Dynaudio Audience vs. Contour

I'm putting together a media room/family room for both HT and music. I love the sound of Dynaudio speakers, but I'm not sure whether to go with Audience 52s or Contour 1.3 mk2 for my front LR speakers.

I love the way the 52s sound... the Contours seem to have crisper highs, but I'm not so sure about their tonal balance or how listen-able they are. They don't seem to be as "musical."

Please post opinions! Audience vs. Contour!



You may have answered your own qustion. If you prefer the A52 after carefully auditioning both, go for the A52. Pocket the money saved and buy music, movies and/or ???.

The Contours are a more detailed speaker (D260 vs D28-2 tweeter) which you may or not prefer. The MKII also has quite a bit of a low end advantage over the A52 but if using a sub, that shouldn't be much of an issue.

One last thing since you mentioned HT. The Audience center costs quite a bit less than the Contour which may be of consideration. Dynaudio indicated to me the the new C center would run approx. $2.0-$2.5K (Yikes!). The other option would be to find the old model Contour in the used market.


I am facing the same decision myself. I ended up buying a new pair of Dyanudio Audience 52 with maple finish when the local dealer had a sale. The problem with Contours 1.3 Mk2 is that it will require more amp power to sound good. This will end up costing way too much in the ever costly upgrade path. I believe system synergy is more important than any single one componet in the chain.

They are currently in the bedroom system being broken in right now.

Jet also had a good point about going into a home theater system later. There is no small Contour speaker that has front port design. That makes them difficult to ceiling mount in the rear.
Unfortunately, I have not specifically heard the 1.3mk2, since it has been discontinued. Hence the reason for the post. I have heard some of the other contours, and I like the better high end definition. However, I thought the tonal balance was better on the 52s... As I recall, the contour high bass seemed a little prominent.

I will be running the speakers off of a Rotel 1055 receiver (75w/ch conservative) which is a high current receiver. I think it is supposed to be a good match for either the Audience or Contours, but If you think otherwise, please let me know.

I also already have the T2.1 Contour center, which should blend fine for both. I am also using a REL Q100 sub.

I guess my big question is do YOU think the Contour 1.3 mk2 sounds better than the 52s...and do YOU think there is a problem with tonal balance on the 1.3s.


Dan - I would much prefer the 1.3 mk2's taken as an issue by itself. That said, I think you'll find the 52's a better match for the Rotel. That's a nice receiver, but the discontinued Contour's (such as the 1.3's) REALLY soak up the current. Unless you're planning on upgrading the receiver in the fairly near future, I think you'll like the 52's better.

I do like the sound of the 1.3's better than the 52's and, no, I don't think there is a tonal balance problem. -Kirk
Thanks for your opinion on the 1.3mk2 Kirk. I look forward to hearing more opinions on them. I hope they really are a step up from the 52s, which I like a lot. By the way, have you heard the new Contour lineup? Are they really much improved, as advertised?

As far as the amp goes, I think the Rotel 1055 is supposed to be able to handle the contour 1.3mk2... they were paired together at the local HiFi store, and sounded very nice. The 75w/ch Rotel is a conservative rating, outguning other receivers (Sony, Denon, Onkyo, Marantz) rated over 125W/Ch. Reviews have mentioned that the unit performs similarly to separates, which has been their selling point. If anyone else has specific experience on the matter, I would love to hear it!


Dan, I have heard Dynaudio speaker with lesser electronics before and they just don't sound as good as they should. The issue is especially true if you plan on using a surround receiver. When all five speakers are going, there just isn't enough clean power being deliver to the main speakers.

Croos over to a high quality powered sub at 50-60Hz will solve the amp power issue, but you will also need a good digital processor with very clean bass management.

So the best way to go would be to have a good CD/DVD transport sending a digital signal to the surround processor and have the surround processor to adjust the cross over. Some of the newer surround pre/pros have variable digital bass management that can even solve bass loading problem. Check out B&K Ref50 or Anthem AVM20 or the newer Rotel pre/pro. I think the Rotel receiver can only do a fixed cross over at 80Hz and it might not be done in the digital domain.

The other option is go with a dedicated amp and just use the receiver as a preamp. You can pick up an used McCormack DNA or Aragon 4004/8008 for $1k. You can get have the cake and eat it too.
Thanks Ejliu-
I will be using a powered sub... the Rel Q100.
The Rotel 1055 is supposed to have an excellent digital processor. I am also using a good transport... the Sony 9000ES. As far as digital bass management, I'm not sure. If anyone has further advice, please post it.
The 1055 does have pre outs (in fact you have to use a separate poweramp for 6.1 or 7.1) that I could use if need be (I have an old NAD 3300 amp I guess I could fire up). I'm just not sure which speakers would use it.


I received my Contour T2.1 today.
This thread is moot.
With the Audience 50 playing the Left channel and the T2.1 playing the right channel, certain things are clear.

First, they blend beautifuly... clearly, the tonal balance is very similar.
However, the sound stage and clarity of the Contour are clearly superior. What music!

Even way under powered on my old Onkyo Receiver (my Rotel has yet to arrive), they sound gorgeous.

And the bass. The bass is deep, warm and tight. It is incredible. I wonder if I made a mistake getting the Contour 1.3mk2, Rel sub and Osiris stands. If I could, I would trade them in for a pair of T2.5s or Contour 1.8s.
I'll get more thump from my sub, but not the exquisite lows that the Contours themselves generate.

God I love Dyns!