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.


Of course ASR can prove that $300 equipment outperforms your $6000  SCIENTIFICALLY based on their measurements data (not based on your ears/brains) so you need to be thankful (or shameful)

So I'm wrong if I don't like the sound of this so called great measuring inexpensive equipment and like the sound of my tube equipment? The problem with measurements is they are taken in isolation and not the way the equipment will be used in the real world.

... I'm sick and tired of seeing this forum flooded with paid trolls ...

Please identify the persons you accuse of being "paid trolls."

If I’m not supposed to use my brain/ears to judge how a product sounds to what’s the point?

What a ridiculous, fatally flawed premise for an argument.

My advice would be to make your own decisions based on how a product SOUNDS and what YOU like, not what some guy on the internet with a multi-meter tells you.


I'm done with this nonsense.



Audiogon has done a great job. Sometimes people need to be able to share their stories rather than having them constantly censored like ASR does to anyone who questions their methods. I banned myself from that miserable cultist forum long ago and never looked back. 

i will not go back in my acoustics hearing theory rant...

Anyway it seems very few read science articles..

I posted many...

Our ears are designed in a specific way to grasp some qualitative meanings about vibrating sound source these qualia reflecting direct physical invariant of the sound sources. "timbre" is the main exemple.

For Amir all there is to say is in some types of cherry picked electrical measurement about the gear through Fourier linear mapping of a reality which anyway exist not as a linear Fourier map and exist in his own non linear time domain in our perceptive and interpretative consciousness reflecting in himself some physical invariants of the vibrating sound source...

Then Amir stance about sound quality rooted in some set of electrical measures is half truths at best ...

Then ricevs is right here :

How can he be "right" if he thinks that measurements directly correlate to sound.

The Map is not the reality.... The Fourier tools are only that : "tools" ...We dont understand hearing without the vibrating sound source many physical invariant ready to be directly perceived as qualities of sound, timbre, speech, music ...


Also apart for these qualities extracted from vibrating sound sources describing properties of these sound sources. ( is the vibrating object is made of metals or wood or plastic , is it dense or hollowed, is it made of many holes etc )



Apart for the physical invariants of the sound source Acoustician Edgar Choueiri say this:


Spatial music is music in which the spatial aspect of sound—the perceived location, extent, and movements of sound sources in surrounding space—is more or less equal in stature to the traditional aspects, or elements, of music—pitch, timbre, texture, volume/dynamics, attack/duration/decay, melody, rhythm, and form. We shall call this traditional aspect of music canonical and contrast it with the spatial.

Our daily experience of sound outside of music is rich in the spatial aspect and poor in the canonical. We constantly hear sounds localized or moving in 3D space, but most sounds—the engine rattle of a passing bus, the rustle of tree leaves in the park, even a melodic birdsong—heard one day are not easily hummable in the shower the next. In most music the opposite has been true: We hum and remember the melodies, and we sway to the rhythms, but we have grown to accept that the spatial location and extent of musical sounds and their movement in space are, at most, secondary to the canonical elements. We are thus as oblivious to the music that is constantly unfolding in natural space as we have been unfazed by the lack of spatial sound in music.»



Then how measuring few electrical specs of an isolated gear design could indicate anything deep about the many sound qualities aspects really ?😊