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I believe these loudspeakers have a slightly darker sound than other models from Dynaudio regardless of sticker. Here the Polish distributor disagrees with me by thinking the exact opposite. So I’ll explain myself. The new tweeter is phenomenal, perhaps not yet on the same level as Dynaudio’s tweeter for the Sonus Faber Electa Amator or the already mentioned flagship Temptation but—and this is just my opinion—not far off at all. Additionally its integration with the mid/woofers is fantastic.
Frankly I’m no fan of soft domes. Both from a technical perspective and my own experience it seems to me that the notorious ‘silkiness’ is wrongly attributed to this type of tweeter simply by dint of lacking a proper reference point. For me many soft dome tweeters sound primitive and somewhat plastic. They lack resolution and lose energy too quickly.
This is easily heard by comparison to ribbons. In such comparisons hard dome tweeters—metal, ceramic or diamond—fare far better. It is now an outdated but at the time probably was a sensible stereotype that metal tweeters sound bright. Under proper conditions such drivers are unbeatable - except for ribbons which have their own liabilities. But to not sound indoctrinaire, I will also say that to me the Electa Amator’s soft dome tweeter is one of the best ever.
Against this background the new Focus tweeter is phenomenal. It is well organized and resolved like the best ceramic or diamond units but simultaneously more substantial. The sound it covers is very palpable, something ceramics and metals can have issues with. The Focus resolves the shadings and hues of harmonics splendidly but not in any analytical fashion.
The bass behaves similar to the midrange which emanates from the shared drivers. In previous Dynaudios these elements were almost always problematic. It now would seem that my misgivings were caused by the diaphragm material itself. As a type of polypropylene, a large ingredient in the resultant sound was plasticky and—this is purely my personal opinion again—resulted in a bit warmish and slightly colored sound. Some of the energy necessary for fully developed higher harmonics was damped. Whilst some readers took issue with my opinion, I couldn’t remain silent about it.
With the new Focus this is different, perhaps not entirely so but to a sufficient extent that one forgets all about it. That’s because this sound now has energy and agility as the qualities we usually associate with the speed of transients and extension of decays. These new Dynaudios do not dampen the musical energy. On the contrary, they are exceptionally communicative to repeat earlier such modernizing efforts by the company in their lower-priced Excite series.
The bass here extends very low but doesn’t slow down. While my room isn’t acoustically treated to incur some resonance in the lowest end and sound slightly less controlled, I heard the 260 in the well-treated room of the importer to extrapolate between how the speaker performed in two environments. In my space the mild compression disappeared entirely when I blocked the bass ports with the included foam plugs.
The midrange is king of course but here it is quite difficult to talk about it as a discrete entity. The transition between frequency bands is truly seamless. One perceives the speakers as a unified whole and does so at a single glance. From this we appreciate how other speakers in this catalogue are more hifi than the Focus. I’ll go farther and say that these aren’t audiophile products in the usual sense. With the Focus we simply listen to music.