The Davis Acoustics Krypton 6 is a three-way floorstanding speaker with a power of 100 Watts RMS. Much more than a simple update of the Davis Acoustics Krypton released in 1994, the Davis Acoustics Krypton 6 is equipped with more modern technologies to ideally combine compactness, performance and design. Developed in Troyes, France, this speaker benefits from a 1.1” tweeter, a 5” woofer and a 5” midrange driver made of Kevlar, one of the brand’s distinctive characteristics. Marketed at €1,500 per pair, will the Davis Acoustics Krypton 6 speaker conquer the hearts of music lovers and stand the test of time like its predecessor?
Davis Acoustics Krypton 6: the brand
Davis Acoustics is an iconic French hi-fi brand founded by Michel Visan. A lover of jazz, he was passionate about sound reproduction and began training as an electromechanical engineer in the 1950s. Michel Visan began his career in 1960 with the Vega company, where he developed loudspeakers and drivers. After 7 years as technical director of the French brand Siare Acoustique, Michel Visan decided to use his know-how to design his own speakers. This led to the birth of Davis Acoustics in 1986.
From the very beginning, Michel Visan made sure that Davis Acoustics drivers were unique and provided unmatched performance. The brand was one of the first to use Kevlar, carbon and fiberglass. These materials, which were unheard of at the time, provide the ideal combination of rigidity and lightness, two essential characteristics of a good driver. Davis Acoustics then became a popular brand and produced drivers for several speaker manufacturers such as Quellis, JMF, Louvet, WLM, JCT Acoustics, Klinger Garde and Avant Garde. At one time, the manufacturer also produced transducers for other brands such as Goldmund, Kinoshita, Apertura and Elipson. Today, Kevlar is still the most used material by the French manufacturer and the yellow color it gives the drivers is a hallmark of the brand.
As a natural extension of its driver and kit design business, the brand released its first speaker in 1993: the Davis Acoustics DK200. The Davis Acoustics DK200 was the manufacturer’s first mounted speaker and was a great success. The company then moved to larger premises in Troyes in order to accommodate for the increase in production. The same year, Davis launched the Ariane range and the Krypton model, of which the Davis Acoustics Krypton 6 is the worthy heir.
Since 2014, Davis Acoustics has been directed by Olivier Visan who carries on his father’s vision with numerous bookshelf speakers, in-wall speakers, center speakers and floorstanding speakers. The brand is internationally renowned and is able to boast about fitting out French singer Michel Sardou’s country house and having seduced designer Philippe Starck.
Davis Acoustics Krypton 6: packaging & accessories
The Davis Acoustics Krypton 6 floorstanding speakers both come in their own box inside of which they’re held in place and protected using polystyrene sheets. The speaker and its fabric acoustic grille are wrapped in a white synthetic cloth to protect them from scratches when they are taken out of the package. Each Davis Acoustics Krypton 6 speaker comes with a set-up guide and a sloping wooden stand. Two rubber pads and two decoupling spikes are also included, so you can choose which to use depending on the type of flooring in the room.
Davis Acoustics Krypton 6: presentation
Heirs to the first generation of Kryptons launched in 1994, the Davis Acoustics Krypton 6 only really share the name. The differences are obvious as soon as the speakers come out of the box, with a much more modern and refined design for this latest generation. Its cabinet is now much more compact, measuring 89cm in height, 16cm in width and 26cm in depth. The Davis Acoustics Krypton 6 is therefore more compact than its predecessor, making it easier to fit into small living rooms. Davis also ensures optimal performance in rooms of 15 to 30m².
As usual, the French manufacturer has paid great attention to the design of the Davis Acoustics Krypton 6 floorstanding speaker’s cabinet. The latter is very thick and is made from MDF panels reinforced by internal dividers. This design provides increased rigidity to more effectively reduce unwanted vibrations and resonances. The upper corners of the Davis Acoustics Krypton 6 have rounded edges that accentuate the elegant and refined side of the French speakers. The different sides are meticulously assembled and leaves no visible screws or joints.
This attention to detail continues on the magnetic acoustic fabric grille, which is gray or black depending on the model. In addition to increased user comfort, the magnetic attachment of this grille also reinforces the elegance of the Davis Acoustics Krypton 6, with a front panel that has no notches or attachment systems. Only the three drivers and the brand logo are displayed on the front panel.
The Davis Acoustics Krypton 6 floorstanding speaker is placed on a slightly inclined wooden stand that is simply screwed onto the base of the chassis. A damping foam is placed on the bottom of the speaker to limit the transmission of vibrations between the cabinet and the stand. In addition to its undeniable aesthetic appeal, this stand also tilts the speakers backwards to optimize the temporal alignment of the different drivers. As a result, the phase is improved, with a better perception of the different frequencies and a more accurate acoustic image. The rear part of this base rests on rubber pads. At the front, the French manufacturer offers a choice between pads or decoupling spikes, depending on the type of floor on which the speakers are placed.
The French manufacturer Davis Acoustics built its reputation in the design of speakers with a faithful and balanced sound. To do so, it has focused its attention on a very specific material for the development of its drivers: Kevlar. Particularly light and offering a very high rigidity, Kevlar ensures a very precise sound reproduction. It is therefore quite natural that the Davis Acoustics Krypton 6 floor-standing speaker benefits from a 5” diameter Kevlar cone driver for the reproduction of the midrange. However, Davis Acoustics has replaced the iconic yellow cone with a black one. It is much more discreet, but part of the brand’s visual identity is lost. This black cone is used on the walnut and white versions, while the Davis Acoustics Krypton 6 black still benefits from a yellow cone to brighten up the dark color of its chassis. In addition, the center of this Kevlar driver adopts a metal phase plug to limit turbulence and reduce distortion. Thanks to this design, the Davis Acoustics Krypton 6 floorstanding speaker promises a rich, natural and detailed midrange, a register that Davis speakers have always masterfully controlled.
The Kevlar driver of the Davis Acoustics Krypton 6 floorstanding speaker is coupled with a driver of the same diameter for the lows, but that uses a different design. The Kevlar is replaced by a processed cellulose pulp cone mounted on a rubber surround. It is associated with a large coil and a strong magnetic unit to guarantee a long throw and to provide dynamic and tight lows down to 45Hz. To further extend the Davis Acoustics Krypton 6’s low frequency response, the cabinet features a bass-reflex enclosure with a laminar port. The use of this streamlined port instead of a circular one contributes to the reduction of turbulence, but also to the design of the speakers by being more discreet and elegant. The port can therefore be effectively integrated into the front of the speaker, making it easier to place the Krypton 6s in the room by reducing the space required from the rear wall.
From 4000Hz upwards, the high frequencies of this Davis Acoustics Krypton 6 floorstanding speaker are reproduced by a 1.1” soft fabric dome tweeter, which is bigger than the majority of competing floorstanding loudspeakers (1” in general). This results in a much larger dome dispersion area, with lower distortion and a better performance during upswings. The perception of the different frequencies is also optimized.
Davis Acoustics Krypton 6: key specifications
- 3-way floorstanding speaker
- Bass-reflex enclosure with front laminar port
- Reinforced MDF cabinet
- Wooden base to optimise phase
- 1 x 5” Kevlar cone midrange driver
- 1 x 5” cellulose pulp cone woofer
- 1 x 1.1” soft fabric dome tweeter
- Power rating: 100W
- Maximum output: 150W
- Efficiency: 91dB
- Frequency response: from 45Hz to 20kHz
- Impedance: from 4 to 8 ohms
- Cutoff frequencies: 400 and 4000Hz
- Inclined wooden base
- Decoupling spikes
- Rubber pads
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 160 x 890 x 260mm
- Weight: 16kg
Davis Acoustics Krypton 6: listening conditions
For our test, we connected the Davis Acoustics Krypton 6 floorstanding speakers to our Cayin CS-55A KT88 tube amplifier, a model capable of delivering up to 2 x 40 watts, using Viard Audio Silver HD12 HP speaker wire. Using Audioquest Rocket 11 speaker wire, we then paired the speakers with the NAD C375 BEE solid-state amplifier that can deliver 2 x 150 watts into 8 ohms. Our source was the Volumio Primo Hi-Fi Edition network player which we used to play Hi-Res FLAC and DSD files shared over the local network, as well as our Qobuz playlists. The player was connected to the amplifier using Audioquest Yukon RCA cables.
The placement of the Davis Acoustics Krypton 6 speakers is critical to ensuring that voices and instruments are correctly positioned. It is essential that the listening area be located at the intersection of the two speakers. A few adjustments were therefore necessary to optimize the operation of the speakers before starting the test. We advise everyone to do the same to optimize the speakers’ musical performance.
Davis Acoustics Krypton 6: listening impressions
We began our test of the Davis Acoustics Krypton 6 with Serge Gainsbourg’s album Histoire de Melody Nelson. Fifty years after its release, this album is still a reference in high fidelity thanks to its outstanding recording quality. This quality was excellently reproduced by the Davis Acoustics Krypton 6 speakers, which delivered the songs with clarity and transparency. The Kevlar driver made the most of Gainsbourg’s voice, which was natural and full of micro details. Every intonation was clearly distinct. The electric bass present on many of the tracks had a nice reverb and gave the sound some depth. The sound was smooth, nuanced and the notes were very well maintained. Even at low volume, the instrument remained clear and well defined.
In a completely different genre with the track “Comfortably Numb” from David Gilmour’s Live at Pompeii performance, the electric guitar was beautifully chiseled and smooth. Certain notes were slightly harsh, but this was in part due to the fact that this track is particularly difficult to reproduce. This harshness in the high frequencies was rather random from one track to another. The percussion instruments, on the other hand, had clean attacks and a beautiful clarity that illuminated the track. The extension in the low frequencies wasn’t striking, but this register’s energy and responsiveness were impressive. It packed a punch, especially in the dynamic high bass. It managed to give the music substance, despite the size of the woofer (only 5”).
The mids were perfectly handled by the Davis Acoustics Krypton 6 speakers. They were rich, textured and provided the vocals with a lot of substance. With Dido’s song Thank You, the singer’s voice was soft, silky and organic. It was reproduced with accuracy, delicacy and an undeniable naturalness. The vocals were perfectly integrated into the song, and stood out from the various arrangements by taking place in the center of the stage. With more complex tracks, vocals sometimes seemed slightly withdrawn compared to the percussion instruments, but that did give the music a pleasant depth.
Acoustic instruments were enhanced by the Davis Acoustics Krypton 6 speakers, as highlighted by Eric Clapton’s track Old Love. The acoustic guitar attacks were bold and energetic. The drivers reacted to the slightest requests of the amplifier. The strings were tangible and we could easily perceive the varied intensity of the friction. The sound was smooth, nuanced and had room to breathe freely. The piano that accompanies the track was transparent and masterfully used the width and depth of the sound stage delivered by the Davis Acoustics Krypton 6. Overall, the sound was realistic, radiant and particularly pleasant.
Davis Acoustics Krypton 6: compared to…
Fyne Audio F501: sold for €1,450 per pair, the Fyne Audio F501 is a 2.5 way model equipped with a 6” woofer and 6” coaxial driver with a 1” titanium dome tweeter. The Fyne Audio speakers are a little more balanced and generous in the lows than the Davis Acoustics Krypton 6. Transients are even more accurate, but the Krypton 6s are softer and more natural in the midrange. They are also easier to power and install in small rooms.
Cabasse MC40 Java: available at €1,690 per pair, the Cabasse MC40 Java is a 3 way model with a bass-reflex enclosure. It is equipped with a tweeter/midrange coaxial driver and two 6.7” Duocell woofers. Soundwise, the Cabasse MC40 Java offers more bass extension, with deeper and rounder lows. It is also slightly more balanced and smooth, especially in the highs. That said, the Davis Acoustics Krypton 6 has richer and more textured mids. It is also much more compact, making it easier to integrate into a small living room.
Elipson Prestige Facet 14F: sold for €990 a pair, the Elipson Prestige Facet 14F is a 2.5 way model equipped with a 6.7” woofer, a midrange driver of the same size and a 1” soft dome tweeter. Because of its design and much bigger size, the Elipson Prestige Facet 14F is undeniably more generous in the lows. The sound is more dynamic and smooth. However, Davis Acoustics Krypton 6s perform better in the midrange, with a richer and more textured reproduction. Once again, they are smaller and therefore easier to install.
Davis Acoustics Krypton 6: who are they for?
The Davis Acoustics Krypton 6s are for anyone looking for a pair of floorstanding speakers that will fit in a 15m² to 30m² room. Their relatively compact size and minimalist design make it easy to integrate them into any interior and into small living rooms. The front port contributes to this easy installation by reducing the required distance from the rear wall. The moderate bass excursion is a real advantage when it comes to not artificially saturating the low frequencies. Instead, the bass remains dynamic, lively and tight.
With a high sensitivity of 91 dB and 5” drivers, the Davis Acoustics Krypton 6 speakers are easy to power. They can be used with most hi-fi amplifiers on the market with an output power equal to or greater than 40 watts to play music in a room up to 30m². They can therefore be associated with an A/V receiver or an entry-level hi-fi amp such as the Rega IO or the Marantz Melody M-CR412 while enjoying a wonderful musical experience. For an even better performance, they can also be paired with higher-end amps, such as the Cayin CS-55A KT88 we used for this test or the Marantz PM7000N to enjoy numerous network features. The addition of a subwoofer is also possible for larger rooms and/or lovers of deep and powerful bass, or for those who choose to frame their TV with two Davis Krypton 6 speakers for both Hi-Fi and home theater use.
Davis Acoustics Krypton 6: conclusion
With the Davis Acoustics Krypton 6, the French manufacturer has revived one of their iconic speakers, but this new generation shares only the name. The visual and acoustic design have been entirely revamped to accommodate new aesthetic trends as well as the brand’s latest technologies. The result is a much more elegant and refined loudspeaker that offers a more graceful reproduction that is masterfully controlled. Like many of the brand’s models, the real strength of the Davis Acoustics Krypton 6 lies in the midrange, which is always rich, textured and very smooth, bringing naturalness and life to the listening experience. The sound does not lose its balance and offers incredibly accurate tones.
What we liked:
- The rich mids
- The natural voices
- The energetic lows
- The elegant and compact design
We would have liked:
- Greater bass excursion
- Slightly smoother highs