Dynaudio Audience 52SE vs. Contour S1.4


Hi,

I'm the, more og less, happy owner of a Dynaudio 52SE speaker. I'm wondering about an upgrade to the Contour S1.4.

Has anyone listened to the S1.4, and maybe compaired to the 52SE?

Any info would be helpful. Thanks.

Best regards
kenneth_p
Doesn't the 52SE have similar drivers (and crossover?) as the S1.4?

These are both great speakers. I have listened to the 52SE some, and to the S1.4 critically. The difference I would note is that the S1.4 has a greater tendency to disappear in the room, and the cabinet adds less color to the overall presentation, i.e. the Contours get out of the way of the music better than the 52SE's. The S1.4 also has slightly more palpable bass response as well as I recall. Good stands and breathing room from boundaries are a must in either case.

Hope that helps.
Thank you very much.
I compared the two models when looking for a set of monitors for my analog setup. I was able to pick up the 52SE & Stand4 stands fo $1100 - the selling point for me. To get the Contours and stands would have been twice as much. I did not hear much difference between the two speakers.
Kenneth,

Dyn dealer here. As good as the 52se is, it in no way compares to the S1.4. The S1.4 is the better. The S1.4 requires more current to get the most out of the speaker, however, it will reward you for doing so. The S1.4 has the better bass if you like a fuller sound. Our customers often find it very hard to decide between the Focus 220 towers and the S1.4 monitors. They are priced the same and have the similar bass response. However, the tweeter in the Contour edges out the Focus easily. The 52Se has the old Contour tweeter. The S1.4 also has it's own custom stand, which I really like.

Hope that helps. Let us know what you decide.
The 52SE is a great speaker.

With that being said, the Contour S1.4 is much, MUCH better. I used to own the S1.4, and swapped A/B back to the 52SE in extensive auditions, same systems, when I was deciding.

What you will get with the S1.4 is much deeper and tighter bass with more output and a bigger, more dynamic sound overall with a larger stage. The cabinet is significant better in the S1.4, and the ability to mount the speakers right on the stands comes in handy too.

What I would suggest is trying to get a pair of S1.4 in house to try them out. If I was going to guess, and assuming you have the room to support them (no dyns like small rooms), then I think it will take about 10 seconds of listening to make your decision.
I've had the 1.4 then upgraded to the 3.4 and now the c1 and heard the 52 but not 52se but unless the 52se is a radical improvement the 1.4 is better, cleaner highs, bigger sound, better imaging, the 1.4 is pretty much high end level, not quite reference level like the Confidence series but very very good.
I am using a pair of 52SE with a Naim Uniti. I have a pair of S1.4s ordered and should be picking them up tomorrow. I'm looking forward to hearing them. After I've run them in for a few months, I'll A/B them with the 52SEs again. Later this year I will add a NAP200 to the mix.
the tweeter in the Contour edges out the Focus easily

good point.Edges easily other tweeters on other speakers. Better amplifier better sound you will get.I driving these speakers with Krell kav 500i and Technics Se-a3000/su-c3000.Self made stands from the wood.Technics provides very musical sound.The same trick will do (I am guessing)Luxman L550a or something very similar.
I still have both.

Contour S 1.4 is more difficult to drive than 52 SE and requires more space to breath. Normally Contour 1.4 needs a more powerful amplifier than 52 SE does.

Contour S 1.4 may ne regarded as more neutral and more transparent than 52 SE. But 52 SE is a little bit warmer and tolerant for bad recordings.

With Contour S 1.4 Bass goes deeper than 52 SE does but at low volumes 52 SE seems deliver more "slam".

I think both are awesome Dynaudio allrounders.
Well, my S1.4s showed up this afternoon and I haven't stopped listening. They are ex-demos from Dynaudio US so they have been run in at least somewhat.

Initial impressions are that they are a different league entirely than my 52SEs. Bigger sound, more open and forward, much better detail & soundstage image. After an hour I put my 52SEs back downstairs in the HT system. Now I have to work on getting them burned in fully and acquiring that NAP200 to really deliver on their potential.

I have an Arcam Alpha 10P sitting around (until I get around to posting it for sale). I may try using that to see what kind of sound I get, although I'm afraid it will be a step down down from the Naim UnitiQute in SQ, even though it has a lot more power.
05-17-11: Dwette
Well, my S1.4s showed up this afternoon and I haven't stopped listening.

They are great speakers. I guess you got the matching stand2 or 4 as well which are also great if not the best.

Enjoy!
I ordered the Stand4 in black, but that color is backordered, so I have my dealers Stand2 on loan. The S1.4s are just sitting on top of them. I'll have to wait till my Stand4s come in to attach them more permanently.

Now I have to decide which phono preamp to keep: Moon 110LP vs Dynavector P-75 (Mk. I)
I recently bought a pair of Contour S1.4s and like them but I hope they still need breaking in. I hear some stridency in the higher frequencies at present but I've been told by a Dynaudio representative that this will disappear after 250 or so hours of break in...he recommended having the speakers out of phase, facing, at med vol to expedite the process. Any comments?
05-17-11: Dwette
Well, my S1.4s showed up this afternoon and I haven't stopped listening. They are ex-demos from Dynaudio US so they have been run in at least somewhat.

Initial impressions are that they are a different league entirely than my 52SEs. Bigger sound, more open and forward, much better detail & soundstage image. After an hour I put my 52SEs back downstairs in the HT system. Now I have to work on getting them burned in fully and acquiring that NAP200 to really deliver on their potential.

I have an Arcam Alpha 10P sitting around (until I get around to posting it for sale). I may try using that to see what kind of sound I get, although I'm afraid it will be a step down down from the Naim UnitiQute in SQ, even though it has a lot more power.

Congratulations on the S1.4s. I used to own the Arcam Alpha 10 integrated amp more than 10 years ago. I don't want to pass too many bad remarks on it since you will be putting it in the classifieds soon. All I can say is the Arcam will not match the sound quality of the Naim even though the 10P looks more powerful on paper. I believe the Uniti at 50W is even more powerful than the 10P which is 100W into 8 ohms. Of course you can bi-amp with the 10P but I suspect it will be a downgrade.

The S1.4s will benefit with more current. If you like the S1.4/Uniti combination, it might be worthwhile to consider a NAP200 or NAP250.2 and run biamp configuration.
I already have plans to get a NAP200. The Naim UnitiQute is 30 WPC (and 45 @ 4 Ohms), not 50 WPC. Since we are talking about 4 ohm speakers, the Alpha 10P is closer to 150 WPC @ 4ohm..

The Alpha 10P sounds surprisingly good, although not quite as good as NAIM (as I would expect).
Austinbob, the contour S1.4s do need a long break-in time, roughly the time time your sales rep mentioned. I won't do what your sales rep suggested as it does not expedite the process (the same amount of time is still required to break-in those speakers). Rather I would suggest you to just listen to them and hear the speakers change over time. You will find eventually, the highs becoming more relax.
I've been playing them a lot and the sound is definitely improving! I find them pretty neutral and the overall response is better and highs much better now.