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My pick would be the Aerial 7b's of the 2 you've mentioned. Excellent build quality. It's a good speaker although I'm a first order guy and use Vandersteen's. As mentioned above, the amp is a good match with the Steens.
The 7b's are my favorite non time aligned - phase coherent speaker in their price range.
Definitely the Aerials. This was one of the best "bang per buck" match ups of with the McCormack I ever heard (at least with the old Aerial 7s and DNA-0.5 & 1 amplifiers I heard).
Just match them up with Cardas or Discovery cables and let the drooling begin!
My all time favorite amp with the Aerial line goes to Rowland however.
Lotsa good choices out there and as usual, YMMV.
Good Luck & Happy Listening!
i have a dna 0.5 deluxe for a number of years and I've tried it with numerous speakers.
The dyns sounds a bit thin on that amplifier considering i even used a tube pre-amp, all copper interconnect and speaker cables. I tried the contours 1.1, the new focus 140 and the Audience 72SE. No luck. At times analytical.
The Proac D140 is not bad but still can be brittle.
I'm currently driving it with a pair of harbeths compact 7es2. So far, i couldnt be happier. I have the harbeths on loan from a dealer. Its been two weeks, so far very good!
I havent tried the aerials so cant comment on them.
Perhaps you listened to Dyns not broken in? I don't have experience with those models you listed. They are not in the Countour line. I have found the 3.4s and 1.8 mkII's to be very smooth with mccormack amps, arc tube preamps, arc ss amps. Never as analytical as my Thiel 2.2s (not that they were a chore to listen to by any means). Keep in mind room acoustics and placement.
One of the best most musical sound systems I have ever heard was a DNA 225 driving Contour 3.4's, with a Cary SLP 98. Unreal liquid midrange and gorgeous soundstage.
That was what converted me to dynaudio's. Danes Don't Lie :)