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Which Dyns? I have the Confidence 5s and couldn't be (much) happier. I will say that the C5s are extremely analytical so your front end/amp must be up to par. I'd be curious to hear your impressions of the Revels vs the C5s. Only complaint: although the cherry finish is nice, Dynaudios are one of the most visually boring speakers in this price range.
Thanks for the follow up. I am leaninf toward the Confidence 3s. The front end is the BAT cd and for now Audio Research LS3 but am in the market for a new pre,perhaps the Hovland. My amps are the VTL 250 monos which are 250 of triode. The revels are very nice great soudstage imaging etc but to a very small degree do not have a completely integrated base. Yet, if the prices being quoted to me now were closer I'd pobably be leaning to the Revels.
I purchased the Revel Studio's18 months ago. Im my opinion, I have not heard anything in the $10k price range that is their equal, including the Dynas which I listened to along with many others both more and less expensive. You did not mention what type of tubed equipment you are using, so I don't know what the power of your amp. While the Revels are fairly efficient and will work well with a variety of amps, they do like power and will easily handle as much as you throw at them. Be aware of one other thing with the Revels - these are highly detailed speakers that will accurately display everything in your audio chain from the CD you play to the components you use to the wires that deliver the sound. If you have poorly matched ( not necessarily cheap vs. expensive ) speaker cable, you simply will not get the best these remarkable speakers have to offer. Transparent Cables are a match made in heaven although I chose the new MIT 750 Magnums which use Oracle technology. One last thing, you are comparing two very different speakers. The Dynas are not nearly as detailed and are built to please regardless of what may be the weakest link in your audio chain. They will also distort as you increase volume. The Revels are built to show everything in your audio chain. I have not yet reached a distortion level no matter how loudly I drive them - I do't know where that level is.
owned Sonus Faber Extrema, Wilson Watt/Puppy 5.1, Genesis V, KEF Ref 3, and listened to everything under $20k, nothing come close to the Dynaudio Confidence 5. Any one can claim their speakers to have the best midrange, but I bet they never heard the C5 which can rival Quad without losing the impact. spend an hour listening to Revel Studio, but crossover point is very obvious and does not sound coherent. there is a major gap in between drivers if you listen hard.
My lean to the Confidence 3's are being pricipally motivated by a price of $4600. Yet, I suspect I could land the 5's for $5600. The dealer I have spoken to regarding the dyns is pushing the 3's versus the 5's based on better imaging and coherence. To Davidlin see my earlier post as to what I have foe electronics--What do you think?
Elinor- "The Dynas are not nearly as detailed" "They will also distort as you increase volume" I don't know what the heck you are talking about, and I wonder if you do. The Confidence 5s that I own are driven by Classe' CAM-350s and they don't distort anything. At points in the load curve the Classe is driving 500+ watts to each speaker. I wonder if you didn't just hear them driven by amps that lack the current to make these relatively inefficient speakers (86db?) shine. If you heard them with relatively low power tube amps, the distortion you heard was almost certainly generated by an overdriven amp trying to produce high volumes from a speaker it can't drive. The 5s are especially finicky about amps due to their compound woofer. The Esotar tweeter contained in both the C5 and C3 is widely recognized as possibly the best in existence by both audiophiles and speaker manufacturers. When comparing the Dynaudio to the Revel Ultima high found the Revel "harsh" some people may consider this "detailed".The idea that a $10,000 Dynaudio speaker is " built to please regardless of what may be the weakest link in your audio chain" is something I wish were true, because it would have saved me a lot of money on source and cabling. I am glad you like your Revels. I listened to the Revel Ultima and I liked it a lot. I like the Confidence 5s better.
I never heard the Revels but have owned a pair of Dynaudio Contour 3.3's for over a year now. They sound great with 'mid-end' gear such as Aragon 8008's. When matched with higher end gear such as Krell FPB600s I've yet to hear a more convincing musical presentation- at least no where near the price range. As far as Dyn's not being able to handle power....Stevie Ray Vaughn doing Hendrix' Voodoo Chile. 1200 watt per channel Krell amp driven into 4 ohm speakers. 110 db peaks all day long. Trust me...your ears will bleed before the speakers do.
I own the Dynaudio Contour 3.3's. I listened to many speakers before making my decision to purchase. Dunlavy IVa and Alethea, Proac 3.8, Maggie 3.6r, Martin Logen Prodigy, Revel, Hales, etc. I even chose the 3.3's over the Confidence 5's. I just like the full range sound from the 3.3's. The C5's had the best vocals I've ever heard from a speaker, but the bass was better on the 3.3's (IMHO). I'm running the 3.3 with a Audio Research Ref-1 tube preamp, Plinius SA100MKIII ss amp, Meridian 508.24 CD player with NBS Monitor III speaker cables and Nordost SPM XLR interconnects.
The Revel's are outstanding. I spent many months auditioning many different speakers. For some reason the Studio's just did it right for me....so I stepped it up and bought the Salon's. Absolutely fabulous speakers. Definitely blows away most setups I've heard. Imaging is unbelievable....I can sit back with the lights off and the musicians are all out in front of me. truly amazing.
I must be missing something. I auditioned the Dynaudios twice. I will admit that they have a large sound stage and have good detail, but the sound stage seemed to be 7 feet in back of the speaker. This drove me nuts. I asked the sales person if this is normal, she stated that the sound stage is in back of the speakers. I have to assume that the speakers were set up right. This is basically the only speaker brand that they carry. They even have the Evidence setup in the store. I am pretty sure that Atlantic Stereo in Costa Mesa, CA is the number one selling store that Dynaudio has. I also listening to the Revel's that same day and thought the Revels were much more enjoyable to listen to. I must like a more forward sounding speaker. The third store that I went to that day, was where I heard the best sounding set up that I have ever heard. It consisted of the: Pass 350 Amp Pass Pre Amp Sony SCD-1 Wilson Cub II's Using all Harmonic Technology cabling. They were playing some incredible well-recorded music, Blues and Vocals. I never knew music could sound so good. I am building a new Home Theater room and have decided on the Wilson Cub II's and Watch surround, including the new Watch Dog Sub that will be released in March (hopefully). I will say that I do like a more forward sounding speakers and believe that the Wilson Cub II (which are much improved over the Wilson Cub I's) are very equal to the Revel Studio's. Now that I have written this, and put some more thought into your question, you need to identify what sound you are looking for. These are two completely different sounding speaks. I would also imagine, appeal to two different types of listeners. All three of these speakers have incredible detail, and large sound stages, the question comes down to, do you like your music very very very laid back or more engaging in your face, this will be your mission.
Ah, if only everything in life was as difficult to deal with as choosing between a pair of nice Dynaudios and a pair of nice Revels :-)
I own the Contour 3.0's, and the local shop that carries Dynaudio is first rate all the way, while the shop that carries Revel has them set up in a display room that has all sorts of other gear in it and a 2-story glass wall along one of the long sides of the room, so I have no real hands-on experience with the Revels. I have found the Dyanaudios not only positively enjoyable, but anything other than laid back. In fact, given that the Dynaudios have first-order cross-overs and the Revels a higher-order crossover, I'd expect the Dynaudio to sound more up front. In any case, I find the Contour series to be very involving.
The Revels have been so well reviewed everywhere, both by professional reviewers and by owners, that it's hard to imagine going wrong either way. It is true that for some strange reason, you can find the C5's very cheap slightly used much easier than most other Dynaudio models. In any case, my advice is that you should step back from the price and ask yourself if you have a clear favorite regardless of price, and if the answer is yes, find a way to go for it. The LAST thing you want is to be sitting there listening to the C5's (hopefully for years and years) constantly thinking, "man, I wish the price on those Revels had been a little better!".
Like some of you have mentioned, speakers are very personal thing. but calling Dyn "distortion at high volume and not detail" is definitely an insult. other than the old companies like Tannoy and B&W 801, Dyn Estotar are the third most popular drivers in professional studio. they are third because they are new to the market and relatively expensive, not because they are not good. good because they can handle infinite power and still be detail and accurate, can't say that with ScanSpeak or Focal, can you? I mate my C5 with Pass X350 and Sonic Frontier Line 3 (BTW, Line 3 is wonderful, better than ARC Ref 1 I replaced). again, like many of you have pointed out, high current is essential to make Dyn shine. I had great success driving them with McCormack DNA-2, Rowland 8TiHC, and Krell FPB300, but I like Pass X350 the most. being an audiophile is about trying out all different things, and I would not mind own a pair of Revel for fun. but Dyn C5 are here to stay.