Country of Origin
Reviewer: Frederic Beudot
Financial interests: click here
Sources: Aurender A10
Integrated amplifiers: Playback Design, Triode Labs 2A3 SET and EL84 parallel SET
Power amplifiers: FirstWatt F5
Loudspeakers: Ocellia Calliope .21 Twin Signature, Rogers LS 3/5a, Zu Essence
Cables: Zu Varial, Ocellia RCA cables, Absolute Fidelity speaker cables, Zu Event MkII , Zu Mother, Ocellia power cables, Absolute Fidelity power cables
Power delivery: Isotek Nova
Equipment rack: Acoustic System International
Room: 15' x 21' x 12'
Review component retail: $6'990/pr
My first exposure to Tash Goka and his Reference 3A brand took place in 2011 at the TAVES audio show in Toronto. At the time his Grand Veena speaker immediately impressed with its presence, speed and effortless ease which repeated the following year. Reference 3A are no newcomer and have been around for decades. The brand was the brainchild of Daniel Dehay who created the crossover-less wideband driver which still works as the heart of today's range. Now it is owned by Tash who operates from Waterloo/Ontario, hence my initial encounters at the Toronto audio show. That also makes it part of Divergent Technologies as his second company which distributes Antique Sound Lab and Copland. It's thus no surprise that Reference 3A speakers would often demonstrate with those electronics.
Reference 3A don't do things quite like most. They really drum to their own beat so to speak. Their flagship is actually a monitor called Reflector which represents the epitome of everything Goka has learnt about speaker development, then concentrated into a dense 75lbs package (that's the weight without the necessary stand). Reflector's cabinet belongs in a rarefied group which combines unusual materials with extreme attention to vibration elimination to provide the most inert enclosure to its drivers. Reflector makes use of thick laminated glass with complex internal bracing to provide that rigid dead enclosure and allow that proprietary widebander to express its full potential.
Taksim under review is the direct trickle-down love child of the R&D which created Reflector. It uses the same latest iteration of the Reference 3A widebander, gives up the laminated glass but otherwise follows a very similar philosophy of heavy inert panels braced from the inside for minimum cabinet talk. That focus on inertia certainly shows off in the music room and on the scale with two towers weighing in at over 90lbs each to project a 2001 Space Odyssey-type presence. Unpacking and positioning those imposing speakers with their immaculate black piano lacquer is decidedly a two-person job unless you are willing to take far more risks with your back and equipment than I am.
Again, the enclosure design is not the only unique attribute of Reference 3A speakers. They're mostly known for their wideband driver with a flat 8Ω impedance and 92db/1m efficiency run wide open. It's characterized by a unique hyper-exponential cone profile. Each hand-built membrane uses light strong carbon-fibre whose proprietary shape allows it to seamlessly couple motor to cone without common break-up modes. This widebander enables a direct connection between voice coil and amplifier for minimal resolution losses.