Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industries (DALI) has many speaker ranges that cover the whole marketplace. At the budget end of things, the Ikons were conspicuously successful three or four years back, but the brand new Lektors are even more competitively priced, thanks to the cost benefits of Far East manufacturing. Will they repeat the Ikons' success? Portents are mixed.
The £300 Lektor 2 looks very similar to the Lektor 1; its enclosure, main driver and price are just slightly larger, though you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between the two from a couple of paces and the price is certainly very competitive.
It's a chunky little two-way standmount, primarily intended for close-to-wall siting. The enclosure proper comes in either midbrown or black vinyl woodprint, the former a rather undistinguished and anonymous example of the art. The black painted front panel looks a little more interesting, as its vertical edges are gently chamfered and decoration is applied by four shiny grille mounting lugs and a rectangular badge around the tweeter.
Although the speaker is made in a low wage zone, the design input comes from Denmark. The main bass/mid drive unit clearly originates from the House of DALI, as it has the company's characteristic purplish-brown dish-shaped cone, made from a mixture of paper pulp and wood fibres. Said driver has a 130mm frame and a 97mm cone, with a polished dust cover.
The tweeter has a plasticised fabric dome around 27mm in diameter, while a pair of flared ports located between the two drivers preserve a nice symmetry. A single terminal pair connect to the speaker cable.
Small form factor
Measurement and listening confirmed that the Lektor 2 benefits from some close-to-wall reinforcement in order to add a little extra bass. That said, if too close, there's a tendency towards mild mid-bass thump, while in free space it's a little undernourished through the bass region, so it's best to leave a gap of, say, 20-30cm to achieve the best all-round tonality.
This is an inescapably small loudspeaker – so deep and powerful bass is never going to be on the agenda – but once a decent alignment is achieved, the overall sound through the bass and midband is very nicely ordered and even, with just enough projection of musical detail and good stereo imaging.
The problem comes in the presence zone, at the top of the midband, where the sharp-edged consonants and sibilants that are so important to speech clarity are found (or, in this case, not found; at any rate rather obviously lacking). Although the top end proper is well-judged with good air, voices sound a little 'shut in' and recessed, reducing intelligibility when the system is operating at low levels.
As a result, this is a speaker that prefers to be driven quite hard and can indeed be driven hard without any real risk of sounding edgy or aggressive. Its appeal, therefore, is likely to be greatest among those who favour music over speech and enjoy winding up the volume.