Dynaudio Contour 1.3 Bookshelf Speakers

Contour 1.3

2 way bass reflex w/ 2 6.75in woofers, 1in tweeter

User Reviews (33)

Showing 1-10 of 33  
Peter   AudioPhile [Jun 04, 2015]

Legendary speaker. Proud owner since 1993. Still in perfect shape. Throughout the years, I matched them with various components. They sounded always as good as the worst part of the audio chain supplied. Brilliant. Truly reference speakers. If you manage to find a pair, go for it. Currently, they are hooked up to Pass Aleph 3 with Audioquest speaker cables and Homegrown Audio DNA signal cables. I'm simply amazed how they deal with various genres of music. However, take my advice to make them sound outstandingly well:

1) don't hook them to lame components like Sony, Denon, Yamaha, Rotel etc. - You will be disappointed.
2) give them a TON of space to breathe. They go deep as hell but only if you manage to give them air they rely on.
3) positioning is crucial. Once you get the golden triangular setup, you win. Believe me. Even with various components, they may sound very resonating and disturbing; especially with acoustic bass. Also, the height matters a lot. You can try that the sound coming from these loudspeakers is keen to change dramatically if you maintain various head positions if you know what I mean.
4) once set properly and hooked to top class audio equipment, they will reveal the strengths and weaknesses of your audio chain or/and the master quality of your recordings. This is both a pro and a con.
5) de-magnetize them with Isotek CD or Ayre CD from time to time. It helps.

Well, those speakers are legendary. Surpassed only by Confidence C1 (or larger speakers = which means larger listening room, too) but once you get used to Contours, you are not likely to see a dramatic improvement. Reference speakers. Highly recommended (for this price, there is really nothing of note to complain about) to 30m2 rooms or similar.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
ren9328   AudioPhile [Jan 31, 2009]

Sorry to say that one reviewer thought these to have a "tubey" sound with non existent bass. I hope that others interested in these speakers did not stop investigating after that horrid review. (Maybe he tested them with a worn out Philco amp or something!)

To the review these loudspeakers are of a different caliber, astonishing, really! I have tried them with everything from an upper level Yamaha -3000 receiver to a Bryston 4BST amp and the bass is anything but lacking. I often find myself putting the foam port plugs in to tone the tremendous bass volume down a bit. The bass is only part of the story though, the presentation made by thse speakers borders on ethereal. They have a magical quality that is just about impossible to put into words.

If you can find a pair of these just buy them, they really are that good! You cannot go wrong with these whether you listen to Mettalica, Bethoven, or Waylon Jennings, you will be impressed. None of my friends can believe that "all that sound comes from those speakers"!

There is no reason to wait seeing as these can be had fairly reasonably now and that the replacement model, the Contour 1.4 cost around $3000.00 per pair. Then again you could try different brands such as Celestion, Linn, Definitive Technology, Mirage, and B&W, for yourself but I am trying to save youy a little time with my extensive experience with many speakers from entry level to hi-fi models.

In summary the Dynaudio Contour 1.3 has amazing qualities that are impossible to put into words, magical comes to mind.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
dkzzzz   Casual Listener [Oct 26, 2008]
Strength:

None, seriously absolutely none. This speaker is pathetic exercise in cabinet making(well,just like 90% of speakers).

Weakness:

Muddy lingering bass. No treble.

Does not have any ability to reproduce accurate bass. Bass lingers too long covers everything that follows overlaps and creates nasty reverberations. Meanwhile treble does not exist, even with very efficient amp like Linn or Naim. To make a long story short this speaker is not suitable for listening to music or any sounds. It is incoherent and at best can be described as something deliberately made to sound "tubey".
That would be a small offense for some tube-sound-fans if not for completely junky bass/midrange driver integration.

Similar Products Used: Focal JM Labs, KLH Signature, ATC 20 passive, Ymaha studio momnitors, B&W
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Kevin   an Audio Enthusiast [Mar 29, 1999]

Recently purchased the Contour 1.3 Mark II after much listening. These speakers, while mildly demanding of amplifiers, are the flattest in response terms that I've ever had the pleasure of witnessing (sans statics). If you listen at modest rather than light levels, these should be auditioned without fail. The $2,400 is a little steep though. My opinion is that they need 100w to bloom. 4 Stars = Nothing is perfect

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
sirin   Audio Enthusiast [May 01, 2000]
Strength:

Clarity of voice, neutrality, wide dispersion

Weakness:

limited bass as expected but has plenty for most music and rooms

just demoed the 1.3 with the audience 50 speakers. i used lower end components - $700 integrated amp - $500 cd player to emulate my home set up as closely as possible.
under these conditions, the audience 50s kept up very well with the 1.3s. i would say they matched %95 of the 1.3s' performance.
this is not to slam the 1.3s in any regard but to inform those who have a similar ampcd set up and are not planning on spending $3,500 for a pre, amp and cd, that they should demo the 50s as well.
the sales guy had made the same comparison before - agreed with my assessment and let me know what $ system was required to make the 1.3s truly rise above the 50s.
i'm not willingable to spend that much and if you are also not, try the 50s - they're a great speaker too.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
dave   an Audio Enthusiast [May 03, 1999]

This is a terrific speaker. It is highly accurate and images superbly. It is not efficient, but so what. A decent 100 watt solid state amplifier will only set you back $2000. You can even get 70 watt tube amps around this price range. The speaker's not cheap; but then near perfection isn't cheap either. Try buying a new Lexus for $12,000.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Yee fung   an Audiophile [Aug 23, 1998]

Unlike several reviewers, I have heard these speakers. They are incredibly revealing ad analytical. A reviewer would find great use for these speakers. Howeveer, these definitely are not speakers that I could live with long term.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
Ron   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 29, 1999]
Strength:

Great mid-range.Very smooth and natural.

Weakness:

Bass is somewhat bloated and slow sounding.

I just solda pair of 1.3 mkII's.I really liked the natural sound and the high's and mid's are just right.Not to bright and just the right amount of detail.But, I was bothered by the slower sounding bass. I thought I could deal w/ it. Until I heard the Dyna 1.8's.And then I couldn't live w/ the 1.8's.I guess i'll never be satisfied.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Joe Wessling   an Audio Enthusiast [Dec 25, 1997]

I've had a pair of 1.3's for about 4 months now and love them to death. I use them in conjuction with a Levinson 39 player, Tara Labs Decade and Master wire and a Sunfire amp. They're extremely accurate and uncolored and have an amazing amount of bass for such small speakers. They sound particularly good with a REL subwoofer filling out those missing 20 or so hertz (my next purchase, i hope). I used to own B&W 805's, which are good speakers, but the mid-range of the Contours is impeccable and the highs are perfect and they're much more attractive looking (B&W's are really ugly - except the Silver Signatures). As a recording engineer and producer i must say that everything i take home from the studios sounds even better on the 1.3's, though they are not kind to poorly recorded material. (BTW, the next model up, the Contour 1.8 isn't that great -- don't be tempted by the extra bass performance unless you've got a BIG room to put them in.)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Laurent Vanderlynden   an Audio Enthusiast [Dec 07, 1997]

Contour 1.3 are fabulous speakers for the price.
Their midrange and highs are very natural and dynamic,while being
very accurate.
Bass is deep for the size, but needs heavy stands and beefy amplifier
It sings beautifully with my integral one Etalon (Hungarian amplifier
with 600 VA power transformer)
Very coherent and musical sound.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 33  

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