TAD Reference One TX Speakers
Since its inception the TAD Reference One has been hailed a true reference monitor. World-renowned sound engineers Ray Staff and Matt Colton use a pair of Reference Ones’ for critical sound quality evaluation in the mastering room at London’s AIR Studios
Standing 130cm tall and weighing 150kg, this ultra-high-end floor-standing loudspeaker is exquisitely crafted. Its base plate is aircraft-grade aluminium, the structurally inert teardrop-shaped enclosure formed of multiple layers of birch plywood finished in sumptuous Pommele Sapele veneer. The cabinet tilts backwards by four degrees to afford time alignment of the drive units, the location of the force produced by the immensely powerful bass drivers place directly over the centre of gravity of the enclosure.
TAD Labs’ flagship Reference One (R1) is a three-way vented speaker system employing the company’s CST (Coherent Source Transducer) drive unit – with its tweeter at the acoustic center of the mid-range cone. Unique in the world of audio, both its 3.5cm tweeter dome and 16cm mid-range cone are made of beryllium, the lightest and most rigid of metals, formed by vapour deposition. This is worlds apart from the beryllium foil tweeters some manufacturers feature in their top-end loudspeakers!
Frequency response of the R1 is an astonishing 21Hz – 100kHz (-10db), the R1’s awesome bass performance delivered by two 25cm (10in) woofers featuring diaphragms that have a unique triple-laminated construction: a core of foamed acrylimide sandwiched front and rear by direction-oriented aramid fibres. To eliminate drive loss for more efficient power handling, the dust cap uses the same material. Furthermore, by joining the cone, dust cap and voice coil at a single point, the powerful motor unit’s voice coil drive is transmitted directly to the cone. The result is fast response and ultra-clear bass, with ultra-low coloration.
The beryllium used in Reference One is manufactured using vapor deposition, a unique technology of TAD. The advantage of vapor deposition is that the particles are bonded while maintaining their molecular composition, so that it has both high rigidity and internal loss that cannot be imagined as a metal. Furthermore, the production of beryllium by vapor deposition is the only in the world.
With scrupulous attention paid to fine details, TAD Labs manufacturers everything in-house, its hand-built drivers often employed by acousticians and architects designing recording studio control rooms. So not only the R1 speaker system itself, but its individual drive units also are subject to strict quality control based on serial numbers.
Reference One TX Specifications
- Design: 3-way bass reflex compact loudspeaker
- Drive units: 25cm woofers x2; coaxial mid-range/tweeter – 16.5cm cone/3.5cm dome
- Freq response: 21Hz to 100kHz
- X/overs: 250Hz, 2kHz
- Sensitivity: 90dB (2.83V, 1m)
- Required amp output: 50-300Wrms
- Dimensions: 554mm x 1293mm x 698mm (W H D)
- Weight speaker each: 150kg