Duntech speakers hold a very special place in the heart of many Australian audiophiles.
Not only were they undisputedly one of the finest speakers ever built, they were designed and manufactured here in Australia. Unfortunately the company folded late last century and the name languished for some time. Local speaker manufacturer Kiat Low from Orpheus Loudspeakers acquired the company in 2008 and has spent many years improving on the original designs.
Following reports coming out of both the recent Hong Kong and Guangzhou (China) audio shows it became apparent that Kiat had produced something special with his new Duntech Senator.
We had the opportunity to try the speaker in our showrooms a few weeks ago and this confirmed our suspicions. We now have a pair permanently on display.
To go to the Duntech Product Page click here
I are not sure what impresses us most about this speaker. Firstly they are very, very good, in every way worthy of carrying the Duntech badge. Just as impressive is the price – the Duntech Senator sells in Australia for $20,000 the pair, this is a remarkable speaker for the price. In fact when you compare them to many ‘name’ speakers at the same price the difference is more than considerable. This is the best speaker I know of at this price!
There is something ‘different’ about this speaker, but I am unable to put a finger on it. Having said that the result is very impressive. I have spent more time listening to the Senator than any other speaker in recent times, mostly because it urged you to listen to music that has not explored for a long time. I spent hours listening to tracks from a wide range of genres. It is years since I last listened to the Jose Carresas 1987 recording of Misa Criolla, and it was exquisite. In many ways these speakers brought out aspects of the music that I had never heard before. Pat Metheny’s recording of ‘Alfie’ is a track that I have heard countless times, yet this listening was a revelation, and the most enjoyable I can recall. Imagery is rock solid. On the John Coltrane/Johnny Hartman recording of ‘You Are Too Beautiful’ Coltrane opens the track standing to the left of the left speaker. It almost disconcerting when Hartman joins in standing in the centre between the speakers. The dark brooding undertones of Bryn Terfel’s recording of Wagner’s The Mastersingers Of Nuremberg are unmissable, as is the emotion (and the gravelly shot voice) of Johnny Cash’s recording of ‘Give my love to Rose’ from his American IV: The man comes around album.
Are these speakers perfect? No they are not! The more I listened the Senator the more I found myself searching for flaws, and had to continually remind myself that I was listening to a speaker costing $20k, not the lofty prices being asked for a speaker without the shortcomings I was picking at.
If there is one description that could be applied to this speaker it would be ‘clinical’, but not uncomfortably so. They will reveal the beauty of a great recording, but at the same time lay exposed the faults of a bad one. While listening I had the sensation that this was like driving a finely tuned performance motor car. Yes, you feel every bump in the road, but what an exhilarating ride!
To top it off the build quality and finish of the Senator would be one of the best we have seen at any price.
This is not a speaker for everyone (that speaker does not exist), but you would be doing yourself a disservice if you were in the market for $20k (or more) speakers and did not audition them.
The only downside is availability. The first two (sizeable) production runs were sold out to overseas markets. I understand the third production run is underway, but there may still be a short delay in supply.
The good news is that – for the time being at least – any Duntech Senators sold in the Sydney Metropolitan area will be delivered by Kiat himself, and he will assist our staff in the installation and set-up. As you can imagine Kiat is something of a wiz at getting the best performance out of any loudspeaker, he can really make the Senators sing.