Dynaudio Confidence C4 loudspeaker Page 3

Looking through my auditioning notes, I see that I listened to a great deal of choral and vocal music through the Confidence C4s, which bears testament to their uncolored, natural-sounding midrange. The midrange, roughly the decade from 200Hz to 2kHz, is where melody instruments and voices have their fundamental energy and where the music has its tonal center. If a speaker gets the midrange wrong, then what it does right at the frequency extremes to a large extent doesn't really matter. This Dynaudio got the midrange right, to an extent equaled only by the Wilson, Mission, and KEF, of the speakers I have recently reviewed. Its presentation was also seamless across the audioband.

When it comes to treble, I have yet to hear a speaker in my room that equals the omnidirectional mbl 111b. Once you've experienced that speaker's top-octave delicacy and ethereal extension, it becomes harder to accept the relative but inevitable lack of in-room energy offered by dome tweeters with diameters of 1" and greater. But other than that qualifier, the C4's Esotar2 tweeters offered a grain-free, transparent presentation of music's high frequencies that was effortlessly seductive.

The February issue's "Recording of the Month," the CD set of Beethoven's violin sonatas from Augustin Dumay, accompanied by Maria Joao Pires (DG 471 495-2), spent a lot of time spinning in my players over the holiday season. The Dynaudio C4 and a well-recorded classical violin, as this is, were made for each other. Even when Augustin plays without vibrato, there was no feeling of "scratch." When I was an active violin player, a touch of what (with hindsight) I now recognize was synaesthesia made me hear the over-close sound of a rosined bow catching on the strings as a distinctly sour taste in my throat. There was no such sourness with the C4s, just treble sweetness—no sense that the high frequencies were a little too high in level, as they were with the otherwise superb-sounding Cantons.

And even when the recording's highs are overcooked, as they are on the Roger Waters In the Flesh—Live DVD-V (Columbia Music Video CVD 54185, LPCM soundtrack auditioned in two channels), the forgiving nature of the Dynaudio's tweeters, coupled with the speaker's apparently limitless dynamics, allowed the music to communicate most effectively. The Americans may have invented rock, but it was the British who elevated it to a mature art form, in this lay person's opinion, at least as evidenced by this concert recording.

Summing up
While the Dynaudio Confidence C4's low frequencies will sound most neutrally balanced in large rooms, its top octave might then sound a little mellow. But in the right room, the listener will be knocked out by its natural-sounding midrange, its high-frequency transparency and lack of grain, and its well-defined, stable stereo imaging, none of which have been achieved at the expense of the speaker's musical communication. I can confidently recommend the Confidence C4, offering as it does much of the performance of this Danish manufacturer's cost-no-object Evidence models at a considerably more affordable price.