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Loudspeakers | floor-standing


Manufacturer: DYNAUDIO A/S
Price (in Poland): 111 900 PLN/pair

8660 Skanderborg, DANIA


Provided for test by: NAUTILUS Dystrybucja


Tekst: Wojciech Pacuła
Zdjęcia: Dynaudio | Wojciech Pacuła

No 199

December 1, 2020

DYNAUDIO is a Danish company founded in 1977 in Skandenborg, specializing in the development and manufacturing of loudspeakers. In 1978, it presented the Model 100, which featured their own drivers and most of the technical solutions they still use to this day. In 2018, i.e. for the 40th anniversary, they introduced a completely new installment of the Confidence series. This time for a test we received the CONFIDENCE 50 floor-standers.

ONFIDENCE IS A SERIES with a long history. It was developed in 1991 on the basis of the legendary Esotar tweeter and consisted of two models, the stand mount C3 and the floor-standing C5. In 2002, they were replaced by the C2 and C4 floor-standing designs and the stand-mount C1, and then the company offered their special versions called Platinum and Platinum II (you can find the test of the C1 Platinum model HERE.

The latest Confidence series includes four models: the stand-mount CONFIDENCE 20 (HF № 190 | July 2019) and the floor-standing CONFIDENCE 30 (HF № 190 | February 2020 | PL), CONFIDENCE 50 and CONFIDENCE 60. It is the culmination of all the knowledge that brand’s engineers have accumulated since 1977, including it’s own drivers.

Contrary to what is commonly believed, the company's first loudspeakers were based on OEM drivers purchased from an external supplier. From the very beginning, however, the cabinets were made independently, in their own workshop. Since the founders of Dynaudio, a group of engineers, believed that only their own drivers could guarantee success, they implemented a research program and three years after the company was founded, all its loudspeakers featured self-designed and made, innovative drivers.

Among the innovations introduced at that time, most can also be found in their latest loudspeakers too. The list includes:

  • silk, coated tweeter dome,
  • MSP: magnesium silicate polymer, doped polypropylene, material for the diaphragms of the midrange and bass woofers,
  • large diameter aluminum coils,
  • magnets placed inside the coil,
  • cast magnesium alloy baskets,
  • DDC: Dynaudio Directivity Control, symmetrical arrangement of the drivers along the axis of the speaker, reducing reflections from the floor and ceiling.

Today, almost forty years later, the assumptions made by Dynaudio engineers at the time are still working. I will say even that due to constant development and improvements, they turn out to be one of the best. However, this should not come as a surprise if we consider that it is a solid, stable company "driven" by engineers. What’s more, these engineers are still learning. So it was no surprise that in 2014 the company was valued at $ 41.5 million and was bought by the Chinese company GoerTek, based in eastern Shandong.

⸤ CONFIDENCE 60 in a huge an-echoic chamber with microphones positioned in a semicircle - this is how the response of the loudspeakers is measured in all axes | photo: press mats

Dynaudio was founded by engineers and is led by engineers. This approach gave excellent results, because the everything was based on measurements, supported to some extent by listening sessions. Somewhere in the middle of the second decade of the twenty-first century, however, I heard a rumor that the Dynaudio started to pay more attention to the listening tests. The basis of development were still precise and conscious measurements and the photos from the an-echoic room were impressive, but something changed. This combination of technology and the human factor resulted in not just progress but a real qualitative leap. This is how the Confidence series was born.


The CONFIDENCE 50 MODEL was first presented shown in a time when audio shows still took place - in 2018, in the exhibition halls of the M.O.C. in Munich. The entire CONFIDENCE series was presented at that time, including four models: bookshelf '20' and floor-standers: '30', '50' and '60'. As we said during the test of the Confidence 30 model, their design turned out to be so complicated and time-consuming in the application that a serial production actually started only in mid-2019.

TECHNICS CONFIDENCE 50 are three-way floor-standers with vented, bass-reflex cabinets. These is a large design, measuring stunning 1557 mm in height and weighing almost 50 kg a piece. Still, they are not overwhelming, they are not bulky, due to slim cabinets - their front baffle are only 364 mm wide, and the speakers are 424 mm deep. The rear baffle is rounded, repeating the shape invented years ago by Franco Serblin for his Sonus faber loudspeakers and most often called a "lute".

The front baffle is extremely thick and has been profiled in such a way as to minimize deflection and reflection of waves from the tweeters and midrange drivers. An additional layer the drivers are actually fixed to is a composite baffle called Compex, which is characterized by good internal damping. At the height of the tweeter you can see something like an acoustic "lens" which distributes the sound waves in an appropriate way. The loudspeakers are finished with natural veneers available in several colors and coated with several layers of varnish.

Treble | By the way, there are as many as five drivers - this is part of the DDC system that we talked about. The treble is handled by the Esotar3 silk dome tweeter. This is one of the best drivers of its kind in the world. It has been the case for years - as it was with its first version, the Esotar (that we know from the Sonus faber Electa Amator speakers), and the Esotar2, launched in 2002 featured in the Confidence II series (C2 II, C4 II). The diaphragm of this unit is coated with an anti-vibration layer. The cone behind it, named Hexis, also helps to minimize vibration. The driver features a large neodymium magnet.

⸤ ESOTAR 3 tweeter | photo: press materials

Midrange | Symmetrically, on both sides of the tweeter there are two mid-range drivers - in the Confidence 30 model there was only one. These are drivers with a diameter of ø 150 mm, featuring polymer MSP membranes doped with magnesium, made of a single piece of material. Their latest versions have new baskets and motor systems. As I wrote before, it is interesting that the coil diameter is much smaller in them than it used to be, when the whole magnetic system was placed inside it. This means that the company gave up one of its flagship solutions.

Bass | The bass is reproduced by two ø 180 mm woofers each belonging to the new NeoTec series. Their construction is very similar to that of the midrange units - they are simply larger. The carcasses of their coils are made of fiberglass for optimal rigidity. The coils themselves are wound with a copper wire, which is another change compared to the assumptions made years ago, i.e. aluminum coils.

⸤ NeoTec bass woofer | photo: press materials

A new basket shape was developed using advanced simulations with topology optimization. The new solution improves air flow while maintaining the stability and rigidity of the structure, and at the same time reduces its weight without compromising the driver’s parameters. The magnets are of neodymium type and enclosed in metal "cups" - in the center of their rear part you can see a modeled, wide outlet allowing the rear part of the dust cone to move freely.

The drivers work in a parallel system, in a common bass-reflex chamber. Its outlet is placed at the bottom of the speaker, so it is coupled with the room in an optimized way. The distance from the ground is determined by large, solid spikes, the height of which is adjustable from the top, using comfortable, knurled nuts.

The spikes can be placed on special pads. One finds them in a box with a large, round spirit level, cotton gloves and spikes. The Polish Dynaudio distributor, however, has a surprise for his customers - anti-vibration platforms with a shape matching the shape of the steel frame on which the speakers rest.

The platforms are very similar to those offered by the Japanese company Acoustic Revive. A bunch of amorphous quartz granules are poured into the lower wooden part, on which the upper, also wooden, plate “floats”. At the top, there are recesses for the Acoustic Revive CPU-8 brass stands, on which the spikes rest. A really nice, elegant solution - I use similar platforms, signed by Mr. Ken Ishiguro, the owner of AR, under my Harbeth M40.1 speakers.

Crossover The crossover was placed in a separate compartment at the bottom of the cabinet. The crossover points were chosen differently than in the smaller model, shifting the frequencies lower. Now the midrange driver processes the band from 200 to 2850 Hz (in the '30' model it covers a range from 290 to 3700 Hz). The division takes place in 2nd and 3rd order filters. For many, many years Dynaudio has used minimalist 1st order crossovers, i.e. with a 6 dB slope per octave. Apparently, the new drivers require different solutions. The signal is fed to the loudspeakers through single, gold-plated nextGen WBT speaker terminals.

TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION of the tested speakers took up much more space than usual. This is because Dynaudio Confidence 50 is a complex design, with many interesting technical innovations, which on the one hand migrate down the price list, to less expensive series, and on the other - we can be sure of that - will evolve, which in the future will result in a new, even better solutions.


HOW WE LISTENED THE TESTED SPEAKERS are large design that require a lot of space around them. To provide it to them, I moved my reference speakers, the Harbeth M40.1 with custom-made Acoustic Revive stands and PRO AUDIO BONO CERAMIC 60 SN anti-vibration feet, and on I placed Dynaudio speakers in their place. It just so happens that most of the speakers sound best in this arrangement.

The Confidence 50 were placed 2.30 m apart, counting from the tweeters, at a distance of 2.4 m from the listening position and 70 cm from the rear wall of the speakers. The tweeter was located 1.14 m from the floor. The signal to the speakers was sent using Siltech Triple Crown speaker cables from the Soulution 710 power amplifier (the speakers require a powerful amp).

Speaker terminals place closed to the floor level are a good idea as you don't need to use long cables, but in this case the terminals are really low. So it will be problematic to use rigid cables terminated with long spades - in my case the cable had to be placed on the floor, although I would prefer it to place it on the stand.

Recordings used for the test | a selection

⸤ ART BLAKEY & THE JAZZ MESSENGERS, Just Coolin', Blue Note/Universal Music LLC (Japan) UCGQ-9027, SHM-SACD ([1959] 2020);
⸤ BLACK SABBATH, 13, Vertigo/Universal Music LLC (Japan) UICN-1034/5, 2 x SHM-CD (2013);
⸤ DREAM THEATER, The Astonishing, Roadrunner Records/Warner Music Japan WPCR-17071/2, 2 x CD (2016)
⸤ ENYA, 6 Tracks, WEA Records/Warner-Pioneer Corporation 20P2-2725, CD (1989)
⸤ LAURIE ANDERSON, Homeland, Nonesuch 524055-2, CD + DVD (2010);
⸤ PATRICIA BARBER, Companion, Premonition Records/Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab UDSACD 2023, SACD/CD (1999/2003);
⸤ SŁAWEK JASKUŁKE, Park.Live, Sea ‎54.439954/Core Port RPOZ-10053, CD (2020);
⸤ STEVE KUHN TRIO, Life’s Magic, Blackhawk Records BHK 522-2, CD (1986)

I STARTED THE DYNAUDIO LISTENING with a difficult album, the Steve Kuhn Trio’s Life's Magic. The difficulty I am talking about is that this is a digital recording from 1986 captured directly onto the two tracks of a Mistsubishi X-80 reel-to-reel tape recorder. This is one of the albums that, due to Covid-19 lockdown, did not arrive on time and so I couldn’t write about it in the second part of the article entitled MITSUBISHI ProDigi, using its LP version instead (more HERE).

Again: the difficulty is that it's a specific recording. Extremely puristic, like a direct-to-disc, with an incredibly good treble, but also with an insufficient bass. As if the sound engineer, David Baker, who passed in 2004, an otherwise excellent sound engineer, a man recording John McLaughlin, Shirley Horn, Miles Davis, Medeski, Martin & Wood or Al Di Meola, was afraid to emphasize it, aware that there was no "reserve" in the form of analog tape saturation. Over time, these problems were resolved, but in the 1980s they seemed to belong to the new medium - and they were really not, it was a production problem, not a hardware problem.

Anyway, the Dynaudio showed all the sound elements I was talking about, as if they were studio monitors - precisely, faithfully, honestly, with a lot of dynamics and depth. But they did not "emphasize" the weaknesses, making it an interesting listening experience, because both the sound was good and the production was good. They also showed something that Richard James Burgess talked about in his book The history of music production, namely that the dynamics of these early digital recordings are incredibly good, that finally the drums got the right start and stop, that it was close to live sound. In this case the sound was still not saturated enough, too light, but it heralds a revolution that came with DSD recordings, which offer both the dynamics of such recordings and the timbre of the LP.

EFFORTLESS DYNAUDIO ARE A LITTLE LIKE A keyhole, through which we were allowed to see what is behind the "door" of the recording, to glance, even briefly, at the interior of the recording studio (or at least our image of it), or at the scene during the performance. These are loudspeakers with incredibly low distortions and a very linear sound, hence I mentioned the "monitors" comparison. At home, I had only two pairs of speakers that went so far in opening the sound, in such a good "embracing" of everything at once: the American YG Acoustics HAILEY 1.2 and the Austrian Lumen White KYARA.

The Confidence 50 achieves this primarily due to the extraordinary effortlessness present the sound with. I listened to them quietly, listened to them loud, listened to them sitting, standing and walking - they always sounded in an equally coherent, relaxed way, as if they had no dynamic limit, or as if I could not pinpoint it. When I listened to the electronics from the Aquavoice’s Silence, a live recording from the Patricia Barber’s Companion, when I wanted to see how the loudspeakers would handle the space in the Falling from the Laurie Anderson’s Homeland, they surprised me with that every time.

This is a different sound than my Harbeths have to offer and, for example, the FinkTeam BORG, I reviewed in March 2019 (HF № 179). It is closer to the sound of high-efficiency loudspeakers, even those based on full-range drivers, such as Closer Acoustics ADAM, and also to loudspeakers with a closed enclosure. It is about an immediate energy transfer, open, clean sound with great dynamics. In this case, there is also an excellent bass extension and outstanding clarity of both ends of the band. In terms of cleanliness and openness, they are better speakers than my Harbeths, even much better.

They are also more faithful to the letter of the recording. When Sławek Jaskułke plays a solo concert in the open air in front of the Sopot Museum, his rather warm and intimately recorded piano is close to us and is really tangible, and all the sounds around, that is, part of the "concrete music", as the pianist says about this recording, all this it is far, higher in the range, creating a beautiful aura. The loudspeakers distinguish such things first-class, because, without losing sight of the details, they describe the whole in such a way that everything "sticks together", we can really "see" this sound situation. But also, it has to be said, they do not compress the air in the room like the Harbeths, they do not thicken the atmosphere of the recording. And they don't try, like British monitors, to show each disc at its best.

But it was with the tested Dynaudio that I first heard how close in the phrasing of this recording, especially in the part entitled Park II, the piano sounds like an electronic instrument, for example a Rhodes electric piano. When I already realized that, it turned out that the Harbeths also were able to show it - just not in the same way. My loudspeakers have a more emphasized range between 100 and 300 Hz, so they generate a different type of presentation. Dynaudio open a window in front of us without limitations in any axis, and the Harbeths focus our attention on the presentation. In other words - Dynaudio take us to a different space, and Harbeths create a different space in our room. And these are two completely different realities.

PURITY EVERY TIME with Confidence 50, vocal recordings sounded beautiful, and the ones of early music even best. When in the recording there is a large church space and high voices, Dynaudio shows what it means for them to be clean, open and not aggressive. The vast majority of loudspeakers, regardless of the price and design, simplify both this space and these voices. Or worse, by losing information, it compresses the presentation, hardening it and focusing on details, which ultimately ruins such a recording. Dynaudio are unique in this respect, because they show a huge space, and at the same time perfectly show the size and shape of the singers on such albums as Filia Praeclara with the Ensemble Peregrina and Legend of St Nicholas performed by Anonymous 4.

At first glance, the tested Dynaudio sound lighter than the reference speakers. The bass is not so intense and so palpable, and the treble is stronger. It is not so, or at least not entirely. In fact, the Dynaudio's bass goes almost as deep, only that it doesn't have the fleshiness of the British "monitors". It is better differentiated in the mid and upper range, and lower it behaves as in large loudspeakers with a closed cabinet. It was perfectly shown by the new remaster on the hybrid SACD/CD, the Miles Davis Live, where Michael Henderson's electric bass in the Sivad and Dave Holland in Little Church reached very low and was strong and dense.

BASS The recording of God Is Dead? from the 13 by Black Sabbath showed how low bass can go and how to perfectly show the kick drum - it was strong, dense and full. Ozzy's heavily compressed vocal was shown close to me, but behind the line connecting the speakers. It also had a good volume and size compared to guitars, perfectly filling the background. Because these are very universal speakers. Both Jaskułke's piano and Black Sabbath guitar riffs, and then Dream Theater from the The Astonishing - it did not matter which album I played the recordings from, because they were presented with equal attention and vigilance.

When preparing to testing these loudspeakers, I had to take into account their size, i.e. both the dimensions and the distance between the tweeter and the floor, as well as the angle at which I would listen to them, sitting in the semi-near field. The latter turned out to be absolutely hassle-free. Rising from the seat, the diameter slightly filled, but these were not big changes. If I hadn't been focused on them, I might not have noticed them at all.

But I was more worried about the bass. As it turns out - unnecessarily. These are loudspeakers that will sound great even in a shoe box. Simply, the smaller the room, i.e. the less air has to be moved around, the more they resemble closed-enclosure speakers. I mean the bass seems slightly muffled then, in the language of the designers. This makes it a bit less energetic. On the other hand, it absolutely does not lead to rumble or bass domination. But let's put them in a large room, and the sound will develop and grow stronger.

In a small room and sitting close to them, the sound will be great, precise, strong, saturated, never aggressive and without a trace of boosted bass. Their size forces the scale and mass by itself, but without the problems that usually bass-reflex speakers have in small rooms or standing close to the wall. The Dynaudio Confidence 50 seems to be devoid of these problems and will deliver a tonally balanced sound in each cubature.

| Summary

I ENDED MY LISTENING SESSION with the Dynaudio listening to Enya’s album, released in Japan by Warner-Pioneer Corporation, a "sampler" with six tracks. Everything that I wrote about above was again clear in the sound. Imaging is above average - width, depth and height are excellent, and differentiation of layers using tonality, not by "cutting" them from the background - was exceptional.

These are loudspeakers with incredible dynamics and an excellent opening of both ends of the band. They are not as saturated as the Harbeths, nor do they move the air in an equally tangible way. They are different - they move the foreground away from us and make the whole presentation appear more live-like. „Appear” are not because they do it wrong, but because other designs do not try to keep them, telling everything their own way. Dynaudio stick to what is there in the recording, not exceeding the line of good taste, also playing nicely discs that are of lesser quality in terms of production.

These are one of the best loudspeakers I have listened to in my system and one of the best I have ever heard. The triumph of true, conscious engineering, combined with musical sensitivity.

Technical specifications (acc. to the manufacturer)

Sensitivity: 87 dB (2.83 V/1 m)
Power handling (IEC): 400 W
Impedance: nominal 4 Ω | minimal 2.7 Ω/79 Hz
Frequency range (± 3 dB): 35 Hz–22 kHz
Crossover points: 200, 2860 Hz
Crossover: 2th/3th order with DDC
2x 180 mm MSP | 2x 150 mm MSP | 28 mm Esotar3
Dimensions (W x H x D): 218 x 1512 x 399 mm
Dimensions incl. Feet and grills (W x H x D): 364 x 1557 x 424 mm
Weight: 49.6 kg/pc.


Reference system 2020

1) Loudspeakers: HARBETH M40.1 |REVIEW|
2) Line preamplifier: AYON AUDIO Spheris III Linestage |REVIEW|
3) Super Audio CD Player: AYON AUDIO CD-35 HF Edition No. 01/50 |REVIEW|
4) Stands (loudspeakers): ACOUSTIC REVIVE (custom) |ABOUT|
5) Power amplifier: SOULUTION 710
6) Loudspeaker filter: SPEC REAL-SOUND PROCESSOR RSP-AZ9EX (prototype) |REVIEW|
7) Hi-Fi rack: FINITE ELEMENTE Pagode Edition |ABOUT|


Analog interconnect SACD Player - Line preamplifier: SILTECH Triple Crown (1 m) |ABOUT|
Analog interconnect Line preamplifier - Power amplifier: ACOUSTIC REVIVE RCA-1.0 Absolute-FM (1 m) |REVIEW|
Speaker cable: SILTECH Triple Crown (2.5 m) |ABOUT|

AC Power

Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - SACD Player: SILTECH Triple Crown
Power (2 m) |ARTICLE|
Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - Line preamplifier - ACOUSTIC REVIVE
Power Reference Triple-C (2 m) |REVIEW|
Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - Power amplifier - ACROLINK Mexcel 7N-PC9500 |ARTICLE|
Power cable | Power Receptacle - Mains Power Distribution Block: ACROLINK Mexcel 7N-PC9500 (2 m) |ARTICLE|
Power Receptacle: Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu ULTIMATE |REVIEW|
Anti-vibration platform under Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu ULTIMATE: Asura QUALITY RECOVERY SYSTEM Level 1 |REVIEW|
Power Supply Conditioner: Acoustic Revive RPC-1 |REVIEW|
Power Supply Conditioner: Acoustic Revive RAS-14 Triple-C |REVIEW|
Passive filter EMI/RFI: VERICTUM Block |REVIEW|


Speaker stands: ACOUSTIC REVIVE (custom)
Hi-Fi rack: FINITE ELEMENTE Pagode Edition |ABOUT|
Anti-vibration platforms: ACOUSTIC REVIVE RAF-48H |ARTICLE|

  • HARMONIX TU-666M "BeauTone" MILLION MAESTRO 20th Anniversary Edition |REVIEW|


Phono preamplifier: Phono cartridges: Tonearm (12"): Reed 3P |REVIEW|

Clamp: PATHE WINGS Titanium PW-Ti 770 | Limited Edition

Record mats:


Headphone amplifier: AYON AUDIO HA-3 |REVIEW|

Headphones: Headphone Cables: Forza AudioWorks NOIR HYBRID HPC