In 2015 when I reviewed Tekton Design's wonderful Sigma OB loudspeakers, Eric Alexander, designer/CEO of Tekton Design, passionately and excitedly shared that he had come up with a revolutionary new design regarding how to replicate the sound of live music in the context of a box-enclosure speaker. He also shared that he would be applying for a U.S. patent to protect his proprietary design, and he promised that, when his patent was accepted and he built his first model, HomeTheaterReview.com would receive the first pair for review. Well, Alexander's U. S. patent #9247339 was issued on January 26, 2016, and he kept his word by sending us the first samples of the new Double Impact speaker, which retails for $3,000/pair (including shipping).
Because of my respect for Alexander's brilliance as a designer, I was quite intrigued and excited to see what his creative mind had come up with. I asked him if he would explain, in laymen terms, what the differences are in his new approach compared with other speaker designs. His response was, "I discerned that, when source masses (i.e., the musical instrument, orchestra, or human voice) and speaker masses do not align correctly, the overtones and harmonic content contained within the source must be skewed, diminished, damped, and lowered in the output in relation to the (algorithm) of the fundamental tone(s) contained in different musical instruments. Live music contains energy, electricity, and a dynamic component that loudspeakers have missed replicating because they are not based on the algorithms that support the fundamental harmonic content/structure of the instruments they are reproducing."
The Double Impact is a large floorstanding speaker that weighs 106 pounds and measures 54 inches high by 12 inches wide by 17.75 inches deep. It is a four-way design that uses a total of 11 drivers. Starting at the bottom of the front baffle, you'll find two 10-inch woofers. Located on the upper half of the front baffle is the proprietary polygon-oriented, 1.69-inch (43mm) triple-ring radiator high frequency array (a total of seven transducers). This array is flanked on the top and bottom by dual six-inch mid-bass drivers with four small ports on the sides. On the back of the Double Impact is one set of high-quality speaker wire terminals and two twin ports that vent the two 10-inch drivers. Its frequency range is 20 Hz to 30 kHz, with a sensitivity of 98.82 dB and an impedance of four ohms. Because of its four-ohm rating and very high sensitivity, you can drive this speaker to extremely loud levels (over 100 dB) with less than 10 watts. Yes, I said 10 watts!
As in all Tekton Design speakers, the overall build quality is at a high level of craftsmanship. The baffles and final assembly are done in-house by Alexander and his skilled Utah-based staff. My samples came in the standard soft-gloss-black finish with no front grille covers. For a reasonable up-charge, you can order different finishes and speaker grilles if you prefer. Wood finishes, car colors. Your choice for a fair but variable price.
In my 40 years of being an audiophile/music lover and my six years as a professional reviewer, I have only been shocked by a new piece of gear on two occasions. Last year, it was the Linear Tube Audio combo of the Micro-ZOTL preamplifier and ZOTL-40 single chassis amplifier, based on the patented design of David Berning. And now it's the groundbreaking Double Impact speaker. With his patented design, Alexander has brought to market one of the greatest musical speakers that you can purchase regardless of price--yet he's offering it for an unbelievably reasonable price. HomeTheaterReview.com publisher Jerry Del Colliano gave me an excellent term to describe the Double Impact Speaker: he refers to such a component as a "disruptive product" in that it so radically snaps the ratio of cost to performance that it skews the market to the point that it would be irrational to spend a lot of money for far less performance.
The Double Impact speakers were shipped strapped to a wooden platform in a thick cardboard crate that was well padded internally to protect the speakers. Unpacking the speakers was a relatively easy task, but I would suggest that two people do the final lifting to put on the spikes and settle the speakers into position.
They went into my reference system in the same position as my Lawrence Audio Cello Speakers (spaced 10 feet apart with a very slight toe-in). This placement in my listening room turned out to be optimum for the Double Impacts.
My system's upstream gear is composed of an MBL 1621 CD transport, Concert Fidelity-040 hybrid DAC, Audio Tube Linear Micro-ZOTL preamp and ZOTL-40 amplifier, Running Springs Dmitri power conditioner, MG Cable reference silver and copper wiring, and Harmonix Studio Master power cords. This gear sits on a Tomo rack by Krolo Design.
Click over to Page Two for Performance, The Downside, Comparison & Competition, and Conclusion...