Driven to suc­cess

Dy­nau­dio’s de­sign-led drive to in­no­vate and its abil­ity to de­liver world-class driver tech­nol­ogy have brought 40 years of suc­cess.

Sound + Image - - Dy­nau­dio -

Dy­nau­dio was al­ways go­ing to be a com­pany that took con­trol of sound qual­ity by de­vel­op­ing its own driv­ers. It was founded in Den­mark in 1977, af­ter Ejvind Skaan­ing and Ger­hard Richter left be­hind a driver man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany called RMS and es­tab­lished Dy­nau­dio, soon joined by Wil­fried Ehren­holz, who is still with Dy­nau­dio as a spe­cial ad­vi­sor to­day. In its very ear­li­est days Dy­nau­dio’s prod­ucts used in-house cross­over de­signs but re­lied on OEM driv­ers. It was a sit­u­a­tion which clearly wasn’t go­ing to last.

“Us­ing OEM driv­ers you are al­ways de­pen­dent upon the de­vel­op­ment level of your sup­pli­ers,” says Ehren­holz, re­mem­ber­ing those early days. “But we had ideas that were a long way ahead of the prod­ucts we could buy, and it was al­ways our in­ten­tion to aim for the qual­ity end of the mar­ket. Within three years, all of our loud­speaker sys­tems were equipped with our own driv­ers which were de­vel­oped by our in-house R&D team.”

The Model 100 loud­speaker was key in this de­vel­op­ment, the com­pany’s first to in­cor­po­rate a full com­ple­ment of in-house driv­ers de­signed and man­u­fac­tured by Dy­nau­dio it­self. And it was a suc­cess, lauded for its bass qual­ity in par­tic­u­lar — “an im­pulse pre­ci­sion that to our knowl­edge is un­sur­passed by any other prod­uct”, was the ver­dict from Elec­tronic Sound mag­a­zine in 1981.

The Con­se­quence

A se­ries of de­sign in­no­va­tions have fol­lowed — Cen­tre Mag­net Sys­tems, Sym­met­ri­cal Mag­net De­sign, Mag­ne­sium Sil­i­cate Poly­mer cones, Fer­rofluid damp­ing, and many more. The Dy­nau­dio 80, 100, and 200 mod­els brought the ear­li­est of these Dy­nau­dio R&D ef­forts to life, and by 1983 Dy­nau­dio was ready to un­veil its ex­tra­or­di­nary Con­se­quence loud­speaker. Later up­graded around 1985 and re­leased in an Ul­ti­mate Edi­tion in 2010 that is still avail­able to­day by spe­cial re­quest, this was a no-com­pro­mise state­ment loud­speaker and priced ac­cord­ingly — Ehren­holz says at the time the most ex­pen­sive speak­ers were about a quarter of its price. Deal­ers met this with some in­credulity, but the sound qual­ity from its

three in­di­vid­ual en­clo­sures was in­con­testable, us­ing an in­verted driver ar­ray with the nowl­e­gendary D28 tweeter and D21 su­per-tweeter, as well as a 17W midrange and a 30W woofer. De­spite its price, the Con­se­quence went on to be­come one of the world’s best-sell­ing high-end loud­speak­ers ever.

By now Dy­nau­dio had turned the OEM ta­bles to be­come it­self the world’s pre­miere high-end driver man­u­fac­turer for kit-built and OEM speak­ers. And the com­pany’s de­vel­op­ments in raw driver tech­nol­ogy con­tin­ued, in­tro­duc­ing MSP (Mag­ne­sium Sil­i­cate Poly­mer) driver di­aphragms and a new soft-dome tweeter. This pair­ing, along with ad­di­tional in­no­va­tions like a sec­ond, in­ter­nal bass driver and an acous­tic air­flow re­sis­tor called a Var­i­oven, were in­te­grated into a new range, the Dy­nau­dio Com­pound Se­ries. This key range used the new driv­ers in sturdy, high-qual­ity HDF (high-den­sity fi­bre­board) en­clo­sures fin­ished in nat­u­ral ve­neers — fur­ni­ture-grade cab­i­nets in the best Dan­ish tra­di­tion of the art.

The first ‘Spe­cial’

The end of the 1980s saw a string of fur­ther no­table prod­ucts. The ‘Spe­cial One’ was the first of the com­pany’s ‘Spe­cial’-tagged prod­ucts of­ten used for their an­niver­sary edi­tions. The ‘One’ might be claimed as the very first truly high-end com­pact mon­i­tor, and the same con­cept but with the lat­est and great­est driv­ers yielded the now-legendary Con­tour 1.3 SE. Dy­nau­dio’s Con­tour mod­els be­came the heart of the com­pany’s prod­uct of­fer­ings: stand­mounts and floor­standers with the com­pany’s lat­est ad­vances in driv­ers show­cased in hand-crafted wood cab­i­nets. The first gen­er­a­tion sold for over 15 years be­fore the range was up­dated, and many con­sid­ered the se­cret stars of the Con­tour of­fer­ing to be those small­est mod­els.

Also in 1989 came the Crafft Stu­dio mon­i­tor, which opened doors in the pro com­mu­nity for the com­pany (Dy­nau­dio Acous­tics was founded around this time), and the dis­tinc­tively shaped Dy­nau­dio Facette, one of the first de­sign-ori­en­tated high-end loud­speak­ers to be re­leased.

Dy­nau­dio per­for­mance was made more ac­ces­si­ble in the early 1990s through the new Au­di­ence mod­els, start­ing with the ul­tra­com­pact Au­di­ence 10 and the floor­stand­ing Au­di­ence 20. By the mid-1990s as sur­round sound con­tin­ued its rise, the Au­di­ence range widened to in­clude home cin­ema cen­trechan­nel speak­ers and sub­woofers.

Car hi-fi be­came in­creas­ingly im­por­tant to Dy­nau­dio from the 1990s, work­ing with first Volvo (the Volvo C70 in 1996 with its 10-driver sys­tem is seen as a shin­ing early achieve­ment) and later Volk­swa­gen.

But hi-fi was never ne­glected, in­deed a new level even be­yond the Con­se­quence was pre­pared for re­lease in 1999 — the Ev­i­dence Master and Ev­i­dence Temp­ta­tion. The key to their de­vel­op­ment was Dy­nau­dio Direc­tiv­ity Con­trol (DDC), us­ing elab­o­rate cross­over topol­ogy and ver­ti­cal sym­met­ri­cal drive unit ar­rays to re­duce the en­ergy dis­persed to floor and ceil­ing “by ap­prox­i­mately 75%, re­mov­ing these re­flec­tions and their added time de­lays for a cleaner and more faith­ful sound”, as well as mak­ing the loud­speaker far less de­pen­dent on the room and much less in­flu­enced by po­si­tion­ing. “The Ev­i­dence was soon widely re­garded as the best loud­speaker in the world”, says Dy­nau­dio with pride, “to­day re­main­ing at the fore­front as the lead­ing ex­am­ples of avail­able loud­speaker tech­nol­ogy”. Many ‘Prod­uct of the Year’ and de­sign awards fol­lowed.

The DDC topol­ogy was used again in the 2002 Con­fi­dence C2 and Con­fi­dence C4, along with

a new star, Dy­nau­dio’s Eso­tar2 tweeter, which fast de­vel­oped a rep­u­ta­tion all its own as the best dome tweeter in the world. It was a fit­ting way for the com­pany to cel­e­brate its 25th an­niver­sary, along­side a sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion Con­tour se­ries, and a new ‘Spe­cial’, the ‘Spe­cial Twenty-Five’, fin­ished in an ex­clu­sive ve­neer.

In 2005 cus­tom-in­stal­la­tion speak­ers were first re­leased — in-walls and in-ceil­ing mod­els ap­ply­ing Dy­nau­dio’s driver ex­per­tise to the acous­tic chal­lenges of those en­vi­ron­ments.

Wire­less in­no­va­tions

More con­ven­tional, at least at first, were the first mod­els in a new Fo­cus range, clas­sic tra­di­tional de­signs in a con­tem­po­rary hi-fi loud­speaker shape. It was to be nearly a decade be­fore these were re-imag­ined as the Fo­cus XD range that is with us to­day — high-end speak­ers, but ac­tive (no am­pli­fiers re­quired), with dig­i­tal in­puts and the abil­ity to stream wire­lessly from a con­nec­tions hub else­where in the room.

These fol­lowed from the Xeo range re­leased orig­i­nally in 2012 and now in a sec­ond gen­er­a­tion. The Xeo had a claim to be the first wire­less speaker that could be called prop­erly high-end, and the Fo­cus XD mod­els took this still fur­ther. Any of these can work alone as ac­tive speak­ers — the first-gen Xeos only wire­lessly, the rest all hav­ing ana­logue and/or dig­i­tal in­puts on the speak­ers them­selves. But if you add one of Dy­nau­dio’s wire­less hubs, then you

can plug sources into that, and send them to your speak­ers — up to four dif­fer­ent sets of speak­ers at the same time in the case of the Con­nect. It’s an of­fer­ing that puts Dy­nau­dio right at the fore­front of mod­ern speaker de­sign — still hi-fi, but now Wi-Fi. A pair of Fo­cus XD speak­ers is just about the sim­plest pos­si­ble high-end au­dio sys­tem imag­in­able — no ex­ter­nal amps or ca­bles re­quired.

Con­tin­u­ing the an­niver­sary theme, Dy­nau­dio has this year re­leased the ‘Spe­cial Forty’, its first spe­cial since the 30th an­niver­sary Sap­phire. The Spe­cial Forty was on demo at the re­cent Aus­tralian Hi-Fi & AV Show, prov­ing they could com­bine fi­nesse with out-and­out dy­namism, am­ple tes­ti­mony to the qual­ity of the unique 28mm soft-dome Eso­tar Forty tweeter and “the ul­ti­mate in­car­na­tion of our legendary 17W75 MSP woofer”, with an Air­Flow Bas­ket and hy­brid mag­net sys­tem, and its pre­sen­ta­tion of Dy­nau­dio’s val­ues from the start, be­ing fully de­signed and en­gi­neered in Dy­nau­dio Labs, and built across the road in the Skan­der­borg fac­tory.

We wish Dy­nau­dio, al­ready 10 years old when Sound+Im­age be­gan its work, a very happy 40th an­niver­sary.

On the wall, Dy­nau­dio’s lat­est wire­less Xeo 2. On the floor, the 1978 Model 100, the first Dy­nau­dio speaker to use all in-house drive units.

Tra­di­tional Dan­ish cabi­net cra sman­ship com­bines per­fectly with Dy­nau­dio’s long­stand­ing ex­per­tise in driver de­sign.

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