Models 30E 40E 42E 45E
Tocaros, direct descendants of the legendary Rehdekos, are the latest addition to the Amherst Audio line. They sound distinctly different from Reynaud and Audio Note speakers. How you respond to them will depend on the sound you are accustomed to hearing from your music system — and how much ‘live’ music you listen to. Some listeners take to them immediately (“I’d forgotten how much is going on with a clarinet!”; some have to be broken in to them (“I was used to a darker Sinatra, this one is becoming more magic.”); and some never come to like them. Hate to leave the comfort of their own home. (“I like what I like, go away.”)
Their principal qualities are clarity and coherence (no crossovers!): they are like a cloudless sky, a glassless window. And some audiophiles also rave about their unusually effective sense of timing and extraordinary energy. Tocaros are more interested in what instruments and voices actually sound and feel like than in taming them to please us. They have no identifiable audio ‘colour.’ Their designer does not distinguish between public and private (domestic) sound. He thinks a clarinet should sound exactly like a clarinet in either venue. They are wonderfully exciting to listen to — if you like the sound of ‘live’ music.
Coming to them from the richer, thicker sound of Reynauds or the more conspicuously beautiful sound of Audio Notes, I did not take to them immediately. I now find myself addicted to what they do. I spend listening time among all of my systems, am fond of all of them or they would no longer be here. But I find that the Tocaros have taught me what each of my other systems does, what their particular virtues are. Again, I enjoy them all — they’re not going anywhere! But I now have a more objective awareness of what I am enjoying when I listen to them.
Unlike JMR Offrandes, for example, Tocaros do not sound like monitors of recordings so much as monitors of performances. The Tocaros place the performers absolutely in the room, but the results are not at all aggressive or especially intimate. We are not in the first 2-3 rows with Jean Marie and his Offrandes; but we are in the performing space and nothing is between us and the musicians. Unlike Audio Note speakers, which I have singled out for their remarkable ability to do innuendos, Tocaros do inflections. It is the designer’s credo that if you get the inflections perfectly, the innuendos will come naturally. His speakers tend to bear him out, though Audio Note fans will tend to differ!
They like absolutely clear, uncolored sources, analog and digital both; state of the art, not necessarily hugely expensive, solid state electronics; naturally clear sounding cable. Putting tubes on them will increase the humidity in your listening room and let the fog roll in. Moving from an ideal Tocaro system (in my house: Resolution Audio Cantata or Audio Note turntable; electronics from Crimson or the newest all solid state from Blue Circle; Crimson interconnects and speaker cable) to other systems can either bring disappointment — a sense of loss — or greater comfort. Depending on what makes you comfortable.
While the Tocaro 40E’s and 42E’s (not entirely sure about the 42’s) do not go down into the 30Hz’s, do not quite make the walls tremble, their bass reproduction, notably of cellos, acoustic basses, and percussion is formidable and wonderfully accurate, causing me to rethink the conventional wisdom about the relationship between speaker size and bandwidth on the one hand and actual bass performance on the other. I have yet to hear the largest Tocaro 45’s, which as you can see from the photo above have two woofers. Stay tuned. I have also not heard the smaller 30’s.
Comparing 40E’s and 42E’s, the latter with their laminate tweeters and somewhat larger enclosures project a larger, fuller, and more spacious image. They feel more sonically complete and more confident on difficult instruments. On the 42’s, orchestral music has more body, sweep, and bass clarity; on good recordings that aren’t miked too closely, strings now have a sheen. Everything else has a bit more presence, feels a little meatier in some cases, a little more delicate in others. Pianos, violins, and massed female voices can be exquisite. The 40E’s, being true single driver speakers (again, neither 40’s nor 42’s use crossovers) seem more absolutely coherent. They are also sexier, sweeter, and simpler. As a result, they have their own kind of magic, a different kind of beauty than their big brothers, which can, especially if there is a new Resolution Audio Black Jack AC cable on your digital front end (more about that soon) make their limitations almost disappear. Some listeners may prefer the smaller speakers for these qualities.
Tocaros can be a revelation if you are accustomed to even the best of the competition. With all Tocaros we often feel we have come out of the woods and into a clearing. If you are a fan of a particular sound, color, or presentation in audio, I recommend hearing these remarkable speakers to test your response to objectivity.
These [Tocaro 42’s] are Apollo’s speakers and Apollo is a great god. He knows everything. Luminous clarity. JLM, customer.
For more information, go to: Tocaro
Pricing with proprietary stands:
- Tocaro 30E’s: $5500
- Tocaro 40E’s: $9500
- Tocaro 42E’s: $14,000
- Toocaro 45E’s: $28,000