The War Of The Worlds looks are striking, but also fundamental to how these stunning speakers sound.
We’ve already featured one pair of Eclipse speakers here (the TD508MK3s on p61) but such is our love of the single-minded — and in a number of ways flawed — approach to sound that we just couldn’t help but also include the flagship TD712z MK2s.
Eclipse is on a one-track quest for the impulse signal — a single transient that contains all frequencies but lasts a very short period of time.
The TD712z MK2s are still compromised at both frequency extremes. That 12cm driver is small by conventional speaker standards and that means it has no chance of recreating the kind of low-end grunt that just about any other five grand speaker has in spades. And the treble still lacks the extension and refinement that most will expect at this price.
The flagship difference
Increased size plays a big part in the design of the TD712z MK2. The enclosure is massive compared with that of the TD508MK3 (and 50 per cent bigger than the original TD712z) and that facilitates a far wider frequency response and reduces the back pressure on the driver. The driver is bigger, too, although by only 3cm as lightness and speed are vital to Eclipse’s sonic goal. The beautiful bespoke stands are shaped to restrain the reflection of spherical waves and have enough rigidity and internal damping to further control residual vibrations.
timing to detail resolution will fall into place. And the TD712zs are the current pinnacle of that goal.
Conceptually, then, these are very similar to the TD508MK3s. There’s a single, full-range driver mounted into an egg-shaped cabinet that’s designed to all-but eliminate standing and diffraction waves, and an enclosure and stand that prevents the transmission of unwanted vibrations
— but the concept is taken much further (see panel).
Timing, dynamics and detail
Essentially the aim is to combine Eclipse’s traditional strengths with greater bass and smoother treble — and that aim has undeniably been achieved.
There’s obviously still a great deal to love, though. When it comes to timing, dynamics and detail resolution, we doubt you’ll find better — at any price. It’s a similar story with stereo imaging — only Quad’s electrostatics can touch these Eclipses for precisely focusing a soundstage.
These Eclipses sound more lifelike and cohesive than just about anything you can buy.
In the end every speaker involves some kind of compromise, it’s just that Eclipse treads its own path when it comes to that choice. Give the TD712zs a long listen and it’s hard to argue with the decision.
Placing your speakers
The Eclipses won’t sound bad if you don’t pay attention to their placement, but you might never hear just how good they can be. We sat closer to them than most speakers, and had them placed further apart than normal, angled in strongly -they crossed about 50cm in front of the listening position. Get it right and you have a spell-bindingly holographic image.
Type Floorstander • Sensitivity 84dB/W/m • Impedance 6 ohms • Max power 35W • Biwirable No • Finishes 4 • Dimensions (hwd) 99 x 35 x 43cm
FOR: Simply brilliant timing, dynamics and cohesion; fast and agile; striking looks; impeccable build
AGAINST: Limited at the frequency extremes compared with conventional speakers; a tad fussy about positioning
VERDICT: The TD712z MK2s have strengths that simply can’t be matched at any price