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Sonata
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Dyanaudio Contour dilemma

Hi Guys,

First time poster here, so apologies first if I'm making any comments that are out of line here. I recently purchased a pair of Dynaudio Contour 1.8 MkII out of people's recommendation and my own experience. I really liked their bookshelf speakers and this is the first pair of floor standing speakers that i've purchased.

The problem is I've been out of the "audiophile" circle for a long time and just starting to come back in (sold all my stuff long time ago during a move to grad school), so I've pretty much have lost all my electrical lingo and knowledge about wiring, and now am quite confused on what best to pair these speakers with. So can anyone please recommend a nice preamp/amp combo, or nice integrated amp for them? Preferably over 100W and not too expensive.

I've looked at YBA Classic Integre (integrated amp, already reviewed here a long time ago) around ~$2300, and that's about the price I can afford. I liked it, but people told me I should get one with more power since the output is only 50W and I have a fairly large room.

I've also looked at a Jeff Rowland integrated amp, and it was fantastic, but sadly out of my price range. BTW, here are some of the specs of the speakers, and I'd really appreciate all your help here. Thanks a bunch guys, hopefully with more of your education I'd be talking like a true audiophile again in no time!

Here's some spec from their website:

Dynaudio Contour 1.8 MkII

Sensitivity (2.83 V/1 m):87 dB
Recommended Amp. Power:
Small size rooms: > 30 Watts
Medium size rooms: > 70 Watts
Large size rooms: >130 Watts

Impedance, Nominal:4 ohms
Impedance, (20-200 Hz):3.8 - 9.4 ohms
Impedance, (200-20 kHz):4.6 - 5.8 ohms

Frequency Response (+/- 3 dB):30 Hz - 24 kHz

Buddha
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Re: Dyanaudio Contour dilemma

Welcome!

I have a great affinity for the Krell KAV-300i integrated.

They go for about 1100 bucks on Ebay.

Mine has driven every load I've thrown at it and sounded nice the whole time.

Honestly one of the great bargains in hi fi right now.

It should mesh well with the Dynaudios, too.

Also worth a listen is the Marantz PM7200 at only 500 dollars, new.

I forget the Dynaudio's impedance, but the Marantz runs about 95 wpc into 8 ohms, and 155 into 4 ohms. The best part is that the first 25 wattts are class A!

It's for sale at Music Direct (www.amusicdirect.com)

If there's a way to audition one locally, don't miss the chance.

I'll leave the Unison line recommendations to Jim Tavegia.

Lots of good stuff in your budget range!

RGibran
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Re: Dyanaudio Contour dilemma

Dang Buddha,

A $3,500.00 set of Dynaudios' and your gonna recommend a $500.00 Marantz? I don't doubt the Marantz sounds way better than a $500.00 unit has a right to, but I question if we do are duty to try to bring others in to the high end with such recommendations, considering what the poster already owns.

What's next....the freakin' Outlaw!

RG

Buddha
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Re: Dyanaudio Contour dilemma

Dude, you are opposed to listening to something?

Did I say he should take my advice, shut up, and buy it?

No, I said, "Audition."

What is it with so many audiophiles being opposed to listening to stuff?

As audiophiles, we should be helping people on the listening trail, not merely asking "how much ya got to spend" and then picking a piece of gear at a stated price.

I've also spent time with that Marantz and find it quite lovely, and with the economics of scale, I wonder what Rowland would charge for the same unit. Maybe rebadging it at 1500.00 would be OK with you?

(Disclaimer: Just messing with a friend here, no audiophile righteous indignation actually took place.)

Buddha
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Re: Dyanaudio Contour dilemma

I also failed to notice that he told me the impedance of the speakers right there in his post!

D'oh!

arogister
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Re: Dyanaudio Contour dilemma

What about a Musical Fidelity A5 ? They are rated at 250W @ 8 ohm and should cost about $2500. The forthcoming Bel Canto integrated (S300i) should also be both powerful (ICEpower-based I presume) and quite affordable but it's not available yet. Or tubes ? I am driving a pair of Proac Studio 125 (88 db sensitivity) with a 30W tube amp (Audiomat Arpege, paid

Buddha
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Re: Dyanaudio Contour dilemma

Yes, the Musical Fidelity is a nice unit!

I'm not very familiar with Jolida, but I know people who rave about them, as well. I don't know how they'd do the bass on that speaker, but ya never know.

Monty
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Re: Dyanaudio Contour dilemma

Choices, choices, choices, hmmmmmm. The Dyanaudios aren't as difficult to drive as you might expect...an amp friendly 4 ohm load. I think your choices are wide open.

Having not heard those particular speakers, my impressions of Dyanaudio in general are that they are slightly warm and not fussy about ancillary electronics.

stereophillips
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Re: Dyanaudio Contour dilemma

I've enjoyed the Contour 1.8s with the Portal Panache. Lots of slam and detail.

Sonata
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Re: Dyanaudio Contour dilemma

Wow, thanks for the fast turnaround guys. I'll try to "audition" the Musical Fidelity like Buddha has suggested. I'll try to sample the Marantz too. Even though I could spend more, I would try to get the most bang for my buck.

The thing I forgot to mention is I'm working in Taiwan now, so I think my choices might be limited compare to you guys in the US or Canada. I tried to look up Panache like Wes suggested, but I think it might not be carried over here, but I'll keep looking. Judging only by the review it sounds lovely already, and that price is pretty good. I'll keep looking for it though, or else order it from the states if I have to... Not sure about Jolida either.

Sorry for my ignorance, but 4 ohm on these speakers does sound reasonable doesn't it? Then how come I kept hearing people telling me that Dynaudio's are difficult to drive? Opinions?

Monty
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Re: Dyanaudio Contour dilemma

Well, some amplifiers don't like 4 ohm loads and have to work harder, run hotter and seem to compress the sound when pushed at higher volume. But, almost all better quality amps have no problems with 4 ohm loads that don't spend a lot of time below 4 ohms in the frequency band. The Dyanaudios don't present much of a problem in this regard.

Where the Dynaudios get the reputation for somewhat difficult to drive is in their combination of a 4 ohm impedence and a relatively low to medium sensitivity. It will boil down to how big your room is and how loud you want to play music. In my 11 x 13 office, I had no problem at all driving a pair of Dynaudio 52SE monitors (similar to the ones you reference in impedence and sensitivity) with a 60 watt Rotel integrated. They went loud and maintained control without effort.

Wes' review of the Portal Panache (writing for Soundstage) is exactly the impressions that the unit conveyed to me and I have one sitting in my closet, waiting to be partnered with a pair of Dynaudios in my main room. There aren't very many speakers that would present any kind of problem to the Panache.

Sonata
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Re: Dyanaudio Contour dilemma

Thanks Monty. Without doing a formal survey, what are the normal impedence of high-end speakers? I mean for a normal size floor-standing model?

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