Dynaudio's Confidence C4 Signature
If there is one thing audio reviewers like (other than wine, women, and song, of course), it is recommendable products that stay in production for years. And years. I reviewed the original Confidence C4 in 2003, with a follow-up by Wes Phillips in 2007, so it was with some surprise that I encountered the speaker at the 2012 CES. Except that this was the new Signature edition ($22,000/pair), which has a revised crossover, a high gloss finish (that is difficult to photograph :-), and a new coating on the Esotar2 tweeter's soft dome that is said to give a smoother, more open sound. With a standard finish, the C4 costs $20,000/pair; the C1 stand-mount has been similarly improved, with the standard version costing $7700/pair, the high-gloss Signature $8500/pair. Dynaudio is now offering its speakers with a 10 year warranty!
Driven by a T+A player and Octave tube amplification, hooked up with StraightWire cable, the C4s offered a big stage on my recording of the Jerome Harris Quintet playing Duke Ellington's "The Mooche," with Jerome's acoustic bass guitar sounding well-defined and and with good bottom-octave weight, and with Billy Drummond's cymbals very well-differentiated. I have to say that with so many speakers available at two, three, or four times the C4 Signature's price, $22,000 starts to appear a very attractive cost for a speaker of this quality.