As one of the world’s top Hi-end speaker brands, Dynaudio has always insisted on designing and manufacturing the world’s best speakers since its establishment in Denmark in 1977. It has also won the recognition of music lovers all over the world with its excellent sound performance. Dynaudio speakers are known for their “neutral tone, faithful restoration, extremely low distortion, and fast transients.”
As one of Dynaudio’s most crucial product series, Contour’s original intention was to bring advanced technology and high-quality HiFi speakers. Since releasing in the 1980s, the Contour Series has achieved great success and has been widely praised for the performance. After nearly 30 years of testing, it still has an excellent reputation and numerous users. The recent Contour series are the best examples, and Dynaudio Contour 60 is one of the new generations of Dynaudio products.
In 2016, a question was posed before the entire Dynaudio team: Should the Contour series be cancelled? This question was rejected almost immediately. So more questions came one after another, which evolved into a long strategic discussion. What if Dynaudio wants to launch a new Contour? Is it a small incremental optimization or a redesign from zero? As a product series that has been passed on for nearly 30 years, it has been regarded as classic worldwide. Does Dynaudio have the courage to subvert it completely?
Dynaudio has never stopped innovating, and the new Contour has been designed from scratch. At the beginning of the development, Dynaudio established a new R&D team, including Dynaudio’s original engineers, newly recruited young engineers, and engineers hired from other companies. The three parties work together to create a new “core product” that can continue to lead Dynaudio, develop the new generation of Contour as a new product, and give it a new definition and concept to achieve the sound level of the next generation of speakers.
There are currently four products in the Contour series: Contour 60 floor-standing speaker, Contour 30 floor-standing speaker, Contour 20 bookshelf speaker, and Contour 25C center channel speaker. Contour 60 is the flagship of the series, a 4-driver, 3-channel floor-standing speaker. The tweeter uses the same top Esotar 2 silk soft-dome tweeter as the flagship Evidence series, which is the first time this tweeter is used on the Contour series speakers. The midrange unit uses a 15cm MSP unit, and the bass unit uses two 10-inch MSP units. On Contour 30 and 20, the mid-bass unit used is an 18cm “18W55” unit. When it comes to Contour 60, the midrange and bass are separated, and the frequency below 220Hz is given to two 10-inch woofers.
Significantly Upgraded Tweeter Esotar²
This famous 28mm soft dome tweeter is a top masterpiece that Dynaudio is proud of, and it is also recognized as one of the best tweeters in the world. Esotar² uses a powerful neodymium magnet system, combining with Dynaudio’s exclusive special precision coating and magnetic fluid cooling and shock absorption technology. That can present you with excellent high-frequency extension and balanced frequency response. Its sound is gorgeous, transparent, fresh, rich in details, distinct layers, natural transition, giving audiophiles unique hearing experience. For a long time, this legendary tweeter is only allowed to be used in Dynaudio’s top proof series and confidence series.
The quality and performance of this Esotar² unit on the new Dynaudio Contour 60 are the same as those used in the flagship Evidence series. It is no exaggeration to say that the full use of the Esotar² tweeter makes the performance of the new Contour a qualitative leap.
Newly Designed Bass Unit
Dynaudio Contour 60 uses two 10-inch 24W65 woofers. To obtain the ideal overall sound performance, Dynaudio specially designed a brand new woofer -24W65 for the new Contour 60. The reason for this careful design is that the previous generation Contour woofer can no longer meet the requirements. In other words, to match Dynaudio’s best treble Esotar², a new and more powerful woofer is needed. The 24W65 woofer uses a titanium voice coil with a unique magnetic engine and copper-plated aluminum wire winding. With two bass ports on the back, the Contour 60’s low-frequency sound can easily drop to 28Hz.
The new woofer adopts a rear magnet system, which can use larger and better-performing magnets while ensuring heat dissipation, while significantly increasing the unit’s winding height and stroke. That will undoubtedly allow the new Contour to dive at low frequencies, and the low-frequency energy will be improved considerably.
Dynaudio tried various diaphragms but finally decided to use Dynaudio’s iconic MSP (magnesium silicate polymer). This material combines lightweight, high rigidity, and excellent damping characteristics. The R & D team worked hard to reduce the diaphragm’s thickness by 0.1mm, which effectively reduced weight and enhanced control. Besides, Dynaudio has also optimized the frequency response characteristics of the entire woofer, enabling it to reproduce more opulent sound details.
The large voice coil design is still used, which can bring low distortion, extensive dynamic range, and better control. The new unit’s voice coil diameter is significantly smaller than the previous generation, reducing the power amplifier Performance requirements considerably. Besides, Dynaudio engineers have also managed to improve the patency of the voice coil of the new unit, so that the unit receives less resistance when working, and has a better sense of hearing while increasing efficiency.
Mid-bass Unit Uses FEM-Design Assisting
The 15M38 midrange unit and bass unit 24W65 of the new Dynaudio Contour 60 adopt FEM (Finite Element Method) in the design process, which not only shortens the design time but also dramatically improves the performance of the mid and bass unit.
The so-called FEM is the use of computer models to simulate real conditions. First, calculate on the computer, and if the result is good, make a sample for field testing. In this way, not only can it simulate situations that have never been thought of before, but also allow various ideas to be simulated and verified on the computer, which can significantly reduce the development time.
For example, The new spider of the 15M38 midrange unit is the product of careful FEM analysis. In this process, Dynaudio engineers discovered that if you use an asymmetrical spider with an extra and smaller wave to improve the entire system’s total symmetry, it will enhance the performance.
What does it mean? The width of each circle of the traditional spider is the same. The spider of the 15M38 midrange unit has a narrower inner ring interval and a wider outer ring interval, which can prevent the slightest irregular vibration, so it has the same smooth performance in different frequency bands.
Using an asymmetrical design meant optimized its corrugations and stiffened the spider, which gives the 15M38 unit more control over the voice-coil, preventing even the slightest irregularities in its movement.
Besides, the 15M38 midrange unit is 6 inches in size. The thickness is thinner than before, but the rigidity remains unchanged, so the damping effect is better, and the response is faster than before. The sound at different volume levels is more linear. It is also equipped with large-size dual magnets, glass fiber voice coils, and aluminum wire windings. The length of the voice coil is 24% longer, and the stroke is 70% longer than before, which dramatically improves performance.
Newly Designed Crossover
The frequency divider is of considerable significance to the speaker. Its function is to separate the sound signals of different frequencies and assign them to different units (high-frequency signals to the tweeter, intermediate frequency signals to the midrange unit, and low-frequency signals to the woofer unit. ) To replay. The crossover of the new Contour has been precisely adjusted to make the treble and bass units work better， achieving excellent performance.
The use of a brand-new driver means that the divider also needs to be redesigned. To ensure the transmission quality of sound signals, Dynaudio also uses German Mundorf audiophile components (including capacitors, resistors, and inductors) on the new Contour frequency divider, which effectively guarantees the quality of sound signal transmission and avoids sound quality degradation.
Scientific Cabinet Design
Music lovers often encounter a problem. Most HiFi speakers in the room have an optimal listening position (commonly known as “sweet spot”). As long as the listener leaves this position, the sound will deteriorate significantly. The new Contour series fully adopts the arc-shaped cabinet design to solve this problem, not purely for visual aesthetic considerations. The arc of the cabinet is accurately calculated, which can effectively reduce the interference of high-frequency diffraction on the sound. The listener can feel the precise positioning and sound imaging even if they are not in the sweet spot and get the ideal listening effect.
Dynaudio has always attached great importance to the speaker cabinet design, for which the engineers spent considerable effort on the cabinet. The new Contour cabinet is made of multi-layer MDF boards glued together and then pressurized and fixed. The purpose is to increase the rigidity and weight of the cabinet, effectively suppress various negative vibrations, and enhance the directivity of the speaker sound (to make the sound Propagation forward instead of uncontrolled scattering around).
Not only that, but Dynaudio also placed new MDF dampening plates inside the speaker. There are many unique grooves on this plate, which are precisely made with KERF-cut technology. In addition to further suppressing resonance, it can also effectively absorb And cancel the sound wave interference behind the speaker to ensure that the speaker’s sound is played back accurately as expected.
Luxury Furniture-Grade Surface Treatment
The most significant change in the appearance of the Dynaudio Contour 60 is that the cabinet has become an arc. Dynaudio improves the listening effect through the arc speakers and makes the new Contour look softer and more comfortable to integrate into the home decoration through the changes in the shape.
To better meet the user’s requirements for the beauty and quality of home furnishings, the surface of the new Dynaudio Contour 60 cabinet has reached the level of luxury furniture, with the most beautiful solid wood veneer and 11 layers of paint. It takes at least 24 hours for each layer of paint to dry, and 12 days for all paint layers to dry. After each layer of lacquer is dry, the cabinet will be finely polished by hand. The overall process is extremely complicated and time-consuming, and each cabinet takes 3 weeks to complete.
When you touch the new Contour’s surface, you will be surprised by its texture and gloss. Contour 60 is so smooth and delicate, like a soft satin. Such craftsmanship has surpassed ordinary furniture and reached the luxury level.
14mm Solid Aluminum Baffle
The front baffle of the new Contour is also a highlight. All units are directly fixed on the front baffle. The front baffle is directly made of pure aluminum with a thickness of 14mm, which has excellent rigidity, stability, and damping characteristics. On the other hand, aluminum itself has almost no resonance, so it can effectively suppress the unit’s vibration, has a very positive impact on the overall sound.
This aluminum alloy baffle occupies almost two-thirds of the panel. At first glance, you will think that the thickness of the baffle is only about 2mm. Actually not. The actual thickness is 14mm. But Dynaudio cleverly hides the front baffle and embeds it in the cabinet, making the aluminum alloy baffle look very lightweight as if floating on the speaker, showing its ingenious design capabilities. The curved appearance is visually more elegant and fashionable. On the other hand, this can effectively reduce the unpleasant high-frequency diffraction, making the high-frequency clearer and brighter.
All units are directly fixed on this solid aluminum alloy baffle, which has an excellent effect on suppressing resonance, which means that the low frequency will be significantly improved. Not only that, but the Esotar² tweeter of Contour 60 is also locked on a separate 5mm aluminum baffle before being installed on a 14mm aluminum baffle. Because the tweeter is very sensitive, any small vibration will interfere with the vibration of the tweeter diaphragm, so Contour 60 uses a double baffle to fix the tweeter.
Powerful detail regeneration abilityThe critical feature of the New Dynaudio Contour 60 is its strong ability to reproduce details, which can faithfully present the timbre of musical instruments and vocals. That is a crucial part of audio playback.
There is no need to question the low-frequency capability of Contour 60, but it is evident that its low frequency is not excessive, and the resolution is first-rate. The mid-frequency has the right thickness, creamy texture, good transparency, and clarity, and the sound is naturally correct and pleasant. High frequency? The texture is delicate and not frizzy, stretches easily without being depressed. Therefore, the high frequency is bright and impeccable. The most important thing is that the three frequency bands of the high, medium and low are separated and merged so that I can hear the excellent sound field structure, even very complicated music.
The 8th track of “Closing the Loop” performs a low-frequency test. Among them are large-scale electric bass and jazz drums. It is necessary to show continuous low-frequency music without neglecting the impact of drumsticks hitting the drum. However, these are not difficult for Contour 60. The low frequencies are methodical and easy to dissolve, and I can also listen to them in a relaxed and happy manner.
Then let’s listen carefully to the high frequency of Contour 60. I chose Liza Ferschtman’s album Bach & Ysaÿe: Works for Violin Solo. I sit quite far away from Contour 60, nearly 4 meters. However, the distance does not affect the reproduction of details. I still clearly heard the rich timbre changes. It shows the well-deserved reputation of Esotar 2 treble.
Mid-frequency Vocal Performance
“Did Trouble Me” is an old song sung by Tom Jones. His mellow tone should attract many friends. Through the playback of Contour 60, I feel the massive scale of the recording. The sound field positioning is as precise as the picture. The position, size, and outline of the human voice and various instruments can be explained meticulously. Moreover, the extension of high and low frequencies is very natural and comfortable. The sound continuity is quite good, which once again proves the excellent driver design and manufacturing capabilities.
The highlight is the symphony. I chose the 2017 Vienna New Year Concert. Through this CD, Dynaudio Contour 60 fully demonstrated the strength of the large high-performance speakers. Whether it is a weak music segment or a climax ups and downs, Contour 60 always shows an excellent balance and clear music structure. Also, the separation of the various parts, the levels before and after the sound field, Contour 60 can all present one by one calmly.
Dynaudio Contour 60 Amplifier: How to Choose?
Most audiophiles often question whether Dynaudio speakers are good drives? According to my experience, although Contour 60 uses two 10-inch woofers, I think it is not difficult to drive. With a 100-watt LAV-60 MKII, the performance is remarkable. For example, Dali CD Volume 4 No. 3 “Min Módir,” you can hear the rich low-frequency gradation and changes, as well as a clear sense of extension and ending rhyme without the need to increase the volume. Of course, this is also due to the LAV-60 MKII, which has reasonable control and driving force, but the design of Contour 60 itself is also indispensable. However, this does not mean that a 100-watt amplifier is sufficient for the Contour 60. If you give it more power or a higher-end amplifier, it will have a better presentation.
When the first generation of Contour was released in 1989, it has been a best-selling product for many years. It has also significantly increased the popularity of Dynaudio and is an essential contributor to Dynaudio’s reputation in the international market. Therefore, Contour is a vital core product for Dynaudio. Each generation is updated more than ten years apart. The new Dynaudio Contour 60, as the flagship product of the latest contour series, not only retains the sound advantages of Dynaudio in the past but also makes significant progress in many places. The new Contour series, as the original Dynaudio R&D team said, symbolizes the direction of Dynaudio’s future speaker development.
New Dynaudio Contour 60 Specs
- Sensitivity: 88dB (2.83V / 1m)
- IEC Power Handling: 390W
- Impedance: 4 Ohms
- Frequency response (±3dB): 28Hz – 23kHz
- Box Principle: Bass Reflex Rear Ported
- Crossover: 3 way
- Crossover Frequency: 220 / 4500Hz
- Crossover Topology: 2nd Order
- Woofer: 2x23cm MSP
- Midrange: 15cm MSP
- Tweeter: 28mm Esotar2
- Weight: 54.3kg / 119.7lb
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 255 x 1330 x 420mm, 10 x 52.4 x 16.5in
- Dimensions with feet/grill (W x H x D): 343 x 1359 x 454mm, 13.5 x 53.5 x 17.9in