DynAudio Contour 60 vs Paradigm Persona 7F


Hi all,

I know there is a big difference in price and that the 7Fs are roughly twice the cost of the 60s. But the reason I’m asking is that there are two time sensitive deals I could consider and so far my auditioning has brought the Contour 60s and Persona 5Fs to the front of the line in terms of connecting me to the music, and not having the opportunity to audition the 7Fs in person I’m trusting they maintain everything I liked about the 5F with the addition of improved bass.

Room and System...

I have a 21 x 18 room with nine foot ceilings which opens up to the house. When my renovation is done the back wall will basically be gone meaning the room will effectively be 21 x 40 (as it will open into the kitchen and breakfast room with just a support-column in the way). The speakers will be on the long wall (21 foot wall) which got rid of boominess with my current full range speakers versus when the stereo was setup along the shorter 18 (and the configuration needs to stay this way with the equipment and speakers along the 21 foot wall). I've got a Hegel H30 amp which is connected by Ansuz Carbon XLR cable’s from a Hegel HD30 dac. I'll probably be upgrading speaker cable’s on the future once the new speakers settle in. No preamp yet (dac has volume control).

I can space the speakers 8-12 feet apart and up to 3-4 feet away from the front wall, and I can sit 10-12 feet back (without a major furniture re-arrange).

Listening...

I love rock and so the final speaker choice needs to be dynamic and play loud when asked with satisfying bass. I like to dance and listen when working around the house so good dispersion is important. Also when critical listening to singer/songwriter and jazz or vocalist music I’m an imaging freak and need holographic 3D soundstsging and natural sibilant free mids for female vocals. Also looking for airy highs to allow sounds to float in good recodings.

Despite their different price categories and different engineering philosophy, both these speakers hit those marks. Having auditioned in different environments with different gear, my take away is that the Dyns are authoritative but also musical and deliver warm mids with an astonishing level of micro resolution with no hint of brightness. The 5Fs I heard took the resolution even further and bass sounded more real... though the mids were less warm and the highs threatened to be bright if powered by forward sounding electronics (Attributes I’m assuming carry to the 7F). I worry that with gear that is neutral (Hegel) that the Personas might sound clinical or synthetic (an untested thought) though they really sang with the Meridian gear when I heard them. I should add I heard the Dyns with my Hegel gear so that’s a known synergy.

Since I can’t audition in my home prior to purchase, and given the time sensitive nature of the deals I’ve been offered (Dyn C 60 vs Persona 7F)... your input is appreciated. Do I get the Dyns now and maybe upgrade later if not fully satisfied? Given my gear and room (which I could sound treat if needed) should I beg my partner for mercy and get the 7Fs with the belief that they could be "speakers for life"? I’m 46 and would much rather spend coming years experimenting with cables and preamps having a steady pair of transparent speakers that are anchors in my evolving system. Or would the Dyns possibly do that at 1/2 the cost?

Help!

Dave :)

dvdboulet
Last week I had to opportunity to hear the Contour 60 and Contour 30 back to back on Hegel equipment.  Unfortunately I can't comment on the Paradigm speakers, however I was really impressed with the Dynaudio sound.  In fact I felt shameful for not giving them more respect prior.  I tend to like presence and tone a lot.  Truth be told I think the 30's sound better than the 60's.  Still their house sound is very appealing.  They have hit my radar for future consideration.  
1:IMO Dynaudio makes the worlds best speakers at every price bracket...
2:You mention acoustic treatment...I read years ago that ALL Paradigm speakers are voiced in anachoic chambers and they perform best in treated rooms..EVERY Paradigm I have ever demo'd in normal rooms was bright & I suspect this is why...Inversely EVERY Dynaudio I have either owned or demo'd sounded good in so so rooms & blossomed in treated rooms...
3:Nothing I have heard up to $2000.00 stages or images like Dynaudio...IMO it's the tweeter,look how far off the baffle the tweeter protrudes.Couple that to minimum width baffles & they disappear with little effort...
Hmm, I've heard a few people here mention they've found Paradigm speakers bright, but I've always found them nicely resolving yet neutral, probably closest to Revel when it comes to sound signature.  

Focal and Goldenear on the other hand, yikes, those could make my ears bleed.  
7F for sure.  Especially if you are getting that good of a deal on them.
Dave,
I will throw you a slight curve ball and recommend you look at the Silverline Bolero Supremes.
Think Dyn sound with a bass kick and a 8ohm load and 93db,with only 3 parts in the entire crossover.

Kenny.
@dvdboulet, you have a awesome room. Would love to have a room like that. I have heard the Dynaudio and it is a pretty nice sounding loudspeaker. While it requires a powerful amp to come alive, your Hegel is more than enough to drive it to crazy levels.
I have heard the smallest floor standers in that Persona series and I was pleasantly surprised by what I heard. They imaged amazing in a room without treatments and a glass wall behind the speakers.
If I recollect from my listening experience, I would say the Dynaudios are more laidback while the Paradigms are more upfront (but not bright). It will depend on your preference between laid back and upfront.As a FYI, the Dyns were driven by Pass amps and Audio Research preamp. The Paradigms were driven by a Peachtree amp.
I heard the c60 and the 5f and it's pretty nice having first world problems :) I think it will depend on the music and QUALITY of recordings as the esotar2 tweeter has a rep for being a bit more forgiving. My money would be the C60 and your room should be big enough to let them open up. I bought a pair of salon2's for the price of the c60 new, but unless I can get the C60 home it would be unfair to make comparisons. I would be happy with either tho.
Thanks! Yeah... for that matter did you find that to you the revel Ultima2 salon2s sounded better than the Dyn C60s?
@steve59  ya wonder if any follow up on the C60s vs salon 2 ?
The Contour 60's are immensely impressive once you give them time to break in and you feed them enough power.  I have never heard such texture in the bass and such punch at the same time.  To me, a speaker has to reproduce the human voice flawlessly and convincingly, the dyns do that very well.  

I have heard the larger Personas and although they immediately impress with their "presence" and razor sharp precision, I truly doubt that they sound "human".  Impressive, very much so, just simply not true to life.
@dznutz  well said... that precision is addictive though.. especially when you mix in some smoothness from the pre, amp or dac. Then you get some magic. But I would really love to hear the dynaudios. Both contour and confidence series.
Dynaudio has a much better target curve than whatever Paradigm is doing with Persona series--trying to copy B&W or something.
@steve59  ya wonder if any follow up on the C60s vs salon 2 ?

The C60 can be had for pretty good prices right now, but no I never got a pair home mainly because the lack of interest I didn't think if I bought a used pair I wouldn't be able to resell them had they not lived up to my expectations.