TAD—JA's Best Sound At Axpona

Best sound apart from violinist Arturo Delmoni, that is. I am reviewing TAD's Compact Reference CR-1 three-way stand-mounts ($37,500/pair plus $1800/pair for stands) for a Fall issue of the magazine so I was interested in seeing what kind of sound TAD's chief engineer Andrew Jones was getting from the CR-1s in the room TAD was sharing with its New York dealer, Triode Picture+Sound. Though there were a pair of Atma-Sphere tube monoblocks in the room, the speakers were being driven by TAD's solid-state amplifier with the source Andrew's MacBook Air running Decibel and feeding data to a TAD DAC via USB. I listened to several hi-rez recordings at 176.4kHz and 192kHz from Chesky and ex-Sheffield Labs engineer Bill Schnee, whose recording for Bravura Records of a band led by drummer Simon Phillips had one of the best recorded drum sounds I have heard. Even in the cramped and crowded hotel room, it was obvious that these speakers, with their coaxial, beryllium-diaphragm midrange/tweeter and reflex-loaded 8" woofer with a 4" voice-coil, were doing something out of the ordinary with respect to freedom from compression.

xrandom's picture

A couple of 1800 $/pair stands should sound ALONE, connected to the amplifier.... IMHO.... and additionally they should also sound quite well...

Jim N's picture

Having listened to the mentioned brands' top of range models (and lower models also), and many other high-end brands, my conclusion is clear:

* TAD Reference 1 is maybe the world's best speaker (the only speaker I have listened to that is in the same excellent class is JBL DD66000 Everest)
* The TAD speakers finish is the finest in the world