Freako
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Dynaudio Contour 20
bierfeldt
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Dynaudio makes wonderful speakers but competition at that level is stiff and it comes down to your taste. In the past year I have listened to dozens of speakers in the $4-$22K price range realizing I didn’t want to spend more than $10K. The Contours are in a very appealing sweet spot from my POV and they were an early speaker I listened too. I have also demo’d Raidho, Verity, Focal, Magico, Wilson, Kaiser, Dynaudio, Vienna Acoustics, Kef, PSB, Monitor Audio, B&W Acoustic Zen, Scansonic, Endeavor, Revel and many I can’t remember. All of them have pros and cons.

Dynaudio Contours measure really well and deliver very, very natural, uncolored sound. Detail is superb, imaging is spectacular, soundstage was meh in my opinion. I had a similar opinion of the B&W 805 D3s though they are less natural sounding. I found the Contours to be lovely but unexciting. They didn’t make me want to listen more, but when I wanted to listen I am sure they would do an amazing job. I fell in love with Raidho’s instead which offer a more colored sound, superb imaging and in the right space (not mine) an unbelievable, immersive soundstage. I was hooked the second I heard them and made a dumb purchase. My space wasn’t right for them and very simply they didn’t deliver the soundstage I was seeking and I could not fix that.

Additionally, I suppose the Dynaudio dealer annoyed me lecturing me for 20 minutes on the nature of sound and how he only sells speakers that deliver true neutral sound. His example was that in real life he can tell the difference between a Yamaha and Steinway piano and if he can’t tell the difference in reproduction, then the speakers are crap or equipment is crap. I rationally get that perspective but at times find those speakers or equipment unexciting. I just listened to a very expensive integrated amp and felt the same way.

It feels like about half of all audio stores I walk into are manned by the audiophile equivalent of Comic Book guy from the Simpsons and if you don’t agree with everything they say like it is gospel you are a fool and will be lectured till you agree and that definitely soured me. It is tough to remain objective about a brand when you are dealing with a giant jackass.

There are so many reasons we pick and choose different products. The room, equipment pairing and our personal taste and what excites us musically is going to dictate choice. I am happy to hear that you have found the right speaker for you and your space. It is a journey and to have completed it must be supremely satisfying.

I am very happy with my old Revels, just not in my current space which is too large for a smallish stand mount. Iam continuing to try and find the right upgrade for my larger room. I think I finally found them in the Focal Kanta No 2s. I got chills listening to ABACAB on them. Now I need to save to buy them and the MC275 to drive them properly but that will be a long while.

Catch22
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I haven't heard that model, but I'm not surprised you like them so much. I'm curious, did you find them particularly engaging when you first bought them or did they take a few weeks to really make an impression on you? I ask because I've had 3 pairs of Dynaudios and they always, always, always sound like crap when new and until they have been playing for a week or two. They must have some sort of proprietary material in their designs that need a good work out or something.

caphill
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bierfeldt wrote:

Dynaudio makes wonderful speakers but competition at that level is stiff and it comes down to your taste. In the past year I have listened to dozens of speakers in the $4-$22K price range realizing I didn’t want to spend more than $10K. The Contours are in a very appealing sweet spot from my POV and they were an early speaker I listened too. I have also demo’d Raidho, Verity, Focal, Magico, Wilson, Kaiser, Dynaudio, Vienna Acoustics, Kef, PSB, Monitor Audio, B&W Acoustic Zen, Scansonic, Endeavor, Revel and many I can’t remember. All of them have pros and cons.

Dynaudio Contours measure really well and deliver very, very natural, uncolored sound. Detail is superb, imaging is spectacular, soundstage was meh in my opinion. I had a similar opinion of the B&W 805 D3s though they are less natural sounding. I found the Contours to be lovely but unexciting. They didn’t make me want to listen more, but when I wanted to listen I am sure they would do an amazing job. I fell in love with Raidho’s instead which offer a more colored sound, superb imaging and in the right space (not mine) an unbelievable, immersive soundstage. I was hooked the second I heard them and made a dumb purchase. My space wasn’t right for them and very simply they didn’t deliver the soundstage I was seeking and I could not fix that.

Additionally, I suppose the Dynaudio dealer annoyed me lecturing me for 20 minutes on the nature of sound and how he only sells speakers that deliver true neutral sound. His example was that in real life he can tell the difference between a Yamaha and Steinway piano and if he can’t tell the difference in reproduction, then the speakers are crap or equipment is crap. I rationally get that perspective but at times find those speakers or equipment unexciting. I just listened to a very expensive integrated amp and felt the same way.

It feels like about half of all audio stores I walk into are manned by the audiophile equivalent of Comic Book guy from the Simpsons and if you don’t agree with everything they say like it is gospel you are a fool and will be lectured till you agree and that definitely soured me. It is tough to remain objective about a brand when you are dealing with a giant jackass.

There are so many reasons we pick and choose different products. The room, equipment pairing and our personal taste and what excites us musically is going to dictate choice. I am happy to hear that you have found the right speaker for you and your space. It is a journey and to have completed it must be supremely satisfying.

I am very happy with my old Revels, just not in my current space which is too large for a smallish stand mount. Iam continuing to try and find the right upgrade for my larger room. I think I finally found them in the Focal Kanta No 2s. I got chills listening to ABACAB on them. Now I need to save to buy them and the MC275 to drive them properly but that will be a long while.

Bierfeldt,
I would look into the Sopra line if I were you. IMO the Sopra line is better than the Kanta 2.

If you would want a vacuum tube amp like the McIntosh MC275, I would get Audio Research vacuum tube. Even the Audio Research entry level Foundation series integrated will be better than the McIntosh vacuum tube gears.
The next step up from the ARC Foundation series will even be better.

I'm currently using the Audio Research Reference 10 linestage and phonostage preamps in my 2ch setup and can't be more happier.

I found some McIntosh gears are dull, too syrupy, lifeless and are not worth their asking prices.

bierfeldt
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I don’t want hijack the OPs thread. I am a long ways away from buying and will post separately when I am closer.

commsysman
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I think the Vandersteen Treo is probably the best speaker for under $10K.

I would certainly advise anyone with that much money to spend to listen to them before making a final decision.

They are made in the USA and can be had in 7 or 8 different woods.

Another feature is that they are not very wide, which is perfect for a setup like mine where they are on either side of a 60-inch monitor.

John Atkinson reviewed them a couple of years ago and had good things to say; the review is avalable on this website.

(P.S.- I think the price of Dynaudio speakers is very high due to the fact that the cost of importing them from Denmark, with a poor exchange rate, is a major cost problem)

Freako wrote:

Any owners out there?

Any thoughts on this (first really beautiful) speaker from Dynaudio?

As of writing this, I've had them for 6 weeks, and they not only look beautiful, they sound beautiful as well. I wonder why so few US audiophiles own Dynaudio speakers. Are they too costly? Too ugly? (many are IMO). Since the Contour 20's have a world class tweeter (the Esotar2), and a newly developed woofer with varying cone thickness, plus a new crossover and a very beautiful cabinet, made to impressing specs, I truly don't get it. Further, the Stand 20 (with matching top plates from the Stand 6), fully completes this marvel.

Anyone?

Freako
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Some like the mother, and some the daughter, and I'm totally OK with that.

Thank you so much for your friendly AND completely neutral reply to my post. Sorry to say, but it's not often I have encountered such a well meant and educated "25 cents" in the Stereophile Forum - and on top of that: I couldn't agree more!

Freako
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Same with the Contour 20's, perhaps even longer than a few weeks. They did sound like crap for a day or two, then a bit better for a week or three, and finally after about a month, they started to sound really good. Since then I added the stands with 12 lbs of fine grained sand inside the columns, but no spikes (I don't believe these thingies belong with any kind of audio equipment).

As this meant a much better placement in my listening room, it of course changed the sound to the better, but I am also aware that I could get much more out of it. My amps are good, but not great, and I am beginning to think I'd do better with something like a Parasound Halo Integrated. The reason I am going in that direction, is that my old amps are from that company as well, and despite their age (discontinued in 1996 and 2002 respectively) I like them very much. So I guess that considering the sound philosophy of Parasound plus the general progress in the audio business that has happened since those days, I'll become one happy fellow when I jump at it.

Besides, I have had an Oppo udp 203 for about two months, and realizing the potential of the Contour 20's, I've decided to get my hifi pusher to try and get hold of a 205 instead. So in the end - if I'm lucky - it'll be just fine.

Thanks for your reply!

bierfeldt
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I always try and keep things civil and try and be helpful. Hopefully it is appreciated. Clearly is is by you and that is good to know.

My understanding is that Dynaudio's like power. I will throw two more cents in. Take a look at the Rogue Audio Pharaoh. I know it is a little pricier than the Parasound but it delivers a ton of power and the tube based input stage allows for some adjustment of your sound. I have the Hydra as the power amp in my system and I love it. I rolled in Cifte NOS tubes and my sound stage just blossomed.

Freako
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Thanks, Bierfeldt. I'll try to read up on - and if possible - listen to it when the time comes.

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I'd been shopping to replace my Revel Salon and wanted to stay full range and demoed the contour 60 and really liked what I heard at the shop. A killer deal came up for the Salon2's and I bought them instead but I think the contour series 20, 30, and 60 all should be auditioned by anyone shopping in the price range in fact if the same deal for the c60 was available at the same time as the Salon2's (50% demos with warranty) i'm pretty sure I would have jumped on them.

Freako
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Revel is completely new territory for me, so I can't comment on your purchase, but that being said, I'm happy that you got such a great deal on them. Dynaudio's better speakers are indeed pricey, probably even more so in the US, which undoubtedly keeps many potential buyers away. This is of course a shame, but no one can blame a fellow enthusiast for looking at the price as well as the performance. Have a good time with your purchase!

Marvelousmarkie
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When I was shopping for speakers, I listened to the Contour 20s, and found them to be excellent, one of my favorite speakers. I am sure I would have bought a pair, had they been within my budget. It’s not surprising you like them.

Fortunately, Dynaudio’s less expensive speakers are excellent, too. I ordered a pair of Excite 18s after hearing X14s, and am pleased with my decision.

I think Dynaudio models are all competitive within their price points, and don’t find them to be overpriced for the US market. I have also purchased a pair of Emit 10s for an office music system, and I’m not sure there’s a better budget small speaker.

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You mentioned upgrading amps. If you have an opportunity to bring a Hegel int home I think you'll be surprised. I was driving my salons with a parasound a21 using a krell kav300il as a pre(i think the Krell runs class a on the pre) anyhow I loved the bass but was expecting more from the speakers and brought home a few pieces, the hegel stayed and of the 3 of them I auditioned, all with different power ratings, they pretty much sounded alike. Coarse there's a goy with the c30's selling a H190 so not everybody lovey the combo

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