DIY – Eikona TL2 transmission line loudspeaker

The Eikona TLA is the highest performing loudspeaker design we have published for the Jordan Eikona full-range drive unit. It is capable of magnificent performance across a wide range of musical genres and its transmission line alignment gives clean bass down to 30 Hz.

A number have now been built across the UK, Europe and USA and we have a testimonial page dedicated to the design. However, we have had requests for a slightly smaller TL which will be easier to accommodate in smaller listening rooms. 

The TL2 is the same height as the TLA (1.2 m / 47 inches) and is therefore capable of achieving the same low bass response, but the use of two Eikonas instead of four gives it a much smaller footprint. Power handling is reduced from 400 watts (peak) to 200 but that is more than adequate for most purposes in medium-sized rooms. The Eikonas can be wired in series (to give a nominal 16 ohm load) or parallel, if your amplifier is capable of handling 4 ohm loads. The 16 ohm option is ideal for tube amplifiers and the result is a very easy-to-drive loudspeaker.

The TL2 Design Guide is available to download now. 

As ever, if you decide to build this or any of our designs, we are happy to answer any queries and would love to receive photographs and listening impressions – we’ll then add your loudspeaker to our expanding gallery of customer projects.



Home Theatre – Preview

Building a home theatre system can be a daunting undertaking. A major advantage of using the Jordan Eikona is that it’s a straightforward, single speaker driver installation. Cabinet volumes can range from 5 to 15 litres, depending on what you want to achieve. It’s simple yet flexible. We have a number of customers who have used 5 or more Eikonas for their home theatre systems. 

Currently, Jim in the USA is building a house on the edge of the Arizona desert. The building is being made from traditional adobe brick and will include a home theatre system. We received a fun email recently about progress on his home theatre and he was kind enough to allow us to share it:

“I got impatient waiting for the house to be completed so I put together a make-shift home theater system including left, right and center speakers.

I have to say I am thoroughly enjoying listening to the Jordan Eikona speakers. They sound fantastic. They sound entirely neutral, detailed and flat across the frequency spectrum, at least to my ears. Most home theater speakers and sound bars sound over-hyped. But not the Jordans. They really sound good!

I really do enjoy the Jordan speakers. Their ability to produce a natural sound is uncanny. Pianos, strings, drums, whatever, all sound like they do in real life. When you listen to other speakers, you realize how colored their sound really is. For the fun of it, I went to a local hifi shop and listened to some speakers that cost up to $5000, including some Bower & Wilkins. I did not like any of them. In comparison, they lacked clarity, coherency and were fatiguing. Besides watching movies, I have also been streaming a lot of music. No matter the source material, the Jordans are easy on the ears.”

We’re supporting Jim with advice and recommendations during his home theatre project, something we’re very happy to do for all our customers. If you would like to find out more about our speakers or what we can offer, do get in touch or sign up to the newsletter.

Welcome to the Reel World

The analogue revival is no longer confined to vinyl LPs; welcome back, the reel-to-reel tape recorder.

It’s a surprising development given that pre-recorded open reel tapes were only ever a tiny part of the market even when at their most popular in the 1960s (pre-recorded tape had to wait until the advent of cassettes to make any significant impact domestically). Tapes are bulky and costly to manufacture and distribute, but if made with care, the audio results can be stunningly good and there is no denying that a good open reel machine is a seriously cool device (and much more visually interesting than a record-spinner, in the author’s opinion).

In response, open reel machines are being manufactured for the first time in decades. 

The most famous of the new entrants is from Ballfinger – not Daniel Craig’s latest adversary but a German industrial design group previously known for stylish watches and desk lamps. The design team at Ballfinger felt that the time was right to produce a new machine and was drawn to tape by its fundamental importance to analogue music. Ballfinger spent four years developing it and their 063 machine is available in four variations, two of which are replay only (the point of which is somewhat elusive as the prime advantage of tape is the ability to record stuff). There is no denying that the Ballfinger machines are big, bold, impressive, apparently useful as chairs and have generated plenty of press coverage – much of it outside the traditional audiophile suburbs. The prices of the Ballfinger machines range from €9,997 to €23,980.

Not content to leave it to their German neighbours, the Swiss are getting in on the act too. Sadly, their machine is not from venerable open-reel manufacturer Revox but venerable turntable manufacturer Thorens. The TM 1600 tape machine is styled to match their revived TD 160 turntable. It’s sleek, classy, playback only, €11,999 and based on the Ballfinger (but you can’t sit on it). Meanwhile, the real reel deal, Revox, announced in 2016 that they had a new open-reel machine in development, called Project R2R.

Initially intended to be a playback only machine (why?) with a record version available at a later date. Its appearance suggests that it’s based on a Studer professional machine, but we’ll have to wait to find out more; it was slated to appear in 2017 but no sign of it just yet.

If you want a real Swiss reel machine, look to Metaxas & Sins, whose T-RX portable recorder resembles a Stellavox by way of Alien. It won’t be cheap but it is in production.

Open reel is a small but increasingly active field. At present confined to the highest of high end, there is plenty of scope for the rest of us to dip a toe into the reel world via the second-hand market. This is something we’ll return to in another blog.

Gergő’s DCR experience

Dear EJ Jordan

The speakers are assembled and have been running for more than a week now. I decided to wait before sending you my listening impressions, so that I can get to know the speakers better. I’m a slow listener. 

I haven’t been particularly familiar with wide-range speakers and starting a DIY project was most definitely out of my comfort zone. The reason I chose to build the Eikona DCRs is primarily due to owning the 47 Labs Model 4717 amp (aka Shigaraki), which proved to be a transformative experience for me. I fell for its exceptionally unobtrusive way with music. So much so that maintaining this “unobtrusiveness” became my top priority in terms of system building. From a technical point of view, using a crossover-free design therefore made a lot of sense. Plus, as you know, the commercial version of the VTL, the Konus Essence became the reference speaker of Junji Kimura, the designer of 47 Labs, and that also gave me confidence that the Eikonas are the way to go. And I think it’s healthy to get out of your comfort zone occasionally. 

When I finished the speakers, I first placed them more or less at the same spot where my two-ways used to stand. I switched on my amp, played some music and listened. Then I got worried. I’ve tried my best not to expect anything particular, but what I’ve heard in the first few minutes was underwhelming for the most part: small, grey and closed-in sound. 

I’ve figured that these drivers might indeed need some play time to get them going. I went to sleep, dreamt about speaker placement, driver break-in and wiring issues and woke up very early in the next morning. 

I left the system on to play some music while I was preparing my breakfast. When I returned, something was different: I felt that the presentation became a touch cleaner and noticeably more effortless. And the music still didn’t sound right, and in particular, the soundstage was very diffuse. I’ve figured that this was obviously a placement issue, so I’ve started fine tuning front wall distance and toe-in. My first aim was to lock the vocals in the centre of the soundstage. A tiny increase of toe-in solved this issue. This surprised me. First, the proportionally huge effect of that tiny toe-in adjustment; second, the way it messed up the mixes of my records. 

Vocals were perfectly centred now, but I’ve also heard them way more forward as if the instruments were all mixed down a few dB-s compared to the vocals. I’ve never experienced anything like this before. However, at this stage it was pretty clear that all these speakers need is very careful placement. 

So I’ve experimented and I’ve soon learned how these speakers react to certain changes. This was again fascinating: these speakers are incredibly well-behaved and predictable if you pay attention to them and learn to “speak their language”. After a few more minute changes (we’re in the millimetre range here) everything just clicked. Again, a new experience for me. 

Once I’d managed to find the right spot for the speakers, magic started to unfold. The way the Eikonas just let the music flow into the room is amazing. Finally, I don’t feel like a spectator of the musical event, but as someone who is truly experiencing it. The sound of voices and instruments are incredibly real and solid. When a cymbal is hit, it is not just a sound, rather it feels like a multi-sensory experience: I can sense its “metal-ness”, its movement, its surface roughness. 

This brings me to the most valued aspect of the Eikona DCRs. Namely, that they are somehow capable of getting the very essence of music. And genre does not factor in. I’m a true musical omnivore, and so far I’ve heard these speakers playing a single acoustic guitar/blues, richly orchestrated pop/folk, classical, techno, experimental, reggae and metal. Yes, they’re truly stunning with vocals and acoustic instruments, but they’re also great with electronic instruments. I listened to two hours’ worth of deep house EPs last night, and I couldn’t stop sofa-dancing, because these speakers really get the groove. Should it go deeper? Sure, it would be the icing on a cake, which is already delicious! 

Metal. Full-range speakers can’t do it, right? I think, wrong. I’ve listened to Pantera and it was the balls-to-the-walls fun, full-on adrenalin rush that it’s supposed to be. I’ve listened to Kyuss and their guitars plugged into bass amps were fully there with their buzzing presence. It was heady and heavy at the same time just as it should be. Again, would it be better if the speakers slammed harder? Probably yes. Then again, I’ve heard speakers that go deeper, slam harder, yet most of them failed to deliver as much fun as the Eikonas – seemingly – effortlessly do. In fact most of them sounded stiff and stuck-up, as if they were trying hard to pretend to be cool, but in the process they just make it obvious that it’s all faking. And if fun is gone, what’s the point? 

Ok, I could go on and on, but as I look at word count, I already recall a quote, that I’ve read ages ago: “I’ve learned more about penguins from this book than I intended to “. I imagine you probably feel something similar by now. 🙂 

One more thing: besides the great sound and presentation, I also love these speakers because it’s extremely rewarding to go home and listen to speakers that I’ve built and know inside out. 

I also would like to thank you for your support! You really helped a lot with my build and actually you made me truly fall in love with the hobby. I think you’ve created a great vibe around the company, and a relaxed corner within the hifi world where it’s ok to ask, ok to experiment, ok to enjoy what you have. I’m happy to be a member of the Eikona owner family. 

Best regards, Gergő 



I’ve since added a subwoofer to my system, the B.K. Electronics XXLS400-FF specifically.

I’m using the high level connection and cross over at around 55 Hz. It mates with my DCRs seamlessly. Obviously the sub provides generous support at deep bass frequencies (some of my favourite music does require this), but it’s more than just added bass.

Interestingly, the sub enhanced the characteristics of the Eikonas, that are already great: the openness and size of the soundstage, the unimpeded forward momentum of the music, the transparency of mids and highs, etc. Since I’ve had precisely zero experience with subs, and even though I’ve read about this effect with regard to subs, hearing it is entirely different.

I’ve never seen it coming that a sub will make Skip James’s falsetto voice even more angelic, fragile and enveloping, but it did exactly that! So much so, that I know look at the sub as some sort of active acoustic treatment rather than a bass machine.

An elegant Eikona Array in Slovenia

One of the services EJ Jordan Designs has always provided is working closely with our customers. We do not just sell loudspeakers and move on; we’re happy to be involved in the design process until we have helped the customer attain the goal they are seeking.

We were recently contacted by a customer in Slovenia who has an elegant, stereo, high-end home theatre system. The loudspeakers he was using were a pair of Grundig Audioramas which, although fitting well visually, did not give him the natural-sounding quality he was after. The aim was to replace them with a pair of Eikona Arrays, built into the structure of his home theatre platform. The question was, how exactly?

There were two features we could immediately make use of – the pillars either side of the platform and a hidden sub-woofer which would provide bass below 80 – 100 Hz.

We went back and forth a few times, assessing the size of room and the preferred listening position. An early idea was to consider a pair of glass, open-baffles. Utilising the two side pillars cut down the width required, but the result was still something which was felt to be visually intrusive.

The process continued and eventually we arrived at a pair of sealed cabinets built onto the side pillars, based on our Triangular Array design. The baffles were angled to give the best stereo image and the cabinets were constructed to look like an integral part of the pillars.

The visual results can be seen below. 

How did our customer react to the sound?

“After a couple of hours I started with serious listening. The sound is very musical, there are lots of new details previously not heard (in other systems / speakers). The mid is just outstanding and I think nothing can compare to this (I used to own various loudspeakers like Martin Logans, Magnepans, Sonus Fabers, Soulsonic Impact, etc.). 

They are quite sensitive to ideal listening position – need sweet spot. Also vertical position is important to hear high frequencies. I regret not having placed drivers a few inches higher, but in the seating position, all is just fine. I have the impression that I’m inventing my tracks all over again. I think that using more Eikonas per speaker makes things better. I probably wouldn’t regret adding a pair or two more on each speaker. 

They look good and sound good. I don’t miss extra high frequencies and the bass is well integrated with my sub. Unlike with other loudspeakers, in this combination, I can’t hear when the sub comes in. I think the Eikona Array speakers would put to shame extremely expensive loudspeakers in terms of sound accuracy, musicality and rhythm. The frequency extremes don’t matter so much to me because 99% of music is happening in the frequency range of Eikona. 

Thank you again for all your support.”




Axiom to Eikona – a full-range loudspeaker journey

Ken Rownd is one of our US customers and he recently completed his first Eikona loudspeaker project – a larger version of our Reflex 7 enclosure. He had a number of questions along the way with which we were happy to help out. We asked what he thought of the final result and he was good enough to provide a full review. We hope you enjoy reading it:

I got my first full-range driver speaker some years ago, a 1950’s Stromberg Carlson mono receiver and speaker. Although I liked it, I considered it just a novelty. I have expensive (to me) multi-driver systems and massive subwoofers too. Over 40 years I have accumulated multiple systems, most of the amplifiers are from 1959 to 1963 with a couple from early 70s – all tube stuff. I love the old equipment.

A couple of years ago I saw a pair of big, beautiful, custom speaker boxes for cheap. I found they contained Electro Voice full-range drivers. I liked them so much they ended up in my bedroom.

I then read a little about the desirability of point source and minimal (or lack of) crossovers. So when a year later I saw two more beautiful custom boxes containing Goodmans Axiom 301 drivers – I purchased immediately. I love these Goodmans speakers, everyone to whom I show them say “they sound real”. These are mine forever.

Since I seem to like 40-50 year old full-range designs I decided to look for a modern system. I selected the Jordan Eikona 2, based on the designer’s previous work at Goodmans. I did not get to hear a sample and even had to purchase the drivers from the UK. Remember when you could take audio equipment home to audition? All I have near me are TV stores!

With a custom-guitar builder, I designed a box based on the Reflex 7. I went with a small box as I have too many speakers already and did not want another big box in case I did not like the result. The enclosure cabinets are made from Zebra wood, Peruvian Walnut, and Maple. The laser-cut grills are thin Birch plywood.

I found the initial sound of the Eikonas playing Janos Starker’s Cello (Bach Unaccompanied Cello Suites) to be stunning – in fact powerful. Blues and jazz vocals (Bonnie Raitt / Madeleine Peyroux) were brighter than I prefer.

EJ Jordan Designs say there is no break-in period on the Eikonas, however I found that 4-5 hours of operation tamed the brightness and days later it was completely gone (break-in or ear adjustment?).

I did increase the internal box volume for the Reflex 7 by about 40% but these are still a small speaker. I got a small subwoofer just in case but did not really want to use one. I do not have sound measurement equipment but test tones give strong response at 50Hz and very good response at 40Hz. The 30 Hz is audible but diminished.

I love the clean, articulate sound these speakers provide. They are surprisingly powerful even on symphony or rock music. I am a full-range driver convert for sure. 

As for box size – I wish mine were bigger just because the boxes came out looking so beautiful. For sound delivery these small boxes are everything I hoped for. I compared them to some massive cabs and came away impressed. The cab size does matter – the Goodmans and the Eikonas do not sound the same with a 1kHz tone applied.

As expected from the difference in driver sizes – the Eikonas have more high frequency energy while the Goodmans have more low frequency energy. Adding the sub gave the Eikonas louder bottom end but had marginal effect on my enjoyment.

The 4-inch cone Jordan Eikona 2s are a serious audio experience; mine are in a large room with vaulted ceilings and fill the air with powerful, controlled, convincing sound. I have auditioned them in 3 different systems and rooms using modest tube power.

I am so glad I got to take this trip. Are they better than the Goodmans? Perhaps. These two are a bit different but I find it very hard to choose between two systems that give such pleasurable performance. I am keeping my Goodmans – the Eikona reflex speakers are keepers as well.

EJJ Note: It is perhaps not surprising that Ken likes the Goodmans 301 as it was also worked on by Ted Jordan during his time as technical director at Goodmans


Listen in colour

Bright, cheerful and colourful. These loudspeakers will make you smile before you’ve even heard them.

Colour isn’t usually a good attribute to have in a loudspeaker. It implies harmonic distortion or, at the very least, an imbalance to the frequency response. However, this new loudspeaker from furniture designer Archie Hands has colour in abundance and on this occasion, it’s a good thing.

Archie first got in touch a year ago and purchased a pair of Eikonas. He went quiet for a while and then a few weeks ago came back with these photographs of his Eikona MLTL38 loudspeakers. We think they look great and are particularly pleased to see that he’s made each speaker in the pair a different colour. It’s bold, fun and unusual.

The MLTL38 is a mass-loaded transmission line (in reality, it’s like a cross between a reflex and a transmission line but the name has stuck). It gives a good output to below 30 Hz and you can find the plans on our website here.

Archie has built the cabinets from Valchromat, a development of MDF with some unique properties; not least the fact that the colour is built into the material. No need for paint or veneer and the colour is not affected by dents or scratches.

So how do they sound? Archie comments:

“They sound absolutely brilliant, and delivered so stylishly. The soundstage achieved with them is enchanting, and as such they have become surprisingly useful for playing competitive videogames. I’m continually astounded by the level of bass response they can produce from such relatively small drivers, and all while maintaining such a clean level of clarity. Definitely a pair I’m going to hold dear to my heart for the rest of my life.”

You can find the plans for the Eikona MLTL38 loudspeakers here.

Archie is a professional furniture maker and is open to commissions from anyone interested in having a pair of loudspeakers built by him. Contact him via his website here.


PS The pink feet shown below didn’t make it to the final versions …


DIY – Eikona Transmission Line Array


The benefits of using the Eikona 2 full-range loudspeaker in a line array format has been covered before on our blog. The transient response of a single, lightweight 100 mm cone is retained while greater sensitivity and power handling allow it to compete with much larger systems. The single, vertical line helps overcome problems with room acoustics as well as maintaining a stable stereo image over a wide area.

We have already designed both a reflex and a sealed Eikona Array, but we always knew we could go further by combining the array with a transmission line enclosure.

EJ Jordan Designs has a long history with transmission line (TL) designs. Ted Jordan’s first published article in 1954 described a labyrinth enclosure, a precursor to TLs, and his VTL cabinet has been popular for over 20 years. In recent years, there have been significant advances in the field, notably in software modelling and the types of acoustic damping material available.

The Eikona TL Array has been in development for two years, refining the design to match the characteristics of the Eikona. We wanted an enclosure that combined the natural sound and transient attack of Ted’s iconic drive unit with the resonance-free mid-range and deep bass that truly great transmission line speakers can achieve.

The brief was to design a transmission line that could handle pace and rhythm – many TLs can sound slow, especially in the bass. One of the routes to achieve this was to fold the line a minimum number of times and have the line exit at the port. This immediately makes it sound more open and leads to fewer acoustic problems in-room, with line mouth and drivers closer together. Although the Eikona TL Array looks simple,  it has taken considerable fine-tuning, including careful choice of acoustic damping material.

The Eikona TL Array is straightforward to build as there are none of the awkward folds or angles seen in a number of traditional TL designs. The line partition helps with cabinet rigidity and there are additional braces shown on the plans. The height of the enclosure enables it to be cut from the customary 1.2 m wide sheet side. (Incidentally, although either MDF or high quality birch ply can be used, we strongly recommend the latter for better performance.)

Early builds of the Eikona TL Array have been running for some months now and we’re pleased to report they have matched our design aims. The TL Array has an effortless grace and coherence, enabling it to handle the full scale of any music, from a single female vocalist to the might of a full orchestra. It even does pretty well on the likes of Massive Attack (and thanks to Ian, our early tester, for demonstrating that one!)

Listener feedback has been excellent and we have a page devoted to them. Typical comments are:

“The detail from the speakers was quite extraordinary … there was weight and real solidity to the sound.”

“The level of detail is incredible, you can hear everything recorded, separated but integrated, set in its exact position. The bass is beautifully tight and drums…well they sound like drums, which isn’t as easy a task as it sounds, especially for such small drivers. They also go very loud without losing anything!! The soundstage is huge and has real depth and height.”



  • A single fold in the line for a simpler build and improved air flow
  • The line exits at the top – so the sound is cleaner and puts the port close to the drivers
  • Increased sensitivity and power handling over a single Eikona
  • 4 smaller, lighter cones have faster transient response than a single, larger bass driver
  • An easy 8 ohm load
  • Tall enclosure but not too bulky
  • Height designed to fit standard 1.2m sheet


You can download the Eikona TL Array construction guide here.

As ever, if you decide to construct this loudspeaker, we are always available to answer queries and are happy to host photographs of your project on our Facebook and Pinterest galleries.

Jordan Eikona SL-B project

The Eikona SL is a compact, floor-standing loudspeaker which takes its inspiration from Ted Jordan’s VTL enclosure whilst being smaller, more room-friendly and easier to build (for more in-depth information, please see our Eikona SL blog. We decided to release the SL in two versions, the SL-A with sloping baffle and SL-B with a more conventional vertical front panel.

Below are some photos of a build of the SL-B enclosure. It was initially finished in dark grey and was then fully veneered.

Here is the builder’s review of his finished loudspeakers:

“I’ve been listening to the SL Eikonas for nearly three hours now … I went through my usual list of test tracks and to be honest I was gobsmacked! OK, they don’t have the weight in the bass of the TL’s nor the effortless dynamics, push the little SL’s hard and they’ll get a little ragged. At sensible – quite loud – levels, tracks like Massive Attack’s Angel sound excellent while gentler stuff like Emiliana Torrini’s Fisherman’s Woman LP sounds quite sublime. If anything, imaging from the SL’s is a bit better than the 4 driver TL’s and the soundstage is ridiculously big for such small speakers with bags of width and depth.

“I ended up putting Karine Polwart’s new album, Laws of Motion, on and sat there totally enthralled by what I was hearing. If you don’t know this album but like a bit of modern folk then you should try this one. Karine has a beautiful voice and the instrumentation behind is quite excellent.

“The fact that I just ended up listening to music says much about how good these little speakers are. My room is a reasonable size (a bit over 21x14ft) and the SL’s have no problem filling it with excellent music. Bass is better than good for the size, imaging and soundstage is superb and tonally they are as sweet as a nut …You should be very proud of this design.”

To read more about the Eikona SL and download the plans, click here.





DIY – Eikona SL compact loudspeaker

The new Jordan Eikona SL loudspeaker enclosure is a compact, alternative to our VTL enclosure design. Ted Jordan’s VTL transmission line remains deservedly popular but we have had a number of requests for a cabinet which is smaller and easier to build. The SL provides this without compromising too much on bass extension.

Uniquely, we are offering the design in two versions.

Version A is the no-compromise enclosure featuring an attractive sloping baffle. The 7º slope serves to break up standing waves within the enclosure, strengthens the side walls and provides greater dispersion of the sound from the Eikona full-range driver unit.

Version B is the same height and width but the front panel is vertical and the Eikona placed higher in the cabinet to get it to ear level. In terms of sound, version B requires slightly more damping to reduce internal reflections but is an easier cabinet to build. Some of you may also prefer the appearance.

In both versions, the port is built into the structure of the cabinet, making it more rigid. The cabinets should be built in mirror-image pairs, with one having the port on the left, the other on the right. This gives the option of boosting low bass by placing the ports closer to the wall when the loudspeaker is angled inwards for the best stereo image.

The SL is designed to be operated near a rear wall and features a built-in stand to allow the downwards-firing port to function correctly. The sides of the cabinets can be extended, if required, to raise the Eikona, but should not be reduced below 50mm. The built-in stand makes it possible to fit connection terminals to the base of the speaker and keep them out of sight. The plinth can be increased in area to maintain stability on carpeted floors and spikes can be fitted if required.

We recommend grilles are fitted to protect the Eikona drive units.

Bass response extends below 40Hz in-room and sounds fast and responsive. The Eikona SL is ideal as a compact music system or as part of a home theatre with a supporting subwoofer below 50Hz.


  • Compact
  • Versatile
  • Easy to site
  • No stands required
  • Excellent bass response
  • Straightforward to build

You can download the PDF construction guide here and it includes plans for both versions of the SL.

As ever, if you build this cabinet, we would be interested in seeing photographs of your project and the finished loudspeakers and sharing them on our Facebook and Pinterest galleries.