I'm a new Dynaudio owner. I like to sit back and read everyone's advice and definitley take what everyone say's with a grain of salt. I learn a lot, but what it comes down to in the end is what do I like...what sounds good to ME. I read how many of us DONT have a lot of money to spend
.....so naturally we want to get a maximum return for our dollar...right....ME TOO! So I hope this helps someone searching for a great speaker because heres my story. It's long but I hope it helps someone.
I started listening to B&W speakers thinking this is what I wanted. (replacing my old B&W college speakers) I decided I was going to listen and audition EVERY SPEAKER I could get ahold of that was "audiophile" grade within $1000-$15,000. Im a pilot and can fly for free so it is easy to listen to and audtion speakers all over. I figured I'd spend $5-7k on a whole system (WRONG!!) including the speakers and amps but I wanted stuff I could live with for years to come.
I started with Wilson Sophia's, Mordaunt Shorts, you name it, over 6 months I listened to it. These are all great speakers but there is a price point and point of no return when you spend $10k on a speaker alone are you really getting a acceptable return for your dollar spent? I wanted a balanced system meaning I wanted to spend $5000 on a 5.1 speaker system with clean, kick-ass, melt your ears , but yet delicate front channel sound for 2-channel audio listening. This was going to be a challenge. A salesman in Dallas suggested I listen to a pair of Dynaudios....Never heard of them wasnt impressed by the looks and I thought...oh boy here we go again, another "no name speaker comany from somewhere". but boy was I wrong.....when I listened to a pair of focus 220's I thought yeah....these sound good...but
...... still wasnt convinced for $3000/pair.
I left more confused than ever...feeling dejected I thought am I too picky...am I crazy, all these speakers are good....but I will NEVER get the quality I want for the money I want to spend....What should I do? I decided to go and listen again to a pair of Contour 1.4's coupled with a JL Audio Fathom sub....wow! This was in Tulsa, OK. This dealer was amazing...so patient and helpful I feel guilty for NOT buying a new pair from him. This is the sound I was looking for! but the price was so high.
I decided to look at the used Dynaudio market thinking they must sound "nearly" as good as the new ones. I was right, and bought a set of Contour 1.3 Mk3's...sight unseen! This coupled with my old Velodyne sub it sounded great.....should have stopped there but wanted more bass and fuller range and depth. I like a live deep soundstage and a speaker that is true to the music. I wanted the new Contour 3.4 but $5000 was out of the question for two speakers . So I paitently lurked on audio websites and finally found a pair of used Contour 3.3's (a $7000) speaker for less than 1/2 that and viola. I bought the new Focus center speaker from a Dynaudio dealer ( because they deserve a sale too and are an EXCELLENT source of info and support.) and I cant be happier. I love movies as much as 2-channel audio. I love to feel the notes penetrate my bones...and wake me up. I am a Dynaudio convert. Im not a audio snob or pretend to know a lot about the hobby...Some of us are brand loyal....and snicker at others when we say what we like.....but it's a preference right. I just know what sounds good and Dynaudios are wonderful at what they do. But any Contour speaker or higher line and you WONT be dissapointed! I spent less than $5000 and got over $11000 worth of speakers @ audiogon. I tend to agree the Larger Dynaudio's like power..100watts or more. It takes a good amp to realize their true potential.
Oh and by the way I called the headquaters and talked to a rep and he actually took the time to explain the differences between the old #.3's and Focus lines...and made some unsolicted advice on what he'd do if he were me. Thanks, try calling B&W.
For the sub..(we like movies right) I stumbled on a brand called REL, expensive but very good.....but the salesman pulled me aside and warned me of the recent quality problems (thanks Bill) they seemed to be having. Another Dynaudio dealer said the complete opposite, but at $3000-5000, i dont want problems with my gear or to chance it. I ended up researching and settled on the new SVS 13.5 sub coming out this summer. Im crossing my fingers and hoping its delicate yet powerful...I'll let you know when it gets here.
As for a power source...the Emotiva amp/processor line has been impressive. I was convinced I wanted Clase', Rotel, or Krell...but after looking at what I got for the money I am loving my new Emotiva. Customer support is outstanding.....they love the customer and I am impressed with thier customer service and quality.
For a CD...I bought a used Denon 3910 off Ebay and sent it to the upgrade company and had him do EVERYTHING he knew how to do to it. It was $1000 for the mod alone. I was skeptical and beating myself up thinking I just threw away money on a CD player I could have used elsewhere...but l was wrong. After the 100hr burn in period this cd player sounded AMAZING....and gets better everyday. I would reccomend this as a first step to anyone wanting to upgrade thier system....
I hope this helped ...but YOU CANT GO WRONG with this brand...I'm a convert in the quality.......workmanship and just plain ole' great sound of the Contour line.