Technical Audio Devices Laboratories (TAD) is a sleeping giant in the American high-end home audio market. Having a neutral sound that derives its strongest attributes from the most prestigious recording, mixing, and mastering studios around the globe. Less stylized and more matter of fact, with the right electronics the overall presentation can be more than technically compelling. Even to the most fervid audiophiles, and recording professionals, the TAD sound is something that can’t be denied.
Reporting by Eric Franklin Shook
The new Grand Evolution One (TAD-GE1) that is being announced today becomes available in November 2023 and features a lot of new (or evolved) technologies lifted from the Reference Series of TAD loudspeakers, of which I’ve included photographs below.
What’s grabbing our attention most about the new TAD-GE1 at the moment is not the technical specifications—which themselves are attention worthy—but the aesthetic direction that TAD went with the new TAD-GE1. It’s really gorgeous. Elevating the entire Evolution Series that it leads to new heights of attraction. We’re excited to experience the new loudspeaker this coming fall, as we expect it to make a splash at one of our favourite American audio shows, Capital Audiofest 2023, which calls the Washington, DC area its home—for now.
TADL INTRODUCES THE EVOLUTION SERIES TAD-GE1 FLOOR-STANDING SPEAKER SYSTEM
Incorporating technology originally developed for the top-of-the-line Reference Series speaker systems
Technical Audio Devices Laboratories, Inc. (TADL) today announced the TAD-GE1-WN (Grand Evolution One) floor-standing speaker system as the newest addition to its Evolution Series of hi-fi audio components. The TAD-GE1 incorporates the speaker units and classy wood-grain finish originally used for the critically acclaimed TAD-CE1TX bookshelf-type speaker system, introduced in 2022.
By combining the speaker units whose outstanding performance has been proven in the TAD-CE1TX with the technology and design philosophy incorporated into our top-of-the-line Reference TX Series of speaker systems, the TAD-GE1 delivers the sound field and imaging performance comparable to that of the Reference Series speaker systems.
1) CST Driver delivers ideal single-point-source sound
The TAD-GE1 boasts TAD’s proprietary CST Driver, which controls the directivity of the concentrically mounted midrange and tweeter over an extended frequency range from the point of matching phase. This culminates in clear and solid imaging, as well as natural sound field reproduction. The midrange cone controls the directional characteristic of the concentrically mounted tweeter to bring the phase and directivity of their output in line in the crossover region. The result is ultra-wide-range reproduction from 250 Hz up to 100 kHz by the CST Driver alone, while achieving a natural attenuation characteristic and directivity pattern across all bands.
2) Tweeter features a beryllium diaphragm
The TAD-GE1 uses a light yet rigid beryllium diaphragm for its tweeter, manufactured with our proprietary vapor deposition technique. We have applied our computer-analyzed optimization technique called Harmonized Synthetic Diaphragm Optimum Method (HSDOM) in designing the form of the diaphragm. This technique enables us to achieve precise control of the diaphragm’s divided vibrations and piston motions, which makes possible ultra-wide-range reproduction of up to 100 kHz.
3) Midrange features a magnesium diaphragm having a high internal loss
The midrange’s diaphragm is made of magnesium, which is one of the lightest metals and has a high internal loss—ideal characteristics for materials to be used for diaphragms. The application of hybrid chemical conversion coating and painting to the surface gives it additional hardness and a yet greater internal loss. The result is clearer, distortion-free midrange reproduction unaffected by unwanted resonance. In addition, resonance in the mid-to-high frequencies generated by interactions between the suspension and diaphragm is effectively controlled to achieve an even lower distortion and a greater transient response.
4) Woofer employs a MACS II* diaphragm
We have refined the woofer diaphragm made of five layers of woven and non-woven aramid fabric to optimize the physical property of the shell-shaped diaphragm that integrates the center cap and cone into a single piece. The result is a richer and clearer bass and the smooth, coloration-free reproduction in the mid-to-low frequency range.
*Multi-layered Aramid Composite Shell Second Generation
5) SILENT* enclosures combines strength with an outstanding vibration-dampening characteristic
The TAD-GE1 comes in a SILENT enclosure, which combines sturdy birch-plywood braces with medium-density fiberboard (MDF) panels having a high internal loss to provide superb strength and an outstanding vibration-dampening characteristic. Moreover, the combination of acoustic tubes placed inside the enclosure as part of our ingenuous Acoustic-Filter-Assisted System Tuning (AFAST), which reduces the low-order standing-wave mode, and acoustic absorbent carefully chosen and placed inside effectively suppresses standing waves that would adversely affect the sound field and imaging performance of the speaker.
*Structurally Inert Laminated Enclosure Technology
6) ISO Drive Technology incorporated into the TAD-R1TX speaker system and tweaked for the TAD-GE1
The ISO (isolation) Drive Technology, originally incorporated into our top-of-the-line TAD-R1TX speaker system and tweaked for the TAD-GE1, was applied to the way the CST Driver was mounted to the enclosure. With this technology, the CST Driver is acoustically and mechanically isolated from the enclosure by a mount base and damper bushes. This is designed to keep vibration generated by the CST Driver from traveling to the enclosure. As a result, the driver performs as it should, reproducing waveforms accurately and delivering crystal-clear sound. The sturdy base to which the CST Driver is mounted to the enclosure was machined from a 25 mm-thick solid aluminum plate and is shaped in such a way to offset the slant of the baffle so that the CST Driver is oriented directly toward the listener.
7) Bidirectional ADP System for rich, natural bass
The Bidirectional ADP (Aero-Dynamic Port) System positions a port on the bottom of the enclosure with its openings to the front and rear of the enclosure. The port has a horn-shaped interior that reduces port noise and achieves greater efficiency in driving the port to help reproduce clear and responsive sound in the mid-to-low frequency range. The combination of the port flare made of die-cast aluminum and the symmetrical front-back layout of the port effectively offsets the physical force that vibrates the enclosure and, as a result, helps reproduce a powerful bass. Moreover, the 15 mm-thick aluminum base plate attached to the bottom of the enclosure increases the stability of the speaker system when placed on the floor and counterbalances the reaction caused by the powerful driving force of the twin woofers.
8) Eye-pleasing grain wood enclosure
For the enclosure of the TAD-GE1, we use the classy grain wood enclosure similar to the one used for the TAD-CE1TX and added a mirror finish that gives the illusion of a wet surface and makes the grain stand out. In crafting enclosures for the TAD-GE1, skilled artisans spend hours finishing each enclosure with meticulous care, beginning with applying high-grade, clear coating to the surface and buffing the base coating, and finishing with surface polishing.
TAD REFERENCE SERIES