ProAc D28 Speakers Review

R

recruit

Guest
ProAc Response D28 Speakers Review

Introduction

Well ProAc has had a long standing in my H-Fi history and I have owned them previously in the past and they are one of the finest British made speaker, well to be found anywhere in fact, I'll never forget a demo I had with a pair of D80's with Meridian Mono blocks powering each speaker and the Meridian 808i Signature CD player spinning some tunes and boy what a sweet sound that was and I was mesmerised for many hours, one of the best demo's I have ever had, such a powerful sound and superb imaging, well I could only but dream as those speakers need some serious room to breathe, so unless I manage to find a warehouse to live in I probably will not be owning them.

My first proper Hi-Fi that I owned consisted of Cyrus electronics and then a pair of Response D15's so you could say I am accustomed to their refinement already, so let's move on to the D28's then.

Setting Up

As you can imagine with a speaker of this calibre they come finely boxed and well protected, in fact the boxes are rather large and I would suggest someone to help to get them out of the boxes and lifted into place as they weigh in at roughly 27kg each so not exactly light, but what I will say is that they are not hard to place or fussy in fact and that is thanks to the side vents at the bottom of each speaker which used to be used only in there higher end range and gives it's bass response more authority while making them easier to place, a slight toe in to the listening position and you are ready to go, well not forgetting to connect up the speaker wire and I use all Chord Cables while not cheap I do think they make a difference to my system and systems I have had in the past so I quite like there cables.

The quality of how these speakers are made is exemplary and the Cherry Finish that I chose really do look quite beautiful in place.

Once in place the bottom plinth has four screw holes for each speakers conical feet and there is 8 in total 4 for each speaker, which makes then stand very solid with NO movement at all.

The speakers L&R can be depicted by the ProAc Tweeter being nearer to each relevant speaker or with the grills on the ProAc badge nearer again to each relevant speaker.


With the manual that comes with the speakers ProAc are very clear in that once in place to leave them breathe for a few hours before firing them up, which is a pain as you really want to just get them going, but this time lets them settle into the room and they say that the ideal temperature is 16C.

The Sound

ProAc recommend at least 1 week of running in before any serious auditioning should be done so I have just been playing them every day at moderate levels to allow run in time, in fact ProAc state that it can take up to a couple of months before there at their best!

Coming from studio monitors previously limited to 80hz which required a sub to run full range, is not needed now as these are proper Hi-Fi Speakers with a frequency response rated from 20hz-30khz and therefore there forte is most definitely 2 channel material and they certainly do not disappoint in this area, and atm I am not using a sub even for my multichannel system.

My source is the trustee Oppo BDP83 using its 2 channel output which is fairly good tbh as I have been using more expensive Red Book CD spinners in the past and the Oppo holds its own, and as the preamp is the Arcam AV888 with the Rotel RMB-1575 powering the speakers , so a nice mixture but which work and gel really well together.

Material used is a variety as I do like lots of different types of music ranging from Tori Amos/James Taylor to Sting/Police and even the more up to date Tiesto but that is used for the Multichannel part of listening which I will get on to later.

Tori Amos's album The Beekeeper is one of my favourites atm and the imaging that these speakers create is absolutely spot on with an almost holographic 3D picture being created and each instrument being placed in its correct place within the soundstage, and with herself moving back and forth while singing which gives me goose bumps as it really is a joy to listen to, also very forceful in its presentation too.

Both James Taylors albums October Road and New Moon Shine are superbly recorded albums and the ProAcs do his incredible talent justice with a dynamic and rhythmic presentation and once again the imaging is superb and when listening I always set these 2 albums on to repeat as they deserve a second round (laughs).

The Police albums that I have are some of their very early stuff and also the Best Of, so going back almost to the punk era of the early eighties and the music certainly steps up a gear and the ProAcs keep up with excellent timing in fact they do not put a foot wrong and makes you want to crank the volume up a bit to get those feet moving. The speakers stop and start on a dime and I am amazed at how low these speakers actually go as they are only two way floor standers but the bass is very low indeed and with a lot of Authority, an album that I found which really does give good bass is nor elle and in particular track 4 which is quite stunning!

This nicely leads me on to Multichannel Music/Movies and most members will remember my old set up which was a full M&K system and MX5100 sub which was quite a beast and one of the best I have heard and owned period, I am now currently running a 5.0 system but have ordered an BK XXLS400 sub to temporarily fill in until I have the funds to purchase a more compatible sub to match my ProAc's, while the ProAcs go low they cannot break the laws of physics' and there cabinet sizes and 6.5inch mid bass driver cannot do what a proper sub woofer can.

I have plenty of SACD and DVD-Audio discs to listen to ranging from Steely Dan to War of the Worlds and these really need to be heard to be appreciated, my M&K's did a good job but the ProAcs really do do these discs justice with such a musical sound and more rhythm then the M&K's could of ever done, btw I am using the ProAc Studio centre speaker for my centre channel duties and it mates perfectly with the Response D28's keeping excellent tonal balance across the front soundstage.

Movies have also been a pleasure to watch and listen to with this new set up also and I have tried various films and Hero / Fearless and IP Man have been a few of my favourite movies to watch on the big screen lately which have excellent music and sound scores written for them, with subtle details being picked out which just sounds so right if you know what I mean.

I have had a few people over to listen to the speakers and all have come away impressed, a good one to use for demoing is the Dark Knight and have been using this as a marking point for people to judge and I honestly did get the question asked " so ok where is the sub? " and when I told them it was just the 28's doing all the bass as all other speakers are set to small and redirected bass to the main Left and Right speakers they could not believe how good they sounded and with such authority.


Conclusion

So to finish this mini review, I was very hesitant at first when selling my M&K speakers as I have enjoyed them for a good 5 years and would of hated to have made a mistake and choosing wrongly but thankfully I have not, I suppose as I am getting older I am preferring music more than I used to and I think the ProAc D28's are the speakers I have been looking for.
As I have only had them a short time they are supposed to improve even more as they bed into my system so plenty of more listening to be had and it will also be interesting to see what a sub brings to the mix, so will update this review with an extended version to follow.
The only negative point i can honestly give to these speakers is there ordinary looks other than that they really are star performers.
 
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Steve413

Distinguished Member
Nice review recruit, cannot help thinking that your previous speaker system would have handled movies better ?

Nice to read your review............
 
R

recruit

Guest
Yes indeed Slingo, I am getting old and am listening to a lot of music of late but my previous M&K setup was an absolute beast for movies!!
 

Steve413

Distinguished Member
I have not heard any ProAC speakers for a long time now.
The finish and build quality look first class.

I like you love to listen to music.
Great that you have done a review, might think about doing something similar in the future...........
 
R

recruit

Guest
The ProAc D28's are really sweet to listen to with a sublime sound, I used to have the D15's many years a go and always wanted the D25's, but ended up with the D28's and am very pleased with the sound and have since added a Martin Logan sub which matches with them perfectly.
 

Steve413

Distinguished Member
Sounds like a very well put together system.............would love to have a listen to sometime..........
 

MJeeves

Well-known Member
Nice review Recruit. :smashin:

I have the PROAC Response D2's (monitors on sandfilled Target R2 stands). :thumbsup:

I have a Proac Centre One as well. Not quite so sold on that though. :confused:
 
R

recruit

Guest
I use the studio centre and it works very well indeed with mine, worth a try?
 

paulbfd

Novice Member
Looking at your picture they appear quite tucked in to the corners, are no adverse effects with this at all as they have the side port?
 
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Member 518284

Distinguished Member
I remember hearing these speakers not long after you got them John and they sounded really lovely as I remember, very musical with excellent depth to them.

The nice thing is you still have them and they now sound even better :smashin:

lovely review John btw
 
R

recruit

Guest
Looking at your picture they appear quite tucked in to the corners, are no adverse effects with this at all as they have the side port?
Hi, the left speaker is approximately 12" away from the side wall and I also thought this would be a problem but it is not, the bass remains controlled and taught, infact there is quite a lot of bass considering it is only a 2 way speaker.
 
R

recruit

Guest
I remember hearing these speakers not long after you got them John and they sounded really lovely as I remember, very musical with excellent depth to them.

The nice thing is you still have them and they now sound even better :smashin:

lovely review John btw
Cheers Allan and that was when I first got them, they have improved over time.
 

Member 116841

Distinguished Member
Nice review John.

I remember when you were selling your M&K and thinking to myself your were stark raving mad, especially after liking them so much, but some people's listening habits move on, and things change.

I can understand why you like them so much. Of all the different manufacturer's speakers we keep, three brands prove extremely popular, one of them being ProAc, and in particular the D18 and D28 models. I don't think I've ever hosted a dem where the listener hasn't liked ProAc - even if they've bought something else! People just find them extremely listenable, and while they require decent amplification, they aren't too fussy in this regard.

We've had the Response D40R's in for a few months now, and they've carried on the ProAc tradition. I heard the Carbon 6's at the Manchester show last year, and came away ordering the album I heard on them because it sounded so good (Thirteenth Step by A Perfect Circle). We recently took delivery of the Response K6's, which, while almost £10k cheaper than the Carbon 6's, sounded better (always sounds better in store though - I really don't want to hear the Carbon 6's or 8's in store!!). The amount of detail and delicacy to mid and high frequencies is stunning, with no hint of any boxiness at all, producing an image with plenty of depth and transparency, with bass performance seeming to rival that of the KEF Reference 205/2's - the whole design just sounds like it's one, rather than being made up of several parts.

Since the introduction of the Studio D140 MkII's, Studio 115's, Response D18's, and Response D40R and upwards, ProAc have gained a huge amount of momentum in the two channel market, and that looks to continue. Whatever price point people are looking at, at least one ProAc model should be on their shortlist.
 
R

recruit

Guest
Thanks for the feedback David and the new range introduced by ProAc just proves that they are keeping there range flexible and for every budget although I would love to hear there Carbon 6/8's which I bet are amazing, I just got a new car for my 40th Birthday (which is a bit early) but the car is still less than the new Carbon 8's :eek:
 

Member 116841

Distinguished Member
The 6's were nice, but I'd be happy with the K6's - a bit cheaper too! :D

If ever you're passing, pop in - they sound great on the end of Cyrus, or even Onkyos lovely new pre/power.
 
R

recruit

Guest
I'd love to David as Frank Harvey's looks like a great Hi Fi and AV shop as there is not too many good ones near me anymore :(

It is also amazing how given time the D28's have improved and sound even better after a good few months of heavy listening and I bet the D38's replacement must sound good with those new carbon drivers.
 
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Member 116841

Distinguished Member
After reading that back, it looks like I meant the treble was faster and more responsive, which I suppose it would be from a ribbon, but I was referring to the bass and midrange with the new pressed Kevlar drivers.

Just wanted to clear that up :)
 
R

recruit

Guest
After reading that back, it looks like I meant the treble was faster and more responsive, which I suppose it would be from a ribbon, but I was referring to the bass and midrange with the new pressed Kevlar drivers.

Just wanted to clear that up :)
Thats it you have given me upgraditis already :rotfl:
 

GlennC

Active Member
Hi, the left speaker is approximately 12" away from the side wall and I also thought this would be a problem but it is not, the bass remains controlled and taught, infact there is quite a lot of bass considering it is only a 2 way speaker.
Hi could you tell me how close to the rear walls you have the speakers, great setup btw

Thanks

Glenn
 
R

recruit

Guest
Hi Glenn, I have my speakers approx 1ft out away from the wall and the bass is nice and taught with no overhang, I was looking originally at the now discontinued D38's but they would of been too much for my room and am pleased I took my dealers advice as the D28's sound sublime in my room.
 

Scott_Mac

Distinguished Member
There's always been something about Proac i've liked... nearly bought some Tablette Reference 8 Signatures, 1SC's etc but always somehow ended up with something else!

Not a cheap speaker upgrade there but i'm damn sure for music they're a big step up.

I have visions of a crazy AV System based around Neat Ultimatum's at some point... which should be expensive!
 

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