The last time I listened at length to a pair of Daedalus Audio speakers at a show, they were flanked by the company’s custom subwoofers.
At AXPONA, I again was impressed by the low frequencies coming from a Daedalus design; this time the new floor-standing Apollo ($14,250 a pair). As my aging eyes adjusted to the dim light, however, I noticed something: no subs.
“I’ve always wanted to do a speaker with a 10-inch woofer,” Daedalus owner and designer Lou Hinkley told me. He usually uses 8-inch cones.
Hinkley also operates a professional sound company. He noticed that guitar players favor 10-inch speakers.
“They have a magic,” Hinkley said.
He also crafted a cabinet for his new speaker that minimizes 90-degree angles. In addition to that, the woodwork is gorgeous.
I was eager to give the Apollo a listen. Hinkley’s system included gear from ModWright, featuring the new Ambrose balanced preamp (price TBA), Ambrose A30 monoblocks ($14,995 per pair, PH 150 tube phono stage ($7,000), tube modified Marantz SA8005 SACD player ($1,200, plus $2,495 for the modification), tube modified OPPO Sonica DAC/streamer ($800, plus $2,495 for the modification) and VPI Aries with JMW 12 arm ($10,000),
Cable was from WyWires and included three from its Diamond Series: interconnects (starting at $4,495), speaker cable ($7,999) and power cords ($1,999). The rig also used WyWires Platinum Series digital cables ($899), Silver Series power cords (starting at $429), Mac Mini high-rez power cord ($299) and a WyWires/Daedalus Power Broker AC distribution unit ($2,495).
I’ve always been impressed with the tight, articulate bass offered by Daedalus speakers, as well as their ability to convey the mood or emotional impact of well-recorded music.
The Apollo retained all these traits and took them to an even higher level. A track from Steely Dan revealed the speaker’s low frequencies to still be focused and agile, but they went deeper and had more impact. The fuller bass, though, did not intrude into the midrange.
Hinkley’s new design is likely to please more than guitar players. Whether you can strum or not, the Apollo is worth a listen.