AUSTRALIAN loudspeaker manufacturer, Duntech, has always had a reputation for producing loudspeakers that are a revelation to the entire industry. The Design Series of loudspeakers continue that fine tradition of excellence and the Esquire, their l owest priced model is, by all accounts, a great speaker.

Employing the finest traditions of engineering ability, Duntech's engineers set out to redefine the parameters of sound reproduction.

What they did was to attack the very core of the problem by exploring and identifying all the performance parameters used to determine whether reproduced sound is realistic, such as frequency response and phase response, angular dispersion, non-linear dis tortion and diffraction distortion.

This resulted in the implementation of new test and measurement techniques that provided more and more important, relevant information in tackling these areas.

The breakthrough paved the way for pulse coherent loudspeakers that can reproduce all aspects and nuances of a complex musical sound at a realistic listening distance of 3 to 4 metres.

As such, Duntech's range of loudspeakers boast levels of performance previously unattainable with other more conventional designs. The Design Series is the latest application of this technology at a mid-price range.

It was interesting to note that the drivers were selected as matched pair and every capacitor, inductor and resistor used in the critical crossover network is individually measured and labelled according to tolerance.

Finally, every loudspeaker undergoes extensive testing procedures that measure, record and store its frequency response and impedance. This ensures that left and right loudspeakers are precisely matched as a pair.

The Esquire, standing at 26" high, employs a time aligned, three driver arrangement that features an advanced polymer cone and vented double magnet system for the woofer and a hand treated, soft domes diaphragm assemble, aluminium voice coil and ferro-flu id cooled system for the tweeter.

The cabinet uses custom wood, laminated in thickness' up to 36mm. It is covered in acoustically transparent cloth and finished in gorgeous satin black lacquer with gloss silver trim.

A pair of heavy, well-built wooden stands help to position the speakers at the optimum level and also provide extra rigidity and increased stability.

There was good tonal balance overall and I was quite amazed by the way these speakers made one listen to the music rather than the different aspects of the sound reproduction. It didn't highlight the strengths of a particular performance, neither did it highlight its faults. To call it neutral would perhaps be the best description of this baby.

The midrange had a nice bloom and lack of "chestiness" about it and didn't seem to smear the other areas of the reproduction. It gave a weighted feel to the music and for that, it must be commended.

The placement of images along the soundstage was clearly defined, although depth of field was slightly foreshortened. Each instrument seems to have a sense of individuality and liveliness with sufficient "bite" on the musical edges to keep one excited and attentive. It certainly was involving and musical, there's no doubt about it. Listening to the well recorded Harry Connick Jr. track, "On The Street Where You Live" from an excellent "25" album reinforced that point. Largely emotive, Harry sounded great o n this and the dynamic spread and change in tempo were faithfully recaptured by the Esquire.

The speakers were very transparent and reminded me of other dipole designs, although they weren't so. Lateral images swept beyond the speakers and were not exagerated in any way. All throughout, it managed to maintain its sense of credibility.

The bass was tuneful and went down pretty low for its size although I do not recommend placing the speakers closer to the rear wall to reinforce the bass. Doing so will smear the images and cause a rise in the mid-bass area.

Even at low volumes, the low level detail was clearly distinguishable. It heightened the emotional bonding between player and audience, making both seem like one.

Throughout all the tracks on my test disc, the same results were derived. This is a musical, natural sounding speaker that will continuously impress you with its honest and pleasing sound. Perhaps its main negative is that it'll draw you away from the res t of you friend and family and keep you locked inside its sonic stranglehold for long durations. For me, well I love it and it's one of the very few products to really make me excited.

The Duntech Esquire D100 was driven be a Mirror Image 1.1 SB, 200 watt power amplifier, via an ME25 pre-amplifier driven by an Esoteric P-700 transport and D-7 D to A converter and placed about 4 feet from the back wall and 6 feet apart.