Dynaudio Contour 1.3SE brightness?

Hi. I just auditioned Dyn 1.3 SE speakers. As impressed as I was, I was surprised by their brightness. Not something I associate with Dynaudio, nor do I remember it from the 1.1's I listened to way back when.

What stood out was definite sibilance. For example, on Transcendental Blues (title track from the Steve Earle CD), vocal t's and s's all had an exaggerated tttssss to them. Cymbals on some jazz CDs (ex, Årt Blakey, Night In Tunisia gold disk) had an exaggerated metallic clash. Same for the kick drum on Yello's The race (one of my favorite listening CDs). Overall, fatiguing despite the speakers otherwise brilliance.

Setup was a the Musical Fidelity A3 CD player and A3 integrated amp, and some Tara labs cables (sorry, don't know which).

In the archives I found ONE similar comment, but mostly just praise. Any explanations? Not broken-in speakers? Poor match w/electronics? (When I heard the 1.1s, they were matched with Classe separates). The truth about my CDs, revealed? Dynaudio realitly?

Thanks, I don't want to give up on these ones.... yet....
When I originaly auditioned these speakers I thought the same thing. I was listening to the same equipment I currently have.
About a year later, still knee deep in my speaker hunt, I decided to give the 1.3se another shot. I auditioned them with Mcintosh gear and Cardas cabling and fell in love. I even directly compared them to Sinus faber EAII and Revel M20. The Sonus was close and the Revel was out of the running early (now THAT was a bright speaker).
I think the key for me was two fold.
One: Speaker positioning. Initially my first auditon had the speakers too far out in the room negating the modest but adequate bass output of the Dyns. In my later audition the speakers were about a meter away from the back wall. In this posistion the midrange opened up and the bass output increased. The neutrality of the speaker was never bright. In fact the speaker became musical and exciting.
Two: Cabling, the Cardas of course is known as a warm musical cable. I suspect it aided things a bit. Please audition the Dyns again. I think they are one of the best, and perhaps if you're like me you;ll think they are the best.
Happy listening!
It's the Musical Fidelity gear that you are hearing the brightness in, not the speakers. The 1.3se is one of the best monitors I've heard along with the Sonus Faber Electa Amator II. Very neutral tonal balance.
please see my Dyn1.3SE review on this site: 1.3SE
I don't have a 1.3 SE but a 1.3 MK II, I don't know how much power the Musical Fidelity puts out but remember the 1.3 SEs like all Dynaudio speakers needs lots of clean power to sound their best.
If you are hearing sibilance it could either be lack of power or some of your upstream components are inherently bright, and you're finally hearing them from a ruthlessly revealing pair of speakers.
I have a pair of Dynaudio 1.3 MK II and Musical Fidelity A3 cdp/A300 integrated amp, analysis plus oval 9 cables. The speakers did sound bright when new. Their initial location, in a room with high celing and hardwood floors did not helped either...In about 2 weeks I moved them in a carpeted smaller room and tweaked the placement a little. The problem was gone and now I am a happy camper...
Try the Totem Model 1. Head to head with Sim Eclipse and I5, I preferred the Totem. It is a bit richer and fuller, but with all the transparency and immediacy of the 1.3
Try Spendor SP3/1P for 1/2 the price. Equally resolving, but a warmer balance...and more efficient, too!
It uses a VERY nice Spendor 6.5" with a Scanspeak 19mm tweeter with a simple cross, pair-matched to 0.5dB. Doesn't get any better than this for monitors under $3k IMHO.
Or you could stick a 1ohm clean wire-wound resistor on the tweeter. I'm serious. It'd raise the crossover a bit, too, which would be no bad thing on the Contour 1.3
Unfortunately system efficiency would drop about 1/2dB.
You could accomplish the same thing by layering good quality
veils of grillcloth over the tweeter. Each one should be good for 1/3-1/2dB of tweeter suppression. Good Luck.
Part Two.
I have GREAT respect for Dynaudio drivers, and use speakers that have modified Scanspeak, Dynalab and Audio ?? of Denmark custom drivers (E. Skaaning).
The problem I've found is that Dynaudio seems less skilled at assembling systems from their drivers than other speaker majufacturers who use them! Several dealers have suggested to me that Dynaudio speakers sound like a great bunch of parts...and no musical. You may be hearing just that: a great woofer and tweeter not ideally blended...especially in your hard and lively room? Don't be afraid to modify the tweeter padding either electrically or mechanically, as I outlined above...you may be surprised that you may be able to dial it in to your great satisfaction! If not, sell 'em and try the Spendors. Ha!
I am a dynaudio 1,3MK2 owner and have used different setup to drive this gems.
I have no doubt about dynaudio driver being world-class standard however, it does not have world-class musicality compare to other top-notch monitors. For instance, it has a mediocre depth although it has excellent clarity and transparency.

I too encountered over-brightness in my dynaudio 1.3mK2 before settling down. To be frank, generally comparing to other monitors, I think 1,3Mk2 design has the highs a bit too forward/overintensified. I have similar feeling when I audition very carefully at showrooms /friend's home, and making numerous comparison with others.

While if you are going for a loudspeaker which gives very transparent highs,punchy bass and able to play loud with low distortion, these is the speaker for you.

I still own this speaker because it has a very transparent highs and authorative bass.
Interesting as I have owned Wilsons and others, and the SEs are one of the few that integrate the drivers superbly. I also like the 3.0, but my room doesn't need that big of a speaker.

Dyns jam or boogie so to speak...i was surprised how many speakers when you put on some Boston sound like boredom.

I run mine on Cary V12i btw