Nothing prepared me for what I experienced with Eclipse
Jeff Jones, also known as “The Jedi Master” is a Grammy-award producer who worked with numerous top musicians including Dr. John and Wynton Marsalis. He has been an advocate of ECLIPSE since he first tried out TD712zMK2/TD725SW at ECLIPSE booth in AES (Audio Engineering Society) held in New York City in 2013, and has ever since been using TD-M1 for his production which, in his words, “has boosted my skill to a new stage.” Here, he tells us his first experience with ECLIPSE, and how he takes advantage of the equipment.
The sound was unbelievably accurate and true
My experience is primarily in recording studios and professional applications. I've been engineering professionally since the mid-70s. Built four recording studios and worked with a wide range of artists including Talking Heads, Public Enemy, Willie Nelson, Dr John, Eric Clapton and Wynton Marsalis. I've worked with many speakers systems over the years but nothing prepared me for what I experienced with Eclipse monitors.
I first heard ECLIPSE TD712zMK2 with TD725SWMk2 at AES in New York October 2013. At first I thought they were more of a Hi-Fi type speakers than professional studio oriented monitors. I spoke with the designer, Hiroshi. His test materials sounded stellar. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Then I put on a few of my own mixes and found they didn't sound so good. I was surprised because they were mixes I had worked very hard on.
I came back to the booth the next day and Hiroshi allowed me to test more mixes. Finally, one mix I had done sounded better on his speaker system. It was one of my best mixes that I used with clients as an example of my work. I quickly realized it was not the speakers that were wrong it was my mixes. I played my mixes on both his large system and on the smaller TD-M1 with the same results that day.
Hiroshi offered to come to my studio and demonstrate the TD-M1 speakers and I accepted. There, I did comparison to other speakers I use regularly and again I was very impressed. Again the sound was unbelievably accurate and true with his demonstration. He explained his design in detail that day. Everything he said made a lot of sense to me.
I knew immediately when I heard the TD-M1 that it would help my mixes
I'm very specific about the kind of sound I get so I always test material I mix and master on many different speaker systems and even check the mix on several different types of headphone. The differences I noticed between TD-M1 and my other speakers is the clarity of the dynamics. Hiroshi explained how having a full range speaker in a designed enclosure gives a more realistic representation of transient signal because it eliminates time align diffusion that occurs with crossover network and so on.
I found that as Hiroshi explained the basis of his design(s) and a lot points he made correlated with my experience in the studio.
I religiously record everything flat. I don't use EQ or compression. I only use the microphone and the microphone position to get the desired sound. That way the natural dynamics of the instrument are recorded properly. I like to leave the leeway to modify the dynamics in the mix and mastering. I knew immeadiatly when I heard the TD-M1 that it would help my mixes.
After installing TD-M1, I changed the way I use dynamic effects when I mix and master. Just listening to the TD-M1 speakers caused me to revise how I mixed I've become much more sensitive to natural dynamics. With the TD-M1 I feel my vision is now more refined. It's as if I put on the correct prescription glasses after wearing the wrong prescription for many years.
Everything, absolutely everything in my final product has become more clear. My sensitivity to dynamic and transient aspects of music has gone up several notches.
Every recording I've produced with the TD-M1 is sonically better
The signal flow in my studio is very complex and convoluted. I like to listen from multiple points in the signal path. That way I can hear and compare how the signal degrades through common digital conversions. Finding a way to monitor using the digital inputs of the TD-M1 from multiple sources was initially challenging. My research resulted in a deeper understanding of the TD-M1 design.
After a lot of study I found the TD-M1 performed the best when connected to USB using their own digital to analog conversion which has no oversampling. Initially I was concerned that the speakers did not have XLR inputs. That is a standard in professional recording but it's also very old-school. The TD-M1 provides its own clock for playback and upgrades any computer they are connected to work from 44.1k to 192k. If that weren't enough The TD-M1 also creates its own wifi network for wireless playback. I had never heard of such a thing with a stand alone speaker system.
My conclusion - the connectivity design of the TD-M1 is extremely advanced technologically. I compare it to the Tesla car in its concept or to Steve Jobs who imagined the precision of his Apple computers and iPhones before they were built. You have to think forward. Thinking in a futuristic way is the basis for how our society will move forward in all aspects of life, transportation, energy consumption, healthy food, and balanced lifestyle.
Hiroshi had accomplished this with the TD-M1. Ease and simplicity of the system is well thought out, very powerful and precise.
The TD-M1 give me a realistic view from all vantage points with all styles music and they have become my "go to" litmus test.
I know for a fact that since hearing and working with the TD-M1 my skills became elevated to a new level. Every recording I've produced with the TD-M1 is sonically better because my view is unclouded.
I am an artist. The recordings I produce are considered high art. Now that I have the TD-M1 I have more precise tools to work with and my work shows it.