Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dynaudio Confidence C1 Mk II - Quick listening impressions

I had a chance to listen to the Dynaudio Confidence C1 Mk II a few weeks ago at the local agent's showroom. The ever friendly manager, Nicholas gladly obliged my request to listen to them although I happened to be there for something else.

I noticed that the C1 is commonly compared to the Focal Diablo as they are have similar target audiences, the enthusiast that wants maximum performance from a standmounted speaker. The best advice I could ever give is simple - go out and hear both. I think they are both so differently voiced, that you should clearly prefer one over the other.

From the first few opening bars, the C1 shocks you with its dynamics and bass extension. Nicholas put it best when he described the C1 as "a floorstander with the footprint of a bookshelf speaker." The C1 clearly goes deeper than the Diablo, with at least a feeling of a 1/3 of an octave more extension. It has a lively, yet slightly warm balance that would suit rock and pop music.

The C1 projects the soundstage in a more forward fashion that the Diablo. For want of a better description, the Diablo is subjectively gentler and more laidback.

The Diablo inches ahead of the C1 in its high frequency speed and detail. The C1's treble sounds sweeter, while the Diablo has more sparkle, and resolution.

The C1 subjectively appears to me to be more power hungry than the Diablo, and was happily soaking up current from the Plinius integrated amp used for the demonstration. I also noticed that it sounds better as volume is turned up, with the first few clicks of the volume control being unable to bring the speaker to life. The C1 is most comfortable at moderate to loud volumes. In fairness, the Diablo also has a dislike for very low volumes but hits its sweet spot slightly earlier.

Both the C1 and Diablo are excellent in their own right and offer world class performance in a small package. You won't go far wrong with either, with your listening taste in music probably being the final arbiter.

From a local pricing perspective, the C1 is a very competitive value proposition. Drop by the Dynaudio showroom on the 1st floor of Adelphi for a further listen.


Anonymous said...

I also found Nicholas at Adelphi building to be very helpful and accommodating. I'm from NZ and had as my mission to compare the C1 and the Joseph Audio Pulsars (See Sammy Low at Sound Decisions three floors up from Dynaudio, he is also quite helpful and knowledgeable). The Pulsars are sweeter, more rounded in their sound with a very smooth all around deep sound stage. For MY ears I prefer the snap, pace, and bass extension of the C1s. Their sound stage was clearer and crisper. They are also much more expensive than the Pulsars but fit my Jazz ears just as well.

Eric Teh said...

Nicholas of Dynaudio Singapore and Sammy from Sound Decisions are definitely good guys of the industry. I agree with your assessment of the Pulsars vs. C1. More drive and pace vs. sweeter and more laidback. Both are excellent speakers catering to different tastes.