I heard them at the RMAF 2005 and found them to be excellent in every respect. I don't know about an "audiophile checklist" but I can tell you that whenever I wanted to hear a natural sound that was relaxed and fully at ease, I went back to this room. I don't have any checklist, I just know what I like in a speaker ... naturalness and truth to the musical flow.
Since posting that in August, I went and listened to them and shortly after, I bought'm. They have quite a way to go in the break-in process. So far, I am very pleased.
What did they use as a source, amplification and cables for the show demo?
Thanks for chiming in.
I recall Parasound Halo C-2 AV controller and Parasound Halo JC-1 monoblock amplifiers were used at RMAF.
I'm very intrigued. Looking over the website I see speakers with an absolutely lovely real wood finish and an interesting design philosophy. Barrelchief, how is the break in going? I'd really appreciate a review if you have the time to write one. Thanks!
I believe the digital source used at RMAF was a ModWright Denon "tubed" 3910.
By no means am I anywhere near the recommended 300 hours for 100% break-in. However, with the relatively little amount of play that my DA-1's have had, they sound very nice.
I don't know that I will have the time for a formal "review." However, I can check in with updates as they continue to break in.
These speakers definitley have a "lively" sound that I find brings a natural realism to much of what I have played through them.
The thing that I find I enjoy the most so far, is that I am not feeling the need to listen "analytically." I realy am just enjoying the music. After spinning in circles on this audio-go-round, to me, this is what it is all about.
One thing for sure...these speakers really shine with "live" recordings. The DA-1's really nail the "live" energy.
Yes, the cabinet work is a true carftsmanship that I have never seen before in home audio speakers. If you have an appreciation for that kind of thing/detail, that in itself really makes these speakers something impressive and special.
Regarding Lou having his Daedalus DA-1's at the RMAF at least two times, I cannot beleive that there is not more chat/exposure/buzz out there (good or bad) regarding these speakers.
Thanks Barrelchief for checking in with a progress report. I would be very interested in future updates as the speakers break in and certainly a full review if you can muster one. Can you give us some perspective by talking about the equipment you are using in front of the DA-1's and the room you are listening in? I am also particularly interested whether "lively" turns out to also mean "aggressive" sounding as in forward and/or tilted up in the mid/highs. According to what I have read the DA-1's apparently are able to be both listenable (i.e. non-fatiguing) and dynamic at the same time. Have you found this to be the case?
I will just add my 2 cents. I purchased the DA-1 about 3 months back directly from Daedalus Audio. These were the demo pair of Lou and he mentioned that they were moderately broken in. The fit and finish of these speakers is fantastic and really like the looks of.
I listen to them for a couple of days and I was not very impressed by them. The speaker sounded very closed in and was lacking in high frequency extention. My initial doubt was that the tweeters were damaged during transit but both the speakers were sounding alike. I had numerous conversations with Lou and was at a point of returning them back.
Over the next couple of weeks I left the spks to breakin on and off whenever it was possible and to my astonishment these spks really came alive, after about 300+ hrs of breaking. The HF extentions, midrange and bass become more defined and what is so special about these spks is that it allows you to listen to any type of music for hours without fatigue. They are as dynamic as my previous spks (AG Unos) and can be driven by a 8W SET amp or a 200W SS amp without any problems.
My system consist of AA Capitol II directly driving a either a 8 W SET amp or 200W/ch Digital amp or 50W/ch Tube amp. All of the above sounds fantastic on these spks and your moods.
Truly spectacular spks.
It is funny that Nakolawala mentionned about the highs not being as extended as he expected, as this seems to be my only negative observation at this point...not to the point that I don't like the speakers, just not as extended as I am used to from other speakers. I now will be a bit more aggresive in trying to hit the 300th hour.
By "lively" I would not describe the speakers (in my system) as sounding "aggressive" or "forward and/or tilted up" The music just has a breath of fresh air that seems to have more of a live realism and sounds less like the playback of a recording. So far, I seem to notice this more with drums/cymbals & guitars (especially acoustic guitars.)
I definitley find the DA-1's to be both listenable (i.e. non-fatiguing) and dynamic at the same time. The lamest, but best way to describe my experience so far, is that they make my music "fun" to listen to.
My current set up...Electrocompaniet EMC-1 24/192 CDP, Aesthetix Calypso Tube Pre, H2O Signature Mono 250W Power amps. All IC's are Kubala-Sosna's Fascination Series. PC's are both Kubala-Sosna & FIM/CRL. Though my dedicated Listening room is acoustically treated, there are some issues (bass null) that need to be resolved.
Ironically, I have been considering upgrading my cdp (likely with a tube unit) and the Capitole is on my radar. I am glad to hear that Nakolawala has found good synergy with that CDP, the DA-1's and a variety of different power amps.
Details to follow...
I own a pair of DA-1's, and mine a fully broken in. Anyway, they definitely provide a high quality live music approach. I think that they are one of the very best out there.
But, if one likes a laid back and unrealistic sound (like many pseudo-audiophiles) they might not be attractive.
Thanks to all for weighing in. It seems there may be more pairs of the DA-1's out there than I imagined! I really appreciate hearing how these speakers sound with different gear and in different rooms. I'm always a little suspicious when people say that a speaker needs a particular (type of) amp or "sound great in my dedicated/treated listening room which measures 20 X 30 with cathedral ceilings". While both room and equipment are important, IMHO a really "good" speaker is one that will sound good in a variety of settings/pairings. Changing the room and equipment should reveal subtle differences but not make or break the performance. I am increasingly interested in the DA-1 after a long and unsuccessful search for new floorstanding speakers. There are far too many very average sounding (and expensive) products out there. Many can be made to sound "good" with the right recording in the right room with the right gear. Any of you DA-1 owners in the NYC metro area willing to let me come by for a listen? Response Audio doesn't currently have a pair and I'd love to hear them before I make the 6 hour roundtrip when his do finally arrive from Daedalus.
Jccornilson. I'm curious--can you elaborate on what you hear in the DA-1's? When you say "laid back unrealistic sound" I'm wondering what that means to you. Most of the speakers I've heard in my search are unrealistic because they lack the warmth and immidiacy of "real" live instruments. Most emphasize detail at the expense of timbral accuracy--I'm thinking Thiel. Some emphasize warmth at the expense of dynamics and speed--I'm thinking Vandersteen. I'm trying (perhaps this is impossible) to find a speaker that is dynamic, fast, tuneful AND warm, engaging and laid back. Where do the DA-1's fit into all this--that is what I'm trying to determine. Of course, a listen will tell me but I'd appreciate your views. Anyone else want to chime in on this one?
Good question - The Daedalus with their 96 DB efficiency gives as close to real world dynamics as I have heard. They are certainly warm, and provide a round sound with a lot of detail. The designer, Lou Hinkley, is a musician himself. Lou's intent was to recreate the live venue, and he did a good job. The detail is there, but the output remains warm.
On the laid back issue, it heavily depends on the recording, and the amplification. When I play something that is soft and detailed, this implies that the microphone was some distance from the instruments, and this is what I call the laid-back. When the instruments were close miked, then it is right on you. So, what you get is what's on the recording.
Visit me in Houston, and we can enjoy a listening session.