Surround Sound Speaker Systems
- Written by Larry Hryshko
- Published on 28 May 2009
Based on this busload of bias, I was very excited to have the opportunity to review a complete surround system from Dynaudioâ€™s new Excite line. My review sample consisted of X32 towers, the X22 center channel, and X12 rear surrounds, accompanied by their Sub 500. Even though this package represents an entry level system from Dynaudio, my expectations were extremely high. With an admission price of around $7K (MSRP) for the package, I think itâ€™s fair to expect a lot.
The X32s are two way, bass reflex floor-standers with a sleek appearance and small footprint. Mine came finished in a beautiful rosewood veneer. Like Danish architecture and furniture, they are an attractive but minimalist design. Build quality is excellent and the fit and finish are first rate. The X32s have two 5.7 inch, mid-bass drivers and a 1.1 inch soft dome tweeter in a linear arrangement, with the tweeter sitting on top centered at 33.25 inches from terra firma. I know and routinely measure this because my ears sit at 36.0 inches. Spikes are included with the speakers as are foam plugs to block the ports, if required.
The X22 center channel is also a two-way, three driver set-up arranged in a horizontal linear array. It houses two 4.3 inch mid-bass drivers and a 1.1 inch tweeter. The center channel is positioned on a removable stand that cants it upward or downward depending upon its ultimate placement. Nice, but non-adjustable for those of us who use lasers for tweeter targeting. It made me even madder to find out that it was bang on for my requirements.
The X12s are a surprisingly small, two-way, two driver system with a single 5.7 inch woofer and a 1.1 inch tweeter. I actually thought that Dynaudio made a mistake when I opened these up since it seemed unrealistic to pair these half-pints with the X32s. If youâ€™ve never heard a baby wail, youâ€™re in for a surprise as it was for me and the X12s.
The Sub 500 is a fairly compact, sealed enclosure with a 12 inch, long excursion driver. It is driven by a 250 watt class A/B amplifier, which utilizes proprietary Dynamic CEC (cone extrusion control), presumably reflecting some unique method of servo control. The card-sized remote control handles a variety of functions including volume, phase, crossover frequency, an additional extended bass mode, as well as up to four memory presets (established by the operator) and an on-off switch. In practice, it works quickly and conveniently to optimize your subwoofer to a variety of listening conditions. A few other desirable features include the ability to use either XLR (balanced) or RCA inputs and an interesting master/slave function that can be utilized to connect multiple subwoofers with the LFE signal.
All speakers employ coated, soft dome tweeters and the mid-bass drivers are constructed of Magnesium Silicate Polymer (MSP) cones with low mass, aluminum voice coils and rigid, die-cast aluminum frames. All speakers within the Excite line are direct radiators, so those in search of dipoles or bipoles will need to search elsewhere. The cabinets, while not overly thick or heavy, are well constructed and rigid. All have a one inch front baffle. They are finished in furniture grade, genuine wood veneers and come available in maple, cherry, rosewood and black ash. As an avid wood-worker, I was envious of the craftsmanship evident in these cabinets. Iâ€™m certain they wouldn't hire me in that department.