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Thread: Tad 1601c

  1. #1
    Senior Member jerry_rig's Avatar
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    Tad 1601c

    Here's something you don't see every day: a very nice pair of TAD TL-1601c low frequency loudspeakers. I just picked them up, courtesy of a sharp-eyed friend who snagged them off of ebay.

    They match perfectly with my existing TD-4003 and TH-4003 clone horns (I posted about this setup here back in the fall). This is the driver complement originally sold as the discontinued TAD Exclusive 2404 monitor system. The main difference with my system is that I'm currently using the TAD TN-4 crossover -- now mounted on the back of the cabinet -- which has an 800Hz crossover, versus 650Hz as used in the 2404. These are run full range off a very high end tube power amplifier. Mounted directly below are a pair of JBL 2235H directly connected to a Krell amp and fed just the low pass (below 100Hz) from an Ashly crossover.

    These TAD drivers are unique. Notice the one-piece casting and the small triangular weight which is designed to counter-balance the voice coil leads. They use Alnico 7. My ears tell me they are very sweet!!!
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  2. #2
    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    That's a score, all right. They are quite rare, I believe. Were you using the 1601A before? Can you characterize the comparison?

    The JBL 1400nd (which I'm using) and Pro, and the various 1500Al woofers, and I believe many of JBL's recent pro neodymium woofers also use unified frames.

  3. #3
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    I wonder why TAD stopped selling them??
    Vlad

  4. #4
    Senior Member jerry_rig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speakerdave View Post
    Were you using the 1601A before? Can you characterize the comparison?
    These replaced a pair of JBL 2234H (I had to rout out the recess to accommodate their larger diameter), which are something of a mix between the foam surround of the TL-1602 and the ferrite magnet of the TL-1603. Unlike the JBLs you mention, the 1601c uses Alnico, not neo (or ferrite).

    For one thing, the TL-1601c is more efficient. Before, you could almost make out the transition between the LF cone and the horn. Now, at least I cannot. The 1601c blends much better.

    Most telling are plucked instruments: there is an increased immediacy with the 1601c. It is more dynamic all the way down to the lower registers. Guitars and other plucked strings (for, example, Andrew Bird's music) jump at you. You feel them on your face -- if such a thing is possible.

    Why TAD stopped making them is anybody's guess. Cost? They still make other cone woofers (and of course compression drivers, but not big horns), but these were the best.

  5. #5
    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerry_rig View Post
    These replaced a pair of JBL 2234H (I had to rout out the recess to accommodate their larger diameter), which are something of a mix between the foam surround of the TL-1602 and the ferrite magnet of the TL-1603. Unlike the JBLs you mention, the 1601c uses Alnico, not neo (or ferrite).

    For one thing, the TL-1601c is more efficient. Before, you could almost make out the transition between the LF cone and the horn. Now, at least I cannot. The 1601c blends much better.

    Most telling are plucked instruments: there is an increased immediacy with the 1601c. It is more dynamic all the way down to the lower registers. Guitars and other plucked strings (for, example, Andrew Bird's music) jump at you. You feel them on your face -- if such a thing is possible . . . .
    Sounds like high fidelity! It may be the crossover works better with the TAD woofer. The description I've read of the 1601c suggests they've borrowed a thing or two from JBL's SFG engineering. I don't think the old Alnico TAD frames have that. I must admit I'm just a wee bit jealous. I've been looking for a pair of those woofers myself. I appreciate your response and your original post. Congratulations on finessing a rare and marvelous bit of audio gear out of the swirling swarm.

    (The 150xAl series are Alnico, of course.)

  6. #6
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Very nice score!!!

    I too am a wee bit jealous. I became a TAD dealer before they were discontinued... had I known they were going to discontinue them I would have bought several pairs... that woofer and the JBL 1500AL/1501AL are among the finest woofers ever made. I have had the opportunity to play around with the 1500AL, I wish I had an opportunity to try out the 1601Cs.

    Why did they stop producing them? Why does JBL make it impossible to buy the 1500AL, a speaker they once sold as a raw driver? Who knows how these companies make these decisions...


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