Late in 2019, we shared What Hi-Fi?'s spectacular review of the ProAc Response D2R loudspeakers. The ProAc Response D2R the ribbon tweeter version of the Response D2. Inspired by this review, What Hi-F? writer Ketan Bharadia hooked up some vintage ProAc Response Twos from 1989 to compare to the newest iteration of the speakers.
After an informative synopsis of the history of the Response speakers and the components that went into their construction over 30 years ago, Bharadia notes that the original Response Twos give the best sound staging when used away from any walls and with their offset tweeters positioned inside, rather than outside. He notices that the speakers don't have the range as modern speakers, either due to age or advancements in technology, but that their expressiveness has "the ability to make music sound like a performance rather than simply a recording."
Photo courtesy of What Hi-Fi?
Some of the highest praise comes when he decides to test the speaker's performance at lower volumes. Turning the dial down kept all the expressiveness and life of higher volumes, something that is rare in more modern speakers. In comparison to the most recent the iteration of the speakers, the Twos certainly take a backseat to the new Response D2Rs.
Swap to the new Response D2Rs and it’s clear that ProAc has made major advancements. Despite sharing much sonic DNA, the new speakers are cleaner, crisper and far more detailed. They deliver dynamics – both large and small scale – in a notably more emphatic manner and rhythms with considerably greater skill. Despite being a little smaller, the D2Rs dig far deeper in the bass than the originals, and with much more insight.
Bharadia finishes on a high-note pointing out that comparing the current model to the original doesn't take away from the experience of listening to a ProAc speaker. "None of these shortcomings diminish the ProAc Response Two’s appeal. We would expect no less after 30 years of evolution. The important thing is that the originals still sound good enough to make us want to listen to another song every time the one we’re enjoying finishes."
Though we don't carry the ProAc's original Response Two speakers, we encourage you to go to your local hi-fi shop and ask to try out the Response D2 with either the ribbon or the dome tweeter. But, if happen upon a set of vintage ProAc Response Two at a garage sale or antique store, know you won't be disappointed in the ProAc's amazing craftsmanship!