Planar loudspeakers have always held a particular allure for me. They tend to be big and deliver an equivalent sound. But it’s also the case that they are speedy, low in coloration, and, not to put too fine a point it, enchanting. But the downsides are obvious enough, and have, in my view, become more pronounced as cone-driver loudspeakers have improved considerably over the past decade. Superior cabinet construction and exotic driver technologies have combined to allow top manufacturers to banish many of the nettlesome drawbacks that used to be associated with big dynamic floorstanders.
Few loudspeakers drive this point home more vividly than Dynaudio’s new flagship, the Evidence Platinum. It aims to unite the best qualities of a planar—speed and transparency—with the slam and precision of a cone-driver loudspeaker. No, it doesn’t get all the way there. Hardcore planar addicts will probably never be satisfied with an alternative to their immortal beloveds, and more power to them. But the Platinum comes very close indeed, which is what makes it such a pleasure to audition. It needs a goodly number of watts to flourish, as well a fairly large room with a high ceiling. I ended up placing the Platinums somewhat closer together than my Wilson XLFs without shortchanging the size of the soundstage. Their height makes the Evidence Platinums look quite commanding despite their slim enclosures. With a stout amplifier like the Ypsilon SET-100 Ultimate backing them and a good acoustic space, these are loudspeakers that make you jump to attention as you realize what crisp, clean, and refined performers have landed in your listening space.
Dynaudio, which is based in Skanderborg, Denmark, is not a company that changes its lines with great frequency. Instead, it delivers a finished product and lets it, well, speak for itself.
The Evidence Platinum, which was introduced at the 2012 Munich high-end audio show, is likely the best loudspeaker the company has yet produced, which is saying something. It boasts a number of new technological features that allows it to surpass the performance of the company’s earlier Evidence Temptation and Evidence Master flagships. For a start, it boasts dual Esotar2 tweeters that are mounted on a solid aluminum baffle and possess, among other things, what the company calls “precision coating.” New 18W75 woofers have been developed to enhance bass performance and four of them are used in parallel (per speaker side) to increase the sense of precision and impact. Dynaudio adds that crossover components and internal cabling have also been upgraded, as has the plinth upon which the loudspeaker stands. There is no monkey business in this crossover, either. It presents a stable 4-ohm load to an amplifier.
Apart from these technological changes, it’s worth adding that the speakers simply look darned good. (The Evidence Platinum is available in black piano lacquer or four lacquered wood veneers. Custom finishes are also available by special order.) Tall and thin, the pair I reviewed came in a rosewood finish that blended in beautifully with my décor. As svelte as they may be, however, it requires a minimum of two people to situate them safely as they are quite heavy and unwieldy. Michael Manousselis of Dynaudio North America is a hefty guy, but he had injured his shoulder and was partially out of commission when the speakers arrived. So I carried one end of the loudspeaker (and he the other) into my basement down a flight of stairs, and can attest that this is not a job for the fainthearted. Nor is setting the loudspeaker upright.
Once again, it requires at least two people to install the bases properly and to stand the loudspeakers up. But then again, this is the high end, so what’s a little heavy lifting among friends? Fine-tuning the location of these speakers may take a few weeks of close listening, though I must confess that I was pretty happy right from the get-go.