Danish loudspeakers: Dynaudio & System Audio

Recently, I've auditioned a pairs of Dynaudio Focus 110, I'm pretty impressed with the sound, but if I choose to buy the Focus 160, I'm a bit worry on the bass resonance problem due to rear ported design, some Dynaudio users report such problem too. I'm living in a medium room, where space is very limited, thus I'm considering to audition a pairs of System Audio Mantra 5, same Danish loudspeaker design, seem well regarded from some of the feedbacks, though I have to contact them to check whether any audition available in Malaysia, from the Website I'm able to search out a location though. Anybody heard of the System Audio speakers, any opinions or impressions how it sound?
Dynaudio still use material what does not have a fast response. When the response of a speaker is slower acoustic limitations become bigger. I sold Dynaudio for over 6 years of time. I would not recommended and sell it to my clients anymore. Beside this the cabinets are not the best and most thick either. I sold SA as well, not a brand who makes great speakers. Samething about the crossovers who are very limited. The middle freq. is not very open. Voices need to be more apparent.
I've heard several System Audio speakers at a local dealer and generally thought that they were solid, tho unexceptional performers. The small stand mounted monitors impressed me more than the larger models, FWIW.
@Bo1972 I agree with you Dynaudio cabinet build still less a bit top notch grade, if consider their cabinet port design and innovative ideas, something like transmission line, though I'm very impressed with the crossover and driver controls, it's very solid build, though lack a bit flexibility when comes to drum kicks sound. What other brands come close to that? With better flexibility in normal room listen?
@Martykl How would you describe System Audio weakness and strength?
Have you considered Dali, another fine Danish speaker?
They use a dome tweeter combined with a ribbon tweeter and and a bass driver. And they use a front port.
Wim1983 --

Though they're not of Danish hands, how about looking into a pair of ATC SCM19's (or SCM11)? They are sealed-box speakers, and should mate well in limited space environments.

I sold Dali for 8 years of time, Dynaudio is of a higher and better level in quality.

These days we only sell 3 dimensional sound. This counts both for stereo and multi channel use. The reason is that all people prefer 3 dimensional sound over 2 dimensional sound. I owned many highend sets of over 100.000 euro and my clienst often said: The sound is awesome but out of reach for us.

So I had to come with a sound what has the same exitement and emotion my sets had.

Monitor Audio uses faster and lighter materials compared to competitors. Have better cabinets ( thicker) with less colouration. Superior crossovers. Monitor Audio is the only brand to day which all speakers ( in their price ranges) they produce can create a deep and wide stage like the best highend speakers can give.

I use all Monitor Audio speakers to the max. When I send my clients to shops to listen to Kef, B&W, Dynaudio, Dali, Focal etc they all come back laughing. The presentations they get are always 2 dimensional.

This is a lower level of quality in sound. I work like this for 8 years of time now. It is the most effective way of selling audio.

I have spoken to many people in over 17 years of time about the sets they owned in the past. All people with 2 dimensional sets ( alomost all sets are 2 dimensional) buy after time a new set or new parts to hope for a higher level. Often they are still not satisfied.

I brought many people from 2D to 3D in the last 8 years of time. They have one thing in common. They use their sets more frequently and longer in time. They also spend more money on music and movies.
@Lowrider57: What are some of the best Dali standmounts for near full range musical listening? I'm planning to visit a shop with Focal, PSB & Dali
@Phusis: The price of SCM SCM19v2 is out of my budget, ATC SCM19 closer to my budget, but I'm not convinced what are the special about these 2 versions? sparkling high with more air without sounding harsh? I thought ATC speakers sound on high freq. is not quite their strength? Not? Even for bass I've bit concert if it will be too shy for sealed cabinet design, hmm...
Bo1972, you're certainly entitled to your opinions but we've heard the same thing from you endlessly about '2D vs. 3D sound' and your preferred brands. Glad it works for your customers but not everyone agrees with your findings.

Wim1983 - the two best DALI monitors are currently their top Epicon 2 and next best Rubicon 2 speakers.
@Bo1972: oh, it's you again, "3D guys", haha I remember now, thanks for Monitor Audio poison, I'd heard a pairs of Monitor Audio BX2, the metal tweeter sound a bit edgy and harsh, even via Marantz PM6004 amp known for less sibilant kinda sound, personally I've gone through much troubles with metal tweeters, it's will be no no for me ever, lol. Though I'm sure there are some forgiving models like the silver series
I appreciate your replies and 3D versus 2D is absolutely right.
There is no way I would buy anything that is flat and non dimensional. That is a deal breaker.
I want space, separation and depth - i.e. 3D.
Bo - are your comments on Monitor Audio only reserved for the Platinum range or does it extend down into the new Gold range or beyond?
Another vote for an "okay" speaker. I feel it is a bit over -priced vs performance. My reference and fave speaker is the Thiel CS 2.7 or CS 3.7 in accordance to your room size. I have yet to demo Verity loudspeakers.

Keep me posted & Happy Listening!
I am the owner of Dynaudio standmount speakers. I agree that the front-ported speakers (or compression ones) are more suitable for the placement closer to the rear wall or in a rack. ATC is becoming increasingly popular English speaker brand. I listened to them at the fair and I would recommend them. Another UK speakers just came into my mind, namely PMC Twenty 21, but it seems that they are out of your budget.
Monitor Audio is the only brand to day which all speaker they produce can create a deep and wide stage.

Even the cheapest speakers they produce. The Gold and Platinum can create an even wider and deeper stage than the ones with a dome tweeter.
I'm not a Dali owner, I've auditioned many models and I really love their monitors; smooth highs, tight bass. Sorry I can't advise you on stands, but Bill_k has good advice for your audition.
Lowrider - I have had Dali Epicon, Euphonia and Helicon and all have rear ports- which models have front ports ? Thanks
Bo 1972,

You are a true audio salesman, constantly pitching. You must be the greatest audio salesman in the world.
Monitor Audio is the only brand to day which all speaker they produce can create a deep and wide stage.
Wow, with close to a hundred brands of speakers available today, the above sure is a tall statement Bo.
Are you sure you didn't mean to say that Monitor Audio is the only brand you sell?
Jl35, you're right of course.
The lower-tier floorstanders have front ports, including the Lektor monitors. I had to look it up, sorry for the misinformation.
It's been a while since I listened to some Dali monitors and they were Helicon's; no front port.
Thanks Lowrider, The Lector looks like it might be just what I need...
@Mr_bill, @Lowrider: Thanks for the suggestions, Epicon is way out of my budget, both the Epicon and Rubicon is rear ported

@Jafant: You mean the Dynaudio / System Audio is "okay" speakers? How would you describe Thiel standmount at best? My thought is Thiel need very careful matching with gears, not an easy to cope with even in terms of price

@Amater: Great suggestions, I've been looking forward to hear some ATC or PMC, but doubt the 2 brands' tweeter can sound as good as Dynaudio tweeter? Especially on high?

Still, my current top 3 standmounts shortlisted:
1. Dynaudio Focus 160 - I dun see any issues here as long as you give enough clean power, space and resonance could be the only biggest concern here

2. PSB Synchrony One B - For 30 years on loudspeakers design, I think these are pretty all rounder that worth serious considerations, I'll try to arrange for auditions soon

3. ATC SCM19 / PMC Twenty 22 - It's British loudspeakers, I expect they sound romantic and musical, but I'm a bit hesitate on dynamic capability, high freq. air energy and price

Again, I'm using a transparent JDS Labs ODAC and full blown Class D Audio SDS-400C power amp, so it would be very obvious right on audition if the speakers does not suit me well
Wim do your self a favor and contact Bob Gross @ speaker art and see if he will build you a pair of speakers and be done. Yes they are out of your budget but its a small price to oay for everything your are asking for in a standmount. I am familiar with your amp as I own a class d audio amp and the combination is spectacular. There is no speaker I know of in that price range that can touch the sound or build quality. Bob is widely regarded as one of the best two way speaker designers of all time. Either that or continue to post on here about Speaker A vs Speaker B. Best of luck.
The PSB Synchrony One B, like all PSBs, has a very nice warm feel to it and a huge soundstage. It's very enjoyable to listen to and capable of smooth mids and deep bass, but it's rear-ported and needs to have room away from the wall. Too close to the wall and you won't get detail in the bass.

That's due to the 6.5" woofer. I hope you like them, but the Focus 160 is the better speaker. You'll need to use some room treatments for any speaker you choose.
@Chrshanl37: Thanks for the info, asides from price, I'm doom even to consider the shipping fee in USD, haha, not very worthwhile for me to buy any American product right now, unless some of the small affordable gear like JDS Labs ODAC

@Lowrider57: Most probably I'm going for Focus 140, I've been considering System Audio Mandra 5 / Harbeth P3ESR too, but I think these 2 will cost more, the first I'm on the process to ask for an audition, it's not available in Malaysia. While the second definitely over my budget by a fraction...
We judge every single part of a set on what we call Total
Sound. When we audition sets from 'new' clients, at shows
or at another audio shop in almost all situations it is
what we call 'incomplete'.

In most 'new' sets we need to bring in parts of Total
Sound to make it complete. At the end it is so much more
addictive to listen to any set we 'repaired'.

It is the most effective way of getting the maximum
quality out of a set. All parts of Total Sound influences
our emotion. So when you create a set what will have all
the parts of Total Sound it is so much more addictive and
exciting to listen.

The Monitor Audio speakers in the lower prices own more
parts of Total Sound. So when you use all the parts you
will have a more complete sound. This is what it makes it
so easy to sell.

Audio is all about shootouts and comparing. This is how we
sell it. People always will choose the sound what
convinces the most and is most liked.

Parts of Total Sound:

- Soundrealism: you want and need an instrument to sound
like in real. I use Pass labs amps to the max for this. It
is the focus on sound of each different instrument and
voice. For example: you want to hear the difference
between 2 acoustic guitars of a recording. I always want
to hear the full palette in the mid freq. The timbre is an
essential part of listening to music

- 3 dimensional soundstage: this is the most exiting part
of audio in general. This sets your beloved music in full
3Din front of you. During listening you can focus on each
individual part of a recording.The best sets can even give
instruments the shape as in real.

- Intimate sound:instruments and voices are very small in
dimension and very direct in sound. You want a realistic
proportion of instruments and voices. Intimate sound has
a very big influence on our emotion. During many acoustic
classical live concerts I learned how small a vice and
instruments were in proportion.

- Blacks: The space between the instruments and voices
with their acoustic information during the recording. This
is the level of physical appearance. You want to touch
every single instrument and voice of the recording.
Germans use the word'darstellung'.

- timing and speed: it is a very important part for
authorityand control of the overall sound. Better timing
will give you less acoustic limitaions. But also a more
natural sound.Biside this you also can reveal more layers
of the low freq.

- Resolution: you want to hear all details of the
recording.And it needs to be physical apparent.

- Air: This part gives the instruments and voices the
freedom during listening. Separation makes your music so
much more appealing.

- A big freq. response: When your system goes deeper in
freq.response you will hear more information of a
recoding. Thisalso has a big influence on our emotion.
People can heartill maximum 20 khz. But...the freq.
response above it still influences our brains.

- articulation of voices: how clear you can hear word
endings, breathing of singers and moving lips.

- heights: When I received 2 sets of the Audioquest Wel
Signature xlr's it became more clear than ever. It makes
listening to music different and even more appealing.
We don't focus on a brand, but we test and compare in each
price level. And only choose those products what give the
best results during testing. The best quality wins and we
don't care about a name that much as others.

We can get all flatscreens we want. For each client or
project we only choose the best picture quality you can
get for the money people what to spend.

We use it as a protection for all clients to get the best

We do a lot of testing and innovation and when we find
better products this will be the new benchmark. It changes
a little over time. We don't know other people like we who
uses audio this way.
Bo - It appears that your evaluation process and product selections are working for you and your customers, so congratulations on that. However with all due respect the process of audio component selection and for speakers in particular is a very subjective process. We all hear differently and have different preferences and priorities in our desired system's sound quality. Listening environments also vary widely, so it is not possible for one solution to be the best for everyone. If it was only as simple as you suggest it would be much easier for us all, but that is not the case in the real world. Each user should evaluate and select components based on their own sonic priorities, as there are no absolutes in audio.
Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming...
When you become aware of all the different parts you judge sound for, you also will understand what these parts do with our emotion. The way we work we use for all brands.

It is not focussed on a brand. The only reason why we use Monitor Audio is that it owns more properties/talents.

The biggest limitations of Dynaudio is response/timing. When they would use lighter and stiffer materials they can make a big step forward!
there is such a instruction in my Dynaudio owners manual:
"To minimize low frequency reflections, which will be heard as a thickening of the sound, the loudspeaker models can be adapted to the room’s acoustic character by using foam plugs in the bass reflex port."
The same (and more about placement) is written in Dynaudio Focus speakers manual: http://www.dynaudio.com/media/1923/dyn_focus_manual.pdf

To minimize low frequency reflections, which will be heard as a thickening of the sound, the loudspeaker models can be adapted to the room’s acoustic character by using foam plugs in the bass reflex port.

Yes, that does help in certain situations. If you are getting bass boom in very low frequencies, use the plug. At a higher bass frequency, and I'm just guessing above 60Hz, when using the plug the speakers will not sound as open. I think it's better to use bass traps or some acoustic treatment.

As for reflections causing a thickening of the sound, and I think we all have experienced this when setting up a room, the answer is to treat the room and/or move the spkrs further from the walls.

There are other speaker manufacturers who use port plugs, or at least recommend stuffing foam rubber in the port. I played with the plugs on my PSB Synchronys and they ruined the sound of Classical music, but were very effective on heavy Rock basslines. And I was also using room treatments.
2 weeks ago we went to an audio show. They also use Dynaudio focus speakers. They also had a hummm problem in the room with the low freq. You need to understand that the main reason is the slow response of the drivers.
11-12-15: Wim1983
@Phusis: The price of SCM SCM19v2 is out of my budget, ATC SCM19 closer to my budget, but I'm not convinced what are the special about these 2 versions? sparkling high with more air without sounding harsh? I thought ATC speakers sound on high freq. is not quite their strength? Not? Even for bass I've bit concert if it will be too shy for sealed cabinet design, hmm...

Although I like the active version of SCM19 (ASL20) even better, it's the midrange and what ties so neatly together around it that had me particularly interested in this speaker; it's very insightful, dynamic, and rather authentic sounding. To me high frequencies leave higher marks when well-integrated, unforced, and not drawing attention to themselves compared to a more distinct, "impressive-sounding" nature. The previous ATC's (prior to incorporating their own iteration of tweeters) may not have been the last word in ultimate resolution in these very upper regions, but I felt they completed the whole satisfyingly. Concerning the bass of the ATC's I find the same essentially holds true as with the tweeters: it's well-integrated into the mids, and has an agile, clean, and muscular imprinting. To some ATC speakers may sport a slightly closed-in top end and bordering an anemic bottom section. If it has any bearing to it I find them to be more natural this way compared to a lot else with "perfume" wrapped around it, and it's something that leaves the mids to really shine through that more effectively. It's not only about the midrange, but many factors can detract from the qualities found herein, and prevent a coherent presentation.

Hopefully you'll end up being inspired by some of the posts here - only you can decide.
Fair enough...I look forward to your postings in the months and years ahead.
I have heard and owned many of the higher dynaudio models. Sure their tweeters are nice. When I listened to ATC though it was an ear opener. It remains one of the most natural sounding conventional speaker. You do not feel like dissecting bass and treble when atc is playing. It plays like one driver which is a huge achievement. It is way more dynamic than even the dynaudio confidence series speakers. All this talk about tweeter and bass quality is irrelevant until you hear it. Though it is sealed box it has terrific and authentic low frequency presentation. Not the typical one note boom. And yes PMC though seems to be in the similar game, it actually is not. It is a lot more colored than the ATC. By the way I have moved on now to horn speakers else ATC remains my favourite.
@Pani: hmm, I'm a bit skeptical about the dynamic you mentioned, apart from speakers material, amp & source also play a role in distortion and dynamic measurement, I'm not sure the statement that ATC speakers is more dynamic than Dynaudio Confidence series, to me they should be only reach the same level if both put their efforts & technology right on. And when you mention about natural sound, I'm thinking that's in a way "coloured" sound, just a matter of taste, another concern I'm not considering ATC is the price point is way out of my budget, especially the ATC SCM19v2
If I were you Win I would do a shootout of the 160 against the Monitor Audio Gold 100. They are tested by a person of the HVT. He said: this speaker is without competition.

A shootout will give you the answer......
Wim1983, are you saying all good speakers have same dynamic expression provided the amplification is equally good ? I am sorry that's not even close to my experience. Effortless dynamics and scale is one of the toughest act to get right. Very few speakers do it. ATC is one of them. And when I said it is very natural sounding, I meant it presents instruments and voices with a very realistic tone and timbre. It is actually one of the least colored speakers around. Just read about it even if you can't audition it. The best studios in the world swear by ATC.

If you are not fixated by tweeter quality alone the SCM 19 v1 is just as terrific. I have not even heard the v2. The good thing about this brand is it doesn't categorize sound by the price of the speaker. Every ATC has what makes an ATC great. A basic SCM 7 sounds remarkably close to an SCM 100 albeit at a smaller scale. They don't make inferior speakers deliberately unlike most other brands. When you hear it you will probably get what I have been trying to convey.

If ATC is such a great line how come hardly anyone carry' sit? I live in the 2nd largest city in the country and as far as I know no one Carry's it.
Dont over look the Scansonics..Ive owned Dynaudio and IMO these sound better
Taters, ATC is not big time into marketing. As a result of that they don't appear on stereophile, TAS, RMAF, CES and the likes. In the UK, Europe and Japan they are extremely well respected, more than Wilson Audio btw.

I would suggest instead of asking counter questions or say counter productive questions, please make an effort to audition them some day.

I would love to but like I said there are no dealers for them in my area.
while the monitor audio sounds fast on bass and on transperant side of things,but for me it failed separate intruments and play rock music with the same amps now I am using with dynaudio speakers
Taters, ATC is not big time into marketing. As a result of that they don't appear on stereophile, TAS, RMAF, CES and the likes. In the UK, Europe and Japan they are extremely well respected, more than Wilson Audio btw.

I would suggest instead of asking counter questions or say counter productive questions, please make an effort to audition them some day.

Well put, Pani.

ATC is a brand not catering to marketing mechanisms that would have us believe the wheel is reinvented with every new speaker iteration coming our way. Look at their 75mm "Super Dome" midrange driver introduced almost 40 years ago, by many still regarded as one of the best direct radiating mids ever made, and used/produced essentially unchanged today. In a sense ATC's sonic imprinting can be seen as a natural extension of their non-efforts into marketing: a rather authentic sound that speaks for itself and would have us discover it on those terms, vs. how marketing-driven products would often have us believe something should sound like given this or that particular (branding) trait.
Wim1983, If you haven't decided yet about speakers, I have just remembered one more british brand, namely EA - Acoustic Energy. Some of their monitors are front-ported
@Pani: I'm not saying ATC is not dynamic enough, indeed I think it's a speakers that generally consider to be on the top if come to mid range presentation, but the crushing kinda high freq. sound with more air is more of my liking, and I'm not sure ATC is good at that, Dynaudio may not the best for mid range, but the mid clarity of Dynaudio Focus 110 did surprise me, regarding the dynamic testing, I will arrange an audition, I've got some crazy tracks which I believe not many speakers can withstand hehe xD
@Missioncoonery: I've read some Scansonic related press, it's the poor man Raidho right?
@Bo1972: I'm sure the Monitor Gold GX100 is a great speakers, I shall find a chance to audition whether it's my cup of tea