B&W 805D vs. Dynaudio Contour S1.4

I've been listening to the 805D at a local deal and have been very impressed by its overall balance and richness. I'm also interested in the Dynaudio S1.4, but haven't been able to compare them side by side.

Has anyone been able to do this? I'm very curious as to how they stack up.

Contour S1.4 mainly suffers from poorish tonal (too-bassy balance).. This is a standmount designed for bass freaks. But still slightly better than 805S, overall. Not heard the 805Di yet.

If you could afford Confidence C1, this is the way to go.
Thanks for the feedback Zormi. I can afford the C1's, but I can't get past how they look. I want a speaker that sounds great and that is also aesthetically pleasing. Am I asking too much??
As a C1 owner I have to say they are not the prettiest speakers around. That being said I did not buy for looks. Having heard the 805's a couple of years back I thought they were great but wasn't sure. Couldn't put my finger on it. I only had about a 1/2 hr audition. Later I heard the Sonus Faber Cremora Auditor 'M' and thought they were even better than the 805's. A little more laid back but still good sounding. Then when I heard the C1's it took me less than 10 min to know they were right for my ears (not eyes though). The bass was amazing - midrange was the most natural I had ever heard - and the high end beat the B&w's hands down - again very natural. The imaging and transparency was unbelievable. I did also at 1 time consider the 803 and the 802 - too big for my room though.

All that being said I never compared the C1's to any less Dyn speaker for I did not want to price justify and go less expensive to wonder a year or 2 down the road - should have I gotten the C1's. Been there. I sometimes still wonder after hearing the excite X12 and X22's but I'm not sorry.

That's my opinion. Would I do it again if I could go back in time? In a heartbeat!! BTW the looks grew on me.
Forgot to mention I heard the X12's in Feb and the X22's last month. I have had the C1's for 2 years now.
I'd choose the Contour S 1.4. A very refined speaker, smooth sounding with an incredible bass response. Relatively forgiving for bad recordings for long term listening without listener's fatigue.
You should consider the Usher Be-718s as well. Looks good and sounds great :)
Thuhaile said right words...

I've listened the 718Be a year ago at dealer's demoroom. Impressive speaker. There were some rumours about diamond-based upgrade of 718 tweeter, towards 718Di or so..
Dynaudio is the way to go. C1 is one of the best standmount speakers regardless price.
is C1 capable of separating,defining intruments during the orchestra,rock band play withuot sound compression ?
I heard the C1's at a show two years ago and they were stunning. A friend who was there with me purchased a set as he too was quite taken. Unfortunately he couldn't duplicate that great performance, for whatever reason.

I haven't heard the latest series of the 800 series, such as the 805D in question, but the little I have read seems very promising.

I have never heard the S1.4's.
Stratguy, both are great speakers and has their own personalities and strength. IMO, the 805s' are easier to drive than the 1.4s. It takes a little bit more effort in choosing components to really make the 1.4s sing (typical of most higher end Dynaudio speakers). Best is to listen to them side by side with your existing components.
If you like the 805 type of sound, by all means, stay with that.
Dynas are more on the warmish, darker side of things. And as what people mentioned here, requires a lot more power compared to the b&ws.
Tubes need not apply to Dyns unless its high in wattage
Amazing speakers mentioned above. I have lived with the 805Di since their release in March of this year. I also recently picked up a pair of the 802D's. For different reasons, I do not see letting go of my 805Di's for some time... they're a really different speaker and impressive for their size. The re-structuring of the drivers and addition of the diamond tweeter are less then subtle over prior B&W designs.
Thank you to all for taking the time to provide feedback. Unfortunately, a side-by-side comparison is not possible. I live in Scottsdale and the hi-end audio scene is dismall here. None of the local B&W retailers have 805D's available and Dynaudio is nowhere to be found. I have done extensive listening of the 805D in another state. It's been quite some time since I had a chance to listen to the Dynaudio setup. My instinct tells me the the 805D is a better fit for me. Later today, I will be checking out one more speaker - the Wilson Benesch ARC. Once I've auditioned the ARC, I'll make a decision. Thanks again for the feedback.
Stratguy, what are your electronics?
If your in Scottsdale, there is an awesome dealer for Dynaudio called Dedicated Audio.
Thanks Stricken, I didn't know that. I will look them up.

My system is comprised of a Jeff Rowland Continuum 500 integrated amp, an LP12 turntable with Graham 2.2 arm and Dynavector DV20XL cartridge. I am using the Linn Linto phono preamp, but my Rowland also has the built-in phono stage. I haven't tried the Rowland phono as yet, but I'd like to go that route as I'm trying to sumplify my system from a real estate perspective. My CD player is a Linn Ikemi.


I have heard the 1.4 vs. the C1 in my room with my gear side by side on Dynaudio Stand 4's.

The C1 was noticeably better in the bass and much better in detail and transient response than the 1.4. The comparison was so convincing I would save up to buy the C1's and forgo the 1.4's.

I also had the Special 25's which had amazing bass for their size.
IMO S 1.4 is much more better in bass department than c1.

Rock music will tell you truth.
A few years back when I was looking for monitors I auditioned the 805D and the S1.4. IMO the Dynaudio is by far the better speaker. Much more dynamic, the tweeter is better, the build quality is much more solid.

Not that the B&W is bad, it's a good sounding speaker - but I think the Dynaudio has a lot more to offer. They do require more power, and they are not as room friendly due to the rear port. They can be too bass heavy if the room is too small. If there is enough room, then the bass hits hard without any bloat, it is awesome.
"A few years back when I was looking for monitors I auditioned the 805D and the S1.4." -Goatwuss

The 805D is a recent model. There's no way you auditioned it "a few years back".

I actually think the 805Di is the better speaker of the two. I have listened to them, in different systems though.
Stratguy - What ever happened with the Wilson Benesch ARC demo?

I found the Benesch to be somewhat sterile compared to other speakers that I have been auditioning and I also found them to be fatiguing. The dealer said he had never had them described that way, so perhaps I'm in the minority. I ended up buying Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor M's with matching stands. They blew me away - in my estimation, they are one of the best monitors available.

Just my .02 cents

Thanks for sharing your opinion on the WB's SG. I'm a fan of WB, one of my favorite speaker brands, actually. One man's sterile / clinical, is another man's clean and insightful... but the fatiguing part is a head scratcher.

When I listened to the Auditor M's, they were quite light on bass compared to 805Di and ARC, and I can't say that they grabbed me in any way. I'm not knocking your choice, it's just interesting how each of in this hobby can take away such different experiences with the same speakers. But then that's why it's good that there are so many different choices.

Enjoy your new toys!

can you please expand a bit your comments regarding the differences you found between the 805Di and the Auditor M? thanks in advance.
Jdec - Sorry for the late response, I don't frequent these forums and get no notification of new activity.

Anyway, the Auditor M's were neutral from about 70Hz up through the treble, but they are a small speaker and sounded like a small speaker in the bass. Other than being well-behaved from the mids on up, the detail, imaging, soundstaging, and treble extension all seemed satisfactory rather than exceptional in any way.

The 805Di on the other hand had exceptional detail and imaging, and bass deep enough that I would not be left wanting when listening to most music. The trade-off being a bit of disconnect / character mismatch between the sound of the midrange and tweeter and some mildly unpleasant sharpness in the high treble.
"A few years back when I was looking for monitors I auditioned the 805D and the S1.4." -Goatwuss

The 805D is a recent model. There's no way you auditioned it "a few years back".

Sorry guys, it must have been the 805S that I was talking about. I strongly preferred the S1.4 to them as in my auditions they had much more dynamic range.
HEard em both the B&W imaging blows the Dynaudio away
Imaging is only one of the aspects of the sonic reproduction, not the most important imo...
I have heard the 1.4 and the new 805Diamond, both with an extended listen. I own C1s. I think they are all great speakers, however the 805Di and the C1s are better than the 1.4s. I listened to the 805D with musical fidelity m6i amp and the Krell evolution and they were very impressive - I preferred it the Krell - like Dynaudio they seem to like a lot of SS power. I have plinius tautoro+SA103 with the C1s and I felt that my home system was preferable to me, however, I have found that the C1s took a long time to burn in. I prefer the bass from the C1 to the B&W. In Australia the B&W are a fair bit cheaper than the C1s. Also, my wife really likes the sound and looks of the C1s so that's a factor for us.