Dynaudio Audience 52 vs 52 SE

Has anyone had the chance to compare these two speakers? I really enjoyed listening to the Dynaudio Audience 52 at a dealer, but they did not have an Audience 52 SE for comparison. I have found one review online that seems somewhat troubling:


I think this guy is crazy, or perhaps his Onix A120 Mk.II integrated amplifier has a problem. Maybe the volume knob goes to 11! Has anyone heard of strong bass problems with this speaker? When I listened to the 52 in the shop, I played some pretty aggressive rock songs with strong bass and had no problems. I will never listen to hip-hop, so building-destroying bass is not a concern for me. Good, strong, tunefull bass that can handle good rock music (bass guitar, drums, some synthesizer) as well as sound good with jazz string bass and various symphonic instruments is what interests me. The 52 SE seems to have the same mid/bass driver as the 52, but it has a different crossover to accommodate a more sophisticated tweeter. The specs list the 52 SE frequency response as 45 Hz - 26 kHz +- 3 dB, and the normal 52 as having a frequency response of 52 Hz - 24 kHz +- 3 dB.
The Onix amp has a 2db peak from 20 to 200Hz. Maybe that`s the problem.
Porziob is correct. It is the amp, not the speakers. Dynaudios are demanding loads and the more reserve power the better. I would like to audition the 52 SE as well. i was hoping someday to use the 42 or 52 for surrounds with my Audience 70s.
I used the 52 SE with two different high quality ss amps both offering at least 150 watts per side and they did very well with each. The bass was ample and amazing for a speaker this size and not the least bit tubby or slow. I had mine at 28" high using metal stands sand loaded. Enjoying jazz, blues and classical music with them. I hope this helps?
Key_metric - frankly, that reviewer is full of it, and doesn't know what he's talking about, and clearly doesn't have the skills to make an informed analysis of an audio product.

He says:
For a pro: Excellent bass extension and overall fidelity
But then says as a con: Par midrange performance

That is a contradiction. How can you have exellent overall fidelity with a par midrange performance?

He also has as a pro:
Easy amplifier load

Anyone who knows anything about dynaudio speakers knows that this is far from the truth - Dynaudio is NOT an easy load! They are a 4-ohm speaker and need a lot of current to control the drivers and sound dynamic.

He also says as a pro:
Open and airy highs without overabundant sibilance

What does this mean? No "overabundant" sibilance? Does that mean there is some "under-abundant" sibilance? ANY sibilance is a HORRIBLE thing, and renders any speaker unlistenable. Why would anyone say a "pro" of a speaker is "no overabundant sibilance" ? that implies that there IS sibilance.

He then goes on to review the speakers with a piece of crap for an amplifier, and a piece of crap for a cd player.. He is using a MASS MARKET SONY CD CHANGER!! How can you come up with any meaningful analysis on a high fidelity product with a mass market CD changer?


So Key-metric- Bottom line is... disregard that review. The reviewer is a tool. There are no bass problems with that speaker - the bass that they product is tight and excellent.
I have and highly enjoyed a pair of 52SE for the past year. The only thing they share with the standard 52 is the cabinet. The base driver comes from the old Contour 1.3Mk II and the tweeter from the new Contour 1.4. It also has a nicer crossover. I really like the soundstage, range and depth of this speaker. It really improved as I upgraded my system. I can highly recommend the 52 and 52SE but consider the 52SE a great speaker. That being said, my little Dynaudio' will soon need a new home as after carefull search I have found an upgrade speaker I like even more, the Dynaudio Special 25. Now to start again on the upgrade path with amps.

As for load, I do know Dynaudio's well and I think that they are a pretty easy load on an amp. Yes, they rate at 4 ohm but this is really the lowest they go. My new Dynaudio Special 25's are rated at 4 ohm yet they rarely drop below 6, only once, and then only to just over 4ohm. The lack of severe impedence shift is a bit easier for an amp to handle. I did audition a pair of Focal speakers and though they were rated at 8ohm their impedence actually dropped into the mid 3's on two areas. This does work an amp and though it got "loud" easier than the Dynaudio's it required more power to get the full depth of the speaker.
One thing that Dynaudios don't have is sibilence. Their dome tweeter is a fabric and doesn't ring or sizzle. Just sweet and accurate sound, not fatiguing.
Davt - Typical dynaudios measure like in this chart if the Aud. 80:


80hz - 300hz or so is around or a little under/above 4 ohms. The bass and upper bass in this range places the hardest stress on the amplifier of the freq range. You're right, this isn't the hardest load in the world... but it's certainly not the easiest either. I wouldn't say as a pro of this speaker "easy load" because that is just not true. Relative to apogees - yes. But relative to a speaker that actually does have an easy load like a Zu Druid - no.


Though the dynaudios will work with something like a 40wpc PP tube amp, I have found that they sound their best with high-current amplification like a sim or plinius.

Regardless - not to get caught on a tangent, I think we're on the same page anyway.
Just came across this post so I thought I'd add my own info on the topic for future reference.
In regards to the Dyn's bottoming out, there are a number of references to this.
See review 13 of 46
plus a few more, I did not look too hard.
I believe all the models mentioned, the 52se's, 1.3's, 1.8 and the 3.4's use the same or simliar driver.
The reason I know is that I have the 1.3MKII's and can get them to pop (bottom out) at loud volume with fast deep bass if they are run full range.
I'm running them with a Teac VRDS-20, Bryston pre and 3BST.
Crossed over with my Velodyne I can run them as loud as I want without strain in my 15 x 25 room.
My 52 SE bottoms out at loud and fast bass to make 'KWAK' noise but it is only when volume level is pretty high.

I think nothing really wrong with the speakers but it happens when the condition is given.

Despite the phenomenon, I still like 52 SE speakers a lot.
I've had the Audience 42's and a set of Contour 1.1 and the little 42's are giant killers.