B&W VS Dynaudio .........

I've grown bored with the sound of my B&W n803's and was considering replacing them with with Dynaudio contour 3.3's. I was wondering if anyone could tell me if the 3.3's would mate well with my other components.

Marantz SA14
KAV 250a (I intend to replace this with 250mc's and run cast)
Transparent Reference interconnects & Synergistic Research resolution Reference speaker cables.

I am open to suggestions regarding equipment if someone cares to enlighten me.

Thanks in advance,

First of all the answer to you question is: Yes

I would also wait until you can upgrade to either the 350Mc or the new 450Mcx. The sound quality will be MUCH better.

Regarding speakers, although the Dynaudio's are excellent speakers, if you really want to be dazzled, there are two pairs of B&W800's (not "N")for sale on this site at a great price. They will blow away both speakers mentioned here, and all or most other speakers.
Can you explain why you are bored with the B&W's? That might help others make suggestions. I have found the 803 to be a wonderful speaker, especially when driven by Mark Levinson products. Have you thought of keeping the speakers and trying different amplifiers?

I've owned a couple different pairs of B&W's over the last few years and have been relatively pleased with them in various applications. However, the B&W's tend to have thier own sonic signature (as is true with most components)and it is that in which no longer appeals to me like it used to.


Hey 2001impala,

I've heard that the Dyn' 3.0's sound a little better overall than the 3.3's. Just my .02.......John
Thanks John, I might give those a listen.
You might try a few different things to improve your sound.

Dynaudio is very good (might even be better), but might give you a similar cool, dry sound quality as your B&Ws -especially with your Krell system.

First, I would recommend replacing your Krell preamp with perhaps a good tube preamp. Although it would seem to be the best mate to your Krell amps, I find that Krell preamps are not as musical as many others (i.e. Hovland, ARC, CJ, Rogue Audio, or even the Adcom GFP-750, etc.).

Or you could go with a simple approach and consider the BV Audio A300S integrated amplifier. It doesn't look too fancy, but it should improve your sound over your current Krell system -and the price is outstanding (well under $2k) for the sound that you get (extremely neutral from top to bottom). They also have a very fancy new amplifier that I guess is just now been released.

Or you could move up to Clayton Audio pure Class A solid-state. These will easily outperform Krell, and pretty much anything else out there that I have yet heard -tube or solid state. A preamp upgrade from your current Krell is recommended here as well.

Then, if you still want to upgrade your speakers, I would have you consider the Silverline Audio Sonata II or the Sonatina II, or even the Corona II (also, the ProAc Response 2.5 is also one of my favorites) depending upon how much bottom end extention and power you want. Easily outperforming (musically) similarly priced B&W models. Superb voicing and excellent musicality, not to mention good looks, make Silverline a must hear.

Authorized dealer for Clayton Audio and Silverline Audio.
It somewhat depends on your taste in music, but if you like Rock / jazz / R&B, Dynaudio driven by Krell is excellent, IMO. I have the Contour 3.0's driven by the FPB-200c, absolutely love it. The upgrade from the KAV-250a (which I owned before the FPB) was a really nice one, though I thought the KAV-250 was an excellent performer for the price. Depending on your budget, you may want to look into the Confidence line, though I wouldn't suggest you do so unless an FPB-class amp is in your near future. Dynaudios really like the juice behind them, but if you provide it they will reward you.
I would first suggest the changing amp as some other people suggest. I think (my opinion - but changes regularly) B&W are more revealing of amplification than they are of themselves.
Krell is great with B&W but maybe lacks the interest factor. Try a tube pre or Musical Fidelity SS.
You could look at other speakers as a second option. As a B&W owner, the only speakers I like better than B&W are ATC. There are both active and passive 50's. Try to demo these speakers. I can describe sound if you want.
Funky post W! very complete.
I have the B&W N804's with Levinson and I have been listening to different speakers because I feel I could be missing something or I just might be getting bored. Every time I listen to different speakers I return home and I hear just how good the B&W's sound. I have been moving my speakers back and forth, in and out, toe-in, toe-out after every adventure and this has opened up my listening experiance and respect for the Nautilus Line. I was at a private listening of the Wisdom speakers, I went on a road trip to hear the new Wilson Sophias, but the speakers that made me think about changing(and I'm still thinking) are the Revel Ultima Studios. Peace and good Listening, Pat.
Pat, I think what really bugs me is the sound it's self seems accurate. However, I've yet to hear a demo where, regardless of position, acoustic treatments or associated equipment, heard a pair that imaged well. It is these subtle inner details in which I find myself longing for.

Happy Listening,


Over the years I've considered buying 801 or 802's but found the sound a bit "polite". B&W have one of the best midranges on any speaker I've heard, but the high-end is too rolled off for my liking. Every time I consider purchasing a pair I can't help but feel within a year or two I'd grow bored with them. It's almost like they intentionally conceal the detail in favour of a smooth, non-fatiguing mid-range. 90% of the music IS focused in the mid-range so B&W design trade-offs make sense, but I just find them uninvolving. No toe tapping going on. It's worth noting my biases too; I've not heard a traditional box speaker that sounds as musically satisfying as a planar speaker. I would suggest you give electrostatics and ribbons a listen, they may be just what your ears are longing for. Best, Jeff
I looked at you system and a great one it is.I have been a B&W fan for some time,but I also liked my Martin Logans for different reasons. Both a very good with different strenghts. I would bet that what you are missing comes from the cd player. I use to use the sony and thought it was good,until I tried the Theta Miles (bal). My wife dances to my system!!!!!!!

I recently upgraded my CD source(Electrocompaniet) and preamp(Pass Labs X1). My Nautilus speakers sound profoundly more involving and interesting. I keep sneaking in for another listen late at night. This is not just a new sound, it is sweet and compelling music - system almost disappears.

I am quite certain that a change in speakers would NOT have produced what I am currently hearing from my system.

BTW, on the question of speaker upgrade, I have come to the same conclusion that Psjulian has ... Revel.
Damon, I have been told by a very trusted dealer friend that Verity Parsifals(I hope I spelled it correctly) are great sounding speakers. As for Jeff, the Wisdom's are planar speakers but they require doubling the amps and that could be expensive. I like the sound of the Marten Logan Odysey. Any suggestions on planars would be welcome. Back to B&W I like the detail I'm hearing and I'm trying to understand, this is why I will go to as many dealers or other music lovers homes to learn more. I will be going to any Michigan audio clubs within reason to make friends in this hobby and learn as well as share my experiance. With sites like this and good folks like Jeff and yourself this hobby can be fun!! Peace and good listening, Pat.
Hi Damon,

It's true! It's difficult to find a floorstanding loudspeaker system that images in the same league as a good minimonitor, while still giving you the dynamics, bass extention, and overall size of the presentation.

Also, I read in this thread that planar magnetic speakers are the answer. Perhaps. They do image very well, however, you have to be in their narrow "sweet spot" to get the benefits of their capabilities. As soon as you stand up, the highs are muted, or move out of the ideal area, and you've lost much of what makes them so special. Should you go this route, Magnepan has been offering a starter program that can get you into a pair of their entry-level MMGs for only $550.00/pr. delivered. Add a good, quick sub (i.e. Hsu Research or REL), and you have a very well-rounded, musical system for the buck.

With that said, if you want "your cake and eat it too", the two least expensive floorstanding models that will accomplish this are the Silverline Audio Sonatina II and the ProAc Response 2.5. You should be impressed with either one of these examples. And with a good tube preamp, you might be done upgrading (well, at least for awhile -such is the audiophile). ;-)

H a p p y L i s t e n i n g !

Authorized dealer for Silverline Audio and Hsu Research.

Best regards,

I too am a happy listener with Parsifal Encores, which are essentially 2-way monitors with bass pedestals.
The key to fine imaging with ANY speaker system is mostly in sensitivity and response-matching of the driver pairs.
That simple! I was surprised to hear that the lowly but VERY carefully-matched Spendor 3/5 imaged much better than N803, and almost as well as my Encores (which have archived driver pairs matched to +/-0.25 dB! This costs money, folks!)
The B&Ws are cranked out by the hundreds with a driver sensitivity production range that's financially acceptable to B&W. If you have consecutive serial numbers then that may indicate pair-matching, but I doubt it. If not, then you simply have a pair with fairly differing tweeters. Nautilus series is voiced fairly brightly, with a recessed midrange. As tweeters are the most difficult driver to manufacture within a tight sensitivity range, it's a likely bet that you have two N803s that simply lie fairly far apart within their tweeter sensitivity ranges.
OR: your sidewalls are too asymmetric? Try swapping the L & R positions. Better? Worse? Will probably be one or the other, again indicating a difference in tweeter sensitivity.
Driver-matching is an expensive proposition. Whereas I'm not an industry insider, the companies that tightly control driver pairs include verity Audio, Snell, Revel, and probably many others at the high end. The fact that Boston Acoustics manages to tightly control its tweeter production is an efficiency marvel! Too bad their midranges sound like crap....
Also, realize that the N803 (like all Nautilus) require a long listening distance to allow the woofers to cohere with the midrange, as they're crossed at a highish 400Hz. That shouldn't affect the soundstaging as much as the tweeter variability, however. Play around with your sidewalls and speaker positions before you try amp changes....Good Luck.
Hey Damon,

I've got my Dynaudio 1.3MkII's driven by a Plinius SA-250 MkIV and the sound is magic. I plan to move the 1.3's to rear ch duty and purchasing the 3.0's for the fronts. I'v heard the 3.0's with the same amp and they are a match made in heaven but I don't feel that an amp upgrade would mean as much as a cdp upgrade would. I have the Metronome CD2V Signiture which sports a tube output stage. I love this cdp. It is just so smooth. I feel with the Dyn's and a better cdp and you would be set.......John

Not being familar with your room or your musical preference it's hard to narrow down specific models, not to mention interaction with your gear.. I've owned Apogee Duetta II ribbon speakers (God I wish I had never sold them), and currently own Martin Logan Quest Z and Aerius speakers in two different two-channel systems. Planars need lots of current, no getting around it; I love my BATVK500 amp with my Quest Z's. Many feel there's a narrow sweet spot with electrostatics, I find it quite the contrary. The relative height of the panels mean they sound damned good whether you're sitting or standing, but like any good speaker they require some trial-and-error to get the right postioning in the room. Once set up properly they really are special transducers, and like most fine things in life are an acquired taste. If you'd like details on my systems please email me and I'll send the list of gear that I use that got me about as far as I feel I need to go in this crazy hobby (for now).
Please see my review of Dynaudio compared to my B&W at this site: Click This
Agree strongly you should move forward with the Dynos and never look back. The 3.3's will walk all over the Nautilus. I listened to the 3.3's when I had 801N's and they were an eye opener to say the least. I had moved up from 805N to 803N to 801N to no more N shortly after I heard the Dynos. Nautilus is overpriced midfi IMHO that just doesn't have the detail, openness, tranparency and "aliveness" of other speakers, like the Dynaudios, Wilson, et al.

The only other thing I would recommend is wait and save up for the 350mcx's. It will be well worth the wait.