Does It Make Sense to Purchase Dunlavy Speakers

Audio-Video Logic has purchased the complete stock of Dunlavy speakers and is selling them at very attractive prices. Dunlavy is no longer in business and I'm concerned about repairs if needed. Dunlavy drivers are individually matched, ane then pairs are matched for the two speakers, finally the crossovers are hand tweaked for final matching. Would appear on the surface that if a driver goes bad the "match" is gone forever. Comments??
I saw the ad also. The prices are still quite high, especially if you factor in the shipping costs. If you were to audition and pick-up at the store my concerns about shipping damage/system synergy would greatly be reduced. As far as driver/crossover matching I understand your concern. The questions I would be concerned about would be:(1) Who makes their drivers, (2)Future availablity, (3) Are they made especially for Dunlavy (closer tolerances). If in the event driver/s need replacing I would think original factory performance would probably hard to duplicate. However, what are the chances of something castastrophic happening? Also, the way things come and go here, how long are you planning on owning them? The real questions in my mind is how much would you be able to resell them for? How difficult would it be to find a buyer? Shipping could be
problemantic. (As with any large object) Sorry to hear the
unfortunate news about Dunlavy.
As far as i know, Dunlavy uses commercially available units. Unlike some manufacturers who buy mass produced drivers and then hand tweak them, no "customization" or further modifications are done to the drivers in the Dunlavy models. As such, one should be able to order replacements or spares from such sources as Madisound, etc...

My main concern about this situation though is that the speakers may have been "slapped together" using whatever parts that they still had laying around just to get the stuff out of the door and make whatever profit they could. This might mean mismatched drivers, no "hand tweaking", less than optimum construction, etc... These are strictly guesses though, so take them with a grain of salt... Sean
I own a pair of SC-4a speakers. They were purchased to replace my B & W 810 II speakers. I have been an audiophile for 35 years+ and these are by far the best speakers I have ever owned. The base is incredible and both piano and guitar come alive in a way i hadn't heard before. Good luck on whatever you decide.
If driver failure were an overiding concern, ultra-high end speaker manufacturers would be out of business overnight IMO. Many of these companies are ephemeral at best and won't be around in another 10 years. On the other hand, I do think that Sean raises a good point; quality control on the last production run could be suspect. I think you are best served by purchasing a quality used pair.
Yeah I personally was fond for the value driven excellent little SC1AV's myself! And while I hate to see the company dissapear entirely, I would also be a bit concerened about buying the speakers used anymore, as you don't know what you'd possibly end up with I think.
I did a factory tour of Dunlavy some time back, and they did pick only drivers that fell within their performance specs. I don't know how much different the sound would be using drivers that may or may not meet those criterion. Hummmmmm....
In another thought, I think some of the Dynaudio Diappolito designs would make more sense, and should be sonically competitive at the very least. And that company is still in business.
We all make audio purchases assuming the manufacturer will be around, but there never is a guarantee of this. I mainly would not purchase without seing and hearing the Dunlavys. This is even more true for used. I agree...the prices are way too high still, especially since warranty service would seem unavailable at present. My brother-in-law owns SC-IVs and I love 'em!
This is a tough call, but personally I would not buy Dunlavy speakers at this point UNLESS you got an incredibly good price. There are simply too many other good speakers available today. If you want to purchase time- and phase-coherent speakers, you might explore Vandersteen, Thiel, Meadowlark, etc.
Why don't you ask AVL what they think, great place to do business.
Dunlavy tested and matched their drivers to 1db. The specs of every speaker made were put on file so they could send matching drivers if you blew them. I assume someone still has access to these numbers, maybe the dealer who bought the stock could provide them with the speakers. It's true that all the components in the Dunlavy speakers are "stock" so it's simply finding a stock driver within the same 1db range. Not a big issue if you can find the specs. Otherwise it would require sending a good driver to the supplier and having them match it. Either way this should not be your concern, the issue of build quality and parts integrity is a good point and one I would want assurances on.
I talked to the guys at AVL and was told the reason Dunlavy closed shop was not for lack of $. The new holding company did not see the profit or sales they wanted. As for build quality I will let you all know next week when the III.A's I bought arrive. Also, AVL will back the drivers for one year. Getting them matched is a different story. I hope I never have to find out. They may cost a little more than used, but if you buy used you still do not get a warranty as well as abuse issues. Just food for thought.
I just ordered a CC-2 center speaker to go with my SC-4as. It is unlikely that there would be many opportunities to find one used.

I just wanted to tell people, I found someone in NYC whose highly recommended, who fixes and modifies all Dunlavy speakers. Here's his site.
Here's a review about his mods on Audioreview.
Dunlavy quality has always been very high...find a good deal...go for it..
At these prices you could afford great speakers for a second system... I had the SC-IV for 18 months and SC-V for 2 years and loved them both.
Just wanted to update my earlier post. I received my sciii.a's yesterday. All I can say is WOW. Build quality was fine. Sound was well, Dunlavy. I also spoke to AVL about them purchasing "slapped together" product. The answer was that they only bought pre-assembled A stock. I can say I am not dissapointed. I hope this helps.
The CC-2 center channel speaker I ordered has arrived and it is wonderful. The workmanship appears top notch and it beautifully mates with my SC-4as. As usual this Dunlavy speaker would have been reasonably priced at full list. It's a crime that this company managed its engineering activities so well and had no concept about effective marketing.
Thanks for all the responses to my original posting above. I've done some serious investigating on my own since the posting and found the following (from an ultra reliable source):

1. Each driver used in a Dunlavy speaker is individually tested to meet strict performance criteria. Individual drivers are matched in pairs for each speaker, and matched in fours for each speaker pair.
3. Individual crossovers are partially assembled for testing and then matched with a speaker for final testing. Crossover components are then individually adjusted (based on measurements of the speaker in an anechoic chamber) by a technician until the desired performance criteria are met.
5. Speakers are built and tested in pairs; each pair is matched within very narrow limits.

What does all this mean? It means each pair of speakers leaves Dunlavy perfect but physically and schematically different from each other. Plugging in a new driver direct from a outside supplier is going to undo everything Dunlavy worked so hard to accomplish. Is this worth 50% off to me? Can't make up my mind, but will shortly as I was about to purchase Vandersteen 2CE Sigs with VSM surrounds.

PS- I have the highest regard for Audio Video Logic. They provide us "nuts" with some very fine equipment at tremendous savings. Just think this is not one of those times. Thanks again guys!

Hi, I read your post about the cc-2 center channels as I also was contemplating this purchase as well to better match my SC-4's. I was currently using the SC-1AV as my centers and I find them less than perfect, even after placement tweaks. I was concerned about the Dunlavy's linear arrangement of their Midwoofer-Tweeter-Midwoofer drivers for their center channel speakers (except the HRCC) when the speakers are on their sides (horizontal), hence yielding nulls in the crossover frequency range and inferior sound dispersion patterns.

Did you find this to be the case in your HT setup with your newly acquired center channel?

I contemplated getting the Rocket RSC-200 center channel to replace my dunlavy sc-1a, as it was cheaper than the CC-2 but I was concerned about timbre matching. I just love the driver array arrangement on the RSC-200 center channel. The only reason I mention this is because I read on another forum about somebody auditioning the Rocket speakers line and found them similar to the Dunlavy sound. I haven't auditioned the rockets though.

From what i was able to find out, the individual drivers for each Dunlavy speaker system are matched to within a .25 dB tolerance. That is a LOT tighter than the 1 dB that was previously posted. As such, i have to commend ( a little too late ) Dunlavy for being so picky about their products. On the other hand, this would make it near impossible to find a suitable set of replacement drivers should you ever need them. At 50% off of list price, these truly are a great buy. That is, so long as you don't need replacement drivers, etc... Sean
Does anyone knows where I can buy the Dunlavy TSW-V's. AVL had bought the last three and they say they were gone in two weeks!! I am desperate!! Any one wants to sell?????
Like bzinvegas I ordered the CC-2 from AVL as well, but with different results. The speaker arrived from via UPS double boxed with no physical damage to either box. Once removed, however, I noticed a rattle coming from inside the speaker. I called AVL and they asked me to remove one of the drivers to see if I could find the problem. I did and found 2 voice coils broken from the main board. After carefully examining the rest of the speaker I found several 2 – 3 inch gouges as well as numerous nicks that were touched up with what appeared to be a black magic marker.

I paid for a new unit.

I phoned AVL again and explained that I was initially leery of spending money on a manufacturer that was out of business, and because of the condition of the speaker I have decided to forgo a replacement and would like to ship it back.

AVL had no problem with my decision, understood my concerns and will credit me back the purchase price plus return shipping. I’ve dealt with them in the past, they appear to be good people and I would have no trouble dealing with them again in the future.

Good luck to others.
Pdclark: While your story doesn't really have the type of ending that i'm sure that you were looking for, it's good to know that some companies still take care of their customers and stand behind the products that they sell. Sean
When John last failed, I bought a pair of Black Knights and found them exceptional. Later I got back into horns and had an easy time selling the BKs.
How does the SV-1av (on sale for $1,000) compare to the Spica TC-50?
It's been about one month since this discussion ended and there have been very few Dunlavy speakers for sale. I guess most of us were quite happy with what we purchased.
Just for the record, I blew the tweeters in my sciva's and had to replace them with off the shelf tweeters. My dunlavys sound just as good as they ever did.
I have SC4A's and, like most cognoscenti say, there is nothing like time and phase aligned speakers. I bought them new from a reputable dealer in CA in late 2000, so they are a couple years old. They sound better now than they ever did. In the end, the other speakers at this level may do a thing better but it will mostly be at the expense of another. My speakers are done in maple and the light color makes them user friendly. Unfortunately for me, 2 kids at home are forcing me to move. I am willing to sell these at a price that would be attractive for you and I. I have the receipt, manual and condition in/out is 9/10.