Last year all the talk was about the updated Contour line, this year all the talk has been about the S40.
A few years ago, I had the S25, the Confidence C1, and the Focus 160 all in my room at the same time. In a head-to-head shootout, the Focus 160 was clearly at a disadvantage; mainly because of the size of my room. I felt like it was always reaching. While the 160 did perform admirably, the size of the room was a bit much for it to overcome. I still said it was an incredible bargain at $3000.
Enter the S40. From all the metrics (cabinet volume, cabinet shape, size of drivers, etc.,etc.), it's basically a hot-rodded Focus 160. What is most amazing is Dyn offering it at the same price as the 160. An incredible value.
If I were in the market for a new stand-mount speaker, which I'm not, the Contour 20 would be of more interest to me. I believe it's output would be closer to the S25 and it would fill my room without much trouble. Aside from aesthetics, the Contour 20 would still be a downgrade for me. Speaking of aesthetics, the new Countours have beautiful lines; the slight curves on the cabinet sides, the large radius on the corners, and the large built-in aluminum pinth. This is an expensive cabinet to build! I have inspected that cabinet and it is truly beautiful craftsmanship. The Grey Oak is definitely worth the 10% up-charge. When you consider the complexity of the cabinet, the finishes, the output, and of course the drivers, at $5000, the Contour 20 is the new leader in value.
I've had enough of graphs, specs, and head-to-head A/B is time consuming and a lot of work, so I decided on a new metric.
My new criteria for value:
If you go by this criteria, the Contour 20 is clearly the winner.