At first glance it is an ordinary loudspeaker but ProAc has never made anything ordinary. In fact, the tenth “tablette” since 1979 is a breakthrough product and one which answers the needs of our time. To the best of my knowledge it is the first sealed box from this designer. It is a 2-pi design (best used close to a wall) meaning it radiates from infinite baffle to open space forwards only. It is NOT optimized like a stand mount (bookshelf) in free space a meter from the wall or by the Golden Ratio placing advocated by Mr Cardas.
The Tablette 10’s electrical load is ten ohms with 86-dB efficiency, which is low (more comments about this later). It is a mini monitor in the tradition of the BBC’s vintage LS3/5A but of the 21st century. It uses similar cabinets but more modern and less deep. The elegant grille appears to float on the surface. The “3-5A” is rightly a cult. A great speaker is always great but in my opinion things have moved on. Got worse mostly. But not this one!!
The perceived need is for people who have a quality audio source and a good amplifier but domestic requirements stipulate a miniature speaker on or close to a wall. This is suited to a small room and to wife friendly.
What makes this special is the crafted musical quality and the best news is left to this point. Looking at the quality, listening to the small marvel, evaluating the package and the fact that one pays for the prestige and service of a famous name one might guess at a high price tag. The LS3/5A after all (with its development costs long amortized) retails for £1,600. The new Tablette uses a tried and trusted tweeter with an innovative new mid/bass driver, effectively an advanced doped paper. ProAc believes that its research has made a breakthrough that serves a real need, therefore by keeping the price tempting (in fact, no brainer) the volume of sales will recover the r&d. UK price per pair including VAT is a tempting proposition at £995. The small scale makes luxury rosewood and ebony surcharge only £75.
How do they sound?
Do not use with a Denon mini system. With amplifiers from, say Primare’s i32 (£2,000) upwards, our verdict is amazing! Real fun. Very involving. A new doped paper mid/bass driver begins to resolve problems of the compromised bass. The genius is in the musical compromise and how it was accomplished. The warmth and clarity do not compel you to exaggerate the volume in order to engage with the music (immersion / involvement) even with rock music. On vocals, acoustical, jazz and classical content the Tablette 10 really advance the art of loudspeakers and offer a unique bargain installed in a small room. They are very fairly priced, even cheap, except for the need for an amplifier that is potent and pleasant, good audio cables, and a good source.
I think it is an example of how specialist dealers are still needed in the online and distant selling market. You need to understand this product to make it part of an outstanding, even thrilling, music system.
For the right system, the right music, the right room, the right person, this is a very powerful product in a consulting dealer’s ethical recommendations portfolio. Congratulations to the designer: the Tablette 10 is a great concept that meets a real world need. If ProAc can get this sound from a small box, then we can give it twelve points out of ten.