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Very Disappointed with Tekton Double Impacts


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I am a musician of many years and was responsible for making some really great players sax mouthpieces which I did for almost four decades and I also have my own line of saxophones for what that’s worth.

 

I bought my Double Impacts on a few months ago and at which time was informed that they would take about ninety days to receive.  When I didn’t receive any tracking info I emailed and received a response saying that they were waiting on parts and that it would be another two weeks. When I didn’t hear anything after two weeks I called and spoke with Eric Alexander who sounded very stressed out and said they’d be two more weeks and rushed me off the phone.  I just about thought he was gonna have a heart attack so I wrote him an email explaining that I was in a similar business making saxophone mouthpieces and that I had my own line of saxophones and made a couple of suggestions including meditation to calm down. 

 

Two weeks went buy and I called and spoke to a very nice women named “Connie” at which time she told me that they’d be shipping out in a few days and I did receive them a few days later by which I was very excited.  I hired a couple of guys to help me get them up the stairs of our place and set them up and boy, was I disappointed.  They weren’t complex sounding, lacked bass and highs and completely lacked definition.  They had no presence and above all were not at all exciting and I played everything on them from Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Scarlatti piano sonatas, BB King with a full horn selection, Bill Evans, Mozart’s symphony #41 in C major, even some rap, my whole playlist plus a bunch of CD’s. They sounded very one dimensional and almost like surround sound which I’m not a big fan of only, the sound didn’t reach me.  They didn’t project and when I hear the left hand on a Rachmaninoff piano concerto it had better have some umph.  Even when I listen to my much smaller Yamaha studio monitors, I can hear them in the next room and when I use my car’s stereo which only costs two-thousand dollars, its exciting.  Now, the Double Impacts did do better at higher volumes but never sounded full no matter how loud and I can’t listen to them loud all the time.

 

When you boil it down, I bought them on what reviewers had to say.  One reviewer said something like that they were worth speakers costing more than ten thousand dollars and another one said that some audiophiles were trading in their THIRTY-thousand-dollar speakers for the Double Impacts.  Well, I’d like to meet those people.  Ultimately, after doing lots of research, I bought into something that from my perspective just wasn’t true.  It reminded me of when I bought two of those “My pillows” which I won’t go into here.  For all I know they could be good speakers but NOTHING like they’re described to be in reviews, no way.

 

So, I wrote several comments on YouTube and Eric commented back saying that something was wrong and to call him which I did and I found him very, very defensive as if I personally insulted him.  I had frustrated artists syndrome myself so I know it when I see it.  He even at one point in the conversation said to one of his employees “Connie! How many Double Impacts have we gotten back out of the last 200 we sold?” To which of course she said “none”.  I could barely even get a word in edgewise but managed to say that I’d be willing to buy a more expensive speaker to which he said that it wouldn’t help.  Ultimately, he suggested that I send him photos so instead I sent him a video to which he made one comment but these speakers have a long way to go before I'll ever like them so today I ordered a pair of Klipsch Forte IV's.  My amp is a PrimaLuna EVO 300.  My rant is over.  Don't believe the reviews.  

 

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I have heard them and thought 'Too each his own'......

Current:  Daphile on an AMD A10-9500 with 16 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Pre-amp - Rotel RC-1590

Amplification - Benchmark AHB2 amplifier

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I looked at only ONE YouTube review and looked at not more than only TWO review's 3/4 sentences to see that this is some kind of hyped out of this world thing. ... If I include your own post this only attributes.

 

Speaker reviews don't go like this, unless it is about some youngster's youtubing or whatever I will never concur with. I could lag behind massively though.

 

Advice: Hype-up your own review and sell them.

IOW, no need to listen. You will be right (sadly !).

 

 

PS: I just read the strangest post ever (in my serious life) and in addition I just posted the most uncomfortably feeling post I ever created. IOW, tag as "disclaimer !" please.

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image.png.887df393b83a6ca627bd060c61175c2d.png

 

----------------------

 

Yeah, well, but really. It feels like diving into another universe. Not mine. That's why the disclaimer thing. So @PhilBarone, you should be in your twenty's yourself. Only then it makes sense to end up in this scene.

 

On an other note, this could be a refreshing topic/thread ...

 

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XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

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2 hours ago, PhilBarone said:

I had frustrated artists syndrome myself so I know it when I see it.  He even at one point in the conversation said to one of his employees “Connie! How many Double Impacts have we gotten back out of the last 200 we sold?” To which of course she said “none”.  I could barely even get a word in edgewise but managed to say that I’d be willing to buy a more expensive speaker to which he said that it wouldn’t help.

 

This is the greatest part. I am still laughing and laughing.

The 50+y/o experienced against the Influencer.

 

Sure.

 

The old guy still wins for the time being.

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XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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1 hour ago, bluesman said:

Hi and welcome to the AS community, Phil!  I have no experience at all with Tekton or their products, so I can't help you with that.  But we see so many rants about similar problems with so many products and vendors that I thought yours called for a bit of clarification.  I've been a professional musician for 60+ years (Local 77).  Although my main instruments are guitar and keys, I follow at least one web forum for each instrument I've played over the years, of which sax is one. 

 

I've never played one of yours myself, but I can tell you (and any on AS who might be tempted to take issue with your post) that you have a rock solid reputation among those who own and play Barone instruments and accessories.  Although the sound and playability of your instruments and mouthpieces draw nothing but praise in the many posts I've seen (e.g. on Sax on the Web), I've been particularly impressed with the praise for your level of customer interaction, responsiveness, and care.  As a working musician, I want to thank you for the level of service you provide us.  

 

So when someone who takes it as seriously as you do complains like this, it's worth hearing.  I don't recall having seen any posts here from sax players at any time over the years I've been participating, so I'm fairly certain that few (if any) AS regulars are familiar with Barone saxophones.  So to all who are tempted to take the OP as just another rant, please take my word for it - he's not asking for anything he doesn't provide his own customers.  By reputation, he's as good as it gets in this regard.

 

We hope you find sonic satisfaction, Phil.  

 

Thanks for this much needed context.

No electron left behind...

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Those Tektons were actually suggested to me by someone who's musical tastes I trust so I am at a bit of a loss here. What kind of amplification were you using?

No electron left behind...

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9 hours ago, PhilBarone said:

They had no presence and above all were not at all exciting


From what you describe hearing, my first thought was that your amp and speakers were mismatched, power vs sensitivity, but that doesn’t seem the case - amp is 70w and Tektons  98 dB claimed I think?
 

Judging by my Cornwalls, you certainly won’t be saying that about your Fortes. Enjoy.

 

 

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10 hours ago, PhilBarone said:

Two weeks went buy and I called and spoke to a very nice women named “Connie” at which time she told me that they’d be shipping out in a few days and I did receive them a few days later by which I was very excited.  I hired a couple of guys to help me get them up the stairs of our place and set them up and boy, was I disappointed.  They weren’t complex sounding, lacked bass and highs and completely lacked definition.

 

If you were disappointed then you had high expectations.

 

Where did those expectations come from? Reading magazine reviews? Watching Youtube videos? Buying into all that forum hype?

Lesson learned the hard way unfortunately... Sorry.

 

The first recommendation I make to any newcomer to this hobby is to ignore reviews (they're mostly just a cross between an infomercial and an opinion-led tasting session), learn how to interpret measurements and to correlate them with listening, and listen, listen, listen.

Bying blind is too much of a gamble. Believing that magazines are there to help is a mistake.

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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Yes, I can return them but I just found out that it's going to cost me $385.00 EACH to ship them back.  So, they originally cost me $3000 and if it costs them $385 each to ship to me then in reality they really only cost about $2400 + shipping.  So, think about what you get for $2400 and certainly not a 10 or 30 thousand dollar speakers like the reviewers would have you believe.  Not much plus the additional rudeness from the service.  You can bet that I'll be putting a video up on YouTube.  

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Shouldn't be difficult moving Tektons used even if selling pricewise for same or more because of the delay in manufacturing. Some guys are still waiting for their orders after having been pre-paid for nearly 9 months. 

 

I do know a reviewer that recently purchased Double Impacts and from his observation they didn't sound great in his room. Mind you, he experimented w/ distance between the D.I.'s and noted how sensitive they were in this regard. He also stated that "most" speakers didn't sound good in his room and he could get the same kinda fidelity from a pair of Klipsch book shelves. 

I own the Tekton Design Ulfberhts and the sound signature I note about these in particular is that they don't exaggerate the bottom end. When listening to replication vs a live concert the kinda bass most listeners want is exaggerated and not accurate to live concert. Most want the kinda exaggeration that is not there without a separate subwoofer. When listening to percussions for example in a live concert the kick drum doesn't send shock waves as well as sternum shots to the listener.... I however, really enjoy this over exaggeration of low frequencies and added two more Tekton Design 4-10s which in my 20x20 ft listening room can now achieve 130+ spl. 

Lastly, upstream component selection was something I didn't put much emphasis on before owning Tektons. Sub-par amplification which sounded good w/ other speakers resulted in Tektons bitching and moaning about the working relationship w/ the gear upstream. I take it that this occurred because of the ohm load the Tektons placed on my then Emotiva XPA Gen 3 amp in which I then upgraded to a DR3 only to describe the fidelity likened to spreading cold butter over toast. It wasn't until I upgraded to Parasound's Halo line of amplification before I changed that to warm butter over soft bread. I'm not too sure about the ohm load of the D.I.s but w/ the Ulfberhts the ohm load dips down to 2.3 ohms .... makes me think that a high current amp is best suited to drive such speakers:

spacer.png

 

Above shows a 2.3 ohm load dip between 100-108hz. 

SMSL M400 DAC
Bluesound Node 2i

Sony 65 inch OLED A8G, Sony 4k Blue Ray X700

Parasound Halo A31 Amplifier

Tekton Ulfberht Speakers w/ Be high frequency upgrade [4 ohms ea.]
Two Tekton Active [300 watts rms] 4-10 Subwoofers

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4 minutes ago, PhilBarone said:

Yes, I can return them but I just found out that it's going to cost me $385.00 EACH to ship them back.  So, they originally cost me $3000 and if it costs them $385 each to ship to me then in reality they really only cost about $2400 + shipping.  So, think about what you get for $2400 and certainly not a 10 or 30 thousand dollar speakers like the reviewers would have you believe.  Not much plus the additional rudeness from the service.  You can bet that I'll be putting a video up on YouTube.  

Sorry, Phil, but I'm not understanding: you don't like the speakers and have bought replacements, but aren't going to send them back even though you will net over$2K? Sounds like you are "letting your money make you mad", as the saying goes.

 

Or see if you can find a local or driving distance away buyer.  

 

Not trying to comment to you, but just a general comment: I'd never buy speakers over about $500 or so a pair that I didn't hear first (unless it was an upgrade in the same speaker line).
Reviews are for helping to create a list of speakers to audition, IMO.

Reaction to speakers is very personal. One man's poison is a another's favorite drink. So I'd either buy something sold locally after audition or if the speaker was really expensive, travel to audition it. That's what I did before I bought my last pair. Better to spend the amount it costs to ship them than to get stuck dealing with speakers you don't like.

 

One thing audio forums are good for: finding someone who owns the equipment you are interested in. Most serious audiophiles would be more than happy to let an interested party hear their equipment. 

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44 minutes ago, firedog said:

Sorry, Phil, but I'm not understanding: you don't like the speakers and have bought replacements, but aren't going to send them back even though you will net over$2K? Sounds like you are "letting your money make you mad", as the saying goes.

 

Or see if you can find a local or driving distance away buyer.  

 

Not trying to comment to you, but just a general comment: I'd never buy speakers over about $500 or so a pair that I didn't hear first (unless it was an upgrade in the same speaker line).
Reviews are for helping to create a list of speakers to audition, IMO.

Reaction to speakers is very personal. One man's poison is a another's favorite drink. So I'd either buy something sold locally after audition or if the speaker was really expensive, travel to audition it. That's what I did before I bought my last pair. Better to spend the amount it costs to ship them than to get stuck dealing with speakers you don't like.

 

One thing audio forums are good for: finding someone who owns the equipment you are interested in. Most serious audiophiles would be more than happy to let an interested party hear their equipment. 

 

Oh no, I'm sending them back and I offered to spend more money with them but the guy said it wouldn't make any difference.  So right, maybe I screwed up but there's not many places I can go to around here although I did go to one and wasn't blown away for the money.  Besides, correct me if I'm mistaken but wouldn't all the other variables such as amp, room and all other devices have to be used with the speakers to get an accurate assessment?

 

Given the Tekton's size and weight, I think it's going to be hard to find a local buyer so I'll send them back and write it off as a lesson learned, actually two.  The other one is never listen to reviews.  Yes, they can be used to make a list but I can do that just by doing a search, no? My friend used to write for an audio magazine said that reviews are all BS and I noticed that I never saw a bad one which indicates to me that they won't get stuff to review if the give manufacturers a negative review, right? But it's not my money that's making me mad, it's feeling duped. 

 

Thank you for your input and feel free to offer me advice since you're obviously more experienced than I am.  I'm kind of in a different league than you folks in that I'm not an audiophile, I really just wanted a nice unit and buying, selling, trading, driving all over the place is something I'm not that interested it.  

 

Peace, Phil

 

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12 hours ago, bluesman said:

Hi and welcome to the AS community, Phil!  I have no experience at all with Tekton or their products, so I can't help you with that.  But we see so many rants about similar problems with so many products and vendors that I thought yours called for a bit of clarification.  I've been a professional musician for 60+ years (Local 77).  Although my main instruments are guitar and keys, I follow at least one web forum for each instrument I've played over the years, of which sax is one. 

 

I've never played one of yours myself, but I can tell you (and any on AS who might be tempted to take issue with your post) that you have a rock solid reputation among those who own and play Barone instruments and accessories.  Although the sound and playability of your instruments and mouthpieces draw nothing but praise in the many posts I've seen (e.g. on Sax on the Web), I've been particularly impressed with the praise for your level of customer interaction, responsiveness, and care.  As a working musician, I want to thank you for the level of service you provide us.  

 

So when someone who takes it as seriously as you do complains like this, it's worth hearing.  I don't recall having seen any posts here from sax players at any time over the years I've been participating, so I'm fairly certain that few (if any) AS regulars are familiar with Barone saxophones.  So to all who are tempted to take the OP as just another rant, please take my word for it - he's not asking for anything he doesn't provide his own customers.  By reputation, he's as good as it gets in this regard.

 

We hope you find sonic satisfaction, Phil.  

Thank you, you made my day. I thought I was old news but I guess some people still remember me.  My ears are still good, there's this one A in the left hand of my vintage Steinway that I can always pick out. It's so amazing, it's so rich and dark and has like a million overtones and I keep trying to get my tech to make all the registers sound like this A but he can't! 

 

Have a great day! Former 802 member, Phil

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13 minutes ago, GregWormald said:

While it is always best to have a real, lengthy audition in your own home, that is getting less and less likely, so you'll have to find another way of reducing purchasing errors.

 

IMO the way to use reviews goes something like this:

 

Learn to separate real reviews from advertorials. Hint—advertorials are always over the top. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

 

Real reviews always comment on the shortcomings as well as the positives. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

 

Work out which reviewers seem to appreciate the same thing you do in music and secondarily, in sound. This means you have to read a lot! 

 

Work out what the consensus is among the reviewers that match your preferences? The wider the opinion gap, the more likely something is off somewhere.

 

Work out what the reviewer has to gain from his review. Hint—the more gain, the more likely it is that the review is exaggerated.


 

This is some great advice, I printed it out but I haven't seen reviews that are like the ones you describe.  Where can I find them?  

 

Thank you! Phil

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Hi Phil,

 

So you bought a pair of speakers unheard, and now you're ordering a different set, also unheard? This might not end up well...

 

I urge you to find a local dealer(s) where you can audition, and that offers home auditions and returns. Sure, you will be constrained to what makes and models they have on hand, but that's better than chasing and returning very heavy audiophile 'unicorns' imo. Even better is a dealer who has both new and used speakers and offers trade-ins - that way you can upgrade and swap without the hassle of internet selling and shipping. When I last auditioned speakers I was pretty surprised at the differences between them - the pair I initially went in for was soon at the bottom of the list and I ended up with a pair that cost less and sounded a whole lot better, but that was after listening to about six different pairs .

 

Best, Charles

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1 hour ago, Shimei said:

Shouldn't be difficult moving Tektons used even if selling pricewise for same or more because of the delay in manufacturing. Some guys are still waiting for their orders after having been pre-paid for nearly 9 months. 

 

I do know a reviewer that recently purchased Double Impacts and from his observation they didn't sound great in his room. Mind you, he experimented w/ distance between the D.I.'s and noted how sensitive they were in this regard. He also stated that "most" speakers didn't sound good in his room and he could get the same kinda fidelity from a pair of Klipsch book shelves. 

I own the Tekton Design Ulfberhts and the sound signature I note about these in particular is that they don't exaggerate the bottom end. When listening to replication vs a live concert the kinda bass most listeners want is exaggerated and not accurate to live concert. Most want the kinda exaggeration that is not there without a separate subwoofer. When listening to percussions for example in a live concert the kick drum doesn't send shock waves as well as sternum shots to the listener.... I however, really enjoy this over exaggeration of low frequencies and added two more Tekton Design 4-10s which in my 20x20 ft listening room can now achieve 130+ spl. 

Lastly, upstream component selection was something I didn't put much emphasis on before owning Tektons. Sub-par amplification which sounded good w/ other speakers resulted in Tektons bitching and moaning about the working relationship w/ the gear upstream. I take it that this occurred because of the ohm load the Tektons placed on my then Emotiva XPA Gen 3 amp in which I then upgraded to a DR3 only to describe the fidelity likened to spreading cold butter over toast. It wasn't until I upgraded to Parasound's Halo line of amplification before I changed that to warm butter over soft bread. I'm not too sure about the ohm load of the D.I.s but w/ the Ulfberhts the ohm load dips down to 2.3 ohms .... makes me think that a high current amp is best suited to drive such speakers:

spacer.png

 

Above shows a 2.3 ohm load dip between 100-108hz. 

 

Okay but the Ulfberhts  are a much more expensive speaker although I did see a video of them and on the video they sounded spectacular and I would have bought them but the owner of Tekton steered me away from another speaker of his.  I'm not a big fan of bass in the extreme but I do love hear lows that aren't exaggerated.  I played some Bach cello suites and Rach piano concertos and the sound overall just wasn't present.  No umf.  In my room, they had nothing redeemable. Thank for the info. Phil

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Just now, PhilBarone said:

 

Okay but the Ulfberhts  are a much more expensive speaker although I did see a video of them and on the video they sounded spectacular and I would have bought them but the owner of Tekton steered me away from another speaker of his.  I'm not a big fan of bass in the extreme but I do love hear lows that aren't exaggerated.  I played some Bach cello suites and Rach piano concertos and the sound overall just wasn't present.  No umf.  In my room, they had nothing redeemable. Thank for the info. Phil

Just one question, where do I go about selling them? 

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11 hours ago, AudioDoctor said:

Those Tektons were actually suggested to me by someone who's musical tastes I trust so I am at a bit of a loss here. What kind of amplification were you using?

PrimaLuna EVO 300

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13 minutes ago, PhilBarone said:

 

Okay, but they're not exactly beautiful to look at. P

IMO way better looking than the strange 'spider eyes' of the Tektons. But each to their own....

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