Surround Sound Speaker Systems

Daedalus DA-2.1 Home Theater Speakers

ARTICLE INDEX

Introduction

When Lou Hinkley sent me a pair of his Daedalus DA-1 speakers and matching center channel back in 2005, I considered them to be beautifully made with wonderful sound. Then, when he brought me his updated version, the DA-2.1, I realized I had already run out of adjectives to describe them.

Like the DA-1s, the DA-2.1s are made from solid hardwood, not MDF or HDF. So it's not a question of which finish (veneer) would you like? but rather, which hardwood would you like? Daedalus speakers can be made from Cherry, Ebonized Walnut, Maple, Oak, or Walnut harvested with sustainable forest practices.

The enclosures are 30" high, and you add 11.5” to that if you get the matching stands. This brings the two Eton tweeters on each speaker up to ear height, which is where you want them. The other drivers are a Daedalus designed 8” woofer and modified 5” Fostex midrange. Efficiency is a whopping 95.5 dB, and impedance is 6 ohms nominal, so they will be relatively easy to drive. Inside the enclosure, 13 ply birch plywood backs the front panel, bringing the entire baffle depth to 1.5”. Internal wiring is with braided audiophile grade silver and copper wire to and from separate crossover boards for each driver. The wiring connection is up high on the back, not near the base as on most speakers. Near the binding posts is a switch that adds or subtracts from the high frequency output.  I left this switch in Neutral 99% of the time. At the base of the cabinet at the rear are two ports for the woofer. The midrange has its own sealed cabinet within the 2.1’s.

Specifications

  • Design: Three-way, Sealed Enclosure
  • Drivers: Two 1" Dome Tweeters, One (Two in Center Channel Speaker) 5" Midrange, One 8" Woofer
  • MFR: 38 Hz - 22 kHz, ± 2 dB
  • Nominal Impedance: 6 Ohms
  • Power Handling: 200 Watts RMS (250 Watts for Center Channel Speaker)
  • Tweeter Adjustment Switch for ± 2dB
  • Dimensions: 30" H x 11" W x 13" D (12" x 24" x 13" for Center Channel Speaker)
  • Weight: 56 Pounds/Each (36 Pounds for Center Channel Speaker)
  • MSRP: $4,550/Pair USA ($2,450 for Center Channel Speaker)
  • Daedalus Music

Aside from the extraordinary woods and finishes on Daedalus speakers, the most striking feature is the shape. In order to prevent internal reflections, the front baffle angles back to the inside, towards the listener. Or, put more simply, if the speakers were placed flush against the back wall, it would still be as if they were towed in as far as the drivers were concerned.

This shape may take some getting used to. When you look at these speakers, it can sometimes feel like you’re are looking at a Savador Dali painting because what you are expecting to be a right angled box is not. The effect is not as dramatic as with the DA-1s which have an additional odd angle, as the front baffle is sloped back top to bottom.

But, I’ve come to appreciate the shape of the DA 2.1s, and the overall effect in my living room is that the speakers don’t seem to take up much space, but also appear pleasingly large. The natural finish on the hardwoods tends towards a classic look rather than sleek and modern, but the shape prevents any thoughts that the speakers appearance is boxy. The angles are elegant. The fit and finish are just gorgeous, especially to fans of woodworking.