About a year ago I narrowed my speaker choices to the Dunlay SC-IV/A and the Vienna Acoustics Mahler. I auditioned both of them several times, listening to the same music. I chose the Mahlers and never looked back.
They sound wonderful are much smaller and look much better. They sound very natural top to bottom and have all the bass you would ever need. The soundstage is very wide and deep with excellent imaging and great detail. My CD source is the Meridian 588, preamp is Jeff Rowland Synergy IIi, amps are the Classe' CAM 350 monoblocs.
It gave me what I liked about the Dunlavy sound but more liquid, detailed and musical.
Remember that Dunlavy is out of business, so be careful. Getting service could be more complex.
Check out the VMPS line, I think they have 3 models at $10,000 and above. All models make use of ribbons for mid/high's. Not sure if the new RM/X's have hit the streets yet, they are about $10,000. I think the Super Tower III's are over $15,000 but I'm not sure.
At the risk of being overly simplistic, in what areas are you especially looking for improvement over the SC-IV's? Even up around 15 grand, you'll be making trade-offs. You see, different speakers excel in different areas...
How loud do you like it (at the listening position)? How wide do you want the sweet spot to be? Do you place a higher priority on holographic imaging, or richness of instrumental timbres and textures? Are you more interested in a presentation reminiscent of a jazz club, or of a concert hall? How important is hearing all the little inner harmonic nuances - would you trade off some performance in other areas to get the inner details right? How critical is coherence? What are you looking for in bottom-octave performance (recognize that this is the most expensive part of the spectrum to "do it all" in)? What kinds of music do you mostly listen to? Do you sometimes listen at low or very low volume levels? Do you want a speaker that is ultra-revealing, or one that is forgiving enough to sound good with mediocre recording? Do you have any particular speaker-positioning constraints?
Sorry for all the questions, but the more information I have the better the chance of offering useful suggestions.
On the Genesis vs JM Labs front, I have tended to prefer Genesis, but haven't heard any of their new models. In my experience, JM Labs speakers really like tube amps (Air-Tight amps seem to work especially well with them - nope, I don't sell 'em).
Also, just curious - which Accuphase amps do you have?
used Genesis 201 is better in every sonic parameter than any Dunlavy speaker I previously owned the Dunlavy 4 and 5 for a considerable period of time 5 years or so the Dunlavy just doesn't have the resolution capability of the Genesis has I really liked the Dunlavy bass capabilities but they really aren't comparable to the 201's. The Genesis also images much better and is easier to place also.
Audiokinesis makes some great points. I have always been impressed with the Dunlavy line and you would be hard-pressed to find a speaker that presents a more holographic image (at least within the sweet spot). You can get a Dunlavy V used for about $6500 but I do not think you would see a huge difference from the IVA.
The production issues with the VMPS RM/X have finaly been resolved. Dealers should have them for audition within the next few weeks.
Andra Eggleston used read sterophile
I have also owned the 4s. I have sold them and since moved on. The 4s are a very evenhanded speaker that doesn't do to many wrongs, while in my opinion they don't do a lot of things spectacular. I would skip the 4as or the 5s, they just sound to much like the 4s in my opinion and the 5s are gigantic are require a big room.
If you are going to stick with your current electronics I would reccomend you listen to the Silverline Bolero, I have a hunch they might sound really good with your Accuphase amp. I own the Sonata and have directly compared them to the 4s, while the Sonata seemed to have more issues than the 4s they were much more exciting and spectacular. The Boleros should be better, I heard them at the Home Entertainment show and they were sounding very good.
I agreed with Duke that there are many things to cosider when choosing top notch speakers, mainly for you would be the system and room you are matching them to
As someone who liked Dunlavy speakers, you should give serious consideration to the Vandersteen Model 5A, which shares a number of performance characteristics with the now-defunct Dunlavy line. The Vandy Model 5A sells for $15k, while the original Model 5 is about $3500 less.
Martin Logan Prodogy
I have owned the IV,IV-A, and the V's. Another audiogoner"Calloway" turned me on to the piega line. I now own the c-10ltd which are better in most ways than the Dunlavy's. The bass on the Dunlavy's is bigger if your room allows you to get it right which I could never do. With the right associated components the piega's will provide excellent music.
If you like Dunlavy, besides the obvious bigger Dunlavy', you might want to consider Green Mountain, Meadowlark, Vandersteen and especially Thiel.
My prior system was a full Cello system driving the B&W 800's. Nice sound.
I was on a mission to improve on that sound so I was looking at the Dunlavy VI's in contrast to the 800's. Well, during my quest for better sound I came across the Avantgarde Duo's.
As I listen to World Music with a lot of female vocals, percussion, drums, etc. there is a certain sound I seek out - the Duo's do it!
I would like to suggest that you audition the Duos before making any decisions.
Yes, a major departure from the Dunlavy sound, but what an improvement to my ear.
Recently a close friend and I went to a friends home who has the VI armed with a collection of my reference CD's to again confirm or disprove my earlier impressions - the Duo's won hands down!
Dunlavy and Thiel share some design philosophies and I believe John
Dunlavy has been quoted as saying that he would probably own Thiel if
he didn't make his own speakers. Seems like they should be on your
I also replaced my Dunlavy 4s with the Avantgarde Duos and couldn't be happier, the Duos are a major commitment of time and energy to get them to sound their best, but when you do they are magic. The Duos are so much more spectacular than the 4s, but can be problematic and frustrating if not set up well.
I had the SC-IVs which I liked very much but I wanted more definition in the midrange so I started listening to a lot of speakers and read about other folks experiences. I went to a single driver system so I could take advantage of SET amplification and get away from the crossover issues. I bought a sub that was fast enough to keep with the single driver speakers. I ended with improved dynamics and increased definition in the midrange and bottom end. I am very happy. Single driver speakers may not be for everyone - everyone is searching after their own audio nirvana. But I would take a listen to different types of speakers - planars, electrostatics, larger Dunlavy's, horn, etc.. Find out what you think you are missing and see what the tradeoffs are with other speakers. If you are going to spend $15K, consider changes to your amp and preamp and cables.... as well as power and resonance control. Good luck and enjoy!