Dynaudio Contour 1.3 MKII Bookshelf Speakers

4.75/5 (28 Reviews) MSRP : $2100.00


Product Description

The Contour 1.3 MKII is a compact, two-way book-shelf speaker with enhanced bass drivers for extra stamina and power.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (28 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Stliong a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 28, 2005

Bottom Line:   
I had these for about one year. Good speakers but too boxy sounding nowadays. There are better offerings from direct online companies such as Ascend Acoustics and Axiom for much less. Heck, if you don't care about aesthetic values, you can get a Newform Research R58 which is on a completely different level.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $1300.00

Purchased At:   authorized dealer



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Lasse a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 3, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I had own ProAc Tablette IIIs for about five years and I was very happy with them (read my review in Tablette 50). However, I moved together with my girlfriend and we both had decent systems and we did not have room for two. So, we decided to sell the all old stuff and buy one better system. Easier said than done...

Our budget for new speakers was something like $1400. We listened several models and probably the best ones were Dynaudio Contour 1.1 and Amphion Argon2 (Excellent finnish brand, check it out). However, neither of these two offered enough improvement compared to my old Tabs to justify the price.

Luckily Dynaudio discontinued the old contour models and the local dealer was selling them out with nice discount. Now 1.3 mk II was within our budget and we got the last pair for home testing.

1.3s are solidly built and the quality of rosewood veneer is excellent. The design of the front could be more refined, but we have to hide it behind the grilles anyway because of the cats:(

First impression about the sound was the sheer power. Usually you need big speakers to deliver big sound, but 1.3 could do this too. Second thing I noticed that there was nothing to complain in the tonal balance. An finally the quite important factor for me; the tweeter sounded non-irritating. I seem to be allergic to harsh tweeters and that is usually the first thing that I do not like in speakers. My old Tabs could do the former two, but they did not definetly deliver power. The next hours went by listening CDs and there was so much new things on them. Especially electronic music and heavy/rock benefitted a lot from an accurate, powerful, and low bass. 1.3 also play very loud without compression and restraint if needed, many other small speakers are not able to do this.

For $1200 1.3s were a bargain and stars reflect that.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   Highend Studio, Hels



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by JP a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: June 26, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I think Dynaudio speakers look the business. Their drive-units in particular look better than most of the competition’s and the fit and finish of their cabinets are second to none. Then there’s the fact that, on the inside, construction is immaculate, with 75 mm aluminium voice coils (better power handling) on these 1.3 mk2 Contour’s, box-within-a box construction, furniture grade finish, chunky WBT binding posts. All these factors contribute to the expense of these monitors. Heck, for £1,200 you could get a pair of Dynaudio Audience 72 floor standers or a pair of JM Lab floorstanders, or JBL Ti2K’s, but, no, if you want transparency, if you want tight, controlled and punchy bass allied with a totally hear-through midrange and the crispest treble this side of a Yamaha NS 1000, then look no further.

So often as is the case, when you buy a speaker, you also, unfortunately have to buy the colouration that comes with it. Some might call it “The B & W House Sound” (read: constrained treble, lack of air and presence) or the “Focal Tweeter Experience” (read: ear-splittingly bright high-hats and sibilance). These Dynaudio’s impart so little of their own sonic character so in the end you end up hearing your equipment and the music. In fact, when it comes to neutrality, no other stand-mounted speaker at this price comes close. However, many might baulk at the fact that these speakers are so transparent, so neutral, that their recordings become ‘emotionless’. Not these babies. They let you hear everything but at the same time they also make you want to get up and dance. Must be the bass. For a stand-mount, this speaker has extremely deep and punchy bass like you wouldn’t believe. No speaker this size, in my experience, comes close when it comes to producing such amazing SPL’s and, in your chest, thumps (try hearing the fanfare at the end of the 1812 overture – the bells, the orchestra, and those goddam cannons!). Still, it does have its limitations and for really deep bass it’s worth getting a (REL) sub-woofer for those very bottom octaves.

I’ve tried these speakers with a range of CD players, amplifiers and cables. Each time, I’ve heard a dramatic change in the character of the music. For instance, with an old (70 watts) Harman Kardon amp, the sense of timing and impact of a good drum set was amazing but the midrange seemed a bit suppressed (loss of detail) compared with the rest of the audio spectrum. Then, switching to a pre-power combo (Tag Mclaren) allowed the midrange to open up but the low end, whilst deep, didn’t have the timing I wanted. Changed the amplifier again, this time to an Arcam A85 integrated, and this time, the whole musical experience came to life (amazing dynamics, thoroughly engaging handling of transients). A real synergistic pairing, which allowed the music to really come to life.

Weaknesses? Apart from the very lowest octaves, the bass is excellent. As with all Dynaudio’s, these speaker are quite demanding of current and need to be partnered with good quality ancillaries if they are to deliver their best.

Without spending an absolute fortune, these speakers, matched with a good source and amplifier will provide you with many years of listening pleasure. At the end of the day, what do you want to hear? The music or your hifi?

Equipment Used:

Harman Kardon HK 6550
Harman Kardon HK 670 (probably Harman’s most compromised effort ever)
Arcam A85
Tag Mclaren PA10 and 100P

Source:
Harman Kardon CD Player
Marantz CD Player (best combination came with this CD17 mk2 KI and the Arcam A85)
Sony SACD/DVD Player

Interconnects and Cables:

Van den Hul
Cable Talk
Black Rhodium

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $1800.00



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by CX Siagian a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: June 12, 2003

Bottom Line:   
it'sa gem

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $1250.00

Purchased At:   mg dua



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by vei-fan Lin a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 7, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I cannot say it's the best sound ever because there are still many great spearkers out there haha but they may cost you more. However, at this price rabge, it is one of the best.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Goodwins hi-end




Reviews 1 - 5 (28 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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