Dynaudio Evidence £85500
30th Apr 2005 | 23:00
A speaker set that'll set you back some serious Dane geld
Danish brand Dynaudio's Evidence speakers represent the design flagship of the company. No longer prepared only to provide OEM drive units to the likes of Meadowlark, the Dynaudio folks are doing it for themselves - with style and no sense of compromise.
But there's a substantial ticket attached to these boxes; their cost could add an extension to your home. A total of £51,000 on a set of left and right speakers, or a new conservatory with built-in spa tub? Replace the family car with a decent second-hand luxo-barge for £12,500 or simply get the centre speaker to match the massive left and right set?
Lastly, in order to create a fivechannel surround array, you will need to get a pair of the slightly smaller rears for a snip-like £22,000. Meet the Master Evidence, the Evidence Centre and the Evidence Temptations.
The basic design of the Evidence system is actually modular and quite simple. First off, all the central zones of the three models are identical and begin with a massive 40mm billet of aluminium which is CNC precision-cut to house two fabric dome tweeters and two smaller 150mm mid-range drivers.
Dynaudio creates every part of each driver. From machining yoke pieces out of steel to winding aluminium wire voice coils and assembling all the drive units, everything is done in-house, with no sourcing of parts from subcontractors.
Starting at the enormous thick baffle, the tweeters are in vertical pairs and look like they should be doing the same thing as each other. However, and despite my describing each of these designs as a three-way speaker in the spec box, it's possible, according to a source, that the HF units are doing slightly different passbands to each other so as to make each driver work less hard and sound better.
So, oddly enough, where you would expect three different models of loudspeaker with the same paired 28mm neodymium magnet and ferrofluid loaded tweeters, to all reach the same upwards frequency extension, they do not. The Master Evidence's passband goes up to 26,000Hz, while the smaller rear-use Evidence Temptations reach up to 25,000Hz and the Evidence Centre only manages 23,000Hz.
Above and below the paired tweeters are the 150mm mid-range drivers. Again, you expect them to be playing the same passband as each other but they may not be. This central section is common to all three.
The difference is that while the Centre and the Temptations have one single WBT set of speaker connection points each at one end, the Master Evidences are built to be made from three enclosures - top, middle and base.
The single speaker connection is low on the body but as the top and middle sections need their watts, a set of WBTs take the speaker power from the bottom up to the middle where it splits and is sent to the top and lower bass enclosures. This results in a mass of WBT connections and some meaty jumper leads (provided) that make the central front-to-back dimension read a few millimetres more than the others.
Each speaker gets a low frequency section. In the centre this is performed by two 170mm drivers, one per side of the high/mid array. In the Temptations, two 170mm drivers are used in each upper and lower enclosure - still a separate box despite being shipped as a single whole unit, while the three-box and bolt-together Master Evidences get two bigger 200mm drivers per bass enclosure.
These small sized drivers are housed in enclosures that reach back, so just how far down they can play with total, utter grip and control is therefore seriously impressive.
So how does an £85,000 speaker system sound? In a word: astonishing.
Playing familiar movies on this system is like playing them again for the first time. I heard stuff on very old soundtracks I had never heard before. How about the sound of kids playing under the voice over at the very beginning of T2? Just before the metal foot crushes the skull. It is at least 30dB into the background and was clear as a bell through these.
The football the monster gets in the face in Monsters. Inc's opening scene hits so hard and with such a vinyl-esque 'ping!' you feel like it hit you in the face. And the barracuda's, 'Snap!' at the start of Finding Nemo simply terrifies.
However, despite my awed reaction to a set of speakers so posh, I did think that for the almost limitless cost, there should be some information or throb going on down to a decently low, 20Hz minimum. I gather from the factory that three of its biggest active woofers per side would match the system I listened to. Certainly, the sound was uncoloured. The speakers were as transparent and exhilarating as a summer's day.
Every so often, you encounter products which transcend the norm. These hideously priced Dynaudio's are such a product. They combine utterly delicious resolution and astonishing power with total lack of compression. The result is imaging and staging divorced from enclosures.
These are statement products. To say that I want them for my own so bad it hurts, is obvious. To say that I want to be able to financially aspire to think about owning them at all, even more so. But for all you Posh & Becks out there, my message is simple: buy 'em - you won't be sorry.