3 way bookshelf speaker shootout!!

mantismantis Posts: 15,118
edited May 2002 in Speakers
We finished our job early today, so we got some demo time in the store.
We pulled 3 pairs of bookshelves to go head to head.One pair of used just traded Dynaudio audience 40's,Dynaudio audience 52's,and a pair of B&W dm602 s3 which are a newer line.All speakers are broken in.We desided to use 2 different receiver's for the test due to mating problems.Pioneer Elite vsx49tx flagship,and the B&K avr307 which is going to be replaced soon but still a flagship receiver.They both sound different.Pioneer Elite dv47a was the cd transport of the day.Transparent musicwave supers provided the speaker wire and transparent music link for analog to the receivers.
Up first was the Pioneer running the audience 40's in sweat cherry.I ran train "drops of jupiter" the track I ran was hoplessly..i think thats what its called.And Lorenna Mckennit"Mask and Mirror".Next up was the audience 52's to hear the difference between to 2 speakers.Last was the B&W 602 s3's, they were the largest of the 3.
I found in this test with the Pioneer,the Dynaudios have much better detail and depth.They are crazy detailed.The B&w's were softer sounding, more laid back, not as detailed.The way the Dynaudios played was pin point.I don't know how to explain it without going into great detail,it short...detailed.
We moved all the speakers to the B&K avr307 room.Same results.The dynaudio's where just so persise and the B&W's where not but different as they were laid back and softer sounding.Like a comfortable tone....nice.
Between the 40's and the 52's, there was just low extention,the 52's were slightly better in clarity, but not enough to notice without serious listening.Not night and day.
In the B&Kavr307 room is our B&W 803's mated with the rest of the 7.1 home theater package.I desided to test the 803's against the audience's flagship speaker ..the audience82's.These speakers are one of the speakers on my list of upgrade from my current Polk setup.
This is however an unfair demo, the audience 82's go for 2499.99 and the B&W 803's are 6 grand.twice the price and then some.
I ran the same cd's and started with the N803's, they have an uncanny way of filling the room with sound.Like it's little brother,very warm and laid back,I could listen to these speakers for days without any strain.Awesome sounding speakers even mated with the avr307, this package is more suited for the B&K ref 30 and ref 7250, but as easy as they are to drive, the B&Kavr307 did a fine job.Man I love these speakers.So clear and warm, they are just out of my price range for theater.Then came the out of class audience 82's,I didn't expect them to hang in there with the B&W n803's but funny they did in there own right.Keeping in mind that i should have gone down stairs and grabbed a pair of Dynaudio Contour 3.0, that would have been a fair demo, but the point was to see where the audience stood against better speakers.
Funny how they were even more detailed then the n803,I was in shock.They didn't fill the room with a wall of relaxing tones as the B&W's did but you could hear more of the music...like the B&W's were missing notes.There is a piano and tambereen in the Lorenna Mckinnitt sound that was clear as daylight in the Dynaudio's that you had to listen deeply to hear in the B&W's.
Thats the only thing that was better in the Dynaudio's over the B&W's, the B&W's where overall a better sounding speaker.
After all was said and done, We went down stairs just to hear the Contour series before we left for the day.(we means my partner and myself..sorry)The Dynaudio contour series is setup in a 2 channel room with 3 different setups.Krell transport and Preamp/amp...A audio research preamp/amp.....and a Mark levinston 383 intergraded with a Rotel transport.
It was setup with the Krell so I left it there.Let me tell you something...the Contour series is no joke....they destroy the audience series dead.the level of detail went threw the roof.The ability to fill the front sound stage and imaging was second to none.Unbeliveable.The 1.3 mk11's and the 1.3SEs were unbelievable sounding bookshelf speakers.I think they are the best bookshelf''s I had ever heard go.Fantastic.the rest of the line went into...well I was in shock.It made me sick to come home and listen to the same songs on my crappy system.It just got to get all out...all of it.
There is advantages of working of a high end store and there is dissadvantages,you can play with all the best audio gear made in the world,then you have to come home and hear your mid line so so set up.My job is going to force my to spend more then I make.
Dan
My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
Post edited by mantis on

Comments

  • RuSsMaNRuSsMaN Posts: 17,995
    edited May 2002
    Mantis, if you would, could you summarize, and give a brief description of the 3 shelf speakers. Size, driver complement, front/rear ported etc....

    How would you rate them, price aside, 1,2, and 3?

    Cheers,
    Russ
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,118
    edited May 2002
    Ok,
    the Dynaudio audience 40's,
    have a 1 inch silk dome type tweeter and a 5 1/4 inch driver.Its ported out the back,the smallest of the 3.Its about the same size as the rt25i's but alittle deeper.They were in natural cherry finish, very nice looking.These speakers are used, they are 3 years old but very well taking care of.The customer traded in a Rotel rx975 2 channel receiver and the speakers on his new theater system.He got the rotel rsx1065,Dynaudio audience 72's in cherry,122c center in cherry, and the 42w for rears also in cherry, sub20a sub.This system sounds great.

    The Dynaudio audience 52's have the same tweeter but steps up to a 6 1/2 inch driver, also rear ported,about the same size as the rt35i's but again deeper.

    The new B&W dm602 s3's look almost exactly as there past speaker in the 602 s2.It has a 1 inch metal/dome tweeter and a 7 inch driver.I forget where the port was, i think it was in the front, they are bi wireable, the Dynaudios are not.They are just a tad smaller then the rt55i's.

    As far as rating them 1/2/3 thats hard to do.they are different sounding but all very good mid line bookshelf speakers.
    Between the 2 Dynaudio's I perfer the 52's they hit harder and have a slight advantage in clearity.But not that much.the B&W's were so different, they were not a accurate or detailed but smoother and warmer.
    Dynaudio's in general are a very accurate and detailed speaker's all the way accross the lines.They mate with more amps then any other speaker I have ever Installed.
    The B&W's however are very picky with what you mate them with,If you mate them wrong they sound like ****,to the point of unlistenable.They are limited to the kind of music you play threw them, hard rock sounds like butt hole,as most up beat music does on them,but if your into jazz and classicail, easy listening, they shine bright.I really can't take anything away from the B&W's, I had a pair in my house to demo against my Polk's and they kicked in my rt35i's,they couldn't beat up my rt1000p's but they came close.
    Dynaudio's don't give a **** what kind of music you play, they like everything.They just don't care.If you never heard Dynaudio speakers go, you need to go listen,everybody seems to at least respect what they can do.I think in my opnion Dynaudio has a speaker for just about everybody who likes music and movies.Not many other speaker companies can say that.
    If you can't tell I'm loving Dynaudio.the higher you go up in there line the better they get.We have them all.the temptations are out of this world.I would put them up against any speaker in the world at any price.We have Martin logan which Ilove to death, and I feel that the Dynaudios are the only speaker that can compete with them, i don't care for wilson Audio,they are 2 anal.Very hard to set up and extremly picky with what you mate them with.get them right and look out, **** them in and you have problems.Not to mention they weigh a billion pounds.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • joe6pakjoe6pak Posts: 267
    edited May 2002
    Mantis.

    Well I just posted a reply to you on another thread before I read this one. This is just looking more and more costly. Every time I read your comments about these speakers, I get that little upgrade devil whispering in my ear, "hey moron, get the best, you only live once." Of course the diamond cost demanded by Mrs. 6pak is really going to send this upgrade past any sane and reasonable level. She really is a good sport about all this. She even asked if I was going to drive or fly to Philly for the speaker demo. Hmmmm. Sounds like she is trying to get rid of me for a few days!

    joe
  • TroyDTroyD Posts: 12,638
    edited May 2002
    I really wish that there was a Dynaudo dealer in the Charleston area because I'd really like to check them out.

    Looking at the specs on the Audience 42, one thing that leaps out at me is the sensitivity - 86db (4ohm). Not a particularly receiver friendly speaker and I don't say that in a bad way, they are just power hungry. That and a vinyl finish....they look good but vinyl??

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,118
    edited May 2002
    Troy,
    in order to get that kind of sound quality I guess they had to find a way to keep the cost reasonable.The vinyl is nice it looks and feels like real wood, its hard to tell unless you do a direct compare.The audience is there cheap line.They only use it on them.You wouldn't know it if you didn't know up front.After you heard them you wouldn't care.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,118
    edited May 2002
    sorry joe,
    I just love them more and more everytime i listen to them.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • joe6pakjoe6pak Posts: 267
    edited May 2002
    Mantis.

    I really do appreciate your observations and expert advice about all audio equipment. You add a lot to this forum.

    At the age of 1/2 century I know that this will all boil down to what I like best. I have learned that much. I have upgraded, downgraged, and made lateral movements several times. It always cost money, but the hunt was a lot of fun. However the hunt is getting to be harder to enjoy. Seems that all this stuff is getting more complicated. I really am wanting to get the system that might, maybe, just possibly, be the last that I look for. Well maybe a few small upgrades!

    TroyD.

    I bought a pair of DQ-10s around 1976. Paid $800 for the speakers. Got a preamp of some kind?? and a Quad 405? power amp with a B&O 1900 turntable, Advent cassette. Added all that to my Teac 4070 reel to reel. Really sounded nice. Everyone that heard it had good reviews. I kept the speakers for 20 years. Have you done any of the upgrades to your speakers?

    joe
  • TroyDTroyD Posts: 12,638
    edited May 2002
    joe,

    Another DQ-10 guy, COOL! I've had mine for about 6 months now. The guy that I bought them from was the original owner and he had (about 5 yrs ago) them essentially rebuilt. New drivers, new wiring and the crossovers upgraded with the mylar caps. As you could probably tell, I love them and honestly think that they compete with anything out there today. They were the reference speaker for a lot of people for a LONG time....

    About the vinyl...it's not a HUGE deal, just an observation. Plus at 10lbs each, not that heavy either. Neither is a big deal. My only concern, like I said, is the sensitivity.....very few receivers can push that load with credibility.

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut
  • weavercrweavercr Posts: 289
    edited May 2002
    Mantis:
    Great post....now you got me wanting to hear them....Ok...So..
    Where is the closest dealer of Dynaudio and Theil speakers to the Charleston SC Area?

    Joe6pack:

    I was also a DQ-10 guy. They were tough to beat. I owned several Dahlquist line, the Dq-10, DQ-20 and the DQM907s and one other bookshelf model the I kept for a week that i didnt like and returned and upgraded for the 907s. Now I am a polk guy.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,118
    edited May 2002
    Joe6pak,
    thanks alot.I try to help as much as possible, glad you enjoy my posts.

    TroyD,
    They are a harder then most to drive,Dynaudio needs good amps to run them.I wouldn't use any Integra,Denon,Yamaha,type receiver.The Rotel rsx1065 seems to me the match made in heaven for the audience line.The receiver doesn't strain to run them,it has plenty of head room and the warmth the rotel puts out makes them sound softer.They are deadly accurate speakers.Dynaudio is a couple of steps up from a Polk speaker,Polk is very easy to drive and can be driven with low power.Dynaudio cannot.They loose there qualities without a good clean amp running them.Wire is also a key factor(for any speaker for that matter)On Dynaudio you really hear a huge difference from wire to wire.They change.

    Weavercr,
    Im not sure where you can find a dealer down ther.Check there website for dealer listings.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • TroyDTroyD Posts: 12,638
    edited May 2002
    I actually would be very leary of any receiver, regardless of brand, the DQ-10's sport 86db sensitivty so I know ed zachary how much juice it takes to drive them, minimum 100W of good clean power with some good headroom. Wanna see how much juice they will suck up? Grab a copy of Telarc's Round Up, track 2, The William Tell Overature and crank it up.

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut
  • joe logstonjoe logston Posts: 882
    edited May 2002
    hi mantis, have you ever compaired side by side the polk lsi-9 with the dynaudio same size bookself
    . rt-7 mains
    rt-20p surounds
    cs-400i front center
    cs-350 ls rear center
    2 energy take 5, efects
    2- psw-650 , subs
    1- 15" audiosource sub

    lets all go to the next ces.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,118
    edited May 2002
    No but i would love to do that demo.The owner just won't bring them in.I talked to him about it and he said we have more then enough lines to suit most people,Polk doesn't fit in our store.


    I might buy a pair and demo them against everything we got in there respected price .I really want to know how they sound compared to our lines.Dynaudio is on top of my list.

    I'm gonna bring some Dynaudio's home for in home demo vs the rtlines I own.I haven't done it yeat due to I haven't had the time to sit down.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
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