Duevel Bella Luna Diamante Loudspeaker Page 2

The Bella Luna Diamantes, just like the company's smaller Venus loudspeaker [HFN Mar '20], offer an extraordinarily stable and consistent stereo 'image' almost regardless of how you slide across the sofa. However, they are necessarily more sensitive in the vertical plane than Duevel's smaller models with dome tweeters, so I preferred to sit with my ears level with the mouth of the horn if the treble was not to become too diffuse or the 'holographic' soundstage begin to constrict.

Get the height right, though, and the Bella Luna Diamantes perform an uncanny disappearing act. True, their omnidirectional nature means they do not image with rifle-bolt precision, as can some conventional designs. But once you have attuned your brain to the different way in which they present music, it really doesn't matter. In barely ten minutes, I found myself captivated by what I was hearing.

Typically, I approach horn-loaded loudspeakers with some degree of caution, but the Bella Luna Diamantes had none of the downsides that I've associated with such designs in the past. Treble was crisp, clean and detailed while the midrange was open and insightful, without any of the 'cuppy' distortion that I've heard from some 'big horns'.

In fact, the upper midrange and treble performance proved as atmospheric and detailed as many a top-flight 'directional' floorstander. Cymbals strikes were clean and snappy and had a pleasing softness to their decay. Even more enticing was the way these speakers revealed the subtlest of background effects. These are the incidental sounds that might otherwise lurk at the back of the soundstage but, heard through the Bella Luna Diamantes, were positioned clearly front and centre, if appropriately quieter than the main action.


Midband detailing was commendable too, while the speakers also pulled vocal performances to the fore. While not quite as brightly spotlit as I've heard through the best conventional designs, singers still stood clear of the cabinet and their finest vocal inflections captured with gusto.

As a result, perhaps, there was a tendency towards stridency with one or two female vocalists. Norah Jones was arguably a little too enthusiastic on 'Feelin' The Same Way' from her album Come Away With Me [Parlophone 7243 5 38609 2 9] just as Sarah McLachlan sounded somewhat more forward throughout 'Angel' [Fumbling Towards Ecstasy; Arista 07822-18970-2].

Yet when I fed the speakers one of my regular messy torture tracks – in this case The Corrs' 'Only When I Sleep' [Talk On Corners; Atlantic Recordings 7567-83051-2] – the Bella Luna Diamantes sailed through the song with clarity and a surprising level of sophistication.

I suspect the midband resonance that is visible in the loudspeaker's waterfall plot could be the cause of the stridency heard with the two artists mentioned.

Grand Slam
So, an insightful midrange nonetheless, and delicious treble too, but would the bass end of the Bella Luna Diamantes be as good? The answer is a resounding yes. The smaller Venus models punched well above their weight at the low-end and their bigger brothers continue this tradition in spades. They have a big, relaxed and, at times, almost sinuous low-end, yet are endowed with bags of detail, warmth and slam.

With 'Somewhere, Somebody' from Jennifer Warnes' The Hunter [Private Music 261974], the bass line was deep and lustrous, with the vocal 'pop' into the microphone present on the second verse just audible in the background – usually this is in subwoofer-only territory.

In fact, no matter what sort of low-end challenge I fed the Bella Luna Diamantes, they handled it with consummate ease. What's more, their superb bass response melded with the upper frequency ranges to generate a seamless performance on every occasion.

Hi-Fi News Verdict
The Duevel Bella Luna Diamantes show what careful design and considered updates can do for a loudspeaker's performance. Like the smaller Venus, their all-around presentation takes a little acclimatisation, but the enveloping soundscape is quite addictive. Add impressive bass, a fine horn tweeter and relative ease of positioning, and you have a design that is rewarding and entertaining companion.

Supplied by: Signature Audio Systems, UK
07738 007776