TEDdy Talks. To mark territory, male grizzlies tell tall tales. They stand against trees and rub. The higher their olfactory marks and broken branches, the more menacing. This warns sauntering interlopers against breaching territory. Whilst not that tall, compared to our usual 6.5" two-way monitors, Teddy's profile in this ~4x6m room did menace a bit to mark turf. But there's a very different kind of teddy in the one-piece lingerie. Form hugging and often revealing, it's the antithesis of macho even when such men lose their cool sighting one. Surprisingly, Gediminas' "monster male" could do sensual and sheer like the best such teddies. Its floor ports caused no overblown proportions, no telltale signs of room interference. The big driver took little gas to sing. 'twas perfectly chill to do dainty fare like Baroque on period instruments or guitar duos. Fronted by a 1MHz DC-coupled class A/B amp of exceptional speed, it also wasn't as cuddly as expected. Whilst warmer and softer than the usual Acelec Model One it replaced, it didn't cause anywhere near the presence-band opacity which our Zu Druid VI does in the same spots. Different stripes altogether and a big mid/woofer of superior pedigree for more nuanced purposes.
That it would go loud well beyond this room's needs was a given. For those tall tales it'd saunter downstairs. In this space, I tend to listen at lower levels where our hearing gets less and less keen in the extremes. Keep turning down the volume. Treble and bass start to retreat quicker than the midrange. Hence vintage hifi's tone controls which the nose-up high end saw fit to exorcise. It's why the Formula One Bakoon AMP-13R rules here. It's the 109dB hornspeaker of low-power transistor amps. It magnifies very small signal at low playback levels so requires no monster-male shouting to arrive. It's why here the resident stand mounts get just a whiff of first-octave assist with the Zu Submission subwoofer in the left front corner. It's why the super treble gets some 360° expansion gain with an omni super tweeter on a 1st-order/15kHz high-pass. It's all tweaked for SPL from whisper to conversation. Whilst not as keen of focus and enunciation plus with less top-end brilliance than our usual Mundorf AMT mated to its own ScanSpeak mid/woofer, Lithuania's broad-shouldered bear far from embarrassed itself under such counter-indicative conditions. And in the bass, it neither required nor desired any e'woofin' help. $5'000 saved right there.
The usual setup for contrast.
I don't expect anyone with a similar room and listening habit to pick this model. It's a bit like taking a Humvee to shop at your local super. Overkill. That it works isn't the point. AudioGE have other models better suited. That's the point. To exploit Teddy's specific strengths wanted more: more robust levels, more complex material? I simply wasn't keen on blowing myself to the weeds from two meters away with heavy rock or the Glagolitic Mass. For that I'd want more space. The intermediate verdict? Teddy worked just fine upstairs. In fact it worked far better than expected. But by not really getting out of 2nd gear, I did it and its pater familias a disservice. Time for 'pause' until downstairs cleared up.
Theodore not Teddy. Apparently Roosevelt wasn't fond of his diminutive nick. AudioGE's speaker could be equally unhappy with its maker's epithet of monster male. Envision Roy Batty seeking out Dr. Eldon Tyrell in the original Bladerunner. Not a happy ending. Though Gediminas correctly described built-in Nexus 6 chops, his word choice overplayed the mayhem card. Like Roy, his design is far more sophisticated and intelligent It's not the replicant Leon Kowalski with his mental C level. The choice of audiophile ScanSpeak drivers not pro-audio equivalents might have predicted it. Actual listening confirmed it. Now 200w/8Ω of direct-coupled lateral Exicon Mosfets fronted things in dual mono drive.
The first thing of obvious note was the rather mellower more relaxed mood over the more 'high-strung' French Aurai M1 2-way towers which Teddy sidelined. It meant that external clock sync between Terminator-Plus DAC and Gaia USB bridge was on. This is easily engaged/defeated to sharpen/soften beat fidelity or rhythmic perspicacity. It benefits systems which don't hype that skill already. Relative to how attacks register, I hear the difference as tapping out beats with nails rather than fleshy finger tips. The second adjustment was to replace, in our direct-coupled valve preamp, Western Electric VT52 with modern Elrog ER50 equivalents. The latter are the most lit-up incisive direct-heated bottles of our stash. If you can, think of them as 'super 45' which will take up to 7V. In short, my shift for the overall system was to increase its perceived speed/snap. While this can lean out tone and leak white into the color palette, Teddy's natural-born gifts here kept it weighty and burnished, just more articulate and adroit than the system voicing which I'd set for the French boxes. Small course corrections.
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