For audiophiles and music lovers who love to read...
Torque is the force which causes an object to acquire angular acceleration. It's a good term for the second thing of obvious note. Once Teddy was out of upstairs' 2nd loudness gear and in 3rd so to speak, its torque kicked in big like a boot up the arse. Solidity and scale made a nonlinear jump against SPL. The effect felt as though the 1'250cm² of each mid/woofer's cone surface suddenly coupled more effectively to the two-up air in this space with vaulted ceiling. Teddy's inner bear stood up. The sound achieved a higher level of fullness, presence and majesty. Playing still louder just got louder. For this expansion to happen only required crossing one loudness/torque threshold. I'll call it solid room level so higher than you'd have a conversation against. For my ears, it would have been unsuitable upstairs. Downstairs it was fully appropriate. Enter a mini agricultural detour.
A tedder is a horse-drawn implement for fluffing up hay after it's been cut, primarily after windrowing. It stirs up and turns over extra-heavy hay to help dry parts near the ground. And Teddy really makes hay past its torque threshold. So you might want the tedder effect with suitably quick and airy electronics. From the lower midrange down, Teddy is unusually potent. In the opposite direction, it naturally gets less illuminated. Upper harmonics which still happen on the big cone not low-placed tweeter dome are dimmer. This makes for a very fleshy autumnal sound. Ex Stereophile writer Chip Stern dubbed it comfort food with plenty of gravy. Pianos, cellos and the über cello of Renaud Garcia-Fons' 5-string upright all adored Teddy.
Sonic key was what upholstery expert Sonnaz Nooranvary of the BBC series The Repair Shop dubs plumptuousness. It's that overstuffed fullness and luxurious give of extra-comfy chairs or couches which any good upholsterer controls carefully. Too much and there's insufficient support. Too little and the seat gets too firm. With our electronics, Teddy's suspension was just right. It was the kind of sound you don't sit on but in – and for a long time. It was all about tone, density, chunkiness and comfort with plenty of saturated black in the color palette. In natural lock step, separation, brilliance and focus sharpness all turned down a bit.
Once more the floor-facing port and built-in loading gap avoided typical room issues. Rather than puckered, the bass was rotund to breathe deep. That was little surprise given its bodacious port diameter. Bright/crisp instruments loaded with metallic zingers up the overtone ladder tended to tone down. This obviously suited wear comfort. It segues neatly into Teddy's core appeal. Because of where its torque begins, it wants to be played at stouter levels than background. Because its voicing is intelligently generous and less critical of recorded thinness, such levels don't get trying as they do with more diva-type speakers whose brilliance and reflexes overpower us half an hour into a session. Given inherent tonal warmth and its ability to play loud without strain, this could be a long-party speaker. It's simply too sophisticated if that were its main use. The very same qualities mean that as music grows more interwoven and complex, it veers toward more wall-of-sound solidity than holographic imaging precision. That obviously suits the stadium/arena perspective of rock concerts. High-strung audiophile speakers apply too much persnickety separation. On such music, they tend to sound wrong; too dry-cleaned and starched.
Teddy could be a prime instigator for kicking off animated and needful discussions over the actual not idealistic merits of ever-increasing resolution. If your 'more' is focused on time—if your concern is about how long you enjoy listening to the most varied of music each day—you already know that microscopic detail and down-to-the-bone resolution alone always cut back, never prolong. Those qualities speak more to the observer mind. They address our visual sense. To speak to our heart and hara as centers of feeling relies on what Teddy does so well. To get that and extreme resolution is mostly mutually exclusive. With a lot more money, it could be pursued to some extent but chances are higher that it'll come at a cost to pleasure. And to call a bear a bear, Teddy is all about pleasure.
It's perverse. Calling out Gediminas Racevicius for having made a speaker that's great fun and emotionally satisfying is a near black mark in certain circles. They would replace fun with truth when the real truth is that they listen less and less to their ever more 'perfect' hifi systems. They overwrite emotional satisfaction with deviations from the absolute sound. They view the entire endeavor of a personal playback system as perfect compliance with a theoretical ideal. That state of affairs has fora filled with posters who talk incessantly about doing it. Meanwhile those who actually are—doing it, i.e. listening to music over their hifi—have no time to waste on idle chitchat with total strangers. Teddy is for them; for people who are all about doing it – and not like rodeo riders in eight seconds flat. Hat off to Gedimininas for not only doing it by making such a speaker; but for having the temerity to name it Teddy. That's the antithesis of TEDious. As I've attempted to show, it's appropriate on so many levels.
Add fine build quality with those surprising curved MDF/Ply cheeks; and a very fair non-hairy €2'460/pr ask. It's clearly time that our audiophile community put Lithuania's town of Ignalina on our global map of worthwhile audio destinations!
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