Where do you go after a Dynaudio C1 ?

I have been scouting for a pair of speakers to replace my Dynaudio C1, which after many years of enjoyment I now find voiced to relaxed for my taste. I am looking for speakers that comes as close as possible to the raw sound and timbre of voices and instruments with minimal house coloration, speakers that energize a room to give an electrifying feel of presence, speakers that convey both refined subtlety and explosive dynamics with effortlessness. This have to be smallish, either a standmount or small footprint floorstander, must work in condo-type living room, and synergize with high power rowland amp I use.

Two speakers I have listened to and consider top candidates are the Magico V2 and Focal Utopia Diablo. These seem to possess the attributes I seek. Given my parameters, what other speakers do you think I should consider? Buying new with budget $15,000 max, less the better. Please note purchase will be in the Philippines, where most small specialty brands are not available.
I would be looking at Raidho C1.1, Vapor Audio Cirrus and the Lawrence Audio Violin. Good luck with your search!
Vienna Acoustics Klimt The Kiss loudspeakers came into my mind. I have heard them and they sounded great.
P.S. I own C1s also, but I will replace them with C2s.
Sonus faber Guaneri Momento or Evolution. End of story.
I went from C1 to magico V2. Have not heard the Raidho, vapor or violin. If it is the magico or focal sound you seek, I don't think the sonus fabers will do it for you.
I know a dealer that offers Avalon and Dynaudio as two complementary top lines in terms of sound. The Dynaudio C1s did have a more "relaxed" sound, the Avalons not so much. I'd give them a listen based on what you describe.
Raidho C-1.0 or if budget allows the new Raidho C-1.1. A very big step up from the Dyna C1 but also Danish.
I think it will be hard to beat the Focal Diablo with your preferences. Make sure you can live with their detail and energy over the long term. Some might consider them on the edge of being too exposing. Not me.
YEs, Focal is another viable option I thought of and agree with Mike60's assessment.
Atc scm20sl
What about considering Merlin?

Could you share your thoughts on your experience moving from C1 to V2.. what type of and level of improvement did you achieve ? I listened to the V2 using Lamm amp and Naim source in a dealer system and it was heavenly.


I have read the strongly positive reviews on Raidho C1-x. Unfortunately there are no local dealers of Raidho where I am, I emailed them already. You mentioned you feel the C-1.x is a big step-up to the C1, and in your system page you mentioned the Raidho stands toe to toe with the Diablo. Can you give more comment on your take comparing C-1.x / Diablo / C1.

Mike / Mapman,

In the dealer system using Rowland electronics, I actually thought the Diablo was voiced on the warm side of things, not as warm and relaxed as my C1 but certainly not bright. What's amazing to me is that this subtle warmth does not come at the expense of a softened treble, w/c I feel the C1 suffers.
My experience with the G1 had them sounding just as you are looking for. What amplification are you using? I heard them with GamuT monoblocks in a small-medium room that had concrete walls (good bass) and some treatment to tame reflections. I was very impressed. I think you should consider your amplification.
Don't get me wrong, I think the C1 is a great speaker. The V2 is just so much more resolving top to bottom. There is no bloat, no overhang of notes no bass port smearing the midrange. The C1 actually has more bass "slam" which caught me by surprise. It took me a while to get used to the sound of a sealed box and quite some time for the speakers to break in or come alive. I think that the C1 offers a lot for it's size and can be "hi fi" sounding or relaxed given the upstream components and it is certainly the more forgiving of the 2. C1 does sound terrible at low volume and I had some serious gear behind them. Crank them and they are certainly more of a party speaker than the magicos. I have heard the diablo side by side on the same electronics same day as the magico V3 and my simplified conclusion was that the diablo sounded like a cooler, more controlled C1 with hyper speed treble, the V3 changed my perspective on home stereo. Granted, at the time, I had little experience with speakers this expensive but to this day I wish I had room for the V3- especially at the used prices now!!! The only speaker I really have any interest (given my room contraints) in swapping the V2 for is the Q1 but I just cannot bring myself to drop that kind of dough for that little box. I don't know that I will ever go back to a ported enclosure. I try to keep an open mind and again, have little experience with the mega buck big speakers.

Your demo of the Rowland and the Diablo pretty much sums up my feeling for every rowland piece I have ever heard- soft and slow..... the diablo is not soft or slow.

I have heard the kiss and the music on the exact same electronics I own at a dealer- they sound "nice" and forgiving but I do not think they are of particularly high fidelity and certainly not on the magico/ focal side of the spectrum.

Hope that helps.
Another I could recommend is the Joseph Audio Pulsar. A fine review just done is Stereophile
Vienna Acoustics Klimt.

I heard the bigger brother Die Muzik with a Rowland amp and was very impressed. There seemed to be good synergy. I think the Klimt would be worth hearing if you want something smaller.

My current amplification is a Jeff Rowland integrated, and before this a Plinius 9200 integrated. The rowland was a big jump from the Plinius, and the Plinius was no slouch, but in both amps, the relaxed treble character of the C1 remained. Please note I am speaking in relative terms, as the C1's top end is probably considerably more open than other relaxed sounding speakers. But compared to speakers like the Diablo or V2, where the top end soars and electrifies, I felt these speakers are able to better convey the intensity of some instruments like guitars, drums, cymbals and even piano. Even voices are subtly better rendered.


Nice thoughts on V2 vs. C1, that is helpful. It is interesting you mention the C1 has more bass slam than the bigger V2, to me this may be a plus given my acoustically challenged condo living room. When you say it took you a while to adjust to the sound of a sealed box, can you explain further. Also in terms of ease and flexibility of positioning, w/c is a strength of the C1, how did you find the V2?
I think that the C1 offers a lot for it's size and can be "hi fi" sounding or relaxed given the upstream components and it is certainly the more forgiving of the 2. C1 does sound terrible at low volume and I had some serious gear behind them. Crank them and they are certainly more of a party speaker than the magicos.
I agree regarding the low volumes. The originals need to be cranked up to sound their best. That being said the MKII is great at all levels. Yes I upgraded from the originals to the Signatures.

Noel if you like the Dyn sound have you considered the Special 25's or the Sapphires?

I think the C1's provide the illusion of more bass slam as they certainly do not go as low as the V2. The difference to me is texture and nuance over what is perceived as a dynamic explosion that can not be delineated. The V2 is all about control. Which is what I was referring to with the sealed box. Which also is a reason why I feel the magicos are so controversial. I had the C1's for about 18 months and I was looking for the Magicos to "jump out" at me but they just never will. The C1's ask the same driver to produce the lows and mids where the V2's have a dedicated mid (with an interesting crossover) and a dedicated low end driver. The C1's simply cannot compete with the delicate and refined midrange of the V2. The port also provides a hump in the low end which muddles up the midrange as well.

They take up about the same amount of floorspace. The V2 is considerably heavier and more difficult to move around but I actually think the C1 was more sensitive to placement as it seems to be more directional in regard to the tweeter than the magicos.

The C1 is a great speaker, you may even prefer it to the magico on a day to day basis as it is more forgiving and sweet sounding. However, the V2 is significantly truer to the source- it's also 2.5X the price......
I had C1's for a couple of years. The comments about the new version performing better at low volume are very interesting. What changes did they make that resulted in that outcome, do you suppose?

There have been a number of threads here over the years -- including one I started -- about finding speakers that perform well at low volume. I'd love to know the technical why a revised design made improved in that department. Would be great to hear the Dynaudio engineers address this question.
YG Carmel's- Just go listen to these two-way floor standers before you make your purchase. Lightening-fast transients, Incredible holographic, lifelike musicality. A sonic tour-de-force and maybe the Best speaker in the YG arsenal.
Wilson Audio Duette. You may not like my suggestion as our tastes may differ. I auditioned the Magico v3 I believe and it did not energize the room or bring anything to life for me.

Perhaps their new offerings are better or I just had a bad experience.
Vandersteen, or Tannoy.....
I agree on the Sonus Faber recommendation and hope you can give some a listen in the Philippines. The higher resolution of many speakers is a two-edged sword. You can get swept up in their detail for awhile only to be worn out by it after awhile longer. IME the Sonus Fabers manage to bathe you in a wash of ambient detail in its most musical perspective while not taking over the show. I can listen to them for hours and hours. You might be able to find exactly what you want in the SF Cremona Ms. They list at $12,500 USD and are often available for less. They are dead flat to 40 Hz in the bass with airy treble extension beyond human hearing. That airy resolution and transparency gives you what you're looking for while its bass extension gives you almost all the music. If you want that last theoretical bottom octave, there's still enough left in your budget for a good self-powered sub.
The Gamut mono blocks are outstanding, and would have been a big factor. Lots of micro and macro detail, tremendous dynamics and wonderful treble extension.
I have used dynaudio extensively and liked them but as you said it is voiced. It doesn't convey the truest timbres and rawness. I auditioned around 70 speakers trying the replace he dynaudio and the only 2 speakers did it for me, rockport mini and ATC. Finally it was ATC that really sounded closest to the real instruments and voices. The tone and timbre was absolutely spot on combined with a honesty that was too correct to ignore. Please listen to an ATC before taking a call.

Today I use a Tannoy prestige Turnberry SE and it has a very similar accuracy of tone but it is juicier, more technicolor rich. Highly recommended. For your budget you can get the Kensington which is the Alnico magnet version, more neutral and faster.
I had C1's for a couple of years. The comments about the new version performing better at low volume are very interesting. What changes did they make that resulted in that outcome, do you suppose?
I was told by the Dynaudio sales rep that they made a major change to the crossover. They got some new parts that previously were only in the Consequence UE due to availability. I suspect these were parts from the Evidence series too. I have read the Evidence sounds better at lower volumes compared to any of the Confidence series. They also stepped up the internal (Van Hul) wiring. Last they have a new doping on the Esotar2 tweeter.

I was floored when the Signatures were delivered and set up. I kept the originals next to them for about 1/2 hour (the originals were trade ins). They new Signatures sounded so much clearer compared to the originals at low to mid volumes.
Pani, how long did it take you to audition 70 speakers? That is a lot of speakers!
Thanks Xtil6.

And if you are going to audition ATC, you might want to also look at PMC.
Mike I did it over a period of 3 weeks. It was a continuous spree. I tried to listen to every possible speaker in the range of $2k to $8k which available with the dealers around my country and neighbouring countries. In the process I also listened to many more expensive speakers but nothing could do what the ATC could.

PMC is said to be from the school as ATC but I am sorry but they are far too coloured to be even compared to ATC. Dyns are much more neutral than PMC.
I have actually auditioned the new C1 Mark II, though not in my system. While the comment that this new version sounds clearer and more open at low to moderate volume, I doubt it will give me the raw uncolored tonality I now seek. I really want to go a different direction, I have heard Sonus Fabre, Spendor and Harbeth top line models (own P3 myself), while these speakers have strengths, this is NOT what I seek.

Hessec, your comments reinforced the V2 as one of my top candidate. Raidho, ATC, Vapor Cirrus all not available where I am, and I prefer to purchase something that has local support. Tidal is another brand that came up in my search, but again no local reseller. So it is still the V2 and Diablo in the running.
You are right Noelpastor, I could not even like a Evidence Temptation when I went through the same situation as you.

I could suggest you another approach in the absence of an ATC demo. You can buy a simple SCM11 from the used market for about $1.2k and listen to it. I preferred it to the C1. With ATC the sonic qualities remains the same whether you buy their entry level speaker or their top end speaker, only the scale, depth and bass extension improves. So if you do not like their entry level speakers you will not like even their highest end speaker and on the contrary if you like their high end speakers you will almost equally like their entry level models. Actually with ATC there is no "entry level", they are just meant for different room sizes and purpose (near field, mid field etc). Their drivers are not made to match a price point (unlike most other driver brands), rather they just build a driver for a certain application using all their knowledge. So, if you do not mind doing this simple exercise of getting a SCM11 (preowned) you will know exactly if it matches your taste.
Here is an SCM11 for sale for just $950:

I see that so far nobody has mentioned Vivid Audio. Visually they can be a tough pill to swallow (IMO) but apparently they sound very very good. Anybody compared the Vivid Audio V1.5 or B1 with Focal Diablo and/or Raidho C1.1?

Pani, 70 speakers in 3 weeks … I am not sure what was your goal, to listen speakers or to count as many speakers costing between 2k and 8k are sold in your city. You can't expect us to take your assessment seriously. Nonetheless, you must be living in a hi-fi paradise city to have that many choices at hand. Where are you located?
The ATC SCM7 is a sealed box design and doesn't go really low in the bass when compared to the Confidence C1 apart from not being able to play as loud. The response of the SCM7 is rather flat too being a studio monitor. Personally I feel the C1s give a more electrifying feel than the SCM7s which sound a bit thin and lean in comparison.

Personally I feel the C1 is quite perfect in reproducing the raw sound and timbre of voices and instruments with its squeaky clean character. Overall a neutral speaker which is a good all-rounder. Other speakers will offer a different but not necessarily better sound.
SCM7 is a very small speaker, costing $1k new. Comparing it to the C1 ($7k) may not be a good idea. Listen to an SCM40 ($4k) and then compare it to a C1 in whatever parameters you would like to.

I suggested the SCM11 approach only to get an idea about what an ATC sounds like.
I went to Zus from C1s. And Definition4s to be exact.

Ultimately I wanted a more efficient speaker that was more dynamic and real, but without a harsh/metal tweeter top end.
one more thing- I chose Definitions over Magico V3s. Both are very good speakers.
I may have misrepresented my view on the Dynaudio C1. I think it is one heck of a killer reference speaker, within the limits of its design and voicing, and with the right electronics. It does so many types of music so well, that for an all-around speaker in its price range it is hard to top, and believe me I have heard quite a bit of speakers over the 7 years I have used this and did not make me think of jumping ship. It's just that at this point I would like to try a different direction.

The ATC suggestion won't work, as I am overseas, and I rather not mess with shipping boxes of speakers just to hear what a line of speakers sound like.
Not really Noelpastor, you have not mispresented Dyns. In fact all Dyns that I have heard Audience 52, 52SE, Focus 140, 220, Contour 1.3SE and C1 all of them are great speakers. They really give an audiophile the reason to be in this hobby. Just because you pointed out about their "special" voicing which I too found out after living with them for quite some time I thought of pointing you in the direction that I found after a lot of research.
Thanks to all your comments. The YG Carmel and Kipod has been suggested to me enough times that I might listen to these, fortunately there is a local reseller of this brand.

Pani, I understand you came from a Dyn Contour 1.3SE before the ATC. I enjoyed the 1.3SE for 3 years before the C1. The C1 is quite a sonically huge jump in all parameters.
Noelpastor, you are very correct, the C1 was a big step up from the 1.3se, but I also thought it has more of the Dynaudio voice. It was especially noticeable in string instruments. In fact the higher one goes in the Dynaudio chain the more the voice, just an observation.
You pretty much don't want to go with Vapor Audio after the experience I just went through with them. Flawed 6k speakers along with damged goods and a 7 month wait to boot.
Sounds like you found out why they called it Vapor Audio. Cheeky name!
A person who "tested" 70 speakers in 3 days or 3 weeks and makes recommendations.... well..after the 10th you don't remember how the 1st or 2nd was sounding. You are my hero-:)
Enybody with common sens wouldn't follow any recomendation of this "audiophile". To learn a piece of equipment and write evaluations one needs weeks if not months.. otherwise you make misleading statements.
And he writes ".. ATC that really sounded closest to the real instruments and voices" The very same speakers can sound totally different in a different system, with different cables and then maybe not so close to real ....Did you use all the poor speakers in the same system and in the same venue at least? If not you were "evaluating" whole systems including the rooms they were in, not THE SPEAKERS.
I'm shocked, 70 in three... congratulations.
Jkuc, I am rather surprised that we are the only ones who have noticed this so
far. I made a similar comment above (about Pani's speaker marathon) but it was
pretty much ignored.

Jp1208, I am sorry to hear you had such a bad experience with Vapor Audio. It
might be worth while to share this final experience with Vapor
speakers/company on the "Vapor Cirrus Loudspeakers Review"
thread. I have briefly considered these speakers, but fortunately I saw/read the
extremely long list of people complaining about this company.

To get back to the original topic, did anybody compare the Focal Diablos with
Raidho C1.1 and/or Vivid Audio B1/V1.5 speakers?

Also, I see that so far nobody has suggested Wilson Duettes.
Ok let say he really heard so much speakers briefly:) from morning to evening.I remember that in 2 hours time i checked 4 sets speakers.And still remember first impression of these speakers. And those first impressions of dynaudio confidence c4 confirms that confidence line has relaxed sound signature.So during 10 hours possible listen 20 speakers.In 3 days 60 speakers .May be more may be less.Depends how much audio shops located at the city.Usually shops are selling diffrend brands of speakers.
When I get bored with C1 sound I switch to Harbeth SHL5. These have more lively upper freqeuncies.The result: as though somebody pulled rug from the speakers.And when ears are very sensetive and suck kind of sound sucks me I switch to Dyns.
COmparing lots of speakers is a good thing for any individual to do before buying. I'd trust each to draw their own conclusions though and what one ends up picking for whatever reason should really have no bearing on what the next would choose, assuming that each auditioned at least several quality products. When choosing between multiple good products, the choice in the end usually boils down to personal preferences based on specific individual needs. So the findings along the way might be interesting but in the end it only matters what each of us listen to and like for whatever reason.
Another small room monitor that is very revealing of musical detail is the Ridge Street Audio Sasons. I have had a pair for some months now and they have loads of detail and pretty good bass for a 2-way. This may be due to the granite cabinets that weigh 140 lbs per speaker. Only thing is that they are more truth than beauty, so poor recordings sound just that, while fantastic recordings are fantastic. Great transparency and soundstaging, which is pushed back behind the plane of the speakers.
speakers that energize a room to give an electrifying feel of presence, speakers that convey both refined subtlety and explosive dynamics with effortlessness

may be not the speakers ,but source can not do what you wrotte.When I added to my system bryston bda-1 ,happened what you described.Even using usb connection, sytem reproduce vibrant midrange ,something similar to MBL sound signature.And when added musical fidelity v-link192.It destroyed this feeling,so I took MF link away .
Check the APL NB-1 speakers, I used to own them but moved to the smaller NB-2s with only one woofer, they are amazing!