In this system the wall-mounted 10.DFS surround speakers seem like the odd ones out, with a somewhat different design and look compared to the other speakers. The black fabric covered molded plastic enclosures use a semi-bipole approach, with identical pairs of drivers on two sides of a low-profile triangular shape. This is supposed to help spread the surround information around the back of the room, resulting in a more enveloping presentation. The bottom of the speaker tapers to a thin edge at the wall, although if you want to use them on a shelf or stand they can be inverted. The tweeters appear to be similar to the other speakers, although the mid-woofers are totally different, using a four-inch Kevlar cone.
When I initially setup a new surround system, I like to run my Integra receiver’s Audyssey calibration program to see where it believes the crossover for each speaker should be set. With the Diamond 10 system it determined that the big 10.7s could be run full range, while the 10.DFS surrounds should run down to 80-Hz, and the 10 CM center channel should only go to 120-Hz. I normally view these determinations with some skepticism and fine-tune them by ear, but it was interesting how the software was quite impressed with the 10.7’s bass, but with center channel and its similar driver complement, not so much.
A detailed report of the Diamond 10 system’s sonic performance will have to wait for the full review once everything is fully broken in, but my initial impressions are of an open sounding system that paints its sonic images on a big canvas, without trying to dazzle you with gobs of fine detail. On a two-channel recording like Lou Reed’s Set The Twilight Reeling, the 10.7s delivered a spacious soundstage with plenty of depth. Fernando Saunders’ fretless bass sounded tight and punchy, while Lou’s clean electric guitar sound had plenty of color and dynamic swing.
I also cranked up the airplane crash scene from Fight Club just to see whether the Diamonds could deliver a real punch, and had no problems reaching levels that would normally have me diving for the volume control. Even at full tilt boogie there was no obvious distress, and they could deliver a real sonic punch when needed.
Clearly the Diamond 10s can do the big stuff without breaking a sweat, and with further listening I will investigate whether there’s also some subtlety in the mix. Stay tuned for an upcoming full-length review in The Perfect Vision.