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.