TAD launches CE1 Bookshelf Speaker with Beryllium Tweeter and Bi-directional ADS Port Technology



I’ve personally been a fan of speaker designer Andrew Jones and the team over at TAD. It’s not often that you find someone who makes both cost-no-object designs (with TAD)and well-regarded speakers costing only a few hundred dollars (with Pioneer) for poor audiophiles.

While this new TAD-CE1 bookshelf speaker is well out of the price range of every poor audiophile out there, I wanted to share some of the neat things that Andrew and his team have been working on.
The Compact Evolution One (CE1) bookshelf speaker takes some of the design elements from TAD’s reference series including a beryllium tweeter.  Here are the official details about the new CE1 from TAD.
A new point-source milestone with beryllium tweeter coaxial driver and bi-directional ADS port technology

Melsele, Belgium (September 19, 2014) – Following the first public showing of the TAD-CE1 concept earlier this year at the Munich High-End 2014, Technical Audio Devices Laboratories, Inc. now announces the release of the TAD Compact Evolution One bookshelf speaker.

Designed and developed entirely in-house, the TAD-CE1 is the next step in the brand’s commitment to develop and manufacture products of the highest possible sound quality. The TAD-CE1 inherits the groundbreaking loudspeaker technology from the TAD-R1 Reference Series, and comes in a compact, stylish enclosure that fits both modern and traditionally styled interiors.

“TAD’s philosophy has always encompassed the belief that audiences should be able to access the richest and purest sound experience possible in their own home environment,” said Andrew Jones, director and chief engineer for TAD Laboratories “Adding the TAD-CE1 bookshelf loudspeaker to the Evolution series is an important extension of our line-up that provides us the opportunity to take the most discerning of audiophiles on a true sensory experience from source to sound.”

As the second loudspeaker in this category, the TAD-CE1 further completes TAD’s high-performance “function meets form” Evolution Series, consisting of the D1000 Disc Player, DA1000 D/A Converter, C2000 Preamplifier and M2500 / M4300 Power Amplifiers. The Evolution series provides precise audio quality that sounds completely natural and achieves unprecedented levels of performance.

The design of the TAD-CE1 is closely aligned with that of the TAD-D1000 Disc Player and the TAD-DA1000 D/A Converter. In addition to the initial release model – pictures above – the introduction of additional cosmetic variations based on combinations of two side frame colours (black/white) and two aluminium panel colours (silver/grey) is envisioned to respond to customers’ demands.
Highlights of the TAD-CE1 include:

CST (Coherent Source Transducer) Coaxial Driver with Beryllium Tweeter and Magnesium Midrange

The heart of the TAD Compact Evolution One is the CST driver developed from that used in the TAD Reference One – a driver that embodies the single point source concept. For highly improved imaging and a more consistent sound throughout an entire listening room, TAD’s Coherent Source Transducer (CST) was designed with the tweeter diaphragm mounted concentrically within the midrange cone. This design provides a point source of sound from 250 Hz to 100 kHz, enabling matched arrival times of midrange and tweeter sounds.

In order to accurately reproduce the high frequencies, beryllium is employed for its highly rigid and extremely light-weight properties. TAD’s original vapour deposition process ensures the tweeter produces audio that is well controlled and that extends well above the range of audibility. For reproduction of the midrange, a magnesium diaphragm provides a superb combination of stiffness, low mass and durability resulting in low coloration and astonishing accuracy.

MACS (Multi-layered Aramid Composite Shell) One-piece Woofer Cone Construction and Bi-Directional ADS (Aero Dynamic Slot) Port System

The TAD-CE1’s woofer uses a one-piece dustcap / cone construction that eliminates the loss of strength frequently found in conventional woofer cone construction. The technique increases the strength and virtually eliminates weak points on any part of the cone. The cone construction is further strengthened by the TAD developed MACS (Multi-layered Aramid Composite Shell) process, using multiple layers of aramid fibers to provide low mass with high rigidity to resist back pressure from the cabinet.

The TAD-CE1 uses a bi-directional ADS (Aero Dynamic Slot) port system. On either side of the cabinet a bi-directional slit-shaped port (duct) is covered by an aluminium side panel. The openings are horn-shaped to achieve a smooth airflow. This design reduces port noise – even at high amplitude – and prevents leakage of internal standing waves. The

bi-directional (forward-backward) and symmetrical (left-right) layout of the port openings further offsets the driving force to the port to guarantee a responsive and natural bass sound.

SILENT (Structurally Inert Laminated Enclosure Technology) Enclosure with Cosmetic Finish Flexibility

he SILENT (Structurally Inert Laminated Enclosure Technology) enclosure features a framework of high rigidity birch plywood combined with MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) for high internal loss, achieving an enclosure that combines high strength with low resonance. 10 mm thick aluminium panels are attached to the left and right side of the speaker cabinet to further reduce resonances. In addition, the standing waves inside the cabinet were analyzed and largely eliminated through purposely positioning specially adapted acoustical material inside the enclosure.

The central section of the cabinet is finished in wood-grain of tropical olive wood veneer with a highly-transparent protective layer. The side frames with integrated aluminium panels allow the future introduction of cosmetic variations: the base model of the TAD Compact Evolution One (TAD-CE1-KS) features black side frames with natural colour brushed aluminium panels, but the introduction of additional variations based on two side frame colours (black/white) and two brushed aluminum panel colour choices (silver/grey) are envisioned.

The exclusive, custom designed TAD-ST2 speaker stand is a natural extension to the TAD-CE1, both in terms of performance and aesthetics. The stand is available separately and is finished in a stylish combination of black matte and black piano coating (TAD-ST2-K). A white version of the stand is foreseen as well.


The TAD-CE1 Compact Evolution One bookshelf loudspeaker will be available in Europe as from early 2015.  While the official release above did’t specify pricing, I’ve poked around and seen that the CE1 will have a retail price of £15,995.

Main specifications – TAD-CE1

Type 3-way, bass reflex, bookshelf type
Speaker structure 3-way system
Woofer 18 cm cone type
Midrange / Tweeter Coaxial 14 cm cone type / 3.5 cm dome type
Reproduction frequency band 34 Hz-100 kHz
Crossover frequency 250 Hz, 2 kHz
Output sound pressure level 85 dB (2.83 V-1 m)
Maximum input 200 W
Nominal impedance 4 Ω
Unit polarity Low range (+), middle range (+), high range (+)
External dimensions 290 mm (W) x 524 mm (H) x 446 mm (D)
Weight 30 kg
Accessories Shorting link cable x 2, cleaning cloth