The Wait is Over, TUK is Here!
Even though TUK is our most impressive speaker to-date, it had humble beginnings. The idea of TUK started with our Customer Support team. They kept a list of features and suggestions they curated from customers over a three-year period. Every time a customer mentioned something that they’d love to see in our speakers, our Support team added it to the list. This document was aptly named “perfect speaker.docx”.
When our CEO, David Reid, decided to create a new speaker that could rival some of the best powered speakers available, he approached our Customer Support team to get a better sense of what kind of feature set it needed. David was given the “perfect speaker” document and got to work with our Product Design team on our next flagship speaker.
He already had a name in mind. In his words, “The name TUK comes from Tuktoyaktuk in Canada’s Northwest Territories. The idea to name our latest speaker after Tuktoyaktuk was conceived two years ago when a permanent highway linking Tuktoyaktuk to Inuvik was opened. It’s our way of celebrating the historic event.”
It’s the perfect name for a speaker that ended up being as dazzling as the aurora borealis which light up the night skies of the Canadian arctic.
How to create Kanto’s perfect speaker
Make it sound amazing
Aluminum drivers were chosen for their stiffness and lightness which contribute to low distortion even at high volumes. AMT tweeters were selected for their accuracy and phenomenal dispersion characteristics. DSP was utilized to make it sound exactly how we wanted.
Have it work with everything
It needed to work well with turntables, computers, smart home devices, and as part of a home theatre. Inputs such as phono and USB, and features like a headphone-out and an active crossover were required to make the speaker work equally well in any setting.
Give it stunning looks
David’s philosophy was to “…maintain the shape and proportion of our current speakers while doing something new.” He wanted it to “have a clean look” and “minimize the number of controls on the speaker”. That design philosophy would create something truly stunning.
Sweat the small stuff
It had to have unique, well thought-out features. Channel swap, LED brightness control, automatic power-up through the Bluetooth input. It’s the little touches that often make the biggest difference.
With these design goals in mind, TUK was on its way from conception to reality.
A list of wants and dreams isn’t enough to create a speaker. There are many steps that need to be taken to bring a speaker to life. Here’s a glimpse into the journey of TUK’s development.
Designs and renders of cabinets were created. The waveguide for TUK’s AMT tweeters was a variable that needed to be played with, but the design remained essentially unchanged throughout the process – nailed it.
First prototype created. The first tangible sample of our new speaker impressed us even more than we were expecting.
TUK prototype brought to CES 2018 – TUK’s public debut. Reception to the design and sound quality were great right out of the gate!
Automatic power-up through Bluetooth is added to ensure compatibility with Google Home.
“The design of TUK’s remote started with an examination of the current YU-series remote. We noted the things we liked about it such as its size, shape, weight, and easy access to frequently used functions. We wanted to keep the same usability while adding additional functionality to TUK’s new feature-set. We did a hierarchical analysis to determine TUK’s primary, secondary, and tertiary features based on how often users would need to access them. The buttons were then laid out in response to this analysis, with the size and shape of buttons being considered as well. The result is a remote that feels right at home in anyone’s hand.” – Stuart MacMahon, Lead Industrial Designer of Kanto Living Inc.
3.5 mm input removed and replaced with dedicated RCA phono and line inputs. Users don’t have to manually switch between “Phono” and “Line” or choose whether their RCA input will accept a turntable or line-level source.
TUK prototype brought to RMAF 2018 – Rocky Mountain Audio Fest is both an industry and consumer event. Potential customers and Kanto fans finally get to see TUK in-person.
AAC Bluetooth codec added to give Apple users a high-quality streaming option.
TUK prototype brought to The Bristol Hi-Fi Show 2019 – TUK’s first showing outside North America. We’re really getting around now.
First small batch of finalized units arrive at our office which are immediately sent to select, key reviewers.
TUK’s product page on our website is launched, “Getting to Know TUK” blog is posted, key retailers start accepting pre-sale orders, and first reviews start to come in – the love for TUK is unreal!
First full run of TUK arrives at our warehouse. Regression testing of initial units is performed to ensure they operate as intended.
Hard work pays off
There were so many people involved in the development of TUK, and countless milestones were met to get to this point. In the words of our CEO, we’re feeling “absolute excitement” with this release. Our efforts have paid off – culminating in our most anticipated product launch to date. We hope you love TUK as much as our reviewers do.
“TUK will give you great background, casual, serious listening and monitoring; something that most speakers can’t deliver”
– David Susilo, wifihifi
“I was not expecting the sense of openness and air around the performers that the TUK delivered. I had to tell myself a few times that these were sub $1000 speakers.”
– Gary Lea, positive feedback
“Overall, TUK is a real winner. Kanto has done a fantastic job of creating one of the most dynamic and engaging powered speakers we have heard in a long time.”