Dynaudio Contour S5.4 vs Focus 380?


I am being offered both these speakers for the similar money.

And I am absolutely confused, what to do.

How can the differences be described? I could not find a review ANYWHERE!

Even asked Dynaudio. No reply.

Clearly the Contour is higher in rank but also older.

Both have the same tweeter.

I come from the Focus 340, and I LOVE them.

how can the differences be described?

Please help!!! Need to decide asap....
I have owned the Contour S5.4's. Excellent speaker.
Hopefully you are dealing with a dealer who has both. Bring your own music and do a A&B comparison. As long as you like the speaker you choose nothing else matters.
Contour and Focus share the same tweeter but Contours highs are better becuz customised on a higher level...Contours bass goes deeper...Contour is more laid back speaker...has more deeper and higher soundstage...Contour has more advanced cabinet...5.4 will demand even more powerful and rafined amps to get it right...Focus is great speaker for the money...but Contour is better...not by far but better...no matter how older design is...i owned Focus 380 few years ago...no matter which speaker you choose be sure to power them with powerful high current SS amps or they will not shine their potential and you gonna waste your money...also you need to put them in atleast middle sized room to breathe properly...if you have any other questions feel free to ask

Will be powered by Linn's top of the line Chakra Twin amp, dyn version - so that should not be the problem..
I dont know...never listened to that amp...specs dont look convincing (to fully wake up Dyns ofcourse) but most time specs are deceiving...you got to try it for yourself...i was pushing Focus with Gryphon Diablo integrated and it was wonderful combination but there is never enough power for Dyns so beware...also i forgot to tell you that Contours are more musical and involving speaker than Focus...but you must carefully chose amp source and cables...

Thank you for the feedback..

That amp is worth knowing ;)

PS - if there is anybody who has heard both speakers....
Hi, I have heard both speakers, but with different electronic, so I could escchar, the 380 m seemed better box, more refined, and more controlled, but it is also true that the 5.4 My friend does not have the right amp and the right room, the contour is more relaxed, acute is more like the C1, and the grave is more relaxed, but also very low ...
I describe the systems used.

System 1: Dynaudio 5.4, plinius odeon, audible illusions M3A preamp, eectrocompniet EMC1 up

System 2: Dynaudio focus 380, Threshold S/500, plinius Tautoro or Grypon Bel Canto preams, linn Majik DS

As I said before in these conditions but I liked the 380 .. I hope I helped a little. Greetings and good luck
Yonigta thank you - could you please describe a little bit more?

The more words you write, the better - you are the only one until now who has heard both speakers!

- "so i could escchar"
what did you mean? escchar, i dont know that word

- " but it is also true that the 5.4 "
did some words miss here?

"acute is more like the C1"
sorry what did you mean?

"very low"
you mean more bass-rich sound?

Thank you very much for your information!!!
Hope you can write some more.
hello again, sorry for my English, is largely the google translator ...

- "so i could escchar" = So i could listen...

but it is also true that the 5.4 (of) my friend does .....

"acute is more like the C1"
sorry what did you mean? =high frequencies, are very similar the Focus 380 and C1 ..

"very low"
you mean more bass-rich sound? = Very bass
5.4 richer in low frequencies, but better bass control in 380..

that's my point of view with the two listened systems

5.4 is very spectacular, and is better for many genres.

380 the focus is more intimate, and with a little more control, but both need very good amplifiers ...

Thank you Yonigta
very very helpful

But now the choice is really going in the other way again... difficult!!

Pro S5.4:
- bigger range: 30 Hz – 27 kHz (± 3 dB), 380 : 35 Hz – 23 kHz (± 3 dB)
- very big soundstage, and still extremely unforgiving, precise sound
- rich 'bass' focused sound

Pro 380:
- more 'intimate' sound
- even more 'accurate' soundstage, 'faster'
- bass is more controlled and precies
- prettier to look at
- I love the sound from 340, and the 380 has even higher score in reviews.
- Many very positive reviews can be found, for the countour S5.4 they are harder to find

Any Input Welcome!!!
Rusty75...i dont know based on what you concluded that i did not heard Contour 5.4...maybe on my post from 2013 year where i said i did not heard it...but in beggining of this year i heard 5.4 speaker in system of my friends friend with hegel H30 mono amplification...session was about few hours and in different system than my focus but enough to hear differences between focus 380 and contour 5.4...i also heard focus 340 with exposure 3010s2 integrated and contour 3.4 with vincent integrated amp (i cant remember of model)...so i know preety much differences in sound of new focus line and contour...and i wouldnt say that 5.4 is more unforgiving on bad records, or that bass on focus is more controled and precis...i would say that 5.4 is bit more involving and more musical and has lower ear fatigue than focus i heard...focus is also more forward sounding speaker...i writed in my previous posts every other difference i heard so...

Raindog thank you so very much
It was really helpful - I respect your post very much (of course - because you took the time to help me!!) but since you did not write that you heard both.. I was not so sure how much time you had spent with them.

From your words I understand that you like them better.

So now we have somebody who likes the 380 more (Yonigta) and somebody who likes the Contour more (Raindog031)..

interesting :)

But I am slowly looking towards the 5.4 a little more now..

That case volume, and construction, same tweeters, bigger dynamic range.. from the -facts- , it is the better speaker...

I will maybe have a chance to hear the Focus 380 on Wednesday.

PS Raindog maybe stupid question but the Focus 380 was fully broken in? My 340 took a -really- long time. And then, it was only good after I played them really loud for half an hour, After 5 months.
I owned Focus 380 for about year...burning in speakers lasted about 2 weeks of non stop playing at middle level...after 200 hours they started to sound much better especially on bass and slowly getting better till around 300 and little more hours...every Dyn sounds best when played at loud levels allthough they sound very decent at low and mid levels...dont get me wrong...i just loved to listening focus speakers but contour is just on a higher level...but if you like more focus flavor then go for it by all means, im sure you want regret it but contour will give you just more of that Dynaudio sound...more taller full bodyed images of musitians, more rafined and realistic sound...if you are not technophile who upgrades every 3 months and you mean to keep those speakers for a long time and have proper space for them i would say contour...then you will have world class audiophile speakers and will slowly build a great system around them...you wont be sorry either way...dont waste your time on reviews too much...trust your ears on auditions and then decide no matter who says what, bring your amp atleast if you can...good luck...keep us posted...

Hi Raindog

Thank you. I think you have convinced me :)

The way you describe speakers, is how I look at them. The last set I bought (with my hard-earned money, just starting to go to college), I kept it for 20 years. Then I spent 6 months searching, to replace my now really old Celestion 3 bookshelf speakers, with something better. One day I heard a Focus 160, and I thought - THAT IS IT. :)
So of course the 260 sounded even better... I went to listen to that a second time with my father and the 340 was also there... we both completely liked it.

Now I have replaced my Linn Akurate Amp with a Linn Klimax, and suddenly had the chance to also move up the speakers a little, but I love the Focus sound... together with Linn it is a perfect combination and I like to tell myself that I will stay with this for the next 20 years... it is a nice thought... :)

I will bring the amp in a few days and try to listen to the Focus 380, and then speak with the dealer about the S5.4... will then make the final decision towards the end of the week.

plan to keep it next 20 years!? in that case go and buy c4-s NOW!!! forget what wife says, just bring them home...she will love the look :)
We found a place where we can hear all speakers, woth my own amp. They offer me a sharp price for the contours, the C4 and Focus are also there. Will go there eith my better half..and my own amp.
I hope your wife will appreciate timeless elegant slim design of confidence c4 in live becuz if your amp will be up to task you will choose c4-s regarding the sound...but in the end you'll decide will the sound of c4-s be worth of price difference...i dont know what music do you listen but observe how c4-s behave on large scale music...great midhall presentation...you will be suprised...but also has intimacy of mini monitor speaker with chamber music and jazz quartets...the box is even more dead than contours...and has more real bass that is not shaking rooms and punching you in chest that gets you tired after half hour of listening...it has clean fast and tight bass...notice that though Focus and C4-s share same raw driver esotar2 how much better driver is customised on c4s...its brutal...just listen to some solo piano music and notice how much more musical involving and swaying c4 sounds...notice how much better attack and decay is and more real presentation of low level details...it sounds just right...that is my experience...also if you can play with different sources and cables a bit so you dont write off one of speakers too soon...i would reccomend you that you use some fast silver cables...im using Crystal cables Ultra SC and IC with great results...great cables and sources is also must...or your speakers will underperform...every of 3 mentioned speakers is a gem and i wouldnt be suprised if you choose Focus model...anyway good luck and take your time...you have sweet worries...

I prefered s5.4 over c4,because it sounded less dark,more free,bass pumping,less power demanding.Now I prefer s1.4 over c1 for the same reasons,just sounding less sterile than c1
So.. we made the long trip to the dealer, and listened to all the three speakers pairs, connected to my amp. What happened:

- played the Focus 380. Nice, well-known sound, as expected, same as the 340, but more bass-presence, maybe a bit roomier.

Now it may have been the positioning of the loudspeakers, because the Contours were place kind of in front of the rest of the speakers, (it was a dealer shop, and the pair of contours were not up for sale as the rest, so they were added for our hearing experience).

Anyway, the Contours really stood out. The difference with the Focus was massive. Instruments placement, clarity of voice, width of the stage, actually it made me realise these things really are a way to describe the speakers, as with the contours this terminology all made sense.

We really loved them and did not listen to the Focus 380 anymore (apart from all the way in the end).

So then we played the C4s. First impression:

we played the first song beginning to end.

I think that kind of tells the difference.

Actually, the Contours really made the decision a bit tough, as at some point we switched back and really, i mean -REALLY- liked how the S5.4s stood out when presenting a female voice in combination with some bass and guitar instruments.

There was really a big isolation going on. The woman was singing, the instruments were being played.

The C4s were a bit more 'silvery', a bit more 'satin' like, in their presentation. But in all, it was no comparison.

so, to make a long story short, my girl told me she really liked the C4, and they are now standing in our room :)

THANKS for all the input, and for Raindog to push me to not forget the C4.

Here at home, they are in a relatively small room. But this is not a problem at all. There is not even a hint of bass overpowering, the room is also quite full with stuff, i think that helps - but it is just a pure joy to listen to the music coming alive. Wow.

PS Regarding my amp, it does not have any trouble with the speakers whatsoever.

sorry for the long story and dramatic undertone, i'm just writing it in one go, we are just really happy, and very satisfied with the choice!

so, everybody thanks for the input.

and ps Extravaganza, i can imagine that there are definitely reasons for going with the Contours. They did make female voice stand out very much, very nicely. The C4 have a bit of the Focus sound , -partly-, in how voices are represented. However the general representation of the music, in how it is all placed out, is wonderful with the C4. The contours were a bit too... 'dry', and we thought it might make us a bit tired of it quicker.

But i also have the suspicion that the C4 demos are not completely played in yet - the Focus 340 had a bit of this in the beginning as well.


Final note for people reading this and not having seen the Contours in real life: they really look much nicer in real life than on the pictures! Same goes for the C4s. My girl hated the photos, but to my surprise she actually mentioned they look 'nice' here in the room...
Rusty tnx for response...nice story...and great choice of speakers if i may say...i had a similiar fear that bass might be overpowering in my room too becuz of almost double cabinet volume than focus 380 but bass was even more cleaner better and deeper than focus...slim cabinet, baffle and floor stand handle reflections and vibrations at minimum...and while i have 30m2 room which is not small and im not complaining but more benefit would be in even bigger room and speakers more away from all walls...be sure to make some acoustic treatments becuz your system deserves it and it will make great difference especialy at loud listening levels what dynaudio is all about...