Without a drum or trumpet, Montauban’s young manufacturer, Diptyque Audio, is starting to make a name for itself all over the world. Gilles Douziech and Eric Poix developed and patented in 2017 a principle of diffusion by isodynamic, planar and dipole panel. From this creation, which takes up and improves on a design that appeared at the end of the 1960s, a range of three loudspeakers was born, whose future promises to be brilliant. The model we have tested for you, the DP140, is installed in the middle of the current range.
The history of Diptyque Audio is closely linked to the meeting of its two founders. Both have been passionate about high fidelity for years. During his studies, Gilles met Marcel Rochet, Mr Mulidine, who passed on some essential notions of acoustics and filtering to him. He made a career with the greats of electronics, then taught and began to make his own ribbon loudspeakers. He meets Eric whose outstanding mechanical and metalworking skills will be fundamental in the creation of the Diptyque speakers.
Some loudspeaker manufacturers have made themselves famous in the past thanks to achievements based on direct diffusion principles other than the electrodynamic loudspeaker. The most historical and famous is probably the English Quad and its ESL57 wideband electrostatic panels. The panel has since evolved and is still in production. Others such as Martin Logan (hybrid electrostatics), Apogée (wideband aluminium ribbon, now manufactured by Clarisys Audio) or Magnepan (isodynamics) were subsequently created and are also still active. The concept patented by Diptyque Audio is called PPBM for push-pull bipolar magnet is a major evolution of the Magneplanar technology where the large surface membrane, flat, rectangular, without resonance box and very lightweight in Mylar covered with a Greek conductor is placed in front of a magnetic circuit of the same dimensions. We remain on the principle of the wide band electrodynamic loudspeaker free of a certain number of constraints, namely large emission surface, high speed over the entire bandwidth and suppression of the box sound. However, the directivity is pronounced with the increase in frequency and the sensitivity remains rather low. Diptyque has sought to improve the principle by placing magnets on both sides of the membrane, which strengthens the bass and accelerates the transient response, and by adding a tweeter of the same technology.
Curve per third of an octave in the axis.
Very wide frequency response. The resonance frequency of the bass cell is calibrated at 45 Hz.
Directivity curves 0, 15°, 30°, 45°.
Horizontal directivity is well controlled here thanks to the horn driver of the ribbon tweeter. It is important to orientate the loudspeakers towards the listening point in order to take advantage of a perfect phasing due to the large transmission area of these loudspeakers.
Impedance curve as a function of frequency.
The impedance is very linear and is not uneven at the bottom of the spectrum (unlike electrostatic technology), which will avoid significant current variations for the amplifier.
The height and width of the model give an overview of its emissive surface which is close to 0.2 m². The main membrane made of 12 micron thick Mylar film is covered with a 3 mm wide conductive aluminium film labyrinth. After being uniformly stretched and fixed on a sandwich frame of medium and felt, it is precisely placed between two perforated grids, each supporting a set of magnets. The assembly is then firmly held in a rigid steel frame. The tweeter was offset laterally, and asymmetrically left-right on each pair of speakers, within a machined bell primer at the top of a thick vertical blade decoupled from multi-ply wood. Protected by a grid, it operates from 1600 Hz through a first-order cut-off slope filter. The two neodymium magnets are positioned on either side of the Mylar tape. The DP140 is based on a decoupling point and the two ends of a steel «parenthesis». All the components used in the manufacture of Diptych panels in general and in these DP140 in particular come either from France, such as the medium of the structure supporting Mylar, poly-propylene and SCR tin capacitors, large section copper air inductors and non-inductive resistances of the filter, or from the European Community such as magnets. The loudspeakers are entirely manufactured in the manufacturer’s wor-shops, which also controls the entire production chain of the speakers. For music lovers and for a small fee, Diptyque Audio also offers you the opportunity to dress your panels either with a textile dress made by Christine Chauchefoin, interior designer, from the fabric collection of the Parisian house Houlès, or with a personalized sublimation printing made without any harmful product for your health.
THE SET UP
Unlike many panels that require very precise placement, Diptychs are quite conciliatory in terms of installation. Of course, they must be positioned in such a way as to enjoy the wonderful panorama they know how to reproduce, so not too close to the side walls all the same… But the proximity to the rear wall is not too problematic. In some cases it can even provide a slight reinforcement of the low octaves that we will exploit to our advantage. Frankly, the DP140, like their little sisters, the DP77s, already tested in our columns, are extremely easy to live with. Ditto for the amplification. Tube or transistor, everything works. And quantity is not an imperative. With them, only quality prevails. And we can repeat this observation with sources and cables. Good, good, good, good…
After hours and hours of listening to boxes, the arrival of the DP140s provides us with a great breath of fresh air. It must be admitted that to witness the total emancipation of sound from its reproducers is very exciting. And it is all the more enjoyable because the emissive surface of two DP140s is infinitely larger than that of any pair of columns, even those with lot of woofers. Here, a large membrane produced in wide band, a push of fantastic homogeneity. The result is a reproduction of incredible consistency. Especially on acoustic music. Alfred Deller on Purcell’s «O solitude», Bach’s cantatas, the duet Chilly Gonzales /
Jarvis Cocker, Rameau’s Symphonie Imaginaire, everything goes perfectly, in a large piece, at a realistic level, without any trace of hardness, brilliance or offset. The feeling of space is of course sovereign, correlated to a totally exhilarating feeling of freedom.
You can even move around the room and keep a real imprint of the performers’ placement. In terms of perception of space and ventilation, these DP140s are sovereign, and we hardly see any classical electrodynamic loudspeakers challenging them for any form of supremacy on the subject. In terms of tonal balance, the great Diptyque are just as successful. The key word is «natural». No style effect, no accentuated whistles, no drooling basses, everything is beautifully integrated and measured. The different registers are clearly articulated, and the notion of «rupture» is non-existent. The tones are therefore very realistic, never outraged, never watered down. On a female voice and a «simple» piano, a formidable test if ever there was one, the message was in no way attenuated, delivered in its entirety with an exceptional breadth and dynamic capacity.
On a very busy passage in the bass, we have the extension, the level, and if the DP140 can sometimes give the impression of subtly marking the step, it is in terms of physical impact, and never on the realism of the message. But in a room, even a spacious one, there is no sense of lack. If necessary, a slightly more structured amplifier will easily reinforce these low shimmering waves. Because in terms of modulating the sound message, whatever it may be, the DP140s are simply unique and therefore precious, and we hope they are highly coveted.
Here is a test that was not difficult; a real moment of musical happiness. The DP140 are absolutely successful speakers. We are all the more proud of this young French brand, as it is working on a niche in electro-acoustics, that of isodynamic panels, totally abandoned by international manufacturers, with the exception of the American Magnepan. And in all sincerity, Diptyque has nothing to be ashamed of when compared to his distant cousin on the other side of the Atlantic. On the contrary, the succession is assured!
€ 6.900 per pair
485 x 1425 x 46 mm
5 Hz – 20000 Hz
60 W minimum
Black lacquer (main panel and base), Finnish birch multi-ply wood (tweeter baffle)