Tunable Audio Theater2S Floorstanding Speakers


Home theater system which includes two TA-2S's, three TA-1S's and a TA-10 subwoofer.

User Reviews (1)

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August Bradley   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 17, 2000]

Elegant woodworking, incredible audiophile quality sound, and fantastic for home theater


Passive subwoofer (TA-10) is awesome sounding but needs crossover (external or processor) and an amplifier. TA-1S as center channel is not shielded, must place a thin sheet of metal below it (simple fix) to shield it from the TV.

A friend of mine was one of the first people to purchase a Theater 2S system from Tunable Audio. My friend has six Marantz MA-700 mono blocks and a Marantz signal processor. My friend started off with a Dire Strait's cut and it just grabbed me. The mains (TA-2S's) sounded so real and lifelike. The drums and string instruments had such a lingering resonance to them. The imaging was on the money and the soundstaging was deep, warm, natural and neutral. My friend then put on the DVD Saving Private Ryan (DTS) and played the landing on Omaha Beach. The TA-10 subwoofer was deep, tight and very powerful. The Theater 2S's performance was very captivating and worthy of very high praise but I can't say it blew away my NHT VT-2's for home theater but how many systems in that price range can. When it came to music there was absolutely no comparison. The TA-2S's with or without the help of the subwoofer (TA-10) came so much closer to re-creating the "live event". My friend used just plain 2 Channel stereo for music, no soundfields, no gimmicks.
Well that left quite an impression on me, so I decided to research the product and find out more on the designer Michael Green. I was quite intrigued by Michael Green's approach (too lengthy to go into, check it out Tunable Audio's site). I checked out Tunable Audio's web site and saw they had a return policy that was easy to live with so I decided to order a Theater 2S package. These speakers are only offered through the Internet at this time. Less than 2 weeks later the Theater 2S arrived from UPS.
I am very proud of my system because I feel I had purchased a system that was great for music and Home Theater. My system at the time was the NHT VT-2/VS-2 combination with a Velodyne FSR-15 subwoofer. My rear speakers were Rock Solids by B&W. I'm still using the coupled with a Parasound 1206 (140WX6) amplifier. The speaker cables to the main speakers are AudioQuest Indigo. I'm not about to put down my NHT's at all. For conventional speaker design (dampening and bracing) they are very good.
I took about an hour to set up the speaker system. I had already run the speaker wire from the Parasound for the TA-10 subwoofer and purchased the sheet metal for the center channel. I placed the center channel on brass points, which were on the sheet metal with a thin cloth over thin metal. It looked really cool setting on brass points on top of my Toshiba TP61H95.
I was ready for my first demo so I started with a complete variety of styles and ages of music; Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, Dave Grusin, Phil Collins, Seal, Santana, Mary Chapin Carpenter to name a few. On all well recorded sources the TA-2S/TA-10 performed just as they had at my friends house. The speaker setup on the Sony TA-E9000ES digital processor had the TA-2's set to "SMALL" so the TA-10 would receive all the frequencies below 80Hz. I also set the TA-2S's to "LARGE" and let them have "full range" and essentially cut of the TA-10. On most sources played at moderate levels or sources that are not over bearing on bass, setting the TA-2S's on "LARGE" worked just fine. The TA-2S's produce such an accurate and tight bass at moderate levels. I decided to crank them up on the "LARGE" setting with Seal which is very demanding on bass. They handled it without fatigue but the TA-2S's could not move the volume of air that lets you feel the music. When I set the TA-2S's to "SMALL" and incorporated the TA-10 subwoofer it became a very intense experience. The TA-10 coupled with the 140 watts from my sixth channel of the Parasound easily stayed with my Velodyne FSR-15 and the TA-10 is doing it with just a 10" subwoofer.
I've decided to keep the TA-2S's set on "SMALL" because of the seamless integration with the TA-10. For the heck of it I took down the TA-1S's and placed them up front to see how they would sound for music. I set them also on "SMALL" so the TA-10 would do all the work on low frequencies. All I can say is WOW!!! They were amazing for monitor speakers. I feel that anyone would be impressed with the Theater 1S package for their music and home theater needs. Neither the TA-1S's nor the TA-2S's were bright sounding in any way. They were both so pleasant to listen to.
After several hours of music I went to home theater. I pulled out The Rock and went to the trolley car scene. The Theater 2S set up performed great. The TA-10 provided explosions that rumbled the entire room, the TA-1S's really opened up the rear effects. The panning across the front was seamless. On the opening of Wild Things, the George Clinton sound track consumed the entire room. On James Taylor "Live at the Beacon" (set to 2 Channel, 48k-24bit) Fire and Rain was chillingly live. The vibrations of the Cello strings were eerie, James Taylor's voice and the guitar sounded so real it was like being there.
I could go on and on about these amazing speakers. But I have to stop somewhere. This system will not be going back to Tuanable Audio. I couldn't be happier with this set up. I will probably add a follow up to this review in the near future. The Theater 2S system or the Theater 1S system is definitely worth looking at. I intend on selling my NHT's and have already sold my Velodyne.
For less than $3000, the Theater 2S is both a fabulous home theater package but it is also 6 pieces of elegant furniture (natural cherry finish) that does not take up nearly as much space as my old speaker system. I suspect that it would rate right with exotic speakers like Sonus Faber. Just look at the cost of those type of speakers and you'll see what a great value this system is. A last note is that I have not played much with the tuning knobs. I am very pleased with them at its minimum setting. I'm going to allow for a proper break in time for the drivers and cabinets. I'll follow up my next post with my experience tuning them.

Similar Products Used: Has the looks of exotic speakers like say Sonus Faber but no other speaker I know of uses this design approach.
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