Dunlavy SC-IV minus SC-I = a good sub?

After an ear-glazing day at the Stereophile show in 1994, I landed in a room with Dunlavy SC-IVs, and right away felt they were the best thing I'd heard, just sounded good. I ended up hanging out there a long time.

I'd like to try some Dunlavys though I'll never get to audition any here in the desert...and see used SC-Is are quite reasonable (and shippable).

Clearly they won't have the bass of an SC-II, III, or IV. But to what degree would a sub make up any differences? Would the SC-I plus a sub give me a good sense of how larger Dunlavys might sound?

Thanks for generously sharing any thoughts.
The bass out of dunlavy 4 and lower is weak anyway I think. You have to go to the 5s to get any real bass
No, the SC-1 with a subwoofer will not give you the sound of an SC-IV. As far as bass output, it has a lot to do with the room, equipment and the person setting up the system.
I think I did not do a good job of asking this question.

If I add a sub to an SC-1, which used lets one try the Dunlavy sound for a few hundred bucks (and less than a hundred shipping), I am afraid that the area between 100 Hz and 300 Hz will still be deficient of bass, and so an SC-1 plus a sub will still be much more lacking in bass than an SC-II, III, or IV.

Maybe nobody is answering because they are embarrassed for me for asking such an easy question. :-)
I was a Dinlavy dealer back in the day. We sold very few SC-1's. Mainly for surround channels or for owners who already had the larger Dunlavy speakers and wanted a smaller monitor speaker for a smaller room.

The SC-1's with sub will not only have less bass, but no where near the BIG, FULLNESS of the larger models. The SC-2/3/4 are large speakers. Tall and pretty deep cabinets. Very dynamic with a large soundstage.

Will the SC-1 with sub give you "taste" of the Dunlavy sound? Sure, but nothing like their bigger brothers.

If you have the room, the SC-IV's are truly outstanding. The SC-III's are probably my favorite of the bunch and fit better into most rooms.
Thanks much. I'll not get the Is I have been eyeing. Thank you for helping me make that decision.

Mofimadness, why is the II (not the IIIa?) your favorite? I'd think the IV would be better?

River251...Like I said, the SC-III fits better into more rooms than the HUGE SC-IV. I LOVE the IV, (and the V & VI), but they are ginormous and really need a big room to work well. The SC-III, (not the SC-II) is my favorite. IMHO, it was the sweet spot of the Dunlavy line.
I'm going to disagree with the above statements.
I have many years experiences with every model of the original Dunlavy line. I've owned several pairs of the SC-1, including the original prototype speaker that helped to launch Dunlany Audio Labs. I currently have a pair of the SC-3 on hand. And I've owned the SC-5.
I've spent years reverse engineering every model except the SC-6. So I think it's safe to say that I have a fair amount of experience.

My opinion is that it is possible to get extremely good performance from a pair of the SC-1 and a very good subwoofer.
The key has everything to do with HOW you use that subwoofer!
Far too many people try to make it do too much. The SC-1 starts to roll off at 80Hz. And it does so with a fairly slow roll-off towards the bottom end. Your sub should not try to overlap with this too much. I've gotten good results by setting the Sub's roll-off at about 40-50Hz. Most subs will have a 2nd order crossover which means it rolls off faster going upwards than the SC-1 does going downwards. This is partly why people get lumpy bass. They push the Sub too far up the spectrum.
The other aspect to pay very careful attention to is the phase. Most of the time, it works to have the phase on the sub set at 180degrees and have them sit right next to the SC-1. But this is only a generalized starting point. The exact location of the Sub is going to produce a wide range of differences based on it's location and phase setting.
In other words, it's going to take a fair amount of tweaking to get it to work right.
But the truth of the matter is that you CAN get extremely good performance with an SC-1/Sub combination.

I also used to sell Dunlavy back in the day. And one of the guys I worked with had been an employee of Dunlavy from their start. We sold quite a few SC-1/Sub combinations with great success.

Bottom line, the SC-3/SC-4/SC-5 etc. are an ideal way to go from a technical design standpoint. But in real world situations and real rooms and real practicalities, sometimes it's actually better to go with the SC-1/Sub combo.
I have a friend who, not long ago, switched from using his SC-3 to a pair of SC-1 with a pair of Subs. It took quite a while to perfect the set-up. But there is no doubt that in his room, the current set-up is superior.

If you want a good Sub suggestion, take a look at Vandersteen first. Theirs is one of the very few that use a 1st order roll-off for the Sub. This will make things many times easier when trying to set them up. You won't have to worry about phase as much. And the only real tweaking will be finding the same relative distance to your ears from the sub's output as that of the SC-1.

All in all, there is one significant disadvantage to this approach. Because there is no crossover controlling the bottom end roll-off of the SC-1, it won't play quite as loud as the larger units with the same dynamic linearity. Even though it has the subs to fill in the bottom two octaves, there is nothing stopping the midranges from trying to reproduce those frequencies. So at very loud listening levels, or on music with massive amounts of bass, there will be an increase in IM distortion.
But the whole point of using this set-up is to help accommodate rooms where the SC-3 and bigger models end up having too much bass problems. In such a room, the relative volume will usually be lower anyway.

Hope this helps!
Prdprez, based on your experience, which modal is the best sounding Dunlavy seakers?

My experience (as is most others familiar with the line) is that they all sound pretty much exactly the same with the exception of bass extension and linearity in larger rooms.

Though, were I to pick just one, it would be the SC-5.
That one was the only one to use a slightly smaller and more dynamic midrange cone. To my ear, this meant better midrange clarity and tone. But it still retained the ability to play 20Hz with power, even in large rooms.

Case in point..... In my party days I used to come home from the clubs and crank up some 20Hz sine waves late at night. It was juvenile fun hearing my apartment neighbors talk about the minor "earthquake" we experience the night before.
From searching on the internet, I do realized that some of the SC-5 I saw used dome mid and some used cone mid.

Do you know the story behind the change? Which came first, the dome or the cone?
The Dome came first. But it didn't last long in production.
The domes had wonderful measurements. Absolutely superior impulse response. But often failed in the field, many times due to nothing more than shipping.
The cones soon replaced them and didn't change after that.
I loved the Dunlavy line. I started with the 4's and ended up with the 5's. I really only sold them because they were too big and not attractive enough for my wife when I got married. The SC-5 is a great speaker. I do miss them but the Vandersteen 5A is keeping me quite happy these days at a more manageable size. A used pair of 5's would be a great deal if you have the space and don't mind the fairly Spartan cabinet finish.
Prdprez, I have a pair of Duntech Princess speakers with a pair of Vandersteen 2wq subs and the sound is great. The Duntechs are driven by a pair of JC-1 monos and my room size is 3800 cubic feet. I bought the Princess speakers new in 1988 and have replaced the drivers with NOS direct from Duntech in Australia.
This combination in my room is the most musical that I have ever owned. However I have found that they are real sensitive to room set up and will take time to get it right.

If you still have any interest in the DAL sound, take a look at the pristine pair of SC-IIIs I have for sale. i just got a quote to ship them from Atlanta to San Francisco for under $650 and that includes custom crates, freight and real insurance.
Meadowmand, just responded to your classified.