Dynaudios generally do most everything well.
Never heard Revels but have read some about them.
I think the choice will boil down to personal taste. Both are good.
Maybe think outside the box; and consider a used pair of MBL 111'es; there are two pairs for sale here on the 'gon; both for under $10k; they create great base; and their omni design might fit the bill for your interests in a large open room; and walking around...you're 500 watt amps should be able to drive them nicely. I have a similar room; opens up to kitchen and high ceilings; my MBL's work out great....I only suggest this after reading your preferences for a speaker...not to confuse things...
Yes I have also thought of the MBLs. They just seem so confusing I never troubled with them, but from what I've read the omni design sounds like it would be a perfect match for what I am looking for. I'll read into them more, thanks for the suggestion.
Dynaudio C-4 would be my choice. Metal drivers are hard to control (ringing will be evident on any waterfall). Nevertheless the Salon2 is world class.
I can't compare them, but I'm an avid Dynaudio fan, and had the C4's for a while and absolutely loved them. I had them in a 20x40 "room" that opened into the rest of a very contemporary house, so they had plenty of room to breathe.
They absolutely can rock - Dream Theater, Tool, live Led Zeppelin - driven with quality and ample amplification, they had stunning dynamics. They were definitely the biggest speaker I've ever owned, and that was the only time I've been able to set up in a space that large, so maybe there is a whole next tier I've never experienced, but they really taught me what realistic scale and dynamics sounded like, as well as that you really have to have the physics in place (gear and room) to make it work.
I owned the C2's for a while as well - both the C2 and C4 have the DDC technology, which give them incredible imaging for larger speakers. The C2's in the same physical environment did not fill up the space adequately - very nice in the sweet spot, but not as nice walking around the whole area. The C4's had no problem sounding great throughout, though the whole DDC thing coupled with your comment that you would mostly not be in the sweet spot would be the only thing that might cause me to temper my strong recommendation.
All that said, the Salon2's have been incredibly well reviewed, so I doubt you can go wrong. I just happen to be a long-time Dyn fan, and the C4's are a classic.
The C4s are the winner for me in this shootout.Ive listen to the Salon numerous times,very non involving/ almost sterile and certainly the case compared to the Dyn C4s IMO.If you already like the "Dyn house sound"which BTW I dont think that exists then its a no brainer ..Confidence C4s!!!
Sorry, I've never understood the attraction to Dynaudio. What else is on your list? Seriously? There are many speakers to consider. Eggleston, Thiel CS5i or CS7.2, Sonus Faber, Verity, Genesis, JM Labs, Bigger Von Schweikert, Talon, Dali, Aerial Acoustics, etc. You have a nice size room, so you need a speaker that likes space.
For listening in a variety of locations in a large open area, larger omnis like mbl 111 used or larger OHM 300Series3, 4000, 5000 or 5Series3 new for less than half the cost of the big Dyns are worth considering.
I have large and smaller OHMs and Dynaudio monitors off my system and they all are keepers.
Rtn1..Listen again to Dynaudio..C1 and above..The C4 will stand toe to toe with anything you just listed and come out the winner against just about all of them..You dont get it thats fine but the C4 is just flat out a great speaker
Sorry very old thread I know, but I had the same dilemma a couple of months ago and got Revel Ultima Salon2's, (I have listened Dynaudio Sapphire's found them somewhat bright and "lifeless" hence the choice of Salon2s)
Now you have probably made your choice, what do you think
Have you compared the Salon 2s to the C4s or C2s? Sapphires are quite different from the Confidence series voicing, IMO.
The C-4 always sounded harsh to me , so the Salon is a big improvement in my eyes .
Dynaudios that sound harsh are poorly setup Dynaudios
I know that can be the case with my Dynaudios. With proper thought and setup they are awesome. Otherwise, they might tend towards harsh.
This is a good thing. The Dyns have the ability to do it all for teh most part. The task is to get them set up right so as to tame them properly. An addition by subtraction kind of thing for sure!
C4's harsh? Is this a seriuos comment? The Esotar2 tweeter was nothing but SMOOTH when I listend to records and even red book CD's for hours. The C4 series II speaker was far removed from cold or lifeless...they were what the source was.
I did not like the 800 series B&W's as they force you to listen to the "out front" sound over anything else. I'll take-in my music as I want to, thank you. Wilson Sophia's had a nice but much "smaller" sound and the midrange was too transparent. Good bass. UGLY rode look the only option, why?
The C4 II just imaged better and melted away, had a right sized neutral soundstage presentation, and had excellent dynamics and bass punch. C4 II's SHOULD do this for what they cost...and they do. I was using 150 watt SS Levinson amps and they were PLENTY loud. Sure, you can go to the moon on BIG amps, but the smaller amps sound better, so UNLESS you want SPL over quality, be my guest. More stuff in the audio path equals worse sound. There is no way around it. Almost perfect time almost perfect is less perfect. There is no perfect.
I'd live in the 150-200 watts range in a high current SS amp. The C4 II's are pretty efficient, a 75 watt tube amp would do to 85dB SPL or so.
If the C4 II is the DynAudio sound, I'm all for it! I may enjoy other products, but this speaker is in the sit and listen a long time category in my book.
Hi, I did not have time to respond past couple of days.
Here is what I think: Dynaudio C2's probably are not a contender to Revel Salon2's. The C4's on the other hand probably are. Sapphires were not (I auditioned them extensively and prefer my current setup). And to answer Vinw, I haven't listened C4s as they were slightly more expensive than the Salon2s and I had no more room to go otherwise I would end up getting divorced. That was the reason of my original post asking Ryan how he compares the two.
On the other hand to Rower30, I have Gamut D3i pre amp and D200i power amp that I think matches with Salon2s very very nicely. By experience, in no way 150watts is good enough for this range of speakers (and I do not play loud). The same probably applies to C4s as they are not known to be efficent speakers. I think 200w/ch is bare minimum in this range otherwise you end up loosing significant detail. So I totaly do not agree with the generalization that "smaller amps sound better"
Now having said all of this, and this is very subjective, I find Contour S 5.4 the most bang for the buck in all Dynaudio range (I used to have Dali Helicon 400 MkIIs and listened to Contour 3.4 and 5.4 for comparison). Above that you get more detail and more clarity for a significant more sum of money, from what I heard from people that owns and trades high end gear frequently. Some but not all of them also mentions what I confirmed by listening Sapphires (lifeless). And yes definitely to my ears they are unnecessarily brighter than Salon2s. I know this is subjective but this is what I think.
...By experience, in no way 150watts is good enough for this range of speakers (and I do not play loud). The same probably applies to C4s as they are not known to be efficent speakers...
Nope, reality can't agree with that. More stuff in the signal path equals worse sound...just louder. Adding more output pairs REDUCES WHAT DISTORTION? You DO NOT need VOLUME for detail! Leaves blowing down a street on a fall aren't loud, and sound glorious! A speaker that needs LOUD to have RESOLUTION has a BIG problem (it doesn't have any resolution!). Where is even 150 Watts in shuffling feet and rustling leaves, the cough in the Audience, the breath of the composer gliding across the microphone? You don't need a gorilla to make those sounds in real life to hear them, and a good speaker doesn't either. Micro dynamic details CAN NOT be forced. You have it or you don't. It's there or it's just LOUD.
Sure, I hear people "repeat" the more power with the C4's. I listened for six hours two times in a row with 150-watt amps and there was ZERO problem at 85 SPL average in a BIG room (better than 4,000 feet squared). The speakers are 89 dB SPL sensitivity, which not exactly terrible. So I didn't not "hear" the party line, I HEARD! The C4 series II and report they have GREAT low SPL resolution. Yes, they go way loud with 150 watts. What impressed me about this speaker was the sound as it was humming along at maybe 70 dB SPL!! playing Dire Straights. Open, clear, full, solid imaging...simply amazing. They refuse to close-up or lose dynamics at low SPL's. THAT is the mark of a good speaker. Yelling teens trying to sing on who has talent need not apply. Paul Simon on the other hand...delightful.
So go as big as you want on the amp, but a smaller simpler circuit will give better sound all things being the same. You don't keep jamming a signal through more stuff and keep things intact. No, never, ain't going to happen. You are heading in the wrong direction, and one that is expensive to "force" good sound out of. It's like a 4,000-pound Mercedes can be made fast (and expensive!), but what's the point when a smaller car does it SO much better?
If a speaker can't play softly, I have learned to pass on them. NOTHING will fix their musical noise floor. No detail doesn't just appear when you turn-up the volume, you're listening to something LOUD, but it isn't detail. I wish LOUD fixed detail, I'd have a bunch of CD's to fix that way!
I'll probably be using ODYSSEY KIZMET mono amps for the sound at the price, but I will NEVER defend bigger is "better" at resolution and detail. It just isnt so at the very best level of perfection and micro dynamics and detail.
The same can be said for speakers, all things being the same efficiency equals WAY less intermodulation distortion and cone break-up. And, those 10-35 watts class A thresholds in A/B amps hum along 90% of the time. You got to like that.
Yep, there are trade-offs with Tube amps and super efficient speakers (Coincidents and such)
mainly dynamics in the bass. But you can not argue the superb midrange micro dynamics in a good tube set-up, where MOST of the music is, even though most of the power isn't! A tube's audio stage is about as simple as it gets. Tube music floor detail is impressive but alas, the systems that get you there are too aggravating day-to-day. Maybe when I retire I'll have time to futz with that.
For now, A click and play out of standby mode system is more appropriate, with exquisite low volume capable speakers.
C4 can be harsh if somebody tries listen rock or quick dance-lets say trance music.
contour s5.4 rocks better with such type of music.Because they are less smooth,the cause is diffrent drivers from confidence line.
Even the harshest sounding speakers can be tamed down with the right components and set up . But would the C-4's sound harsh without such care ?
I've heard them in two different systems and in both cases they were excellent but a bit harsh for my tastes . On the other hand I've heard the Salon's many times and could do nothing but smile .
The C-4's are only revealing what is being played, typically rock and trance music are compressed and harsh sounding to start with and the C4 will reveal those issues, but on the other hand the C4 will also be a more rewarding speaker on better recordings.
On the issue of amplifier power, I've heard the c4's on a 90 watt tube amp and a 350 watt SS amplifier. No contest, the higher powered solid state amplifier delivered superior bass, control and dynamics and sounded better and more detailed on lower volume.
On the other hand the sound of the c4's on the 90 watt amplifier was on the beautiful, musical and languid side with wonderful imaging and timbre but could sound lifeless on some material that I know has a little punch to it.
I think both odokme and rower man make valid points but both are not right with the other being wrong.
Over time, some stridency has left the higher powered amp in the upper volumes, Im quite happy with my switch to the stronger dynamics of solid state but there are times I miss the more beautiful sound of a tube amp.
Maybe I would be happiest with a 200 watt tube amp.