INDIANA LINE Diva 660

MJ25.05.2020

Floorstanding loudspeakers

I experimented a lot in the course of the review of the Diva 660. It took some time but finally I arrived to the sound that nailed me to my listening chair. These rather common floorstanders denied their asking price and left me staring in disbelief. I found this sentence scribbled in my notepad: Is this a Magico for poor?

100% reference

Function and form

90%
Ease of use
53%
Sound
66%
Appearance

The Indiana Line Diva 660 cannot be a less ordinary speaker. There is nothing fancy about them, nothing that would make your friend say ‘wow’ upon seeing them; the Diva 660 look like any other off-the-shelf speakers that sell around the corner.  The cabinets are ordinary prisms, equipped with small aluminum blocks at their base that serve as speaker feet. There is rubber padding on the feet not to scratch the floor.

The Diva 660 are 3-way speakers. The two 180mm woofers have cones made of non-pressed cellulose, the mid-woofer is a woven sandwich of extruded polypropylene strips, and the tweeter is a silk dome. The tweeter assembly is mounted on the speaker through a soft rubber decoupling shell, which should make it floating. The assembly is also well vented to compensate forces inside. If you look around there is no bassreflex port - its oversized tube with curved edge fires to floor from the bottom of the cabinet. On paper the sensitivity of the Diva 660 is rather high 92dB, the bass should reach down to rather optimistic 35Hz.

If you like glossy black speakers then the cabinet color selection for Diva 660 will please you - black is the only one available. Speaker terminals at the rear of the cabinets are set into generic plastic panels, as ordinary as the speakers themselves, yet they support bi-wiring. There are no marks for HF/LF so I assumed that the upper pair is for tweeters, although I also tried to swap the cable leads. The bi-wiring feature appeared to be crucial in the course of the review and with its help I elevated the Indiana Line Diva 660 from ordinary to exceptional.

Bass management

Weight
56
Slam
61
Articulation
56

Like their cheaper siblings, the Tesi 560 that we reviewed few years ago, the Diva 660 is voiced by ears, I mean experienced ears. The Wicked Game of Chris Isaak exhibits with a wonderful bass line that was strong and punchy through the Diva 660. Stronger and punchier that I expected from such modest speakers. Alike the double bass that opens the Rebecca Pidgeon's Spanish Harlem was weighty and thick with nice attack on strings, and slightly less nuanceed resonances of the instrument's body. The latter is not a complaint, it is the reality of the price category where the Diva 660 reside. And they did not stop surprising me - the thick bass pulse of Cobalt 60 and Dolphin shook the room as if I was in a night club.

The designers in Indiana Line somehow managed to blend the bassreflex port and all drivers  into energetic seamless sound. Yet the best was about to come.

Clarity & delicacy

Detail
72
Air
65
Transparency
62

I had quite a number of amplifiers and cables to try with the Diva 660, however, I did not want to pair them with amps that costed 10 times more. Not that it would not get the best out of the speakers - it would, but any potential buyer is not expected to do so. So I tried some amplifiers that were as affordable as the Indiana Line. The third amplifier in the row and the Diva 600 started to sound really nice. Now the speaker cables. Single wiring, bi-wiring, cross bi-wiring. It was confirmed that the upper pair of speaker terminals is really HF - if you single wire to it then expect a bit higher pitch and a bit out-of-balance sound. My message is: forget about single wiring with the Indiana LIne Diva 660. Go for full bi-wire and hold tight.

Tonal accuracy

Timbre
51
Dynamics
58
Temporal resolution
48

To make the long story short, the '800' line of Denon sounded to my ears the best. The Denon PMA-800NE bi-wired with Supra Rondo loudspeaker cables elevated the Indiana Line into completely new performance levels. The sound opened up, got much more dynamic, and gained spatiality. With my eyes closed I would never guessed that I am listening to such compact speakers. To me Denons are mass market electronics, as ordinary as the Diva 660,  the Supra cables are 'good value for money', an entry level to hi-fi. Yet the combination Indiana Line-Denon-Supra proved to be extraordinary.

The Magico comparison that I made earlier is not out of place. When I played very dynamic transient peaks of Harry James' big band through entry level Magico I drove them into clipping. Similarly the Diva 660 are not built for handling this, although the 'entry level' of Magico would buy you many Divas. Still, before the Indiana Line clipped they were playing really loud, far louder than you would sustain for two minutes, and they remained composed and assured. The sound did not stop being juicy and fresh, articulated and punchy. When all the horns of the big band were blazing the sound was transparent and dynamic, like Magico.

Spatial resolution

Holography
74
Soundstage width
74
Soundstage depth
74

The Diva 660 have to be carefully positioned in the room, including toe-in. Each centimeter is heard, perhaps it is due to a shallow waveguide of the tweeter's front plate. Be patient and try less usual positions like extreme toe-in or assymetric placement (depending on your room layout). They are quite sensitive and when everything clicks together you will hear it - the sound will completely detach from the speakers and inhabits the whole room. In the Son Seals's Love Had a Breakdown blues number the Indiana Line threw spacious soundstage with fantastic imaging. All the instruments were beautifully delineated and the electric guitar's sound was projected into the room like I use to hear with the best speakers.

The Diva 660 are nothing short of amazing. The money they sell for may be adequate to the build quality, but the sound by far surpasses the standards of their category. Fascinating.

Price as reviewed:42 000,- Kč

Recommended resellers

Horizon Trading Prague, Praha, +420 605 333 663

Associated components

  • Sources: Denon DCD-800NE
  • Amplifiers: Denon PMA-800NE
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: Supra Rondo, Supra Dual
  • Power conditioning: Supra MDS06-EU/SP, Supra LoRAD

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