ProAc Response D40/R – simply stunning sound


As is the way with ProAc, it’s going to be rather hard to get excited about the D40/R speakers based on their looks and specification. But as we learned with the D18s on web page 64, the fairly small British manufacturer is capable of producing extraordinary sound from instead ordinary-looking boxes.

Take a closer look at the D40/Rs and there are a number of details that might hint at something a lot more than ordinary. There’s a ribbon tweeter in the first place – a 6 x 1cm unit that provides the presenter the R’ in its name. You can buy a standard D40 with a conventional soft-dome tweeter for approximately 250 less compared to the D40/R, but in our minds the ribbon is worth the extra – more on that later.

Wide choice of finishes

And while we’re discussing optional extras, bear in mind that our review sample is modelling a rosewood veneer, which stretches the price right up to 7350. It’s lovely, no doubt, but we’ve also seen the standard cherry, maple, mahogany and black ash finishes, and they’re also exemplary.

Look in the bottom for the speaker and also you’ll also notice a downward-firing reflex port . The design lets air escape in a far more consistent way and make the speakers less fussy about placement (identify panel).

But naturally oahu is the sound quality that really matters, and these fairly straightforward speakers are thrilling. The ProAcs are with the capacity of huge dynamic swings and massive amount levels.

Some might desire a bit more attack but, while slightly sweetened, the noise from the D40/Rs still has plenty of drive and excitement to go with the heft, and that is affected no end by an excellent of bass reproduction that achieves the tricky combination of depth and agility.

Detail and insight are also exceptional. It indicates that even the most complicated tracks (think along the lines of Radiohead’s 15 Step) are assembled with pinpoint precision. And yet the ProAcs never sound overly clinical – the musical message comes first, and that means you can relax and enjoy the entire presentation rather than feel pushed into analysis.


That amount of transparency means any alterations in the body can be noticed, and weaknesses will undoubtedly be exposed, but because the ProAcs are so revealing, the task of perfecting your system is made easier and (if you are into that sort of thing) more fun. That caveat apart, the ProAcs are practically flawless. If you’ve got the money this is one way to invest it.

Get power-hungry

The 90dB/W/m rating means the D40/Rs are sensitive sufficient to be driven by relatively low-powered amps but, although that would return perfectly adequate results, it would be squandering the real talent these speakers need certainly to offer. We’d recommend going down the high-powered – still high-quality – route in the event that you possibly can, particularly if you’re siting the ProAcs in a particularly ample room. These speakers are designed for massive dynamic shifts and extremely loud volume levels, also it would be a shame for many qualities to be restricted to your electronics.

Easy-peasy positioning

They are big speakers and a decently large space is necessary not only to avoid them searching daft, but and to make certain they sound their most useful. So long as they have got that bit of room, it’s then simply an instance of tweaking the total amount of toe-in in terms of your paying attention position to fit your personal preference for balancing stage width and focus. And that is about it.


Type Floorstander Sensitivity 90dB/W/m Impedance 4 ohms Max energy 250W Biwirable Yes Finishes 6 Dimensions (hwd) 120 x 21 x 34cm

Rating ★★★★★

FOR: Powerful dynamics and weighty presentation; fabulous detail and rhythm; flawless build AGAINST: Won’t sound their finest without top-class electronic devices and a little bit of space

VERDICT: Epitomising ProAc’s ‘simple design and simply stunning sound’ approach, the D40/Rs are wonderful

The Rosewood veneer finish costs an extra 1225, but there are five other, equally smart colours available.

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    ProAc Response D40 is still the best floor standing speaker under $3000.

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