Monitors to replace Dynaudio Confidence C1's

I have been on the sonic merry-go-round since trying to make peace in my home by moving from floor standers to monitors. More specifically, from Dynaudio Contour 2.8's to Confidence C1's. I have been a Dynaudio guy for a long time, so I tried a number of different equipment combos, but just can't wrap my sonic brain around the C1.....

This week I moved around the furniture a bit (ok, quite a bit) and set up the old 2.8's. Sweetness! Right there in my room with the same equipment that was hooked to the C1's. The C1's are more accurate...or tighter images anyway, but they just don't involve me in the tunes. They are just drier and less 3D.. tighter, but less rounded images on a very large, stable and quiet stage, they are great for analyzing, but not great for falling into the music.....

I need monitors to continue in my marital bliss, so, I did some due diligence and am looking at these monitors below to get back to some soul in the music with a little more warmth and better timbre, but continued great stage, extension and detail. Any insight (or other suggestions) would be very appreciated.

Lipinski 707
Totem Mani-2 Sig
Escalante Pinyon

Also-rans include: Monitor Platinum PL100, Merlin TSM MXE, but they look fast and dry-ish like the C1's.

Thanks out there and enjoy the tunes!
Research the Joseph Audio Pulsar. Not much info on the Joseph Audio website. You might send an email to Jeff Joseph.

The Pulsar monitors sounded exceptional at RMAF, IMO.

Also, consider the LSA 1 Statement.
am a bit surprised that you find the C1s dry. They are also quite dimensional if set up properly.
anyhow, what are the rest of your gears.
I find the C1s very good, though i dont own them.
Anyhow, try to take a look at the Harbeths like the C7es3 and the SHL5s. They are on the warm side of things, maybe not as precise as the C1s but they are definitely not dry.
Good luck. YMMV.
Thanks, I'lldefinitely take a look!

The C1's are absolutely dimensional and it is one of the things I love about them and Dynaudio in general. And, they are excellent monitor. They just don't engage me. I'll go listen to Harbeth, I had thought of them earlier, but I'll have to look at my notes....I think the 7's were a little large, but the 5's were a possibility. Thanks for your input.

I was sort of leaning towards the Totems at the moment......FWIW
I sort of want to clarify my take on the 'dimensionality' of the C1's. Their staging, which is both wide and deep, and ability to disappear is fantastic. The stability and placement of the images are spot on, but the individual images are less rounded and less lifelike or romantic (if you'll give me that one) than the 2.8's. It is not a bad thing, just not necessarily my thing.
Best Regard and, again, thanks for your input.
Maybe you can play with interconnects or speaker cables...I'd try Cardas Golden Cross, should smooth out the sharp images you're talking about.
I agree with Branislav - try some cables. I thought the same with my C1's until I decided on the Nordost Frey for speaker cables.
I owned a Karan KA I-180 before my current Burmester. I have monitors myself, and when I auditioned the C1's with the Karan, they sounded great.

I think that your problem is not in your amp or speakers, but elsewhere. Have you sat down with your audio dealer and discussed this situation and asked for his thoughts?
I own C1s and have owned several different Harbeths. If you can find one to listen to, I think the new JM Reynaud Duet is quite interesting. Coming from the C1, the bass will be a big letdown, but then that will be true of most any monitor The Duets have warmth, sweetness, clarity, and musical engagement up the wazoo. Ultimately they are not in the same league as the C1s ($2,000 vs. $6,500), but I enjoy them a lot.
Nothing comes close to the sound and appearance of the Marten Design Dukes. I just replaced my Special 25’s after many years with absolutely no remorse. Paired with Crimson speaker wire and powered by VTL magic (aka ST-150), I’ve stopped making adjustments and enjoy the music. My girlfriend compared the two by describing the Special 25’s as boxy and masculine, whereas the Dukes are sexy and feminine (in piano black). She also agreed the Dukes just sound more musical. I could go on and on about PRaT, cermaic drivers, sound staging, etc., but you need to do your own research. If you like, send me an email and I’ll put you in touch with my NJ based sales consultant.

(Lou’s friend – NYC 2.8’s - LOL)
I have Mission 780 monitors and they are very musical, balanced, detailed and play fairly might try their successor the 790 or 792:§or_id=1
I'd love to hear those Dukes.
IMO, I agree with above on will be hard pressed to find a better monitor in that price range
You might want to take a look at the Acoustic Zen Jrs. They're large monitors but offer a seductive sound.

I had a very simular situation that you currently have. I had a custom pair of monitor speakers made for me (very expensive)that are extremely revealing and on about 30% 40% of my CD's it was painful to listen to. I had a choice to make either try to sell my new speakers and take a large hit on the price or look at other parts of my system. I might of been lucky but I thought my CJ CT6 preamp was the weak link so I did my reasearch on a new preamp. I bought Joule Electra's top of the line LA300 ME preamp and my system is the most enjoyable I have ever heard anywhere. Those unlistenable CD's sound very good and the better recorded CD's sound incredible. I also have the same i/c's and speaker cables you have and please did not even think of changing them. Your cables are not the problem. I would seriously look at a top shelf preamp.
It worked for me but the rest of your system must be up to the task. Good luck.
Have a listen to the ridge Street Sasons
I recall there is one for sale here on Audiogon

They may be just what you're looking for
At the time when I was looking for an amplifier to drive my Dynaudio’s I was considering the Karan i-180, but after long research I found out the Dynaudio doesn’t sound particularly good with Karan. The sound was described as hollow and artificial, so I went with BAT and haven’t looked back.
What about Sonus Faber Guarneri Memento? I am familiar with most Dynaudio as I used to be a big fan and owned several of their speakers, I have also owned most of the Sonus Faber. Like you, I found a little more warmth in speakers can draw me into music much more and therefore I don't own any Dynaudio now.

I currently have 5 pairs of speakers including Guarneri Memento. Obviously I can't listen to all 5, but I can't bring myself to sell my Guarneri.

If you can get your wife to try Maggie 3.6, that's worth trying too. I just picked up an old MG-IIIA, sounds fabulous.
I bought the C-1's for the second time.

In the interim after selling the first pair, i took a journey with Merlin, Reference 3a, Dynaudio Special 25's, Harbeth, Magnepan's and Quad ESL.
The last 3 were excellent, but lacked that something special the C-1's offer.

This time I went all tube with Lamm LL2, LP2 and Manley 250s all retubed with NOS tubes and the result is warmth, bloom, coherence, perhaps one of the best mid range presentations. I am using Purist cables as well. This speaker needs power and some people say it needs SS electronics, but I disagree, especially if you appreciate the warmth. The Manley's are warm
with el 34 tubes and with 250 watts per channel have an iron grip as well.

I think the trick is voicing the system with enough warmth to satisfy your taste, but retain resolution. If you are looking for resolution the Nordost suggestion is excellent as is going with Audio Research electronics, but the key is experimentation to create the balance. I tried a Koetsu cartridge which didn't work well, so I went to a Dynavector XV1-s which is incredible in the system.

I was able to buy everything on audiogon at nearly 50% off, so the cost although expensive was achievable.

I hope this helps.
i've heard the new Focal Diablos are awesome, but haven't heard them. they are considerably more expensive than the C1s, of course (which i have and are veyr, very good monitors)
WOW, what a difference a day makes!

First of all, thanks! Amazing. To try to answer you all, I'll go to the time honored journey story tradition....(no real hero, apologies to Joseph Campbell)

I agree that the C1 is an amazing monitor and that voicing your system to you taste is what we all strive to do. I have wandered away from Dynaudio down long paths and always come back to them, so parting with them may very well not be the answer. Thanks especially for that reconsideration laid on me, brother! .

A different speaker is one option to consider though (see below) and I will not sell them and listen to as many as I can before I buy this time....I think I'll refine my list a bit to include the Marten's (Tony, the NYC sidewalk deal was a classic!...and I;ll be in touch), the new Joseph Audio Pulsar, and the Guarneri (thanks, Semi) and probably drop the Escalante....

Tubes are definitely part of the answer, (at least for me...and for Logenn, Petar and Bob), especially in the preamp.....and, especially the 6sn7. I have travelled down that road with pre's including CJ, Cary, and Rogue. In the end, my favorite combo was the AES AE-3 DJH Sig. with NOS '40's Syl 6sn7w's and a Valvo rectifier with a Plinius SA-201.

Tube amps that will drive these guys just generate too much for my room and home...I had the Ayon Triton in audition and it was amazing....ok, so it's not necesarily the speakers, but I have self-imposed limitations beyond the heat of a tube amp...

---I really want less boxes, so an integrated is necessary for me and one with a tube pre section could be the ticket as well. The Karan (I believe it was yours originally, Krell Man!) is fantastic.....still all SS and I may need to check out the BAT (*Petar redux) and the LSA Statement).

---I want an excellent tube (more tubes!) based CDP that has a top notch USB interface. I.E., the Ayon CD-5 (I already have the NOS 6H30DR's) or the AMR CD-77. There is an AMR CD-77 on the way for a listen, so that should be decided shortly. The CD-2 that I have will be on the selling block soon...

--I live 100 miles from nowhere and love it, but it's hard to audition high end goodies, but it's great out here....So, no I don't have a dealer to sit down and work it out with....You guys are better (and overall less biased, I would think), so I think I'll hang here to check out what might work and what might not. Hats off, what's better than a community!

So, all in all, I think your suggestions have led me to reconsider the C1's which I'll do. At the same time, I'll check out a few other good monitors (the Focals, (Keith) along with the Wilson Duettes may be out of range, though).

And, last, but not least, I have tried upper end iterations of all the cables named above and can guarantee that is not where the problem lay. Gabriel Gold Rapture left them all behind in my system and not by a small margin. I have already extolled their opinion hasn't changed, but may bear repeating......

If you haven't tried them and they are within your reach, you should absolutely try them. I would love to hear your opinion once you have compared them to your present cables. I actually have one extra RCA pair and would be happy to try to work something out for any of you to listen/AB compare. They are a must hear, IMHO.

Also, Steve is a gentleman who is both honest and honorable. You could probably work something out with him directly....I can get you in touch with him if you'd like....He usually has ads running here, but seems to have gone missing...I have done the same from time to time for all sorts of reasons, so I'll check in with him in any case.

Thanks again for all the suggestions and you kindnesses. And, keep 'em coming!

Enjoy the tunes!

Best regards.
I used to own the C1 which like others, consider them to be excellent. I owned them for about 2 years and got the audio itch to try something new. So, I got the SF Memento which sounded better than C1 in certain respects. A few months ago, I sold them and bought the Focal Diablo and I have no regret.
A word of caution. The Marten Dukes are not warm. They are very revealing, detailed and analytical with their ceramic drivers and probably sound a lot like the C1. The build quality is very good though.
Heard the Harbeth HL5s at RMAF. Might be just what you're looking for.
Very neutral, great midrange, great PRAT.

I beg to differ... What are you driving your set with?

I'm driving my Marten Dukes with Manley Labs Series 100 Mono's using circa 1960's Mullard EL34 tubes and Crimsom wires all around. It's one of the most life like speakers I've ever owned. Pure Magic!


I don't own the Dukes and heard it at a dealer. I had forgotten the amp he was using to drive the speakers at the time but it was a Scandinavian solid-state integrated. I highlighted about the Dukes being very revealing, detailed and analytical since the OP mentioned he needed more warmth. From my experience the Dukes' detail and high-frequency extension are either on par or better than the Dynaudio C1's, not warmer which the OP is seeking. Maybe your tube amps have provided some magic with the Dukes and made them less analytical, and the OP may want to try the Manley amps on the C1's instead of looking for some new speakers. I can imagine the magic and lifelike sound of the Dukes given some proper tube amplification since they do sound very lifelike even with the solid-state amp that I auditioned previously. It's just that they sound analytical with very extended high-frequencies during the time I listened to them.
Hey now,

Since tube amps are out of the question for me, but would no doubt do the trick, I have done 2 things.....

--I have an LSA Statement integrated with a tube preamp section on the way and will try a few NOS 6922/7308's to get the groove on.
--Any suggestions for tubes welcome!!

--Being a bit of a die hard Dynaudio fan, I am going to check out a pair of Confidence 3's....a little old school, but so am I!

Sciame is also an old school Dynaudio fan and still owns some Special 25's, so his advice and taste is pretty close to mine....

!It's a tube thing! Oh yeah.

Enjoying the tunes!
I recalled the integrated amp that was used to drive the Marten Duke. It was a Gryphon Tabu.
Yeah the Gryphon is dry like the british sense of humor, drier than the texas sand....wait, Jerry Jeff said that.

The Confidence 3's are remarkable at first blush...we'll see! (or hear...)
That explains it. Cheers.
Nobody has mentioned Focal JMLab Diablo Utopia? Are not they hi-end motitors?
Wow. Your system is very beautiful to the eye....and ear no doubt.
Budburma, how would you describe the sonic differences between the C1 and the Confidence 3?
Drubin, for me the C3's are a little rounder, warmer and perhaps more forgiving. The C1's seem, comparatively, like they are more like an unbelievable studio or mastering monitor. Precise, unforgiving, detailed, etc. The C3's are no less precise or detailed, but are softer to the ear. More of a musical caress. And, I think, better detail in the bass......I am also a sucker for the Esotar tweeter of that era (T 330D).
Hmmm...I got to hear me a pair of them C3's. Thanks Budburma.
C'mon over! AMR should be her in about 10 days....
As did Tvad, I heard the Joseph Pulsar's at RMAF. I also thought they were exceptional. In fact, both my friend and I thought they compared favorably to Joseph's $27k top of the line speaker that was playing accross the hall. Derfinitely worth a listen if you get qa chance.