How much power?? ...Dynaudio Contour 30's

How much power?? ...Dynaudio Contour 30's

Postby aztwang » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:12 am

I've been considering a pair of mint Dynaudio Contour 30's...I can get them for a great price but I'm not sure
if I have enough amp to make these speakers "SING". I have a Primaluna Integrated Premium Dialogue HP
with stock EL34's. If I change to KT150's that gets me to 96w per channel. I've been told that I really need 150-200 per
channel and preferably a non-tube design to really make these speakers deliver what they were designed to do.
Other speakers I'm considering; Tannoy XT 8F and Goldenear Triton 2+.

I welcome your comments and help...
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Re: How much power?? ...Dynaudio Contour 30's

Postby Johnny » Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:30 am

I don't have any experience with that particular speaker model, but Dynaudio speakers are notoriously hard on tube amps and most users run them with SS amplification. I know that is a generalization, but you might be trying to put a square peg ina round hole. I would find a tube friendly speaker.
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Re: How much power?? ...Dynaudio Contour 30's

Postby JimTimP » Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:32 am

There is one huge faliacy that changing tubes will give you more output power. They may give some, but it will be a few watts at best.

Power tube rating are based upon the amount of power the plate can dissipate before it starts to distort the sound. It's a maximum rating. This rating is not what the tubes will produce under any circumstance.

What limits a tube amp's output is the plate voltage and current provided by the power supply of the amplifier. Using standard electronic math, the volts multiplied by the current in amperes equals the watts. Like a normal 60 watt light bulb is 120 X .5 = 60.

So, changing the tubes may give you a few watts due to a more efficient tube (or not!) it will not give you the rated plate dissipation unless you redesign the power supply or the power supply has sufficient headroom to provide more watts. However, you need that headroom to contribute to the dynamics of the music. So, there's a problem then. Also, we have a different issue. We need to understand the amount of drive delivered to the tubes. Is it sufficient? The amplifier is a chain as dependent upon leading and following members of that chain.

There is no free lunch in electronics. Using different tubes than designed for will change several audible factors within the amplifier. All tubes have different conductance curves and response curves in addition to capacitance, resistance and inductance factors all which will change the color of the sound. Some of this may be pleasing to your ears. Some may sound horrendous!

If you are really fixed on getting these speakers, and they are power hungry, then you amp might be due for a replacement. Swapping tube types is not going to do as much as audiophilia has led some to believe. It's simple physics and math.
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Re: How much power?? ...Dynaudio Contour 30's

Postby Khenegar » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:01 am

Aztwang: I would suggest u call Kevin at upscale audio and ask him if ur primaluna can handle the speakers u want, he is very knowledgeable on the amp. U could always purchase another amp and run them in mono! That would give u 150 a ch. i love the tube sound the midrange is wonderful and that’s where most of the music is! I love my primaluna Power amp im using it for driving my summits. Good listening
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Re: How much power?? ...Dynaudio Contour 30's

Postby leftside » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:59 pm

Depends upon the room size. I called Dynaudio in Europe when purchasing a set of mint Confidence C1's that became available on the local music market. They basically said "give it a try". These are paired with Mac MC75 mono amps. The power is more than sufficient. Anything above 50 (out of 100) on my preamp is uncomfortably loud. I no longer look at ads for speakers or amps (honest!).

Admittedly, the Dynaudios you are looking at are bigger than mine and have an IEC power handling spec of 300W, so you might indeed want more power. But don't think Dynaudio = "no tubes". The combo is a glorious sound.
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Re: How much power?? ...Dynaudio Contour 30's

Postby hlaudio » Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:34 pm

Hello Aztwang!

Of the speakers you are considering, I would go with the Tannoys!

You are currently listening to Elac B5s, fairly efficient speakers. And I think the big plus is dual concentric driver for mids & highs. The Tannoy is also a dual concentric design, very similar sonic footprint. And the Tannoy is much more efficient than the Dynaudio. Your amp will play nicely with the Tannoys but will be lacking with the Dynaudio.

Dynaudio speakers like big power, SS power with high damping factor to control the bass drivers. I don’t think your amp will ever make the Dynaudio speakers “sing”. The Tannoys will!

Enjoy the music,
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Re: How much power?? ...Dynaudio Contour 30's

Postby thegage » Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:27 pm

I have never heard the Contour or Tannoy speakers, but I'm currently running Triton 2+ speakers with a PrimaLuna ProLogue Four power amp--35 or so watts per channel with NOS EL34 tubes, and because of the powered woofer section in the Tritons that's more than enough to drive the speakers to insane levels in my 16 x 16 room. But more than that, it is a very nice match in terms of tone, soundstage, and overall musicality. The ProLogue replaced a a McCormack DNA 0.5 that was upgraded by Steve McCormack. The DNA was a fantastic amp, but the ProLogue just sounds more right. Given that the ProLogue Four is PrimaLuna's entry level amplifier, I can only imagine how good the Dialogue HP would sound with the Tritons.

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Re: How much power?? ...Dynaudio Contour 30's

Postby mreeter » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:40 am

If you can obtain the Contour 30's at good price, I would buy them. I auditioned a pair when they were first released, I don't recall what they were powered with, but it was a SS Amp.

They projected a beautiful, floating, 3D image that literly let the speakers disappear. I had a pair of the previous model Dyn's, Contour S3.4 LE's that I powered with a pair of Rogue Audio M-180 Tube Monoblocks, the M-180's drove the Dyn's beautifully, but their output is around 180 wpc.

I can't say if your Amp would drive them significantly or not, I just know the new Contour Line is an exceptional speaker!
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Re: How much power?? ...Dynaudio Contour 30's

Postby Golear » Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:52 pm

I went to the Dynaudio site and checked on the Contour 30. They specify the power as "300W IEC".

I'd not heard of "IEC power" before, and searched on the web. The first link was wikipedia, and it quotes an engineer at JBL:
For "routine application where high continuous, but non-distorted, output is likely to be encountered, a system should be powered with an amplifier capable of delivering the IEC rating of the system". This includes most consumer systems. "Such systems can often be inadvertently overdriven, or can go into feedback. When powered with an amplifier equal to their IEC rating, the user is guaranteed of safe operation."
(There's also a link to the actual article posted by the JBL engineer.)

One speaker manufacturer said to me that speakers generally don't have a max amp limit, as long as they're operated at undistorted levels, because the duration of the peak will be very short. But there can be issues if a power-hungry speaker is connected to a low-powered amp. The speaker may cause the amp to clip, and that will not be good for the amp or the speaker.

So based on that, the answer would be a "No". I would go for a pretty hefty amp. Minimum: 300 W RMS.
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Re: How much power?? ...Dynaudio Contour 30's

Postby Peer Gynt » Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:47 pm

Like Tim the Tool Man Taylor, I think it’s hard to go wrong with more power.

Having stepped through amps from 20 wpc on up, in my case I think that 250 wpc is the minimum price of admission. Speakers are tolerant of clean signals. They’re not tolerant of clipping.

Certainly with anything but a pure horn, 300 is better than 30.
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