TAD Labs ME-1 Speakers

TAD Labs mantra is applicable to every product they produce from the ME-1 to the mighty R-1 reference speaker:- “Embodying the skills of master craftsman who pay obsessive attention to every minute detail and allow no compromise!”

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Technical Audio Devices Laboratories, Inc. (TAD) introduce the compact bookshelf-type speaker system Micro Evolution One TAD-ME1 further perfecting TAD’s sound delivery concepts of high-dimensional sound imaging and sound-field immersion coupled with an innate sense of musical cohesion and involvement.

Inheriting the design concept of TAD’s Evolution series, the TAD-ME-1 is equipped with a new 16-cm woofer and 9-cm CST1 Driver to achieve even more outstanding sound quality throughout an entire room and extremely sharp imaging. It also incorporates TAD’s Bi-Directional ADS2 port, enabling the reproduction of natural, deep bass sound despite its compact size.

TAD’s original CST Driver was designed to align the mid-range and tweeter sound source positions to make the mid-range diaphragm work as part of the tweeter wave-guide. This design homologizes the phase and directional characteristics of mid-range and tweeter sounds at the crossover, achieving natural attenuation characteristics and ideal directional patterns over the entire frequency range. The product is equipped with the exclusively developed 9-cm CST, an optimal pairing with a 16-cm woofer. The crossover frequency has been set at 420 Hz for the mid-range and woofer and 2.5 kHz for the mid-range and tweeter.

For the tweeter diaphragm, TAD has consistently used beryllium for its highly rigid and extremely lightweight properties, as well as high internal loss. Its shape was configured with HSDOM3, an optimization technique undertaken by computer analysis, to achieve an optimum balance between a divided vibration and a piston motion. All these properties deliver ultrahigh frequency characteristics up to 60 kHz.

A magnesium mid-range diaphragm is used for its high internal loss and the lightest properties among practical metals to eliminate coloration inherent in the material and reproduce pure mid-range sounds with low distortion. The new compact CST excels in both phase and directional characteristics over a wide band from 420 Hz to 60 kHz, providing a stable localization and natural sound field.

For ideal characteristics, TAD developed a new woofer diaphragm laminated with woven and non-woven fabrics of aramid fibres. A voice coil uses a highly rigid titanium bobbin, resulting in the accurate response of the diaphragm. This provides high radiation characteristics that ensure power linearity, contributing to the reproduction of clear bass sound and faithful low mid-range sound with no coloration.

A slit-shaped port is located on both sides of the enclosure, which was proven in the TAD-CE1 speakers of the Evolution series. The parts leading to the forward-and-backward openings are horn-shaped to drive the port smoothly and efficiently. This design reduces port noise at high amplitude and prevents the leakage of low-dimensional internal standing waves from the port, which would have a major impact on the woofer bandwidth, to achieve a responsive, clear low mid-range sound. The bi-directional (forward-backward and left-right) layout of the port openings offsets vibration force to the enclosure, reproducing deep, powerful bass sounds.

For high strength and low resonance, TAD uses the SILENT enclosure that combines a highly rigid birch plywood frame with an MDF (medium density fibreboard) outer panel with high internal loss. A 4 mm thick steel panel covers the left and right sides of the cabinet to further prevent unwanted resonance. TAD also analyzed internal standing waves in the enclosure to select and effectively place optimal acoustic materials, contributing to the elimination of internal standing waves, which would adversely influence the sound imaging and sound field.

The Absolute Sound Review

Stereophile Review

C-Net Review

TAD Micro Evolution One Specifications

  • Design: 3-way bass reflex bookshelf
  • Drive units: 16cm woofer coaxial mid-range/tweeter – 9cm cone/2.5cm dome
  • Freq response: 36Hz to 60kHz
  • X/overs: 420Hz, 2.5kHz
  • Sensitivity: 85dB (2.83V, 1m)
  • Required amp output: 50-150Wrms
  • Impedance:4 Ohms
  • Dimensions: 251mm x 411mm x 402mm (W H D)
  • Weight speaker each: 20kg
  • Weight stand each: 16kg
  • Piano Black or Titanium Silver finishes

Price £13,500 including matching stands