Eclipse TD508 MK3

£960

Eclipse makes a number of speaker models, but it makes only one type of speaker and it’s a speaker with just one driver and a very striking egg design. This is a very single-minded approach, of course, but it’s one that’s arresting both sonically and aesthetically.

A single drive unit can never cover as wide a frequency range as the multiple driver alternatives, but there are a number of plus-points to going down this somewhat unconventional route. Having only one driver means there is no need for a crossover — something that tends to introduce all kinds of distortions and saps detail.

Science behind the shape

Then there’s the cabinet. Far from being an affectation designed to make the TD508MK3s stand out in a hi-fi shop (although they certainly do that), the egg shape employed by Eclipse gives the speakers rigidity and avoids reflective edges that might spoil the stereo image.

A clever anchor and stand arrangement, meanwhile, keeps cabinet vibration to an absolute minimum. That stand is also adjustable enough for ceiling and wall mounting if you don’t fancy the usual stand or shelf position.

Thankfully, all of that effort has paid off. Pace, responsiveness and detail are all just astounding. These speakers reveal every little detail in the gloriously analogue soundtrack to the astoundingly bleak The Road, while their rhythmic precision means every strand of something complicated, such as Orff’s Carmina Burana, is organised in such a way as to make it easy to follow but beautifully integrated into the whole. When care is taken over toe-in, they also produce a wonderfully laid-out soundstage.

It’s true that they don’t produce much bass, and treble still lacks the sort of texture and sparkle that a dedicated tweeter can give you, but to beat the TD508MK3s in their areas of strength you’d have to pay double — and that would be for another Eclipse model, the TD510MK2. A singular speaker, then, but really rather special.

TECH SPECS

Type Standmounter • Sensitivity 82dB/W/m • Impedance 8 ohms • Max power 30W • Biwirable No • Finishes 3 • Dimensions (hwd) 29 x 18 x 27cm

Rating ★★★★★

FOR: Unbeatable at this price for rhythm, detail and dynamics; focused and impeccably organised stereo image; superb build and beautiful, unique styling

AGAINST: Lack the range and authority of bigger rivals

VERDICT: They’re far from all-rounders, but in certain areas the TD508MK3s are simply astounding

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