Omer and I had a pretty fun afternoon yesterday (without that Alex guy who's off in New Zealand... who needs him!) with some nice new speakers arriving in the store from our friends at Dynaudio.
They're from the new series in the Excite range, still manufactured at home in Denmark. They include the amazing floorstanders, the X38s, their bookshelf speaker siblings, the X14s and the incredibly compact centre channel, the X24.
Noting the relatively low sensitivity figures, we figured we'd best connect them to an amplifier with plenty of grunt. The new Arcam AVR450 seemed just the ticket. It has a perfectly clean 110w a side (at less than 0.02% THD!) for stereo and an easy 90w delivered to each channel for surround use.
I did a cursory installation using the Arcam's basic setup parameters and was satisfied the levels were about right. Dropping "Joe Bonamassa Live At The Royal Albert Hall" into the blu ray player, I picked out my favourite track (India/Mountain Time) and let the volume rip.
The results? Nothing short of stunning. The bass response in the floorstanders was absolutely amazing, filling the whole shop with percussive goodness. The mids and highs were controlled and even and the overall tonal signature was wonderfully smooth.
"Time for a stress test!" I said to Omer and went and pulled out one of my favourite test CDs, Ben Ottewell's Shapes And Shadows. I skipped ahead to "Chicago" and had the hair on the back of my neck stand up.
The sound was just how I like it - plenty of low-down thump; clear, unobstructed mids; bright but not shrill higher frequencies - and as an added bonus, they look great. The X38s are, without a doubt, the star of the show, but the compact centre and rears kept up without too much trouble thanks to the grunt of the big Arcam.
I've always been of the opinion that the best way to buy speakers is by ear rather than by words or numbers, so come in-store and ask for a listen - we'll have them set-up and ready for you.