High End 2015: TAD Labs


HE15_Logo_GB_01TAD Labs brought a show-stopper room, featuring their new Compact Evolution One (CE-1) loudspeakers. This system was, in a word, dominating.

The speakers, shown here in an olive finish, are elegant and quite robust — but somehow, like the name suggests, do not appear to be as big as they are. Part of their “not just toys for boys” aesthetic, I think TAD is really on to something with their newest designs. They’re not just “good-looking”, they’re bespoke furniture. Take the hand-made “urushi” finishes , each are unique, and to my eye, the two on display here were just stunning. There was a display that was roped off; I was outraged as I just wanted to rub my hands all over them. Honestly, I can’t think of any other major brand with this level of artistic presence. Just wow.

The CE-1 ($24k/pair) are stand-mounts, where the stands ($2k extra) are about as integral as you could ever want, but don’t let the “bookshelf” form-factor fool you. A 3-way design, good for a 32Hz reach, these speakers are more than enough to make you sh*t yourself in terror if driven appropriately. I was stunned — the sound coming out of them was devastatingly percussive, and fronted by the all-TAD electronics, the speed and accuracy left me hot and spinning.

Unfortunately, I believe that this speaker is the last of the Andrew Jones designs that will be coming from TAD, and if so, the CE-1 will cap a remarkable set of offerings. Given how amazing it sounded here, this strikes me as the equivalent of a mic-drop.

Very well done.

Aurender is the Proud Sponsor for High End Munich 2015





About Scot Hull 1057 Articles
Scot started all this back in 2009. He is currently the Publisher here at PTA, the Publisher at The Occasional Magazine, and the Executive Producer at The Occasional Podcast. There are way too many words about him over on the Contributors page.