Speaker suggestions – Possible Magnepan 3.6R or Dunlavy SC-IV

Ideally I could audition speakers for months then make a decision. Problem is, I retired to a place where the closest decent gear is 300 miles away. Also my budget is only going to support used gear so I'm going to have to be mostly certain its a fit before I head out.

I've been a huge Maggie fan for years, love the rich warmth and "you are there" presence that I've never heard in box speakers except in extreme $$$ demo rooms.

Currently I have a 20 year old pair of entry level Magnepans supported by an MK sub

Arcam A32 integrated amp

Musical Fidelity X-DAC V8

My wife loves the sound of the small Maggie's and is cool with me going even bigger. She is sooo a keeper!

The downsized home is really a dictator regarding speaker placement. Speakers can be with 11' or 15' apart and the sitting area is about 6' wide and about 12' from the wall. 7'6” ceiling in a great room setting.

I was able to listen to a new pair of Logan's locally and I'm still not a fan . Dealer told me that's the best fit out of the selection they had so I don't have other options around here. Looking at all options that might give a big step up from what we have now.

I found a pair of Magnepan 3.6R within a day's drive. I'd end up bringing in a much better amp to drive these. Then came across a pair of Dunlavy SC-IV if I drive in another direction 300 miles. Not finding tons of info on these old guys except there great, still used in studios and were product of the year long ago. Both sets are sub $2000 which I can live with.

Concerned that the Dunlavy will have a small sweet spot like the Maggie's but then think they might sound better when way off axis, like when I'm cooking at the other end of the room. My old Infinities carried the major off axis so much better than the Maggies but didn't cut it for critical listening.

An suggestions, opinions, or alternatives; I'm not in a hurry, just need to get last setup right without many options at hand

Thanks in advance


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Many prefer the new 1.7i to the 3.6.   And it’s often cheaper used.  I would have some concerns with a 25 year old speaker from a long out of business company. But they were/maybe are great speakers...
I second the 1.7i, paired with a good sub you will have great sound. You should be able to find a nice used pair in the $1300 to $1600 range.
‘not sure  where you are located? If anywhere near PA. You are more then welcome to come listen to a pair of Dunlavy IVA.   The drivers that are used in this speaker are still readily available in today’s market.  It’s a well rounded neutral sounding speaker. 

Thank you for the offer, I'm a good 3000 miles away.

Most audiophiles I know prefer the 3.6 over the 1.7i.

Larger soundstage, much deeper bass, better mids and high frequencies.

The true ribbon tweeter beats the quasi ribbon the 1.7i by a mile. 
They’re both terrific speakers and values 
Thanks for all the feedback. 

I started out wanting 3.7i's but haven't found a pair locally. The 3.6r's sold on Monday, figure they weren't meant to be. 

For now I am just gonna keep my ears open. Will most likely plan an overnight trip to Seattle or Portland to audition whatever I can find at the time. Perhaps the Dunlevy will still be an option, but we'll see

Part of me has been thinking what I'm experiencing will become the norm moving forward as more things are only available online. Since audio is so subjective and personal how can we find the right fit when all the shops have closed? Can only tell so much from a review and hearing a speaker on Utube over my computer just leaves me dazed. Not expecting an answer, just reflecting

Can’t go wrong with either and you’ve got the space. I almost bought the IVs at one point so understand why you like them. Personally, moving the Dunlavy’s around would be a chore, and it doesn’t sound like your wife will volunteer to help!

Another pair of 3.6s will appear. I’m biased. I’ve owned Maggies for about 40 years. I love my current 3.6s. I’ve modified and amped them beyond anything most people would think possible, but you don’t have to go that way to really enjoy them.
Years ago I heard the Dunlavy SC IV. It was so wonderful that it brought tears to my eyes.  I love the full range and dynamics they deliver.  I LOVED them.  at that time I owned TDL Reference speakers which were also transmission line cabinets. I lusted after the SC IVs, but was never in a position to buy them.  
I say keep watching for the speakers you want, rather than jump on something (because it is close by) you will not want or regret a year from now. (just to mention, you should ask how old the Magnepan 3.6 for sale are. As that model was made for 12 years... I bought mine a few months before Magnepan announced the 3.7 and mine are now almost 8 years old. So some Magnepan 3.6 are 20 years old.)

I have found several great things which are relatively rare by being patient and watching the ads on the goN’ .
The big plus for two of them was they weighed a ton, and they were close enough to go pick up (100miles)
doit, I hope you appreciate how much space may be required for either speaker to perform at its best.  I owned Duntech Princesses, older sibling to the DAL SC-IV, and a couple Maggies, although not the 3.6.

The SC-IV can sound great with a 10-12' separation, probably 8' would be minimum for the speaker's soundstage potential.  But they should also have at least 3' to the sidewalls.  And smoothest bass will be realized at least 3' out from the front wall (but not the same distance as from sidewalls).  I talked with John Dunlavy a few times at shows and he always demoed his speakers with wide separation and good distances from adjacent walls.

The 3.6, being a dipole design, requires at least 5' distance from the front wall to achieve the recommended 10 mili-second delay between direct and reflected sound for optimum clarity.  It may be possible to place them closer but either diffraction or absorption will be required behind them on the front wall to simulate that distance.  Fortunately sidewall distance is not critical.

Otherwise, the SC-IV can sound spacious when set up correctly, but not like the Maggies.  And while I've heard reasonable bass from the 3.6 it won't compare to the SC-IV.  

Individual choice is always personal so I hope this all can help your decision.