Pairing the D-TK10 was an interesting decision. Using the Onix SP-3
integrated tube amplifier along with an excellent universal multi-format
player from McCormack (review forthcoming), power cables from Wireworld, and
interconnects from Harmonic Tech Magic Link One, I was off and running.
also played the speakers significantly without much evaluation at first, to break in
both the Onkyo speakers and the McCormack player.
I could see the D-TK10s used on bookshelves literally, so close proximity to
sides and rears is probably close to design intent.
Ah, take warning of the
foreshadowing of this remark.
I decided to place the D-TK10s on recently built laminated plywood
speaker stands. I put the speakers about 6 feet apart, finding
this distance best after numerous positions in my space.
Interesting is the first description, sorry for the less than common audio
jargon. It's difficult to separate your perception of the D-TK10 as a
speaker slanted to wood instruments. I realized I found myself looking for
music with plenty of acoustic guitar, or cello and violin - I was easily
influenced. I'm also sure it's the last thing Onkyo wants to hear, that this
speaker works best and only with string instruments. On the contrary, I
found horns and percussions as lively as any other. I haven't mentioned
On the stands I described, the D-TK10s quickly began to show me depth and
clarity soundstage wasn't quite as deep or wide as I hoped, but most
certainly adequate. What I wasn't really getting was dimension. The lows
weren't low enough, highs weren't high enough, and the midrange somewhat
It occurred to me simply that my stands were having a negative effect on the
performance of the D-TK10s. This was not necessarily the stands per se´(after all I
spent hours in a shop building them), but rather their placement in my room.
Sound . . . Starting Over
Quickly moving aside all the equipment on the long banquet shelf/ledge, I
placed the D-TK10s on either side of the Onix. And . . . ?
Ever catch yourself sighing and you didn't even know it? I caught myself
exhaling as I first heard the sweetest notes from Yoyo Ma's cello playing
Vivaldi. If I could describe the feeling as a completely natural association
between the cello and the D-TK10 - the presentation was sweet, warm, and
delicate. Timbre was
dead on, and the cello sounded full and round.
I had finally heard from the D-TK10 what I envisioned. Not only was the base
deeper and the highs sweeter, the range seemed to open. A bookshelf speaker
that sounded great on bookshelves, go figure.
Because I'm stubborn, I placed the speakers back on the stands and continued
setting them much closer to the rear and sidewalls of the room until I
reached the sound I heard on the shelf.
My assessment with regards to the
stands is they don't quite isolate themselves from the floor enough, and too
much of the energy is lost.
Wanting to challenge the D-TK10s with vocals, I played Rene Marie's Serene
Renegade where I found the top end is very controlled no effects of
sibilance in Rene Marie's voice as I know the recording can show. Her live
performance at the Jazz Standard in New York City revealed a dimensional
space. Her voice was nicely placed amongst the band.
I wasn't timid about pushing the D-TK10s; I just refused to be reversely
intimidated by their diminutive size. Listening at low levels is fine, but
at higher volumes, the speaker developed more dimension (again, not an
average bookshelf speaker).
to Beethoven piano solos, I was struck by how authentic and musical the
D-TK10 portrayed the music, exhibiting strength with timing and pace. Edges
were a bit rounder than I prefer however, as I looked for a bit more
definition of the keys struck.
I admit I'm a sucker for Flamenco and Spanish guitar. I've collected a few
from Ottmar Liebert, and I enjoy his Nouveau Flamenco for its simple rhythms
and melodies. Playing with bass guitar and percussions, the D-TK10 Takamine
was in its element here. The strings plucked with authority. The bass
guitar was full of body and the hands snapped off the drum skins with
delicacy and depth.
For electric guitar, Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler also provided a male vocal
challenge. I was hoping for a bit more texture in his voice, and the more I
heard, the more I realized how laid back the sound is from the D-TK10,
lacking any coarseness but certainly not reaching anything I'd consider
liquid. But again I'm struck by the immeasurable quality in his steel guitar,
which is absolutely sultry.
The Onkyo D-TK10 Takamine speakers are truly gems in every sense of the word. It's been awhile
since I had
become emotionally attached to a speaker's sound. The D-TK10 reminded me how
seductive music can be. Playing simple music such as a guitar, a piano, or a voice
you are connected.
Because of the size of the D-TK10, I hadn't expected to be impressed with
bass, yet the delicate balance between low, midrange, and treble are lovely.
And, with certain recordings, the highs truly float.
I'm also enamored with the design of the D-TK10, which is graceful, and the
curves sensual. I am certain that placing these on your shelf will welcome
visitor's comments and admiration without a note played.
- Piero Gabucci -
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