Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

To Hans Wetzel,

I was looking for some good articles or reviews on Hegel Music Systems' H300 and Dynaudio's Focus 160. Well, I recently bought these two products. I have received the speakers and am now waiting for the Hegel H300 to arrive. Initially I wanted to buy Musical Fidelity's M6i with the speaker choice of either KEF's LS50 or Dynaudio's Focus 160. But my dealer convinced me that the Hegel H300 is far superior to the M6i and I was offered a huge discount on the Hegel, as well. As for the speakers, to be honest I couldn't look away from the beautiful sound of the Dynaudios, even though the LS50 is a game-changer.

Right now I am in doubt with my purchase on the speakers. KEF and Hegel is a great match. I wonder how good the Focus 160 will sound with the H300. The reason for the doubt is mainly that I have my Focus 160s connected to a vintage Pioneer SA-710. And to tell you the truth I am not sold on the sound of Dynaudio yet! Well I know the amplifier that I am using is not enough or even near to enough to drive speakers like the Focus 160, but still there is a little bug in my head that's been bugging me for a while. I can still change the speakers to the KEFs. For me an audition is not an option. So, I humbly request your expert view on this matter.

Best regards,
Riasat Raian

Maybe I'm biased, as I run KEF's R900 and the Hegel H300 in my reference system, but I think you're very much on the right track in the equipment you discuss here. While I agree that the $1500/pair KEFs would work very well with the Hegel, I think the $2900/pair Dynaudios would work just as well, and probably even better. I used Dynaudio's Contour 1.8 Mk II for almost eight years, so I'm not unfamiliar with Dynaudio, even if I have not had anything newer of theirs.

I know, as you do, that the LS50 is a crazy-good speaker. I was actually on the phone with the folks from KEF earlier today and they told me that it took the company six months to sell three times as many pairs of LS50s as they were expecting to sell in a year. So a lot of other people are also well aware of how good the LS50 is. I have no doubt that you'd be happy with them. But if you "couldn't look away from the beautiful sound of the Dynaudios," I really wouldn't stress out about it. Like KEF, Dynaudio has been making very high-quality speakers for decades. Their cabinets are also of high quality, and the wood-grain finish available on the 160s stands in stark contrast to the black-and-rose-gold combination found on the KEFs. You'll also likely get more substantial bass out of the Dynaudios due to their increased cabinet size and larger mid-bass driver.

My personal choice would be the LS50, if only because you would get a level of performance that approaches or possibly even equals that of the Dynaudios (short of the bass) for almost half the price. But it sounds like you're pretty content with the Focus 160s, so I don't see a pressing need to get rid of them before the Hegel even shows up. My advice would be to try the Dynaudio/Hegel combination and see what you think. I suspect you'll be pretty happy. . . . Hans Wetzel