A different Dynaudio question

May be daydreaming, but considering a change from Harbeth M 30.1 to either Dynaudio heritage special or contour 30i. Has anyone compared these 2 speakers or ideally all 3 . The other problem/question is while either can be moved a foot or more (slightly) into the room the rear port would almost definitely be pointed right at my lp - 12 on a quadrsapire wall shelf. I’m sure that is not ideal but would it be a big problem? Moving the shelf can be done, but not easily, so I’d rather not start with that. system is 282 hcdr and 250dr. Fwiw, I like the Harbeth but find them a bit “polite” also a bit lacking in bass - that may be a room problem, and complex (orchestral?) music can overpower/confuse the sound.

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I haven’t done a direct comparison between the Harbeth Monitor 30.1 and Dynaudio Heritage Specials but a few years ago I used to own the 30.1’s and on Friday last week bought a pair of Heritage Specials. I have never heard the Contour 30i’s.

Some context: my reason for selling the 30.1’s were twofold - they are a big speaker as you know and I could never get a decent bass response from them. Their bass response (on paper at least) is down to 50hz and I could never get my head around such a large box could be so limited in this area. The midrange was beautiful and the speaker had that typical BBC sound which is very hard not to like. In the end I couldn’t live with their lack of scale and eventually moved them on.

I went through a few different speakers - Proac SM100’s (nice speakers but I found them hard to connect to), Boenicke W5SE (truly a miracle in a little box - too many near misses with them being knocked over for my liking), Falcon LS3/5a (slightly aggressive treble at times, best midrange I have heard, too bass light in my lounge albeit I swear they sounded fuller than the 30.1’s), Dynaudio Special 40’s (for me almost the perfect speaker - gorgeous treble, midrange and bass to die for. Not quite as tactile in the midrange as the LS3/5a’s but better in every other regard) and finally to the Dynaudio Heritage Specials.

The new speakers are, in a word, special. Their bass for one is superb - tight, deep, articulate. A world away from the 30.1’s. The midrange has more presence than the Special 40’s. I am going off memory here but I suspect the 30.1’s will have even more presence still than the Dynaudio’s but there probably isn’t a great deal in it. Treble is extended but smooth at the same time. The inner detail the speaker delivers is amazing without being overall analytical. The Heritage 40’s aren’t a warm sounding speaker so you need to take that into account.

I am not sure that ramble has helped. For me, if I was looking for a speaker with a hint of warmth, incredible bass, a smooth top and one that can produce the scale of music when required it I would be looking at the Contour 20i or 30i as from everything I have read that is how they are voiced.

If you are looking for something a little faster but has huge amounts of refinement that will bring you closer to the performers and can sound huge when they need to the Heritage Specials may be your to your liking. Only a home demo of any of the speakers you are considering will help you.

My final comment though is that if you ultimately like the BBC sound - that wonderful, natural fleshed out midrange then maybe something with a little more bass like the C7 or HL5 maybe to your liking?

Anyway, I hope this helps in some way…

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thnx for your reply. I think we are both looking for pretty much the same thing from a speaker. My one problem with the heritage is, I expect larger speakers to have and do more bass and (said each time recently) I’m looking for a final piece of equipment (no more change or up-grade). That is why I would not consider c20i vs. heritage. I’d expect more alike than different. By the time you factor in stand and mounting plate for heritage, the price between c30i isn’t very great. Have a feeling I could live happily with either. For some reason, the closest Dynaudio dealer does not seem to be able to get hold of heritage. a trip into ny may be the best I can do and there I can find a direct comparison.

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I believe the Heritage and Contour 20i are voiced very differently with the 20i being warmer and even deeper bass.
If bass is what you are after then, I agree, the 30i’s are the way to go.
If you do get a chance to do a direct comparison I’d be very interested in your thoughts.

The two Dynaudio speakers are very different. The Contour 30 is a very large and very modern looking floorstander, whereas the Heritage is a very compact and delightfully retro looking stand mount. A lot of the decision must come down to which you’d prefer looking at for years. I’ve recently swapped from medium sized floor standing speakers to very small stand mounts and it’s amazing how much better everything looks. But in a large and modern room the C30 could be perfect.

As I understand it the rear ported Dynaudios like a lot of space behind them. It may also be worth investigating bottom ported designs or indeed transmission lines. Something like the ProAc D48 or PMC 24 may be worth looking at.

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I own Contour 20. I almost bought Contour 30 after extensive auditions and I have also auditioned Heritage against Contour 20 for several hours. I didn’t buy Contour 30 because I bought a home and one trade off was a smaller living room. Too small for C30. Mind you, I have not heard any of the new Contour “i” models but I think they only offer marginal improvement.

So C30 is C20, just more off it, especially more extended bass. It fills a larger room with louder sound. C20 images better, however. But if you like one, you’ll like the other.

What music do you listen to? What sound do you like?

The Esotar3 of the Heritage certainly lifts a veil and offers more insight and depth into the music over Esotar2. No doubt. The Heritage bass is there, punchy, and fast but doesn’t extend as deep as C20. Both Heritage and C20 are very coherent but Heritage is faster, more agile. Do you like really fast drums? Jazz? Heritage is for you. Do you want a more in-your-face speaker that grabs you and doesn’t let go? That’s Heritage. But you don’t want it to let you go.

Do you want to sink in and be absorbed by the sound? Do you want to sit a few rows back in the music? Do you want a wider sound stage and a speaker that plays bigger? Do you want a speaker that is a little more laid back? Do you like folk, Indy Rock, a Bob Dylan ballad? Then I think Contour is for you.

Then there are the asthetic differences. I think Contour is a beautiful speaker, a statement for your living room. Heritage is limited to 2500 copies and will hold its value better over longer time.

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I’m jealous. I own Dynaudio Focus 110’s and been eyeing these. Sadly they just wouldn’t fit the room. Very tempted though and I don’t think these will be available for long.

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Robmoores1-
It is difficult for me to listen to a great # of speakers but you seem to have similar tastes in what’s desired in a speaker.The c30 is too much for this room.c 20 or heritage seem ideal, but do your heritage do better bass than your harbeths did (not a bass head) but they do seem lacking in this room - one of my main complaints with it.

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The Heritage doesn’t lack bass, it is linear down to 40 HZ, not many floorstanders can pull that off…

I fondly remember my first introduction to Dynaudio, and the pleasant surprise is that the standmounts (during the demo Focus 110 and Confidence C1) didn’t sound they lacked bass compared to the Focus XD floor stander.

If you can afford the Heritage, you should buy it, it’s an endgame speaker.

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I totally agree in that the Heritage certainly does not lack bass. In this department it will be far superior to the Harbeth’s you have.

I’d also throw the Dynaudio Confidence 20’s or 30’s into the mix… They are a more modern design, but epically detailed treble, clear midrange and solid, well-timed bass.

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I would love to hear the Confidence 20’s. I think the design aesthetic is superb. I am sure they sound spectacular too.

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I heard the bigger Confidence 50s at the last Bristol show and was impressed - although there were a few people on the forum who expressed reservations at the time.

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Robmoores1 -
I hope Your description is accurate. I spoke with a local Dynaudio dealer, who does mostly video install and they didn’t think the heritage was still available, so I got nervous and spoke to a dealer in nyc that has them on display. Supposed to talk more later, but I think I’m just going to buy blind again. Tbh even at the best of times, my getting out and auditioning is difficult and at home is not easy either as I need assistance even for this set-up. I know it’s never recommended but I’ve seen enough reputable/understandable reviews that I pretty much know what they can/can’t do.

Risky but sometimes a gamble pays off and an itch scratched… I did the same with the lower evoke 10 and it really paid off

the harbeths were bought the same way, at that point my mobility was much worse, so I really had no choice, now I can get around, but even without covid it would be difficult. My biggest concern is that as a multi-purpose room, they have to be placed almost identically to the harbeths. The one problem is the rear port is now “aimed” at my lp-12 on a quadraspire wall mount. Some distance away, but certainly not ideal. As much as I like what the harbeths do, they can be too “polite” and not get that grittiness that is part of some recordings. Also anything of a complex nature (orchestras) seems to be too much for them.

An update - spoke to dealer in NYC, and he says the heritage is available but a 6 to 8 week wait. I’m hoping that is the case, otherwise I even wrote that I’d take their demo pair, and in fact would prefer a pair with some breaking in already done. So, it looks like it is an (almost) done deal.

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The Harbeth M30.1 does appear to sound too polite to my ears as well. For that reason I have gone with the Super HL5+ which in my experience sounds more versatile and balanced across various music genres. Personally I’m not a fan of the Monitor series but the 30.1 does sound a lot better than the original M30 which surely sounded too laidback, warm and tame, lacking life and dynamics. Having said that, the 30.1 or 30.2 do sound excellent with vocals and slow relaxing music though.

The 282/HCDR/250DR may be contributing a little to the laidback sound of the 30.1 as I noticed few owners are using 52/300DR or higher amps to drive Harbeth speakers. The 282/HCDR/250DR may sound too smooth or perhaps the 250DR may be lacking the drive for the 30.1. Nevertheless, I believe you are heading in the right direction by considering the Dynaudio Heritage. The Heritage is one of few quality standmounts I would consider as the replacement for Harbeth speakers.

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The Harbeth M30.1 goes down to 50Hz (±3dB) only. That may explain the inadequate bass you are experiencing with that speaker. I’ve compared the SHL5+ to M30.1 and 30.2 side my side at the dealers and the latter surely sounded weak and inadequate in the bass when the speakers were swapped. The spec clearly shows this. In my mind a speaker which is able to hit 40Hz ±3dB would sound quite adequate in the bass department.

Since the Dynaudio Heritage goes down to 42Hz (±3dB) on paper, it would be an upgrade over Harbeth M30.1 in the bass.

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You could of course consider ProAc D2R or D20R, neither are rear ported. Just keep in mind the Heritage needs POWER, it’s 85db efficient and 4 ohms. I’m not sure a 250 will be enough grunt. I had Dynaudio S40’s and SN2 with HCDR and it really didn’t do it. And having rear port shooting at your LP12… not sure that’s a sonically good choice.

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