Eclipse TD508MK3 speakers review
The Eclipse TD508MK3 continue the company’s egg-shaped design of the desk-mounted TD-M1 we had in to review almost 2 years ago. As the latter speakers are being discontinued, we thought we’d better check out their larger siblings.
As soon as you see the TD508MK3 you know you’ve got something from the Eclipse stable.
The jet-engine crossed with a Pixar lamp looks and single driver are unmistakably Eclipse. They certainly stand out amongst a world of rectangular boxes – no matter how clever those boxes are, or how good they sound.
Eclipse TD508MK3 design
The Eclipse TD508MK3’s cabinet, like others from the company, is ovoid for rigidity and to avoid any reflective edges, which can spoil the stereo imaging.
I have covered the principles of the design Eclipse uses in my earlier review of the TD-M1 desktop system. The TD508MK3 is larger than the TD-M1 but works on exactly the same principle.
Each speaker weighs in at 3.5kg, no doubt much of which is down to the mass anchor and diffusion stay – more on that later.
The speakers measure 180 x 289 x 268 (WxHxD) and so are quite compact.
The ones I have been sent are white. The finish is actually slightly pearlised. If you get them in the right light there does appear to be fine metal flakes in the casement. Nice touch.
They do come with little protective grilles but, as I have no kids or pets, I prefer them off.
Even the stand design of the TD508MK3 has been carefully considered.
It is what Eclipse calls an ‘all-point’ contact design. This is achieved by using three steel legs mounted in the top of the stand arm combined with a specially machined locking ring.
Adjustment of -10 to 30 degrees of the head angle offers a wide range of flexibility in the installation to suit the individual listening environment.
Because of the clever stand the speakers can also be mounted on the ceiling or wall. Nice.
Eclipse TD508MK3 performance
So, you have a single driver in each speaker being pushed to frequencies that are well beyond any normal driver of the same size. It goes without saying that these are custom jobs, and also extremely light.
The driver is bolted to a heavy metal mass anchor. This ensures that all of its movements are converted to sound rather than wasted through resonance.
The enclosure is supported by the anchor, but decoupled from it to reduce any mechanical energy transfer. This way cabinet vibration is minimal, and so it contributes far less to the overall sound than would usually be the case.
This all enables that little bit of fibreglass to extend down to 60Hz (Eclipse claims an absolute roll off of 52Hz).
Why put a single driver through all of this? Well, it means that there are no integration issues for a start. Furthermore there is no need to add a crossover circuit that could introduce distortion and/or sap detail.
Finally, smaller drivers are usually selected for the higher ranges because they move faster. This is partly the reason why, in my life as a bassist, I choose bass cabs with 10-inch drivers in rather the 12- and 15-inchers that I have used previously. They might not move the same amount of air but the speed and clarity is much better. Ever wonder why Ampeg’s 8×10 bass cabinet, AKA the fridge, is still at the top of many bass players’ want list?
Well, I reckon that they look great. But, how does the TD508MK3 sound?
Where I have been previously impressed by Eclipse speakers is their ‘speed’ and accuracy. Thankfully, the same can be said of the TD508MK3.
What I did find with the TD508MK3 is that a little more care is required during set up. This might be because I had them simply sat atop of my usual Atacama stands, rather than the sleek Eclipse poles though. Whatever the reason, it took some time to get their toe-in just right for my room. Having the ability to angle them upwards slightly helped greatly.
Once done, however, I was rewarded with an intricately layered sound-stage.
Their punch and immediacy is truly amazing. This is generally the stuff of studio-grade active monitors.
Accuracy is nothing without musicality though. Thankfully, the Eclipse’s rhythmic ability is also noteworthy.
They are able to grab the initial bite of a plectrum or bow against a string, as well as the tail-end of a decaying note.
More importantly, they are able do achieve this whilst maintaining context.
They handle complex pieces really well. Orchestral performances are remarkable for their clarity and placement with the TD508MK3’s not crossing instrumental streams.
The only time I would have liked more from the Eclipses is where bass needs to be given more prominence. This is most evident when playing movie sound-tracks or some electronic music.
Alternatively, the higher frequencies sound open without any harshness. It would be great to compare these with speakers sporting good tweeters, such as the Dali Rubicon 5 though.
That said, the TD508 MK3 have proved their ability to present Jazz, Fusion, Classical, Punk, Pop and Metal with equally enjoyable results. If, like me, you find yourself wanting more trouser-shaking lows, Eclipse do have a mighty fine range of subs on offer.
However, if you listen mostly to acoustic / singer-songwriter, Jazz or the kind of music that has that 80s-like production then these speakers will leave you smiling.
Similarly, if your penchant is for texture, detail and accuracy then you could do a lot worse at this price point.
Eclipse TD508MK3 review conclusion
The Eclipse TD508MK3 are excellent all-rounders. Not only are they enjoyable to listen to, they look unlike any other speakers beyond the brand. Put a pair of these in your living-room and be prepared for remarks from friends and family. For added interior design plus points, opt for the Eclipse stands too.
I did find bass depth lacking in parts but that little driver does perform admirably. Musical transitions in complex pieces are handled with precision and accuracy – and there’s the pay off.
As I mentioned, if you need those low lows, check out the company’s additional subs. They too are quite remarkable in their own right.
Furthermore, if you are looking for ‘loud’ speakers, then you should look elsewhere. The TD508MK3 are refined and major in detail rather than outright power.
Add in their flexibility regarding placement and their integral stand being able to be used for wall/ceiling fixing, and it also makes them an ideal choice for home-theatre systems as well as Hi-Fi systems that need to complement interior design.
Price and availability
You can get the Eclipse TD508MK3 from Richer Sounds for £960.
If you fancy adding those rather sweet stands, they’ll cost you another £516.
More information can be found on the Eclipse website.
Eclipse TD508MK3 details at a glance
|8cm Diameter Full-Range Speaker System|
|Speaker Unit||8cm Diameter Full-Range, Fibreglass|
|Input Resistance (Rating/Max)||15W/30W|
|Angle Adjustment||On Pedestal:-10° to 30°|
On Ceiling:10° to -75° On Wall:20° to 75°
|Maximum Dimensions (mm)|
|Weight (per Speaker)||Approx. 3.5kg|
|Accessories||Grille x 1|