An Audiophile's Best Friend - Diamond Tweeters from ART Loudspeakers
The New DRAM Series from ART Loudspeakers
Premium speaker manufacturers ART Loudspeakers are in their second generation of hi-fi design. The sons of Systemdek, Derek and Ramsay Dunlop have been designing and building excellent hi-fi loudspeakers for well over a decade. With the new DRAM range they have found a great balance between style and exceptional sonics.
The DRAM range of speakers have an all-new multi-layered cold-moulded cabinet: an inert, low resonance enclosure for the drive units, cables and crossover. They're available in gloss black or white, with custom RAL colours available on request. Customers also have a choice of the DRAM copper or DRAM silver internal cables and can even choose between the excellent Alnico high frequency driver or the mesmerising Diamond driver. The Diamond driver upgrade and silver cables are also available as upgrades for all ART Loudspeaker fitted with the Alnico or Crescendo high frequency drivers.
DRAM Monitor Speakers with Alnico Tweeters
Our first listen was to the baby of the range: the DRAM Monitor speaker, with the Alnico tweeter, copper cables and standard crossover. Our demo pair are finished in black gloss polyester lacquer, giving them a smooth, mirror-like quality, and have the ART logo subtly printed under the curved magnetic grill. This monitor speaker has its bass reflex port firing upwards, which not only creates a visual feast (the flow port is a thing of beauty), but, coupled with the improved rigidity of the cabinet design, allows fairly free speaker positioning.
Hooked up to our reference Ayon Audio system, the Alnico Monitors were very musical indeed, as they simply got out of the way and allowed whatever music we were playing to make our toes tap. Changing from a pair of lightweight speaker stands to some lead-filled heavyweights brought bass and impressively large scale to the party. The sound was laidback and effortless, with a sweetness that is hard to live without once you've heard it.
The Alnicos are an impressive pair of speakers with our Ayon reference system, also sounding sweet with transistor options from Benchmark and Belles, and even the all-digital Tact Millennium had an effortless sound when attached to them. A couple of weeks with them left us intrigued about the upgrade options and how they would compare.
DRAM Monitor Speakers with Diamond Tweeters
When Derek and Ramsay arrived with the DRAM Diamond Monitor loudspeakers they looked mischievous and giggled like school boys as we swapped the Alnicos out for them. They were excited to hear the the Diamonds with our Ayon system, having heard how effortless it had made the Alnicos sound.
The demo pair of Diamond DRAM monitors are finished in gloss white and look excellent. The black surround on the flow port stands out against the mirror finish and looks even more impressive than on the black version. The diamond tweeter is set into a gloss white corian surround, which itself is surrounded by an aluminium mounting plate that gives it a pleasing visual highlight and ties it into the black, white or custom coloured cabinet options. The mini grille protecting the tweeters diaphragm adds a touch more class to an already regal range.
The Diamonds were immediately impressive, which is not something I would usually say about a speaker from ART. The usual modus operandi of ART Loudspeakers is to do what the Alnicos do and get out of the way to let the music through. The Diamonds though, shine a light into the music. The image is rock-solid and huge, and instruments are picked out in space as though under a spotlight. The increased analytical performance from the Diamonds does nothing to dent the musicality of them, the sound still immensely enjoyable and musical without the fatigue usually associated with hard dome tweeters. The silver internal wire, crossover upgrades and diamond tweeter join together with the multi-layered cold-moulded cabinet and bass driver to keep the effortless musicality of the Alnico monitor and add a clarity that was hitherto unheard of from ART Loudspeakers. Changing from valves to solid state lost none of the sonic excitement and refinements. The Diamonds laid bare the differences between the technologies, but didn't seem to prefer one over the other. They happily preserved the valve sound's sweetness and the transistors' punch without adding a colour of their own.
Why not call to arrange a demonstration and hear the difference for yourselves?
Stay tuned for our review of the DRAM EIGHT floorstanding speakers, coming soon...