Those with long, long memories might recall the original Darius. No, not the one from early Persian history; instead, think of the Darius from early Roksan history. That first Darius loudspeaker was all hard-edged black ash cabinet, tweeter on springs, and black metal stand that encased the whole standmount speaker; short of shoulder-pads and carrying round an overstuffed Filofax, you couldn’t get more 1980s if you tried.
Skip forward to 2014 and you couldn’t get a more different Darius. OK, it’s still a standmount two-way, but that’s where the constants end. The new Darius S1 now features a G2N ribbon tweeter (made by Aurum Cantus) of extremely high performance, coupled to a similarly high-grade 140mm long-throw bass driver designed for Roksan. This last comes complete with metal spoke grill to keep prying little fingers at bay. The crossover features some quite tasty components (Mundorf polyprop capacitors, air core inductors, and metal film resistors), and terminates with some high-grade bi-wire terminals. There are two small rear-firing ports.
The stand is now an MDF box with a cable management system to the rear and sits on three large spikes (two of which are on a metal plate). The loudspeaker is bolted to a top plate on the stand. This looks good, but the rear cable management block sets the last few centimetres of the stand behind the speaker, as if fitted incorrectly. This isn’t helped by the tapered stand and the slight back-tilt. However, it looks a lot more elegant in the flesh, and gives the Darius S1 the appearance of seeming shorter than it really is (because it looks as if you are looking down on it). This helps in making the loudspeaker more domestically friendly.