Eclipse TD508 Mk3 – HiFi Review

Eclipse TD508 Mk3 – HiFi Review


Eclipse TD508 Mk3Small but perfectly formed, these Eclipse TD508 Mk3 speakers are unique, sonically and materially, with a newly developed 8cm fibreglass drive unit. This speaker model is a desktop-style based on their size and small footprint. They could also be seriously considered in an AV configuration. A few years back I was fortunate to have the Eclipse TD 712z, the big brother to these guys. They came as a meter high standmount and they were really very impressive indeed with their similar direct sound.

Design

The Eclipse TD508 Mk3 speakers have a compact 8cm driver and they are designed for a limited space, they can be placed with a bracket on the wall, ceiling, desktop or floor as needed. The speakers are configured as a full range driver so there are no crossover electronics to split the signal from the amplifier between a tweeter and a woofer. This is intended to deliver an accurate presentation to the listener due to the transparent nature of the waveform reproduction. The speaker is egg-shaped ensuring limited distortion in the cabinet because there are ‘no two radial surfaces are in the same plane’.

The driver is mounted on a ‘diffusion stay’, whereby the drive-unit is held in a floating mechanism so that no residual vibration can be transferred from the unit itself to the enclosure. The design is intended to minimise colouration. Behind the driver is a high mass anchor that is included to ‘ground’ the drive unit ensuring the ideal piston movement. The egg-shaped cabinet is then packed with some acoustic material and then sealed airtight to help eliminate the transmission of unwanted vibrations.

Diffusion stay holds the driver in space

Because the fibreglass driver is a full range type, it has a particular frequency profile that is limited in the low end, the quoted response is 52Hz – 27kHz (-10dB) in the spec. They remind me of my own Jern 14 DS speakers, diminutive but packing a hugely detailed punch but with a deliberately higher range. The Jern speakers demand to be set up with a subwoofer and I use a REL T5i. I suspect these speakers too would benefit from such an arrangement, though that would be a personal choice.

Quality

Despite their diminutive size, the speakers are surprisingly heavy weighing in at 3.5kg each and they are shaped like a junior rugby ball if you ignore the supplied desktop mounting stand. They have a gloss finish and where I usually wear soft gloves for unpacking nice things like this I had to take them off as the speakers are silky and slippery to handle and place. My pair came with the stands attached, so there was little bother in setting up; I simply put them in place and connected the speaker cables from the amplifier.

Specification

from the Eclipse site.

Eclipse TD508 Mk3

Eclipse TD508 Mk3 dimensions in mm

Speaker Unit – 8cm Diameter Full-Range, Fibreglass
Frequency Response  – 52Hz-27kHz (-10dB)
Efficiency/Sensitivity – 82dB/W・m
Input Resistance (Rating/Max)  – 15W/30W
Impedance  – 8Ω

Angle Adjustment On Pedestal:- 10°~30°
On Ceiling:10°~-75°
On Wall:  20°~75°
The speakers are retailing near £950.

Performance

Eclipse TD508 Mk3

I would suggest if you are looking for a serious desktop upgrade, this is your starting point, and you cannot argue with the styling

I’ve had the Eclipse TD508 Mk3s rigged up to the T+A PA 2000 R integrated amplifier with QED Supremus cable (the big stuff). Slightly over the top, I grant you.  I would really like to hear these fantastically dynamic speakers with, say, a Rega Brio as that too is a fantastically agile piece of equipment.  However, for the purposes of just listening to the speakers, this set up is more than up to the job. I have the speakers on a tabletop, about two meters away.  I’ve ended up placing the speakers with some considerable toe-in as recommended by my Eclipse partner. What I have not been able to do particularly is to place them near a wall to reinforce the bass but as I’ve mentioned above, I suspect there are other ways of doing this if it is important to your overall enjoyment. My sources are the Auralic Vega G2.1 streaming DAC (review to follow) and I’m using a Bluesound Node 2i.

Driven by T+A electronics

These speakers are sonically very different, as I say I need them toed in heavily. The soundstage is incredibly forward. For example in London Grammar’s Rooting for You, the vocal is noticeably front and centre.  I really like it and you are certainly in the moment with tracks like this.  With other atmospheric piano tracks like Some by Nils Frahm, there is an electricity in the room. These speakers are really notable for their piano reproduction and the detail is absolutely fantastic.

As I mentioned above, the speakers are similar to the Jern 14 speakers that I really enjoy, so much so, I bought them on the spot when I heard them for the first time in my own space.  I would suggest if you are looking for a serious desktop upgrade, this is your starting point, and you cannot argue with the styling.  I find the midrange sometimes quite intense after longer listening however I suspect that firstly I need to turn them down and secondly I would grow into them with more time available.  There is very little low-end reproduction as I have already said, due to the frequency range of the speakers being that much higher.  So the rumble at the end of Rooting for You is not there, for example.

With the T+A amplifier, there is plenty of power on offer and this is just as well as I am finding the speakers quite hard to drive and I’m really gunning the amplifier. However, in my experience with harder driving speakers and headphones, you get greater detail and performance if you do have the power and this is certainly the case here.

REL Subwoofer

Eclipse TD508 Mk3I decided, in order to enhance my own enjoyment of these speakers to hook up the REL T5i subwoofer I use with my own Jern speakers. The impact was immediate.  I use Hans Zimmer’s 2049  track to get the right level for the REL then away we go.  The soundstage is enveloped and complemented by the subwoofer with the crossover set at about 55Hz, taking over at the low end of the Eclipse TD508s.  I’m finding, with the same tracks the soundstage withdraws and the midrange softens to my ears but the resolution and atmosphere are retained in stunning detail.

I’ve been enjoying Ryan Adams’ new album this week, Wednesdays, particularly as it is a well-produced piece of work and the detail in the guitars and the finger work is highlighted really well by this speaker system.

Overall

These are fantastically detailed and forward speakers, if that’s your thing, these are well worth a listen. If you are looking for a serious desktop upgrade, these would be substantial move up.  However, if you’re after a relaxing, read a book by the fire type of night in, these speakers may not be your thing. For me, however, the addition of the subwoofer made all the difference and I think then you really are looking at a different proposition. Whatever you’re looking for these Eclipse TD508 Mk3 demand an audition in order for you to make an informed choice at this price range. I would certainly recommend them on that basis.

Love 

Incredible detail

Build Quality

Like 

Styling

Forward presentation

Wish 

They were easier to drive

 

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