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The Eclipse TD-M1 IN STOCK! - Page 5

post #61 of 74
See my review of the Eclipse TD-M1 posted today July 29, 2014.
Edited by phara0hseye - 7/29/14 at 4:44pm
post #62 of 74

Received the West Coast Eclipse TD-M1 speakers yesterday. They arrived safely, FYI @JustinBieber, Thanks!

 

As others have said, these things are heavy for their size. The design and styling is pretty cool and would look great on my desk if my desk wasn't a total disaster (no photos, please!). They are also built really well. Definitely haas the look and feel of a high end product. They are like speakers Apple would build if they built speakers.

 

I haven't done a lot of listening yet, but I did set them up in our large bedroom with thick carpeting for a better acoustic environment.

 

My initial impressions are that they sound pretty good, but I have to admit I was expecting more for the price and the looks, etc. I don't have any similarly priced speakers available to compare, but I do have more expensive large speakers around like some 260lb Cello Stradivari Premiere speakers or some Acoustic Zen Crescendo speakers. Obviously it's not a fair comparison. It's really apples to oranges.

 

But given the weight of the TD-M1's, I was hoping that they would have more bass than they do. I know small desktop speakers can't reach down to the lower octaves, but I found even the not so low bass was really lacking. Maybe I am just so used to the amount of bass even in headphones. I don't think even in a small room, the TD-M1's could provide even a moderate amount of bass. I am not bass head by any stretch, but without enough bass, music just sounds thin and less involving. I will have to double check again, but it also seemed like there was less bass when I played music via Wi-Fi/Air Play. When I fed it via it's analog inputs from my AK120, the bass seemed better.

 

Then on the high end, I also found the TD-M1's lacking that last bit of upper detail and air. To me they sound a little too warm, dark. With music I use as my evaluation tracks, I couldn't hear things that I knew were there like the lips of the singer or the individual bristles of the brushes on the cymbals.

 

I did not have a chance to fire up the app and change settings like the digital filter. Maybe that will have an effect on the sound when using the built in DAC.

 

In a large bedroom, the speakers got pretty loud. At full volume, it wasn't painful, but there was enough volume for most people especially if you are sitting near the speakers for nearfield listening.

I will continue listening for a more detailed impression.

 

OK, this may be a little strange, but since it's what I do I thought some of you might find it interesting to "listen" to the TD-M1's yourself using just your headphones. 

 

Basically I  measured the TD-M1's in my bedroom and created a 7.1 speaker preset for my Out Of Your Head software. (Essentially what this does is capture the sound of the speakers and the room and allows you to hear any content as if you were sitting in my room listening to the TD-M1's)

 

I then played some music through Out Of Your Head and recorded the output and uploaded it to SoundCloud. So, if you listen to the clips with your headphones, you should get a rough idea of what the TD-M1 speakers sound like. It's far from perfect since your headphones, your ears, etc. will all change the sound somewhat, but some may find it interesting.

 

I also recorded the Hotel California song using the Acoustic Zen Crescendo speakers and uploaded that to my website. This way you can compare how the TD-M1's compare to the Acoustic Zen speakers. Again, not a fair comparison at all, but you can pretty clearly hear where the Eclipse speakers are lacking.

(I know this is no way to really evaluate speakers, but it might be interesting to check out. It's kind of like evaluating how a pair of headphones sound by recording the output and listening with your own headphones.)

 

If any of you have Out Of Your Head installed, I can provide the TD-M1 speaker preset in trial mode.

 

Here's the audio clips on SoundCloud (You MUST use headphones to listen since these are like binaural recordings):

http://soundcloud.com/fongaudio-com/sets/out-of-your-head-eclipse-td-m1-samples

 

Here's the link to the Acoustic Zen version of Hotel California:

http://fongaudio.com/downloads/AcousticZen_Hotel_CA.mp3

 

Anyway, thanks Todd for setting up the loaner program.

 

-Darin

post #63 of 74

Hi Darin, thank you for posting the review and clips.  You work fast!  One day and you were able to write a review.  That's focus.

 

Like you said, it is apple and oranges comparing the Eclipse and Zen speakers, but I do see how it shapes your reference point.  I'm sure those Zen are being driven by a hi-end source and amazing amp.  The DAC and amp in the Eclipse are just not going to be as high end as your Zen set-up.  The bass quantity and tonal richness of those Zen was amazing in your clips.  A single-driver active speaker cannot compete.  I do appreciate your Zen clip though.  I've never heard a $16K pair of speakers.  The Zen sounder warmer to me than the Eclipse, but then that's based only what I hear from the clips and not live with the speakers on my desk.  In regards to air and detail you are spot on, but I wasn't too disappointed by the detail I was hearing.   

 

I don't know how good your AK120 line out is but I will try my X5 line out to the Eclipse.  I wonder how a high voltage output SACD player will also sound with the Eclipse.  Will you try that as well or with say a high end DAC?  

 

Thanks for the clips.  I've never read a speaker review that included audio clips.  Much appreciated.  Your software is intriguing.  I use my MACs more but I do have an under utilized PC in my home too.  I know it is designed for headphone but wouldn't it work well with a 2 channel active speaker like the Eclipse?  Many of these active desktop speakers are used for near field listening, almost mirroring the headphone experience.   

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by darinf View Post
 

Received the West Coast Eclipse TD-M1 speakers yesterday. They arrived safely, FYI @JustinBieber, Thanks!

 

As others have said, these things are heavy for their size. The design and styling is pretty cool and would look great on my desk if my desk wasn't a total disaster (no photos, please!). They are also built really well. Definitely haas the look and feel of a high end product. They are like speakers Apple would build if they built speakers.

 

I haven't done a lot of listening yet, but I did set them up in our large bedroom with thick carpeting for a better acoustic environment.

 

My initial impressions are that they sound pretty good, but I have to admit I was expecting more for the price and the looks, etc. I don't have any similarly priced speakers available to compare, but I do have more expensive large speakers around like some 260lb Cello Stradivari Premiere speakers or some Acoustic Zen Crescendo speakers. Obviously it's not a fair comparison. It's really apples to oranges.

 

But given the weight of the TD-M1's, I was hoping that they would have more bass than they do. I know small desktop speakers can't reach down to the lower octaves, but I found even the not so low bass was really lacking. Maybe I am just so used to the amount of bass even in headphones. I don't think even in a small room, the TD-M1's could provide even a moderate amount of bass. I am not bass head by any stretch, but without enough bass, music just sounds thin and less involving. I will have to double check again, but it also seemed like there was less bass when I played music via Wi-Fi/Air Play. When I fed it via it's analog inputs from my AK120, the bass seemed better.

 

Then on the high end, I also found the TD-M1's lacking that last bit of upper detail and air. To me they sound a little too warm, dark. With music I use as my evaluation tracks, I couldn't hear things that I knew were there like the lips of the singer or the individual bristles of the brushes on the cymbals.


Edited by WNBC - 7/24/14 at 9:06am
post #64 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by WNBC View Post
I don't know how good your AK120 line out is but I will try my X5 line out to the Eclipse.  I wonder how a high voltage output SACD player will also sound with the Eclipse.  Will you try that as well or with say a high end DAC?  

 

I will try a better DAC. However, I think the DAC on the AK120 is pretty good.  I do plan on comparing the built-in DAC to an external DAC. I have a Geek Out 450 and a Vostok Sound amp/DAC combo.

 

Originally Posted by WNBC View Post

Thanks for the clips.  I've never read a speaker review that included audio clips.  Much appreciated.  Your software is intriguing.  I use my MACs more but I do have an under utilized PC in my home too.  I know it is designed for headphone but wouldn't it work well with a 2 channel active speaker like the Eclipse?  Many of these active desktop speakers are used for near field listening, almost mirroring the headphone experience. 

 

The Mac version of Out Of Your Head is coming, soon I hope... But for the effect to work, you really need to make sure only the left channel sound goes to only the left ear and the right only going to the right ear. It's binaural, after all. I have not tried it with speakers really close, but I think it will be a little weird sounding. I will try it with the TD-M1's.

post #65 of 74

I see, that makes sense about the requirement of headphones with the software rather than a speaker rig.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by darinf View Post
 

The Mac version of Out Of Your Head is coming, soon I hope... But for the effect to work, you really need to make sure only the left channel sound goes to only the left ear and the right only going to the right ear. It's binaural, after all. I have not tried it with speakers really close, but I think it will be a little weird sounding. I will try it with the TD-M1's.

post #66 of 74
INTRODUCTION

Unboxing the Eclipse TD-M1 conjures up comparisons to Focal, B&W, and Bang & Olufsen. The fit, finish and tactile presentation of this product is superlative. The heft, smoothness, and general feel of the product is something that you would expect from a speaker that retails for $1300.00. The overall presentation of the product is quite refined, with its rich, modern appearance.

These are speakers that look appropriate placed atop the desk of any tech industry vice president or CEO anywhere in the world. Upon seeing them heads will tilt, "oohs" and "ahs" will emit, and conversations ensue. They are packed well, presented well, and move into the user environment with class and grace.

SETUP

Setting up the Eclipse TD-M1 is encumbered by a few surmountable obstacles. The speaker that controls all of the functionality is stealthily marked. Power, volume and input selections are not easily detected, even in adequate lighting. I found myself popping on a light switch, or reaching for my smart phone flashlight application to make minor adjustments and inpu changes throughout the process. This detracted from the intimacy of experiencing the TD-M1s without the need for disruption.

The user manual, while comprehensive, is prone to taking liberties with assuming the technical prowess of the end-user. Some tweaks to the detailing of the sequencing for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB set up would be useful prior to full release. These issues aside, I was successful in setting up the speakers via USB and through Wireless options.

NOTE: The listening experience from wired to wireless changes as in most cases, and with most products.

LISTENING

I auditioned the speakers in a wireless format first. This was accomplished through the Wi-Fi option. I used a variety of source material that serves as my stable of reference music. This included:

Lover's Rock - Sade
The Stone - Phillip Phillips
Someone Like You - Adele
Motivation - Kelly Rowland (Diplo Remix)
J.S. Bach Cello Suite #1 Prelude - Yo-Yo Ma
The Cold In You - Phaeleh (Khan Remix)
Breaking Me (Live) - Jonny Lang
Giorgio by Moroder - Daft Punk

These selections present a variety of vocal types, styles, musical complications and simplicities. I find that I can assess top-to-bottom what a speaker or headphone can do, allowing me to comment on more than just bass, midrange and treble profiles. So, how did they sound?

One word: underwhelming.

The Eclipse TD-M1, comes to the party all dressed up, red carpet ready, but with nowhere to go. The constricted sound signature of these speakers belie their finish, presentation and price-point.

One particular concern was how touchy they are about placement. Overtly so. Canted, not canted, tilted upward or downward, the sonic signature of these pretty little darlings swings all over the place. And that is not necessarily a good thing at all.

The general note presentation of the TD-M1 is thin. Allow me to deal with the ambiguity of that statement in a more reconcilable way.

With quality home speakers, of which I've owned my fair share, grill material is a potentially critical factor. Some great speakers throughout audiophile history have been critically proven to sound better with their grill covers off, and in some instances even on. Speaking to the former, more often than not, the reason "off" was the choice would be about veiling the sound of the upper mids or treble. The concern with the audio presentation of the TD-M1 is that metal mesh grills on or off, the problem of veiling persists.

These speakers simply lack character. They sound like something that could have just as easily come form iHome or Memorex. As I listened to them, while reading about the technology packed into them, as I simultaneously stroked their highly polished encasements, I was completely disconnected from my own music. That simply shouldn't happen. Turning my attentions analytical, I noticed several glaring areas of opportunity.

First, the soundstage is fragmented and moves about. This is likely due to the finickiness of positioning the TD-M1s. Breaking out a measuring tape in order to adjust for spacing, distance front-to-back, tilt etc, I was able to get the TD-M1s to provide a more stable image. It was much like the day the Mission speaker rep from Europe came into Rabson's on 57th and 6th and miraculously cleaned up imaging issues on their display units by placing hard coated aspirins at the four corners of their speakers. Seems someone had place their speakers on third-party stands whose surfaces were not even. By preventing the rocking of the actual speaker as it projected sound, the image simply stabilized. Same thing in this case, just with more precise placement as the method to settle down the wandering soundstage.

With that out of the way, I began putting them through my paces. Varying volumes, varying songs, varying my position in front of the speakers etc. What I found, in a nutshell, was that too much information that I know is in the music wasn't being transferred to me by the speakers. And what elements I could hear, that I am intimately familiar with, were sometimes delivered colored and made less musical.

Because I've been in the audio game along time, I have managed to pair down my collection of equipment to only the things that I actually use the most. My home speakers are Definitive Technology BP 7002s. They are driven by a Parasound Halo A21 two channel amplifier. I have three pairs of headphones in my collection; the Sony MDR-1-R, Martin Logan Mikros 90 and the Yamaha EPH-100 (an IEM). Ray Samuels is my portable amp vendor of choice.

Moreover, and more germane to this topic, my last desktop speakers were the absolutely fabulous Level 9 Monsoon PlanarMedia 14, which I gave to my namesake (Fabian IV aka. Q) a couple years back. I simply had to thwart his need to blow college money on AudioEngines that couldn't come close to sounding as revealing, detailed and punchy—not to mention the sub-bass heft so generously provided by the accompanying subwoofer. That shared, I can say with reasonable assuredness that packing audiophile sound into the audiophile pricing and presentation of the Eclipse TD-M1 is the next evolution of a great start—at least aesthetically.

The sound just isn't there. The bass is lacking and just sounds wrong—as if it's coming from a toothpaste tube. Sub-bass is a non-starter. Mid and upper bass experience problems with speed, detail, and resolution.

The lack of any semblance of adequate bass signature should allow the entire midrange to breathe and perform openly and unveiled. That is simply not the case. While,listening you get this niggling sense that there's an invisible screen right in front of the drivers—diffusing the sound, breaking it up into parts that are neither synergistic nor organic. This wreaks some particular havoc on female vocals like Sade and on a more laid back Adele, as if they simply can't cut through. Jonny Lang manages to fair better, but he too is compromised by TD-M1s seeming inability to break free of the ties that bind.

Yo-Yo Ma's cello holds its own, because it's slowly rendered, albeit with the signs of having a touch of a head-cold, and Phillip (who I can't stand) Phillips' amazingly recorded take on Dave Matthews' The Stone, gets gobbled up with the bass lines and drumming simply proving too fast for the little TD-M1 drivers.

CONCLUSION

I had high hopes for these speakers, and I certainly cannot count down and out any company that can produce something this aesthetically brilliant. If Eclipse can shift some of the R&D dollars from the design gurus to the audio engineering side of the house—managing to bridge the gap between form and function—the final or next iteration of the TD-M series may finally have a black tie party to throw that's worthy of its Tom Ford tuxedo great looks!



They Eclipse TD-M1 desktop wireless (AirPlay enabled) speakers.



That finish is pretty spectacular. Reminds me of the old Pioneer Elite Urushi line with its stellar fit and finish.



Tolerances on edges and flush points are very exacting. A real testament to the visual refinement the developers sought and ultimately achieved.



I decided to switch up the grills for fun.



The black grill on the white speaker is a very classy look. Not so much so when done the other way around.


Edited by phara0hseye - 7/29/14 at 4:34pm
post #67 of 74
This may be a stupid question to ask, but what limitations do speakers have compared to headphones, or vice versa? I'm pretty much completely new to speakers and the only thing I know is that they usually have a hard time reproducing the lows without a subwoofer, and there's a sweetspot.
post #68 of 74
Just FYI, I received the Eclipse TD-M1 today and I got them set up on my desk at the moment.

I'll post my impressions along the way while I have the speakers at hand, just in case other people want to chime in or suggest tests for me to do (as opposed to writing up everything at the end and leaving no time for me trying something). At the end of my time with the speakers, I'll write up a summary of what I think.

My first, out of the box, impressions were that these are surprisingly heavy. I've only really had thee desktop speakers in the past and they were all relatively inexpensive, so they were thus pretty lightweight. The base of the TD-M1 speakers have some sort of metal to it, so it makes the speakers bottom-heavy and won't likely fall over from being tipped. They also have a pretty large footprint on my desk compared to the other desktop speakers I've tried, they just barely fit in terms of width with my 22-inch external monitor on the desk. Personally I prefer the black coloured speaker because it matches a lot of my electronics and white is really clashing, but white is a good choice for the right speaker since the touch controls are on that speaker and I feel that fingerprints would show up easily on the black over time. Speaking of the controls though, the speaker with such electronics does tend to get a bit warm.

As others have mentioned, positioning of the speakers is really important for the sound, especially for near-field speakers, so I'm still experimenting with this process. One of my friends suggested forming an equilateral triangle with the two speakers and your head, and I think that's been working out for me so far.

In terms of the sound itself, I find the speakers to sound a little on the cold side of things, with the lower-midrange sounding a bit lean due to the lack of sufficient lower- and sub-bass. There is a peak somewhere in the upper-midrange/treble area that bothers me a bit when listening to music and some things sound a bit honky to me. Because of this, for me at least, these speakers aren't optimally-tuned for long periods of listening. You have to remember that these speakers are self-powered and there is a built-in DAC. Up until this point, I've been using the USB B connection to play music from my computer through the speakers. I've been switching between the USB B and AUX inputs (using the Light Harmonic Geek Out 450's line out) and the upper-midrange/treble issue is somewhat alleviated through the AUX input. It's hard to volume-match between the two inputs, but I think I've found the a good volume match between them. Between the two inputs, I find the Geek Out line out to AUX input connection to sound a bit more realistic and natural to me, although it loses some bass punch.

I don't intend to use the wireless feature of the speakers unless otherwise requested since I wouldn't use those features were I to purchase the TD-M1.



Anywho, these are my impressions after about a day's use. If anyone wants me to do any specific tests, feel free to leave a comment. I intend to do some light first-person shooter gaming right now to see how they fare for gaming.
Edited by miceblue - 8/14/14 at 9:49pm
post #69 of 74
So I did some light gaming with these speakers and they're decent for gaming. They have good detail retrieval, but it's hard for me to detect spacial cues in front vs behind me. Some people might find the speakers lacking for gaming though since the mid- and sub-bass frequencies are largely absent, so explosions don't have a satisfying sound.
post #70 of 74

Been listening to these bad boys fro a few days, and I must say, I am quite impressed. These guys can sing.

post #71 of 74
Just F.Y.I. I dropped off the Eclipse speakers at the local USPS post office. They should be delivered to the next recipient in the area in about 1-2 days. I'll put together my "overall impressions" post shortly, along with some photos I took.
post #72 of 74
Mmk, so after using the Eclipse TD-M1 speakers for 7 days, here are my impressions.

Before I start my review, I want to give Todd a huge thank you for allowing me to be a part of the loaner program. As I explain below, I'm fairly new to speakers, so it was an interesting experience for me to be able to listen to the Eclipse TD-M1 speakers.


To start off, I'm not really familiar with speakers since I'm not really in a position to use them and I prefer to use headphones for my listening needs. That being said, I have some experience with desktop speakers, but they're < $100.
Here's a photo of what my main setup was like:

^ I spent most of my time with the USB-B input of the speakers from my MacBook


In terms of setting up the speakers, it's a breeze unless you need to use the AirPlay feature. I couldn't quite get the hang of setting up the AirPlay mode despite reading through the user manual (pressing the power and volume-up button at the same time didn't work for me sometimes). My lack of experience with AirPlay also didn't help though. Otherwise, the touch controls are easy to use and intuitive. The volume slider icon is pretty neat since you can press and hold at a certain volume circle and the volume will increase/decrease until it reaches that volume level. For more precise control, you have the volume-up/down buttons. All of the buttons are capacitive though, there are no physical buttons, so it's hard to find the controls if you're operating the speakers in the dark.

^ capacitive touch controls; also note that the white speaker is actually a pearl colour than pure white


^ all inputs of the TD-M1 are on the back of the right speaker


^ LED light to indicate the activity of the speakers (on vs standby vs AirPlay)


Angling the speakers is somewhat tricky since there seemed to be set angles for the speakers. There's a locking lever on the back of each speaker and you flip it down to adjust the angle, flip it back up to lock it in place.


Being new to speakers, it was tricky for me to angle and position them properly on my desk. A friend recommended spreading my arms out in front of me and making an equilateral triangle with the two speakers and my head. That seemed to work for me, but the "sweet spot," as they call, was pretty small from what I could tell. If I moved my head towards the speaker, I seemed to hear more of the bass and the imaging became more blurred.


The DAC and amp circuit, whatever components Eclipse uses in them, are pretty good and transparent. The DAC gives you the ability to play back 24-bit/192 kHz music files (drivers are required if you run Windows, but I was using OS X and drivers were not necessary to install). I compared the on-board DAC to the DAC in the Light Harmonic Geek Out USB DAC/amp ($300 MSRP) and they were very close, although I would give the Geek Out a slight edge in terms of instrument separation and a smoother frequency response. The TD-M1's on-board DAC has a bit of treble grain and a peak that makes female vocals and other upper-midrange frequencies a bit sharp to my ears. With the on-board amp, the speakers can get plenty loud for me, plenty loud. I had the speakers' volume set at about 75% and I could hear my music all throughout the house, even upstairs. Volume won't be an issue for people.

^ volume indicator


As for the overall sound, it didn't really blow me away to be honest. They sound decent, but I was a bit underwhelmed by their sound. The treble seemed grainy to me, but the detail retrieval is pretty good actually. The upper-midrange frequencies sound fine to me except for the shouty parts as mentioned above, but the timbre was good. Some classical, acoustic, and percussion music sound great with these speakers. When you get to the lower-midrange and the bass frequencies on the other hand, the timbre starts to sound off because the TD-M1 speakers have a limited lower range, 70 Hz according to the specifications. You can tell right away that these speakers struggle with the lower-frequencies. The upper-bass is punchy but flat/dull, so some music sounds okay with the punchy bass. Male voices and lower notes of piano and guitars sounded off to me because of the lack of weight due to the speakers' limited bass response.

I felt that one these speakers' strong points was its imaging ability. Using Dr. Chesky's Ultimate Demonstration Disc as well as a few binaural albums, I was pleasantly surprised at how well the speakers were able to create phantom images around my head. Usually binaural recordings are meant to be played back on headphones, at least from my understanding, so I enjoyed the binaural sounds from these speakers.

Particularly for gaming, I found the imaging of the speakers to do a good job for me. I had above average performance on Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Team Fortress 2 matches (first-person shooter games). The speakers portray good stereo imaging, but depth is somewhat limited compared to what I'm used to with headphones. The high level of detail retrieval is great for this video game genre as well, so footsteps and reloading audio was easy to pick up. As with listening to music though, the limited bass response from the speakers makes explosions sound dull and lifeless. The sounds from some of the weapons that have deeper sounds likewise sounded dull to me, such as the Desert Eagle pistol in CS: GO or the sentry gun in TF2.


On the 7th day of my time with the TD-M1, I decided to give them a try with the Nintendo Wii gaming console (it was actually the Wii U, but I was playing a Wii game). I used the headphone-out port on the TV and connected it to the AUX input of the TD-M1. Ah, this is a much, much, much better setup than the TV's built-in speakers. At least these speakers have some lower-midrange and upper-bass response in comparison. It was quite enjoyable to finally be able to listen to some of the music and sound effects of Super Smash Brothers Brawl with the TD-M1.





Final Verdict: It sounds okay, but I don't think it's worth the $1300 retail price if you already have a good DAC and amp unless you plan to use the AirPlay feature often. Its strongest points were detail retrieval and imaging, both of which worked well for gaming. The lack of mid- and lower-bass makes music sound off to me on the other hand.

Random note: the diaphragm of the speakers have a cool textured pattern to them
post #73 of 74

 

 

 

 

 

Here are my photos of the speakers. Shipping them out tomorrow, will review ASAP.

post #74 of 74

I signed up for the initial demo offering and I'm still looking forward to reviewing them. Given the amount of time that's passed since the initial offering, I hope I've not been dropped from the list...

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