No. Perhaps you need to replace your upstream components.
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I agree with the above. The Dunlavys excell with high quality amplification and sources, but will pretty accurately reproduce what they are fed. One other possibility is your room--is it untreated with reflective surfaces at the first reflection points? That might have something to do with the sound as well. And how big is your room?
I agree with the above also. The Onkyo pre/pro is good stuff, but not in the same league as your Dunlavy SC-V. Although the Proceed will do, you'll also need a really good source that would be in the same league as your Dunlavy's.
Dunlavy's are used in some of the highest end mastering studios around the world for the reason that they will reveal everything and anything... I wish I had pair.
Which Onkyo pre/pro are you using? I own an Onkyo SR-706 AV receiver (does duty in my HT setup) that I have used both alone and as pre/pro w/ Rotel amplification. I know it is an unfair comparison of an AV receiver with a dedicated pre/pro, but I have definitely found the Onkyo to have a "glassy" and somewhat harsh sound quality. I am currently auditioning some integrated amps- and the difference is considerable.
Have you heard your speakers sound more to your liking with other amplification? Perhaps when you first auditioned them?
Dunlavys need a VERY large room to breathe, especially the V's and the V1's. I would suspect that your up-line components are also NOT up to the task of driving the speakers well and frankly agree with the other posters.
If you have a VERY large room, maybe the amp is straining to drive the speakers resulting in distortion.
I have had the Dunlavy SC 5s in my reference system for about 10 years. Through this period I have upgraded and changed out componets and cables. Every step has been positive with the speakers accurately reflecting these changes. I once dropped a Phillips CD player into the system while the Audio Research unit was being repaired and it made the system unlistenable.
Overall, the Dunlavy speakers are the finest tools for listening that I have ever come accross in my 40+ years in this hobby. I have come to the conclusion that the speakers are pretty much absolute, with everything else being variable.
Let's begin at square one. Is this a recent problem or has it existed since this particular set of components were connected together? More information is needed before assuming a new preamp is needed or the speakers need to be relocated.
1. If the harshness has been present since first connecting this combination of components, it could very well be the preamp. The quickest answer may come from substituting other components into your system, one at a time. I agree with others, the DALs in and of themselves are the least likely culprit.
2. If the harshness is recent but the system sounded OK previously, then you have some kind of failure or something was damaged. If you have a test CD or anything with a wide range of frequency information, play that after removing the grills. Place an ear close to each driver in each speaker and listen for the obvious harshness. If the drivers are all OK, can you bypass the Onkyo by using a volume control on your CD player and hooking that up straight to your amp? If this sounds fine your problem is in the Onkyo. If you still hear the harshness with the Onkyo out of the system, it is likely in your CD player (do you have another source such as an FM tuner to conduct a similar substitution test?) or your amp.
Some diligent switching in and out should identify the cause of your problem.
John Dunlavy tested all his speakers in a well damped acoustic chamber.Treating the first reflection points with broaband absortion as well as the rear walls is important for a neutral speaker in my bare room (16X19X8)and hardwood floors.
Add a wool or Persian rug for the floor.
I brought home a used pair of SCIII's for several weeks and at first couldn't listen to them for more than half an hour. With the above DIY treatments the brightness was greatly improved.
Also make sure they are on the long wall spaced about 10+ feet apart and seated 12+ft. back. Tow them in so just the inside edges show. The scV requirements may differ for even greater spacing.
A systems can only sound as good or bad as the set up, the Dunlavys are the least of your concerns. The Onkyo is not worthy of the Dunlavy. They are special speakers and deserve far better electronics than even what was comparable price wise to mate with them. Improve your front end, get some room treatment.This is for any speaker you use not just dunlavys. The Dunlavys really the deserve the best components to get the most out of them.