Dynaudio Contour S 1.4 review
The Contour is about mid way in the pecking order of Dynaudio, and covered a wide range of products. However they have recently removed most of their Contour speakers from sale, leaving only the recently introduced S1.4 LE and S 3.4LE in this range.
The technical specs off their website :
Marantz PM 11 S3
Marantz NA 11-S1
Oppo BDP 83 Nuforce Edition
I had recently tried using this amp with a pair of C1 Platinums and the newer S 1.4LE, so my previous concerns, about this 100w ‘only’ amplifier driving the 4 ohm bookshelf speakers evaporated. I guess part of the reason was the ability of this amp to double it’s power into 4 ohms and then again into 2ohms and was able to provide a stable 400w per channel of power into 2 ohms.
It is also a testimony that Dynaudio has been listening, and has been making their speakers more easy to drive and compatible with a wider spectrum of amplifiers.
So how does it sound?
Well like the Confidence 1s, I did find out that they can be quite fussy with speaker position. Toeing in, and moving back and forth, you will need to move them around to see how they sound in your own room. Positioning is a little more demanding, and that rear port does not help.
Once properly set up, the sound was a real revelation. Simply put, they were neutral, truthful and yet forgiving. For a relatively compact bookshelf speaker, there was real mid bass, and good weight to the sound. It will be as good as a small floorstander, but with pace and tightness.
The soundstage is deep, the imaging is precise, and three dimensional, and despite having only two drivers, will be able to resolve everything from vocals, to small ensembles and even big orchestras.
In a small room, their simple two way driver arrangement actually makes them easier to integrate.
If anything, the treble does not come across as bright, and this may displease those looking for a hotter higher frequency range. You should aim to avoid very warm sounding amps.
I also had the opportunity to listen to the older MK II and the new Contour 1.4 LE, and the C1 Platinum.
The main difference between the S1.4 and the LE version was that the treble was lifted up a bit more in the LE. So if you like a hotter treble, then pick the LE. As for the C1s, both had a smoother treble relative to the LE, with the MK II closer to the LE in sound compared to the LE, and the newest Platinum edition having the most neutral sound. Pick with your ears.
As for sound imaging, the C1 is also superior, but that pair will cost you about twice or more.
My final thoughts?
This is a good pair of speakers with a good soundstage, bass weight and a smooth treble. They aren’t hard to drive, but thrive on power and need a little more care in placement than the average speaker.
I have no financial interest or other interests in any of the items / events I write about.