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.


you've run out of intelligent ways to defeat Amir and ASR.

It only takes one way. I have seen plenty of people take on Amir intelligently. Amir will simply post another graph.  

I've decided that Amir has taken the position that no PR is bad PR.  So his lack of respect, arrogance, condescension, these are all part of his brand.  People that want to feel intellectually superior follow him.

Measurements and scientific approach can be useful and important in choosing gear or evaluating a system configuration.  That doesn't make it everything.  Nor does ASR really come near measuring everything relevant. There is no attention paid to system synergy or the relationship of components.  

ASR and their followers are completely blind to their own biases. And then there's this stupid rating system built on top of the partial measuring scheme.  Deaf panther. 

"Now you resort to name calling and insults because you’ve run out of intelligent ways to defeat Amir and ASR. "

The minion reinforcements have arrived to support the cult leader. How pathetic that the minions regard this as a battle to defeat someone. Amir is just a rude, obnoxious, arrogant person who actually knows very little. It looks like the cult leader needs support to try and persuade us of our failings.

"You probably got kicked out for being unintelligent on ASR - a site full of engineers and physicists." I suggest you go back and play with your $2.00 dongle that measures superbly. Seriously I have never come across a less educated rabble than on ASR.

Amir is a gentleman when he discuss. Nevermind how wrong his idea about audio measurements meanings can be.

I am not fan of his zealots gangstalking anybody who beg to differ exactly like here i am not proud of SOME people easy to spot who like flies attack with insults and no sound argument...


"defeat" is an aggressive word my apologies I should have used "refute" instead. ASR is not an cult you all are invited to express your opinions and listening experiences that don’t need to agree with the measurements or opinions of other members but don’t go dramatic like saying "my $2000 shunyata power cable made a startlingly significant improvement" or "give it 200 hrs of burn-in it will get better better better" because we know that’s not true. Amir created ASR on the principles of engineering to evaluate audio equipment so that we could trust ASR wholeheartedly since there's no sponsor or advertisement influence and absolutely no paid-trolls... but based on objective measurements.


This just comes to show what a self proclaimed narcissist is like. If you skip to 5:35 of this video, he goes on to say he's the guy with golden ears. 🙄