DEFINITIVE TECHNOLOGY Demand D9

MJ13.09.2018

Stand mount monitors

The size of the D9 does not allow to pair the dynamic abilities of these small monitors with a sense of scale and weight, yet they can play impressively loud without any stress. And you bet I played them loud. Add crystalline highs and soundstaging to die for and here we have champions in their league.

100% reference

Function and form

95%
Ease of use
47%
Sound
99%
Appearance

First and foremost the Definitive Technology Demand D9 are really beautifully made speakers. Each has 6mm thick beaded aluminum baffle that covers drivers mounted into an MDF cabinet. The speaker is assembled with unbelievable precision (in this category) and all three finishes that my hand could touch – piano lacquer, aluminum baffle and textile grille silkiness – scream quality. No bolts, no gaps, no cheap plastic parts. I also liked bi-wirable gold-plated terminals that are easy to access. This is how a modern monitor should definitely look like.

The visible drivers, 1” aluminum dome tweeter and polypropylene mid-bass driver, are equipped with pole deflectors. There is no bass reflex port; instead, the bass support is handled by upfiring oval passive driver under the textile grille. The passive radiator is according Definitive Technology superior to a traditional bass port, as it produces no port noise, and makes possible smoother, deeper bass response.

Bass management

Weight
42
Slam
44
Articulation
44

Jamming of Charly Antolini (InAkustik) is my favourite torture test for any speaker. The vibrant electric bass and exploding drum kit were absolutely stunning through the rather diminutive Demand D9s. They are very dynamic speakers and the sound had the sense of unrestricted punch as if I was listening to a guitar combo.

The Definitive Technology D9’s bass is specified to start at 35Hz (no tolerance limit) and 64Hz (-3dB point). My ears measured the bass response starting at around 55Hz, with Nordost’s Set-up Disc and the speakers far from room boundaries. If you push the D9s in the corners then you can expect to get even lower but I advise not to do so as the bass of the Demand D9s is clean and resolved and it would be pity to disqualify it by any boominess.

Clarity & delicacy

Detail
68
Air
62
Transparency
62

One day – and it was circa one week into listening to the Demand D9s – I made this note: what a good tweeter they have! It was the moment I was listening to cymbals on Blues Opus 3 (Kjell Öhman, The Hammond Connection) and heard fabulous metallic and highly detailed sound without sizzle or hash. The close-miked acoustic guitar of Eric Bibb (Spirit & The Blues) sounded as if my ears were plugged directly into a recording console, combining airiness and a sense of analog fluidity.

Tonal accuracy

Timbre
41
Dynamics
48
Temporal resolution
43

More I listened to the Demand D9 the more I appreciated its midrange. Voices had natural tonality, very good articulation and excellent presence. If you are into vocal performance of Loreena McKennitt or Lisa Gerrard then the Definitive Technology D9s may satisfy you. Even the raspy metal screams of Celtic Frost (To Mega Therion, Modern Music) had enough drive and juice to headbang.

Spatial resolution

Holography
80
Soundstage width
80
Soundstage depth
80

The D9s were placed ca 1m from side walls and 2m from the front wall for most of this review. That’s is how they sounded superbly clean and expansive. The small dimensions, deflectors and upfiring bass emulated omnipolar radiation patern successfully and the soundstage was wide and deep and the D9s melted within it. No matter if I listened to the Celtic Frost or exquisitely instrumented La Quattro Stagioni (L´Arte dell´ Arco) on SACD the soundstaging was fantastic and it was clearly heard how the mix was panned or where violin, cello or flute players sat.

The cabinets are marked L and R as the tweeters are mounted assymetrically and I did not attempt to swap them. If you are a soundstaging freak or if you are on a quest for affordable high-end speakers or for another pair of speakers for your study or bedroom, this is it!

Price as reviewed:24 000,- Kč

Recommended resellers

CZ: Horn Distribution, Praha, +420 272 656 485

Associated components

  • Sources:  Accuphase DP-720, Accuphase DG-58, Clearaudio Concept/Concept MC
  • Amplifiers: TAD M2500-Mk2, Pro-Ject Phono Box RS
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: Audioquest Wild, Audioquest Redwood, Accuphase AL-10, Proson SC speaker cable, AudioQuest Vodka
  • Loudspeakers: TAD Evolution One, Definitive Technology Demand D9, Tannoy Legacy Eaton
  • Power conditioning:  Shunyata Research Denali 6000T, Nordost Valhalla, Block Audio Snakeblock, Synergistic Research Atmosphere Level 2 PowerCell AC

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DEFINITIVE TECHNOLOGY Demand D9

The size of the D9 does not allow to pair the dynamic abilities of these small monitors with a sense of scale and weight, yet they can play impressively loud without any stress. And you bet I played them loud. Add crystalline highs ...

Recommended resellers

CZ: Horn Distribution, Praha, +420 272 656 485

Sound
47%
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