This week we reviewed the Dali Spektor 1, Dali Spektor 2, Dali Spektor 6 and Dali Spektor Vokal speakers. A quadruple test to evaluate the capacities of the new Dali Spektor range as part of both a hi-fi and a home cinema configuration.
The Dali Spektor series is the entry range in the Danish manufacturer?s catalog and is comprised of the ultra compact Dali Spektor 1, the compact Dali Spektor 2, the Dali Spektor 6 floorstanding speaker and the Dali Spektor Vokal center speaker. We listened to these loudspeakers individually (except for the center speaker) and in a 5.0 configuration, the same configuration as the Dali Spektor 2 System and Dali Spektor 6 System.
Dali Spektor: presentation
For those who are not familiar with Dali, the Danish brand was founded by Peter Lyngdorf in 1983 and proudly designs and manufactures its drivers and speakers in Denmark. The company is very productive and boasts a catalog featuring nine different speaker ranges. The Spektor series is a budget range fitted with custom-made drivers designed specifically for each speaker.
Dali has always been very open about the fact that designing their own drivers with a precise type of speaker in mind makes electronic filtering a lot easier. In other words, by mastering the response curve, impedance and phase, less components are necessary, thereby lowering production cost and offering the key advantage of minimal signal deterioration. In addition, the soundstage gains in coherence and the speakers are easier to drive.
On paper, the Dali Spektor offers a well-balanced delivery. Their 6 ohm impedance rating, which the brand says is balanced from one end of the spectrum to the other, should not be a problem for hi-fi amplifiers and home cinema receivers (even for models rated at 8 Ohms).
Dali Spektor: woofers
The Dali Spektor range includes three different types of bass-mids drivers. The small Dali Spektor 1 and the Dali Spektor Vokal center speaker are fitted with a 4.5? model, while the Dali Spektor 2 uses a 5? driver and the Dali Spektor 6 floorstanding speaker is equipped with a 6.5? woofer. Each driver is fitted with a brick-red wood fiber pulp cone. This technology, which is also used for other ranges of Dali speakers (Zensor, for example), features the particularity of offering a sound free of coloration as well as a very low distortion rate thanks to its superior damping capacity (Low Loss Technology).
Dali Spektor: tweeters
The two plastic, soft-dome tweeters are very subtle -twice as much as a classic tweeter according to Dali- and are thus capable of reaching higher frequencies than classic dome tweeters (26 kHz). A true asset for the restitution of high-definition music. The Dali Spektor 1 is fitted with a 0.8? tweeter, while the other models in the Dali Spektor range are equipped with a 1? model.
The particularity of these tweeters is their waveguide with a ribbed, partial horn, which ensures a very wide diffusion angle.
Dali indicates that it is not necessary to direct the Spektor speakers towards the listening area (except for the center speaker, of course) in order to obtain high-precision sound placement.
Dali Spektor 1: specs
The Dali Spektor 1 speaker is only 14 cm large and 23 cm tall. The extremely compact speaker boasts a low sensitivity rating (83 dB for 1 Watt) and a frequency response ranging from 59 Hz to 26 kHz, which means this speaker was designed to be used in a small living room -ideally paired up with a subwoofer- or as a surround speaker. The woofer is housed in a small bass reflex enclosure.
Dali Spektor 2: specs
The Dali Spektor 2 speaker features a more typical design. Due to its bigger size, the Dali Spektor 2 contains more air, which means deeper lows (51 Hz), while the 5? bass-mids driver brings the sensitivity up to 84.5 dB. The Dali Spektor 2 is more versatile than the Spektor 1 and can be enjoyed in a larger living room. Once paired up with the Dali Spektor Vokal center speaker, the Spektor 2 can even be used as the main pair of speakers in a multi-channel home cinema installation.
Dali Spektor 6: specs
The Dali Spektor 6 floorstanding speaker is equipped with two 6.5? bass-mids drivers in a bass reflex enclosure featuring two back-firing ports. Reaching inside the bass reflex port with our hand, we could easily feel that the ports were very long, which means that they are tuned very low. The result is that this floorstander can dive down to 43 Hz, and above all, displays a sensitivity rating of 88.5 dB for 1 Watt. In other words, it is twice as loud as the compact Dali Spektor models.
Dali Spektor Vokal: specs
The Dali Spektor Vokal center speaker features two 4.5? drivers (same models as the ones featured on the Spektor 1), placed on each side of the tweeter. The Dali Spektor Vokal benefits from a bass reflex enclosure and displays a higher sensitivity rating than the compact models from the Spektor range, with 87 dB for 1 Watt (1 m).
Dali Spektor: manufacturing quality
Each speaker is made of MDF with a vinyl veneer covering the side, back, bottom and top panels. The front panel on each model boasts a grainy leather finish. Each driver is held in place by four visible screws, except for the tweeters which use six screws: three to attach the dome to the support-horn, and three to attach the horn to the front panel. The drivers and screws are completely concealed by an acoustically transparent fabric grill. Dali also added decoupling spikes (floorstanders) and rubber pads (compact, center speakers).
Dali Spektor: test conditions
We tested the Dali Spektor speakers with the NAD C388, Onkyo TX-L50, Yamaha RX-V681 and Pioneer SC-LX58 amplifiers. We used NorStone W250 cables to connect the speakers. We mainly listened to FLAC files that we streamed when possible, or else played via our Panasonic DMP-UB900 Blu-ray player. We used the latter to watch HD films on our LG OLED65B6V 4K OLED screen. We placed the compact speakers on NorStone Hillerod stands.
Dali Spektor 1: listening impressions
The small Dali Spektor 1 stands out for its very linear and perfectly balanced sound signature. If you were wondering why this speaker was fitted with a smaller tweeter, this is obviously the answer. Logically, the speaker has a hard time making itself heard in the lower end of the spectrum and the use of a subwoofer is recommended to offer support in the lower octaves. A 4.5? driver loaded in such a small enclosure cannot perform miracles. Nevertheless, the high-bass and low-medium ranges are properly structured and free of coloration. The mids are well integrated and the highs benefit from a flattering (but discreet) hint of brightness. The Spektor 1 is easy to listen to, shows no aggressiveness, and is at home in any type of configuration.
Dali Spektor 2: listening impressions
Thanks to its larger size, the Dali Spektor 2 compact speaker delivers a wider sound than its smaller sibling. The sound fills up the space nicely and the listener feels closer to the soundstage. The listening experience benefits from the same linearity and slightly sharp highs. The Dali Spektor 2 is definitely inherits the same DNA: easy to listen to, regardless of the circumstances.
Dali Spektor 6: listening impressions
The real star of the show, the Dali Spektor 6 floorstanding speaker brought the atmosphere in our listening room to a whole new level. The lower end of the spectrum is a lot wider and a lot of room is given to the infra-bass. The high-bass register is naturally a bit trimmed down, while the low-mids and restitution of voices suffer no impact. The mids are more energetic without sticking out. Overall, the Spektor 6 is linear and slightly nervous, yet never tiring. While the soundstage doesn’t get any wider, it does get a lot higher (thanks to the deep lows).
We obtained the best results by placing the Dali Spektor 6 about 2.5 m from each other. Although this distance was right for our listening room, we recommend placing these speakers far enough from each other to enjoy optimal sound placement.
Dali Spektor 6, Vokal and 1: listening impressions
In a 5.0 home cinema configuration (Spektor 6 FL FR, Spektor Vokal C and Spektor 1 SL/SR), we found the sound placement to be convincing. The Dali Spektor Vokal was clearly designed to offer a rich restitution of the low-medium range, which is ideal for voices. Note that if the Dali Spektor Vokal is placed on a piece of furniture, we recommend bringing it closer to the listening area, flush with the edge of the furniture, in order to avoid the ground effect caused by the furniture?s surface. This will prevent the mechanical amplification of the low-mids, which are then better integrated.
We started listening to the Dali Spektor 6 with the Yamaha RX-V681 amplifier. We watched Muse Live At Rome Olympic Stadium (2013, DTS 5.1 24/96), Ben Hur (2016, AC3 5.1 16/48) and Batman v Superman (2016, AC3 5.1 16/48) for our test. The restitution is tactful, almost too respectful of the listener?s ears at medium volume, and a perfect match for the Yamaha amplifier. We had to push the level unabashedly to feel fully immersed in Muse?s live performance and appreciate the speakers? fluidity. The Spektor 1, placed slightly behind the listening area, offered a surprisingly substantial rear soundstage.
With the Pioneer SC-LX58, the mediums stand out a bit more, which means that the speakers lose their balance. Of course, an abundance of details comes to the fore, to the detriment of the overall consistency. What surprised us is that the Pioneer home cinema amplifier?s generous power supply is not used as it should be, and the lower end of the spectrum does not benefit from its potential.
The surprise comes from the partnership with the Onkyo LX-50 that we tested a few weeks ago. It was a truly impressive performance.
In addition to more solid bass, the Dali Spektor (surround) becomes a lot more responsive. At high volume, the scene in which the building is destroyed at the beginning of Batman v Superman creates a feeling of apprehension, notably thanks to a solid restitution of the infra-bass. The Dali Spektor 6 speakers, which receive the LFE channel of the Dolby Digital track, rise to the task and do not fail to impress. Note that no particular adjustment was carried out beforehand; we didn’t even tweak the amplifier?s 15-band-per-channel EQ.
In short, we observed that a home cinema receiver rated under 50 W per channel works really well with these speakers.
Dali Spektor 2, Spektor Vokal and Spektor 1: listening impressions
The softness and balance previously described are perceptible throughout the sound spectrum. Nevertheless, the soundstage loses a bit of stature compared to the Dali Spektor 6. The Dali Spektor 2 compact models were used as main speakers and were not convincing in terms of low frequencies?a subwoofer is therefore highly recommended. Yet, the circular sounds in Gravity (AC3, 5.1 16/48) were very precise. The restitution of voices muffled by helmets hit the mark.
Dali Spektor: conclusions
What we liked: the linearity with no drop in the low-medium range, the highs are soft and precise, the floorstanders offer deep bass (when the volume is turned up high enough).
What we would have liked: a faster break-in period, but is this really a drawback?
In all honesty, we liked the Dali Spektor speakers, especially the floorstanders and the Dali Spektor 1 compact speakers in surround configuration. The constant softness, along with the slightly bright (but never too sharp) highs, created a very pleasant balance of calm and energy. After the break-in period, and at high volume, the Dali Spektor were never muddy and even made our couch shake. The Dali Spektor 1, Dali Spektor 2, Dali Spektor 6 and Dali Spektor Vokal speakers are, as promised by the manufacturer, easy to drive. Their individual qualities, brought together in a home cinema configuration, provide a relatively inexpensive, highly commendable multi-channel system. The Dali Spektor 6 System is a golden ticket to discover the famous Danish sound.