Review: Tekton Design Ulfberht Speakers
|The Mighty Ulfberht|
Prologue:Around 800 to 1000 A.D. in the medieval period archaeological records indicate the Viking sword named Ulfberht were so advanced that they would not again be rivaled until the industrial age. Now fast forward in time to the present. Let me tell you that the once almost mystical sword known for its craftsmanship and ability to bring foes into submission faces off against the newest opponent. Now speak not of mythological dragons or far away fairy tales. For many fall prey to this creature in which they deny, perhaps, the elusive nature unnameable and/or unidentifiable masks itself before the mighty Ulfberht.
Let me begin by saying it has taken months to come to terms with my denial. For I have been lied to by many. Throughout 30 yrs I've been an audio enthusiast and everything I've known beforehand forms callousness, not easily convicted by many brands or sensational claims, I now realize even my previous system has been lying to me. William, that brand system whispers, the sound of horns play this way, percussion that way, and vocals yet another. The lie creates a delusion unawares until removed and contrasted to and from another reference. My very presuppositions develops into an expectation before receiving delivery of Tekton Design's Ulfberht speakers. The problem with such is that I then, in a way, create the Ulfberhts in my own image and project upon them my own knowledge about Hifi sound. Little I knew then that I'd be writing this sentence and saying thank goodness that isn't reality as Eric Alexander of Tekton far surpasses my knowledge and ability. Tekton Design has been redefining everything I once knew and now believe.
|I'm standing at 5'11" before the Ulfbherts packaged and delivered by a giant Semi-Truck. These speakers weigh in around 225lbs each!|
Tekton lineup standing in formation.
These massive towers cast forth a shadow before them where I have been from time to time trodding various media tracks in my collection [feeling like a Hobbit on quest to the two towers]. The sharpness of the Ulfberht wielding, piercing, and slashing away at the deception of a callous too bothersome to remain. Testify other products and brands about yourselves and be laid waste before the mighty Ulfs. In my case certain expectations were beheld and when the Ulfberhts arrive and were put in place, dare I say, "I am unimpressed"! They did not sound as my expectations beforehand but rather quite differently. After thirty or so minutes of listening my first realization occurs, "I do not feel fatigue"! At the SPL I am listening that is a big deal BECAUSE MY PREVIOUS SYSTEM FATIGUES AFTER 15 OR SO MINUTES. How's that possible? I mean look at all those tweeters in the MTM array, they have to sound harsh, right?
I mean, I imagine the compression tweeters in my old system times 30 overall!!!
The Ulfberhts have 15 tweeters in each tower, that is, 7 in an array above another tweeter which acts a super tweeter between yet another 7 tweeter array below.
15 tweeters in MTM array
7 tweeter array [two vents for midbass drivers seen above]
Frequency response and directional properties of the entire array of tweeters depends on what signal is being fed to each [internal crossover wise]. It's quite possible that different tweeters are covering slightly different frequency ranges - or that some receive a delay signal relative to others. Basically, as reviewers have shared the tweeters are one big virtual "9 inch tweeter", but one where designers can control the "size" and "response" separately over different frequency ranges. However, the center "super" tweeter in between each tweeter array has a frequency response that extends higher than the circle above and below it. As a result are wider dispersion at high frequencies by limiting the driver area and, at higher frequencies, less power handling requirements.
2 7" midbass drivers and front firing vents. Note: there are 4 7" midbass drivers in each tower. A total of 8 7" midbass drivers in total between two Ulf towers
The Ulfberht midbass drivers are missing from the MOAB towers. I've note that other reviewers praise the MOAB [which I'm certain are deserving of their attention] but not commenting on pressurization by these midbass drivers. Undoubtedly, because, the MOAB are a 3 way speaker which are missing the 4 7" midbass drivers of the Ulfberhts. Honorable mention goes to the Tekton Encore which fills the gap between the MOAB and Ulfberht with 2 midbass drivers. The Ulfberhts are a 4 way speaker system.
The 12" woofer's rear firing ports seen on back of tower.
High quality speaker posts or terminals. Above the speaker posts are a pair of terminals that accept resistors for changing the performance of high frequencies.
Banana plug connectors and 10 gauge wiring. For more information visit: Bi-Wire Tekton Ulfberht Speakers
So how do they sound? Let me begin by saying that I deliberately chose the floor plan of my house with the entertainment room in mind. I enjoy more lively rooms than I do dead rooms. For that reason I wanted hard flooring where you'll find no carpeting. I also believe in form as well as function. You'll find no egg crate over windows or high density foam taped to my walls. Having said that when first moving in a casual conversation caused all kinds of echoes as I was fed my own conversation back to me. To say the room was "alive" is an understatement. In order to combat the room's "Active EQ" and impact on the sound, well, I waited until I moved my furniture indoors. The echo chamber has undoubtedly been reduced with things like furniture in place. I'm also experimenting with various plants and trees to cause sound dispersion. As time goes by I'm certain the environmental conditions surrounding the Ulfs will be made better.
|Grills removed for cleaning|
|Bare room being filled with equipment. Ulfberhts seen with optional grills. Also center Ulfberht and Tekton Design's 4-10 subwoofer|