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I’m split on the S40, personally I love the speaker 90% of the time but it’s not great or even good off axis and there are other issues with it and I’ve lived with it for two years. Someone recently said it’s not a perfect speaker but it is a magical speaker and I’ll definitely second that. That said to think it can’t be improved upon is just silly, Otto has said many times with anniversary edition speakers they take certain liberties with the design, while they do some things great there may be some things left on the table. For instance the box does have some unwanted resonances but I with the port chuffing was also addressed, perhaps that was more than difficult based on the physical dimensions of the box. Anyway, maybe I’ll contact ASR and GR Research to see if the three of us are willing to to do some testing. Lastly I’ll say the knee jerk aversion to peer review is in my opinion unhealthy to audio hi fi and furthermore any discipline in general, some of the responses here are almost cultish.
No one has ever stated the S40 was a perfect speaker, or couldn't be improved. Don't put words in people's mouths to promote an agenda that doesn't exist. The argument is that his specific "upgrades" would absolutely introduce other issues. Phase issues being one of them (the main one IMO). The largest change he made was the change in crossover point and slope. If you understood crossover design, you would realize that can be done extremely cheap. If Dynaudio thought a 1,400hz crossover point, and a 12db slope on the tweeter was a better option, they would have done it. The quality of the parts is a separate issue. If you don't have the knowledge to question his "upgrades", how can you make the claim we are "cultish"?

Let's not forget that you are driving the S40's with a low level receiver. Until you upgrade the rest of your system, I highly doubt any opinion you give here will be taken seriously. Enough said.
 

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No one has ever stated the S40 was a perfect speaker, or couldn't be improved. Don't put words in people's mouths to promote an agenda that doesn't exist. The argument is that his specific "upgrades" would absolutely introduce other issues. Phase issues being one of them (the main one IMO). The largest change he made was the change in crossover point and slope. If you understood crossover design, you would realize that can be done extremely cheap. If Dynaudio thought a 1,400hz crossover point, and a 12db slope on the tweeter was a better option, they would have done it. The quality of the parts is a separate issue. If you don't have the knowledge to question his "upgrades", how can you make the claim we are "cultish"?

Let's not forget that you are driving the S40's with a low level receiver. Until you upgrade the rest of your system, I highly doubt any opinion you give here will be taken seriously. Enough said.
The S40 is magnificent when setup just perfect but if you’re off axis even a little it falls apart quickly. Are you suggesting a better amplifier corrects that issue, I didn’t think so. Danny is suggesting his modification to the crossover can help and I’m willing to put up my speakers for testing, other than words what are you willing to put up?
 

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The S40 is magnificent when setup just perfect but if you’re off axis even a little it falls apart quickly. Are you suggesting a better amplifier corrects that issue, I didn’t think so. Danny is suggesting his modification to the crossover can help and I’m willing to put up my speakers for testing, other than words what are you willing to put up?
So you are somehow superior because you aren't smart enough to refrain from his "upgrades"? If I want a better speaker, I'll buy one.

Get some experience. Various amplifiers can stage/image wider, more forward, deeper, and/or with more pinpoint precision. Your room, and ability to set up your speakers correctly, also has a large effect on your results. Stop blaming everything on your speakers when the rest of your system is subpar.
 

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Are you suggesting a better amplifier corrects that issue, I didn’t think so.
Oh, yes! Better amp, bettar source, better DAC, better positioning, room treatment (or different room)...
 
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I'm still curious about the woofer's measured response and why that is worse than the C1 (which is where the upgraded driver came from). Wonder what tradeoffs Dynaudio made in the design.
 

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The S40 is magnificent when setup just perfect but if you’re off axis even a little it falls apart quickly. Are you suggesting a better amplifier corrects that issue, I didn’t think so. Danny is suggesting his modification to the crossover can help and I’m willing to put up my speakers for testing, other than words what are you willing to put up?
I'm surprised to read you find the off axis performance to be this poor. When I had the SP40s I thought their dispersion characteristics were excellent, especially horizontal.

An amplifier can make a huge difference, it just depends upon how good your speaker drivers are and the SP40 are pretty top notch, notwithstanding some of the measured issues with the woofer.

I've heard soundstage differences with the SP40 using the Schiit Aegir and Pass Labs XA25. Aegir was flat as a pancake, but XA25 had an incredible holographic 3D soundstage.

If you like the speakers a lot, I would try out some different amplifiers and see if you find them more to your preference.
 

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In my opinion a better DAC will give you more of a 3-D soundstage than a better amp. But almost any proper 2 channel pre/amp/integrated will be better than most AVR’s.
Having owned both the C1’s and special 40’s, I would definitely say the 40 has the better woofer. The C1’s would bottom out all the time for me, but I struggled to do the same with the 40’s.
Been a while, but I still have fond memories of my C1’s however.
8A5B3C03-89AC-4FB1-B7A2-2284B5C4F384.jpeg
 

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I like the white/black of your C1s.

I agree DACs will do it better but I've always felt amplification gimps the performance of a DAC. It's hard finding good amplifiers these days.
 

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Thank you for the reply Otto. It is interesting to learn that more expensive parts for a crossover can make a difference (sonically I assume), but there is no affect on longevity over less expensive parts.
Just to be clear: the components used CAN have an effect on longevity, but in this context, designing a crossover for good longevity is not particularly expensive.
 

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I’m split on the S40, personally I love the speaker 90% of the time but it’s not great or even good off axis and there are other issues with it and I’ve lived with it for two years. Someone recently said it’s not a perfect speaker but it is a magical speaker and I’ll definitely second that. That said to think it can’t be improved upon is just silly, Otto has said many times with anniversary edition speakers they take certain liberties with the design, while they do some things great there may be some things left on the table. For instance the box does have some unwanted resonances but I with the port chuffing was also addressed, perhaps that was more than difficult based on the physical dimensions of the box. Anyway, maybe I’ll contact ASR and GR Research to see if the three of us are willing to to do some testing. Lastly I’ll say the knee jerk aversion to peer review is in my opinion unhealthy to audio hi fi and furthermore any discipline in general, some of the responses here are almost cultish.
I think he has knowledge for sure, I also think he has his own design principles that he seems correct and designs crossovers/upgrades within that box. It’s his lack of discussion regarding trade offs in his own designs as well as negativity to a degree that is the turn off.

All speakers suck to some degree and I think all of us her get that.

I’d love to see/hear your opinion regarding his changes on your speakers. That said, I do find it odd that you would want to put money there first before some other areas that seem likely to be limiting the performance of your S40’s.
 

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The S40 is magnificent when setup just perfect but if you’re off axis even a little it falls apart quickly. Are you suggesting a better amplifier corrects that issue, I didn’t think so. Danny is suggesting his modification to the crossover can help and I’m willing to put up my speakers for testing, other than words what are you willing to put up?
I didn't have this experience of the sound deteriorating rapidly off axis.. but perhaps my setup is different... I tried it with a basic Reference Series AVR Marantz SR12, my usual PM 11s3 and finally with the Hegel H390. With each upgrade, it sounded better..
I have the Platinum C1,S40 and I'm playing with the Heritage and I'll post more in due course, but I'll say S40 users shouldn't feel bad if that's all they can afford... it's nothing to be scoffed at :)
 

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Hi Pete, didn't you own the Rotel Michi at same point, at least somewhere last year? Looking forward of course to your first review for the Heritage!

Some hilarious comments on the previous page, lol!
 

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Pete: Cool to see you're reviewing them, the funny thing I thought there were zero issues with the S40's and they are "excellent speaker" and look great in both finishes, you can get nit-picky about how they measure, too me is how do they sound in the room you have. Right now I am comparing the Confidence 20 with the newly repaired Special 25's both excellent but my ears are liking the Confidence 20's if I could get the Special 25 finished in Mocca I might keep them. (Aaron) if you're reading this! ;)
 

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Do you still have HS on order? I'm planning to just wait til they come in as I do have my Harbeth which I will use til Hs turns up at dealer.
Yup still on order. It was supposed to be at the dealer as early as Friday last week. But probably this week.

Wednesday now and I've heard nothing.
 

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Love the Confidence 50 in this guy's humble little German abode...

 
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