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FS: Dynaudio Contour S1.4 Rosewood + stand 3X

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Item: Dynaudio Contour S1.4 + Dynaudio Stand 3X
Location: Brisbane
Price: $2200   Price reduction to $2,100. Reduced to $2,000 (not going any lower!)
Item Condition: Very good. Like brand new.
Reason for selling: Too many speakers, not enough ears.
Payment Method: Bank Transfer or cash on pickup.
Extra Info: These Dynaudio speakers and stands are in perfect condition. Non smoker household of mainly Jazz, Blues and classical (lately) listener. All original packaging. 


















Edited by AvidListener
Price reduced to $2,100

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Shame these aren’t the LE versions, I’d have jumped on them for sure!

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TL:DR summary - It's a *great* price and they're an excellent, classic Dynaudio speaker. As long as you're not addicted to fleapower, single-ended tube amps, buy them and be happy. 😎 LE owners are more likely to want 3k for theirs without the stands - most have only owned them for a a year or two. 

Long answer: I honestly doubt there's much difference at all between these and the LE, sonically. The coating on the tweeter has changed but the part number seems to be the same - chalk it up to their "continuous refinement" perhaps. The caps went from Solen to M-cap and the wiring (if you believe that kind of thing makes a difference) is different. That and the cabinet finishes available are different of course. Duntech used the same style Solen caps fairly exclusively in their high-end Classic series and you don't hear any complaints about their sound or longevity. When questioned Dynaudio themselves say the crossover is unchanged as far as component values go but I've not been able to verify that elsewhere.  The actual components look about the same from images but the board has been refined somewhat. If you want to save about a third of the price second hand and get very much the same sound I think these are a cracking deal. Most of the LEs aren't broken in yet and believe me, it's an arduous process that takes hundreds of hours! These and the LEs are about the last chance to get Dynaudio Contours that are actually made in Denmark without a lot of age, with phase coherent first order crossovers as was the company's mandate for the decades preceding. 

I have listened to the Focus 110, 160, the Excite X14 and the pro series BM5 and 6As fairly extensively and the S1.4/LE is superior to the pro series two ways (the actives I'm acquainted with) by a long way. The 110s are quite dark in the mids and actually sound a bit like a scaled down S1.4/LE to me in the near field - they're great speakers but limited dynamically because of their size. The 160 is a great, balanced speaker - perhaps more so than the S1.4/LE and is excellent value for money but wasn't as exciting to me to listen to or as gorgeous as the S1.4LE in Bubinga that I ended up buying. Tonally, the S1.4LE sounds to me most like an updated 1.3SE.. and perhaps that's not so silly when you think about it - the S1.4 is positioned similarly in the lineup and could be regarded as a successor. The frequency response plots resemble each other too. 

The S1.4/LE images better than a lot of Dynaudio bookshelf speakers (and to my mind that's never been their strong suit, so that's a welcome thing to me) and has prodigious (unsurpassed even) bass - that is boosted somewhat by comparison to the more expensive C1. Most people are not going to be wanting a sub with these for two channel music. The C1 is also flatter through the mids whereas the Contour is darker in the mids and more pronounced in the treble. (some say less refined also though with them being so different tonally I think it's difficult to make a comparison in terms of distortion - certainly the C1's Esotar2 tweeter is renowned for quality so one can infer that without too much opposition - and you probably will be keen to if you shelled out 4 to 6k to get hold of a pair!). Whether you like those differences and which you prefer will depend largely on how big and reflective your room is, how much you toe them in and how old your ears are. Oh, and whether you want to pay double the price for the C1s. 😎 

The Contours really do need quality (decent current) amplification, though this can be done without undue expense if you're canny with your cash. The Marantz PM8006 I have drives them very well and was a marked improvement over the previous Marantz PM17SA that I owned in terms of control and dynamics while retaining the slightly warm, very listenable house sound (kudos to the Marantz Japan engineers there for a top job in substantially improving the instantaneous current delivery for the PM8006 over the PM8005), as did a small, aged Accuphase, a dog-ugly but superb sounding Symfonia Opus 10 I picked up locally in Adelaide and the wonderful little Odyssey Cyclops I have currently - which is a cracking amp too. All of these are somewhere between 12 and 20kg and sell for 1k-1200 odd second hand (the Accuphase P11 from 1990 odd was more expensive at ~2k but then they seem to attract something of a premium, even with some miles on the clock.) I've also tried a Primare I32 Class D amp at about $1400 but I found the result a little dry and slightly less fluid than the Marantz or Odyssey though the low level detail was huge with that amp so quiet listening was improved. 

BTW, there isn't a lot of info available on English speaking forums (Audiogon has some long threads and there are some nice ones here) but there is much on the German speaking forums and people there are generally very positive. The opinion put about on some forums that the original S1.4 was somewhat darker sounding than the revised LE (and to some preferable) remains a mystery and is at odds with Dynaudio's version of events. Certainly the newly released LE speakers were going to take a long while to sound as they should when they first appeared on the scene - and I guess that may explain the results of some listeners' comparisons.  

Many people here would probably (and for good reason) recommend the ME550II that AvidListener has on the bottom shelf as a companion piece. The 550II has superb dynamics and control for its class and would also be a great choice to drive them in the sub-$2k S/H category. 

Edited by treuben

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Thanks treuben for your excellent summary and knowledge of the Dynaudio's. I've not listened to the 1.4LE so your comments summing the differences up are much appreciated. I also own Ambience 1600's, Gale GS401A's and Monitor Audio BR5's ... all which have been swapped in and out with a variety of turntables and pre/power amps.  Compromises in all combinations of course. That's why this is such a fascinating hobby! As you correctly point out, the ME550 I own is high current (it's the Hi Cap version). Forums do suggest the 1.4's sound the best with such amps. It is a match made in Heaven. Bass is tight and controlled with such current. Having said that, I did also run them for a while with my old Denon PMA250SE which is down on the watts at only 30 per side, but does, however, have high current with one of those nice 3D power charts showing doubling of current etc etc. It's one of the reasons the old Japan PMA's are still well regarded. The little 250SE  also made the Dyn's sing beautifully. And as the PMA250SE is an amp I'll probably never sell due to its wonderful sonic qualities (for my musical tastes and ears) I've often worried about should it ever fail. They can, thank goodness, be had for $400 second hand so a good deal for anyone who may want the Dynaudio 1.4's as a good, musically involving, amazing quality speaker, but wonders what $ amp is required. As you say treuben, ME550's can be had reasonably cheaply, but like I said surprisingly good with even the little PMA 250SE or any of the PMA series IMO. 

Summarising my affair with the Dynaudios, absolutely beautifully made cabinets. Top quality components. Small form factor so very Wife friendly. Sonically - Beautiful mids very much like my Gales reknowned for the Peerless K40 midrange driver used in that speaker. Many Quad electrostat owners are said to have had a pair of Gales as well as the Quads because of a similar sweet midrange, so lifelike and 3D, except they could drive the Gales louder! So the 1.4's should likewise be considered (IMO) similar to Quad electrostats for wonderful midrange. The Dyn's highs are less err "sharp" compared to the Ambiences ribbons. And thats to be expected I guess. The bass is deep and very good provided you take a bit of time to waltz them around the walls a tad. No biggie ... as one ends up with superb sounding speakers at (in this case) for $2,200. 

Edited by AvidListener

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Wonderful video ... thanks for posting Arni. This is the problem with me and Hi Fi and why I own all these components (enough to build 3 systems probably) ... as after watching that video link I now want to take the 1.4's out of their boxes and listen to them again! Cheers

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Dropped price to $2,000. Not going any lower than this as this is a low price for as-new condition speakers and stands of this quality Dynaudio product. 

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The price is good, I think it's just bad timing where people happen to not need this kind of product at the moment. If you're not in a hurry you could leave it on for a while.

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43 minutes ago, paulrp said:

Are you interested?

No, this won't go with my rack's colour and that of my other speakers.

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No hurry to sell. Sold some telescopes and camping gear so the Dyn's and the stands are all packed up in their original boxes in storage until someone who wants them finds this ad (or the ad expires). Cheers.  

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