I recently owned a pair of B&W CDM 9 NTs (the predecessor of the 703s) and just purchased a pair of Dynaudio Contour S 3.4s. I should point out at that I have always been fairly displeased with the very lively metal dome tweeter in the CDM series. Having said that, the Dynaudio is superior in every way to my CDMs and I cannot imagine someone being anything but enamoured with these speakers. I also listen to a very wide range of music and have been re-discovering my collection since acquring the Dyns.
The one thing that may concern me is your amp. To my understanding, the Jolida is rated at 100 wpc. I found that with the lower sensitivity and 4 ohm load, the Countours require a lot of power to play loudly. I find i am pushing my 400w Mac MC402 to higher levels than usual to reach satisfying SPLs. That being said, 100 watts of high quality tube power should suffice.
Since you can probably get around $2500 for the 703 if you choose to sell them, the financial loss for a used pair of Contour 3.4 is almost nil (there is one for sale here for $2300).
I have the Dyn C1's and am using a Bryston B100 sst rated at 100w @ 8 ohms and 180w @ 4 ohms. Sounds great to me and others. Dyns like B&W love power. Dyns have a great high end where the B&W (even D series) are a little bright and too forward for my taste. Like Adamg I too have been re-discovering my cds (not into pottery wheels oops I mean turntables and vinyl - too much work and money) since I got the Dyns.
Synergy is everything. I have had one pair of Dynaudios, the 70 series. Admittedly not their top of the line, but I believe they are consistent with their sound and philosophy. Watts is not the issue. The answer to your question lies in what you like as a reproduction of live music- do you hear more life-like sound out of the Dynaudios, or the B&Ws? Only you can decide.
Depends on if you like the sound of the B&W. I found the sound of the Dynaudio to be quite a bit different. For classical music, I generally prefer the B&W, but I haven't owned or spent a lot of time listening to the 703.
I was really surprised with the Jolida. This was my first experience with tube gear and was hesitant on lower power. I had a pair of Bryston 7Bst Mono Amps so I was used to huge amounts of solid state power. The Jolida was modified with a larger better power supply and all the other goodies. Down the road I plan to buy some heftier tube amplification but should be fine for now.
As a former B&W owner, (DM 620's), I ordered a pair of 804's. In the meantime, I listened to a pair of Dyn Contour 3.4's, and fell in love with them, but I had convinced myself that I couldn't afford a pair of $5000 speakers. I then listened to all the B&W's from the 804 on up. None of them did for me what the Dyn Contour 3.4 did. I then was told about a pair of Contour 5.4 demos that were available for the same price as the new 3.4's. I bought them, and have been very happy ever since. My system has improved by leaps and bounds in the three years since I got them, and I don't think I will ever need to change speakers again in my lifetime. I'm sure either the 3.4's or 5.4's would really satisfy you.
Best of luck,
I made the switch from B&W to Dynaudio about 8 years ago and have never looked back. I currently own 3 pairs of Dynaudio speakers ranging from the entry-level Audience line up to the Confidence line. I've had no problems driving my C2's and C4's with a 125 wpc (@ 8 ohms) Plinius amp. You'll be fine with the Jolida driving the 3.4's. Go for it... you won't be sorry!
I have a set of Dyn's S5.4's and think they are fantastic.I demoed the B&W's but could not get interested.
I power the Dyns with a Cary 120s amp without any problems whatsoever.I also have 3runs of Ocos wire to each which is a match made in heaven..(stuff is hard to find and pricy new from dealers)If I wasn't going to run Ocos I would be using Naim NACA5 wire.A good match with Dyns..Looking foward to getting some C4's in a few years.
Get the Dyns and sit back and enjoy
Personally I think the 5.4's sound great with most music but NOT and I repeat, not heavy metal or most hard rock. Maybe because they are so revealing and a lot of the harder type music is not recorded very well but when I brought mine home it really changed the way I listen to music. If I need my head banging fix I just go to the garage system. Make sure you audition them with your kind of music not the stuff they play in the audio salons before you buy them.
IMO.. Dynaudio,no brainer.B&W runs a distance third in the Dyn/Focal/B&W race.Ive owned all 3 and never felt the B&Ws did anything special..Focal would be a better choice over B&W as well...
I found the Dyns to be more tolerable with bright, poorly recorded material than the B&Ws. Although the esotar and esotec soft dome tweeter is very revealing, it has a much more natural sound that the B&Ws metal dome tweeter.
I've had my B&W Nautilus 803 for years. Really enjoyed them. One thing they do require is top of the line electronics, cables and at least some room treatment. They sounded great.
My problem with these speakers ultimately began when my son was born. I just couldn't enjoy them anymore due to the fact that low level resolution is not B&W's stregnth. And when you have a little kid your listening ends in the early evening. B&Ws just don't sing unless you go full throttle. So I started searching recently.
I listened to a lot of speakers and I liked several. However, I decided on the Dynaudio S5.4. They do everything well, have very coherent, balanced presentation and are very listenable at lower listening levels due to their excellent resolution.
Audience 82's are on blowout sale in my area for $2300 vs 4000+ list!! They are full range, 3 way and a terrific value as well.
I have had the Dynaudio Contour 5.4, C2, C4 and also the B&W CDM 7NT then the 802 non diamond. For looks I would buy the B&W but for my sound preference I would get the Dynaudio.
I agree about the Audience 82, I heard the audience 72 and great value for the price but the need power to get the best out of them, well the same with most dyns.
I tried the (Confidence) C2s. While they had nice detail, they sounded like a bookshelf speaker - very lacking in bass (except for real low bass which was fine). Midrange didn't have any weight and from a timbre perspective, it wasn't even close to natural.
I have heard the S5.4s are much better in this respect (although perhaps don't have the detail of the C2s).
Audience 82's retailed for $2800 per pair.Madfloyd, as far as what you experienced with the C-2, it ceratainly sounds like a set up issue, Dynaudio is known for having a beautiful meaty mid range and the C-2 is no exception.
Thanks everyone for the helpful responses. I am going to make the switch and when I do, I will let everyone here know what I purchased.
I just bought a pair of Audience 72SE in Cherry for $1500 New in Box from a Dynaudio Dealer. What a great find and will hold me over until I can swing something out of the Confidence Line.