There is no way you will be satisfied with those amps driving the C5's - they will take all a stout 400wpc amp will deliver and more.
I've owned many pairs of Dyns, but never either of the pairs you're thinking of, so my input is at best an educated guess. I think you'd find the 5.4 a much more flexible speaker, and probably a more "fun" speaker. It has the later driver set, and is much easier to drive. The C5 is, IMO, a classic design, and probably has the potential to be the more accurate speaker.
If you've never heard the C3's, you might look for a pair of those too - I have owned those (a couple of times) and I really love them at their used price. They wouldn't be as demanding in what it takes to get them "right" as the C5's, but would share many of the same virtues.
I had looked at the confidence 5's for awhile too and my understanding from Mike at Dynaudio US is that because of there woofer alignment and physical placement on the speaker, they tend to have a lighter bass presentation then most like. Seemingly lighter then the 3s, especially if you listen to stuff like massive attack you will miss the bottom end. kthomas also makes a very good point in that they need a lot of juice as you do really with any dynaudio speaker. With the ones that I have had, 175w DNA1 was ok but the 300w DNA2 was much much better! You will probably be much happier with the ported design of the 5.4.
IMO C5 is much better speaker than S5.4.Not even close.
To my ears C5 is even better than new C2 as I had a chance to compare them side by side.Agree that you need at least 250W
to drive them properly.
Hope this helps.
C5's are a classic and are near state of the art regardless of price. That is why you rarely see them for sale, I own a pair purchased in 2002, one of the last pair made, the C2, C4, were already on the market.
The speaker reproduces music, the bottom end goes low enough for 90% of the music recorded, and if there truly is bottom end of a recording, you will feel it.
The bass is not boomy, fat or forward, it is defined, tight and quick, now to some that may make it sound weak, but that is not the case.
That mid-range is out of this world, so coherent; in fact, the whole speaker is coherent. The speaker just sounds right. Elegant in design and fits into any room décor.
Only speaker I might replace my with would be the new Sapphire. I never thought the C2, or C4 were better then my 5s or worth the cost, the Sapphire I might have in the market again, perhaps for the last time.
I wish you luck finding a pair of C5's, to me they be worth any asking price, they are a bargain when compared to speakers today that cost double the price of my C5's.
First of all, I would like to thank all 4 of you for your input, even if it left me somewhat confused.
I didn't reply immediatly because, shortly after our email exchange, I was given the opportunity to listen to a pair of Confidence 5, which I did a couple of days ago. I spent 3 hours listening to a variety of music.
From everyone's comments, I was expecting to hear a fantastic speaker with unmatched coherence... This was exactly the case... What an experience...Everything sounded true, exactly like phillib said: "state of the art," for 90% of the music... In the end, though, I really felt I was missing the bottom end for music like Tricky or Massive Attack. Even though I could feel the very lower end sometimes, I felt the speakers would drasticly cut off anything that could make the cabinet vibrate and colour the sound. At the end, just before leaving, I made this comment to my host very diplomaticly and to my surprise, he replied: "I know exactly what you are saying; I feel the same frustration regarding some of the music I listen to..."
He drives his Dyns with an YBA amplifier (170 Watts in 4 ohms I think), which makes me wonder if this has anything to do with the leanness in the very lower bass.
Anyway, we will be listening to them again in a month or so, with the addition of a Dynaudio Confidence sub to see what kind of match this could be... I will let you know a little more then.
CD player: Linn Ikemi
Preamp : YBA
Keep in mind a sealed in closure will have a tighter quicker bass the a ported design. Again it gets back to personal taste and what type of music you want to reproduce.
If you want it close to how it actual sounds the C5 is very very good speaker. I use Mcintosh Equipment with no problems.
I just purchased the MIT Magnum M1's IC & speaker cables and the speaker really has more dynamics and bass impact now.
I think I will forget about the Sapphire for now....smile!!
Best of luck!
not sure if you're still in the market but i have a set of c5's in rosewood running off of a set of mcintosh 501 mono's. i'd be willing to sell them both if you're in the market for amps and speakers. i'm the original owner of the speakers and have upgraded my amps several times, without question these (amps) have given me what i needed to make the bottom end everyone describes, "jump out of the box"! i've run them in a dedicated 2-channel system and am selling because my new home does not have the room for two separate systems. i have not posted these yet but i will also be selling a sonic frontiers cd/dac - t3/p3 combo, rgpc 600's x2, nordost & synergistic wiring, etc...
let me know if you have any interest...rc
Does anyone have any experience driving the C5 with Gryphon (DM100 in my case) amplification?
I'm using Gryphon Diablo integrated amp (500W into 4 Ohm per channel). Works quite OK with C5's. However I have a feeling that an amp of 600-800W would finally complete the task :)
How big and how loud are you playing Dsh? I am considering an older Dynaudio but my amp only has about 120watt. I sit about 2 meters from my speakers.
I have owned C5 numerous times, I bought both new and used but sold them all at the end. It's one of the few speakers that I truly loved and wanted to love forever. It's not perfect, but it does many things so well you can live with the short coming.
Many people say ATC has the best midrange driver because of that large 3" dome. I haven't heard ATC, but I am sure Dynaudio Esotar dome can match ATC performance. No crossover at critical frequency range means more to be heard and that the strength of C5, midrange is pure, clean, detail, and transparent. The isobaric woofer designed gives a super fast and detail bass that I haven't heard from any other speakers. I read comments like big woofers can't catch up with ribbon or Be drivers all the time, more companies should learn from C5 design - give better bass, not more bass.
but problem with C5, the low sensitivity made me sold them. you need giant amps to drive them to proper volume, and they don't go much louder after that before bass drivers bottom out. for low sensitivity speakers, C5 has very good micro dynamic. but law of physic, you don't get macro dynamic like higher sensitivity speakers.
if you live in a smaller space, C5 is a near perfect speakers if you don't listen super loud. if you have decent size room, say >12'x12', C5 might not be for you. they don't image as well as speakers with midrange cone either, so nearfield in a smaller room still means somewhat diffused sound.