Introducing Dynaudio Custom: Engineered to entertain
Following 40 successful years in the Hi Fi and Professional Audio markets, Dynaudio is breaking into Custom Installation with a new line of products specifically designed for the channel.
Dynaudio is poised to make big waves in the home CI sector with a dedicated in-wall and in-ceiling line. It draws on the Denmark-based manufacturer’s vast experience in the premium hi-fi, professional studio and automotive industries. HiddenWires finds out more…
Who are Dynaudio?
We were founded in 1977 in Skanderborg, Denmark, and have more than 40 years of experience as a leading producer of hand-crafted high-end loudspeakers. Our founders were music lovers, and that’s been the case with all our employees ever since.
Authentic performance is our number-one priority. We’ve made it our mission to create the best, most honest performance possible – so listeners hear the music or movie soundtrack exactly as the artist intended it to be heard. Even after 40 years, we still design and manufacture all of our drivers in-house, from the ground up.
What’s Dynaudio best known for?
High performance and incredible craftsmanship. We believe you should hear only your music, not the speaker. It should reproduce the music without adding any characteristics of its own – and it should do it in style. But achieving that level of performance and quality isn’t easy. We’ve spent the past 40 years developing key technologies (many of which have been used in all our speakers to date), and we’re constantly striving to develop and improve them.
Soft Dome tweeters – Fabric tweeters carry no resonance of their own so don’t ‘colour’ the sound or add anything to the high frequencies. The legendary Esotar tweeter series has been in constant development, with 2017’s award-winning Special Forty anniversary speaker moving the game on further, and the Esotar3 breaking new ground in the all-new Confidence range at the Munich High-End show in May 2018. Stay tuned in 2019, too – there will be even more developments…
MSP Drivers – Dynaudio woofers always use a single piece of moulded MSP (Magnesium Silicate Polymer), a material we developed ourselves. MSP gives the perfect balance of lightness, rigidity and damping and, unlike other cone materials, it isn’t affected by moisture or humidity – giving it great performance consistency over long periods of time, regardless of its environment (including in car doors). We devised an ingenious way to make our cones from a single piece of material and attach them to the voice-coil without the need for a separate dust-cap.
Voice coils – We tailor our voice coils to every driver model we produce, using different thicknesses and lengths of aluminium or copper wire around a custom former to give the perfect amount of control and movement within the magnetic field. We use a combination of large and small diameter coils depending on the needs of the driver.
Digital signal processing – We’ve developed a mastery of DSP through our years of expertise in the automotive and pro studio markets, and brought it to the home. Our wireless active Xeo and Focus XD speaker ranges, as well as our new Music intelligent wireless speaker range, use everything we’ve learned in some really innovative ways.
How do Dynaudio keep developing these technologies?
In 2016 we opened a new, state-of-the-art R&D centre – Dynaudio Labs – which gives us unique opportunities to keep re-engineering and advancing our designs.
It contains the most advanced digital acoustic chamber in the world, the Jupiter room (pictured below), as well as new dedicated facilities for the automotive engineers. These facilities have helped us accelerate and improve our product development and give us the ability to keep pushing the boundaries of what we can engineer.
How did Dynaudio break into the pro audio and automotive sectors?
In 1989 Dynaudio first started making Professional Studio monitors, together with Andy Munro, one of the world’s leading Acoustic Engineers. And now, Dynaudio Professional speakers can be found in many of the world’s leading recording studios.
In 2004 our Air range was selected from a multitude of speaker brands who had tendered to be the studio monitor of choice for the BBC (a relationship still in place today). Dynaudio monitors are used globally in both music- and movie-mixing studios and are endorsed by many leading producers and mixing engineers.
We entered the automotive market in 1994, initially partnering with Volvo. In 2001 we started working with Volkswagen, developing high-quality systems in all their models from the Golf upwards. The Volvo partnership ended in 2008 but the VW collaboration continues, and has culminated in the most advanced system to date: the Dynaudio Confidence system for the brand new 2018 Toureg. We also created the Puccini sound system used in the Bugatti Veyron.
Unlike some other brands who supply the automotive industry, Dynaudio doesn’t just supply speakers. We engineer and tune entire digital systems from the ground up for each car model. And because we do it all at Dynaudio Labs in Denmark, we can take what we’ve learned to our active hi-fi speakers, wireless Music range and subwoofers.
What is Dynaudio offering for the custom install market?
In 2016 we began developing a new custom-install range and really investing to become a serious player in the CI market. It was never going to be another generic offering thanks to our classic hi-fi values, so after speaking to installers and integrators to get feedback from the market – and after putting our acoustic designers to the test – the Studio series was born. The goal was to make the speakers as high-quality as they are simple to install.
The range launched in the US in 2017, winning a ‘Best in Show’ Award at CEDIA, and was brought to market in the UK and Europe in Summer 2018.
Like the rest of our speakers it uses signature technologies including soft-dome tweeters and MSP drivers, and has been designed and developed at Dynaudio Labs by the same teams who tune and engineer our top-of-the-range studio and hi-fi models.
The Studio Series comes in 6.5in, 6.5in dual-voice-coil and 8in variants for the ceiling, plus two-way in-wall speakers in 6.5in and 8in woofer sizes.
The range is intended for ‘active listening’ areas. The in-ceiling speakers have woofers angled at 18 degrees, as well as adjustable tweeters – so installers can direct the speakers into the listening area for better sound-staging and stereo reproduction. That means they also make great Dolby Atmos or effects speakers in a surround system.
To make life easier for the installer, the Studio range also utilises a two-part, tool-free installation method. The pre-install frame is mounted with adjustable zip-clips, and then the speaker is inserted and locke into place. It makes for an extremely quick and easy installation and allows for adjustment of the angled woofers – and it also means the pre-install frame can be used as a space-saver at first—fix, with the speaker element safely stored away until later.
The hero product of the Studio Series is our innovative Modular LCR speaker (pictured below and in the headline video), which allows the specifier to scale the size of the system to match the room’s size or SPL requirements. The design also makes it possible to avoid existing wall studs across the centre channel, or simply to match the width of the TV for a nicer aesthetic. The LCR system consists of a midrange and tweeter unit, the S4-LCRMT and a twin 6.5in woofer unit, the S4-LCR65W. These can be combined in numerous ways.
Match one of each for smaller systems or add a second woofer unit to each side for a larger system. If you’re installing a media room with a TV, the centre-channel can be placed horizontally in one piece or split apart around existing wall studs (no cutting required). If you’re installing an acoustically transparent cinema screen, they can all be placed vertically behind it.
The two units are connected using speaker cable jumpers, and on the S4-LCRMT there’s a switch for matching the impedance of a single- or twin-woofer configuration. One possible option is in the image below but the LCRMT modules can also be placed in the centre of the two LCR65W modules on the left and right if required.
Another very cool feature is the ability to bypass the internal crossover and run them directly from a DSP amplifier, setting the crossovers externally. This allows for even more flexibility should you need it.
Where can interested dealers access Dynaudio’s Custom Install products?
In August 2018 we formally appointed Custom AV Distribution as our exclusive distributor to the UK CI channel. CAVD are a specialist distributor focusing on high-performance AV solutions, and we see them as the perfect partner for us. We hope to use ISE 2019 as a platform to build some momentum in the European markets.
Whats next for Dynaudio in the CI channel?
Looking to ISE and 2019 and beyond, we have a strong product roadmap in place to build on the Studio Series with products for distributed audio systems as well as AV products for reference-level home cinemas. We’ll also look for more ways we can support integrators in meeting the demands of architects and interior designers, without compromising on Dynaudio’s mission to produce that high quality, authentic performance.