28mm Soft Dome custom version ESOTAR Tweeter with Magnaflux-damped, pure aluminum wire voice coil.
52mm Soft Dome custom version ESOTAR Midrange with Magnaflux-damped, pure aluminum wire voice coil.
20cm Magnesium Silicate Polymer (MSP) one-piece cone Woofer with100mm pure aluminum wire voice coil and dual-magnet system. Die cast basket. Compound loaded by internally mounted 17cm MSP Woofer with 75mm pure aluminum wire voice coil and dual-magnet system.
These speakers reveal everything once you have found the tight equipment to make them sing to the best of their ability. I tried many amplifiers and many sources. Each time I dared to invest into my system it came down to replacing either the speakers or the amplifier, but something always kept me from selling these beautiful tall standing speakers. Boy am I glad I kept upgrading the equipment and cables rather than getting rid of the Dynaudios. The best results so far I achieved with the NewClear NC1000l dual mono amp as the powerhouse in combination with a PS Audio PWD MK2 DAC as the source. Interconnects are Nordost TYR XLR, speaker cables are Wireworld Eclipse 6, and power cords are Pangea AC-9se, both components fed via a powerplant premier. This set up sounds fantastic, extremely clear, spacious and dynamic, with lots of top and bottom end. The amplifier however did not sound loud enough for classical music being fed directly from the DAC with the variable output volume control, so I decided to add a preamp to the system. After some research and talking to the NewClear distributor I decided on a Mystere CA21 tube preamp. Once it had some time to burn in I gave it a critical listening session. No doubt this preamp was the missing element. I am in audiophile heaven and blown away by the sound quality of this set up and how it changed the character of the dynaudio confidence 5 from clean, revealing dynamic, but a bit anemic in the low freqencies requiring back up from my Dynaudio 250 Sub, to being stunningly dynamic, extremely revealing, natural sounding and so big in soundstage with a fantastic bottom extension. Needless to say they no longer require subwoofer support. I am simply amazed how good these 14 years old speakers sound when paired with the right gear. Highly recommend them, they are a keeper!
This is one of the most sensitive speakers in regards to placement and room acoustic that I have ever used! It also needs the right equipment to really sing. But once you got it all set up right, you will be rewarded and happy for a very long time.
The looks: The Confidence 5 is a beautiful and tall standing speaker with full enclosure- no bass port- that is one of the reasons why the correct placement is so important, but more. about that later. I got lucky on audiogon and got a version with the stunning looking rosewood veneer for $5500USD. The grey metal front plate in combination with the grey textured chassis and the rosewood makes for a timeless and impressive appearing audiophile diva, that wants to be paired with the best you can afford. Like a Diva the C5 wants to be spoiled with high end components, cables and most important power- she is very power-hungry and picky about the sound of your amplifier. Don't even try to feet her an amp below the $2000 USD range, or she won't sing with her full potential.
I tried many amps over a period of 3 years with her- Krell, Yamaha, T+A, Rotel,.etc. I also tried many speaker cables: Nordost SPM Reference, T+A speaker 8, StraightWire Serenate, Kimber 8tc. Anyhow in all cases the most important thing of all was the right amount of power and placement, therefore I want to share with you how I placed mine for audiophile bliss in case you are struggling with your C5 Diva!
She doesn't care very much about distance to the side walls, but wants to be close to the rear wall. My C5 sits with a distance of 38 cm in front of the rear wall, she is angled in toward my listening position,
not with a full on view of her front, but almost, is see a little of the wood veneer to the inner side. Her distance to the side walls is about 30cm at the front corner and 17.5 cm at the rear corner. The distance between the two speakers is about 3.6m, same as my distance to each one of them. They are sitting on their spikes directly on the floor.
I tried to raise them slightly at the front to get more resolution from the Esotar tweeter, but didn't like it after a while and brought them back to their original level.
I am currently feeding her 480watts dynamic power on 4 Ohms with the NAD Master M3 integrated amplifier.
Here is a little tip, use a big fat conduct as a speaker cable to give the C5 as much power as possible. When I used the Nordost SPM Reference speaker cables ($1700USD) the mid range sounded very natural and revealing, but she was lacking bass and high frequency. The fatter the cables where that I used the better she represented the low and high frequencies. The T+A speaker 8 cables made her sound very revealing and precise, but the bass was lacking warmth, and therefore voices and drums sounded clinical. Funny enough my first speaker cable ever, a very affordable but super thick Oehlbach Copper cable, that hardly fits into the holes of the WBT speaker posts, creates a fantastic sounding very dymanic and warm punch in the bass- give it a try- it is a much cheaper solution than investing in the next more powerful amplifier.
Everything else I use is really high end, the NAD M5 SACD player as my source, connected to the M3 via Nordost TYR XLR's. Both M3 and M5 are tweaked with the blue Padis Furutech Audio-fuses. All power cords are PS Audio AC-5 and the cleanest power for everything is fed via my PS Audio PowerPlant Premier. Another great tip, if you own an NAD integrated amp like the M3, you need to replace the cheapo stock bridge between Pre OUT and Main IN with a short high end RCA interconnect. In my case I got a pair of Kimber Select KS2021 with WBT nextgen- the improvement is tremendous!
I hope to have helped some of the frustrated owners of this often misunderstood speaker ( reputation of being bass shy!?- not with the right power and placement!)
Enjoy your Dynaudio Confidence 5 "Diva" and treat her well, she will sing beautifully if you spend enough time to set her up right.
I always wanted the C5 from Dynaudio since I saw them for the first time on the IFA in Berlin 1999. I had a pair of Dynaudio Xennon 3/75 since 1989 and absolutely loved them, which made me curious about the flagship speaker ( I dislike the looks of the Consequence!). Over the years I paired my Xennons with many amplifers and cables continuously improving their performance. By the time I moved from Germany to the U.S. I had a T+A P2000 AC with a T+A A2000 AC, using a T+A DVD 1210 R as my audio source. The sound was beautiful to my ears, but once I had moved the sound in the U.S. was not the same anymore, maybe because of the 110V on 60hz versus the ideal of 220v on 50Hz for the T+A components. So I sold them except for the DVD player and replaced everything with a Krell HTS and a Krell KAV 500. These components almost killed my speakers. Being unhappy again with the lost audiophile pleasure of the past, I decided it was time to pair the high end Krell components with adequate speakers and finally bought my dream speakers-the C5's. The midrange was a dream right away, but compared to my Xennon 3's the mighty ESOTAR tweeter sounded really lame. I am missing the high frequency spectrum of my beloved Xennons. The base is punchy and hard, but the overall sound is comparably cold and sterile. I am frustrated once more, I know these speakers should be perfect and can only asume that Krell components are not the right partner for the C5 if you are looking for the typical warm Dynaudio sound. I will not sell the speakers because I am glad I finally found a nice pair in palisander rosewood, but my quest for the right components seems to continue. If anybody has any tips in regards to the right amplification with native 110Volt equipment, please let me know.
Was für ein gigantisch guter Lautsprecher! ich hatte jahrelang eine Contour 3.3 und war immer zufrieden bis auf eine Überhöhung im oberen Bassbereich, die nicht zu korrigieren war. Nach einer Umstellung meiner Elektronik von einem Accuphase E-406 auf eine Vor/End-Kombi mit C-2400 und P-450 wagte ich den Umstieg auf die Confidence 5 und habe es nie bereut! Im direkten Vergleich wirkt die Contour 3.3 zunächst dynamischer, was sich aber bald als Vordergründigkeit entpuppt. Die C5 ist weitaus differenzierter und offenbart einen Detailreichtum und eine Bühnenabbildung, die zu Tränen rühren. Die Klangfarben sind absolut authentisch (als Musikkritiker weiß ich, wie Instrumente klingen), die Contour wirkt im Vergleich fast etwas geschönt. Der Bass reicht sehr tief herunter, klingt straff und profund, aber niemals aufgebläht und der Frequenzgang ist, im Vergleich zur 3.3 absolut linear. Es gibt Boxen, die "größer" klingen, aber kaum authentischer. Ich habe viel gehört (B&W, Thiel, Martin Logan etc.) aber die C5 ist der beste Lautsprecher, den ich bisher gehört habe. Verarbeitung und Optik sind ein Traum. Fortschritte in der Elektronik reicht die C5 sofort durch. Letzte Woche ersetzte ich meine P-450 durch eine P-650, eine wirklich "große" Endstufe, und Auflösung, Bühne, Dynamik nahmen nochmal deutlich zu. Wer über sehr gute Elektronik verfügt, sollte sich die C5 unbedingt anhören!
Do not consider these speakers if you just want to buy a fancy decoration.
Do not buy it if you could not stand classical music more than 60 min.
Do not listen to it if you just need a background music for dinner.
In my limited experience, the Confidence 5 may be the best sounding speaker in the world. It will bring you a whole new experinece to enjoy the music from vocal, jazz, chamber music to the fff symphony. But I could not sure whether it will fit special effect or rock music. It will bring you the most elegant string vibrations in the air. It will make you believe that you are in a live concert or a live play in a pub. It will force you to listen all your CD/SACD collections again for all the detail you had lost before.
But the drawback is it need high quality equipments (not always high price) to drive, from CD player/DAC to power amplifier. It may be the ultimate speakers that worth to own but be careful if you hear a flat and dead sound from these speakers when your audio gears or the environment not totally compatible with it.
My concurrent equipments:
Power treatment: PS P500
Source: Krell SACD standard
Pre-amp: Sphinx project II MKII, Transcendent Ground Grid and Audio-King Model-9 (Taiwan's local company http://home.kimo.com.tw/audiokin/audioking.htm)
Power-amp: Bryston 7BSST and Theta Dreadnaught II
Cables: VDH, Acapella, Furutech, IeGo, Bona, ...........