Never heard the DM series. My local Dyn dealer had the audience line but has been replaced with the Excite line. I was recently invited to a Naim - Dynaudio - Octive demo. While we listened to the Dyn Consequeces driven by Octive Jubilees the dealer stopped and had a Naim super Nait driving the Excite X 12's in the same room and fired it up. Holy cow - the Naim/X12 system sounded really great for being in a large room. Dyns are great speakers but do love current. So if there is a downside to Dyns that would be it. So as another option consider the Excite line.
I own C1's and can't think of anything bad to say about the sound. Everyone has their own opinion of what sound they want/expect from a system. If at all possible see if you can do an in-home demo and that way you will know for sure.
Thanks for the reply Xti16. Unfortunately I cannot do a demo as this dealer does not actually stock the DM line. I'd have to order it and hope for the best. But from everything I've read about Dynaudio they are neutral speakers (a little on the warm side perhaps) and not at all harsh. I'm pretty sure they will work for me.
The Excite line looks great, the X12 just got an amazing review in Stereophile. I think they said it's the best under $2,000 speaker they know of. If I go with the Excite line I would go with the larger X16, but even still the 2/8 is more attractive to me as I am looking for a larger speaker than the typical bookshelf. I should perhaps demo the X16 though, it doesn't hurt.
One good thing about the Excite and DM series is that Dynaudio has made them easier to drive. Most amps should be sufficient. I am running an Exposure 2010s2 and I think it should be fine.
I have Dynaudio Excite X12s (with a Naim Nait 5i and CD5i) and am very pleased with them. They replaced Quad 11Ls, which I loved. The Quads were great with my previous electronics (Music Hall a25.2 and cd25.2), but I felt that they were a bit warm and fuzzy with Naim. The Dynaudios are fantastic speakers: tight and punchy but smooth on the upper end, and the bass is impressive for such little boxes. I think the X16s would be worth a listen (and they're nicer looking than the DM series).
I think the Exposure would be fine with the Dyns, either the DM 2/8 or small Excites. The Dyns you are considering aren't better or worse than the Quads, just different. And probably different in a way you will appreciate, especially the DM's - I would say not quite as warm as then Quads and better able to handle transient peaks and sustained loud passages common in rock music. Dyns will act more like a professional monitor when pushed than the 12L2'S - which will be happier playing acoustic music and human voices.
With that said, the little Exposure will start to compress the signal at higher volumes no matter what speakers you are driving - it's personality and performance envelope perhaps more suited to the same music as the Quads. Remember what kind of amps and speakers the Rolling Stones use when they play live...
Thanks, I think the Quads definitely excel with vocals and acoustic music. I don't think I listen loud enough that it gives my amp too much trouble. The volume knob starts at about 7 o'clock and I usually listen at 9 o'clock. The system is in a small room and it doesn't take much to get things up to room filling volume.
I guess cabinet size (volume) has a lot to do with creating big sound. Not long ago I had the Tannoy Mercury F2, which were big speakers for a bookshelf. I loved the sense of scale. I had the PMC TB2i for a couple of days, same thing there. In terms of cabinet volume (I basically just multiplied the w, h, and d), the 2/8 is by far the largest. Second is PMC, then Tannoy and the Excite X16 are almost tied, and then the 12L2 brings up the rear and it is well behind. I don't know if this is the best way to determine which speaker will give the biggest sense of scale, but I think it probably has some merit and it least gives you some idea. If anyone is curious, here are the numbers converted to percentages, with the 2/8 fixed at 100%...
Dyn 2/8: 100%
PMC TB2i: 80.9%
Tannoy F2: 71.9%
Dyn X16: 70.5%
Quad 12L2: 57.7%
This shows just how much bigger the 2/8 is, and how small the Quads are. I guess I can expect the X16 to have a similar sense of scale as the F2 did, which I think would satisfy me. Of course they are $450 more, and I'm definitely intrigued by how huge the 2/8 must sound.
I own both the DM & Excite lines. In their respective price points, they are almost impossible to beat and I agreed with JA of Stereophile that unless you get another pair that costs severeal thousand dollars more.
I have used a NAD 352 to drive both the Excite & DM 2/10 and both pairs sound great with the cheap NAD. Both speakers sounded much bigger than their sizes suggested and threw a huge & dynamic sound stage.
Both DM & Excite lines are 4 ohm loads. I don't know anything about Exposure's capability to drive tough load speakers so I cannot comment.
The Excite X 16's bass is truly amazing & hits very cleanly down to the 40 Hz. The bass is extremely deep given the small size of the woofer. I compared my notes auditioning a pair of PSB T 45 with the X 16. They both go deep but differently. The bass on the PSB T 45 is fuller & more dynamic but I would say the bass on the X 16 is the type of bass that most standmount speaker owners would love to own, deep yet very clean. I auditioned an Enya album that features the Orinoco Flow track.
But given the small size of the woofer, a powered subwoofer is recommended for the X 16 or the X 12 to prevent bass overload.
You will not be disappointed with either the DM 2/8 or X 16. The X 16 is a very handsome speaker and very easy on the eyes.
Unless you are a fan of British brands, I would say the Dynaudio DM & Excite are in a league above the PMC, Quad, & Tannoy.
I have also compared the bass on the X 16 with my brother Totem Rainmaker & my trustworthy backup JBL S-38.
The X 16 bass hits deeper and more punchy and the high is smoother than those of the Totem Rainmaker due to the $600 difference in price and the Dynaudio soft dome tweeter is probably the factor here. Cabinets on both the Dynaudio & the Totem are top notch.
The JBL S-38 is a fun speaker that I love with more dynamic and fuller bass than that of the X 16. However, the high and the mid of the S-38 are not as smooth and revealing as the X 16 of course.
But the folks at Dynaudio somehow managed to voice the bass on the X 16 very, very, very punchy yet with very, very, very accurate bass notes, and from my notes "the bass is just PERFECT for music listening regardless of music genre".
That makes the X 16 as special as its smaller brother X 12, a speaker that had won quite a few favorable reviews in North America.
I can live with both the JBL S-38 & Dynaudio X 16 bass. With the S-38, you don't need a powered sub for music. Of course, the S-38 is almost as big as my Dynaudio DM 2/10 which was designed primarily for movie editing & dance studios where accurate & good sound is a must.
With the X 16, you probably need a powered sub, NOT for the lowest note in terms of bass but for a more pronounced & revealing mid-range and to help the small woofers on the Dyns from being overwhelmed with bass rich materials reproduction like rap or night club music.
I love both the DM & Excite line from Dynaudio. To my ears, they sound almost similar but the DM line is a bit more efficient and that may help if you do not crank your amp too loud.
I am happy to own either Dynaudio or PSB speakers. Both companies make great speakers. You have to pay a little more $$$ for Dynaudio speakers but their cabinets IMO are second to none.
You will not be disappointed with the DM 2/8. They are very neutral and more efficient than the Audience or Focus line. The Dynaudio DMs are fun speakers to listen to. You will love them but you just have to be patient with their long run in period.
My GF who is not an audiophile said this after we AB my brother Totem and her Dyn DM 2/10. "I want the Dynaudio. Return the Totem to your brother. The Dyns do not lie."
Like many of the responders I have not listened to the DM 2/8's. Though I do have a pair of Dynaudio Audience 52 and a pair of Quad 12L2. I have been AB listening for several weeks now and cannot decide which I like better. I think that they are both good and that it kind of depends on the mood your in.
The Dynaudio's are a little more detailed, with a defined edge, more focus and a little forward.
The quads are smoother, a little laid back, and present the music as more of a sum total as opposed to individual instruments/vocals. That's the best I can explain it.
Maybe I'll keep them both and whenever I get that upgrade bug I can just switch them out.
Markmay, your description of the different strengths of the Dynaudio Audience 52 and Quad 12L2 matches my (admittedly very limited) experience of the two brands. For me, Quad 11Ls were great with electronics that emphasized transparency and imaging; they seemed to put the music together. The Dynaudio X12's detail and "defined edge" complement Naim's musicality and "wall-of-sound" presentation (which some love and others can't stand).
I think the DM line is easier to drive and much more dynamic than the retired Audience line.
If you want to tell whether the Quad will outpeform Dynaudio, listen to these albums The Eagles Hell Freezes Over track # 6 & 8, Ice Cube Raw Material track # 4,9, & 15, and Massive Attack-Singles track #4 (Teardrop).
If the Quad sounded compressed and thin especially with IC track # 9 and Massive Attack track # 4, I don't think the Quad will suit your needs as a rock speaker.
Thanks for your comments, everyone.
Markmay, your description of the 12L2 rings true to me. I think they are a little lacking in detail, although that may be due to the fact that the midrange isn't as forward as I've heard on other speakers. Vocals and midrange instruments tend to be a little back in the mix, while bass and treble are more forward. I think this is what is giving me the impression that the Quads don't present the sense of scale and separation around instruments that I'd like to hear. I'd like a more forward midrange as that is where most of the music lies and it's just a more exciting sound when the midrange comes through.
I also agree about music being more of a sum total, despite the slightly forwards bass and treble nothing really pops out at me most of the time. It's smooth and very nice and treble/woofer integration is top notch. A lot of people say that this is better than a speaker that impresses you with certain things, as it should be about the song as a whole. However, I like hearing a few things in each song that make me go "wow!".
Added detail with more midrange presense, nice full and warm bass, and a smooth treble are things I'm looking for and glad to hear Dynaudio gets the job done. I'm probably going to replace my Exposure gear with the Audiolab 8000P and 8000Q (pre-amp and power amp). I was able to hear the 8000S integrated a year ago and really dug it. Full bodied, detailed, and with the tightest bass I think I've ever heard. Many will think it's a downgrade from Exposure, but I really enjoyed the sound and the added power (watts per channel and peak power current) should help deliver the sound I'm looking for.
I'm wavering though between the 2/8 and the Excite X16. For $400 more, the nicer finish, better cabinet, and better drivers are enticing. But I wonder if the 2/8 will excel at rock more than the X16 would. Tough choice! I'm also considering the Monitor Audio RX2, another big 8-inch driver speaker with nice build quality. As long as the tweeter isn't as harsh as the old RS series it might work out. Kind of the best of both worlds compared to the Dynaudio - the big driver the 2/8 uses but with the nicer build quality of the X16. And at the price of the 2/8.
MA RS 6 is a that gets many things done right and very little wrong. My only gripe is that their high is not as smooth as that of a Dynaudio DM 2/8 or Excite X 16. I do not know if the MA RX 2's tweeters got some improvement. If they did, they are great speakers for rock too if you don't mind the fact they are built in China.
I will say this. The DM 2/8 is an excellent choice. But you will not regret the premium that the Excite X 16 commands.
You can get a DM 2/8 and still have a few hundred dollars left for an Outlaw LFM 1 Plus. I usually have some reservations against the metal dome tweeters because they sound hot to my ears.
I concur with your thoughts on the RS6 Hieule5. I technically had the RS5, but it's pretty much the same speaker. I felt it did everything well but the highs were way too strong.
Well now I'm also considering the PMC TB2i. Heard a pair last year and looooooooooved them. They were always going to be the speaker I wanted in the long run but were a bit too much money right now. Everything is ultimately going to depend on how much I can get for my current gear and how much the Audiolab electronics cost. But I might be able to step up to the PMC, especially if I also part with my turntable and phono stage. I probably won't leave vinyl entirely, but get back in again with a nicer table in a few years. Vinyl just isn't so much better sounding than CD that I just have to have it.
I'll be comparing these four speakers (the MA, PMC, and two Dyns) in early June. One plus for PMC is the higher sensitivity and easy load...I can surely get away with just an integrated amp. I think I can with the other speakers too, but I'm sure the Dyns would thrive with the extra power. It won't be a deal breaker though...if I go for Dynaudio then I will just buy the 8000S integrated and add the power amp later on.
Just in case anyone is still interested...
I bought an Audiolab 8000S for half off the retail price. Couldn't turn that deal down. In comparison to my Exposure, the Audiolab has toned down the highs nicely, and provides a more full bodied sound with a deeper soundstage. It's a punchy little amp with great build quality. The downside is probably less PRaT, as the Exposure sounds quicker. But I'm okay with that trade off.
The Dynaudio speakers are probably out of the picture. I did an in home trial of the Monitor Audio RX2, a similar design with the 8 inch driver. They were too much for my room, with lots of boomy bass. I'm a little concerned now with any rear ported design as my speakers are fairly close to the wall, so I'm shifting my focus to front ported speakers.
I was also able to try out the PMC TB2i, which were amazing. Deeper and more tuneful bass than my Quads, and better detail and clarity. You can truly follow every musical instrument clearly. They certainly highlighted the weaknesses in the 12L2. The PMC isn't a typical rear port design, but they are pricey. I'll buy them if nothing else comes close but hopefully something will.
The next demo will be of the ProAc Studio 110. Hopefully it can come close to the PMC's at about $1,000 less. If that doesn't work out I'll check out the Paradigm Studio 20.
If you like slightly detuned British studio monitors like the PMC's, you should also listen to ATC monitors, something like the SCM 11.
I've always been interested in listening to a pair of ATC speakers. But I'm thinking they might be a little tough to drive for the Audiolab. It's got some guts, but ultimately I'd prefer a load that's no harder than average.
OK, if you are considering the ProAc, you might as well consider the Spender SA and the small Harbeths as well. I am not that crazy about the Paradigm Studio 20, prefer the small Signatures or PSB Synchrony monitors. While on The Great White North show, how about Totem Model One Signature?
A really good dealer here carries Spendor. The SA is a little pricey and I need something a bit more full range. I won't be using a sub, and I primarily like rock music. I might give the Model One a look...but it's even more expensive than the PMC. My ideal price is about $1,500.
Despite what I said, I went to listen to the Excite X16. It's definitely a speaker that can rock. Deep but clean bass, with a nice sense of scale. The music flowed really nicely out of them. They are definitely on my short list, despite my concerns about the rear port.
"My ideal price is about $1,500"
There are several new and used speakers in this size class that are very nice, some available now or recently on Agon. For Rock, I suggest you look at the following, some are better placed close the rear wall than others.
B&W CM5 - Don't yawn, good speakers that can be placed relatively close to the wall
Dynaudio Excite X16 - you are already there...
Fritz Speakers Carbon 7 - I haven't heard these but some posters here are enchanted (at $1750, a bit over your budget, but go deep)
PSB Imagine B - nice speakers for $1000
Swan D21.SE+ - Loads of bass and other stuff good too, may need more room to breath
Totem Rainmakers - Totem Hawks in a small box, go deep, sound good
Usher X-718 - uber bass
Dynaudio Focus 140 - Better than Excites
Dynaudio Contour 1.3 - Very good
Paradigm Signature S2 - if you can find them in this price range - much better than the Studios IMHO
PSB Synchrony Two B - Also better than little brothers
PSB Platinum M2 - Ditto
Revel M20 - Impressive stand mounts with a big sound
Revel M22 - Ditto above but with slightly more convential styling
Totem Model One Signature - Very good (Model One's not bad either)
Thanks for the suggestions! I'll look into the speakers you mention. A tough thing with buying used or online is that I've got some things to trade in. Dealing with a dealer who accepts trades or sells on consignment would be a lot easier for me. I could sell on A-gon, but being in Canada makes that a little tougher, and I've never sold before. There are dealers here for many of the speakers you suggest though, so I can probably make most of those happen if I want.
Agreed on Dynaudio X 16, Usher X 718, PSB Imagine B, & Totem Rainmakers if purchase the aforementioned brand new. Swan are sold directly online so my only nitpick is you do not get to audition them before you fork over your hard earned cash. Still doable if you don't mind the shipping & handling if you decided to return them within the 30 days grace period. But don't quote me. The sure way is to check with HiVi Audio website.
Dynaudio Focus 140 & 110, PSB Synchrony 2B, Paradigm Signature S2 are great used speakers.
Totem Model One Signature is weak in the bass dept for my taste (hint: not enough bass for rock IMO). Used Mani 2 are ok for rock but they are a bit over your budget.
Personally, I would pick Dynaudio, PSB, & Usher over Totem. If you have room & don't mind the utility look (hint: boring to some folks), Vandersteen is an excellent choice for almost any type of music.
I'll be trying out the ProAc Studio 110 and Paradigm Reference Studio 20 next. You know, the Paradigm seems more and more interesting to me. From some of the reviews it sounds like it provides exactly what I'm looking for: a big soundstage, lots of detail, deep bass, a full bodied sound, and an overall neutral tonal balance. The front port is a plus. I'm a bit worried the ProAc will sound a little thin for my taste, but we'll see.
I prefer speakers with an either 6.5 or 7 inch driver, so something like the Imagine B or Rainmaker probably won't deliver. The Rainmaker I've read can also sound quite bright, something I generally want to avoid. I'm not averse to listening and having my mind changed, however. You never really know until you listen. If the ProAc and Paradigm don't do it for me then I'll probably try the Totem models you guys suggested. Usher has always looked really good too, I'll have to see if there is a dealer in my area.
If you want to save $$$, Paradigm Studio 20 is a decent speaker but I don't think the Studio Series is on par with both the Dynaudio Excite X 12 and X 16. The Paradigm Studio 20 may sound bright for you since they sport metal dome tweeters.
ProAc is a good speaker but it is just too expensive unless you are willing to purchase them used.
Totem Rainmaker does sound a bit brighter than its brothers Totem Model One & Totem Model One Sig. All Totem bookshelf speakers sound brighter than Dynaudio per my ownership experience.
The ProAc Studio 110 is actually cheaper than the Dynaudio, and on par with the Paradigm. ProAc recently had a price drop, at least in this area. $1,300 or $1,400 I believe is the price I was quoted, while the Studio 20 is $1,400 and the X16 is US$1,600. The X16 will be even more when converted to Cdn$, the other two are already in Cdn$.
The one thing I noticed about the Studio 20 is that it's frequency response isn't tipped up in the treble region. So I'm hoping it actually doesn't sound too bright. I had a pair of Energy C-1 a while back and they weren't bad at all. Energy also measures relatively flat. The Monitor Audio RS5 on the other hand was brutally bright. I think it's all in the execution. I'm starting to think perhaps the little extra detail in a metal tweeter wouldn't be a bad thing (as long as it's not too bright).
Why not buy Hieule5s Excite 16s. He's got a basically new pair for sale at $1100. Or, since you're in Canada, there's a pair of Audience 52se speakers that have been sitting for sale for awhile. That's a very nice speaker with the contour drivers. The seller has no feedback, so be careful. Maybe ask him to ship first and you pay on arrival...
Well, there are a few reasons why I'm not jumping at this or that speaker just yet.
I have some speakers to listen to first before I commit to anything. I've gone through many speakers this past year, and I don't want to buy another only to be dissatisfied with some aspect of the sound. So I'm not rushing into a purchase and would rather listen to various options. I've also been able to listen to many of the speakers on my list in my own system at home, something I cannot do when buying online. I'm not totally sold on Dynaudio for my system/room as I haven't been able to try them at home, but the Dyn dealer here will let me borrow his pair if I felt I needed to (as mentioned, I cannot do this online). Then there is the fact that I've got some things to trade in, and dealing with one dealer who does trades/consignment would make that a lot easier.
I won't entirely dismiss making this purchase on Audiogon, but it's just not how I'm leaning right now. That option is great if you know what you want, or just want to try something out and then sell it later on if you don't want to keep it, but otherwise dealing with a local store has it's advantages.