For such a relatively small footprint, the R6 really lets fly some explosive bass resources and dynamic energy. And it doesn’t shy away from high-octane slam as I soon discovered cueing up Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” on LP. The jackhammer beat and jumpy bass vamp had the impact of a boxer’s fists on a heavy bag. And while on the subject of dusty, old LP dance remixes, when David Bowie croons “Let’s Dance” followed by a stinging, snappy snare and the searing guitar punctuations of Stevie Ray Vaughan, the hard-driving Rubicon 6 has the output and poise to match the energy of the track yet maintain control of low-level percussion and ambient cues. In these instances, there’s only a minor sense of the R6’s ported nature, although diehard acoustic-suspension fans will probably long for the extra control and perceived speed that only a sealed cabinet conveys—for these, folks, there is no substitute.
Turning to more naturalistic recordings, like the SACD disc of cellist Pieter Wispelwey performing Bruch’s “Kol Nidrei” [Channel Classics], the R6 conveyed the cello’s pitch and fundamentals, forward soundboard resonance, and melancholy vibrato as a single, fully connected presence throughout its range, but most persuasively in the elusive mid-upper bass range—a region on the cello as low as 65Hz where the weight and darker resonances are so often overlooked by speakers that droop (sometimes purposefully) in these octaves in order to punch up artificial detail. A key strength of the R6 is this bass foundation. It’s more than just pitch; it’s the weight and gravity beneath the ominous rumble of the organ pedal points during the John Rutter: Requiem [Reference Recordings]. The R6 has the ability to produce this fully freighted listening experience even at lower listening levels, too—perhaps a credit to the responsiveness of the lightweight driver materials.
Its micro-dynamic envelope was equally expressive. Much credit is owed to the hybrid dome/ribbon tweeter, as there was plenty of treble detail and air as I enjoyed the warm, fluid vocals of Alison Krauss during “Slumber My Darling” and the artful mingling of Edgar Meyer’s acoustic bass with Yo-Yo Ma’s cello and Mark O’Connor’s fiddle during Appalachian Journey. It’s a series of performances that strikes me like a collection of birds playfully spiraling around each other. However what really puts the “high” in this hybrid is its ability (and agility) to sensitively render transient speed, produce a broad, rather than needling, window of dispersion and join these to a wide spectrum of lifelike harmonics—from the forceful to the fragile.
Having lived with the R6 at home for a few weeks, and considering the time already spent with the R2 and R8 at the Dallas event, I’ve now heard the key players in the Dali Rubicon line. It’s a well-bred collection of superb sonic consistency and overall balance, basic but graceful styling, and while not faultless (what is?) Rubicon leaves very little to carp about. Most appealing of all is its uncanny musicality across every sonic parameter. In today’s lexicon “crossing the Rubicon” has come to mean an irreversible decision. By that measure, I’d say Dali’s latest is aptly named. My guess is that after hearing the Rubicon 6 you’re never going to want to go back again. Delightful.
SPECS & PRICING
Type: 2.5-way/.5-way bass reflex
Frequency response: 38Hz–34kHz (+/-3dB)
Driver complement: 17 x 45mm ribbon/29mm dome hybrid tweeter, (2) 6.5" mid/bass
Sensitivity: 88.5dB (2.83 v/1m)
Nominal impedance: 4 ohms
Dimensions: 39" x 7.87" x 15"
Weight: 44.5 lbs.
The Sound Organisation
159 Leslie Street
Dallas, TX 75207