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  1. #1

    Member Sales Rating: (11)

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Outside Boston

    Default Brief Review on Dynaudio Focus 220

    Ok, here is a quiick review of Dynaudio Focus 220 at Goodwin’s Highend in Waltham, MA.

    CDP: Moon don’t know the model
    Amp: Musical Fidelity A3
    Speaker cable: Some new Nordost, don’t know about the IC’s
    Speaker: Dynaudio Focus 220 speakers
    All in well treated room

    Malcolm was cool invited me to have a seat and I told him what I had for equipment and what I was looking to hear. Before long he had me set up in a medium sized room with what he described as something “similar” to the sound he thought I might have at home.

    I played mostly acoustic music, female vocals, a little jazz and some hip-hop, I just never got to Rock for some reason, I only had an hour.

    This review in some ways is more of a comparitive analysis between my RT800i and the Focus 220s since I don’t have a lot of listening experience.

    As you might expect the Dynaudio’s beat out the RT800i in every area. That’s no surprise.

    -Soundstage was bigger - not huge or surrounding (doesn’t take much to outdo the 800s)
    -Dynamics were better with more detail, guitar plucks and lip crackles and breathing was more evident – there was higher resolution all over
    -Bass was smoother and did a nice job when going a bit lower
    -Overall a bit richer in tonality
    - I don’t recall thinking wow listen to the sound of those wooden drumsticks striking xyz item (is this timbre? ) I thought there was detail but it didn’t translate to being real instruments except maybe guitar or piano in a couple of spots and on one ocassion a Sax
    -I was a step closer to believing that at least the female vocalist’s voice could have been in the room. She wasn’t there in person but her voice could have been there. Still a step away from believing a person was in the room singing if that makes any sense.
    -The sound was not forward/direct like beams of light out of boxes that I sometimes feel like I’m getting with the 800s.
    -The sound was mellow or lean( I think he used lean to describe the CDP before we started), I don’t think laid back is the word but maybe I should say “even”? The music was there but not “palpable” in the way I thought it might be. It never grabbed me and got me excited. I've seen someone I think refer to this as being too polite.

    There was no Holy crap at any point and for $2500 more than my current speakers I thought there might have been. (Maybe I should have played some Rock n’ Roll?)

    Ok so it was better in basically everyway. Would I put down $3k for a new pair, no way. A used pair for $1200, maybe. I felt like I should be getting more for my money. I wanted bigger soundstage and for the music to be more powerful/palpable instead I was just left wanting more. The music just didn’t hit me. Maybe I just need to get used to a different sound.

    I did come away feeling like for the $500 I paid for my speakers 5 years ago I still have a good thing. The RT800s do a good job even if bright and forward sounding, which I think works ok for acoustic or vocal based music, at least more so than other kinds. I know my systems limitations but at the very least I feel like the sound is clean even if some of those other superlatives don't apply.
    2. CH: Rega P3-24, Oppo BDP 95, Rogue Ninety Nine Magnum, Rogue Stereo 90, Tyler Linbrook Sig. Monitors, Audio Art Cables, APC H15

  2. #2

    Member Sales Rating: (16)

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Six 'Burgh (Pittsburgh), PA



    We need you to hear some SDA's. Good SDA's like a CRS+ or a SDA-2 (A, B or original) are not large and will knock your socks off for a couple hundred dollars. For $500 - $600 we can get you into some SDA-1A's which are also very good. The SDA-1's are starting to get up there in size, but for the money SDA's are an exceptional value. Are they the end all in sound? Of course not, but I think any of these would get you the sound you may be looking for. They go up for sale all the time around Boston.:D

  3. #3

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Annandale, Va


    Have you noticed how the price of SDA's are going up these days? Most mint models of SDA-1's fetch in the upper half of the millenium.
    Lovin that music year after year.

    Main 2 Channel System

    Polk SDA-1B,
    Promitheus Audio TVC SE,
    Rotel RB-980BX,
    OPPO DV-970HD,
    Lite Audio DAC AH,
    IXOS XHA305 Interconnects

    Computer Rig

    Polk SDA CRS+,
    Creek Audio 5350 SE,
    Morrow Audio MA1 Interconnect,
    HRT Music Streamer II

  4. #4

    Member Sales Rating: (21)

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Deep Down the Rabbit Hole


    Quote Originally Posted by schwarcw

    We need you to hear some SDA's. Good SDA's like a CRS+ or a SDA-2 (A, B or original) are not large and will knock your socks off for a couple hundred dollars. :D
    Of course there are no bad SDA.;)

    Thanks for the review, always good to branch out a bit and listen to something different.

    I have noticed cost's going up in general, I saw Musical Fidelity's new gear being advertised as "budget" gear, its 3 Grand retail, so I guess the word "budget" is a relative thing.

    B&K 7270 amplifier
    Polk SWA-500 Subwoofer amplifier
    OppO BDP-83
    Pioneer Elite 50"
    Polk LCi-RTS-105;LCi-RTS-C;LCi-RTSFx;LCi80Fx
    Subs-Twin Polk CSW200

    BAT VK-31SE
    VTL MB-450 Signature monoblock
    Wolcott Presence monoblock
    Musical Fidelity kW SACD
    Rega P25/RB600/Clearaudio Aurum Beta
    Acoustech Phono-Pre
    Sound Lab Millenium ELS
    BillyBags Rack
    MIT S1/3 cables
    Shunyata/PS Audio/Virtual Dynamics Power Cords

    Everthing Matters...Tubes Rule...and It's Over until it's Not Over

  5. #5

    Member Sales Rating: (2)

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Northborough, MA


    Good review. How did you like Goodwin's, I love that place! Very nice people, fantastic setups, and you really get a chance to listen to what you would be buying (although you are listening in an almost sonically perfect room). Goodwin's was where I first got to hear my Focus 110's and I was sold on the spot! The Focus line is definately a more subdued, detailed sound, I think you got it right saying that everything you hear is very even sounding. While I have not heard the 800's, from what I have heard about them, I can imagine that they are very different sounding.

    That is a very nice system you have there, so it does not suprise me that you did not think the extra cash was worth it.

  6. #6

    Member Sales Rating: (11)

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Outside Boston


    Goodwin's was great. A real professional setup. Not some half ass place with a bunch of plugs, wires and junk laying around. Like I mentioned Malcolm was cool and easy going and left me alone to listen as long as I wanted. For those that don't know the rooms all very well treated and there are maybe 8 of them. About half dedicated to home theater.

    I thought it was great. Only problem is it's too far from my house. (Hmmm, maybe it's a good thing :) ) Definitely want to get back there....soon.

    "Even" really is fitting I think, the presentation was good in all areas but not over-the-top in any one area. My description as laid back might in reality be perfect, I'm just not accustomed to it.

    I'm feeling good about my setup but the speakers are really the key for me at this point. I'm hoping a new set will unlock potential in the system that just can't be had with the 800s. I don't have a lot of money or room in my place so I'll probably try to do a lot of listening before making a purchase. I'd like to feel satisfied for a while after a healthy speaker purchase. I'd really like to consider something other than floorstanders but can't at this point with two kids.
    2. CH: Rega P3-24, Oppo BDP 95, Rogue Ninety Nine Magnum, Rogue Stereo 90, Tyler Linbrook Sig. Monitors, Audio Art Cables, APC H15

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