Dynaudio Contour 3.0 Floorstanding Speakers

Contour 3.0

8" Woofer, 5-7/8" Mid and a 1-1/8" Tweeter

User Reviews (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10  
Matt   AudioPhile [Feb 14, 2011]

I have owned this pai of speakers for at least 10 years ..if you can find them BUY them ..by now im sure you could expect to pay $2,000-$4,000 depending on condition. Let me just say that I drive these speakers with a 350w per channel solid state amp that is distortion free ultra linear power! That's what these speakers want. NOT TUBE AMPS RATED AT 100W or less. OK they are not the lowest on the Bass scale 30hz i think, but you know what if your into bass get a REL B2 and no worries. What these speakers do is make live music happen in your listening room, the 3" voice coil in the 8" woofer is amazing, the sweetest mid range. Also, the tweeter found in this 5k speaker is the same tweeter found in the 15,000 a pair Eggleston Andra Loudspeaker. So Im not going to bore you anymore just go get a big amp, a big glass of whatever, and a big chair. (your going spend some time in the chair make sure its a nice one)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
MARCUS   AudioPhile [Jul 18, 2007]
Strength:

Sound never less than musically very satisfying, with all kinds of music ranging from classical chamber music to heavy rock, and everything in between.

Weakness:

Honestly can't think of one ; and for the price you can buy them today, they're a steal!!

These speakers are very well-made, they look small and very beautiful in their cherry-finish. They don't SOUND small however, bass is deep and full (30 Hz full) , soundstage is very good and the lack of grain is impressive.
I must confirm that they only sing when fed with good power, perhaps not hundreds of watts, but a very heavy and stable power supply in your amp.
When well charged by the amplifier, the sound is rather warm and very enjoyable without any stress, but there's absolutely no lack of detail, on the contrary. The 3.0's don not however over-expose details, just presenting them in a very natural sounding landscape.
Listening fatigue is non-existing with these superb Dynaudio's, which are prefered by many over the newer series, which show a tendency to sound a bit brighter.

Similar Products Used: about 12 different brands, Nautilus, Magnepan, Zingali....
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Chris Garrett   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 25, 2002]
Strength:

For their size, bass is very clean and well defined. Midrange stands out and treble is well integrated. Build quality.

Weakness:

Bass doesn''t go infrasonic or even hit the lowest octaves, but one shouldn''t expect it to. Kind of boring looking. Lousy European plastic collars around the binding posts.

I''ve had a black ash pair of Contour 3.0s for 2.5 yrs. and I''ve been very happy with their sound. While not a speaker in the upper echelon, they do hold their own in the $5k range. I''ve run them with a Golden Tube SE40 SE tube amp, Belles 150a HOT ROD SS amp and for the last year and a half, a pair of Cary SLAM 100 tube amps running 95w in triode and set to 4 ohms. I''ve used a GT SEP 1 SE tube preamp and now run a Blue Circle 3.1 Galatea tube linestage. Since a Cary crapped out this week, I''m back to using the Belles. The treble is quite smooth and extended with really no grain/grit, when fed a clean signal. Dynaudio is known for their world class Esotar tweeter, but the Esotec is not too shabby either. The midrange is where I think these speakers shine. Female and male vocals are very real and lifelike. Very little distortion. As for the lower octaves, I''m amazed at the clarity and punch that I get from these tiny 8" woofers. It''s obviously a testament to the cabinet design. I listen to a lot of reggae and electronic vinyl, CD and SACD and I have no issues here. Sure, they don''t go much below 30Hz, but come on? They aren''t designed for the true bottom octaves and another speaker is probably needed, if HT duties/BASS Freak music is to played. I can''t stand those plastic binding post collars and I''ve had to file them down to accomodate the large spades on my Vampire Wire ST-III cables, but no bother. Fit and finish are stellar, but they aren''t lookers, if that''s your bag? The Dyns really love the juice and if you''re running tubes, 100w will be the minimum. The GT SE40, w/its 27-30w was just not up to the task and the bass was a slop fest. Many have described the Dyns as falling on the colder side of neutral and I''d probably agree. However, runing some nice PP tube amps can sweeten up the pie a bit and I''m content. Sure, they''re not perfect, but one won''t be throwing money out of the window if they can afford the admission fee. Other sources are Sony SCD-1 SACD player and a Kuzma Stabi/Stogi Ref. arm w/a Lyra Lydian B and SF Phono 1 SE stage. Sources plug into a PP300. Paint me a very happy camper. Chris Garrett, Miami

Similar Products Used: I''ve had Italian made ESB 7/08s and still own those. I also have a ''74 pair of Klipsch Cornwalls w/vertically mounted alnico horns in a second SET based system.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
yee   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 09, 2000]
Strength:

Everything!

Weakness:

They're not as good as Sonus Faber Amati Homage.

After a fairly extensive search, I finally replaced my Mani 2's with these grossly UNDER priced speakers. In the last few months, I've auditioned pretty much everything in the Bay Area. Of all the speakers That I heard, The Amati's were the only speakers that were definitely better. And like HKD, I slightly preferred the 3.0's to the 3.3s.

I truly expected to pay(and had budgeted) a great deal more to better my Mani 2's. I'm just amazed at how coherent and musical these sound in my own system. I highly recommend these speakers to anybody shopping for speakers anywhere near this price range. At about $5000 a pair, they're an ABSOLUTE BARGAIN.

On a final note, If your considering B&W's Nautilus range,
please audition other speakers before making a purchase. These were the LEAST impressive speakers that I've heard.

Similar Products Used: Mani 2's; 801,802,803 Nautilus; Watt Puppy 6; Contour3.3 and Amati Homage.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Michael   Audiophile [Aug 10, 2000]
Strength:

Overall tonal balance; power-handling capability; uncompressed dynamics; meaty, tight, powerful bass; natural, halographic midrange (especially the human voice); sweet, extended highs; this loudspeaker is a value. The veneers are perfect.

Weakness:

They don't bi-wire. The nice Dutch engineers don't believe in it. The Contours want a muscle-amp and reward you for providing one. Shoe-box design.

Musical. That should be the highest praise in audio-land. The speaker is coherent, has drive, and is a joy to listen to. (Related equipment: ARC LS16; Cardas interconnects; Aragon 8008BB, Tara Air 2 speaker cables.) These speakers just do not run out of steam; they are open and uncompressed. I do not recommend that you skimp on amplifier power - but don't buy that power at the expense of neutrality. Because it uses Dynaudio drivers (soft-dome tweeters), the speaker is very transparent. Any swap of anything in the signal chain is instantly audible. For example, I listened to seven sets of speaker cables before settling on the Air 2. The Contour revealed the weaknesses in some pretty fancy wires (who shall remain nameless, because those weaknesses were probably system-dependent); and let no one tell you there is no way to hear cables break in. Listening to these speakers, the foot moves, the fingers tap, and the analytical process is overpowered by musical enjoyment. They need a good (gentle at first, please) break-in, something like 200 hours. After that, they sing.

Similar Products Used: Snell, Cello.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Lou   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 24, 2002]
Strength:

Smooth highs ,Wonderfully Full bass

Weakness:

None

All I have to say about the Review below is they used the wrong matching equipment and the speakers must have been under powered. They really need alot of power to sing. Being 86db.Tubes will not work. To say these have a weak bottom end is just not True.Unless they were under powered. They are also worth every penny. Especially if you get them on the used market. They sound to me even better then the 3.3's. I'd give them a 10 if I could.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Bob   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 27, 2001]
Strength:

Wonderful mid-band. Very neutral speaker. Great driver and cabinet quality

Weakness:

Price, poor dynamic expression, low sensitivity, limited low-frequency extension.

I am in the process of replacing a 25 year old system that was purchased when I sold high end audio in the mid 70's. This has been fun but overwhelming.

I've auditioned the 3.0's at 3 different dealers, each with very different electronics and rooms. Electronics include Linn, MacIntosh and a 100 WPC Class A power amp of which brand I can not recall.

The neutral and accurate mid-band of the Dynaudio's is their real strength. The high's are extended and also very smooth. This is a speaker that plays all types of music well and is very easy to listen to.

My concern is with the limited dynamic expression, probably due to it's lower sensitivity. With the Linn and class A power amps the woofers distorted badly with deep, powerful bass passages at moderate to even somewhat low listening levels (Polka & Fugue on Reference Recordings CD).

With the Mac power amp (over 300 WPC), the meter were reading over 300 WPC at moderately loud levels (nowhere near uncomfortable).

Also, the 3.0's, like the Conour 1.8's, have a small sound to them in comparison with speakers from JM Labs and Revel. Regardless of the setup and placement, the 3.0's are identifiable as the point source of the music. To me, they just don't dissappear like other speakers in this price point or play loud enough with a reasonable sized amp.

They are beautiful to look at and have very high quality drivers. Unfortunately, they are made in Denmark where the cost of living is one of the highest in the World. This usually equates to a high cost of manufacture and I believe there are much better values, especially at $5400.

If you are interested in the 3.0's I highly recommend auditioning the Revel Performa F30. They are unusual to look at but provide a much greater sound stage, similar mid-band performance and much better bass in power, extension and defintion. At the same time you will save $2000. This, of course, is if you can stand they way they look.

If not, the new Performa F50 is shipping to dealers and although it has a $7500 list price, they are much more mainstream in styling and should offer performance very close to the Ultima line for much less dollars.






Similar Products Used: Dynaudio 1.8's,Audience 82, JM Lab 905,915.1,936, Revel M20, F30, Thiel 2.3, B&W 805,804,803, Quad 988, Paradigm S100, Hales Rev III,
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
Jovy   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 08, 2001]
Strength:

very transparent, lovely midrange, female voices are beautifully rendered

Weakness:

a touch too much midbass, could be my room

One of the best, at its pricepoint. Have heard quite a few others,notably the Revels, Eggys,Sonus Fabers ; nothing approaches the Contours. I listen to a lot of jazz from the 50s and 60s, as well as some classical music. I thought at first that they sounded thin and bright (strange, considering I use an all tube setup) but after they'd been broken in- what a difference! They are, I think , very revealing of the upstream compnents. A badly recorded CD will not be helped by this speaker. In balance, though , a lot of power is needed to make them sing .

Similar Products Used: Linn AV5140
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Hsien-Ta   an Audio Enthusiast [Feb 14, 1999]

This is a fantastic loudspeaker!It took three years for my wife to finally give me the green light to upgrade my speakers and I took full advantage of the opportunity. I auditioned the dunlavy sc-III, IV's, B&W Nautilus 802 and 803, Proac 2.5, 3.5, 3.8, Thiel 2.3, 3.6, etc, (with my wife- who has golden but rather reluctant ears) - and found that the dynaudio countour 3.3 and 3.0 were the best (I had not read the reviews to that point). The Thiel 2.3 were too analytical and bright, and my wife says, not coherent. The Proac 2.5 had a lovely, lush sonic signature but were not very open. The 3.5 and 3.8 sounded somewhat "hollow". The Nautilus 802's were the very competitive but I think were a bit much at $8000. The Dunlavy III and IV both had great soundstaging and imaging but did not go very low, despite my dislike for loud music and earth-shattering bass. The Dynaudio's, driven by both a Classe as well as a Pass setup were phenomenal in all respects. The highs were open, extended but not etched or excessive; the midrange was so natural - there's no other word for it; and the bass was very tight and tuneful. They had an addictive coherence that served all musical venues. While I am sure there are better speakers out there, I have not heard one for $5K!
(p.s. the cabinetry - cherry, rosewood, or birds-eye - is stunning)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
HKD   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 15, 1999]

Just listened to the Dynaudio 3.0 and the 3.3's and to my surprise (and was even verified by the salesperson in the shop) the 3.0's had everything the 3.3's had, except the mid range was a bit more full. I thought I would definately lose the bass extension on the Erykah Badu cd when switching over to the 3.0, but I did not. The detail, clarity and soundstage were all there on the David Benoit, Julian Bream and Madame Butterfly cd's we sampled. Here's where we saw a big difference...with cd's that rocked. Chris Cornell's new CD Euphoria Morning sounded thinner and more harsh on the 3.3's, while it had a fuller (but in no way bloated or muffled) on the 3.0's....same with the ZZ Top Antenna cd. Other cd's we listened to where Elton John (Captain Fantastic), DAngelo (Brown Sugar), Special EFX (Masterpiece), Oscar Peterson (Live in Paris), Muddy Waters (Folk Singer), TJ Kirk (If four was One), Marvin Gaye (greatest Hits). I would say that if you have more of a wide range of musical tastes, definately check out the 3.0's. They do not color the music (which is one the little quirks I have with B&W's 801/2/3). Both models offer a clean, transparent and full top to mid to bottom sound, but we both thought the 3.0's had a distincly noticable advantage in the midrange. To some $4,000 may seem like a lot, but to others $4,000 will be a steal. I think these speakers are very fairly priced at $4,000. I would be challenged to tell you something I didn't like about the 3.0's. They are now high on my shortlist. FYI, I have been using NHT VT-2's for a year and a half and have now been considering the following speakers::: ProAc Response 3.3// NHT 3.3//Wilson Watt Puppies 3.2 and now surely these Dynaudio 3.0's.

The equipment we listened to these on were all Levinson gear (which I'm sure helped a bit). Listen to these they are nice (although plain looking)speakers.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 10  

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