Dayton PS95-8 on Open Baffle

Dayton PS95-8 on open baffle

Dayton PS95-8 on top of H-frame

I really enjoy this driver. It’s not the flattest measuring or most neutral but it’s very enjoyable, especially for Jazz and Classical. For vocals, there’s a touch of sibilance which may bother some listeners. To reduce this, angling the baffle away from the listener is important. If you are a Spotify listener, you are particularly in luck due to their new EQ.

My system consists of:
• Amp: SMSL SA50 (digital)
• Bass: H-frame (Eminence Alpha 15 powered by Dayton 100 watt subwoofer amp)
• Source: iPad 2 streaming iTunes Radio @ 256kbps or Spotify @ 160kbps
• Room: 24′ x 12′ (moderately furnished, two couches, tv, etc.)

The first thing you will notice when hearing the PS95-8 is the rising treble response. You will also notice how detailed, fast and sweet sounding it is overall.

I’m not a driver designer but the PS95-8 looks beautiful and is beautifully made. The performance backs up its looks too. This thing has excellent detail with solid midrange performance. It’s an extended range driver that competes with anything and everything at approximately the same size regardless of price and makes a great main driver in a high resolution system. I like it on open baffle with help on top and bottom.

Placed in the center of a 19″ x 19″ baffle and sitting atop an H-frame completes a very nice combination. The result is a beautifully expressive and lively sound. Since a tweeter is unnecessary this combination can be considered more of a purist full range system – as long as you don’t consider bass support as spoiling the deal. This speaker sings!

Compared to Fostex drivers, the little Dayton PS95-8 has a personality of its own. It’s more cheerful in its approach. It has a happy sound. But after listening for extended periods the sibilance on vocals begins to become bothersome. It’s got a peak at about 15kHz. The venerable Fostex 127e has a peak at about 7kHz. Both drivers are bright but have peaks at different frequencies. Ultimately, the Fostex has more of a lisp while the Dayton has more spit. Fortunately for the Dayton, Spotify has an equalizer with a frequency lever at 15kHz. Simply sliding it down about halfway reduces sibilance making this driver wonderfully musical and very listenable for long periods.

image

Spotify equalizer provides control at 15kHz to help reduce bright sounding speakers. Please add 4.7kHz and 7.5kHz for even better tuning.

Interestingly, I don’t notice any sibilance on instrumental music and can listen for hours with or without the Spotify EQ. But Norah Jones and Diana Krall sound too spitty without EQ to me. It’s all of the other wonderful qualities this driver has like ghostlike imaging, expressive midrange and an overall fun and enjoyable sound that prompt me to continue listening and tweaking it. Honestly, I had retired the driver until discovering the new Spotify equalizer. If you listen to Spotify the equalizer’s 15kHz lever is all you need to reduce the 15kHz peak and enjoy fatigue free music all day with the Dayton PS95-8.

Overall, this system sounds top notch and this inexpensive little wonder is one of my personal favorite drivers even tho it has one fatal flaw. If you like a bright and lively sound and don’t mind a bit of sibilance, the $25 Dayton PS95-8 is a great deal. If you prefer a flatter, more honest sound and listen to Spotify, adjusting the EQ down at 15kHz transforms the PS95-8 into one of the best full range drivers I’ve heard regardless of price.

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