Review: Dayton B652 Monitor

Category: Speakers

Budget Esoterica

In this review i would like to discuss the dayton B652 monitor speaker which sells for $29 a pair at parts express. The fit and finish of this speaker is excellent, the grill exudes elegance, and the packaging is also excellent. The spring clip connectors on the rear are above average and have a quality feel to them. This twenty nine dollar budget wonder is not as good as my $500 he-man speakers, but they are worthy of your audiophile consideration.

The music

To put the speakers to the test i have selected 5 selections from 5 different cd's that will showcase the strengths and weaknesses of the speakers.

1. Diane Reeves, bridges : track 6, river.
2. Diana Krall, love scenes : track 9, gentle rain.
3. Joe Henderson, multiple : track 5, me, among others.
4. Madonna, ray of light : track 9, frozen.
5. Ray Lamontagne, till the sun shines black : track 6,
you can send me flowers.

On the diane reeves cd i heard tube-like drums and percussion, excellent pace and timing with solid and weighty highs. The midrange vocals were neutral and had a free and lively sound. The whole cd has an effortless sound to it. The imaging extended several feet out to the side of the speakers.

The diana krall song titled gentle rain had excellent vocal range and expression of emotion with very good midrange detail. There was a live sense of presence and a sublime midrange.

I would like to give an honorable mention to the joe henderson cd titled multiple, which totally blew me away the first time i listened to it. The track, me among others, had a pristine, crystalline treble , and a big 3 dimensional sound with a creamy saxophone. I also noted good sound stage width and a slight hint of a golden hue.

The fourth selection that i picked was the title frozen, from the excellent madonna cd , ray of light. This cd has a magical quality on some systems. I heard good width and depth, lots of air, good vocal tone and a pure mid range. There was also very good bass depth and articulation.

The ray lamontagne cd , till the sun turns black is an excellent cd, but don't listen to it if you are already feeling depressed or it may take you over the edge. On the selection titled, you can send me flowers, i noticed a subtle vocal presentation with good tone on the trumpet and flute. There was excellent pace and timing, a very open sound, and i liked the way the attack of the drums
slowed down.

Virtues and Vices

pros :

good detail
very good sound stage
good tone
round sound

cons :

slight strain in vocals
tone could be better
sounds better at moderate to high volumes
Might sound thin or edgy in some systems
super long break-in time

The dayton B652 is a very good speaker, i recommend it to any audiophile who is on a tight budget. Keep in mind that i reviewed the speakers with budget cables and equipment, so your mileage may vary.

Associated gear
Arcam av50 integrated amp
sony playstation one scph-1001
ceraballs for source isolation
atacama speaker stands
tara labs prism reference power cord
virtue audio nirvana interconnect
monster xphp speaker cable terminated with dayton bfa banana plugs

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Thanks for the great write-up. I'm getting a pair for myself and a pair as a gift.

Oh, and you can get these for an even better deal than $29. You can get 'em together with the Dayton T-Amp for just $58 - which is crazy, since the amp alone costs $45!