Integrated Amp Suggestions for Dynaudio Contour 3.4LE


Just bought a floor model of these speakers at a good price. I currently have an NAD M3 Dual Mono integrated and would love to hear how I could do better. Any thoughts on what integrated would best pair with these speakers?

One other twist. I also own the Magnepan 1.7's. It would be great if I had an integrated amp that would sound great with both speakers. That may be a tall order and I am mainly concerned about driving the Dynaudios but just thought I would throw it out there.

Many thanks

puppyt
Congrats on the 3.4s.  Belles Aria or Belles Soloist One!  Belles has great synergy with both Dynaudio and Maggie's.  Some are fond of the Hegel integrateds as well.  Best of luck and keep us posted.

Thanks Carmenc. I will research those options.

@puppyt

What would be your price range?
I would like to keep it under $5,000. Under $4,000 even better but I am not sure where the quality/price cutoff points are.
http://www.toneimports.com/lmaudio/501IA.html
http://www.primaluna-usa.com/dialogue-premium-hp-integrated

Both recommendations have high quality transformers that will operate well with the loads of the Contours and Maggies.

I have heard similar Primaluna Prologue PL7 (70w Monos) with the Megnepan 1.7 (w/self powered sub) and thought it was a great combo.

Have not listened to the Contour, but the above referenced integrates are both highly rated and I think it would be worth your while to do a little research; maybe you have a Primaluna dealer in your area.

Also occasionally you may find either amp on the used market, usaudiomart or AG

Good luck 


Bradf thank you very much.

http://www.toneimports.com/lmaudio/501IA.html
http://www.primaluna-usa.com/dialogue-premium-hp-integrated
Not sure the warranty on the above is transferable

There is a couple discussions here on AG, that described the
Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II Integrated Amp Combined with the MMG's sounding very good. I would think this would apply to the 1.7.
I think this is within your budget ($2,400.00 New) There's a fellow member by the name of mapman who wrote hearing this system. You could PM him to see if he could provide further info.  

Are you open to separates? There one or two combos I saw reviewed with Magenpan 1.7's. I can forward that info, if you like.

The Ayre Acoustic AX-7e integrated amplifier is excellent.  The list price was $3,500 but the unit was recently discontinued so a lower price is possible.  Ayre has the AX-5 Twenty integrated amplifier priced at $12,950 (ouch, over your budget and mine too).   Please see:  

http://www.ayre.com/ax7e.htm

I own the Ayre AX-7e amplifier and recommend you check it out. I asked Ayre if they have any plans for a replacement to the AX-7e and am waiting for a response.  
Coda CSIB is excellent....
A ton of power, but really plays with alot of finesse.
@timlub 

What is retail on the CSIB?

Thnx
Brad
@timlub 

Found the suggested retail for the CSIB

@puppyt
found this regarding the CSIB

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/coda-csib-vs-hegel-h-300-integrated
Decware Mystery amp would be great with the Contours 3.4LE.  You would want to contact Steve (http://www.decware.com/newsite/contactsteve.html) with regard to driving the Magnepans.
I have listened to and was impressed with the Decware ZenTorii operating Devore Fidelity speakers.  It's a 25 watt unit, you would want to go with the 40 watt amp/integrated. You may want to read upon this amp, even if your not interested in going with tubes.  It has a very interesting circuit including voltage regulation, also available with cap. and other options.
 http://www.decware.com/newsite/MYSTERY.html

Really appreciate all of the suggestions. I have some enjoyable research to do. 

bradf, I went away from separates several years ago in the interest of simplicity. With that said, I am open to considering them and would appreciate your suggestions.  Thanks


A lot of you are recommending tubes over solid state. I have no experience with tube amps but I am getting very intrugued.  I am curious as to how people feel about the tube sound and why they like it better.  Also, a number of these recommended amps aren't super high power. Can I assume that more power doesn't equal "better"? Finally, is it difficult and/or expensive to replace tubes?

thanks

To tell you the truth I’d be a little leery about putting a tubed amp with those speakers because both pair present a pretty tough load. IIRC, the Dynaudios are something like 84dB and 6ohms? Something like a Hegel ss integrated, I think, would be a better choice; it can handle both sets of speakers well. And it has the added bonus of a very good DAC inside!
https://www.audiogon.com/listings/solid-state-hegel-h-360-latest-2016-12-20-integrateds-06830-byram-...
"Tubes have a slightly different sonic character than transistors. Tubes tend to provide a slightly richer harmonic picture of instruments in the midrange with a slight sacrifice in definition and control at the frequency extremes. Twenty years ago this contrast was more pronounced. Modern transistor amplifiers are far more musical than they used to be and the performance of modern tube amplifiers is less compromised."

http://vandersteen.com/media/files/APJ%20Files/APJ11_Proof.pdf

There are a number of reasons why tubes often give a more liquid sound and sometimes a phat mid-range.  Less so today.  ARC has reduced the number of tubes but hasn't gone all SS.
randy-11

Thanks for sharing the article on amplification components

Brad
Here you go, I hope this helps, You may also call Doug Dale directly at Coda. He is not pushy and he's an honest guy.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/CODA-Technologies-CSiB-Balanced-Integrated-Amplifier-/262694239555?hash=item3d29cbfd43:g:diQAAOSwB09YEoRC
  
Here are the following amps that have a track record of good synergy with Dynaudio; Naim, Belles, Simaudio, Hegel, Plinius and Octave ( tube ).  Dynaudio need current to come alive and sound their best.  The 3.4le are 86db, 4 ohms and rated up to 270 watts/channel into an 8 ohm load.  So conceivably that would be 540 watts into 4 ohms if your amp doubled down.....indicative of the power they can handle.  Obviously your room size, musical genre tastes, etc will dictate.

Of the above recommendations, the Coda is the best choice imo.  I've never heard it, but it seems to have the power ( watts + current ).  Low power tube amps will not be the best choice.   If you go with a tube integrated look at Octave as they have the current necessary for the Dyns.  The pairing is often used at Audio Shows.  Good luck and take your time.  Do plenty of research and audition as much as you can.  Best......



Carmenc:

Really appreciate these suggestions. You've gone above and beyond.

puppyt

Congrats on the Dynaudios. Great speaker. I own the previous version with upgraded Esotar2 tweeters. I have been using a Luxman 505ux and liked the sound. Then a friend upgraded his system and I bought his Mark Levinson 326 and a ML 532H amp. Great combo. The Dynaudios like power. The Hegel is pretty powerful and I've seen them on Audiogon priced between $3500 and $4200. Also the Dynaudios are 4 ohm for what that's worth. 
hgeifman, Does the AX-7e have an output that can provide a signal to a sub manager?  The manager would do crossover.

db
Dyn’s do like power but don’t purchase based on power alone. Try to hear as many amps as you can. With my C1’s I had a Bryston B100sst rated @180W into 4ohm and it did sound good. But later I got an in home demo of the Octave V70se rated at 70W into 4ohm and the Octave had so much more ’control’ of the music. Another beauty with the Octave being tubed based if I wanted a warmer or more linear sound I could swap tubes. I later got the Octave black box and it really lowered the noise floor which I never thought was a problem until I added it.

Like Carmenc had mentioned take your time. I had a friend who had the Octave V80 and drove the Sapphires and later C4's sig's with no problem. The V80 put out 75W.
Just reading through all the comments about the right amp for these speakers.  I am not anti tube at all, I've owned tubes in an amp, preamp, cd player and a buffer in the past.  I've built more speakers than I care to count.  What bothers me is that these speakers are 4 ohm and 86db sensitivity.  I cannot find curves anywhere to give proper advice.  Has anyone out there seen impedance and phasing angle curves?
Being labeled 4 ohms, it is possible, even probable that at some frequency that these speakers drop in 3 ohm range or less. Then if phase angles drop much, you can have real problems.
Puppyt, if you are considering purchasing tubes to use on the Dyn's, I highly recommend listening to the amp on your speakers first. Not too many tubed amps .... at least that are affordable, will drive low impedance loads with tough phase angles.... So, if you can confirm phase angles are not bad and/or your speakers are a fairly consistent 4 ohm load or higher then, you should be fine with a tubed amp, If not, in my opinion, its not worth the risk..... unless, you find a great buy on tubes that you know that you can resell without a huge loss...
Just my 2 cents,  Tim
Tim:

Thanks for that advice. Much appreciated.

Puppyt

I've found my Dynaudio C4 mk 2 sound best with Ayon Triton 3 integrated. I've tried Pass Labs xa 100.5 and Musical Fidelity Trivista 300 and still prefer the Ayon
I'm partial to Octave with Dyns and this looks a fair deal. The V80 was the top of the line integrated (replaced by the V80se) and has better transformers than the V40/70/110
https://www.audiogon.com/listings/tube-octave-dynaudio-v-80-mc-intergrated-tube-amp-2016-12-09-ampli...
no affiliation

There are some (a couple) hegel 360 on gone now...im tempted to...pop for one...I dont find much love here modwright kwi 200 which i am enjoying with atc scm 19's in a smaller room...modwright does have a warmer presentation than the hegel...but for my needs modwright is plenty good in a 10 by 13 room...

Really appreciate all of the feedback. I am new to this forum and am blown away by how helpful everyone has been. It occurred to me I never indicated what other components I'm using or the types of music I listen to. Not sure it changes any of the recommendations but here goes:

In addition to the NAD M2 Dual Mono Integrated Amp:
Bryston BDA-2 DAC
Bryston BCD-2 CD player
Bryston BDP-2 Digital Player
Rega RP3 Turntable
Sonos Connect
Nordost Flatline Gold speaker cable

My musical tastes are rock, folk/country rock, acoustic, Americana and some R&B.  Jazz, classical and reggae just a little bit.

Thanks again,

Puppyt

Very fun times Puppyt. I run my Dyns with a Hegel H200 and am very pleased. One other suggestion would be to pick up a pair of Blue Heaven LS to replace your Flatline Gold’s. Not a large expenditure but IMHO, it would be worth the money to pair your new amp with some current cables. Best of luck.
Not sure about how it would do on the Dynaudios, but I have a set of Magnapan 1.7s that I'm now driving with a Rouge, Cronus Mag II and it sounds very nice. 
Good Luck,
Jim
Thanks cbrehm. Was thinking the cables needed upgrading.

jhills, do you run a subwoofer with the 1.7's? I also forgot to mention I have a Martin Logan sub. Been trying to get it dialed in with the Maggies

or Creek Evo 50A or 100A
I would recommend listening to the Marantz PM-11S3 if you can find one before they are all gone. Very conservatively rated, in you price range, and can drive Dynaudios effortlessly while giving that sweet Marantz sound. I did a lot of A/Bing between the PM11s3 and the Hagel H300 and to me, hands down, the Marantz was the better of the two ymmv
Good luck with your search!

Hi bradf, 

I just picked up a Coda CSiB for $2799 (new $6000) over Christmas.

Most of the ones I found were in the $3200 to $4200 range used.

If you call Coda and talk to Doug he will work with you on the price of any demos they might have in stock.   

Very impressed with the sound it produces. I would give it a strong consideration. 

I wanted a Pass Labs x250.8 but with the money I saved and the quality of the sound the Coda is giving me I'm very happy with where I am.
I would recommend listening to the Marantz PM-11S3 if you can find one before they are all gone. Very conservatively rated, in you price range, and can drive Dynaudios effortlessly while giving that sweet Marantz sound.
+1 to the above suggestion.

I drive my Dyn Focus 260's with the above amps little brother, a PM-15S2 that still puts out 140 wpc into 4 ohms, more than enough for my Dyns that are 4 ohm, 87db speakers.  I auditioned this amp against a McIntosh MA6300 that was rated at 160 wpc into 4 ohms and the Marantz sounded much better.

The PM-11S3 is a beast that actually double down from 100 wpc into 8 to 200 wpc into 4 ohms.  More than enough for either the Dyns or Maggies.


Thanks very much for these thoughts
for these speakers i would search for krell fbi:) if budget low I would risk with krell s550i.I am driving s1.4 LE with krell kav500i.Bass and control of the sound first rate:)
...how much distance is between your seat and speakers...do you like to listen most of the time music loud...which type of music do you listen...
My listening position is about 10 feet from the speakers. I don't listen to at super loud levels but certainly not at really low levels either. I listen to a wide variety of music but I probably lean most towards singer songwriter (Jackson Browne, Griffin House), folk/country rock (Eagles), acoustic and straight rock. Love R&B/Soul as well particularly Al Green. 
Someone mentioned Rogue CM2 earlier,  I would not use it to drive Dynos.  I didn't like that  combo at all. I think a SS amp is better for Dynos.  I heard them powered by a Hegel and Naim and both sounded very good.  
Thanks nycjlee. I've received a lot of great recommendations and hope to audition quite a few amps.  I realize that only my ears will know, but just curious if all of these recommendations would be superior to my current amp, the NAD M3 Dual Mono. I've noticed that no one has suggested an NAD amp, even a newer one. I assume that brand is a notch below the others in most people's minds?

One other thing. I originally said my budget was under $5,000. I would be willing to go up a bit if I thought I could do considerably better.

Thanks again to everyone for all of the great advice. I really like this forum.

In your case i think you would do well even with tubes which few folks suggested but personally with your money (and if you are willing to stretch a bit as you said) and with Dyns i would check second hand SS integrateds from folks who do them best...there are good deals on market from Accuphase, Burmester, Gryphon, Goldmund, Naim, Gamut...that is a good start...+there is no overkill for Dynaudios...you get what you throw at them...and more better if you dont change gear often...but watch on source...you will have to have very good source with that equipment... 
 
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You can get a used Pass Labs 250.8 for $6300+ here...
http://www.usaudiomart.com/details/649341328-pass-labs-x2508-amplifier/