything. He's strictly bias to measurements. The guy is extremely weird and needs a TK421.

In my experience discussing with him for 7 days here , he confuse sound quality and electrical measures of the gear for 2 reason:

--- For one, it  is his own selling pitch , he sell his site, products and expertise,,,

---The second one is he think acoustics is room acoustic.. Even if he know the difference  between acoustics and room acoustic he had no idea what we hear when we hear a qualia and a physical property of the vibrating sound source in our own non linmear time domain  because for him the ears is a deceptive tool compared to his electrical devices, period.


It is science : hearing theories are the core of acoustics...

He know nothing and dont want to know nothing about that ...

Fourier maps is the territory for him . Period...

But sorry Fourier maps are not the acoustic human territory ...😊

it is easy to understand the huge difference if we study.


It is an engineer in software  and a seller and a gentleman  ...😊



Well, I just watched pieces of few ASR videos. Let me tell you, it was not easy for me. The engineer does not how to insert the power cable into the socket (needed "fifty times greater force", must have measured it obviously), doesn't know that ground pin is longer then blades on audio cables. Just two items from my laundry list. It was really amazing experience watching it.  I have to lay down now.