exhaustive hours of testing, I finally plugged them into the SBLive! card
and cranked up the tunes. Ummm, yeah...all is not well at Diamond Audio. In
their promotional material, they stress that well known audio engineers that
have decades of audio experience created a sound they would be proud of. I'm
unbelievably sorry to report the first few seconds if listening prompted me
to immediately A/B these with my computer reference Altec ACS-48's. Wow, what
a difference. The 3025's had a sound so far from the norm I can almost call
to the principle that if the midrange isn't right, there's no point in listening
even further. Not only was the midrange awful, the high and low frequencies
were completely substandard for the $80 price level. What I heard was very
describeable--a total and complete disregard for audio standards, not to mention
supposed Hollywood studio standards.
thinned out the sound so much that voices took on the dreaded telephone honky
quality. This meant that normally thick musical instruments (big, fat sounding
electric guitars, woodwinds) ended up about half their recorded size. They
weren't distorted noises, just tinny noises. The sound stage in the 170-3KHz
range was massively overprounced, nearly hitting me in the face at the 0.5m
I feel for
the poor 3" midrange unit. It's forced to reproduce everything from 170Hz
all the way to 18KHz. And it does...too much so. I've never measured so much
output from any standard high end tweeter as I did from the DA 3" unit.
And it was overboosted too. +3dB at 16KHz on a 3" midrange produces a
distortion I wouldn't subject dogs to let alone human ears. For those car
nuts out there, it might be like pushing a factory 4 cylinder engine to 10,000
rpm and leaving it there.
OK, so 170Hz
and up is unacceptable, how about boom land? As you may have already determined,
I prefer a flat, reference type of frequency response, so the intentional
eq curve did not make the listening experience any better. A 10dB peak can
make a few notes of the bass guitar or piano appear twice as loud as recorded.
Manufacturers do this to make their products stand out in the crowd in essence
screaming, "buy me, buy me!" The quality was among the poorest I've
heard to date too. "Q" refers to the damping quality factor and
to be reference quality, something close to 0.707 is the desired ratio. The
3025's woofer sounded so slow and woofy that I might have guessed it was produced
with a spec in the 1.5-2.0 range, which produces the dreaded "one note"
effect. This effect makes all bass, no matter what's producing it, sound exactly
the same. Somebody could be beating a rug with a broom or playing complex
bass lines, you couldn't tell the difference.
changes their fundamental design philosophy, I wouldn't recommend these speakers
to my worst enemy. No self respecting audio engineer would ever let these
things out the door, let alone actually mix on them. Frankly, I expected much
more than hype from this left coast company. Why not reproduce their previous
MidiLand success but in a smaller package? I've always emphasized that no
matter what, you must listen to subjective speakers for yourself before purchasing,
and the 3025's may be the best reason not to go the online only way like Diamond
Audio has chosen. If you're interested in voicing your opinion to DA, send
them an email with these suggestions contained within:
lose any intentional eq curves
(2) Add a tweeter
(3) Give us a woofer with a 0.707 Q.