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Pictures


Rear
Amp Board
Driver
Wall Wart

Subjective Listening Tests

After hearing what the 3025's sounded like, it was an understatement to say that I was leery of the 2012's. Since the 3" driver is significantly different, the overall sound quality was actually much better. That is not to say that it was suddenly world class, just improved over the first DA's I reviewed.

Getting in the way often was that ridiculous overboosted low end. What kept happening was when I would listen to tunes with bass notes in the 122-146Hz area, the speaker would "woof out" on me. Woofing out sounds like 100% total loss in quality and quantity because in essence that's what happens when the driver bangs against its physical end stops or the amplifier says, "I'm outta here." Unfortunately, that lower peaked range is in a very popular area for things like bass guitars, timpani or synthetic bass notes. As long as the 2012's have bass deficient music playing on them, the extreme distortion noted won't rear its ugly head.

Even though the little Diamond's have a bass control, don't even think of turning that up beyond its center detent position. When the control is cranked all the way up, as much as a 15dB boost will be heard in the 130-140Hz range. If DA could squash the aforementioned factory bass peak, the 100Hz control could actually be useful in that the -6dB response could be improved from 108Hz to possibly 90Hz or even lower.

I adhere to the principle that if the midrange isn't right, there's no point in listening further. Not only was the midrange mediocre, the high and low frequencies were also mediocre, especially considering the $40 price level. A general lightweight midrange sound shrunk the size of the soundstage and human voices to 75% of their true size. The 3DSP only makes things worse, effectively creating a "pinched" or nasal sound and completely killing any idea of a stable, solid center stereo image. Does anybody actually think that you can achieve 4 channel sound with 2 speakers? It's physically impossible and always will be as no two channel source can create sound that emanates from behind the listener.

The highs were moderately acceptable seeing that this 3" driver wasn't forced to reproduce 16KHz at nearly the same volume as 1KHz. I've said it before and I'll say it again: if you want speakers with decent highs, your best chance is to lay your hands on a set with tweeters. Yup, those little 1" or smaller screechers do a much better job of reproducing sound in the 3KHz range and up than any 3" or larger unit could ever dream of doing.

Conclusion

So, can you figure out why the 2012's received a 5/10 rating? The downsides are many: (1) funky low end response, (2) less than 3w/ch from a rated 6w/ch rig and (3) high price. For my $40, I'd nab a set of MidiLand MLi-460 or 461's. Both sport a 4" woofer and have 2 and 4 channel sound respectively. I'll say it until I'm blue in the face: never buy any speaker unless you listen to it first; preferably with a well known musical selection of your choice. If you listen to computer speakers as much as I do, locate a set that neither offends nor exhibits bad behaviors.

William Yaple
07/16/00

 





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