Dynaudio Special 25 vs. Contour 1.3 SE

I'm torn between just getting a pair of Dynaudio Contour 1.3 SE and ponying up to a pair of Special 25s. Are the Special 25s really that much better than the 1.3 SEs? I love the tight control of the 1.3 SEs, however, I haven't had the opportunity to listen to the Special 25s. Whatever I choose, I'll be driving them with an old Krell KSA 100 (class A) through a Meitner Museatex DAC--no preamp. I'm also open to non-Dynaudio suggestions, however, the JM Utopias were a bit warm for my tastes. Thank you!
How big is your room? I had the Special 25's for a home audition - they have a very large rear port, and I found that they really required being brought out about 4 feet from the back wall in my 14x18 room. When I did that, the bass locked in very well. I wasn't totally sold on the low end even after doing this - don't get me wrong, it was very good. It just didn't have as full a lower end as you might want, a problem with many monitors.

The tweeter in the Spec25's is unbelievably fast. If you want detail and imaging, I can't imagine a better answer.

Two things - I had them for a weekend, not a month, so these were somewhat limited impressions. I also don't know how broken in the speakers were - I had them fairly shortly after their release. I seriously doubt they had hundreds of hours on them. The things that concerned me may have become bigger in my mind, but also might have become mitigated or even become strengths.

I've only listened to the 1.3SE's at the dealer, driven by nice Krell amplification. Very nice, but no idea how they'd compare specifically with the Spec25's in concrete terms, as I haven't had them in my room.

To throw something else into the mix, have you thought about springing for the extra $$, but buying a pair of the Confidence 3's? Faced with many of the same parameters, that's where I ended up. In any case, an unbelievably well constructed and sounding speaker. Not quite as detailed, but a somewhat fuller sound, and will definitely have a deeper bottom end than the 1.3SE. I never had the Confidence 3's in my room at the same time as the Spec 25's, so I can't say I compared and one was a clear winner, tho I'm extremely happy with the Confidence 3's.

All of these are great speakers, IMO - well built, sound good on lots of genres of music, fill a lot of space without taking up much room. I don't think you can go wrong, basically. And, no, I wouldn't throw out an alternative to the Dyns :-) -Kirk
I also had the 1.3SEs and they are a very nice speaker, but like the person stated about you have to pull they out from the rear wall then babies need room to breath. I never heard the 25s, but I do now own the C2s, and I will have to agree with Kthomas if you can try moving up to the C3s. I hear they give a better soundstage.
Having spent time with both, as the above poster's commented, you HAVE pull them out as least 5-6'...
Dyna 25 offers broader soundstage than 1.3SE. It is easier to drive too, 90db, you can try on tube gear as well.
I probably will not step up to the Confidence series due to space and budget constraints. Your input is greatly appreciated. It looks like a bigger port, 2 Hz and 2 dB is going to cost twice as much.
The Confidence 3's sensitivity is rated at 96 dB. That's the same as the 1.3 SE and 2 dB less than the Special 25. The frequency responses are rated as follows: 35-28K for the Confidence 3, 37-27k for the 1.3 SE and 35-25K for the Special 25. This makes for a tough decision because though the sound may be more 3-dimensional with the Confidence, the sensitivity is off of the Special 25's rating by 2 dB which is not insignificant. My room could be as small as 10x 15 x9 or as large as 15x 30x 20. Any more feedback? Thank you.

Hello all,
I've owned the Dyn1.3SE's, and currently own the Dyn S3.4s and the Dyn Special25's. [Bgarrett]: I would recommend that you not get too caught-up in the specs of the various models you are interested in. The specs are not going to tell you much about the sound; rather only how they measure technically. It's important to remember that each of the models described above has a unique voice and sound.

For what it's worth, I believe that there is a significant performance increase from the 1.3se to either the C3, S25, or S34s. Most notably that the 1.3se tweeter seems prematurely rolled-off when compared to any of the other models. The C3 at medium to higher volumes is a benchmark speaker, however the C3 needs a huge amount of high-quality current; and performs best at fuller volumes in my experience. The C3 is also the least efficient at sensitivity and ohm load. Either the S25 or S34 is an easier load for an amp compared to the C3 and they don't go below 4 ohms.

As always an in-home audition with your equipment is preferred, as long as the speaker is properly already broken-in. Both the S25 and S34 take at a minimum over 100 hours of medium/fuller volume to get them to relax and open-up.

Bigger differences between the S25 and the S34, would be the use of the Esotar2 tweeter in the S25, and the new Esotec tweeter in the S34. Also, the S34 will dig deeper for you than the other models mentioned here, if a fuller range or dvd/film playback is an option for you.

I'd be glad to field additional specific questions if you have them.

given your room constraints I would recommend the Special25. Based mostly on the increased resolution and bass dynamics of the S25 over the 1.3se and the somewhat limited space/volume of your room. Ultimately, your personal taste of the models should prevail.
Thank you very much for the feedback. So, the C3's don't sound very good at low volumes? The Krell 100 is class A, hopefully it will keep up. I would need a speaker to do well at the 15 W per speaker level. So, should the C3s be taken off my list?
the 1.3 SE play better at louder volumes also, if you are taking the C3s off you better take off the 1.3 SE also. but i notice that when i picked up the PS Audio power plant 600 all that stop, i don't know why but it did.
Bgarrett - I wouldn't say the C3's don't sound very good at low volumes. They really sound fabulous if you let them go a bit, but they sound very good at low volumes as well. If you always listen at very modest volumes, you might find that you prefer a more sensitive speaker that is easier to drive, but at volumes my family will let me play my system at when they're not trying to sleep, the C3's are wonderful.

I would say the C3's wouldn't sound very good driven by less than excellent amplification. Krell and Dynaudio are a nice match, IMO, and I think you'd find that your amp drives the C3 (or any of the Dyn's you've mentioned) very nicely. Again, even if you're not cranking it up, having the current output and some muscle behind the speakers, even at low volumes, really makes them sing.

As MoeMoney says, the 1.3SE has the same characteristics - needs lots of good power to sound right throughout the volume range, sounds very good even at modest volumes, but really sings when it can "open up". -Kirk
OK, let me ask folks for a Dynaudio speaker recommendation for my 12'x 17' room, please. The room will tolerate a bit more bass loading than many people assume. I have been running the Gallo Reference Nucleus 3's and Coincident Super Eclipses.

Listening to the Gallos has taught me that the Super Eclipses (original version) ARE overloading the room some what, and that a monitor or a floor standing speaker with tighter bass (apparently the current Super Eclipse III version corrects this) is a good thing.

Thoughts or recommendations vis-à-vis Dynaudio...and my 12 x 17 room? Amplification is currently 95 watts (triode push/pull) but I am open to suggestions there, too (such as maybe the Musical Fidelity kW500 integrated amp).