Focal 1037b /Dynaudio 5.4/B&W 803d

I would like to have feedback on these speakers only..No dealers in my area to demo
Focal 1037Be is on another level than the Dynaudio and B&W in terms of midrange and tweeter performance and probably the best of the lot overall unless you like prodigious bass slam and then the 803D is the way to go although they can sound closed in in the midrange unless they are driven with a lot of power and the volume knob turned up.
For me, I would not agree with that last post at all. I have beene extensively auditioning speakers and I did not care for the 1037's at all. I found them to be very lacking in the midrange to have some problems in the upper treble. I found human voices to sound very un-natural.
i think the older Contour series is better than the new one fwiw. i do not like the tweeter placement on the 5.4 at all.

have not heard the 1037s, but have heard the Altos numerous times and never thought they were as good as the wilsons, etc.
Sounds like you were auditioning them with a problematic front end; I've heard them sound horrible with Parasound electronics and Audioquest silver cables (which Dynaudio sounded pretty good with). They are very neutral; put something not up to par in front of them and you'll hear it.
I currently own 1037BE, and I'm very happy with them. This is my fourth speakers with metal dome speakers (strictly speaking BE tweeter is inverted dome), and the only one that does NOT exhibit harsh metallic zing from the tweeter. It's as if the tweeter has disappeared. Very impressively done. I'd say this speaker is for someone who doesn't like metal dome tweeter, but wants fast, airy, and accurate treble. Plus they are very easy to set up in my room, and easy to make them disappear. I used to own Nautilus 804, which I like the midrange and ease of set up. I had problem with front firing port in my room and room hump that I couldn't get rid of. When I was upgrading from 804 I briefly considered 802D with down firing port, but then decided to try Focal, and I'm happy with my choice.
Not heard the 802D but I have compared Focal 926 with Dynaudio C2 and prefer Focal. Just more refined sounding with better imaging and more in your room effect except C2 bass goes a bit deeper.
May I ask how big your room is? I know you said only those three speakers, but have you considered the Diva Utopia Be? If your room is on the small side for the 1037, I would highly reccomend the Divas. I have a pair and they are great!
I owned Focal 926 and Contour 3.4. Dunaudio had much, much better midrange. There is no comparison. Dynaudio were more natural sounding, had deeper bass. Focal was more transparent and open sounding.
I am going to quote myself (below) from another post because I am lazy... I have heard both the 1037 and 803D numerous times. I have never heard the Dynaudios. For what it is worth (not much just my opinion) I passed on both the 803D and Focal 1037Be after listening to the Thiel 3.7. But if you can get a good deal on the 1037 or 803D it might be worth it.


"I heard them in a good but nothing special set up. I heard the 1037s on Arcam mono blocks and CD player, 15X22X10 room, speakers were 3 feet off the rear wall and 3 feet off the side walls. Most of my auditioning of Focal speakers were of the 1037s (three, 2+ hour auditions of the 1037) because they were local.

There was one time during the audition (of 1037s) that the lack of driver integration stuck out for me.I was listening to Nora Jones' album "Its not too late" I believe the song was "Im not your friend". While she was singing a part of the song her voice came straight out of the tweeter. It was very directional and I could pinpoint the source of the sound coming from the speakers. In other parts of the song her voice shifted from the midrange back to the tweeter (the sound stage shifted).

I believe the problems I heard were caused by overly steep/low crossovers (third order at 2kHz). I did not hear this problem on the two other speakers I auditioned the same week (B&W 802D, Thiel 3.7). Both the 802D and 3.7s have first order crossover for the tweeter. The 802D's mids would cover the upper part of Nora Jones voice anyway (crossover=first order at 4kHz). I did not spend a lot of time with the Alto because it sound like the 1037be with better bass".


"802D vs 803( all Classe' front end)
" I have done a direct A/B comparison of these two speakers. The 803Ds are very close in sound. The main difference is in the midrange. The mids on the 802D are more open (less "box" coloration). But and this is a big BUT, without the 802D in the same room for comparison you would never know. If you owned the 802D for awhile and went back to the 803D I am sure you could tell..... The bass is large on both speakers. It is a little more grand on the 802Ds but depending on your room it might cause problems.

My problem with the 803D and 802D is the midrange is a little recessed. Causing me to have to crank them way up to get them to open up. At 85 90 dB I really like them but I only listen at 75-80dB (I like my ears...). I do like the tone of the mids on B&W speakers. They have a very sweat sound that is very special on female vocals. I do how ever find the mids a little unnatural.

I have had a hard time putting my finger on what the unnaturalness is but the problem seems to be in the upper most part of the mids. I find a very very faint white noise like sound in the upper most mids. I don't know what causes it but I would assume cone breakup (maybe the experts could chime in?) At times it sounds like hyper detail in the upper mids. But all of this is very nit-picky.

I forgot to mention the highs. They are great, never heard better highs on any speaker. They are not bright or soft. They have lots of detail and wide dispersion".

All in all both speakers sound very different. Both have very good highs with the nod going to the 803D for me. The 803D has more bass with more punch, while you might need to play with room placement to get the most/best bass our the 1037Be. The mids are more detailed on the 1037Be at low volumes but about the same at higher volumes as 803D. Both mids have very different tones from each other. Which mid is more correct? I have no idea but I liked both. Also the 803D may be cheaper (my dealer offered them to me for $6500) but they need mega amps to get moving while the 1037Be cost more (offered @$ 10500 from my dealer) you need a lot less power...

But really you need to get out and hear them yourself.