February 11, 2009 by Audioholics.com
Honestly, when I looked at the price tags on the speakers I was dubious. Instead of dismissing them out of hand simply because of their low price tag, I instead decided to ask for a review sample. There are two things I like about reviewing budget gear - first and foremost, I know I’m reviewing something that is in the bulk of our reader’s price range. People get excited about things they can afford. I get excited about being able to give them good recommendations. The second is that I love a deal. LOVE IT! Nothing makes me feel better than buying something for $100 or $200 that compares to name brands many times that price. When you are reviewing expensive stuff, those deals are hard to find. But down in the lower price ranges, there are diamonds in the rough everywhere you turn.
First Impressions & Build Quality
When the TST2s arrived, I was both impressed and disappointed. I was impressed because the boxes were so heavy. Usually budget gear is light and in this case heavy (especially with speakers) tends to indicate quality. I was disappointed because the boxes were thrashed. Completely.
In tSc’s defense, the delivery had been attempted over the holidays and I was out of town for the first two attempts so they were returned twice to the shipping company’s storehouse. That being said, while the speakers were double-boxed, the foam packing end caps had disintegrated. Also, the middle of the speaker was only protected on two of the sides with foam. When the boxes were moved, the speakers and packing flopped around inside. Upon inspection (which the driver insisted I do before he left so that I could refuse delivery), there was a little damage to the vinyl wrap here and there, but nothing substantive. Nothing that would make me think that performance would be affected. In that, the packaging was a success - I suppose.
As I said, the speakers are heavy, much heavier than I expected for the price point. At 50+ pounds, they are a bit of a bear to move around. They are rear ported near the bottom, have dual binding posts for bi-amping, and are vinyl wrapped in wood grain black except for the front which has a sort of plastic finish. The front of the speaker sports an MTM driver configuration with two 5.25” aluminum drivers and a 1” closed-cell foamed polypropylene HiCell dome tweeter. There is a 10” side firing paper coated woofer. There is a single pair of plastic outriggers for the front of the speakers which need to be installed manually with two screws each. The back has a single threaded insert for a jester hat style carpet spike. The spike attachment points on the outriggers are slightly recessed so that it matches up with the rear insert. There are little rubber gloves (for lack of a better term) to cover the jester hats presumably for placement on hardwood or tile floors. I have carpet so that is not an issue.
Click here to read the entire review.
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