upgrade Dynaudio Special 40 to Kef Reference 1


Hi,

I am planning on an upgrade. I am currently using Dynaudio Special 40 speakers with a Hegel Rost amp and JL audio subwoofer. Will i notice big difference if I upgrade to the Kef Reference 1 speakers? Another option I am considering is to upgrade the Hegel Rost amp to a Yamaha AS3000 amp. Which upgrade is more beneficial at this time since I can only do one upgrade. Thanks.
sasbyte
There is no such thing as an UPGRADE. 

You either prefer one speaker over another or you dont. The special 40 is a very expensive speaker. The kef is even more expensive. 

I see no reason that for that kind of money you shouldnt expect perfect speakers. If you feel the need for an upgrade, then youve been duped and sold a speaker that isnt good enough. 
The Kef 's may indeed be an Upgrade only your ears can be the judge,
If changing equipment from time to time allows you to enjoy music to a higher
degree than I'd call that an upgrade.
If your budget and time allow go audition a few things.

Have fun - it's a Hobby after all. 

"Duped" ` Really?  I suppose you have the first pair of speakers you ever bought?
We are a Kef dealer so yes we are going to be biased, however, the Kef Ref 1 in our opinion will be a substantial upgrade.

Tale of the tape Dyanudio vs Kef Ref 1

Dynaudio is a two way vs Kef Ref 1 a true three way

Kef Ref 1 offers very deep bass for a monitor sub 40 hz bass vs 41hz bass for the Dyaudio.

The Kef is a 40lb monitor vs 18 lbs for the Dynaudio

The Kef is a true point source the Dyaudio is not.

The Kef is room tunable via port selection the Dyaudio is not.

The Kef is the more transparent lower coloration speaker based on the Kefs more advanced metal drivers and driver construction.

The Dynaudio speakers are very musical and do sound excellent, the Kefs will produce more detail, a larger and more focused soundstage.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Kef dealers


The boys told it like it is .        There is no upgrade is silly .


"There is no such thing as an UPGRADE.  ... You either prefer one speaker over another or you dont. "

If only there was no research showing that there is a fair amount of consistency from person to person in what they prefer in a loudspeaker, but there is, so this statement makes no sense.



I have only heard the Kef speakers at a show, but given how awful show sound usually is, I remember being impressed by them. They are a huge step up in price from the Dynaudio if I am not mistaken, so one hope for "better".  I have not seen any test data on the Kef, but claims are of very wide dispersion which means different room interaction than your Dynaudio. Optimum placement is likely to change and if you don't have any acoustic panels to damp reflections, wide dispersion can make for a bright speaker.
In this particular case, I am going to speculate that personal preference will be a big factor to determine which one might choose.

I owned Dynaudio Monitors and now own similar KEF though not these two specific models. They are two very good but very different sounding speakers.

I find I do prefer the more coherent sound of the KEFs especially if not listening from more of a distance. I tend to like coherent source designs in general.


There is no upgrade! These are expensive speakers! For this kind of money they should be perfect! Are we talking about the audio hobby here? Foolish statements!
Both of these speakers are fairly cheap in the scheme of things. A $50k speaker will be classified as an expensive speaker. The Wilson $800k speaker is a more expensive speaker.A perfect speaker? No speaker is perfect, not even the $800k Wilson. 
There are upgrades in this hobby, not necessarily based only on amount of money spent and only the listener can determine if a different speaker is an upgrade or sounds better than another.
Yes, it is an upgrade.KEF Ref 1 has more defined treble, mids are more detailed and tones are more accurate, bass goes deeper and has more substantial weight.

That said, it is not necessarily better, as the special 40 is less neutral, produces louder bass and slighlty more elevated 100hz which makes it more "satisfying" to some people. A friend of mine did that exact same upgrade although he has a H190 instead. He finds the Ref 1 to be the superior speaker, but still misses the more "fun" (I can't believe I'm saying this for dynes) special 40.
If your source is digital primarily, then you can DSP without a loss of fidelity. An accurate low distortion speaker with a flat response and good dispersion can be "adjusted" to suit your mood (or tastes) within the limits of power handling (and amplifier capability). Room correction/DSP can assist in fixing the room response at the listener, but it is a band-aid as it has no control over direct/reflected. Direct waves from the speakers gives you timing location cues, total power delivered (to each ear) will give you volume based location cues. This is one of the reasons why DSP is good, but not a pacacea. It also can’t fix distortion, un-smooth off-axis response, etc.

The Dynaudio is a good speaker. The KEF is a better speaker by the typical standards of a good speaker. You can use DSP to recreate the mood of the Dynaudio if you so desire, but you can’t recreate the better characteristics of the Dynaudio with the KEF.
Upgrade Dynaudio?
really?
those two words are oxymorons when used for Dynaudio,   

 Maybe trade in for another Dynaudio pair, KEF , is by no means a slouch,
dynaudio,....are an amazing speaker, etc 

good luck, let your ears be the judge.

I might want to add the Focal Kanta No.1 (lower price) or Sopra No.1 (higher) to your check list before laying down your cash.  The Sopra is a stunningly well integrated, surprisingly wide range, relatively compact stand mount. I haven’t heard the K1, but if the No.2 is any indication, it too deserves a listen. 
For the sake of transparency I should mention we are Focal dealers. But I speak for myself. 
Thanks all for the contributions. I am now thinking to keep the dynaudio speakers and change the amp. I like the mcintosh type of sound but don't have the budget now. any recommendations on amps?
"Upgrade Dynaudio?

really?

those two words are oxymorons when used for Dynaudio,   "


You answered your first question with this next statement:

"Maybe trade in for another Dynaudio pair"
The KEF are about as different sounding as can be from the Dynaudio. I really like the Special 40. Technically the KEF is probably superior but I could listen to the Dyns all day. 
Dyns sound magical to me.
The real question is what are you trying to do?
Changing the speakers will be an apples to oranges change.the Kefs are more transparent, more dynamic, and less colored, they also go lower and sound bigger, they also image with both a large and well focused sound stage.

The Dyanaudio loudspeakers are richer in the midrange, with a bit less treble detail, they do sound big for a small monitor.
Changing your electronics or dac will or may bring out more from the loudspeakers.
Op what makes you think the Yamaha amplifier is any better than the Hegel Just the contrary the Hegel's clean, dynamic sound would be excellent with the Dyaudios, the Yamaha may actually make the system sound too sleepy and less exciting.
The best thing you can do is to figure out for yourself what I am trying to accomplish? If you are craving more detail, a bigger sounding loudspeaker and deeper bass, then the Kef is for you,

If not stick with the Dyaudios and maybe you need to look at an even better dac or source upgrade.
The other thing is that there are a zillion great loudspeaker choices even in a smaller room a set of compact floor standing loudspeakers may be the ticket.
Dave and TroyAudio Doctor NJ


Kef and Dynaudio sound totally different, in general. I prefer Dynaudio sound but that’s just me. Dyn’s are typically harder to drive (more difficult impedance curves, lower sensitivities). Kef is good too though, especially if it is important to you that the entire room sounds pretty good, as opposed to being optimal in one listening location. Kefs might be better than almost any other brand in that feature. Really good choice if H/T a part of your system and whole family watches movies together, for example (foregoing not at all to suggest Kef not good for music, it is as well).
After owning all the above mentioned I would buy Piega coax 311. 
A keeper 
You need to drag your amp to some stores and LISTEN.  Only then can you tell whether there is truly and improvement or not, and whether that improvement is worth it in monetary terms.  Everything else is scratching a mirage-like itch.
Kren’s point about KEF Providing more consistent sound from different listening points than most including Dynaudio rings true from my experience with Dynaudio Contour monitors versus KEF ls50. The Dynaudios were very good but seemed to require more care in exact positioning as well. Dispersion with the KEF UniQ driver seems top notch. I often listen from my desk located between the two speakers and the KEF ls50s retain their character particularly well even there.
dynaudio require power power power and more power big transformers ,heavy amps:) this hegel offers not so much, Yamaha AS3000 looks nice,but again no real power
If you get decent powerfull amp,the sound will be as listening gryphon and big speakers in your room:)
Not sure abaut your bugdet ,but there is big krell fbi for sale
I think even krell s550i will outperform hegel and yamaha and will make your special forty sing


There is no evidence that the kef reference one is perfect or better. 
Kef came out with the LS50 which is much cheaper than ref 1 yet they say the LS50 is one of the best. Every speaker on the market is "the best". There are no bad speakers. its a hoax 
I do think it’s strange that when you go to the Kef website, they list the blades and the LS50 as their flagship lines, and the ref line and everything else under hifi lines. 
At least it was that way up until a few weeks ago haven’t checked recently. 
Does seem odd that they’d sell ref 1 at many times the cost of “flagship” LS50. Odd marketing choice on their part to group things that way. 
Note I’m not comparing ref1 to LS50 myself as I don’t really have an opinion. My point only that kef’s marketing groupings are curious 
The ls50’s are one of the best for it’s size and cost.

C’mon kenjit its not so hard to understand that no two things are created exactly equal.

If one must measure speakers relative to others, ability to deliver flat clean bass down to 20hz in a particular room is a reasonable way to measure. Speakers that can do it well ( along with doing all the rest well) in a larger room are clearly better.

Size matters with speakers. As does quality. Speakers must work hard to deliver full range sound in larger rooms.

Ohm Speakers are a good model of this. Room size mostly determines which model is best, how big, and the cost. In a smaller room a larger more expensive model is not necessarily better in that it will deliver too much bass but otherwise the design and sound is similar.

It’s a most scaleable design.
Use your ears.  Audition the equipment at home if you can.  The only way to know if you are getting what makes you smile.   If you can't audition at home bring your gear to the dealer.  Not as good a comparison but you will here some of the major differences. 

Good luck
Like everyone else on here are saying, it seems you are seeking a change in presentation of music.  What 'big difference' do you want or expect?  Both speakers are musically adept but their presentation will differ.  KEF speakers are known for their presentation of large soundstages but then Dynaudio Special 40's are also known for the same thing, since you are presently using them maybe its not enough? There is no safe quick way of finding out until you have personally audition them preferably playing your own music.   At the end of the day it will be you listening to the chosen system, not any one else.....
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Kenjit,

Name 5 things in life that are perfect. 
Drop that 40 and give Fritz a call. Had the special 40 next to his Fritz Carrera Be and it wasn’t even close. That 40 has a disappointing midrange, the Fritz on the other hand sounds like single point driver had a baby with a bigger Harbebth
Drop that 40 and give Fritz a call. Had the special 40 next to his Fritz Carrera Be and it wasn’t even close. That 40 has a disappointing midrange, the Fritz on the other hand sounds like single point driver had a baby with a bigger Harbebth
I finally decided to keep the Dynaudio S40 speakers and grabbed a PASS Int 60 integrated amplifier. Now I have the sound i was looking for. Smooth, lush, detailed, sweet sounding amp. My next speaker purchase will be the dynaudio confidence 20. 
that is great news:) I am glad you found sound you was looking for