PranaFidelity's new Dhyana Loudspeaker

You can always count on the amazing Steven Norber to come up with something intriguing. In this case, it was the brand new Dhyana two-way quasi line-array loudspeaker ($19,500/pair). With a 30mm tweeter and four 152.4mm woofers, the speaker claims a frequency range of 28Hz–23kHz, a nominal impedance of 8 ohms, and a sensitivity of 88.5dB.

Dhyana's cabinets are composed of 800 layers of Baltic Birch, and bracing is spaced according to Fibonacci intervals. The speaker's sound is adjustable via two three-position switches on its back. One switch addresses high-frequency roll-off—Norber set it in the middle position—and the other the speaker's midrange character. That latter is determined by a choice of three different sets of resistors, all with the same values but constructed with different materials by three different companies.

To demonstrate midrange character, Norber switched between neutral position/Ohmite resistors and warm position/Kiwami carbon-film resistors. In this particular room, with the system arrayed along the long wall facing seats placed in a mild semi-circle, I thought the Kiwami resistors produced more interesting sound.

I really liked what I heard. Although, presumably due to the room, bass only sounded pretty tight in the sweet spot, everything else was quite good, with a fine midrange and high end. A lacquer test pressing of Vanessa's forthcoming album, Remember Me, sounded a bit less color-saturated than a second-generation tape of the same recording.

Norber had intended to share the room with E.A.R. USA's Dan Meinwald, but Dan is currently on the mend from open heart surgery. Hence the cabling, which Meinwald was supposed to bring, was a hodgepodge. Other components included, from E.A.R. USA, the model 324 phono preamplifier ($6095); Helius Designs Viridia turntable ($7195) with Helius Designs Omega tonearm ($3695) and Audio-Technica AT-OC9XSH cartridge ($649), Technics E.A.R.-modified RS1500 tape player (price N/A), Townshend Allegri Reference Mk. II preamplifier ($14,000), and PranaFidelity purna/ma amplifier ($10,500), which outputs 400Wpc into 8 ohms.