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  1. #1
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    Dynaudio Contour 1.3 mk2 POPS!!

    Has anyone owned a pair of these monitors and experienced a popping or snap when the music gets loud? It seems to do it on fast transients, like for example on a rim shot on snare or tom tom. It never does this on sustained bass. What's really weird is that when this happens the speakers seem free of congestion, no sign of strain. Plus I hear not even a hint of clipping from the amp end(150 wpc high current,very high damping factor???). These speakers were made to be played loud. I'm totally perplexed by this. I've talked extensively to the Dynaudio folks and they say its not the fault of the woofer but the amp is not handling the fast load (of course they would say it's the amp, right?

    Please feel free to critique, suggest,

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Sounds like the amp to me. I once had a 550 WPC on the small Maggies and it clipped and made popping sounds. I would try a different amp.

    Good luck
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by heywood
    Has anyone owned a pair of these monitors and experienced a popping or snap when the music gets loud? It seems to do it on fast transients, like for example on a rim shot on snare or tom tom. It never does this on sustained bass. What's really weird is that when this happens the speakers seem free of congestion, no sign of strain. Plus I hear not even a hint of clipping from the amp end(150 wpc high current,very high damping factor???). These speakers were made to be played loud. I'm totally perplexed by this. I've talked extensively to the Dynaudio folks and they say its not the fault of the woofer but the amp is not handling the fast load (of course they would say it's the amp, right?

    Please feel free to critique, suggest,

    Thanks
    Sustained bass notes are seldom all that high in level. Organs, for example, sound quite loud even at 80 dB, certainly at 90 dB, prescisely because they are sustained. It's usually loud transients that require a lot of peak power.

    I am not sure what the frequency range of rim shots is, but I suspect it's not super low. I've seen a very similar question on another forum, and now I think it is clearer what probably is happening. Your speaker's impedance is 4 ohms or below from about 100-300 Hz, minimum at 3.43 ohms, according to the review in Stereophile, and the sensitivity measured in at about 84 dB.

    http://stereophile.com/loudspeakerre...33/index4.html

    Your Odyssey Stratos amplifier (I looked it up on your Profile) should be able to drive them pretty well, although any amplifier has limits. The Odyssey site indicates it can produce at least 150 watts into 8 ohms; I didn't see a figure for 4 ohms but they maintain it can produce substantial current so imagine the 4 ohm capability is quite a bit higher. However, all amplifiers have limits and perhaps at the levels you play,it looks as though your amplifier is running out of current on those types of transients.

    It may be that another amplifier would work better for your purposes. However, it already seems to be a capable amplifier, and doubling the power would only add 3 dB to the headroom (which depends on other factors). Somebody suggested a Parasound amp, and there are excellent amps from Rotel and NAD, too. Bryston is more expensive. Some of the big McIntosh amps have Powrgard soft clipping, a kind of limiter, so perhaps this would help--but they're even more expensive. Of course, if you do get a more powerful amp, you might be tempted to play even louder.

    So, my advice is still similar to what I said on another forum. Ultimately, a larger, more sensitive speaker is needed--but the Dynaudio seems by all accounts to be a very fine speaker (I haven't heard it, but I can see it measures very well), so it might be expensive to get something else that you like just as well or better.

    Or you might turn the volume down so that you don't get clipping.

    You should also be aware of safe listening levels. There is a lot of opinion that for long term listening, the levels should be kept below 85 dB.

    http://www.hearingprotection.co.uk/y...hp?d=safeTimes
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  4. #4
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    The following is a quote from a very highly regarded audio magazine UHF (Ultra high fidelity) that reviewed these speakers in issue #57

    "The 17 cm woofer, with its huge dust cap molded right into the cone, has a look that could only come from Dynaudio. These woofers are nearly impossible to overload, because the suspension gets gradually stiffer as the cone moves off-centre, so that they'll compress the dynamics when driven hard instead of overloading and spitting distortion at you."

    Every speaker does have its limits though...if your trying to play them at night club volumes maybe you should consider a subwoofer to ease the strain on both amp and speakers.
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  5. #5
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    I don't regard UHF that highly.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyBC
    The following is a quote from a very highly regarded audio magazine UHF (Ultra high fidelity) that reviewed these speakers in issue #57

    "The 17 cm woofer, with its huge dust cap molded right into the cone, has a look that could only come from Dynaudio. These woofers are nearly impossible to overload, because the suspension gets gradually stiffer as the cone moves off-centre, so that they'll compress the dynamics when driven hard instead of overloading and spitting distortion at you."

    Every speaker does have its limits though...if your trying to play them at night club volumes maybe you should consider a subwoofer to ease the strain on both amp and speakers.
    Yes, I think we agree that for night club or rock concert volumes, a small speaker is not the ticket.

    I'm not sure a subwoofer does much with rim sticks. My speakers have a similar response in the bass and if I didn't have a subwoofer, I would have gotten a larger speaker.

    UHF is fun, but I don't regard them that highly, although like most reviewers, their judgment on speaker quality is likely to be pretty good. Did they actually measure what it takes to overload the Dynaudios, and at what frequencies? I doubt it because they do little in the way of measurements. It does sound like an interesting way to make it difficult to overload and push the woofer past its excursion limits.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
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  6. #6
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    Not that loud on Dynaudio

    You see that's the whole point I'm trying in vain I'm afraid to explain. When this speaker pops, in no way is it playing at club or concert levels. I owned almost every shape size and config I can think of in speakers. I can tell when a speaker and an amp are starting to run out of steam. The sound gets congested, sound stage collapses, harsh frequencies, you all know the drill. That is NOT happening here. The level is what I call a good loud. Then out of the blue, a fast transient from a drum wack, bass drum, tom tom, sudden explosion causes a woofer pop. Not over excursion, that generally has a particular sort of Thud! sound. I'm just trying to find at least one other poor confused soul that has experienced this. I've never been so in love with a speaker of this type , but it scares the you know what out of me when this happens.

    I'm open to any suggestions on amps that are known to play directly into plutonium blocks with negative zero ohm loads and still be ample to wink at you and say I'm ok your ok.
    On the other hand I guess I could use a few suggestions on a few speakers that don't lose it when you push them a little. Sorry if I seem a little defensive, but this has been very difficult to explain.

    Many thanks for responding.

    Robby

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by heywood
    You see that's the whole point I'm trying in vain I'm afraid to explain. When this speaker pops, in no way is it playing at club or concert levels. I owned almost every shape size and config I can think of in speakers. I can tell when a speaker and an amp are starting to run out of steam. The sound gets congested, sound stage collapses, harsh frequencies, you all know the drill. That is NOT happening here. The level is what I call a good loud. Then out of the blue, a fast transient from a drum wack, bass drum, tom tom, sudden explosion causes a woofer pop. Not over excursion, that generally has a particular sort of Thud! sound. I'm just trying to find at least one other poor confused soul that has experienced this. I've never been so in love with a speaker of this type , but it scares the you know what out of me when this happens.

    I'm open to any suggestions on amps that are known to play directly into plutonium blocks with negative zero ohm loads and still be ample to wink at you and say I'm ok your ok.
    On the other hand I guess I could use a few suggestions on a few speakers that don't lose it when you push them a little. Sorry if I seem a little defensive, but this has been very difficult to explain.

    Many thanks for responding.

    Robby
    You're a patient soul! Discussion helps bring out the nature of the problem. If you've got speakers you really like, and by all accounts the Dynaudios are very fine speakers, I can see why you would want to hang on to them.

    Well, I referred you to the review in Stereophile. The impedance curve goes lowest in the mid-bass and I am imagining that those rim shot transients have high energy in that frequency range and the amp is running out of current on them and so going into short term clipping. Percussion is very transient, of course, but our perception of loudness goes with more average levels. But a transient can be 10-15 dB (maybe 10-30 times more power) above the average levels, maybe even more. But that's just a hypothesis.

    As with so many problems, the proper method is a process of elimination. Are there any particular recordings you use?

    1. Is the phenomenon level dependent? That is, does it occur at relatively low levels as well as ordinary ones? If so, that would indicate the problem is prior to the amplifier. Maybe the CDP is defective, or conceivably, there is digital clipping on the CD itself, although that is unlikely to be the cause.

    2. If it is level dependent, it could be the amp or the speakers. The most likely candidate is that the amp can't put out enough current and hence, voltage, for those short, sharp high level transients. You could try a more powerful high quality amp, perhaps a big Rotel or Parasound, or even a big Bryston. See if that corrects the problem.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  8. #8
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    Hi Waters...Does the amp power cord go directly into the wall outlet? Or is there a strip or conditioner inbetween? If there is, that could be limiting power delivery.

    Did you buy these speakers new or used?

    You are right, these speakers are meant to be played loud. Low sensitivity speakers usually don't sound 100% unless the volume level is up. For amp recommendations, many Dynaudio owners find SimAudio, Classe and Plinius gear to be up to the task. Even their integrateds have enough power.

    BTW, we still don't know how large your listening room is. LxWxH?

  9. #9
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    I'm plugged directly in from amp to hospital grade plug via Marigo power cord. I've even measured the voltage at different times of the day and it's ok.

    Room is 13.5x11.5x10. Seems about right to my thinking for a medium sized monitor. Just an fyi here. It seems the more I investigate it's pointing more and more toward the amp being the problem. Or depending on how you look at it, the Dynaudio being the culprit because of it's insatiable appetite for Fast power. It's not just a power issue here but more of speed and stability under duress. The Odyssey is absolutely everything everyone says it is and more. I mean that. and it's as good as it gets at it's price point. But we've all seen to many times if something can happen, it will. I not good at talking the tech talk but I can understand it when its is carefully explained. I sincerely appreciate all the good will and great advice I've received on this issue.

    I've heard that Naim is a sleeping giant when it comes to driving Dyns and other notorious speakers for being power sponges, Any comments on Naim gear.

    Thanks

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