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.


Amir is being truthful? Amir is demonstrating exactly how much he doesnt understand. Certainly less distortion is a good thing but not if in order to get lower distortion you sacrifice other aspects of reproduction. Tubes give you better linearity, allow for a much simpler circuit and have better low level resolution. So they measure higher in distortion but are more satisfying and accurate in other ways which may not be measurable. 

I dont care how honest a person is if they consistently demonstrate not only a lack of fundamental understanding but also a refusal to acknowledge the complexities present. The dumbing down of a complex issue simply so he can create a more defensible position does no one any favors. Amir doesnt want to help he wants to divide. 


The transistor is one of the most critical inventions there is. This site would not exit, nor the Internet without it

What does this have to do with audio reproduction, I could say satellite radio wouldn’t exist without the vacuum tube, which would have a closer relationship to audio reproduction than your example.

Against my better judgement I will reply to this train-wreck of a thread.

"Amir was being honest with the measurement results he obtained. Science and its engineering applications are based on measurements."

I firmly believe this to be true. However, I also believe there are intangibles when it comes to audio and its reproduction. In other words, measurements don’t tell the whole story of how a certain piece of equipment sounds.

"OMG they gang up on Amir because he’s being truthful... what’s wrong with these people acting like bunch of "cry babies"."

Amir brings it upon himself. I find his responses to be childish insomuch that he portrays an attitude of self-righteousness and condescension towards anyone whose opinion differs than his.

My advice is to think and listen for yourself. I think you’ll hit a point in your audio journey where you realize that one guy doesn’t have all the answers. And if they tell you they do....probably time to move on.

ASR seems to me to be a place where hoards of people with cheap equipment are so desperate for validation that their $300 "insert piece of equipment here" is just as good as a $6000 "insert piece of equipment here" (that they’ve never heard for themselves, mind you), that they’ll resort to personal attacks. Amir leads the show over there and I find it rather appalling and ignorant. Not for me, thanks. If that's being a "cry-baby", well....I guess I've been called worse.

Well said and worth reposting.

Reading Amir’s multiple posts this morning, I repeatedly wondered if humility has ever crossed his mind while proofreading. The picture of himself  was the cherry on top - somewhat boggling why one would share, but mildly amusing at the same time. 


Why in the heck should anyone buy a tube amp when even a good example has this kind of noise and distortion? 

As if to try to be hip by being contrarians, some audiophiles have clung to tubes, hypnotized by the glowing filaments, convincing themselves that they are hearing better fidelity. 

This and the rest of your post merely validates my point. You're just a condescending narcissist toward others opinions that don't jive with yours about tubes and an elitist. You don't have an ounce of humility. I'm not arguing against your measurements. You can measure until you are blue in the face because that's all you've ever done.

It's you that's bothered by what others like listening to and that's why you purposely pull other peoples posts out of your own forum when they call you out on your errors. I've seen you do this time and time again in your own forum and other members have taken screen shots to prove you do this before pulling them down because they already know you will. 

What do you care if others like tubes? You feel a need to show measurements as some sort of validation that listeners shouldn't like tubes? Many enjoy tubes because they are colored. You have the audacity to tell others what they should and shouldn't like because your measurements show anomalies you don't like. Oh, they must be hypnotized by those glowing filaments. Well, so what if they like that too?

I have a Klipsch The Three which you don't recommend. It sounds fine and it's fun for background listening. What? Now all the sudden I'm not supposed to like it because you did some measurements that don't jive with your ideology? 

You don't have to match gear if you don't want to. That's obviously not important with your methods according to you, so I'll buy a 3 watt tube amp on amazon and run it with my Magnepan's and complain to my audience about the results. You just get some sense of superiority in your mind by trashing on companies products with your measurements without proper context.

In case you didn't know this, there are components that measure well that sound dull, boring and flat, hello? You're a real piece of work Amir.

Threads like this make me want to find a different hobby.  I’ll just assume most of the angst comes from industry people who feel threatened (rightfully so)  and leave it at that.