DALI Opticon 6 MK2 Review • Evolutionary development!
The updated series of Opticon speaker systems from the Danish company DALI differs from the previous generation models not only in a slightly more strict design, but also in the use of new dome tweeters in a twin tweeter unit.
However, it would be wrong to call them completely new – this tweeter was borrowed from the Callisto C series, and its main difference is the increased diameter of the woven dome. In the new version, it is 29 mm, while previously a buzzer with a 28 mm dome was used. This solution allows the dynamics to “digest” the large input power, and also improves its dispersion characteristics. In addition, the crossover frequency between the tweeter unit and the mid-range speaker can now be set lower, namely at 2.2 kHz.
In general, the acoustic configuration of this model turns out to be very interesting, its manufacturer designates it as 2.5 + 0.5 bands. In practice, this means that the high-frequency module is switched on at 2.2 kHz, and only the dome sounder works up to 14 kHz. And then a tape radiator with a size of 17 x 45 mm begins to help her, adding gloss and shine to the sound and allowing the frequency response not only to extend to 30 kHz, but also making the directivity pattern at HF as wide as possible.
The mid-range and low-frequency sections are sounded by two proprietary drivers with dark red 165 mm cones, made of lacquered wood fiber reinforced pulp. Moreover, if one of them covers the entire section from the crossover frequency to the resonant frequency of the speaker, then the second is switched on only at 800 Hz to provide the necessary level of pressure on the bass.
Such a configuration only at first glance seems complicated, in fact, it has been tested and worked out by DALI engineers for a long time, and has been one of the company’s “chips” for a decade and a half. As usual, the speaker magnet system includes a core made from the original SMC (Soft Magnetic Compound) magnetized alloy.
It consists of tiny metal balls, which are coated with a special chemical compound for better adhesion, and its application in the gap allows you to create a uniform magnetic field by reducing the hysteresis and the level of stray currents. In addition, this solution provides reduced third-order harmonic distortion and improved thermal stability at high power levels.
The drivers use a die-cast aluminum basket specially designed to optimize airflow. The bass reflex port located on the rear wall of the case has a proprietary Dual Flare profile and is tuned to a frequency of 43.5 Hz. The loudspeaker terminals can be used with two cables.
The declared sensitivity of the DALI Opticon 6 mk2 speaker systems is 88 dB (2.83 V / 1 m), the nominal impedance is 4 Ohm, the operating frequency range is from 49 Hz to 30 kHz at a level of +/- 3 dB. Each speaker weighs 19.3 kilograms; for installation, the kit includes both sharp metal spikes and soft anti-vibration pads for those cases when it is desirable to keep the floor covering.
Traditionally, our audition took place in the spacious and acoustically prepared room of the Pult.ru salon. The test system included the well-known electronic components from the British Cambridge Audio, integrated amplifier CXA81 and the CXN network player.
Over the years that DALI has used a dual high-frequency module in its loudspeakers, its engineers have worked out its tuning so carefully that each new model is usually a neat evolution of the previous one. We have also studied the handwriting of the Danish speakers equipped with this module so well that we know almost in advance what to expect from the new product. Indeed, the combination of an excellent attack at high frequencies with their length allows the DALI Opticon 6 mk2 to play with a special brilliance such a difficult instrument to play as Grigory Sviridov’s “Time Ahead” grand piano.
We noticed that the available volume level of the new generation speakers became slightly higher, as well as the subjective perception of the bass improved – it became a little faster, a little deeper and a little better integrated into the overall musical picture. Moreover, this had a beneficial effect not only on the reproduction of Infected Mushroom or ZAZ compositions saturated with low-frequency passages, but also added volume to the tracks of the 1980s, usually not capable of boasting an impressive bass.
Despite the fact that, first of all, the listener’s attention is drawn to the airy and fast high-frequency range, it is enough to wait for the introduction of the rhythm section on the version of the record of Jacques Lussier’s trio “Loussier Plays Bach” recorded in the 1990s, as it becomes clear – shake the furniture these sleek floor standing speakers are quite capable. I would also like to note the excellent work of the system with a virtual scene, which turns out to be not only wide, but also has a decent depth. Yes, a new pair will definitely need to warm up, be prepared to provide it with at least two to three days of active operation in order to give the DALI Opticon 6 mk2 the opportunity to show everything they are capable of.
As expected, the new generation DALI Opticon 6 with the mk2 index became a logical continuation of the strengths of the previous one – the twin tweeter is still good, the overload capacity has become higher, and the bass sounded deeper and more distinct. Evolutionary development is wonderful!