I can't comment on how the C2 sounds, but I have lived for three years with the Contour 5.4's, and couldn't be happier. I would think they give a very large amount of what the C2 provides, since they share many of the same drivers, at a much lower cost.
It would be great to compare them side by side, but the only local dealers don't stock anything higher in the Dynaudio line than the Contour.
The 5.4's seem to hold their value quite well, so if you tried a pair, you probably wouldn't lose much (providing you buy pre-owned or demo), if later you decided you had to have the C2's. Either way, you are getting a great speaker.
Be sure to post again after you make a purchase, I'd be curious to see what you think about whichever one you buy.
Best of luck, enjoy,
Im a Dynaudio dealer so maybe I can offer a comparison as I listen to these on a daily basis.
The S5.4s are a true 3-way design utilizing the incredible Esotar2 tweeter. Very smooth and detailed and incredible bass output. These will play loud and not strain doing it. I usually represent it as an music lovers/reference home theater speaker.
The C2s are a step above in transparency top to bottom. I find the highs to have more extension, the mids to be more transparent and open, and the bass to be tight and responsive. It wont play as deep or loud as the 5.4s, but its a better music speaker IMO because of the increased resolution.
The C2s tend to disappear better than the 5.4s too. You can close your eyes and they transport you to the live event better. The Confidence line incorporates the DDC driver configuration which eliminates up to 70% of floor and ceiling reflections which can really help in some rooms. Though the drivers look similar, the Confidence drivers have a more robust motor structure, which coupled with the more exotic cabinet construction, contributes to an overall superior speaker.
However, both speakers are spectacular. Dynaudio uses very similar crossover points and driver technology between the lines so they all share the house sound. If you are building a reference 2-channel system, the C2s are better in my book. You might even consider the Sapphires which combine the transparency of the C2s with the low-end authority of the 5.4s.
Hope this helps.
"Incredible bass output"
This just my opinion, but as an owner of the 5.4 I think this is somewhat misleading. To me for an $8k speaker I think these are seriously lacking in the bass dept. and sound anemic without a sub. Maybe I'm just a bass hound or maybe it's my room but when I first brought these speakers home I thought the detail was incredible, but.....where's the bass?
Hello Norton, all, as previously posted, I've been using the 5.4's for a few years now, and I would have to say they are a very well balanced speaker, one of the best I've heard in that respect. A lack of bass must be how they are coupling to your room. I've had mine in two completely different locations, and in both, they had adequate bass. Or, as you stated, you may be a bass hound.
Its definitely not the speaker, its where you sit in the room. Your listening position is probably in a bass null, or other words you are sitting in a spot where you are getting cancellation. Try experimenting with moving you seating position if possible.
I to have heard the 5.4's in multiple rooms and have found the bass to be quite sufficient so I would have to say its the room or speaker/seat placement.
Remember the number 1 killer of a speakers sound is their environment and placement.
As Dynaudio dealer and an owner of the S5.4 in my own personal room for years. I find it hard to believe this statement "seriously lacking in the bass dept. and sound anemic". Goodness, these have no problems sitting you back in your seat when called upon. I find the bass to be quite sufficient even plentiful when mated with an adequate amplifier.
It totally agree with Matt and his opinions between the S5.4 and C2. Couldn't have said it better myself.
No where in the owners manual or online brochures could I find the freqency response of these speakers, just that they have powerful woofers and I know what kind of material would be played on these speakers at a "dealer".
I guess the point I'm trying to make is that although these speakers may have adequate bass to some people for some others maybe not and at over 8K I think a speaker should do it all not just sound great for some "folk" music or classic "jazz". JMO.
True...If you are into Rap or Techno music, the S5.4 might not be right for you. I would call it a sin to play that garbage on such great speakers. Ha! ;-)
I just auditioned a C2. At first I thought it was too laid back but the more I listened, the more I loved the detail and female voices were excellent.
Unfortunately, a lot of music didn't sound satisfying due to overly lean bass.
I'm wondering how much detail I would lose going with the 5.4s? My dealer doesn't have this model so I have no way of auditioning them.
I dont think you are giving up detail in the 5.4s. They are amazing speakers, and my highest recommendation at their price point. You might consider the Sapphire if you are willing to spend a bit more money.
The 5.4s are better in a large space, whereas the C2 is a sleek floorstander that is evenly balanced in a small to medium room.
My room is 26x14x7.5. It's soundproofed so it retains bass energy (i.e. speakers with heavy bass - like Aerials - don't mate well).
I will probably audition the C2s to see if my room will excite what bass is present in them, and if it doesn't work, seek out 5.4s or the Sapphires.