Dynaudio Excite X16 vs. Dynaudio Focus 140


Anyone compare these two models?

What did you think?

Disclaimer: We are a Dynaudio Dealer

The Excite X16 is a very linear loudspeaker and has no bad habits. It "plays well" with all gear and types of music as well as recording quality. As with all Dynaudio products, the X16 has outstanding build quality. This carries a large price/performance ratio.

The Focus 140 takes the performance to the next level over the X16. In addition to approaching the Reference styles of the Contour/Confidence series, all of the Focus series have a built in "fun factor." The 140 (by design) has a bit of a bass hump so it plays much larger than it's size. You will be amazed at what you hear from this compact monitor.

Hope this helps
Would you say the the 140's are smoother sounding and the X16's are a tad more brighter sounding?

Thanks for your help.
The Focus line's emphasis leans a bit toward the mid range. The Focus line's fit & finish are excellent but that should be expected because their prices are higher. In the looks dept, the Focus line is better but they are also harder to drive.

In the looks dept, the Excite line is not as appealing as the Focus line IMHO.

The Excite line is one notch below the Focus line but that does not mean they are inferior. In the March issue of Stereophile, Bob Reina said that the Excite X 12 is his new under $2K standmount reference. JA also agreed that unless you have a "cost is no object" budget for your next standmount speaker, it is almost impossible to beat the X 12.

In addition, Dynaudio confirms that the Excite line was designed to be "budget electronics friendly" which I see as a big +.

This is how I would describe the Dynaudio lines:

Evidence top of the line = Lexus LFA 11/12
Confidence = Lexus IS F/10
Contour = Lexus LS 10
Focus = Lexus GS 10
Excite = Lexus IS 10 (handsome, great fit & finish, full of luxurious amenities, fun to drive sport sedan yet more budget friendly with many consumers)
DM = Toyota Avalon/Camry SE
I'm not sure what exactly "DedicatedAudio" was getting at but the whole "fun factor" is a load of bull.

There are three basic differences between these two models. And these three things dictate the difference in cost.
A) Cabinet. The Focus is more rigid.
B) Drivers. The Focus uses the Esotec2 Tweeter with a neodymium magnet. This tweeter's response is nearly identical to their incredible Esotar2.
C) Crossover. The Focus crossover uses superior parts selection as well as including more elaborate impedance correcting circuits. So it is incorrect to claim that the Focus is more difficult to drive. It may have slightly less sensitivity but it is NOT more difficult to drive.

All of these things add up to significantly improved performance.

To put things into perspective.... Short of the ultra elaborate cabinet that goes with the Focal Utopia Diablo, all the parts that go into the Focus are on par with that level of speaker. Literally. And at a fraction of the cost.

Bottom line. The Excite is outstanding but if you can afford the Focus you absolutely will not regret the extra cost.

(Honestly, I would expect a "Dealer" to know these things off the top of their head. hmmmmm)
This is what Bob Reina at Stereophile said about the Excite X 12

I compared the Dynaudio Excite X12 ($1200) with the Amphion Helium2 ($1200), the Monitor Audio RS6 Silver ($1200), and the Epos M16i ($1995). (All prices per pair.)

The Amphion Helium2's midrange was very close to the Excite X12's, if a touch less silky. The highs were a little less detailed, delicate, and airy, but low-level dynamics were equally lifelike and linear. The bass was almost as clean as the Dynaudio's, but the X12 had much better high-level dynamics, despite the fact that the Amphion has the slightly larger cabinet.

The floorstanding Monitor Audio RS6 Silver's midrange was nearly identical to the Dynaudio X12's in timbre and detail, and its highs were more extended but not as delicate. However, the RS6 Silver's bass extension and high-level dynamic slam were far superior to the X12's.

The Epos M16i, another floorstander, had a gorgeous, silky midrange and the most detail and ambience retrieval of all four speakers. Its highs were as extended as the Dynaudio's, but the X12 sounded a bit silkier. The Epos's bass extension and high-level dynamics were also a little more deep and "bloomy" than the Dynaudio's.

Wrapping up
I frequently receive e-mails from readers who ask me to weigh the tradeoffs of the various speakers I've reviewed. With the Dynaudio Excite X12, there are no tradeoffs. It sets a high standard of excellence in every meaningful sonic parameter, whether in absolute terms or with respect to its price and size. Having heard so many excellent speakers in recent years, I thought it would be hard to find an affordable bookshelf model that would stand out from the pack. I was wrong. The Dynaudio Excite X12 has become my new benchmark for loudspeakers costing under $2000/pair."
Thanks everyone for your comments :)
This is how I would describe the Dynaudio lines:

Evidence top of the line = Lexus LFA 11/12
Confidence = Lexus IS F/10
Contour = Lexus LS 10
Focus = Lexus GS 10
Excite = Lexus IS 10 (handsome, great fit & finish, full of luxurious amenities, fun to drive sport sedan yet more budget friendly with many consumers)
DM = Toyota Avalon/Camry SE

I suppose this makes total sense. I am probably going to move from a pair of Quad 12L2 speakers to the Dynaudio DM 2/8. On the one hand I wonder if I'm downgrading from a Lexus to a Camry (I'd think the 12L2 is on par with the Excite X16). However, the move is designed to go to a speaker with a larger driver and larger cabinet so as to excel at playing rock music. The 12L2 is a great speaker, but gets a little compressed and congested with hard rock tunes. I figure a larger speaker with a bigger driver will work better and result in a more effortless sound with more sense of scale and bass weight. Most user comments and magazine reviews suggest it works great in this application.

Still, I wish Dynaudio made a version with a higher end cabinet, at least on par with the Excite series. Or at least provide the option.
Dear Prdprez,

We have nearly all Dynaudio speaker available for audition in our Loft.

Regarding the "fun factor" I mention. The entire Focus line has been designed to play bigger and deeper than their cabinet and drivers should allow. This magic is found by boosting the bass a bit, from the Focus 110 to the Focus 360. Many refer to this as "fun factor."

You will also notice I clearly state " The Focus 140 takes the performance to the next level over the X16. In addition to approaching the Reference styles of the Contour/Confidence series". I'm not quite sure what the problem is here, either.

Regarding your Focal Diablo/ Focus comparison, I agree, the $2100 Focus 140 is a remarkable loudspeaker and is one of my favorites (and customers, too), but we are also a Focal dealer and the $12,000 Diablo and 140 differences are greater than their similarities (and should be). The difference list is too long and irrelevant to Mezz's original question.

Regarding the X16/140 comparison - I clearly state the 140 the next level of performance, but the X16 is still a great speaker with linear performance. I assumed Mezz was aware of the cost differential and not mentioned.

Not sure what the problem is here?
Also PrdPrez

Because the tweeter was designed for the Excite 6 ohm application they are using a "Titan" designation for the Esotec2 Tweeter (but it is still an Esotec).
Dedicated Audio,

is the price of the Focal Diablo $12K or $15K ? Has there been a price drop ?

Hello Pinkus - the Focal Diablo is currently $12,000.00 pair and the matching stands are $2000.00 pair

Happy Listening
"The entire Focus line has been designed to play bigger and deeper than their cabinet and drivers should allow".

Do you understand how silly that sounds from an engineering perspective or from mere common sense? My guess would be no.

If speakers could be designed to sound bigger and deeper than their cabinet should allow then why on earth would something as big as the largest Utopia exist?
Or maybe you are implying a little bump in the frequency response in the bottom octave? Nope, doesnt have that either. Or certainly not any more than a typical floorstanding speaker.

I was also a salesman for both Dynaudio and Focal and the "problem" is that I dont think you know what you are talking about. Thats all.
Bottom line to my point.
Both speakers are within 1Hz specification on their frequency response and within 1dB on their sensitivity. Both of these differences amount to nothing in practical application.

Therefor the real differences were as I stated.
-The Focus benefits from better drivers.
-The Focus benefits from better cabinet construction.
-And, most noteworthy and contrary to what was said the Focus benefits from impedance correction circuitry which actually makes it and EASIER load on an amplifier. Or, in the very least, more consistent from one amplifier to the next.

These are the answers I would hope to hear from an actual dealer. Not obtuse stuff like "fun factor". Especially when it isnt even based on practical reality.
Not to be a bugger about all this. But..........
I stand by my statement on the tweeter as well.

Note how I distinctly pointed out the "neodymium" aspect of the Esotec tweeter.
Neodymium motor systems are significantly more expensive than iron core which also accounts for a difference in cost. It doesnt matter that the Excite is an "esotec" under a different name. They are different tweeters.
WHICH, goes to the point of my whole response. There are concrete and legitimate reasons as to why the Focus is superior to the Excite and also why it costs significantly more.
It is simply my opinion that these are better answers to give rather than a non-existent "bass hump".
You are correct that the Focus uses a Neodymium magnet and you are correct to assert that the drivers in the Focus are superior to the drivers in the Excite, as the Contour drivers are superior to the Focus and the Confidence is superior to the Contour and so on and so on. All Dynaudio speakers employ the impedance correction, even the Excite, which is a nominal 6 ohm impedance. The Esotec is a platform of driver technology and is changed accordingly for performance and price point.
True, all Dynaudio speakers use impedance correction. But if you look at the actual circuits it's easy to see that the implementation becomes more complex as you go up the lines.

I have the schematics for both of these speakers sitting around here somewhere. But it's a matter of simple fact that there are more and better parts in the Focus line.
Which, once again, was my point.
Prdprez, with better parts in the focus line vs the excite line do you mean better quality caps and resistors? which brands of caps are used for the corssovers of these speakers? thanks
I owned both the Focus 110s and 140s. Very pretty speakers both but I liked the 110s the best. With my equipment they were more open and naturally detailed than the 140s which sounded very natural but a little thick and opaque. I was bored a bit by them.
Jdec, The capacitors in the Focus are all Solen film type. The Excite are a combination of Bennic electrolytic and BC film.
The coils in the Focus are all air core while the Excite will have at least one iron core coil.
And the resistors in the Focus are ceramic but they are chosen for their resistence to temperature drift. The ones in the Excite are your basic ceramic types.
Hope that helps.
Thank you everyone for your comments.
@ Prdprez

Based on your opinion, which line do you like better, the Danes or the French? Dynaudio vs Focal that is.

My preferences are with Dynaudio. Focal makes some very nice stuff. But whenever it came head to head I had a much easier time selling Dynaudio.
And, for what it's worth, I sold a lot of speakers to individual members of the local symphony. Every single one of them purchased Dynaudio.
I am curious to know where you worked when you sold Dynaudio and Focal?