Dali Spektor 2
FOR Agile, expressive sound; detail resolution; unfussy nature AGAINST Nothing of note
On paper there’s little to differentiate Dali’s Spektor 2s from any of their main rivals. These compact speakers stick to the classic budget standmounter formula like Superglue does to fingers. There’s everything we would expect from a typical £200 box here, from two-way driver configuration and ported basstuning right the way through to 25mm dome tweeter and 13cm mid/bass driver.
But as with any dish, culinary or acoustic, the list of ingredients tells you only so much, and those familiar with Dali will know it has something of a talent for budget boxes. So it proves here.
A good start – and finish
Take the Spektor 2s out of the packaging and the first impression is good. They’re nicely made without quite giving off the quality feel of the very best examples around, perhaps. Still, the panels line up well and general fit and attention to detail is good. There are two options for the finish: the walnut of our review sample or black ash. Both look smart.
Let them run-in over a couple of days and feed them with a good system (we use Marantz’s CD6006CD CD Player and Rega’s Brio amplifier alongside our reference Naim NDS/555PS and Gamut pre/power combination) and these speakers sparkle.
Their rated sensitivity is a little on the low side so it wouldn’t hurt to partner them with an amplifier with a decent amount of poke. Our usual recommendations of Onkyo’s A9010 (£200), the Marantz PM6006 (£280) or Rega’s Brio (£600) will all work well.
Mounted on solid stands – Atacama’s Moseco 6 are recommended – these speakers deliver a breadth of talent few similarly priced alternatives can match.
The big hitters in this part of the market had been the £160 Mission LX2S and Q Acoustics’ much admired 3020s (originally £200). Both are superb performers – the Missions excel at clarity and precision while the 3020s offer an enviable combination of refinement and build quality. These Dalis tread the middle path between these rivals brilliantly, while adding greater verve and involvement into the proceedings.
Play Aretha Franklin’s Natural Woman and the Spektors revel in her distinctive and powerful vocals. They’re delivered with nuance and passion, each word crisply defined with no room for doubt as to the emotion behind the lyrics.
We like the cohesive way these speakers handle the instrumental backdrop too, delivering the music with considerable finesse and precision.
A move on to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture shows that the Spektors are capable of high volumes and a decent degree of composure when pushed. There’s a pleasing level of expressive resolution here, along with the ability to organise that information into an involving and musical whole.
We position the Dalis just a little out from the rear wall and fire them straight ahead, just as the company recommends. This results in an expansive and stable soundstage, but when it comes to scale and authority, the likes of the Monitor Audio 100s are capable of a little better.
Tonally, the Spektor 2s have a fullbodied yet balanced presentation. There isn’t much sign of the over-enthusiastic treble we’ve witnessed in previous generations of budget Dalis. This means the 2s are easy to partner and less fussy about poor or aggressive recordings.
We finish with Bruce Springsteen’s Radio Nowhere and these boxes respond superbly. They deliver the song’s hardcharging rhythm track with glee, lacking little in the way of drive, punch or power.
If you’re looking for a top-class pair of budget standmounters, your choice just got bigger. The likes of Mission, Monitor Audio and Q Acoustics provide strong options, but these Dalis offer a degree of entertainment even these talented performers struggle to match.
“Those familiar with Dali know it has something of a talent for budget boxes. So it proves here”
Partnered with a suitably brawny amp, these Dalis are up with their best rivals