TAD speakers, anyone?

Just curious if anyone has any experience with this speaker. It appears to have serious pedegree (below).

Thank you!

TAD Reference One Loudspeaker
"Most audiophiles don’t know this, but in 1975 Pioneer Electronics created a kind of “skunk works” to develop highly advanced, cutting-edge loudspeaker technologies for the professional audio market. This division, called Technical Audio Devices (TAD), operated much like a completely independent research laboratory.


I’ve heard these and their siblings on several occasions but only at shows** (with everything that entails). Roughly half the time I have come away thinking they sounded great, the other half they have very quickly raised that “hifi” warning flag in my mind and I have been unable to relax into the music. I find this happens quite often at shows, especially with the more expensive systems. I guess I am highly sensitive (or maybe over-sensitive) to it.

The conclusion I’ve reached is that they are very system-dependent. if your system errs on the side of “accurate”, “uncoloured”, “revealing” etc. then you might just find these are too much of a good thing. I would strongly recommend a dealer audition with your electronics and, best case, a home audition, before taking the plunge on these.

** one memorable occasion was at the Stockholm show many years ago when they were demonstrated by Andrew Jones himself in an all-TAD reference system. That one was in the “great” category. :wink:


I agree with this as it echoes my feelings on hearing complete TAD systems at Munich on a couple of occasions.

These hearings were classic examples of the highest sound quality coupled to low musical involvement and enjoyment.

Was it just the speakers or those in combination with the TAD house electronics? As with all speakers ultimately a home demonstration ( or return period) is necessary, and as @struts001 says, with your own electronics.

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Here is yesterday’s report of TAD at the Florida Audio Expo 2024:

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Thank you @Ermos , @PAR and @struts001 for sharing your thoughts and the link!

I know my monitors are currently the weak link in my system, but they still sound so good (!) : )

I just hope I don’t have a “breakdown” like struts and drop $xxx+ on speakers (!) ; )


If you want full-range sound but with the same signature as your Guarneris…


…you know what I think! :smirk:

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The Ktemas are serious contenders! I’m sure yours are singing with your new Vivaldi stack…
: )

Almost on queue, a full TAD video review has just been published. I have never heard tem, but am interested, given the Japenese heritage and that country’s dedication to high quality engineering…

This is a very nice way of putting things Struts, as you know my current system may be a tad (i.e., very!) on the “accurate” side of the spectrum, and there is, alas, such a thing as ‘too much of a good thing’ ; )


I have indeed owned and lived with a rare pair of the Reference One MKII’s in piano black. They are remarkable speakers. Just make sure you have a big room - they are large and shift a lot of air. Even with extensive room treatments - I had to downgrade to something smaller. They are less fussy about amps than their smaller sibling. Distortion free down to 10hz from memory - the team at Acoustic Sciences said they were the best measuring speakers they had ever seen in the bass domain. They are my personal reference and the only speakers I miss. I just don’t have the space for them sadly - otherwise search over - endgame… I wouldn’t consider their replacements btw - I know someone who has had a couple of pairs - both with serious QC issues. The price hike was also just pure price-gouging.



Beautiful Marc. Thank you for sharing! That looks like a serious speaker stand… custom? Don’t those babies weight ~300 pounds each (!?)

Also, the stack of CDs in the background of your picture made me smile. My entire place used to have stacks of CDs reaching ceiling (!) every once and a while I would have a “crash” and entire towers would come down! (lol) I eventually digitized everything through a service in Minnesota…


Hi - the plinth underneath the speaker is the wooden pallet it is bolted to for shipping. The speakers are ridiculously heavy. They sit on spikes once positioned - not a trivial undertaking. The depth of the speaker is also easy to underestimate given the shape. The front grills really need to be 6 feet away from the back and side walls at a minimum.
I wouldn’t describe them as clinical sounding despite their reputation as mastering monitors - although would recommend some big valve monos between them and a dCS front-end.

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