Dunlavy SC-V Floorstanding Speakers

SC-V

(2)12" Woofers, (2)6.5" Mids, (2)3" Mids and a 1" Tweeter

User Reviews (22)

Showing 1-10 of 22  
Robb Brewer   AudioPhile [Mar 20, 2013]

I will admit I I am an avid Dunlavy fan and between my 2 channel room and home theatre I have 5 sets of Dunlavy's including a center channel model HRCC1. Anyone that tells you the SCV's are anything short of amazing is more than likely running them with inferior equipment. They sound their best with large tube amps preferably Audio Research components. I have tried BAT and Antique sound labs equipment and there is no comparison. Audio Research is the best gear out there. The set up is not difficult to do and well worth softening the listening room. I have listened to MANY audiophile systems and have never heard anything close to them. The only speakers that are any where near them are the new Vandesteens and they ar 45K a pair. As stated garbage in will be garbage out so if you dont have the required gear dont waste you time

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Nil   AudioPhile [Aug 20, 2012]

I can't believe I stumble upon this thread. Again. I didn't even realize that I had posted my review almost 10 plus years ago!! My electronics, cables almost everything has changes except the Dunlavy's. I think that is saying a lot.
I have auditioned many 'ref' speakers in the past, present but I still find my Dunlavy's Vs to be irreplaceble. Yes, there are fancy speakers (lot to brag on material this and tweeter that, shiny car like finishes and the like) from Wilson, Magico, et al out there at $100k plus prices but none IMHO deliver the natural sound no nonsense music that these speakers reproduces.

Simply a true classic.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
patton   AudioPhile [Apr 24, 2011]

I have never wrote a review for a piece of audio equipment, as I find the subject anymore too full of psychobabble voodoo, marketing ploys, and "tweakers" who don't play an instrument or record themselves..... or understand live music, let alone the recording and mastering process. You hear what you want; psycho-acoustics is another subject matter all together. But these loudspeakers warrant some true praise, and speak to John Dunlavy's engineering savvy and understanding of acoustics.

Yea, they look like coffins in the living room. Yea, they are a pain to set up and are totally unforgiving of room acoustics and positioning. (probably any loudspeaker's greatest enemy, and so often over-looked in favor of gear, is the environment) Yea, if you put garbage source material through them, they will sound like garbage. And yes, your wife WILL hate them. Quite simply, these loudspeakers are more of a "tool," if you will. They are not convenient, require competent power and source equipment, and if you are looking for the artificial low end "bloom" that exists in so many designs, they are not for you. There is a reason so many mastering studios over the years, have used these designs.

Without re-hashing what has been said in previous reviews, they are quite simply the best bang for the buck reference loudspeaker out there at this point in time, if you can find them. They do one thing, and one thing very well. If you attend live music regularly, or are involved in the recording and production process, their qualities will be immediately evident and speak volumes of their capabilities. I have had my big, ugly furniture grade oak veneer set of SC-V's for years. You could offer me any other loudspeaker on earth no matter the price, and I would still never part with them.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Gianni X. Wong   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 07, 2010]

Simply,this is the best speaker money can buy--even if I were the wealthiest man alive,I would still use these speakers for my music playback;or may be I would use the same design model but implement drivers with even lower distortion and faster settling time(a sum of propagation delay,rise time,overshoot recovery to within the error margin),all other measurements being equal. These speakers have a set of credibly documented and unconditionally guaranteed measurements that describes every performance parameter of a electromechanical transducer and has yet to be surpassed by any other speakers. Some other speakers may have lower distortion in the low bass,Wilson Audio and Celestion come to mind,and still some others may have faster drivers;however,when interpreted as a whole,the SC-V's acoustic and electrical properties are still the most accurate in its ability to reproduce an input signal.

Measurements are the most important indicator of a speaker's performance capabilities; that is,if a complete set of measurements is made by competent engineers in a controlled environment(anechoic chamber),and scientifically interpreted;yes,measurement observations are open not only to interpretations,but also to critiques by academic peers. Which parameters are being measured? How important are they? And to what extent and at which measured valued will a certain parameter cause an audible degradation in sound quality? For example,a speaker with .3% of THD at 50 Hz at 90 SPL at 1m will not sound any more distorted than a speaker having a .1% THD under the same conditions,because human ears can not detect harmonic distortion at these low THD levels;of course,at over 100 SPL, the rising distortions will eventually take a toll on the listener's ears.
Before a loudspeaker engineer can prepare a comprehensive set of tests that will reliably predict a loudspeaker's acoustic performance and a listener's response to such a stimulus, designer must understand music theory and how music is related to an electrical signal,and he must also hold impeccable credentials in acoustic theory,electrical and electronics engineering,as well as knowledge in psycho-acoustics and room acoustics. The late Mr. John Dunlavy was the most competent in designing a transducer that will reproduce an electrical signal into an acoustic wave as accurately and as faithfully as possible. He emphasized flat on-axis frequency response,time and phase coherence,fast rise time and minimal energy storage,paying special attention to frequency response in both the vertical and horizontal plane(polar response),and ensuring dispersion characteristics that matches that of many important musical instruments. Point source radiation,symmetrical radiation patterns,low cabinet resonances and vibrations,low harmonic and inter-modulation distortions,low Doppler distortion,fast spectral decay,minimal ringing and overshoot,high efficiency,minimal electrical phase angles,flat electrical impedance for proper impedance matching with Dunlavy speaker cables--all these has been completely and successfully achieved in the SC-V.

Subjective analysis is reliable and trustworthy only if credible and competent authorities conduct it under scientific double-blind testings. Mix magazine,the recording industry's authoritative journal peer edited and reviewed by the best recording engineers,conducted a search for the most accurate loudspeakers in the world. They narrowed down to three monitors: the Dunlavy SC-V,the ATC SCM-300A,the B&W Nautilus 801.
The B&W was eliminated in the preliminary round,and the Dunlavy beat the ATC in the overall score by a considerable margin. In fact,the Dunlavy scored good to excellent in all performance categories,beating the ATC in all but two insignificant performance aspects;the ATC played louder with less strain(110 db),and had better imaging for off-axis listeners. The bass was a toss up--ATC for hard-hitting rock music,and Dunlavy for classical music,Jazz,and acoustic music. In conclusions,all the engineers agreed that the Dunlavy SC-V had better top to bottom coherence and transparency,more accurate on-axis imaging,better tonal balance,and more accurate overall.

Listen for yourself,and you will be amazed and thankful that you do,because it is the best there is.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Shocked One   AudioPhile [Sep 01, 2008]
Strength:

Incredible sound, and isn't that what speakers are supposed to be about?

For the money (when new), these were an great deal.

Now on the even cheaper used market, I'd tell my best friend to mortgage their house if they had to; they're that good!

Weakness:

Narrow sweet spot. Steven Stone of Stereophile magazine once said of the VI's (August 1996) they are like giant headphones for one person. (Unless everyone is sitting directly behind each other)

Their size bothers some people; I always tell people I want to be burried in them...

Although I have never actually owned the Dunlavy V's, I feel qualified to comment on these having owned a pair of Duntech Sovereign 2001's as well as a pair of Dunlavy VI's. (and besides, audioreview.com does not have a formal review section for the Sovereign 2001's)

I just wrote a review on the VI's in their appropriate section, but since my comments are almost identical, I will cut and paste that review here, changing the specific parts that apply here.

It seems to me that Ted probably had a hidden agenda when he wrote his review. That anyone can rate these speakers a one out of five is absolutely rediculous!

Ted, did you hear them in a busy stairwell or maybe even a noisy bus terminal? I know; maybe you were on a subway ride during rush hour and they were being powered by a boom box?

My point is a rating of one on a speaker of this caliber is just incredibly off the mark! I'm not saying that everyone has to rate them a perfect five, but you gave them a one! These speakers would have to be submerged in a pool of salt-water for most sane person to rate them a one! Were you having a bad day or something?

I have been fortunate enough to have owned seven different pairs of speakers in the over $10,000 (when new) category and one of those even made it into the over $50,000 category. I have also critically listened to many high-end, ultra-high-end and even super-duper-ultra-high-end speakers over the past 25 to 30 years. Some of them were in carefully set up rooms and some had not passed the WIF (Wife Acceptance Factor), so they were in less than ideal settings!

To anyone considering Dunlavy or Duntech speakers, they are truly amazing products at every one of their respective price points. You should definitely give them an audition if you ever get the chance.

Unfortunately, the Dunlavy factory has since closed it's doors and Mr. Dunlavy has passed away.

Similar Products Used: There are other speakers that may be better at some aspect or another, but for honest sound from top to bottom at REALISTIC musical volumes, there really is nothing similar for me to put here...
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Will Berdan II   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 23, 2003]
Strength:

Plays quite loud for a time and phase accurate speaker... delivers excellent punch and a quite clear and smooth musical delivery. Since the company just went out of business, all models left should be discounted heavily, making them an even better value.

Weakness:

Size is definetely a problem.. this speaker takes up a great deal of room, and needs to be positioned farther from sidewalls than typical (non-d'appolito array) speakers. Sounds somewhat closed in, and does not image as perfectly as some other time and phase accurate speaker systems. But, easily the #1 weakness is that it is now no longer produced (no warranty, no chance for matched replacement drivers, etc). Now only two time and phase accurate speaker companys are left.

I have lived with the Dunlavy SC-V for well over 1 year now in my own home. When properly set up, this speaker can produce a very tight, focused soundfield that quite simply embarasses speaker systems that are not time and phase coherent. Because the drivers are positioned in a D'Appolito array, you must be very carefull that the speakers are level on the floor ( I had to shim my Dunlavys) or else the drivers will not be able to integrate properly. These speakers can take more effort to set up, but the end result is definetely rewarding, and this model is quite smooth and enjoyable to listen to. I rated the value of the Dunlavy SC-V's a 3 because I feel there may be a few other speakers that can outperform them at the 13k price point, but they are still top notch performers. If you rate the value of the discounted prices that dealers are now selling them at (well under 10k) then the value is much more like a 4. Performance-wise I give the SC-V's a 4. I regard this "4" rating to still be higher than any non-time and phase accurate speaker (that I have heard) with a "5" rating, but it still doesnt image or dissapear quite as well as some other models of time and phase accurate speakers. Make no mistake though, this is a top notch speaker. ...Just for the record, my current system is: Pioneer DV-AX10 DVD-A/CD/SACD, Audio Research LS25mkII pre-amp, 2 Classe Cam 350 monoblock amplifiers, AudioQuest Anaconda interconnects (0.5m and 2.0m) and 2 pairs of AudioQuest Killimanjaro speaker cable in a biwire configuration (0.5m each) , Richard Grays 400s units (2).

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Sound Broker   AudioPhile [Sep 25, 2002]
Strength:

Absolute transparency, phase coherence, dynamics, and frequency response. A true window into the music when set up correctly.

Weakness:

Absolute transparency. Unforgiving of poor rooms, poor equipment and poor setup. Get them right and they will floor you.

I've been in the audio industry for 25+ years and these are quite simply the finest loudspeakers that have ever graced my listening room. They are staggeringly transparent, absolutely coherent, truly full range, and totally involving. They throw the largest soundstage of any speaker that we've heard come thru. They do not editorialize the sound, but deliver only what you put into them. The better you feed them with, the better they sound. Failure to treat your room acoustically, failure to use top notch electronics or failure to spend the hours necessary to set them up will result in failure to achieve what they are capable of. This is not the SC-V's fault, they are just so incredibly transparent that everthing will effect them. Interestingly enough, they were very easy to set up in our room (which is acoustically treated). I had a pair of B&W Nautilus 801's and Nautilus 802's in here previously, and there is simply no comparison...the Dunlavy's are superior in every possible way. These easily compete with the super speakers out there (we've had most of them in here at one time or another) and as such, are a bargain. System: Theta Casablanca II w/Extreme DAC's, Theta Pro Gen Va DAC. Theta Dreadnaught and Citadel power amplification. Faroudja digital transport. Wireworld and Goertz digital, signal, power and speaker cabling, Exact Power EP-15 power regerators, Echo Busters acoustic treatments.

Similar Products Used: B&W Nautilus 801/802. Thiel CS-7, Infinity IRS-V, Genesis 201's, Magnepan MG-20's, Infinity Prelude MTS, Infinity Intermezzo 4.1's...and many more.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Aaron   AudioPhile [May 30, 2002]
Strength:

Dynamics, Low end extension, and lack of distortion at very loud levels. Very easy for most amplifiers to drive due to flat impedance and high efficiency. Readily available drivers if a mishap happens.

Weakness:

Size, cost, and lack of forgiveness of components up stream.

The Dunlavys are very revealing and can be a bit finicky with its companion components. Once the speakers and room are set up properly with high end components, few speakers at any price compare to the SC-V. I have used them for some time to listen to my 1500+ CDs and 1000+ LPs. The appearance of the SC-Vs aren't for everyone, but if you have a room that is decorated properly they can blend in a bit. It is hard to hide 7 ft speakers, regardless of manufacturer. These speakers should only be recommeded to those that are dedicated enough to set up a system with great concern and have the components that will not be embarrassed by the Dunlavys' revealing nature.

Similar Products Used: Multiple Magneplanars, Martin Logans Monoliths, Klipsch Horns, Genesis II, B&W Matrix 801 & Nautilus 802.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Dan Brauser   Audiophile [Mar 21, 2000]
Strength:

Imaging and seamless integration from top to bottom is the best that I have heard in the thirty-some years of pursuing this hobby. Any upgrade in equipment or wiring is immediately apparent. This is a very narrow beam design that is placement sensitive, but will reward with a very dynamic presentation and huge sound stage. Later model ARC and BAT epuipment with Audio Magic cables produces an incredible synergy.

Weakness:

Needs high current amps to sound best. Vertical bi-amping is a great way to satisfy these hungry beasts. Also, they just sound much better in a large volume room.

Perhaps the best value in High End Audio today. Buy these babys used for 6-7K add a couple of high current amps and quality cable and get ready for the audio ride of your life.

Similar Products Used: Infinity RS 1B, Magnaplanar Tympany 1C, Legacy Whisper
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
tapani lappi   Casual Listener [Dec 24, 1999]
Strength:

this is real music

Weakness:

big,heavy,expensive,but real life

big speakers,but when you want listen real music i think it`s only choice. others speakers what i say first is very good but when you get dunlavys you get all best of them.i have now dal 6 what give more but dal 5 is one world top speakers absolute.i am not amazing how many top recordings studios use dunlavys their reference studio loudspeakers, they are so good.

Similar Products Used: wilson grand slamm, avalon eidalon, mangnepan 20,
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 22  

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.

audioreview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

Other Web Sites in the ConsumerReview Network:

mtbr.com | roadbikereview.com | carreview.com | photographyreview.com | audioreview.com