CES 2013: Dynaudio’s Black Swan

The Evidence Platinum from Dynaudio is … big. It’s also chock full of technology. So much so, that you could write a book about it. I know this because someone already did. I’m holding it in my hand. It has lots of pages. I’m not going to reprint them here. You’re welcome.

  • Sensitivity 89 dB
  • Impedance 4 Ω
  • Frequency Range 28 Hz – 25 kHz (± 3 dB)
  • Bass Principle Bass-Reflex, rear-ported
  • Bass Port Resonance Frequency 27 Hz
  • Crossover slope 6dB/octave
  • Weight 115.0 kg / 253.5 lbs
  • Dimensions (W x H x D) 8.3/15.4 × 76.4 × 20.1 in
  • Price: $85,000/pair

Shown here with:

  • Octave Audio MRE 220 monoblock amplifier ($23,700/pair)
  • Octave Audio Jubilee preamplifier ($36,000)
  • Octave Audio Phonopre (>$5,000)
  • Clearaudio Ovation turntable ($37k, with 9″ arm and Da Vinci cartridge)
  • dCS Scarlatti System ($80k)

You’re probably wondering whether I liked this system. The answer to this, and many other questions, is “yes”. Like it, I did. Deep bass was a challenge — the same challenge for the vast majority of rooms at the Venetian — but mid-bass and up was all rich burled wood, elegant silver and carved crystal. As it should be, for that price. Pardon me while I lean on the analogy a bit more — this pair of speaker columns struck me as elegant. Like “old-money” elegant. They’re also much larger than they appear in photos — they’re taller than I am — and they’ll stake out a serious position in any room, but at the same time, they’re not going to overwhelm the space, like a YG or a Wilson might. They’re there. Like a menhir. All you need is a center channel that lays across them, and you have Audio Stonehenge. Of course, I jest. A center channel that big is impractical. [Cough].

With eight drivers per channel, expect to set w – a – a – a – y back for optimal listening. 10′ is probably the nearest I’d get, but I’d be looking more for 12′-15′, at least. Intimate, they’re not. But then at this price, that’s probably not what you’re after. My one nit? Something this big, and this costly, really ought to have bass that measures cleanly down to 20Hz or lower. That lack here is a flag. But, that aside, I’m impressed. I’ve seen quite a few speakers in this price point and of that set, a very few actually strike me, visually, as something I’d like to own. This is one.