Dynaudio Focus 140 - what receiver / Power Amp

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by kdalli, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. kdalli

    kdalli
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    Hi All,

    I'm a long time reader and a first time poster.:hiya:

    I went to listen to the new Focus range from Dynaudio for my 5.1 set up but unfortunately they are not stocked yet at the local dealership. I only listened to the audience 42s with some Krell company. Needles to say that they got me hooked. BTY the store carries both Dyns and Krell.

    So here is my situation: The Salesman told me that the Focus 140's will be available in May, so this gives me lead time to plan and budget. I will eventually end up with serious power amplifier such as Krell showcase 5 or parasound Halo 52 amplifier for my Dynaudio bookshelf setup. For financial reasons this has to be done in stages, so what the sales guy suggested is to seek a good quality reasonably priced a/v receiver for the moment and get a Krell Showcase amplifier when funds allow, leaving the receiver for the processing job. Then I foresee that the next upgrade will be the Krell Showcase processor or the Parasound Halo C2.

    Come to think of it, another possibility I see is that if I do a clever decision on the receiver, I might opt for the Krell 3250 3-channel amp to handle the fronts and centre rather than the showcase 5. This leaves the surrounds driven by the receiver and might skip the showcase processor upgrade. Presumably, I will have to consider the Contours S1.4 then, at least for the sound stage, if I were to take this route ..... anyway, probably the 3250 would still be an overkill.

    My room is only 14'X10'X9' but the issue of moving house is already being discussed with my other half and when/if this happens I will make sure to place my toys in a better room.

    I would like to hear your opinions on what receiver you would pick to drive two pairs of 140 + 220C. Preferred receivers are the Yamaha RX-V2600, Harman Kardon AVR635 & AVR 7300 and NAD T773. I like the up-scaling feature and HDMI availability of the 2600 but, on specs it seems that the HK and NAD will do a better job in driving the Dyns. It would also be nice to hear your opinion re the Contour S1.4 and SC.

    Sorry for such a long post, :boring: this is my first one and I got exited.
    Anyway, I look forward for your feedback. :thumbsup:

    Cheers

    Kevin
     
  2. Llanowar

    Llanowar
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    Nice speakers by the way, heard them and they're really good for the money, very neutral. Personally i would look for even better receivers like a rotel or arcam one... Else the yamaha 2600, you can't go wrong with yamaha.
     
  3. Member 96948

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    I have spent a bit of time in the company of various Dynaudios in recent times, the Focus 220 floorstanders in particular. Dynaudios are not too hard to drive but the Esotar tweeter employed in the Focus range is (IMHO) one of the best dome tweeters ever made. It is fantastically refined and detailed. It is also ruthlessly revealling and I would reckon it would tear the average Jap amp to pieces. If you can, at this stage, run to an Arcam AVR-300 you will be a lot happier. I know it's more cash but 1) It has a vastly more refined pre-amp stage that will benefit from upgrading to a multichannel power amp. 2) When it does come to flogging it, it will hold it's money better which will offset some of the difference.

    That's just my opinion.

    Russell
     
  4. kdalli

    kdalli
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    I will take the AVR 300 into account as well. Was wondering that maybe I can grasp a used pre/pro for the same price on the AVR 300. I will do a search and see the aoutcome.

    Regards,
    Kevin
     
  5. Mentally

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    Dynaudios aren't hard to drive? Most models have 86DB sensitivity and impedance of 4 ohm. It doesn't get much harder than that.
     
  6. kdalli

    kdalli
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    Mentally you may be right, as I have learned that impedance is not static but fluctuates up and down. Dynaudio insist that their products do not go very much below the 4 ohms whereas I'm afraid that a lot of 8 ohms speakers from other brands dip well below 4ohms. So dyns are said top be more stable in this regard. As for their low sensitivity, I do not think it's a big deal as long as you have a juicy amp.

    IMO the focus 140 B&W 705 Monitor Audio GS10 and likes are in the same leage. Now I do not imagine a Yamaha 757, as good as it is @ 100W X 7 (claimed) driving any of them. Yes you might, but you will be far from making them sing (imho)

    So, to conclude, better safe than sorry! Protect your 140s by pairing them with a good power amp.
     
  7. jonancat

    jonancat
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    I run Dynaudio 140, 200 & 110's with the Arcam AVR300 & DV79.
    I am very happy with the sound for music & movies. Remember the Dynaudios can't be bi-amped.
     
  8. Member 96948

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    But they present a very even load. A friend has a pair of the twin mid bass floorstanding Focus 220s and drives them to very respectable levels using an Anatek integrated. It is a 50 watt (max) Class A integrated and is no current monster. Truth is, you can believe the 8ohm claim by most manufacturers if you want, but then you might as well believe manufacturers claims regarding their amps power outputs.

    In all honesty I would be more worried about the 140s ruthlessly revealling the quality short comings of any mid level AV receiver. The Arcam is less likely to struggle than the Jap gear, and will give him a better quality pre-amp stage to base his next upgrade on.

    Personally, I am considering the 122 & 122c for my next upgrade. I would love the Focus equivalents but daren't, unless I can be sure of affording to upgrade the 3806 in short order afterwards.

    Anyhoo, remember what he is planning on driving them with in the long term. Krells are not going to struggle on either quality or quantity grounds.

    Russell
     
  9. Mentally

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    I didn't mention in my message that speakers with a claimed 8 ohm do stay in that range so please do not assume things that aren't there.
    It is true many speakers that state an 8 ohm impedance don't always stay there but they usually drop between 4 to 5 ohm (still higher than 4) and for short periods so the amp doesn't strain for a long time. Running a weak amp with 4 ohm speakers for a long time will ruin it faster than running it with an 8 ohm speaker that drops occasionally to 4-5 ohms.

    Kdalli, the Yamaha 757 won't drive Dynaudios good from my experience.

    Jonancat, the fact the Dynaudios sound great in your opinion with the Arcam AVR300 doesn't mean they won't sound amazing with a stronger amp.

    Russ.will, watts aren't everything. If it states that your amp is "only" 50 watts X2 doesn't mean it will be weaker than a 100W reciever. It depends on many other specs. I have heard some 20W amps that blew the roof top with some hard-to-drive speakers while stronger amps on paper choked right from the start.
     
  10. kdalli

    kdalli
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    Mentally, I got your point and you're right. An 8ohms speaker just dips occasionally to 4. A 4ohms one stays at 4 ohms for much longer. Yes this may well affect the amp life. As for the yammie 757 we are on the same wavelenght.

    Regards
    Kevin
     
  11. Member 96948

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    Indeed, I remember from my retail days the pairing of a Musical Fidelity A1 and Mission 751 standmounts. The Missions had quite respectable bass for their size, the pay off being that they were quite low sensitivity. The pairing was liquid gold though.

    As a general point, whilst impedances can drop, they can also peak. It's not unusual for an 8ohm speaker to make it from 3.3 to 16 ohms across the frequency range. My suposedly efficient Kef Q5s cover exactly this range. Rigourously designed crossovers go along way to smoothing this out. Dynaudio, PMC M&K amongst others are very good in this respect.

    Russell
     
  12. z5461313

    z5461313
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    Good choice of Speaker

    Dynaudio is my favourite music speaker of them all!!:)
     
  13. darrellk

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    I know this is an A/V forum, but if you are planning to use the Dynaudios at all for music, make sure you listen to them with a purist "hifi" amp as well as AV recievers before you choose. These speakers are good enough to show a quite astounding difference between a digital AV monster and a good simple hifi amp. Don't take my word for it - try it.

    From my experience, the Arcam A85/A90 works wonderfully well with Dynaudio speakers, and there is an AV route here - The A85 or A90 can be upgraded with a 5.1 (or possibly 7.1) input card, and extra power amps (P85 or P90, which can be obtained in 2 and 3 channel versions. By buying second hand, the cost would be similar to a half decent AV receiver for a 5.1 system (A85/A90 + input card upgrade + 3 channel P85/P90). As long as your DVD player has 5.1 output, you're sorted for surround, apart from getting prologic from off-air TV or home recordings, but any old AV amp could be used as a processor for this, if it were important.

    This combination easily beats even Arcam's AV receivers, IMO.

    I do not think it is worth adding really good power amps to an average AV receiver, unless you really need the extra power, as most of the musical subtlety seems to be lost in the preamp.
     

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