We were sufficiently fond of the previous Diamond
9.1 (HIFICRITIC Vol. 1 No. 6) to retain it as a ‘review anchor', but it has now been replaced by this new
£180 model 10.1, incorporating a number of revisions under the direction of designer Peter
These include larger bass ports, now located on the rear panel, a gloss black front panel trim/laminate,
shiny alloy trim rings around the main drivers, and a protection grille for the 25mm soft dome tweeter.
Driver mountings have been reinforced, and the nominally 125mm main driver has a carbon fibre
composite bass/mid cone plus a half-roll surround with embossed pleating. Uniquely in this survey, the
enclosure has strongly curved sides, and is available in black, rosewood, cherry, and walnut finishes.
Connections are made via nicely accessible twin terminal pairs.
Mysteriously much of the new Diamond sounded better than the old: more extended, with noticeably
cleaner and more powerful bass, less ‘recessive' with lower apparent coloration, a smoother and more
open treble. This all good, yet in direct comparison it scored 6.2 compared with the outgoing 9.1's 6.5.
Its musical timing is noticeably poorer, so it's rather less involving, even though there is more
detail and low level resolution. Your head tells you its better; your heart says something has been lost.
Dynamics sound a little compressed, stereo focus and space is only just above average, and we missed some
degree of depth and reverberance. It somehow lacks some gravitas, an odd comment for a small speaker
perhaps, but one that made sense when compared with the outgoing model.
The axial response suggests few problems, and it meets impressively close +/-2.5dB amplitude
tolerances to 22 kHz. While the sensitivity is a low 84.5dB (less than claimed), and the impedance is
quite severe with a 3.8 Ohm minimum (albeit a 6 Ohm average), amplifiers with weaker output current
ratings might stay away. The bass is well tuned and free of boom, extending to 63 Hz, and also nicely
matched in the fine room driven response result.
Our earlier 9.1 had damping on the inside carcase
walls and felt a mite less resonant than the 10.1, but it would be irresponsible to attribute our findings
to such a detail. A 75W power handling allows for greater clean sound levels than before, up to 98dBA
in room for a stereo pair.
Suffering a little in comparison with the older model, it is superior in all respects save musical rhythm and
involvement, on which you can take your own view. Overall it nevertheless survives this review pretty
well, and may be recommended.
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