經典中的經典 – 試聽新品 Spendor Classic 1/2 書架式音箱

提到英國音箱,想必會有很多發燒友的記憶中都會顯現出很多經典的品牌。在眾多的品牌當中,Spendor(思奔達)絕對算得上是英國音箱的代表品牌。作為英國歷史最悠久的BBC監聽音箱品牌之一,思奔達音箱一直是以優美的音質、精湛的工藝以及可靠的穩定性聞名全球。同時思奔達的很多產品也引領了英國音響行業發展潮流,一款又一款經典的產品,在眾多發燒友中間都有著極高的評價。甚至在很多人看來,思奔達就是英國音箱精品的代名詞,值得每一個人擁有。

從LS 3/5A

BC 1,再到 SP 1,這家音箱世界中的老字號品牌推出的不少產品都有著極長的生命周期。即使到了現在,也依然有很多發燒友求購它家的經典型號。雖然市面上同類產品有非常多的選擇,但是思奔達音箱極具韻味的英國聲依然讓很多人魂牽夢繞,欲求得之而后快。

目前,思奔達旗下一共有三大系列,分別是 A-Line、D-line 以及 Classic。這其中最具代表性也最能體現品牌特色的就是 Classic(古典)系列。Classic 系列沿襲了思奔達經典的設計元素,在經典型號之上進一步優化和調教,來滿足當今用戶對聲音的追求。Classic 系列有著不同尺寸,包含了書架箱到落地箱一共6個型號,其中最有代表性之一的就是 Classic 1/2 音箱,而它也是本文將要介紹的主角。

本次試聽的音箱屬於它的Classic(古典)系列

思奔達 Classic 1/2 的型制為三路反射式書架箱,單隻重量22公斤,頻率響應范圍為30Hz – 25kHz,對於功放的的功率要求25 – 200瓦,靈敏度87dB,分頻點定在415Hz和2.7kHz。

思奔達(Spendor)Classic 1/2書架式音箱外觀

它與經典型號SP100有著極為相似的造型,一般人很難分辨這兩個型號音箱在外觀上的差異。Classic 1/2沿用了思奔達傳統的設計元素和設計,包括方方正正的箱體、中置的高音單元以及凹陷的前障板,這些元素都與思奔達的很多經典音箱如出一轍。Classic 1/2在工藝上也是保持了非常高的水平,不僅箱體外表平滑流暢,同時各個箱體組件之間的接縫緊湊嚴實,每個細節都透露出嚴謹、高超的音箱制作工藝。

與很多音箱習慣使用烤漆的工藝不同,思奔達 Classic 系列盡可能保持原木的本質,不會使用過多的涂料和漆面工藝。用手去摸箱體,可以感受到實木的溫和觸感。音箱提供了兩種木材可供選擇,分別是淺色的櫻桃木以及深色的胡桃木。雖然和市面上常見的現代風格的音箱相比,Classic 1/2 可能略顯老派,但是這種復古的氣息,的確是需要有時間沉澱的品牌才能夠塑造出來的。


箱採用了三單元雙分頻設計,與很多音箱單元布局不同,Classic 1/2的重低音單元在最上方,中間是高音單元,低音單元在最下方,倒相孔則是放置在了高音單元的兩側。這種設計在思奔達以往的設計中是很常見的。倒相孔前置的好處是不會受到牆壁的影響,即使靠近牆壁,音箱的低頻也不會出現渾濁的情況。從外觀上來看,也能夠保証箱體背部平整,進一步提升美感。

单元方面,音箱使用了最新的EP77重低音單元,聚合物材質既讓單元更加輕量化,同時也保証了機械強度,從而帶來了更好的阻尼特性和更寬的頻響范圍。而採用凱夫拉材質的低頻單元能夠承受更大的功率,還可以有更快的響應速度。有了素質優秀的單元,讓 Classic 1/2 的頻響范圍從30Hz到25kHz,與競爭對手相比算是相當出色的。

搭配詳情:

音源:名鑄(Acoustic Signature) Thunder黑膠唱機,AVM CD5.2 CD機

前級:樂林(JeffRowland) CORUS+PSU分體式前級放大器

后級:樂林(JeffRowland) Model 925四分體單聲道后級放大器

音箱:思奔達(Spendor) Classic 1/2書架箱

雖然箱體和單元進行了重新的設計,但是 Classic 1/2 一開聲,依然是思奔達傳統的略顯老派的校聲風格。英國音箱都有一個特點,那就是箱體共振相比其它音箱更加明顯。箱體的共振帶來了獨特的聲音風格,同時也更加考驗音箱的調校水平。很多廉價的英國音箱,就會因為箱體振動不受控,導致音染過重甚至是失真。但是對於思奔達 Classic 1/2 來說,這種情況完全不會出現。由於箱體材質和結構採用了專門的共振控制設計,讓音箱的聲音既可以保留典型的英國聲,同時也能夠保持很高的解析力。Classic 1/2 的聲音溫潤柔和,有一種獨特的磁性。由於有了新單元的加持,影響的整體解析力相比於老型號進一步提升,從而能夠適應高碼率音頻動態響應快、解析力高的需求。

由於思奔達與 BBC有著千絲萬縷的關系,所以在廣播級校聲有著非常豐富的經驗。Classic 1/2 可以說是能夠體現出思奔達調教經驗的產品,在有著監聽風格的同時,還能夠保証聲音中足夠的HiFi味,從而讓音箱能夠適應不同使用環境的需求。而採用新材質的低頻單元,讓 Classic 1/2的低頻出力更加容易驅動,相比於早期產品也修正了響應慢、難以控制的短板,讓音箱的風格更加中性,三頻能量分布更加均勻。

高頻方面,Classic 1/2 的風格,稍顯內斂,卻有著足夠出色的延展性。實際上,這款音箱的高頻有著非常出色的結像,隻是在調音風格上並不是大開大合張牙舞爪的風格。這使得音箱整體聲音風格少了一份攻擊性,多了一份美感和藝術性。英國聲被 Classic 1/2 通過新的方式演繹出來,不僅保留了本真的味道,也將很多不足通過新的技術彌補回來,讓音箱變得更加完美。

聲場方面,Classic 1/2 能夠很完整地塑造出一個圓形的邊緣,定位也極為准確。在試聽大編制交響樂時,適當的染色能夠很好地襯托出臨場感,同時也不會讓人覺得混亂和煩躁。新的 Classic 1/2 相比於老型號,變得更加容易驅動,也更加容易被馴服。在很多新生代的器材的驅動下也可以有著很好的表現。

如果說將思奔達 Classic 1/2 與很多現代校聲風格的音箱作對比,你依然能夠很明顯地感受到這是一對來自於70、80年代的聲音風格,那種濃重的模擬味道以及獨特的聲音染色。但是如果你真的和思奔達前幾代型號作對比的話,你又會發現這款音箱解析力更高,反應更加凌厲,結像更加出色。很多老玩家都會以一對思奔達音箱為基礎,不斷磨合搭配出一套完整的HiFi系統,而 Classic 1/2 能夠將這一過程簡單化。新音箱通過進化,適應力更強,頻響范圍也更寬,瞬態也有明顯提升,頗有一種老樹回春的感覺。如果你是一個思奔達品牌的忠實粉絲,不用擔心,Classic 1/2 依然是那個熟悉的味道,但是如果你真的想對聲音做出一點點改變,這款音箱也能夠很容易順應時代的發展,通過適當的器材搭配會給你眼前一亮的感覺。這個品牌用一種精妙的方式,將經典與現代完美地融合在一起,作為英國音箱的典型代表品牌,思奔達很清楚如何在延續經典的前提下,完美適應當地音響愛好者的聆聽取向,也隻有如此才能將“經典”傳承下去,歷久彌新,做到每個時代的“經典中的經典”。

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What Hi-Fi? Awards 2018 winner – Wharfedale DX-2 5.1

Build and compatibility

How petite are the Wharfedale DX-2 speakers? Standing just 19cm tall – they’re roughly the same dimensions as the Sonos One – the four satellite speakers are small enough to fit almost anywhere.

While we’d recommend placing them on dedicated supports where possible, the compact speakers are designed to feel at home on top of shelves, on bookcases, on the TV rack – anywhere you can find a spare spot in your room, really.

Don’t have the space or budget for stands? You can wall-mount them instead, thanks to the brackets at the back of each speaker.

The entire package has been redesigned. The glossy front remains, but the cabinets now have curved edges and the smooth leather-like finish wrapped around the speakers removes the need for spikes or rubber feet – so you can place them directly on surfaces without fear of scratches.

It’s a sleeker, smarter and more luxurious look.

Further cosmetic flourishes, such as the chrome rings surrounding the fixed speaker grilles for each driver – a neat design that protects the drivers without completely covering up the front – and lack of any grille holes make the whole package look even tidier. The DX-2 comes in two colours: the black of our review sample or a white finish.

Build quality is good for the money, although we do have trouble getting our reference cables (with standard 4mm banana plugs) to fit into the speaker terminals. It’s too tight a fit, with the terminals feeling a tad undersized.

Just like its previous iterations, each satellite has a 19mm silk dome tweeter and a 7.5cm mid/bass driver, with the centre channel using two of the mid/bass drivers to flank the same tweeter.

The satellites are all closed-box designs – there’s no port – making it easier to place them closer to walls without affecting sound quality.

The centre channel has an aperiodic bass loading system (a small hole at the back filled with special foam) helping reduce low-frequency distortion and control bass performance from a small cabinet.

The WH-D8 active subwoofer completes the set. Comprising a forward-firing 20cm long-throw driver powered by a 70W amplifier, it’s compact enough to be tucked away in a corner.

If you regularly watch movies, we’d keep the ‘auto sense’ switch toggled on: the sub automatically goes into standby when not in use, switching itself on when a signal is detected.

Sound

Speakers this size often struggle to handle Hans Zimmer’s epic score for Inception, but the Wharfedale DX-2 package delivers a respectable scale of sound – larger and heftier than its diminutive stature would suggest. It sounds punchy, detailed and surprisingly expansive.

The DX-2 may be designed for smaller rooms, but it copes admirably even in our large AV test room. There’s abundant detail, it handles dynamic shifts with ease and not once does it fail to fill the room.

That’s an impressive feat for any small, sub-£500 surround package.

Of course larger speakers will fill a room more easily, but as the dream collapses in the final act of Inception the Wharfedale speakers deliver deep, resonant notes and thunderous crashes with utter composure.

The DX-2 speakers are well-integrated too. Surround effects ping around the room, engulfing you in an articulate cocoon of sound. The haunting whispers on the island in Star Wars: The Last Jedi are clear, precise and evoke a chilling atmosphere as they echo across the surround speakers.

The package does a grand job of going quiet, too: echoes in a cave die abruptly, plunging you into silence. The edges of notes are precise and clean, allowing the Wharfedale to keep a snappy, agile sense of timing. It’s a hugely listenable speaker package.

Dialogue cuts through the busy special effects clutter, although we would prefer more texture and depth to voices. Rey’s hopeful entreaties contrast nicely against an elderly Luke’s grumbles, but more solidity and low-frequency detail would flesh out the emotion in their voices.

More subtlety in the lower frequencies would help overall, but that shouldn’t take away from the rumble to punches, explosions and soundtrack crescendos. It’s a satisfying amount of grunt and weight – especially at this price – to keep us hooked to the action.

Push the volume too high and the Wharfedale package starts to struggle. But the DX-2 holds our attention at lower volumes – a sure sign of subtle and expressive dynamics.

Verdict

Go up the price scale and you’ll find speaker packages (such as the Q Acoustics 3010i 5.1 Cinema Pack) that are more articulate, more precise and bigger-sounding. But they cost double what the Wharfedale does.

The entertaining performance, the compact-yet-stylish build and appealing price tag – it’s impressive how much Wharfedale has bundled into the petite DX-2 package. It’s a great solution for AV fans tight on budget and space.

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