Reposting this from my thread for dynaudio folks if anyone is interested to read:
I demo'd the special 40s and contour 20s today..and evoke 30s. The special 40s had serious bass (serious!) and better soundstage depth/seperation than the s400s. Thats where they stand out, but they didnt strike me as clearcut "better" than the s400s. But I am also listening to them in different spaces, and just gave them about 15 min audition. The contours were definitely overall more impressive than the 40s, bigger soundstage, the mids and highs were more clear, detailed, and forward, but still felt very neutral. It did seem like they were the kind of speaker that wanted to be turned up and not played at low volumes. Now these (contour) I would have to cough up an EXTRA 3 Gs after returning buchardts for maybe a 30% improvement. 2k vs 5k....If something blows me away im willing to do something stupid with my wallet but the s400 seem so far like a great sweetspot at 2k. They also sound great playing all kinds of music, old rock songs, non audiophile stuff. They are easygoing, engaging, but also do well when you play delicate detailed music. The zeos review kind of nails it, these have "it" and it left the kef r3s looking boring and uninspiring. I feel like i would have to do a home demo before settling on the Contours and be really impressed int hat demo. But also at that price, i could get incredible floor standers. Speaking of floorstanders, i listened to the evok 30s last, which have smaller drivers and lesser twtter than the other two. I loved the bigger sound stage and full sound that floorstanders provide. I think I would like them if they were the only speakers I had heard. But they were clearly less detailed than the standmounts i heard, like they had a little veil over them. This leads me to a few options at this point:
A) keep buchhardts and enjoy them.
B) spend a disgusting amount of money and get the contour 20, or a possibly better competitor in the same form factor, 805d3 etc?
C) Get a floorstander like the Focal Aria 935 ($2600 refurbed), or Ascend Sierra Tower RAAL at 3k like the poster above is raving about