DALI Epicon 6 Loudspeaker

Once Heard, Never Forgotten

Equipment report
DALI Epicon 6
DALI Epicon 6 Loudspeaker

The tweeter unit does follow the usual DALI practice of being somewhat hot on axis with the idea being that one listens somewhat off-axis to the highs. This typically is done to fill in the power response of the top end—the on-axis tip-up fills in some reverberant-field high-frequency energy, but the off-axis listening position gets a flat direct arrival. Fair enough if you want more highs in your reverberant field.

Here, however, you do not have to move very far off axis in any direction before the response really nose dives. The flattest axis is, I estimated, around 15 degrees off the frontal position. But get as far as 30 degrees off to the side, and there is a quite pronounced roll-off. And the top highs are also sensitive to vertical position, as one expects with a vertically oriented ribbon. This is all not as such a problem—just sit where you should (which is fairly low down as it happens). But less than ideally situated listeners will hear a non-flat response in the top as direct arrival. The pattern is somewhat complex and way off-axis, at 90 degrees (where of course no one sits), there is an odd whistle in pink noise for some reason, although this is not particularly important to music listening as such in normal positions.

Associated with the exceptional performance of the high- frequency unit is a very high level of perceived resolution. DALI has always believed in the importance of being able to hear detail, or so I have gathered (I used to live in Denmark and I have known the DALI people for a long time). And one certainly hears a lot of detail here. Even on familiar recordings, one is likely to become acutely conscious of inner details that were barely observed before and not brought so much to the fore. Inner parts are heard with great clarity. And complex textures unraveled. Of course, audio reviews say this kind of stuff all the time. But here it is really true.

Another aspect of this resolution is that the Epicon 6 seems to be truly free of any adverse effects from its cabinet. In a world where some designers feel the need to make speakers that weigh hundreds of pounds to get sufficient cabinet deadness, DALI seems to have done the trick with a cabinet of modest weight (66 pounds) and very elegant appearance, too. Admiration is called for! The cabinet not only looks elegant in a modernistic sort of way, it really gets out of the way of the sound completely. Listen to any complex music and you will be impressed at how much of the inner structure of it you can hear. Between the low distortion, the exceptional high frequencies, and the lack of cabinet sound, you will hear what there is to hear.

At the opposite extreme, the bass is extended for a speaker this size, with a -3dB point of 35Hz so; in room, bass goes down very far if not absolutely down to 20Hz. The bottom of the orchestra is covered with ease. There is a lot of bass! Truth to tell, in my room of modest size (approximately 18' x 22') there was a bit too much. But it was well-defined and one got a real feeling of the low end power of the orchestra or of rock bass.

A lot of the excitement of music of all kinds is carried in the bass, and the Epicon 6 could sound exciting, indeed. The big whomps in the Rachmaninoff mentioned above gave the real feeling of bass power that orchestras have live. And the over-all warmth helped to fill in the floor dip that tends to develop with floorstanders. The bass may be a little much technically, but musically it was much to the good.

Featured Articles