The OPTICON MK2 Series is comprised of six models – two bookshelf/stand mount models – OPTICON 1 MK2 ($999/pr US MSRP) and OPTICON 2 MK2 ($1,499/pr US MSRP), two towers – OPTICON 8 MK2 ($3,999/pr US MSRP) and OPTICON 6 MK2 ($2,499/pr US MSRP), a centre channel – OPTICON VOKAL MK2 ($799/ea US MSRP) and a low profile on-wall LCR – OPTICON LCR MK2 ($999/ea US MSRP). The DALI OPTICON MK2 initial availability varies by model and finish beginning in late February/late March 2021.
The DALI OPTICON MK2 Series offers fresh, elegant aesthetics in three new finishes – Satin Black, Satin White and Tobacco Oak* with new furniture grade grille fabrics matched to finishes.
Each OPTICON MK2 enclosure is designed to optimise rigidity and minimise panel resonance. The OPTICON MK2 25mm thick front baffles provide massively rigid foundations for the drivers, and the floor standing OPTICON MK2 models employ extra internal bracing to further ensure rigidity and practically eliminate panel resonance.
Benefitting from the latest in new technologies and innovations, OPTICON MK2 is designed, developed and manufactured at DALI’s factory in Denmark. All cabinets and drivers are built with a consistent focus on the DALI audio principles of low-loss, low distortion and low colouration. Each pair of speakers is built and tested at the same time to ensure acoustic and aesthetic consistency. The rigid, braced cabinet construction eliminates resonances and while minimizing colouration.
DALI SMC (Soft Magnetic Compound) is a coated magnet granular material that has many advantages when used in driver magnet systems. SMC’s unusual combination of very high magnetic permeability and very low electrical conductivity results in improved flux linearity, reduced magnetic hysteresis and a significant reduction in harmonic distortion. All of these SMC benefits together produce a significant measured and subjective reduction of low-level detail masking and colouration.
The EPICON derived cones on all OPTICON MK2 models are made from a mix of paper and wood fibre that provide a stiff, lightweight and well-behaved structure that ensures minimal break-up resonance and provides the cones their distinctive colour. The bass/midrange driver magnet system consists of a large ferrite ring magnet surrounding a pole piece manufactured entirely of the unique DALI SMC material. The OPTICON 8 MK2 uses a dedicated 6 ½” midrange and two 8” woofers. The OPTICON 6 MK2 uses two 6 ½” woofers, the OPTICON 2, VOKAL and LCR MK2 each use one 6 ½” woofer while the OPTICON 1 MK2 uses a 4 ¾” woofer.
SOFT DOME TWEETER
The new 29mm soft dome tweeter used in all six OPTICON MK2 models offers significant advances over the two different soft dome tweeters used in the previous OPTICON series. Its relatively small increase in diameter over the previous 28mm tweeter may seem a minor detail, however it results in a significant increase in dome radiating area which means lower distortion, higher power handling, and an ability to operate at lower frequencies. Use of the same soft dome tweeter across all six OPTICON MK2 models not only results in consistency of tonal character, but also enables similar crossover topology to be used on each model for consistency of dispersion characteristics.
DALI has a long and successful tradition for engineering and integrating hybrid tweeter modules comprising a soft dome tweeter working together with a ribbon tweeter. The OPTICON 6, 8 LCR and VOKAL MK2 models use a new hybrid tweeter design that marries the new 29mm soft dome tweeter with a custom designed 17mm x 45mm ribbon tweeter mounted on a new cast aluminium faceplate for reduced vibration. The hybrid tweeter system is configured so that the ribbon tweeter begins to contribute from 10kHz upwards; just as the response of the soft dome tweeter is beginning slowly to fall away and become more directional. The ribbon tweeter both extends the system frequency response towards 30kHz and contributes to keeping high frequency horizontal dispersion wider than would otherwise be the case. The new hybrid tweeter literally offers the best of both worlds – the clarity, speed and dynamics of a dome tweeter, with the very high frequency detail and smooth finesse of a ribbon tweeter.
DUAL FLARE PORT DESIGN
All six OPTICON MK2 models are bass reflex designs. Reflex loading employs the otherwise unused acoustic output from the rear of a bass driver to extend low frequency bandwidth and increase low frequency power handling. With the OPTICON 1, 2, 6 and 8 MK2 we took the MK2 opportunity to incorporate our Dual Flare port design. This Dual Flare technique brings port design into the realm of aerodynamics with exit and entry flares carefully designed to minimise turbulence at the airflow rate expected from the port diameter and tuning frequency. Dual Flare enables OPTICON MK2 reflex ports to remain laminar (like a gently flowing river, rather than rapidly churning white water) and work effectively to reinforce low frequency performance to a significantly higher volume level than would otherwise be possible.
In the case of the OPTICON VOKAL MK2, it employs twin, forward facing letterbox style reflex ports configured to enable the system to be enclosed in furniture units. Not only does its enclosure format not provide enough space for Dual Flare, port flaring is less critical on a system designed primarily for voice reproduction.
With the OPTICON LCR MK2, its on-wall installation requires an entirely different reflex port approach. The reflex port exits are located in the rear panel and engineered to vent in parallel to the wall. The rear wall surface effectively becomes integral to the port tuning and exit flaring.
Exceptional care was taken to make the filter topology as simple as possible with the minimum of components between the amplifier and drivers. Furthermore, as part of the crossover design, some individual crossover components were upgraded – lower loss capacitors in particular. The result is a noticeable increase in overall coherence, detail and precision across the entire OPTICON MK2 series. The crossover assemblies in each OPTICON MK2 speaker are located internally adjacent to the terminal panels in order to shorten signal paths, and on the OPTICON 6 and 8 MK2 models the terminal panels incorporate optional bi-wiring facilities. The connection terminals on all OPTICON MK2 models are gold plated to ensure long term reliable connections.
“When listening to the OPTICON MK2 you quickly realize that it’s all about immersing yourself in the music”, says Jeff Earl, Product Manager for Lenbrook Americas. “OPTICON MK2 is positioned in the DALI range at the point where engineering and technology take a significant step up and utilize many of the advancements from our RUBICON and EPICON series, while being refreshed with new aesthetics.”
The series technology and feature upgrades include:
- Upscale aesthetics with new Satin White, Satin Black and Tobacco Oak* finish options
- New furniture grade grille fabrics matched to finishes
- New woofers and midrange drivers with full SMC driver pole-pieces
- DALI EPICON derived wood fibre cones colour matched to speaker’s sleek appearance
- New, larger diameter soft dome tweeter derived from the DALI CALLISTO
- Hybrid, soft dome and ribbon tweeter on the OPTICON 6, 8, LCR and VOKAL MK2
- New solid die-cast aluminum tweeter faceplate for reduced vibration
- DALI Dual Flare reflex ports for a smooth, non-turbulent airflow through the speaker
- Re-engineered crossovers incorporating upgraded, low-loss components
- Optional bi-wire connection facilities on OPTICON 6 MK2 and 8 MK2
- Tonal balance revoiced to maximise the subjective benefits of the MK2 revisions
*OPTICON 8 MK2 is available in Satin Black and Tobacco Oak Only.