This is the largest floorstander in Dynaudio’s Excite range: a new series of entry-level speakers from the Danish company, all designed to be easy to drive. And the X38 not only looks considerably more sleek than the 380 floorstander we tested from Dynaudio’s Focus series [HFN Jun ’13] but it comes at only half the price.

The X38’s twin long-throw woofers and midrange driver have supple rubber surrounds and one-piece cones formed for smooth dispersion. They are made of Dynaudio’s magnesium silicate polymer [MSP] for light weight and high rigidity, while the drivers’ chassis are die-cast aluminium, with neodymium magnets and large but lightweight voice coils.

The company sets great store in its use of aluminium wire here, instead of copper, which allows for more windings and a larger coil diameter without increasing mass.

The woofers hand over to the midrange driver at 550Hz which in turn crosses over to the 27mm tweeter at 2kHz. This has a silk dome treated with a proprietary coating while the aluminium voice coil is suspended in magnetic oil (ferrofluid) to maximise power handling and improve the dome’s excursion capability. A damping chamber is integrated into the rear of the assembly acting as an acoustic absorber, reducing back-wave energy.

You’ll only find a single set of input terminals at the rear. To quote the company’s philosophy: ‘Dividing the frequency sections through bi-wiring or bi-amping is neither beneficial nor optional.’

The X38’s integral base feet afford excellent stability whether on hard or carpeted floors and the speaker can stand either on resonance-absorbing rubber feet or four easy-to-adjust spikes.

Packing a punch

With appropriate music recordings the Excite 38 packs a serious punch. Bass is tremendously tight and fast, with subjectively fine extension too, given the speaker’s modest proportions. The midband has good presence, making the X38 an excellent monitor for analysing a recording’s fine detail when you want to critically ‘listen in’, while the tweeter exhibits plenty of sparkle without fatiguing hardness.

The sound is tightly controlled while simultaneously warm and inviting, encouraging prolonged and entertaining listening. Chilling to the hypnotic soundscapes of Patrick O’Hearn’s So Flows The Current 2001 album [Paras Recordings] we were greeted by a wide and deep sonic picture where the underpinning bass notes added satisfying gravitas to the ambient melodic patterns.

Similarly, with the chill-step electronica of Phaeleh’s Tides [Aftergo], the X38’s subjectively pungent and bouncy bass delivery added a gratifyingly solid foundation to the enchanting rhythmic melodies from this
Bristol-based composer.

Albeit artificially created, the soundstage image was open and airy, individual sounds within the musical arrangements presented with precise and clear outlines. In dissecting each composition’s elements the X38 proved rewarding and entertaining, and allowed the music to envelop the senses.

Verdict

This is a great all-rounder for less than a king’s ransom, and although not luxuriously appointed it is nicely finished. Clearly the cost-of-parts budget has been carefully managed by its designers to deliver plenty of ‘sound per pound’. It’s a fine compact speaker for the money.

Originally published in the 2014 Yearbook