Danish speaker specialist Dynaudio has always followed its own unique path in drive-unit engineering, and is also unusual in enjoying success right across the speaker spectrum - from hi-fi to professional audio, via the in-car sector.
The company's hi-fi speakers have always been relatively upmarket affairs, with an approach that has tended to be essentially sober and conservative, so the arrival of this very substantial £775 per pair DM 2/10 came as quite a shock.
Loudspeakers often looked like this forty or fifty years ago, but 240mm diameter bass/mid drive units (and the enclosures necessary to accommodate such a large device) virtually disappeared back in the 1960s, as mono gave way to stereo and customers started demanding smaller, less intrusive loudspeakers.
The 200mm driver became the norm during the 1970s before gradually giving way to the 165mm size that has dominated since. The DM 2/10 doesn't fit into Dynaudio's standard range of speakers, rather it's listed under 'Special Models', alongside a somewhat less bulky DM 2/8 (with a 200mm main driver).
The number of two-way models with 240mm drivers to have come this reviewer's way over the past two decades can be counted on the fingers of one hand, so what are the implications? The visual impact is undeniably intrusive, and there's no denying this speaker looks as fashionable as a pair of loon pants.
The downside of a large diameter driver is that it involves a greater dispersion discontinuity than a smaller one when crossing over to the tweeter. On the plus side, a 240mm unit has more than twice the cone area of a 165mm driver, so cone excursion is much reduced, improving headroom and more closely mimicking the way acoustic instruments work.
In the Dynaudio tradition, the main driver has a 155mm plastic cone/dome diaphragm with a large diameter, high-power-handling voice coil.
This is loaded by a large (28-litre) rear-ported enclosure, with a chamfered 25mm black front and rosewood laminate elsewhere - a bit uninspiring but smart enough.
The tweeter has a 28mm soft fabric dome, and signal is applied via a single terminal pair. Care should to be taken to choose stands with a suitably large top-plate and footprint.
On audition, the advantage of the 2/10's large main driver was immediately apparent in its superior dynamic realism and tension, and also in conveying the unmistakeable impression that this is a speaker that doesn't have to work hard for its living.
It has serious headroom, and seems to relish reproducing complex music with busy textures, such as full-scale orchestral material, which it handles convincingly with ease, tension and a perhaps surprising transparency.
More delicate acoustic material was dealt with just as effectively, and a Radio 3 performance of Schumann's Quartet in E flat for piano and strings (Op44), with Hugh Tinney and the Vanbrugh String Quartet found this listener quite entranced by utterly unfamiliar music.
That said, this is certainly a speaker that really knows how to rock and roll, and if the bass alignment didn't match our listening room particularly well, this factor didn't seem all that obvious or important subjectively. Furthermore, it was good to hear full, deep bass alongside a smooth and open midband.