TAD TD-2001 versus RCF ND-350

This blog presents an opportunity to compare two music files which can be downloaded in the links below.  I was able to record music playing using my Dayton UMM-6 Reference Mic recorded directly to my PC using capture software. 

The recording was done with the mic located 30cm away from the horn mouth.  It's likely best to listen to the recordings with a good set of headphones or playback on your stereo.  This will give you a sense of the sound difference between the two compression drivers. 

ES-800 Biradial Wood Horn 
The wood horn product link can be found here.










RCF ND-350 
The compression driver product link can be found here.  This is the best 'affordable' compression driver that I've been able to find.  A close second is the B&C DE400TN. 














TAD TD-2001 
The product link can be found here + scroll down. This driver has since been replaced with the TD-2002.   For my measurements on this driver click here.
















Music File Download 

You can download the music file in the links below...

RCF ND-350 on ES-800 Biradial. 

TAD TD-2001 on ES-800 Biradial.

The song is by Stacey Kent 'Dreamer' in Concert "It might as well be spring". 

Closing Comments 

For me I think the RCF represents a value alternative to the TD-2001.  After level matching, and adjusting the crossover/EQ contour confirmed by measurement the two drivers are very close in sound quality.  The TAD has a slightly sweeter sound with a little bit more detail in the very upper treble. 

Cost
TAD TD-2001 --- $1,000 USD used (price new?)
RCF ND-350 --- $165 USD new 


Considering the cost new could be literally ten times that of the RCF, we certainly have a situation of diminishing return as you move up the price scale.  But for those that absolutely need that last 5% in sound quality then there really is no alternative than the TAD.