DALI delivers it’s latest compact bookshelf speaker designed to deliver big sound when space is at a premium.
Regular readers of the Tech Blog will have seen our recent reviews for the Spektor series by the Danish speaker manufacturer DALI. So far we’ve looked at the Spektor 6 floorstanding model, as well as the Spektor 2, a bookshelf model aimed at those who wants a big sound from a relatively compact speaker. The DALI Spektor 1 helps to fill a gap for those who have space at even more of a premium, but still want a speaker that can deliver a fantastic and musical performance.
At just 24 cm in height, and a compact 19 cm in depth, the Spektor 1 is definitely on the small side for a hi-fi speaker, but with the help of a port on the rear of the cabinet, performance suffers negligible losses and with a little bit of rear wall enforcement, these speakers are able to sound like a much larger speaker than their physical dimensions would suggest. DALI have opted for an 11 cm drive unit – a smaller version of their favoured wood fibre unit found on the rest of the Spektor range, and looking fetching with its purplish hue – as well as the same 21mm tweeter.
And it’s not just these family traits that have crossed over to this compact bookshelf speaker. The same tidy cabinet design found elsewhere in the range is on show here, too. A choice of either Walnut or Black vinyl wrap is offered, and the design leans towards ‘classic hi-fi’; nothing that’ll necessarily set pulses racing, but tidy, clean and likely to match well into the vast majority of living spaces. Black cloth grilles are supplied for those that prefer to keep the drive-units hidden away (or anyone whose children still have inquisitive fingers!).
As with the previous Spektor tests, we left the Spektor 1 to run in for a couple of days before getting down to some ‘proper’ listening. The speakers are rated at a relatively low sensitivity of 83db, which is to be expected from a speaker of this size. As such, DALI recommend that matching amplifiers are able to output a minimum of 40 watts per channel into its 6 ohm load for best results. We partnered the speakers to Cambridge Audio’s CXA-60 amplifier with great results, its 60-watts into each channel proving more than adequate for the job.
Radiohead’s In Rainbows album was up first and the speakers had the required ‘get up and go’ to match album opener “15 Step”. The crunchy, punchy drums that open the track hit with just the right amount of impact, and Thom Yorke’s vocal was held firmly in place between the two speakers, the DALI contrasting nicely between voice and percussion. As the track gained momentum in its latter stages, the individual strands of instrumentation never became difficult to untangle and follow. More importantly, the rhythmic drive of the track was grasped from start to finish, keeping toes tapping from beginning to end.
Stereo imaging was fairly wide too, with the space in between the speakers filled nicely, but the image also extending beyond the left and right hand side of the speakers placement in our demonstration room. Miles Davis’ ‘Kind of Blue’ showed their great knack for positioning of sounds on this wide stage, with the players all easily identifiable in their own space in the mix. John Coltrane’s tenor sax solo on “All Blues” is always a stand out, and again, the Spektor 1’s representation of instrumental tone was spot on.
By the end of the listening session, it was obvious that the Spektor (and DALI) sound signature had not been lost in translation to this smaller model. The same rich and full sound that the bigger variants offered was still here, albeit with slightly less extension in the lower frequencies as a result of the reduced cabinet size. The long and the short of it is this: anybody looking for a small speaker but with minimal loss in quality over a larger model really must give the Spektor 1 a listen! Why not swing by your local Richer Sounds today and hear for yourself?
Author: Chris, Liverpool store