Special Forty

Cutting-edge acoustic technology in a classic Dynaudio design

The Special Forty anniversary speaker draws on 40 years of cutting-edge research – and brings it totally up to date with Dynaudio’s most celebrated techniques and technologies.

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Laurels aren’t for resting on

 

We still surprise ourselves. Some people might be content to sit back and be complacent about their successes after 40 years of constant innovation. We aren’t. In fact, we only get hungrier for new techniques and technologies.

That’s why we developed the Special Forty: we wanted to revisit those innovations and see what we’d do differently this time.

What you won’t find here is anything revolutionary. Instead, you’ll discover a look at our past – along with some special sneak-previews of the future.

The Special Forty is classic Dynaudio: all the craftsmanship, attention to detail and total love of authentic sound you’ve come to expect. It’s the connoisseur’s choice – a simple pair of passive hi-fi speakers. But it isn’t about looking back, misty-eyed, at past glories and leaving it at that. It’s about using those glories as a platform from which to launch our next set of breakthroughs.

Greatest hits… reimagined

We do compact speakers really well. We always have. So, as a nod back to classics including the Special One, the Special Twenty-Five, the Crafft and the Contour 1.3SE, we kept the Special Forty pure – if incredibly advanced.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an anniversary speaker if it didn’t include some of our greatest hits. But we haven’t just got the old band back together to trot out the same old stuff, unchanged. We’ve remixed, remastered and rearranged things to bring those old favourites into 2017 – and beyond.

That’s why it has one of our classic first-order crossover designs, incorporating our unique Phase Alignment and Impedance Alignment technologies. The crossover expertly marshals the input signal between the woofer and the tweeter – so each driver gets only the frequencies it’s supposed to, and can perform at its very best. Its specially selected components handle the impedance optimisation and, because both drivers have extended frequency ranges for even better overlap and integration, that performance borders on the mesmerising.

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The song remains the same

The Special Forty uses our proprietary MSP (Magnesium Silicate Polymer) material for its main driver. MSP delivers precisely the right combination of rigidity, damping and stability for the most faithful sound reproduction. And, unlike other cone materials, it doesn’t change over time – so your Special Forty speakers will still be singing just as sweetly come our next anniversary. 

The cone itself uses a painstakingly developed symmetrical excursion for even better midrange performance. Behind it sits our asymmetrical spider – our passive harmonic rectifier. It minimises upper harmonics to further tighten the performance and make it possible not only to pick out individual parts in a piece of music, but even individual instruments in an orchestra. (So now, finally, the Third Violin section can have its day in the sun.) And, like all our other MSP cones, it’s a one-piece design (you can tell by the special balance ribs around the central dust-cap). This gives it an incredibly solid connection to the voice-coil, as well as stabilising its form – which is crucial when you decide to turn it up to 11.

It all sits in our special AirFlow Basket – the bit that holds the whole driver motor securely in place in the cabinet. Its development was one of those ‘Eureka!’ moments our engineers seem to get a few times a week in Dynaudio Labs (you can often hear them cheering from across the road in our factory). We asked them to reduce internal reflections and increase air movement without compromising the basket’s stiffness or stability, and this genius design is what they came up with.

Dynaudio Special Forty - Grey Birch High Gloss - Lifestyle 04

Airflow is king

The new Esotar Forty tweeter takes air-movement to another level. It moves the air in typically sweet fashion in front of the DSR (Dynaudio Secret Recipe) precision-coated soft-dome, of course, but there’s a lot of engineering going on behind it as well.

Take the new pressure conduit. It’s a shaped vent in the back of the hybrid magnet system that allows more space in the rear chamber. That space lets us pack in more damping material and reduces back-pressure, while the shape itself optimises airflow coming backwards from the rear of the dome.

Then there’s the outlet; the aero-coupled pressure-release system. It sits underneath the voice-coil and reduces unwanted pressure build-up that could affect its movement. Stopping those pockets of air from forming reduces resonance – and less resonance equals even greater potential for detail.

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Flux optimisation and beam control

We love playing with the laws of physics. Physics wins in the end, of course (usually), but we almost always manage to bend it to our will along the way. Just like we have with our magnet systems.

The magnet turns electrical energy that flows from your amplifier into the voice-coil, into the physical back-and-forth movement of the driver diaphragm. These movements are very small and very fast (especially in the tweeter), so they need a lot of finesse if you want to hear all that luscious detail and emotion in your music.

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Behind the woofer

In the woofer, we’ve achieved that finesse in two ways: by placing the magnet inside the voice-coil, and by playing with magnetic energy itself.

Other manufacturers typically put it around the outside edge, leaving the voice-coil hollow. Putting the magnet inside keeps the magnetic energy (or flux) in the optimum position for getting itself wrapped around the voice-coil – where it should be. That means we can use more of its power for a given weight. It also reduces internal reflections because there’s less material for sound to bounce off inside the driver.

Second, we use a hybrid magnet for even greater control over the flux and voice-coil movement. An incredibly powerful neodymium rare-earth magnet provides the muscle and flings flux around with abandon, while a ferrite magnet tempers that enthusiasm by gently moving the flux back to exactly where it’s needed most. The result? Symmetrical excursion, a reduction in second-harmonics, and an even more accurate, authentic sound.

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2020 finish update

Dynaudio’s award-winning anniversary speaker, Special Forty, has been given a makeover with two stunning new finishes. Black Vine is a striking contrast of dark veneer shot through with vivid orange, while Ebony Wave is a captivatingly sinuous take on the classic hardwood.

Both veneers are man-made to Dynaudio’s specs, ensuring total consistency between pairs of speakers. And the level of finish possible is simply astonishing – they look as smooth as glass, and as lustrous as a piece of luxury antique furniture. Just as you’d expect from a nation of design-fanatics.

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Features

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Esotar Forty


The new Esotar Forty tweeter maximises airflow for even more refinement, while its low resonant frequency smooths the transition to the woofer

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17cm woofer


Our best 17cm woofer yet. It's based on what you'll find in the Confidence and Evidence ranges, and uses a sophisticated hybrid magnet system for lower distortion and higher power.

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First-order crossover


Phase Alignment and Impedance Alignment technologies keep this classic Dynaudio crossover topology firmly on top of its game.

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Special finishes


The Special Forty's exclusive Black Vine finish is a striking contrast of dark veneer shot through with vivid orange, while Ebony Wave is a captivatingly sinuous take on the classic hardwood. Both finishes are as striking as they are beautiful – and are unique to each speaker.

Technical specifications

  • Status Current
  • Segment Home
  • Range Editions
  • Type Bookshelf
  • Sensitivity (dB @ 2.83V/1m) 86
  • Lower Cutoff (Hz @ +/- 3 dB) 41
  • Upper Cutoff (kHz @ +/- 3 dB) 23
  • Box Principle Bass reflex rear ported
  • Crossover 2-way
  • Crossover Frequency (Hz) 2000 Hz
  • Crossover Topology 1st order
  • Tweeter 28 mm Esotar Forty
Product-Lineart-Heritage Special

Reviews

These are superb standmounters


The Special Forty wins best standmount speaker over £2000 for the second year running.

What Hi-Fi? Award

Truly outstanding sound performance


Go, get one! For the very first time, avforums has reviewed and awarded the Special Forty with 10/10 and a rare Best Buy Award – (the fourth award within the UK). The review takes you by the hand, presenting Dynaudio’s All-rounder in all its categories - design, sound quality and testing. The conclusion: “I’ve tried to find faults with the Special Forty, I really have. The problem is that it doesn’t have any.”
Our favourite quotes:

Best Buy, Award

Special Forty – the full package


Tonepublications.com just published a love letter to our Special Forty. The article reviews the speakers from top to toe, from unwrapping to music experience – the Special Forty’s got it all.

The bookshelf speakers are praised for their gloss-coated design and outstanding sonic performance, granting it an “chameleon-like” ability to adjust to different music styles. But most importantly, these speakers truly promise amazing quality at a comparatively low price, summing it up as “a beauty within the financial reach of so many who prioritize music in their lives.”

Tonepublications.com

You can’t help but to fall in love


The German hi-fi magazine, Audio Test, reviews the Dynaudio Special Forty anniversary speakers; falling in love with the stunning performance. We’ve collected our favourite quotes from the German review, translated them and shared them below:

The German hi-fi magazine, Audio Test

Special Forty loudspeakers = Editor's Choice


British Hi-Fi Choice reviews the Special Forty anniversary speakers, speaking words of praise and rewarding the speakers with a Editor's Choice award.

British Hi-Fi Choice

"These are superb standmounters"


In May, we introduced our Special Forty speakers to the world - celebrating our 40th anniversary. Since then the reviews have started to come in and we've been overwhelmed by the positive reception. This time around, it's What Hi-Fi?'s turn to give them a spin. And as we expected, they loved them. You can find selected quotes below and a link to the original review.

What Hi-Fi?

Special Forty review: “Hyper-real voice reproduction”


The German magazine imagehifi tests the Special Forty anniversary speakers in its latest issue. It’s another fantastic review of the Special Forty speakers, which is spread out over 10-pages in the magazine. We have translated our favourite quote for you to enjoy below.

The German magazine imagehifi

Chapeau and happy birthday: The Special Forty


The German magazine hifi&records has reviewed the Special Forty anniversary speakers and found them worthy of the magazine’s front page. And with it’s easy to understand when you consider how well the speakers were received: "The Special Forty is one of the very best compact speakers in the company’s forty years history." You can find our favourite quotes below – and don’t worry we’ve translated them to English.

The German magazine hifi&records

Worthy of its anniversary status


Best Buys Audio & AV from Australia reviews our Special Forty hi-fi speakers; the birch veneer and their sound reproduction garnered high praise. We’ve collected our favourite quotes from the review below:

Best Buys Audio & AV

Special Forty review in Darko


The Special Forty anniversary speaker impresses Darko for their sound and appearance in his review titled: "Beautiful furniture that sings: Dynaudio’s Special Forty." We have selected our favourite quotes from the well-written review below.

Darko

Special Forty review on cnet


Steve Guttenberg from cnet reviews Special Forty anniversary speakers. Read selected quotes from his review below.

Cnet

The Sydney Morning Herald reviews Dynaudio Special Forty


Rod Easdown reviews the Special Forty speakers for the Australian newspaper The Sydney Morning Herald. Find our favourite quotes from the review below and a link to the original review.

The Australian newspaper The Sydney Morning Herald

Special Forty wins Image HiFi's best speaker award


Special Forty wins Image HiFi's best speaker award
Every three years, major German High End magazine Image HiFi gives away an award for the best device in several categories.

Dynaudio's Special Forty wins this year's award for the best speaker.

At High End 2019, chief editor Uwe Kirbach handed over the award to Roland Hoffmann.

Image HiFi's best speaker award

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Find your nearest Dynaudio dealer and pay them a visit today, or sign up for a listening session.

    Special Forty

    Technical specifications

    • Status:
    • Segment:
    • Range:
    • Type:
    • Sensitivity (dB @ 2.83V/1m):
    • Lower Cutoff (Hz @ +/- 3 dB):
    • Upper Cutoff (kHz @ +/- 3 dB):
    • Box Principle:
    • Crossover:
    • Crossover Frequency (Hz):
    • Crossover Topology:
    • Tweeter:
    • Special Forty
    • Current
    • Home
    • Editions
    • Bookshelf
    • 86
    • 41
    • 23
    • Bass reflex rear ported
    • 2-way
    • 2000 Hz
    • 1st order
    • 28 mm Esotar Forty

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