Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The new Dayton Audio B452: Disassembly and on axis frequency response graphs.

The new Dayton Audio B452: Disassembly and on axis frequency response graphs. 

The Dayton Audio B652 has been one of the go to ultra budget bookshelf speakers. It is not a perfect speaker by any stretch, but wt it's price point it is hard is near impossible to beat. And for those looking for 2.0 set up that beats a sound bar or desktop PC speakers; it fits those requirements pretty well.

Dayton has been pretty active over the recent months with the release of the B652 Air, the T652 Tower speakers, and these smaller B452 bookshelf speakers I am writing about now.

So how do these smaller, B452 bookshelf speakers compare to their older and larger sibling? Well I have not been able to do a real sit down and AB listening test. Time has not been on my side and the left channel on my AudioSource Amp One is beginning to go out on me. So at this time the best I can do it some measurements and disassemble pictures.

Overall fit and finish matches the rest of the current Dayton offerings just fine. However there was one new addition to the B452 that was rather interesting. That is the addition of a slightly more complex crossover. Now, I don't know anything about crossover design, but this new one includes a resistor in addition to single capacitor. So some different sort of black magic is happening.

After giving these some time to break in, the first thing I noticed is that there are really inefficient speakers. You will have to crank the volume pretty high to get much usable output. After giving them a through listen, it's that usable output that is a problem.

To make it short, these are bad. Like really really bad. Dayton should not be proud of these. It's hard to imagine these being used by anyone. If you need small speaker with a 4 inch driver, go straight to the Infinity Primus p143, if you can't find those, the Micca MB42x will probably be a good choice.

Comparing the Dayton B452 to the Teac LS-H265 just isn't fair, Granted that Teac's are now about 5x the price of the Dayton's, but the Teac's are one of the great examples of budget options out there.

Album of Dayton Audio B452 disassembly

Album of Dayton B452 and B652 close mic driver graphs & 1m

So what can we gather about the new B452? Let's take a look at the graphs and see.

Dayton B652 and B452 outdoors @1 meter

Top = B652, Bottom = B452

There is a very large difference in speaker efficiency here. 84 dB 1W/1m for the B462 vs 87 dB 1W/1m for the B652.You can see that these two speakers share very little similarities after 1.5khz. The B452 begins it's drop off in output as early as 150hz.

Where as the B652 has hits awful cone break up at 4lkz, the B452 has a large dip in the response between  ~1.5khz and 5khz. This is also very clearly seen in the individual driver graphs that follow.

Dayton B652 and B452 outdoors close mic

From these graphs we can see that the mid plays relatively flat from 100hz to ~1.5khz (I know nothing about cross over design, but the B452 introduces a resistor into the mix, instead of the B652's single capacitor on the tweeter)

But is that early and step decrease in output on the mid and fact that the tweeter doesn't gain any real steam until 5khz that seems to have causes the significant dip between  ~1.5khz and 5khz as seen in the 1m graphs.

The cone break up appears to be pushed higher up into the 5-6khz range.

That tweeter also seems to be spiting some fire after 10khz. The tweeters in the B452 look the same as the tweeters in the B652 but at least via measurements, the sure don't seem to perform the same. Something is different.

Dayton B652 outdoors close mic

Seen above is the same type of measurement done for the B652, There were done at the some time as the B452 just to eliminate as many variables as possible.


These speakers are bad and Dayton should feel bad. Spend your money on Keystone Light instead.