September
2022

Country of Origin

Denmark

MB1 B

Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Main system: Sources: Retina 5K 27" iMac (4GHz quad-core with Turbo, 32GB RAM, 3TB FusionDrive, OSX Yosemite. iTunes 14.4), PureMusic 3.02, Audirvana 3, Qobuz, Tidal, Singxer SU-6 USB bridge, Sonnet Pasithea DAC; Active filter: icOn 80Hz/4th-order hi/lo-pass; Power amplifiers: Kinki Studio EX-B7 mono, Enleum AMP-23R; Headamp: Kinki Studio; Phones: HifiMan Susvara; Loudspeakers: sound|kaos Vox 3awf + sound|kaos DSUB15 on Carbide Audio footers, Audio Physic Codex, Cube Audio Nenuphar Cables: Complete loom of Allnic Audio ZL; Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Vibex One 11R on amps, Furutech DPS-4.1 between wall and conditioners; Equipment rack: Artesanía Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc Krion and glass amp stands; Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators, LessLoss Firewall for loudspeakers, Furutech NCF Signal Boosters; Room: 6 x 8m with open door behind listening seat
2nd system: Source: Soundaware D300Ref SD transport clock-slaved to Denafrips Terminator +; Preamp/filter: icOn 4Pro SE; Amplifier: Goldmund Job 225; Loudspeakers: MonAcoustic SuperMon Mini or Acelec Model One + Dynaudio S18 sub; Power delivery: Furutech GTO 2D NCF; Equipment rack: Hifistay Mythology Transform X-Frame [on extended loan]; Sundry accessories: Audioquest Fog Lifters; Furutech NFC Clear Lines; Room: ~3.5 x 8m
Desktop system: Source: HP Z230 work station Win10/64; USB bridge: Singxer SU-2; Headamp/DAC: iFi iDSD Pro Signature;  Headphones: Final D-8000; Active speakers: DMAX SC5
Upstairs headfi/speaker system: Source: smsl Dp5 transport; DAC: Auralic Vega; Integrated amplifier: Schiit Jotunheim R; Phones: Raal-Requisite SR1a; Active DSP speakers: Fram Midi 120
2-channel video system: Source: Oppo BDP-105; All-in-One: Gold Note IS-1000 Deluxe; Loudspeakers: Zu Soul VI; Subwoofer: Zu Submission; Power delivery: Furutech eTP-8, Room: ~6x4m

Review component retail: €2'200/pr in black or white satin, €2'850/pr in walnut veneer, add €750/pr for matching single-leg stands

Dantax. It takes no imagination to see the first three letters as shorthand for Dansk or Danish. Getting literal on tax would be apt when Danes pay very high taxes to support their enviable quality of life. A little more imagination might suspect 'tax' in Dantax to signify tech like Duntech combined founder John Dunlavy's last name with 'tech'. Google Translator simply sez otherwise. In Danish, tax isn't tech. The company's full name is actually Dantax Radio A/S. The suffix abbreviates Aktieselskab for a stock-based corporation. Founded in 1969 now more than half a century ago, Dantax started loudspeaker production with OEM drivers. By 1977 they acquired ScanSpeak which brought elite driver design/manufacture in-house. By 2009 Raidho joined the firm. Today's ScansonicHD is Raidho tech transferred down-market for smaller budgets.

Dantax also own GamuT. Together with Raidho, this saw star designers Michael Børresen and Benno Baun Melgaard work under the same roof. The latter was GamuT's chief designer from 2012 to '17 then held the same position at Raidho until December 2020 when he joined Gryphon Audio Designs. Their founder Flemming Rasmussen now collaborates with AGD whilst Lars Groller oversees Raidho's current speaker design. Lars began at ScanSpeak, later owned GamuT whose speakers he engineered, then worked for Bang & Olufsen, Harman Automotive and Dynaudio.

If this makes Denmark's hifi industry seem like a dizzying Peyton Place, it's probably just the tip of Odin's Gungir spear. It's a small country and a specialty industry. It makes sense that its members would know one another and often trade places to pursue new opportunities.

In the wake of my recent Raidho X1t review, I grew curious about Scansonic's equivalent. It's the MB1 B whose two initials abbreviate original designer Michael Børresen whilst the final B is for Benno who "improved it significantly". Though less costly, the MB1 ups the X1t's on-paper ante with 2dB higher sensitivity, an F3 lower by 25 cycles, high-gloss black/white lacquer and walnut veneer finish options plus a decidedly curvier cabinet whose cross section looks like an elongated 'D' viewed from above.

It's the quintessential boat-hull back. Its narrowness stacks terminals one atop the other. The scalp gets a carbon appliqué. Instead of Raidho's Ceramix with Tantalum skin—the €20K/pr TD1.2 version adds a lab-grown diamond layer—the Scansonic runs a 5¼" mid/woofer in carbon fiber. Its profile sans traditional dust cap recalls the exotic 7-inch Italian job of Titanium skins with foam core which Alon Wolf used in his very first Magico Mini of 2005.

The tweeter is a downscaled version of Raidho's signature planar. It differs from a true ribbon by applying a wavy tightly paralleled voice coil to its membrane. That eliminates the need for a transformer to step up impedance from a virtual dead short like a Raal. Overall WxHxD dims are a compact 178 x 312 x 286mm, weight is just 6.1kg/each. Single or dual-pillar custom stands with safety bolt are available. To damnable hoover accidents it says, "I'm firmly attached. Bump me if you must." Hifi's version of a Tinder date? Best not. The whole assembly isn't massive by design. It adheres to the notion that nothing stores more energy than high mass. For rapid energy release, stay light. Float like butterfly, sting like bee. When I asked for a veneered sample to show off this newer finish, I learnt that it'd be two months out; whereas a Raidho TD1.2 was ready to ship. Nordic triptych. Incoming. Part III preview here.

… to be continued…