Tesseract, an overview from an Avalon insider's perspective

es347

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
1,570
1
38
Midwest fly over state..
#21
Even taking into account your professional relationship with Avalon your "bold" statements/conclusions seem to me way over the top. First of all, there so are many top of the bill or 'statement' speakers available that it is nearly impossible for anyone to listen to them all under 'controlled' circumstances. Did you ever experience the top of the line speakers of eg Nola, Von Schweikert, Genesis, Magico, etc, let alone these kind of speakers that were set up perfectly? I know for a fact that you have never heard the Tidal LA's. Secondly, claiming that a certain audio component is the best in the world seems to me rather futile. There is no such thing as we all hear differently, prefer different aspects in sound reproduction, etc. Lastly, the idea that a certain component cannot or will not be surpassed somewhere in the future seems rather odd to me, in particular from an audio professional. It is rather hard for me to believe that Avalon has stopped or will stop its research activities in order to create better products, including a new/better top of the line loudspeaker, (somewhere) in the future.

But probably I take your "bold" statements/conclusions way to seriously and should I label your comments just as somewhat (over)enthusiastic.
..agreed, they haven't even made Jon Valin's "world's best" list :eek:;)
 

es347

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
1,570
1
38
Midwest fly over state..
#22
Properly set up, most big speakers I've heard definitely do not sound like there are "two refrigerators in the room". The large Wilson's and the large Rockports are two that quickly come to mind. They completely disappear and music seems to emanate from a stage.
..I've only owned one pr of speakers that truly disappeared. It was a pr of Dynaco A25s that were stolen from my dorm room..
 

Jim Smith

Industry Expert
Dec 14, 2012
120
0
16
Cumming, GA
www.getbettersound.com
#23
..I've only owned one pr of speakers that truly disappeared. It was a pr of Dynaco A25s that were stolen from my dorm room..
Excellent!!!

Not the act of stealing, but the post.... :b
 

Robert

New Member
Nov 10, 2010
163
0
0
#24
If I might, I’ll finish with a strong opinion (what would the internet be without those!); it’s my belief that Tesseract is the most advanced and highest performing loudspeaker system that has been made…and I really don’t think it will be surpassed in the future.
If I've learned one thing in audio, it's that if Steve is excited about something, I should be paying super close attention. I had the honor of visiting with Steve and Neil, listening to Tesseract, and learning just a fraction of what went into it's compulsive design and ambitious construction. I don't think Steve's conclusion is an exaggeration - this is a very unique and special speaker.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#25
If I've learned one thing in audio, it's that if Steve is excited about something, I should be paying super close attention. I had the honor of visiting with Steve and Neil, listening to Tesseract, and learning just a fraction of what went into it's compulsive design and ambitious construction. I don't think Steve's conclusion is an exaggeration - this is a very unique and special speaker.

I would love to hear the speaker. I'm going to be in Denver Dec 9-14 if there would be any way to make it happen Steve
 

Audiocrack

Active Member
Aug 10, 2012
1,905
2
38
#26
Considering the name of the forum it seems a bit odd that saying something is "the best" is considered bad form by some. Every manufacturer thinks what they are doing is the best, otherwise they would do things differently. Especially when talking about cost-no-object equipment...
One final remark on my side: he was not only claiming that Tess is "the best" but also stating that it will be "the best" forever. Let me use a bold statement to close all this: rather unprofessional. And now let's move on because I suppose Steve understands very well that his conclusions were way over the top.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
6,509
108
63
E. England
#27
Considering the name of the forum it seems a bit odd that saying something is "the best" is considered bad form by some. Every manufacturer thinks what they are doing is the best, otherwise they would do things differently. Especially when talking about cost-no-object equipment...

Maybe Steve Huntley read the name of this forum, "What's Best" and thought he would tell us :cool:.
I'm afraid we'll have to leave you guys in The Colonies to get your chance to hear them, no chance in the tiny audio market that is the UK. Although I do believe my Entreq man is the rep for Avalon over here, maybe he could squirrel away a pair and demo them...
 

flez007

Member Sponsor
Aug 31, 2010
2,897
0
36
Mexico City
#28
Thank you Steve, very informative information on the Tess!

I have been a couple of times to the Avalon factory and, let me tell you, it is a treat! - count me in!
 
Oct 15, 2015
20
0
0
#29
Thanks to those of you that have kept this positive. As I stated, going forward i'll try to stick to facts and keep my opinions to myself. Seems silly to me given the name of this forum, but whatever. Peace!

Rob, it was a true pleasure having you visit with Neil and I. Great fun. I may indeed make the trek to your place to hear what you have done with your Isis set up since I was last there. I'll PM you ion that.

Flez007 please send me a private message and we'll arrange something.
 
May 30, 2010
14,231
121
63
Portugal
#30
Maybe Steve Huntley read the name of this forum, "What's Best" and thought he would tell us :cool:.
I'm afraid we'll have to leave you guys in The Colonies to get your chance to hear them, no chance in the tiny audio market that is the UK. Although I do believe my Entreq man is the rep for Avalon over here, maybe he could squirrel away a pair and demo them...
We had the Avalon Osisris in an AudioShow in Lisbon. It was shown in a very large space with four cj Premier 8's but people felt it needed more power. As I have seen a photo of the Tesseract driven by a DartZeel NH108 it seems that power is not an issue in the new model with active woofers.

My greatest experiences with Avalon speakers were using Audio Research electronics. I have read somewhere that at some time one of the amplifiers used by Avalon to voice their speakers was the Audio Research REF300. Curiously there is very little information available about the Sentinel - I would love to know how they sound, as I never managed to listen to them.
 
Oct 15, 2015
20
0
0
#31
Quite a few different brands of electronics get used in the development and voicing of speakers at Avalon. There is a pretty nice array of gear to use to be sure the speakers play well with all kinds of things.

One technical point I failed to make earlier that I think you guys might find interesting is in regard the facets/shape of Tesseract. Those facets and the look of it have a huge part to play in how it sounds. I explained the geodesic dome concept a bit as it relates to subwoofer energy transfer/dispersion, but what I didn't go into is what happens with this design after the sound leaves the speaker...hits the room boundaries and returns to the speaker. The design was very much determined by measuring (countless times at different frequencies and at different points) what happens when impulses in particular come back to the speaker. You get a serious amount of thickening of the sound and image smearing if your cabinet design doesn't deal with those returning sound waves. The facet design was largely determined by tweaking the cabinet design to diffuse those returning waves. Basically a stealth effect. Thousands of measurements were done, an algorithm was developed and the cabinet was adapted accordingly so that from a sonic perspective it really disappears...even when no music is playing. You talk in the room with Tess and you don't get the sense there is a big speaker in the room reflecting things back at you. I doubt you would notice that to the same degree in a room that isn't as quiet and well treated as our sound room at Avalon, but like I say it's obvious that it works even without music playing in that room.
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,584
9
38
#32
Thanks, Steve...very interesting. Most cabinet designs are usually described in terms of internal issues, issues relating to the release of waves from the cabinet...but not the presence of the cabinet within the room itself.

Does this have anything to do with the name of the speaker? A Tesseract is the 4-D analog of a cube as i understand, though i'm no mathematician. Why did you all call this speaker the Tesseract? Given how much attention to detail there has been...presume there is a specific reason or inspiration from the Tesseract?
 
Oct 15, 2015
20
0
0
#34
Thanks, Steve...very interesting. Most cabinet designs are usually described in terms of internal issues, issues relating to the release of waves from the cabinet...but not the presence of the cabinet within the room itself.

Does this have anything to do with the name of the speaker? A Tesseract is the 4-D analog of a cube as i understand, though i'm no mathematician. Why did you all call this speaker the Tesseract? Given how much attention to detail there has been...presume there is a specific reason or inspiration from the Tesseract?
Indeed the inspiration for the name was the geometric form. Tesseract indeed is 4D analog of a cube...or more metaphorically, an extra-dimensional object that has been projected into our #D world.

Avalon designs have always considered the sound waves that are coming back at the speakers (a big reason for the felt behind our grills)...but with Tess it was a serious challenge to create a sonically disappearing cabinet in that scale.
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,584
9
38
#36
Indeed the inspiration for the name was the geometric form. Tesseract indeed is 4D analog of a cube...or more metaphorically, an extra-dimensional object that has been projected into our #D world.

Avalon designs have always considered the sound waves that are coming back at the speakers (a big reason for the felt behind our grills)...but with Tess it was a serious challenge to create a sonically disappearing cabinet in that scale.
Thanks!! I thought it might be something like that...

...though i am no scientist on this stuff...you wouldnt happen to have graphs of its signature in a room (vs a comparable 6'5" speaker or block) would you? That might be quite fun to see the effect of the 'cloaking design' of the Tesseract. Quite cool.
 
Oct 15, 2015
20
0
0
#37
Thanks!! I thought it might be something like that...

...though i am no scientist on this stuff...you wouldnt happen to have graphs of its signature in a room (vs a comparable 6'5" speaker or block) would you? That might be quite fun to see the effect of the 'cloaking design' of the Tesseract. Quite cool.
I wish I did. So many different measurements were made in that development process that I'm sure Neil couldn't wait to delete that stuff from the computer (and probably had to, just to make room for other things I'm sure). Can always do something fresh but we don't have anything but other disappearing Avalons to put into the room :) so sad....Maybe we literally could put a couple refrigerators in there. Ha.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,032
65
48
North Shore of Boston
#38
Quite a few different brands of electronics get used in the development and voicing of speakers at Avalon. There is a pretty nice array of gear to use to be sure the speakers play well with all kinds of things.

One technical point I failed to make earlier that I think you guys might find interesting is in regard the facets/shape of Tesseract. Those facets and the look of it have a huge part to play in how it sounds. I explained the geodesic dome concept a bit as it relates to subwoofer energy transfer/dispersion, but what I didn't go into is what happens with this design after the sound leaves the speaker...hits the room boundaries and returns to the speaker. The design was very much determined by measuring (countless times at different frequencies and at different points) what happens when impulses in particular come back to the speaker. You get a serious amount of thickening of the sound and image smearing if your cabinet design doesn't deal with those returning sound waves. The facet design was largely determined by tweaking the cabinet design to diffuse those returning waves. Basically a stealth effect. Thousands of measurements were done, an algorithm was developed and the cabinet was adapted accordingly so that from a sonic perspective it really disappears...even when no music is playing. You talk in the room with Tess and you don't get the sense there is a big speaker in the room reflecting things back at you. I doubt you would notice that to the same degree in a room that isn't as quiet and well treated as our sound room at Avalon, but like I say it's obvious that it works even without music playing in that room.

Hi Steve, Here is a rendering showing all of the facets and radical angles of the Tesseract. Could you discuss briefly what is going on at the bottom of the speaker? It looks like there is a gap for what could be a downward firing driver. Also, how is the speaker supported? Does it employ conventional spikes or are there special proprietary footers of some kind? Thanks.

Avalon_Tesseract_Statement.jpg
 
Oct 15, 2015
20
0
0
#39
Hello Peter, some things aren't exactly accurate in the rendering (the drivers are wrong, the bases aren't the correct size, you don't see any braces from the base to the speaker, etc) but it's close enough for this discussion.

The top cabinet has spikes that go into receiver cups that are inserts in the top of the sub cabinet. Those spikes are adjustable. Basically they get tightened up snugly....they can be adjusted but if the base/sub are leveled properly, there is no need to adjust the upper spikes. Then the sub cabinet gets bolted/spiked to the base (at the factory) ...there are some different materials used in that coupling so there is no vibration/chatter, and that locks in place. Then you screw in 4 spikes under the base after you get the speakers in place. You can tip the speaker back and forth on the base to do that. Believe it or not, one person can slide the speaker on carpet to fine-tune placement. Furniture moving skids would be used if it's going onto hardwood or something you don't want to slide the speaker on.

The base has the amplifier and control circuits mounted to it and there is a cover that goes over all that and protects it and ventilates it. The amp circuits have fantastic protection circuits by the way. The pyramids you can see on the base on the front corners are to break up the energy coming out of the openings at the bottom of the speaker for the transmission lines. A number of different shapes were tried in that location and the pyramids worked perfectly.
 
Aug 26, 2012
1,379
2
38
#40
Hi Steve , thanks for the insights . How many pairs have been sold / spoken for , thus far ?
 

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