Dunlavy SC4 Speakers

Does anyone know what the value of a used set of Dunlavy SC4 speakers would be? These are the original SC4's early run I believe. The reason for the question is that I have a line on a set and I'm willing to pay fair market value which often is determined by a speakers popularity and not actual worth. I'm trying to determine a base line price with the seller without out getting into these are the best speakers ever made and that makes them worth a million bucks!

There will always be a following for Dunlavy SCIV.
The value is determined by condition, type of wood finish and whether the speakers can be shipped.
$2k max IMHO. If you cannot place on long wall, will not sound great (in my experience). I had to put on short wall and did not like.
Rrog. Thanks for the response the speakers are finished in black oak. no shipping as they are part of another deal that my audio store I shop at locally has put together. If we make a deal the speakers would be dropped off at my door step. The speakers are in excellent condition from seeing them and from the demo that I had. Does this give any indication of what's the most I dhould be willing to pay.
There was a pair of Rosewood SCIV speakers for sale here on Audiogon this past summer for $2700.00 from a dealer (traded in).


I have seen other pairs on here for between $2200-$3000. The black ones would not be worth as much as the more exotic wood types, given that the condition of the speakers are close to the same.

IMHO, I would pay maybe $2000-$2200 for a pair of black ones. Of course, this is just my opinion. Also, there is value in the delivery and trade-up/trade-in policy of your dealer, (if they have one).
I would pay 1800-2000. I've heard of driver failures and its a real headache so there is a little risk involved. I've had a pair and personally unless you like the size I think you can do better. For as big as they are the bass is quite weak at least it was in my room. The 5 and 6s are a whole other story.
Thanks for the response. Ejlif I know that there are better speakers out there either at a higher price or lower price range. The SCIV are on the radar due to the price $1,500.00 dollars no shipping dropped off at my door. How disapointing is the bass in these speakers and do they require subs? I have seen other speakers in this price range but not locally. Which means I have to add on 300 to 400 doallars for shipping which then exceeds my budget. The SCIV's look apealing due to this fact. If there are a better set of speakers locally in the Columbus area please chime in.

One very important distinction has not been made clear. Are these the first series with the Morel Woofers and Vifa 26 tweeters? If so, then the bass will roll off in most rooms around 45 hz. That seems to be "weak" but the good news is the bass the will produce is articulate, detailed and has timbral shading like real music.
If they are the "improved" version with the Vifa woofers and Vifa 27 tweeters, they will make bass well into the mid 30s in a normal room.
I run an pair of SC-IV improved with bass supplemented by a pair of Velodyne HGS 15s. Sealed box subs fed via speaker level inputs to allow the Dunlavys to see full range signal and keep the phase angle of the amp/speakers the same as the phase angle of the amp/subs. Do I "need" 2 15" woofers in the rig to make me happy? No. My wife does! Her nickname is the "Bass Queen". I could be very happy with no subs at all but will admit that they do open the soundstage and that tracks like Man Machine from the live Kraftwerk album are more fun when you can shake the foundation!
I would not part with my Dunlavys for less than $2500, but then again mine are not for sale.
Jeffga, What didnt you like about them?
They sounded brittle (bright) with less than expected bass performance (using tube electronics). Honestly, they were horrible on certain recordings. After owning these, I had some Coincident Total Eclipse's.....night & day better. I would take the original Legacy Focus over the SCIV's. I heard them sound good in another person's home..on long wall...they imaged very well. I do not like bright speakers.
Many years ago, I heard a pair set up in the middle of a hi-fi shop. It was a large room and the speakers were a long distance from any boundaries. The sound absolutely blew me away, with amazing clarity and detail. Most impressive was how the sound just hung in space; there was simply no sense at all that the sound was coming from speakers. It was one of those "oh my god, I want that sound in my house, but I'll never be able to afford it" moments I have experienced a few times in stores (usually it's just the opposite).

I was not really into high-end gear back then, so I have no idea what the ancillary equipment was. Nor can I really speak to how they might sound in your room. In that context, though, they sounded very very good.
Meadow man I belive these are the first series with the Morel Woofers and Vifa tweeters. I would much rather have accurate and articulate bass than boomy sloppy bass. I do have a set of pretty decent subs that I could run with the Dunlavys if need be.Sounds like the going prive for the improved SCIV's and SCIVA's is around $2,000 to $2,500 is it safe to say that $1,500 for a set of orginal SCIV's is a good deal?
Jeffga, Sounds like you and a few others agree that these need to be set up on the long wall to get better imaging?
I think 1500 is a great deal and what a heck or a speaker for that price but you do have to almost like the fact that they are so huge. They are impressive but the bass is lacking for the the size is all I'm saying. I may have never gotten them set up just right as they are supposed to go on the long wall and I couldn't do that. It's not like they don't have more bass than much smaller speakers but for the size it's weak. The Von schweikert vr4 jrs did better in my room and are 1/4 th the size. I don't like a speaker that big personally so if something is going to dominate the room like those do then it better but out some serious bass in my opinion. If that is not an issue for you then it sounds like a good deal. You could probably sell for more than that if you don't like.
For $1500, delivered, if you have a room big enough for them and can take their size they're a good deal. The original SC IV actually listed for $4,000 a pair, as I recall (my dealer was among the first to carry them, and I remember being surprised at the price given the price for the similar Duntech Princesses I owned at the time), and 40% of list for something of that age and quality is about right, IMHO. I wouldn't worry too much about the bass extension on them, either, given your subs. Assuming your room acoustics don't create problems, I think you'll find the quality of the bass will overshadow the lack of ultimate extension.
2channeljunkie, The Dunlavy SCIV is a great speaker, one of the best ever. This is not a near field speaker. Because of the wide span of the drivers you will need to be the proper distance from the speakers for the drivers to blend properly. So, you will need a larger than average room to get the best sound. Ignore the comments about brittle or bright sound. These are not Dunlavy characteristics. I have used these speakers on long and short walls with excellent results, but they need to be set up properly. I was recently offered SCIVs in rosewood for $2,000. I think rosewood is more desirable than black.
Rrog, Agreed I wish they were anything but black. I hate black speakers. But for the price and what I'm getting I guess I can't complain. I should have no issues with the drivers blending as I don't often sit in my sweet spot and listen to music. I'm more of an active music listener. By this I mean I typically am listening to my music while cleaning the house, cooking, or doing laundry.
Has anyone or does anyone have any feedback or done a dollar for dollar comparison between the real Telydyne AR9 speaker and the Dunlavy SCIV speakers? Looking for feedback as to which speaker for the dollar is the better choice? I can get my hands on a set of AR9 speakers for $1,100 bucks shipped and all surrounds have been replaced and cabinets are flawless. I also can get my hands on a set of SCIV speakers for $1,500 Delivered. I know both speakers are good but wanted feedback on dollar forthe ddollar which would be the best to live with?
Junkie, sorry; I can't give you any info on the AR9's, but I just thought I'd chime in anyhow. I have a pair of SC3's that I bought over 10 years ago. To this day I'm always blown away by how they sound. They are very revealing, meaning that if you have a bad recording, you are going to hear it. It doesn't stand in the music's way. They are time aligned and phase coherent. I'll warn you; the sweet spot is narrow. But you'll be cleaning or cooking, so it wont matter. I believe that mine roll off around 40 hz or so, but I don't miss any low end. Bass is very tight, clean and quick. And the mids and highs are to die for, especially close-miked voices; bone chilling. I'm always amazed at the tweeters as well; the articulation of metal brushes on a ride cymbal, the attack and decay of a rim shot, stacatto notes from a flute, all sound so crisp and clear. I haven't heard that level of clarity from a ribbon tweeter. Although John Dunlavy said you didn't need megawatts to drive these, I believe they march firmly to the beat with 150 to 300 watts of solid state (some tube afficianodos could recommend similar tube configurations). I do have a little sub (VS 10"). But, to be honest, I rarely run it. $1,500 for a pair of SC 4's is a really good price. I saw that you started this thread on 12/16, and as of 12/26 you are still on the fence. You better grab them before someone else does. Good luck.
Much of what the Dunlavy's do so well depends on listening from the correct location.
Thanks unsound. Which would you prefer between the two?
Sauce, thanks for the detailed feedback. I hear many great things about the Dunlavy SCIV speakers. Even those who talked negative about them only say for such a large speaker they don't go as low as one would think they would. But im sure they go lower than my Vandersteen 2ci speakers. Vandersteen being a great speaker no doubt just hate having to deal with adjusting the sub when different tracks or genre of music is playing. So I decided to replace them with speakers that wouldn't require subs. Thouhjt of replacing my Klipsch sw12 sub. But once I saw the price of good musical subs. I decided for the money I could just upgrade my speakers. Again the Dunlavy and AR9 speakers are at the top of list due to availability to me. They would be coming from a local audio source so I have a little time to decide which I want.
One more vote for the Dunlavys. I too haven't heard AR9s but as Judsauce and many others have said/implied the Dunlavys' perform way above the price you are being offered. Even if the set you are looking at might be from the early runs. I too have Dunlavy I, IIs, IVs and Vs. I started with Vs which are world class performers way back in 97 and still can't even dream of replacing them. No way. I acquired IVs and smaller ones later because they all perform at exactly similarly minus the low freq extension as you go over in the model range.

You know I would even go as far as saying that if you audition say IVs or Vs against current so called "state of the art" six figure speakers, you might end up prefering Dunlavys. I know I have.
Sorry, I haven't heard the Telydynes. FWIW, I don't think you'll get much more bass from the SC IV's than your Vandy 2's. With that said, I'd rather the Dunlavys, especially at that price.
Got my SC-IV's in 1995. I had been using a sub with the predecessor spkr (Quad ESL-63), but reading the reviews and auditioning the SC-IV's a few times, the need was borderline. Around the same time period Carver released his Sunfire amp, offering the option for bi-wiring - drive the woofer with the 'zero' impedance "voltage" output, and the mid/high crossover circuit from the "current" output, which apparently has a 1-ohm output impedance. The effect is to boost the lows a bit (2 dB or so).

I have used this combination since '95, no sub, and pulled into the room a bit, away from rear wall reflections. At that price, hard to go wrong! Good luck.
Thanks for all the feedback. Anyone has any input on the AR9 speakers. It is my understanding that they are one of the few speakers that truly don't require a sub. I also see that these have stood the test of time like the Dunlavy's My only concern with the Dunlavy's is having to use a sub the same issue I have with my Vandy's love the speakers and how they perform just no bottom end. While the Dunlavy's are a great deal I am on a budget so if i go with them and need a sub ill be out of luck funds wise.
2channel, suggest start another thread for AR9 speakers to get more and responses on those speakers...
Perhaps it's just me, but I wouldn't describe the Vandy 2's as having "...just no bottom end.".
Unsound what's your thoughts on the Vandersteen 2ci speakers? Maybe it's just me but they have bottom end just not a lot but what bottom end they have is accurate and nice. I don't think they would fair well in the bottom end without a sub or 2 I hope the Dunlavy SCIV have more bottom end than the Vandersteen 2ci while maintaining accuracy and being musical
I've long held that the Vandy 2's just might be the best value in all of audio. While not the last word in low end depth, they're much better in that regard compared to most anything near their price and size. Despite their size, I don't think you will hear much deeper bass from the SCIV's. You have to move up the Dunlavy line for that.
If that's the case what's all the hype behind Dunlavy speakers?
By comparing the Dunlavy's to the Vandersteens your comparing two speakers that are more similar to each other than most others are. IMHO, the Dunlavy's just further the the Vandy qualities; less laid back, more neutral, bigger soundstage, more dynamic. The Dunlavy line really starts to shine with the SCIVA's on up, and with corresponding prices that go on up too.
I think Unsound described it well. Both designs use first order crossovers, which I believe is a big reason for an overall similarity. I also think the Dunlavys' bass will be slightly more extended and better defined, but I too was surprised to see you describing the Vandys as lacking bass--unless you're talking about the last octave below 32 Hz, I've never thought they were particularly lacking in that department. However, if you have a smaller room, a lot of what the Dunlavys do well may not work as well as a Vandersteen, which can do well in a smaller room. What are your room dimensions?
Unsound your last comment clears up a lot for me. That 2 is my impression of the Vandersteens they do a lot of things very well and are super laid back. mabe 2 laid back for my taste at times. I belive that I mis represented what I was looking for in a new to me set of speakers. While I did state more bass the better description would have been larger sound stage and a little more forward or just not as laid back as the vandersteens. I want a speaker that's not as laid back as the vandersteen's but one that I can listen to hours upon hours like my Vandersteen's.
Rcprince, Not sure of my room dimension's but my set up is in the man cave(basement)My house is rather large and the basenment is a full basement. I have never used room dimenisions when buing speakers in the past. My reasoning for this is that I never sit in the sweet spot and listen to music. I typically will turn on my music and listen while i'm cooking dinner or cleaning up stairs. I rarely sit in the man cave and listen to music. I love to turn on my music and listen to it throughout the house while I go about my day to day activites.
If I might add a little more regarding comparisons between the Vandy 2's and the Dunlavy IV's bass. The Vandy's bass might be a little looser, the Dunlvay's bass a little tighter. Both are about the same in bass depth.
Based upon your last post, it appears as though you'll like the Dunlay's a bit more.
Hello 2channeljunkie,

The Dunlavy SCIV's are fantastic speakers! They are very large, but do not seem so dominating because they are narrow and deep. When listening in the sweet spot, they can literally disappear like the best mini monitors, but still have a huge sound with lifelike images of real sized instruments. They are very revealing of upstream components, so you can tailor the sound as you see fit. If you use sterile, solid state equipment....they can sound sterile or bright. If you use quality tubed equipment, they will reveal the beautiful harmonic structures that music has to offer. They have plenty of real bass that is very tuneful, nimble, and very well defined. When used in the right room, with synergistic equipment, they can be quite astounding.

However, when you say "........ My reasoning for this is that I never sit in the sweet spot and listen to music. I typically will turn on my music and listen while i'm cooking dinner or cleaning up stairs. I rarely sit in the man cave and listen to music. I love to turn on my music and listen to it throughout the house while I go about my day to day activites......." I feel that you will miss out on how great these Dunlavy's truly are. Yes, they will emanate beautiful sound throughout the house, but I think you may be splitting hairs over these different speakers when you do not even sit in the same room (or same floor of the house for that matter) that they are playing in.

If there was a chance that you were going to change you listening habits in the future, I would definitely recommend buying the Dunlavys. If not, I think it may be money wasted...... keep your current speakers, buy more music to enjoy, and let someone else buy the Dunlavy's who will be better able to appreciate and enjoy the musical magic that the SCIV's can give.

That would be my two cents worth at least.

Warmest regards,
No_Regrets thanks for the detailed feed back. I will take this into consideration.
Ok so here's an update on the Dunlavy SCIV speakers. The dealer I deal with has picked up the speakers how ever the tweeters are blown and will need to be replaced. Not sure if the dealer can get the exact replacements as these are the early production run of the speakers and im told none of the original drivers are around anymore and that one would have to call Madisound for a replacement driver based on the info on the bad driver. Any thoughts or input from any one. Are the speakers worth the time and hassle? Will the speakers still blend well with replacement tweeters?
Dunlavy used off the shelf drivers, so they should be fairly easy to replace, ...but each set of speakers was hand tweaked via cross-overs to a model template.
I seem to recall there was an audio dealer in Des Moines, Iowa (Audio Video Logic?) who may still stock some parts for Dunlavy speakers. Might be worth giving them a try.
Unsound or Rcprince are you guys saying that he speakers are still worth getting? Of course my dealer will replace the tweeters prior to dropping them off to me. My concern is that the dealer will try to raise the price after replacing the tweeters.
Ok so here's an update on the Dunlavy SCIV speakers. The dealer I deal with has picked up the speakers how ever the tweeters are blown and will need to be replaced. Not sure if the dealer can get the exact replacements as these are the early production run of the speakers and im told none of the original drivers are around anymore and that one would have to call Madisound for a replacement driver based on the info on the bad driver. Any thoughts or input from any one. Are the speakers worth the time and hassle? Will the speakers still blend well with replacement tweeters?
Honestly, I really just don't know. The asking price should make them easy to resell if your not completely satisfied, but these are rather cumbersome items to flip. For someone else, I might suggest giving them a go, but for your rather casual listening style, I'm not so sure it will be worth it.
Our shop here sells a lot of vintage gear and if they were selling such a pair of speakers they would have them repaired first, then sell them too you. Otherwise, you should decide how much money you are willing to throw away if you can't get them properly repaired.

I would walk away from this deal and not look back, and go spend my time and money getting a pair of speakers that actually work.

And why are the tweeters blown? Are you sure they don't have other issues?
Reynolds853 The dealer took them in as part of an estate sale with a lot of other high end audio gear mostly Spectral gear. The Dunlavy's were part of the estate sale. My sales guy and close friend made me aware of the SCIV's because he has been looking for me some speakers for some time due to my budget and wanting to upgrade this process has taking some time.

Turns out the dealer will have the tweeters replaced and the speakers gone over prior to me taking delivery of the speakers. They will also keep the deal at the agreed upon $1500.00 and drop off and set up the speakers at my home.
2cj, I've heard various stories about John Dunlavy tuning crossovers with parts selection to match his chosen drivers. Also stories about frequency response records being kept by serial number for reference with future driver replacement. Unfortunately with John's passing and the end of DAL I don't know what good any of that would do you if it was true.

My caution at this point would be that simply finding the same model tweeter for replacement might not ensure original performance. Now it could still be very good performance, but not necessarily as originally intended. That could only be determined by your own audition.
Pryso my thoughts are the same. However there's not much locally in columbus Ohio for $1500.00 dollars. So I have to take that into consideration as the thred started out my choices have come down to the SCIV $1500.00 or the old Acoustic Research AR9 speakers $1100.00 unless of course I come up with several hundred dollars for shipping.

It's good that your dealer is going to take care of the repair. That sounds like a much better situation for you, and I certainly hope everything goes well.
Ok just got off the phone with the dealer and they have the exact tweeters for the SCIV's so that's a relief. The dealer even ordered an extra set for free since this deal has taken so long.
Dunlavy replaced the tweeters 3 different times because there were improvements to the dome and suspension from Vifa. There was no model call out on this that I was in formed about. I know this because I worked for a dealer in the early 90's and each time I replaced the old with the new. There was a slight improvement in sound. The Dunlavy's had mediocre parts selection at best. I had done extensive mods. The biggest difference was the replacement of the 3 cent resistors for Vishay resistor bridges. Now a days I would use the Duelund's which may be nearly as good in this application and would not have to be custom constructed.This up grade is staggering. John Dunlavy himself told me the resistors would make no difference. Tom