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Dynaudio Core 47 Review (Professional Monitor)

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Dynaudio Core 47 professional DSP monitor (powered speaker). It was kindly purchased by a member new and drop shipped to me and costs US $ 2,499.

The Core 47 (4 inch mid-range and 7 inch woofer) comes in a PA style cabinet that is a dens as you could get:

Dynaudio Core 47 Review DSP Professional Monitor.jpg


During playback, I could barely detect any vibrations though the cabinet. The back side though -- as I have seen in other amps -- does resonate more:

Dynaudio Core 47 Review DSP Back Panel AES Professional Monitor.jpg


Despite being DSP based, the controls are all mechanical which I like. Navigating tiny crappy menus on a lot of pro speakers can be a pain. That said, the switches don't have a good feel to them.

There are a set of switches to set the input levels and output gain. With the latter, there is some hiss in all settings and becomes especially loud at the highest setting. It was too much for me in my near-field listening (1 meter/3 to 4 feet).

The woofer and midrange have 500 watts of class D pascal amplification each which is nice. Many pro speakers run out of amplification before they run out of excursion in their drivers.

Even though the back is in vertical configuration, the front is horizontal and that is how I tested it. Acoustic center is stated to be the line between mid-range and tweeter and that is what I used. This forced me to heavily offset the speaker on my measurement stand, necessitating a secondary platform. A bit of diffraction on that side may have been created as a result.

Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than an anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

I performed over 1000 measurement which resulted in error rate of about 1%.

Dynaudio Core 47 Measurements
Acoustic measurements can be grouped in a way that can be perceptually analyzed to determine how good a speaker is and how it can be used in a room. This so called spinorama shows us just about everything we need to know about the speaker with respect to tonality and some flaws:

Dynaudio Core 47 frequency response Measurements Professional Monitor.png


I expected ruler flat response given the DSP and professional market but that is not what we have. Total variation is not high but what is there is spread across a wide range of critical frequencies. There are also directivity errors which I will show better in later graphs. For now, here is the near-field response of the drivers and port:

Dynaudio Core 47 Near field driver frequency response Measurements Professional Monitor.png


Front ports always cause more grief than rear ones in speakers and here is no exception. It is transmitting multiple resonances which while controlled, still serve to mess things up (relatively speaker). Strange to see that notch taken out of the mid-range. Wonder if it is to counteract the resonance from the port? If so, they don't quite match in frequency. Anyway, if you examine these measurements, you can see their impact on the spin graph shown first.

Early window response shows a step drop in highs and other irregularities due to less than perfect directivity:

Dynaudio Core 47 early window frequency response Measurements Professional Monitor.png


As such, predicted in-room response for far field listening is not nearly as smooth as in well designed professional speakers:

Dynaudio Core 47 predicted in-room frequency response Measurements Professional Monitor.png


The bad news on directivity starts with very uneven beam width (-6 dB red line):

Dynaudio Core 47 Horizontal beam width Measurements Professional Monitor.png


There seems to be no attempt at getting even off-axis response. There is beaming of the tweeter which we see as its response narrowing. Then there is that big notch between 1 and 1.5 kHz. Response therefore will be very variable based on room, location and listening position.

We see the same in horizontal directivity plot:

Dynaudio Core 47 Horizontal Directivity Measurements Professional Monitor.png


Vertical directivity is as bad as 2-way speakers which is strange as well:

Dynaudio Core 47 Vertical Directivity Measurements Professional Monitor.png


Stay at reference axis or a bit above. If you go too far up or down, you fall in those ditches (the "eyes" around 5 kHz), creating a hole in response.

I have a new presentation for you to better visualize the directivity of the speaker:

Dynaudio Core 47 3D Directivity Baloon Measurements Professional Monitor.png


I am sampling the entire 3-D sound field at three frequencies. An idea speaker would have a single color balloon that would become more oval in shape as frequencies go up (allow for directivity decrease). That is hard to do for any practical speaker. Here we see better approximation of that at 1000 Hz. As we climb up, response gets more complex and variable. Will be interesting to see how we do with other speakers moving forward as I plot this. Let me know what you think of this.

Our waterfall measurement shows ample resonances which are more internal ones than cabinet:

Dynaudio Core 47 CSD Waterfall Measurements Professional Monitor.png


Extra amplification power is really helping at lower playback levels:

Dynaudio Core 47 distortion vs frequency response Measurements Professional Monitor.png


Dynaudio Core 47 THD distortion vs frequency response Measurements Professional Monitor.png


The midrange though seems unhappy and starts to complain at 96 dBSPL.

Dynaudio Core 47 Listening Tests and Equalization
With most powered professional monitors, I only have to play a few seconds to know the sound is "right." That did not happen here. No matter what I played, I could not get enjoyable sound out of the Core 47. The frequency response variations are not high enough to explain this so it may be me. I did attempt to improve things using a bit of EQ:

Dynaudio Core 47 Equalization Professional Monitor.png


Subjectively, this made things a bit better sometimes, but not other times. So more care needs to go into creating such precise filters. When it did work, it definitely brought out what I though was missing in the sound.

On good news front, playback limit does not exist. I could crank up the Core 47 as much as I could tolerate (in near-field listening) and it kept getting louder and louder. I was however disappointed that it simply filtered out sub-bass so you need a sub to go with it.

Conclusions
At $2,500 I expect perfection in a professional powered monitor with DSP. I did not get that, objectively or subjectively. It is very strange but it seems that Dynaudio just doesn't believe in directivity control. Have they gone to a different school of speaker design that says off-axis response doesn't need to be similar in tonality to on-axis? How about lack of flatness of the frequency response despite having DSP for at least some correction?

Really, this thing feels like someone took a high powered engine and stuck it in a poor handling car. It has the dynamics but none of the perfect tonality you want out of a powered speaker.

Maybe I am wrong in which case I let you judge the measurements.

I can't recommend the Dynaudio Core 47. There are plenty of better sounding powered monitors which almost deliver perfection. Yes, they don't get as loud so you get to decide which is important to you.

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As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Appreciate any donations using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

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Matias

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stevenswall

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infinitesymphony

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Strange to see that notch taken out of the mid-range...There seems to be no attempt at getting even off-axis response. There is beaming of the tweeter which we see as its response narrowing. Then there is that big notch between 1 and 1.5 kHz. Response therefore will be very variable based on room, location and listening position.


I'mma take this opportunity to quote myself from a little while back:
I believe part of the Dynaudio house sound involves an intentional dip in the sensitivity range to remove harshness, like a BBC dip but at a lower 1.5-2.0 KHz frequency.

Looks like it's a bit lower here than it was in the other examples (see link), but maybe the same idea. Or it could just be an artifact of their front-port design that carries over.
 

dfuller

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Well... It's not too bad (especially the distortion at 86dB) but WTF is going on with that mid driver????

Apparently, Dynaudio specifically doesn't care about the dispersion control for studio speakers because their assumption is that it'll be in a well-treated studio where early reflections are largely absorbed. Seems like kind of a "?????????" thing to me, but... whatever.
 

Koeitje

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I'mma take this opportunity to quote myself from a little while back:


Looks like it's a bit lower here than it was in the other examples (see link), but maybe the same idea. Or it could just be an artifact of their front-port design that carries over.
Why have a house sound for professional monitoring speakers?

Well... It's not too bad (especially the distortion at 86dB) but WTF is going on with that mid driver????

Apparently, Dynaudio specifically doesn't care about the dispersion control for studio speakers because their assumption is that it'll be in a well-treated studio where early reflections are largely absorbed. Seems like kind of a "?????????" thing to me, but... whatever.
Not caring about reflections because of use in a treated studio might make sense if the on-axis was actually good.
 

3125b

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Neumann KH 310A runs circles around this and is actually slightly cheaper at 2,200 usd each.
That's my first thought too, I don't know why anyone would buy these.
The 310A isn't even ported, has flatter FR, better bass extension, better directivity, lower distortion and is 650€/pair cheaper.
It's not even a competition ...
 
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dfuller

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Not caring about reflections because of use in a treated studio might make sense if the on-axis was actually good.
Well, that's the thing - the on-axis isn't really that bad! Other than the peak at 3k, it's +/-2dB or less. Is it as good as the KH310, no not at all, but it's also not terrible.
 

dfuller

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I don't think that should be the goal for a professional monitor at this price point :)
I totally agree, but considering some of the utter dreck out there (looking at you, PMC...) it's pretty good. +/-2dB is quite flat. But, I think the midrange they're using was a poor choice as that's where most of the issues are. Seems to not be the first time a smallish cone midrange has presented issues (see: Barefoot FP01). I think ATC, Neumann and others were onto something with the dome mid.
 

dtaylo1066

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If you are going to construct a DSP crossover and EQ, then why not do it right? I think one could do better with the drivers and amp, scrap the DSP and reprogram via a mini-dsp! But that would be a waste.
 

temps

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I just realized the front layout is horizontal and the back layout is vertical. :facepalm:

I am sure this is "not a bug but a feature"…
this is probably a holdover from the larger Core 59. Same amp module, controls, etc. but the Core 59 is convertible between a horizontal arrangement and a vertical one (edit: now THAT speaker I would love to see measured... how could it possibly be any good?)

disappointing...

also, it's strange, but there hasn't been a single good measuring Dynaudio here yet :):facepalm:
I hope we get a few good models eventually.
the LYD 5 is one of the best speakers ever tested here...
 
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