I hope your wife is forgiving you for spending all this money on stereo equipment.
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I think Dynaudio is an excellent choice for what you are looking for.
I use them with good quality Class D amplifiers and find them to be an excellent match there, adding just a touch of warmth and with excellent weight to the music for their size. I have Dynaudio Contour 1.3mkII. Dynaudio build quality including drivers is hard to beat and hard to fault.
FWIW, I would not call them "forgiving". They'll give you what you put into them.
That's a good response, Mapman.
Dynaudios provide great clarity, fantastic imaging and a wide soundstage, and can be extremely dynamic. I would call them neutral/slightly warm, but your upstream components will determine how engaging they are to you.
IMO, they sound best with some warmth and a high current amp. Give them power and the Focus line is a best buy.
I have owned two different Dynaudio models: the first pair was the 1.3SE. The best way I can describe them is by telling you I kept turning them down as they irritated my ears.
The other pair was the Focus 110s. Much better tone than the more expensive 1.3SE. A Focus 110 is a speaker I could live with.
@Mapman, @Taters, @Timrhu: It seem Dynaudio generally sound true to source, having said that for my taste it can be a bit lean, flat on frequency, but the Focus seem to be tuned to enjoy music better a lot. I heard the DM series is all rounder, thus can be too forgiving to listen to, my choice would be the Focus line, just have to audition a used pair with my DAC and power amp, then can grab it back to home :P. How big the difference between Focus 110 and Focus 160, better dynamic? I've read a lot of complaints on the unforgiving placement from the wall, this will not be a problem for me, I just concern on room size, mine is 10ft x 10ft, which woofer size go for?
If you haven't heard Dynaudio is phasing out the passive Focus line but keeping the XD's. They just announced the new Emit line which I think is replacing the DM line. From what I've also read the Focus 160 used a contour driver with upgraded crossover. The 160 should sound better at lower listening levels compared to the 110. Since the 160's are discontinued to me they should be coming down in price. Last I highly recommend the Dyn stand.
If you're looking for an even warmer sound Sonus Faber or Vienna Acoustics should be on your list
The older focus will be a little more forgiving then the newer focus. The newer (now discontinued) focus line was very transparent with a slightly tipped up treble, more similar to the Special 25 or Sapphire speakers. The older Excite line, X12, X16 and X32s you should be able to find used in and around your price range, they were warm and forgiving speakers, I use to have X16s and the Naim XS which was warm and richer sounding. Later I upgraded to the Focus 160s then the 260, and the sound is more neutral and transparent and a little more aggressive, so I added a tube dac for a while. But when I upgraded to my Naim Uniti2 I find that while it's not as warm as with the tube dac, it's got much better control and the PRaT (pace, rhythm and timing) makes for a very enjoyable and engaging musical experience.
@Xti16: After the Wharfedale Jade 3 experience, I realize I will not buy any "high end" claimed speakers without audition, but somehow I'm lucky to have a pairs of Wharfedale Denton, I love them so much, very musical speakers without any preamp help, just need clean power amp. Also in time I will eventually audition a pair of Dynaudio to find out how it handle music. Thanks for your suggestions, Sonus Faber way out of my budget, even their low end model, and Vienna Acoustics also out of reach, due to critical Malaysia Riggit money value. My country got brands like Dynaudio, ProAc, Sonus Faber, Dali, Focal, PSB, Acoustic Energy, ATC, Golden Ear, Monitor Audio, Paradigm, KEF, Harbeth, and Wharfedale to choose.
I have come to the conclusion that any great speaker should allow just the music to come forth with as little resonance added from the enclosure as possible. The quieter the box the better the sound. This is why lots of people like planar speakers. It has not been until recently with new materials carbon fiber, poured plastics, constrained layers, metal cabinets has box speaker approach this quietness that stats have. Yes speakers still sound different because of driver integration, crossover settings, etc. It is an art and good listener needed to get the best. I would look at the least quietest boxes and then evaluate the sound of the speakers to see if they are to your liking. The best Jeff
I have only heard Dynaudio sound "lean" when underpowered and/or put in too large a room for the model size.
Dynaudio is one of the best I have heard at getting a lot of sound out of a smaller box but it typically requires a lot of clean power and current. Also a small monitor speaker will ALWAYS sound lean if put into a room that is too large for it.
Size (and build quality) matters. If you are able to afford the right Dynaudio model for your room and put an amp capable of driving it to the max in your room (80 w/ch or way more depending)then you should be gold. If you like the sound in general.
Regarding placement, it matters a lot with most any speaker. Dynaudios are no harder than most and probably easier than many to place optimally for most.
Very wide dispersion speakers are the most forgiving in general in regards to placement, but even those benefit from good placement. True omni speakers may be as well but only in larger rooms where distance from walls is more viable.
@Mapman: From your past opinions, I'm very tempting to try Dynaudio, indeed I should at least try once to listen to it properly, I did listen to a pair of Dynaudio Audience 52, but not long enough to decide to buy it, because those songs are good mastering recording, the owner was not convenient to let me audition more songs. Do you consider Dynaudio is the best speakers brand?
@Jwm: Planar speakers, hmm, any good model to look for? Brand? I get what you mean by quieter, that's what I feel on the Wharfedale Denton, I wouldn't say it's totally free of fatigue or resonance, but it does not cross the border line. The Wharfedale Jade 3, in contrast sound noisy to me, guess I'm not capable to driver it properly.
"Do you consider Dynaudio is the best speakers brand?"
I'd say its one of the best IMHO in that it is hard to fault objectively. Different lines work and sound different though and there are many very good ones like Dynaudio so hard to make any such claims. Speaker preference is usually a very subjective thing. But it always helps to start with a quality product and Dynaudio is definitely that.
If you recall our previous discussion re. the new ownership, I see on the new website, the entry level DM was dropped and replaced by the EMIT line, but the FOCUS is still available.
If and when they discontinue the FOCUS line, that would create quite a jump in price point between the EXCITE and the CONTOUR level.
Maybe the FOCUS will be here for another season.
Lowrider57 They already announced new Excite models. Here is a quote right from the factory in Denmark
Full specs will be released with the press release. I don't have the schedules with me right now, I believe the X18 will be in stores quite soon, with the X44 following a few weeks later.Also Otto mentioned a lot of up and coming products including the possibility of headphones. He also mentioned the passive Focus (Not XD's) will be discontinued shortly due to lack of demand. I have a gut feeling they are holding off on active Contours or Confidence until they see how XD sales pan out.
Maybe go back a few more pages
Thanks, Xt, I didn't see that. I'm a Dyn fan; have spent quite a few hours auditioning Focus and Contour. Was thinking that would be my next upgrade.
I don't understand the thinking behind replacing solid passive speaker lines with new active speakers, especially since the hand-selected electronics is important to the average Dynaudio customer.
Lowriger57 & Wim1983 I like the idea of the active Focus. Very simple. All you need is a source and 2 digital cables or you could go wireless. Dyn claims the XD600 go down to 20hz. Again Otto said sales are slow with the passive Focus. Since the new owner took over he is putting a lot of $$ in research and development. Believe or not 50% of Dynaudio sales is car audio. Followed by 40% home audio and 10% professional. Now again it is my gut feeling they may expand the active technology to the Contour and Confidence line up.
So,what car amps can drive difficult loads of dynaudio?:)"
That said, a car system is quite a bit different. The inside of a car is tiny compared to a small bedroom. You're so close to the speakers its similar to wearing headphones. Its a lot easier for a less powerful amp to drive speakers in a car than in a home system.
Wim1983 - I agree with Jafant in regards to purchasing preowned. If you don't like them you shouldn't lose any money reselling them. They may be not cheap but they are a great performance to price ratio speaker. Another speaker to consider in the Scansonic MB 2.5's (a small floor stander). But with those you really need them about 9' apart withe them toed in pointed to your shoulders - where Dyn's do a lot better closer together with little to no toe in. I had Dyn C1 and Sig's for 7 years before finding something I like a lot better. But paid the price.
Just audition the Dynaudio Focus 110 using my own gears, wow I have to say I'm very impressed, the high is very sweet and full of energy and crushing, the mid clarity also is the best I've heard, my Denton sound a little bit muddy due to the mid bass bump, finally the bass distortion is almost not there, with very tight and accurate control, but found that track like Kitaro drum kick is not excited enough, well nothing big matter, while for dynamic these small little speakers sound like larger speakers I've ever imagined, I'm very surprised, it sound really wonderful overall. Most probably I'm going to get the 140 or 160 with larger woofer driver, I found that Dynaudio Focus 110 overall consider forgiving and musical speakers, no preamp needed, the cabinet and material used are rock solid, thought the cabinet can be better. I'll audition Wharfedale EVO Signature next Tuesday, if does not sound right to me, I'll sell back Jade 3 and get a pairs of Dynaudio Focus. Overall the Focus is very very nice to listen to, the rock & roll part seem to be the only weakness I've found, most probably due to the neutrality with light warm colour, though less emphasize on mid bass result in less excited for drum kick music. I've tested flute too, it sound wonderful. Low level listening like piano playing, though I cannot give 100% full mark, but manage to get high scores enough. Also I found that the sound stage is wider than I can heard from other speakers before.
With Dynaudio, you need to spend quite a sum for amplification to get them to sing. Pure class A solid state amps like the Plinius SA-103, Accuphase A-30/45, Esoteric A-03 would sound best with this speaker. Naim amplification also sounds very good with Dynaudio.None of these combinations will sound thin or analytical.