DALI Opticon MK2
DALI launched the Opticon MK2 Series, updating and replacing the Opticon Series. With a continued focus on improved music reproduction, thoughtful design, stylish aesthetics, and the use of the latest technologies, the upscale Opticon MK2 provides a truly immersive listening experience for both music and movie lovers alike. The Opticon MK2 Series is comprised of six models - two bookshelf/stand mount models - Opticon 1 MK2 ($999/pr US MSRP) and Opticon 2 MK2 ($1,499/pr US MSRP), two towers - Opticon 8 MK2 ($3,999/pr US MSRP) and Opticon 6 MK2 ($2,499/pr US MSRP), a center channel - Opticon VOKAL MK2 ($799/ea US MSRP) and a low profile on-wall LCR - Opticon LCR MK2 ($999/ea US MSRP). The DALI Opticon MK2 initial availability varies by model and finish beginning in late February/late March 2021.
The DALI Opticon MK2 Series offers fresh, elegant aesthetics in three new finishes - Satin Black, Satin White, and Tobacco Oak with new furniture grade grille fabrics matched to finishes. Each Opticon MK2 enclosure is designed to optimize rigidity and minimize panel resonance. The Opticon MK2 25mm thick front baffles provide massively rigid foundations for the drivers, and the floor-standing Opticon MK2 models employ extra internal bracing to further ensure rigidity and practically eliminate panel resonance. Benefitting from the latest in new technologies and innovations, Opticon MK2 is designed, developed, and manufactured at DALI's factory in Denmark. All cabinets and drivers are built with a consistent focus on the DALI audio principles of low-loss, low distortion, and low coloration. Each pair of speakers is built and tested at the same time to ensure acoustic and aesthetic consistency. The rigid, braced cabinet construction eliminates resonances and while minimizing coloration.
DALI SMC (Soft Magnetic Compound) is a coated magnet granular material that has many advantages when used in driver magnet systems. SMC's unusual combination of very high magnetic permeability and very low electrical conductivity results in improved flux linearity reduced magnetic hysteresis and a significant reduction in harmonic distortion. All of these SMC benefits together produce a significant measured and subjective reduction of low-level detail masking and coloration. The Epicon derived cones on all Opticon MK2 models are made from a mix of paper and wood fiber that provides a stiff, lightweight, and well-behaved structure that ensures minimal break-up resonance and provides the cones their distinctive color. The bass/midrange driver magnet system consists of a large ferrite ring magnet surrounding a pole piece manufactured entirely of the unique DALI SMC material. The Opticon 8 MK2 uses a dedicated 6" midrange and two 8" woofers. The Opticon 6 MK2 uses two 6" woofers, the Opticon 2, Vokal, and LCR MK2 each use one 6" woofer while the Opticon 1 MK2 uses a 4" woofer.
The new 29mm soft dome tweeter used in all six Opticon MK2 models offers significant advances over the two different soft dome tweeters used in the previous Opticon series. Its relatively small increase in diameter over the previous 28mm tweeter may seem a minor detail, however, it results in a significant increase in dome radiating area which means lower distortion, higher power handling, and an ability to operate at lower frequencies. The use of the same soft dome tweeter across all six Opticon MK2 models not only results in consistency of tonal character but also enables similar crossover topology to be used on each model for consistency of dispersion characteristics.
DALI has a long and successful tradition for engineering and integrating hybrid tweeter modules comprising a soft dome tweeter working together with a ribbon tweeter. The Opticon 6, 8 LCR and VOKAL MK2 models use a new hybrid tweeter design that marries the new 29mm soft dome tweeter with a custom-designed 17mm x 45mm ribbon tweeter mounted on a new cast aluminum faceplate for reduced vibration. The hybrid tweeter system is configured so that the ribbon tweeter begins to contribute from 10kHz upwards, just as the response of the soft dome tweeter is beginning slowly to fall away and become more directional. The ribbon tweeter both extends the system frequency response towards 30kHz and contributes to keeping high-frequency horizontal dispersion wider than would otherwise be the case. The new hybrid tweeter literally offers the best of both worlds - the clarity, speed, and dynamics of a dome tweeter, with the very high-frequency detail and smooth finesse of a ribbon tweeter.
All six Opticon MK2 models are bass reflex designs. Reflex loading employs the otherwise unused acoustic output from the rear of a bass driver to extend low-frequency bandwidth and increase low-frequency power handling. With the Opticon 1, 2, 6, and 8 MK2 we took the MK2 opportunity to incorporate our Dual Flare port design. This Dual Flare technique brings port design into the realm of aerodynamics with exit and entry flares carefully designed to minimize turbulence at the airflow rate expected from the port diameter and tuning frequency. Dual Flare enables Opticon MK2 reflex ports to remain laminar (like a gently flowing river, rather than rapidly churning white water) and work effectively to reinforce low-frequency performance to a significantly higher volume level than would otherwise be possible.
In the case of the Opticon Vokal MK2, it employs twin, forward-facing letterbox style reflex ports configured to enable the system to be enclosed in furniture units. Not only does its enclosure format not provide enough space for Dual Flare, but port flaring is also less critical on a system designed primarily for voice reproduction. With the Opticon LCR MK2, its on-wall installation requires an entirely different reflex port approach. The reflex port exits are located in the rear panel and engineered to vent in parallel to the wall. The rear wall surface effectively becomes integral to the port tuning and exit flaring.
Exceptional care was taken to make the filter topology as simple as possible with the minimum of components between the amplifier and drivers. Furthermore, as part of the crossover design, some individual crossover components were upgraded - lower loss capacitors in particular. The result is a noticeable increase in overall coherence, detail, and precision across the entire Opticon MK2 series. The crossover assemblies in each Opticon MK2 speaker are located internally adjacent to the terminal panels in order to shorten signal paths, and on the Opticon 6 and 8 MK2 models, the terminal panels incorporate optional bi-wiring facilities. The connection terminals on all Opticon MK2 models are gold plated to ensure long term reliable connections. Info and photos by DALI.