Dunlavy SC VI?


I'M CONSIDERING PURCHASING A PAIR OF DUNLAVY VI'S. I'VE READ THE REVEIWS, BUT WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM OWNERS.
WOULD THESE BE CANDIDATES IN A TUBE SYSTEM? IN A ROOM WITH 10' CEILING, AND WALLS 17X35, WILL THESE WORK ON THE SHORT WALL? I LISTEN AT LOW TO MODERATE LEVELS. WOULD THIS BE A GOOD FIT?
PLEASE LET ME KNOW YOUR OPINIONS ON THESE SPEAKERS. I'M JUST GETTING BACK INTO AUDIO, AND NEED ALL THE HELP I CAN GET!
THANKS IN ADVANCE!!!

JIM
jimateo
I am a proud owner of Dunlavy VI's. I have previously owned Dunlavy IVA's and V's. As you step up in the Dunlavy line the music develops more weight making the presentation more realistic. The midrange and treble remains the same. The soundstage and size of images are lifelike which is very important to me. I drive them with solid state electronics (Spectral), but tubes can be used. I would, however, stay away from low powered tubes. Your room size of 17 X 35 X 10 should accommodate them well. Both my audio buddy (also a VI owner) and I use them on the short wall. You should have no problem with that setup. I strongly believe that the price of used Dunlavy VI's is a steal and that they compete with newer, more expensive "statement" speakers.
I've owned my pair for almost ten years. I use them now in a home theater set-up with a Sig IVA as the center.

Tubes? Mmmm, I don't know if tubes will give you enough damping to control four 15" drivers. I've used Pass X-150 and Bel Canto Evo II and Ref 1000's with the VI's with great results.

Your room is certainly large enough to enforce the 10 ft listening distance rule needed for Dunlavys to be phase coherent. But they do require a wider spacing than most speakers. Also don't neglect room acoustics. The Dunlavys don't need or want a "live" room. Pay special attention to side wall first-reflection damping.

IMHO the Sig VI's are John Dunlavy's finest and most fully-realized speaker design.
A few comments from a non-SC VI owner. However, I have owned Duntech Princess for 17 years so believe I can offer some relevant points; it's a Dunlavy family thing.

Room accommodation - some valuable points by the two responses above. Dunlavy took all measurements from a distance of 3 meters (rather than the standard 1 meter) for a very good reason. You must be at that distance for the drivers to integrate. John also recommended listening in an equilateral layout of speakers and sweet spot. Look at 10-12' per side for this set up.

The D'Appolito driver array provides wide dispersion so distance to side
walls becomes important. I believe this is why Dunlavy suggested long wall placement for both his Duntech and DAL speakers. I would say 3-4' from tweeter to side wall would be the minimum. Therefore, with 10' separation between L-R, your 17' width just makes the minimum. As Steve suggests, side wall damping will likely be necessary for best clarity and soundstaging.

Your room length offers full opportunity for adequate speaker placement away from the front wall while keeping all listeners out from the rear wall. The big problem with long wall speaker placement is the resulting listening seat proximity to the rear wall (opposite long wall). Yes, this can increase apparent bass response but it is not clean, accurate bass. And the SC VI should not need any bass boost.

Lastly, to optimize image placement, don't overlook vertical listening position. Your ears should be the same distance from the floor as the tweeters. A feature of the D'Appolito array is the vertical convergence of all drivers in each channel at the tweeter so placing your ears at this height is not only for high frequency tones but to hear the proper convergence of all the drivers. It is easy to understand listening at equal distances from L and R speakers, so think of the array in one channel turned 90 degrees on it's side to appreciate why this is important. If necessary, add spacers underneath your listening chair.

Power requirements - in my opinion, Dunlavy's designs are misleading in their efficiency ratings. My Princess are rated at 90 dB but with the experience of trying many different power rated amps, both tube and ss, this is not realistic. I believe a minimum of 200 WPC is needed and more is better. I would expect the SC VI to be similar. The problem is twofold. The first order crossovers in Dunlavy speakers are quite complex with many more components than other designs. Also, while I don't know about the impedance curve for the SC VI, the curve for my Princess drops below 3 ohms at two points along the curve, one in the critical bass range. After trying many other amps, including 300 WPC tube mono blocks, I've settled in with a pair of Halo JC-1s that are rated at 400 WPC into 8 ohms and 800 into 4 ohms. For the first time I feel I'm hearing what my speakers were designed to produce.

Duntech/DAL used values - a year ago a friend returned from the CES and came over to hear my system with the (then new) addition of the JC-1s. He brought the same test disc he made for CES auditions. After about 45 minutes of listening he said he heard nothing at the CES that bettered my system overall. A few select speakers/amps might have excelled in one area or another but nothing was better overall, and this included some costing $50-100K. At prices I've seen for Duntech/DAL speakers recently, I can't imagine a better value for anyone with adequate room and amp power/refinement.

One warning - John Dunlavy's designs are so revealing that you could end up needing to replace other components in your system, depending on what you own now.

Good luck in your decision.
My experience is not as extensive as most of the previous posters. I had a good friend with SC IV's (balanced tube pre into 4 identical 200 watt ss mono blocks). Dunlavy's recommended using the long wall with some absorbent room treatment behind the listener. The SCVI's offer prodigous bass. That one wall is almost double the dimensions of the other might provide some problems there. On the other hand the well seperated dual woofers might help even things out some. TAS's Robert E. Greene has suggested that Dunlavy's SC's seem to work particularly well with the TacT room correction gear. John Dunlavy was admirer of some of the new digital technology and had plans to use digital amps and cross-overs in his next statement speaker, alas, it never came to be. IMHO, great speakers, I wish you the best of luck.
THANK YOU ALL, SOOOO MUCH. I'M TRYING TO MAKE A DECEISION ON WHAT TO PURCHASE AND THIS IS A TREMENDOUS HELP!
PLEASE KEEK THE INFO FLOWING!!!!!!!!!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!! PLEASE KEEP THE INFO COMING IN! I'M JUST GETTING BACK INTO 2 CHANNEL AUDIO AND ALL THIS INFO IS REALLY HELPING ME TO MAKE A DECEISION ON WHAT SPEAKER TO PURCHASE. THE EQUIPMENT I'M USING IS;
MCINTOSH PRE AMP#2300, MC 275 AMP, VPI SCOUTMASTER, AND REPLACING 1960'S KLIPSCHORNS. I HAD NARROWED IT DOWN TO A CHOICE BETWEEN THE MONTANA'S AND THE DUNLAVY VI'S. NOW I'M LEANING TOWARDS THE DUNLAVYS. ALTHOUGH, I LIKE THE ASTHETICS OF THE WAS MUCH MORE, I JUST CAN'T JUSTIFY THE PRICE DIFFERANCE...
THANKS AGAIN, AND PLEASE, KEEP SENDING ANY AND ALL OPINIONS AND STAT'S AS THIS WILL EVENTUALLY MAKE MY DECEISION FOR ME!
THANK YOU,

JIM
DOES ANYONE HAVE A MANUAL ON THE DUNLAVY SC VI'S?
i think they are great, had i known how great i would have waited for some when i got my IV's!
I TOOK THE PLUNGE AND TOOK POSSESION OF THE VI'S ON FRIDAY. THE ONLY PROBLEM IS NOT WANTING TO LEAVE MY ROOM! THE SOUND IS MORE THAN I EXPECTED AND THEY FIT THE ROOM PERFECTLY!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! ONE AND ALL. I APPRECIATE ALL THE INPUT YOU ALL GAVE! NOW IF I CAN JUST FIND A MANUAL!
Enjoy! I don't have a manual, but I do have some print outs from the old Dunalvy web site. If you stop shouting, I'd be happy to answer any questions that might be answered based upon that information. The information is pretty detailed, especially regarding room set up. I had the opportunity to have a very nice conversation with Mr.Dunalvy and he was very upfront on a lot of his opinions, a real straight shooter. Again, enjoy!
I'VE HAD THESE SPEAKERS ALMOST A WEEK. I'M HEARING THINGS I NEVER IMAGINED. I ALSO PURCHASED ANOTHER MCINTOSH MC275. MADE A BIG DIFFERENCE! THE BASS RESPONSE IS INDESCRIBABLE. AND VOCALS SEEM TO BE LIVE. THESE ARE EVERYTHING EVERYONE SAYS THEY ARE, AND MORE!
THANKS AGAIN FOR ALL THE RESPONSES!
My take on the Dunlavy's is that they were some "potentially" good tools to work with (although I never thought the SM-1's sounded good, AT ALL! (warm and bland, compared to the superior SC-1). I used to sell these speakers on a retail level, and we got the speakers (up to the 5's in our store) sounding very very good in our setup. They were revealing speakers, with great detail, dynamics (for a passive), and great speed, and also soundstaging capabilities. Midrange, and extension was fine also.
What I have noticed, is that they did certain things better than some speakers, and compromised other aspects. They had a much better impulse response time than just about any other passive speaker I've heard! Dynamics, for the most part were very good. However, I did noticed that instuments could sound a bit bigger than they were from other speakers, in the same setup. So, not sure, but the perspective is on the "large" side - if that matters to you.
Another plus with the Dun's, is that, due to the multiple drive, first order array design, you can place these speakers MUCH further apart than other speaker designs, and still get a solid soundstage! I believe this is do to a number of factors - one, the multiple driver arrays reinforce the transient response, and tend to cancel out distortions that you might hear as differences between the drivers - two, the first order crossover has multiple drivers all carying the same frequencies, for even more reinforcement, and perfect phase. As for coherence, no problem as well.
John Dunlavy did believe strongly that all associated, equal rated equipment and cabling sounded/performed the same, and that you could use just about anything to drive his speakers, for same results. I heard his setups and demo rooms, and things DID NOT sound so good! We got INFINITELY better results in our retail stores with his speakers, than he likely ever got!- lol.
Anyway, I have heard more neutral sounding speakers, tonally, throughout the line. But, with the right associated equiopment, you will likely get some great results with the VI's, IMO. At least, it's worth a try, if you have the seeds planted. Otherwise, you'll never know.
I'd be looking for tube preamp (Cary, Cat, Copeland,etc) with solid state amp with them, or SS throughout. (maybe Pass Aleph P or Krell Sig pre, with similar - and with Pass, Coda, Threshold, Levinson, Spectral, M. Fidelity, or similar amps) (on the low side, Audio Research tube pre's, and McCormack, Mcintosh amps)
One other thing, if you blow drivers, how are you going to replace things?!!! I know a little something about how Dunlavy engineered his speaker designs. And he always measured drivers, and adjusted things at the crossovers, to match the other speaker pairs! If you replace a blown driver in the speaker, what are you going to replace them with? They are out of biz. Also, how will things measure up if the driver performs different? These would all be concerns for me, if I'm buying such expensive speakers. But, maybe it wouldn't be so bad, I dunno.
Anyway, I think the speakers are great high end, dynamic type speakers, that do well with Reggae, Rock, heavy dynamic stuff, and yes, movies! (although I'd still use bass mgmnt, and have active subs in the system). For other types of music, other speakers offer easy competition, IMO>
Good luck
I own a pair of Dunlavy SC-VI (serial numbers 160A and 160B). I use them with Playback designs MPD-5, KRell fpb 750mcx monos, and (soon to be upgraded) Levinsons 380s.

The Dunlavy SC-VI sound absolutely great, but I have been reading a lot about upgrading parts of the crossover. Has any of you done any crossover upgrade which resulted in improvement?

Thanks