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This review first appeared in the January 2014 issue of hi-end hifi magazine of Germany. You can also read this review of Dynaudio
in its original German version. We publish its English translation in a mutual syndication arrangement with the publishers. As is customary for our own reviews, the writer's signature at review's end shows an e-mail address should you have questions or wish to send feedback. All images contained in this review are the property of fairaudio or Dynaudio - Ed.

Reviewer: Michael Bruß
Sources: Analog - VPI Scout II, Lyra Delos, Sonneteer Sedley USB phonostage; digital - Linn Majik DSM
Amplification: AVM MA 3.2 and Jadis JA15 monos, power stage of Linn Majik DSM
Loudspeakers: Linn Majik 140
Sundry accessories: Audioquest Cinnamon Ethernet cable, Fastaudio Black Science phono cable, Linn Silver IC, Linn K400 and Audioplan LS8 speaker cable, Audioquest NRG-2 and Phonosophie power cords, Phonosophie power bar, Fastaudio Absorber, Linn Skeet
Review component retail: €2'990/pr

In life one meets each other at least twice. My first go'round with Dynaudio occurred at a time most non-conducive to making any good first impression. I'd turned twenty and was deeply into heavy, trash and death metal. A speaker which as per 'Danes don't lie' company slogan was groomed for absolute neutrality and delivered on it simply sacrificed too much liveliness to seem boring to a young spunkster. Add a rep for complex filter networks with resultant load challenges. That meant twice the coin for new more potent amplifiers. Fast forward a few years back when Dynaudio's first Excite range married typical house-sound values with 'simpler' amplifier drive and greater spark. Today's 2nd-gen new Excite models promise more of the same, in fact "high-end sound from normal systems for the first time". Granted, what exactly constitutes 'normal' is up for grabs. It's also relativized by owner maturity. But it's a poignant claim nonetheless even if no dictionary will define exactly what 'high-end sound' might be. Never mind, them was fighting words. My personal expectations were ratcheted high. If Dynaudio went to town with statements like these and a brand-new generation of speakers, one ought to expect something out of the ordinary.

Tech. What differentiates the second coming of excitement from the first? The twin 18cm woofers of the top X38 model remain fundamentally the same. This for Dynaudio unusual size—for decades the Danes had relied on 15, 17 and 20cm woofers—first showed up in the rather costlier Focus range. There these drivers benefit from two luxuries which the Excite models don't get: extra-potent Ferrite+ magnets which hold a stronger magnetization charge; and black Kapton voice-coil formers for a non-magnetic, lightweight thermally stable material. Well, we gotta shave off somewhere to end up with the X38's lower price.

As already stated, the new Exciters mean to play nice with 'normal' amps more easily matched on price and power. Hence the smaller Excite models are the firm's first 8-ohm designs to maximize amplifier power delivery. For the X38 model of today however the Danes continue with hoary 4-ohm tradition, presumably by figuring that neither dealers nor punters are likely to combine a model of this calibre with €300 integrateds committed to fasting to the death. That said (and I deliberately tested this) the biggest Excite twins did well even with my 40-watt Jadis JA15 valves. As usual the amp motto is quality over quantity. That the small tubes delivered mature performance likely also benefited from the fact that Dynaudio's typically rigorous xover linearization to avoid severe impedance dips was pursued less strictly here to instead increase efficiency a tad.

Despite minor departures from Dynaudio's 'red book of crossover design', these Excite boxes retain most the typical ingredients like aluminium voice coils which offer better thermal behavior than copper and greater acceleration from reduced moving mass. Diaphragms are of house-owned MPS (a magnesium silicate polymer) and of a piece, i.e. no subsequently glued-on dust cap. From this the Danes claim ideal dispersion and response transition to the next driver up. But the woofers get another special tweak, a symmetrical dual-magnet motor bracketing a pole plate for greater control over the voice coil. The norm is a single magnet which in theory is sufficient. Dynaudio simply prefer higher drive accuracy. The baskets of woofers and midrange are cast aluminium with flow-optimized ribs. In the treble the tender signal encounters a 25mm soft dome with nearly over-dimensioned magnet. Tweeter and woofer sport vented pole pieces for rear venting, concomitant cooling and avoidance of dynamic compression. The X38 boxes are immaculately finished and classically elegant of styling. Without a direct A/B they could belong to the Focus range. Only insiders would notice that they lack their rearward narrowing. The 18mm MDF enclosures are clad in Walnut or Rosewood veneers whilst lacquer options are semi-gloss black or white. The first-rate fit is likely due to Danish manufacture true for all Dynaudios, even the barely €1'000/pr entry-level Excite model into this world.