CES 2012: TAD adds high-end speaker and preamplifier

Two new products – a $29,800/pr speaker design and $42,000 preamplifier – have been launched today here at CES 2012 in Las Vegas by Technical Audio Devices Laboratories.

The new models mark the completion of the Evolution and Reference systems made by the Pioneer spin-off, which was founded just over four years ago, and has rapidly made its presence feet at high-end shows around the world.

The TAD-E1 speaker (left) is designed to match the company's C2000 preamp and M2500 and M4300 power amps.

It uses TAD's Coherent Source Transducer driver, which mounts the tweeter diaphragm within the midrange cone to cover 250Hz to 100kHz from a single unit.

The tweeter has a beryllium dome, while the midrange cone is made from magnesium, and the twin bass units have a one-piece cone/dust-cap construction to increase strength, and are further strengthened with multiple layers of aramid fibres.

The cabinet, which has a teardrop shape in plan view, is made from Baltic birch ply combined with MDF to eliminate resonances, while the crossover is mounted outside the main enclosure to avoid vibration.

The speakers will be in US retailers next month at just under £20,000 a pair, as will the £27,000 C-600 preamplifier (below), designed for use with TAD's TA-CR1 Compact Reference speakers, D600 disc player and M600 monobloc power amp.

The C-600 has fully balanced, dual-mono circuit layout, with identical boards for left and right channels isolated from each other with a central shield.

Its 3.3cm-thick 15kg chassis is made from pure aluminium ingots to provide mechanical stability and grounding, three spiked feet are used, and the 400VA toroidal transformer in housed in a separate offboard power supply.

DC working is used for the controls and display to minimise interference, and the preamp offers TAD's Extreme Link, allowing two more C-600s to be slaved to one master unit in a multichannel system.

All TAD's products are developed and designed in-house by an international team of audio engineers, artists and craftsmen led by the company's British Director of Engineering, Andrew Jones.

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Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.