Dynaudio's Ultimate Consequence
I thought I was seeing a familiar sight when I went into the RMAF room shared by Dynaudio, Wadia, and XLO. The loudspeakers, driven by humongous Octave monoblocks, appeared to be larger versions of the Accent 3 that Dick Olsher reviewed for Stereophile in the 1980s. There were more drive-units but as in the earlier design, the tweeter was placed at the bottom of the front baffle. This is the Consequence Ultimate Edition ($70,000/pair) explained Dynaudio president Wilfried Ehrenholz. The original Consequence was launched as the Danish company's flagship 25 years ago at the then astronomical price of 30,000DM/pair and has sold some 2500 pieces since then, even though it was not promoted in any major way after the mid-1990s.
The Ultimate Edition is a thorough reworking of the Consequence for the 21st century, Although it it looks similar to the original, it is 2" taller and 30% heavier, and the drive-units are new, featuring Dynaudio's Esoter2 technology. The beautifully finished enclosure comes in three sections, the lower-front module carrying the midrange and treble array, the other two forming an inverted "L," with one of two 12" woofers mounted on its front. A second 12" woofer is mounted at the top of the rear module fires into the interior of the top volume, forming a compound or "isobaric" system, where the primary woofer operates with constant back pressure on its cone, extending its response below what would have been its air-suspended resonant frequency. The inner woofer is loaded with a long port firing downward, and the system is specified as being linear to 17Hz!
The unusual array of upper-frequency drive-units places each unit farther away than the one next lower in frequency from the ears of a seated listener, which, in effect, time-aligns their outputs, allowing Dynaudio to use primarily first-order crossover filters. The sound of a familiar Patricia Barber track was effortlessly natural and uncolored, but I couldn't escape the impression that I was looking down on the singer from the concert-hall balcony rather than up at at her from the stall seats.