To believe or not to believe... that is the question. Unlike the smaller 5" 2-way s200 with dual rear-firing passive radiators, the s300 Mk2 is a 6" bass-reflex 2-way with a one-inch soft dome tweeter, mineral-filled polypropylene mid/woofer cone and magnetically affixed grilles. 88dB sensitivity and 4-ohm load add to a claimed 33 - 30'000Hz response ±3dB and the crossover is a baffle-step corrected 2nd-order affair. The set weighs 20kg and each speaker measures 37 x 19 x 33cm HxWxD. To be perfectly blunt, that makes it the most common, normal, ordinary type of loudspeaker extant. It's a basic rectangular box with two drivers and a port, zero unobtainium, nada exotica, niente brag factor. It doesn't weigh enough to double as boat anchor. It's got no curves, no diamond, no Beryllium, no Kevlar, no carbon fibre. It's a virtual NObody.

But is it, really? SD Acoustics drivers have become popular choices where designers want top Audio Technology or ScanSpeak performance but not their expense. An engineer good enough to be hired by Dynaudio clearly has the right stuff between his ears. Going after top value implies cutting all fat on bling and frilly styling. Whilst the s300MkII may look perfectly ordinary and as such, harmless to fly below most people's radar... the whole setup of the previous page including idealist naiveté—of everyone needing/wanting high-end sound—rewarded by reportedly good sales promised more. Call it not radioactive but radaractive. Mine was twitching. It could go either way of course. My inner cynic was duly primed. Still, hope eternal wanted this assignment to swing into the happy zone. Would reality bite or smile?

Delivery was in a single cardboard box with top/bottom spacers, with the four magnetized round cloth grills in a separate plastic baggie inside. Perhaps because there was no protective plastic or cloth sleeve between white speaker paint and foam protectors, the tops of both boxes had significant contact crud on them which presumably wasn't there when originally boxed. Some Windex, frottee cloth and elbow grease got the virgin goods into—cough—as new condition. That aspect of the shipping protocol merits a minor revisit to avoid a sub-standard first impression. Ditto for providing some cheap stick-on rubber bumpers to protect the speaker bottoms. Minor gripes asides, seeing magnetic driver covers was an unexpected extra that'll go far with domestic regulations which frown on hardware porn.

Not that reasonable employ of this speaker means a 90m² space with kilowatt mono amps and luxo-priced DAC and preamp. Anything but. Still, for a first look at its ultimate potential, this box did slip into such a system. The adage of big amps making small speakers sound big is grounded in reality. It's not wishful thinking. It's not the greedy tactic of salesmen on commission who need you to spend more. Of course how big of an amp constitutes sanity and where that lines gets crossed remains up for debate. Just because I had the €3'600/pr Wyred4Sound SP-1000R class D monos delivering 1'000wpc on hand, they stood in for that very discussion. Zu's Submission subwoofer sat by in standby. It'd lend an eventual helping 1st-octave hand just as it does for any speaker of this type in this space. Cubic air volume, driver Xmax, 6" mid/woofer diameter and even the cleverest of port loading only go so far before one asks the impossible. Perfectly reasonable employ on the desktop with Stello HP100MkII/S100MkII; on a midfield console with Wyred4Sound mINTt; and in a smaller media room with Job 225 amplifier would all factor. To get going, I simply wanted to know how much performance could be squeezed from this plain-looking box when tail wind was set at gale force levels: €13'800 DAC, €10'000 preamp, massive amp power, top power-line conditioning, the works.