Back in April 2016, I was invited to visit the Dynaudio factory in Denmark. This was to coincide with the announcement of their new range of professional studio monitors the LYD series. Later in September 2016 I finally received the opportunity to review the then, full range of LYD speaker in my home studio. Now in 2017, I am able to review the latest speaker in the LYD range the LYD48.
The LYD48 is a 3-way active professional monitor. The unit features an 8-inch LYD series woofer, a 4-inch midrange and a 28mm soft dome tweeter. The crossover point for these is 490Hz and 5.6KHz respectively. The LYD bass reflex cabinets (the port is around the back behind the high and mid speakers) are tri-amped with two 50W class-D amps for the high and mid drivers and an 80W class-D amp for the low end giving the LYD 48 a measured frequency response of 32Hz to 21KHz with a maximum SPL at 1m of 112dB per pair. You can connect your console or audio interface directly to the back of each speaker with either balanced XLR or unbalanced RCA (phono) connector.
One of the biggest criticisms Dynaudio got for the original 3 LYD models was that they were only available with a white baffle and black drivers. Personally, think Dynaudio caved in on this one and now you can get the entire LYD range, including the new LYD48 in either white or black. The pair that I have been sent are black. Now I remember at the time of my original review saying I like a white speaker as it makes a statement visually as well as sonically. They stand out from the army of all quite similar looking black boxes.
The 3-way design is also very pleasing to look at. I have to admit that when I first put the speakers up on my meter bridge I put them the wrong way round having the tweeters on the inside, not the outside as Dynaudio recommend.
The rear panel of the LYD48 is exactly the same as the rest of the range. My favourite feature is the Wall switch. When active, the wall setting kicks in some smart inbuilt DSP that takes into account that the cabinet and the part are in close proximity to a wall and it really works. In my control room, I placed the LYD48s on top of my Focal Twin6 BE monitors separated by a quartet of DMSD speaker lifters and switched between Wall on and Wall off and I have to say that in my room Wall ON sounded so much better. It did not appear to affect the tonality of the speaker but it did improve the stereo imaging.
The other two switches on the back of the LYD48 allow you to contour the top and bottom end or Bass Extention and Sound Balance as Dynaudio call it. There is also a 3-way switch for Sensitivity allowing you to cut or boost the input by 6dB. I can see this being very handy if you are in a larger mix room and really want to push the SLP up. After some playing around I settled on leaving all these "tweakables" in their default position. No cut, no boost, just nice.
I have a very broad taste in music. I think at last count I have over 1300 actual CDs. Everything AC-DC and Beethoven to Yes and ZZ-Top See what I did there? So I have no shortage of quality music to test on them. I am also in the middle of a fairly large multi-ensemble project which I was keen to try the LYD48s on.
My normal monitors are a pair of Focal Twin6 BEs and a Sub 6 giving me a 2.1 system controlled by my amazing Trinnov D-Mon 4 processor. The Twin6 BE has a hard Beryllium tweeter where the LYD48s use soft dome tweeters which to my ears makes them softer at the top end but not in an unpleasing way. In fact, The top end of the LYD48 sounded sweet and clean and did a great job with shiny metallic sounds like cymbals and hi-hats on tracks like "Hooks In You" by Marillion which has a very pronounced ride bell line in the chorus and "My Love Is On Fire" from the A Time To Love album by Stevie Wonder where to detail in the Hi-Hat and Splash cymbal really shine through. This track also has one of the fattest fingered bass sounds I have heard on a record.
One of the latest additions to my "Rig Testers" playlist is the track Cloud-9 by Jamiroquai. Mainly because mix engineer Mick Guzauski has managed to get the bass so prominent without it sounding over the top, yet some speakers have a really hard time keeping up. I am pleased to say the beautiful bass tones were preserved by the 8-inch LYD woofers.
In a mixing session, I was able to A/B between the LYD48 and my normal monitor set up. I was very impressed how the LYD48s dealt with vocals. I like my vocals to sit in the mix rather than on top and I found I was able to achieve this with the LYD48s. When I then swapped to my normal rig I was really pleased that the vocals were still very full sounding but also had a nice smooth mid range and clean clear top end that helped them be part of the track but still cut through. I was able to get a full reach bass tone without having to worry about lots of flabby bass.
The true test of a mix however, is how well it translates to other systems. I normally play my mixes in the house on our domestic Hi-Fi which I run the TV through and in my car. Once again I was not disappointed. The mixes sounded clear and full with nothing missing or to in your face.
These are my favourite speakers in the LYD range. The 5, 7 and 8 are all perfectly good speakers but the LYD48 is way out in front. At a shade under £2000 per pair, and do remember if you are buying them you will need a Right and a Left model, these are not the cheapest monitors on the market but if you are looking for a high-end quality monitoring solution for your recording, mixing or music listening space you should check these out.