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|Suggested Retail Price:||$6000|
|Description:||Dynaudio introduces the new Confidence C1, the first compact loudspeaker in the innovative, high-performance Confidence series. The technology is based on the development of the Confidence C2 and C4 models, integrated into a two-way design with a clear-cut but individually contoured shape.|
|Review by erden_707 (A) on August 19, 2004 at 15:17:59|
IP Address: 126.96.36.199
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for the CONFIDENCE C1
I had almost all monitors of Dynaudio range of speakers, but this one is definitely an odd-ball among whole Dynaudio range of loudspeakers, and none of the previous or lower range of monitors can come even close to them.
After lot of serious technical problems with my previous Dynaudio Contour 1.3SE speakers which I owned for a year, I finally decided to upgrade to Confidence C1.
I would not repeat here all the technical details about the speakers since these data are easily available on Dynaudio site and extensively in the previous review, but rather I will try to concentrate on the merits of the C1 and my experience in my home system.
They looks beautifully- I can't agree the design is "challenging" for some as is said, in my view they are some kind of masterpiece (or trendsetter) of modern speaker design, much prettier any picture can show. Mine comes in rosewood finish, with perfectly matched grains. I purchased also Dynaudio Stand2 speaker stands, as both are good match sonically and esthetically. These stands are some 65cm high which brings the inverted tweeter about ideal listening heights in the same time speakers being securely mounted via two screws.
The tonal balance of the C1can be immediately recognized as “Dynaudio-brand sound”, sharing more or less to other models. However, if the speakers would be behind the curtain, or you're listening with closed eyes, it can be confused with high-quality floor stander. I mean really high quality spk. in $5-10k range! The overall sound is never analytical, yet it is extremely detailed and full-bodied in the same time. The bass is unbelievably fast, authoritative, controlled and with surprising impact, hard to be seen even in a good floor stander.
Imaging is extended far beyond the physical size and the soundstage is dark without any hiss or noise. It seems that Dynaudio engineers succeeded to perform very precise phase alignments and seamless integration of the drivers, since the sound is always very rich with even harmonics, thus completely eliminating fatigue even after whole days listening session (yes, I tried).
And, in my opinion that's exactly the strengths and the main cost of C1 - you can not describe what's good, but you can feel it.
Although the sensitivity of 85-86dB and impendence 4 Ohms is usual for most Dynaudio speakers, C1 sounds louder than 1.3SE or 1.3Mk2 and are easier to drive. This is due to good correction of the lowest resistance (3, 9 Ohms according to Germans "Stereo" magazine) which lies above 200Hz and not in the region 20-200Hz as is the case with both 1.3mk2/SE. This mean that you can easily drive them even with low powered amplifier (I tried 40W mid-fi amp) and they still have "jump factor" unachievable for 1.3/SE unless you have good, high-current-monster amp. This is good news, since the tube-lovers can easily match low/moderate power with all nuances of both speakers and valves. For the rest of us, 100-Wattage upper-class SS amp will do the job, but be careful with cables- C1 are VERY cable-sensitive.
The speakers are still less than 200 hours working, so I'm expecting further improvements after run-in.
Anyway, hope some of you may find useful information here.
|Product Strengths:||Neutrality, authority, look|
|Associated Equipment for this Review:|
|Amplifier:||Primare A30.1 (2x100/180w 8/4 Ohms)|
|Preamplifier (or None if Integrated):||none|
|Sources (CDP/Turntable):||Rotel RCD971, NAD S500i|
|Speakers:||Dynaudio Audience 50, Contour 1.3Mk2, Controur 1.3SE...|
|Cables/Interconnects:||Kimber Hero, Audioquest Opal, Transparent...|
|Music Used (Genre/Selections):||jazz, classic|
|Room Size (LxWxH):||5m x 4m x 2,7m|
|Room Comments/Treatments:||living room, nontreated|
|Time Period/Length of Audition:||2 months|
|Type of Audition/Review:||Product Owner|
being a big Dynaudio fan, I am not suprised that a pair of stand mount speakers will cost $6k. You will have to listen to be convinced. I am extremely happy with my Special 25's which is listed $4.8k, but am lurking S5.4 for better bass extension.
I was somewhat disapointed by S5.4 - the cabinet is not so quiet, and the highs are a bit too forward. I don't know for you, but here the street price difference between C2 and S5.4 favours C2.
Personally, I would rather opt for used old Contour 3.3, as the both bass drivers in S5.4 are in the same chamber, and not so in 3.3.
Also, consider some good amp instead (you didn't noted), since the S25 are very capable in this area, but needs lot power to "jump". An 2-Ohms continously stable amp would not be inapropriate here.
Very fine speakers, indeed!
But, what about your current amplification? I am not quite sure such a masterpiece of standmount doesn't deserve something more sofisticated? OK, Primare A30.1 seems to be fine device, but... Don't tell me speaker costed at 5000euros may by PROPERLY driven by amp three times cheaper. One specific note - what about A30.1's current suply limitations? Only 2x300 VA dual transformers for another power hungry Dyn? I guess you cannot imagine what a tiger of speaker you own, 'till put something else on amp position.
My impression goes you definitely should think of some more muscular amp behind. Even one from the big-boy league. Parasound JC1, say, or Simaudio W-5 with so-priced preamp might change your HI FI standards.
Thanks, but I must say you're not right about power.
C1 are very easy to drive, and A30 is surprisingly powerful and stable on the loads. Of course you may go as far as you wish with amplification, but it is not an absolute requiirement as with previous models.
OK, you have great speakers in the "back".....just imagine what they'd be like if you had a more worthy cdp "up front"?
Yes, you're right - my front end is weaker than the "tail", but I'm in process of upgrading the CD.
As things goin now, first of my short list of players is trusty Marantz CD17, now in Mk3 incarnation.
I have NAD S-500i vor several days (demo) in my place, but I'm not excited too much with. It IS good player at all, but I expected much better sound through its XLR outputs, and I was actually dissapointed. So I came up to the CD17mk3, which I know it wery well and these days has good price too.
For a while, I decided not to go for SACD yet.
I don' know that particular model, but I have old, once highly regarded Sony XA-2ES, and in my combination Sony is a bit boomy in the bass region and molded in the mids (at least this one). My current Rotel RCD971 (though with some minor tweaks such are Schottky diodes instead stock N4001 and several bypass WIMA MKP caps at power supply) is far more controlled. Otherwise Sony allways makes good machines, but the brand is too big to be an trully speciallists in my opinion. They also benefits with some minor tweaks/parts upgrades.
I am sorry, but you said no weaknesses? If there is no mistake in the price you list for your review, I see that as an inescapable weakness. $6000 for a small standmount speaker? I refuse to lose my sanity and intellect.
Yes this is an expensive speaker, I would love a pair but same as most people can not afford them.
However I did demo. a pair against the S1.4's with Thule electronics and they simply made the S1.4'S seem so harsh and boring in comparison that I could see why people who can afford either speaker simply say NO CONTEST!
Very honest statment.
I did not directly compare C1 vs S1.4 (as I told, neither me nor my dealers had that opportunity) but giving the price point of the S1.4 I still love them and were first at my list for changing for 1.3SE's. It just happened to end with C1 instead and they surprized me too.
The sound quality is $6k, not the speakers...
But, maybe you're not enough well informed: JUST one pair of Dynaudio Esotar D330 tweeter have starting price of 500EUR on ebay auctions, and this driver is more than 10-15years old model. The Esotar2 incorporated in new Confidence series is probably more (Dyn don't sale drivers anymore, exept to some highly regarded professional brands).
We're talking also about some serious techonolgy here - this is one of the three top drivers on the planet (no Titanium, Berillium etc... pure silk!)
Why is $6000 for a speaker that goes down to 40hz questioned, but $30,000 and up for speakers that go down to 30hz completely accepted? Both need a sub for true full range.
That's right, and seems that engeneers at Dyn also knows that: the bigger brother C2 also was critizcized for "not too deep".
However, I don't miss 20-30Hz at my home - I have no rats and mouses in my sub-:)
As I wrote, C1 is my fourth Dynaudio stand-mount speaker, and came a bit incidentally: my 1-year old Contour 1.3SE proved to had some internal error of the bass driver (they said, Kapton former, whatever that means) and after twice servicing, I refused to accept them anymore, so I decided to go for C1, although I was thinking about new Contour S1.4 instead.
I never heard C1 before (neither my dealers), but knowing the brand for long time and having experience from Cnotour 1 to 1.3SE (and several floorstanders), I simply concluded it cannot be wrong or bad speakers, especially since they have a highly regarded predecessors (old C3).
I was only concerned about amplifications, since old C line was notorious to be demanding for worsest amplifier combination for the owner: high but quality power, and guys - THAT costs.
Fortunately, C1 is a bit revolutionary (for Dyn, of course) regarding power, so you'll be never pushed for good/expensive amp, just it's up to you how far you're like/able to go...
Dynes have always been low on percieved value, at least untill you listen. Prices are very high, and until recently, designs have been somewhat conventional-looking.
6k for a small stand mounted speaker....almost any person just looking at it will say that it is high priced for what you get materially. Before I got my Confidence 5 speakers used, it was hard to justify the MSRP for them, no matter how much I liked their sound. Once I could get them used, I was much happier.
At least with the Confidence 3s, they came with special stands for 8k.
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