Speaker upgrade...


Thinking the upgrade(wanting to try something different) bug has bitten me, and I'm wanting to try some different speakers. I'm currently using Dunlavy SC4's which I'm perfectly happy with and have no issue with and could continue to live with for many more years. So this isn't a I don't like what I have post but more of a would these speakers be an improvement over my current speakers. I'm looking at BW N801 and Avalon Radian HC speakers.

Has anyone spent time with the above mentioned speakers who could chime in with what their thoughts are?
2channeljunkie
You have excellent  speakers I wouldn't touch them unless something is wrong with them.
Yes I love them and wanted opinions on the other 2 that had caught my eye. But didn't want to be disappointed if the BW's or Avalon's are not better than the Dunlavy
Something else to consider....

Forthcoming (available May 2017) Golden Ear Triton Reference ... 
Personally I would look at newer designs, unless the Radians or 801's were so cheap as to preclude you looking at something else.

The Dunleavy sound was by today's standards very laid back in the treble with a big sound stage without the more pinpoint imaging of some other designs. They sounded big and musical also the deep bass was not particularly deep considering the size of the speakers.

The best thing about the speakers is they do sound very big and are warm and forgiving.

The Radian's offer a smaller sound stage although with much greater image focus, tighter bass and greater resolution.


The 801's sound a bit smaller, tighter bass, a more precise sound stage.

I would go for a pair of Legacy speakers, the Focus SE or the Larger Focus, similar smooth midrange, big sound stage and tighter more visceral bass, tonally very similar to the SC 4
The Avalons are a step up; those B&W are veerrryy ssssloowwww.Boring,,,,zzzzzzzzz
I agree the B&W is not a good option at all too much bright and "polite" .
One thing to consider is that its hard to listen to speakers that are not time and phase correct like the speakers you have now.
" One thing to consider is that its hard to listen to speakers that are not time and phase correct like the speakers you have now."

This is very clearly, it must be said, part of the problem when listeners do not use properties to evaluate music reproduction systems, as has already been proven to the many listeners who have heard Tru-Fi. They focus on one or two of what they think are properties of music reproduction systems but don't take all of them into account or even more likely have misidentified the properties of music reproduction systems in the first place.

This has been proven many times in shootouts demonstrating the superiority of Tru-Fi in  music reproduction systems that account for all of the properties of music reproduction systems and all listeners have found this to be true.

Those who do not use Tru-Fi in their music reproduction systems will never be happy with their sound because of the distortion. Yes many listeners actually like distortion in their  music reproduction systems and what they do is keep chnanging the types and amount of the distortion in search of sound that will make them happy. It is only when they hear Tru-Fi in a shootout that they realize the distortion they thought they liked only concealed the music in their music reproduction system and when this has been shown every listener realizes the superiority of Tru-Fi  music reproduction systems.

Those who do not recognize Tru-Fi are like little children who think they learn nothing in school. It is only using shootouts with Tru-Fi  music reproduction systems that all of the properties of every component in the music reproduction system can be demonstrated to these little children. So you can change your speaker's amplifier's preamplifier's room treatment's cable's DAC's but without Tru-FI you will never achieve real audio you will always be changing your equipment and wasting your money because that is what the corrupt music reproduction system  industry wants you to do for their profits only.
Post removed 
The HC version of the Radian means High Current, requiring a high current amp like the Spectral that they were designed with.

After hearing them at a top dealer in a couple of ~1hr. demos, I fell in love and eventually bought them along with Spectral & MIT gear all made to fit each other, similar to the famous "2C3D" system reviewed in Stereophile. At home in a professionally setup room, this rig bored me so much I couldn't wait to replace it with something less detailed but more rhythmic and musical. Moving to Quad ESL63s and Cary tube amps was probably an overreaction in the opposite direction, but the latter pair kept me smiling in the listening room far more than the Radians did. Cheers,
Spencer 
"you will never achieve real audio you will always be changing your equipment and wasting your money because that is what the corrupt music reproduction system industry wants you to do for their profits only."

I agree, most of the hi fi industry makes "cosmetic gear" components that design to attract the unprofessional listeners and make the W A W factor on potential naive consumers by making a false manipulation on the sound ( artificial coloration, exaggerate dynamics act.)
You should avoid this gear at all costs and choose components carefully base on their faithful reproduction of the original recording and not on your personal subjective preferences.
I'd agree with audiotroy above about looking at newer designs, as speaker driver technology has just advanced so much since "back in the day".  I'd also agree it's hard to beat the Legacy FocusSE in overall performance at its price.  You get the Air Motion ribbon tweeter and quality bass down to 18Hz.
Thanks for all the replies. I can get the Avalon's local for 2300 and the BW for 3200 plus shipping. 
That's my biggest fear is ending up with a speaker so detailed the listener bores quickly. The Dunlavys can play for hours and be non fatiguing
Keep the Dunlavys. You’ll regret selling them. Upgrading for the sake of upgrading results usually in disappointment. Since you like the Dunlavys and are happy with them, I will quote the Allman Brothers ... "Don't mess up a good thing."
Keep your Dunlavys until you know for sure what you want. To buy them back if you make a mistake will be very difficult.
It will be a big mistake to replace speakers you love for speakers  you can't  audition. It's a risky gamble.

If you're looking to upgrade your system in any particular area, there's absolutely no reason why you can't upgrade your electronics instead.
My advice is to hold tight until you can sit in front of a few things yourself... Your Dunlavy's have their own character.  When you listen to B&W or Legacy, A Golden Ear or Avalon,  what ever the brand may be, you will most likely hear a family resemblance.  You need a good feel of how different something else will be from your Dunlavy's. I also like the Legacy stuff, the current Signatures, Focus and Aeris are all very good speakers, but even with all of these recommendations, they may be so different from your Dunlavy's that they would be hard to get used to. 
Take your time, take a look around.  You'll come to a conclusion to replace or hold on and feel good about your decision.
Tim
I'd go with a pair of used Legacy Signature III's ... or if you have a large room that can accommodate the Legacy Focus speakers, then go with them.  

Double click on my avatar to get a good look at the Signature III's. 
You have given no personal listening preferences or the type of music you enjoy, size of your listening room, electronics, WAF influence or any other background information. 
To me, the issue with the Dunlevy's is that they're too laid-back.  But they do tons of other things well.  I can understand wanting to upgrade, but suspect it'll take a lot of auditioning before you find something that's genuinely better, rather than just different.
Please anyone feel free to respond to this.     I have found that the old adage "garbage in equals garbage out"  is totally true with High end Audio.   With that said, I have heard some amazing systems that were not pricey for the electronics and speakers and put the majority of the cost into the turntable/arm/cartridge.   If you start with something great, you will get some thing almost as great down the line to the speakers.  If you start with crap,  you are only getting even worse crap out of the speakers.   I have built several systems over the years. I started in High End Audio in 1987,  and i have always upgraded my speakers as the last part of my system.   The majority of my money being spent on the analog front end.   So i say to you, 2ChannelJunkie,  look to upgrade your phone cartridge or your digital front end,  maybe some new cables. and you might find that your "old" speakers have some very new life in them.   

This may be a captain obvious moment... If you feel like your sound is short of what you want it to be, have you tried a RTA with measurement mic? Minidsp sells cheap mics and I'm using Onyx RTA for my iPhone with the camera adapter to hook up the mic.

I was feeling like my systems had shortcomings... With proper analysis I was able to treat my rooms, tweak placement and rediscover my existing equipment in a whole new way... Without having to resort to DSP. Just furniture, house plants, and bass traps (not free, but not speakers either).

That fresh sound you're looking for might be closer and cheaper than you think!
I'm currently powering the Dunlavys with a McIntosh MC2500 that's been completely rebuilt by audioclassics. I know some hate and others love MAC gear. I grew in a house with MAC and while I agree others may sound better but MAC has been the only electronics that I can turn on and play for 8 plus hrs. And never get tired of hearing. Also I've been burnt with other brands that when I had issues I wasn't able to get fixed/repaired locally. 
I agree upgrading speakers can be tricky. I only thought about it as a local audiophile who introduced me to truly hi end had a set of Avalon HC that he would sell me for 2300 He himself said that he couldn't say in his opinion if they would be better than the Dunlavys which he also sold me. 
I'd keep the Dunlavys. They are awesome speakers and soundstage incredibly well.