Help with Dunlavy SC-IV signature

Hello to all. I friend recently gave me a pair of SC-IV as they were too big for his room and he did not like their sound. The speakers sounded very bright to me but I attributed that to the cheap surround sound receiver he was using. I expected them to sound way better on my gear. No such luck. I tried them with a Moon P5 and Ayre v3 and they made my ears bleed, same with aMusical Fidelity M6PRX and Pre. I finally put then on a Nakamichi CA7 and PA7 with the tone controls all the way back and they started to sound way better. My current speakers are Martin Logan Expression 13A and Von Schweikert VR4 Get III. I added a Behringer DEQ2496 and turned the mids and highs down 7db and now they sounded very good. I have had Vanderstein 5A, Magnepan 3.7i and Utopias among others and I have never encountered something this bad. It's as if an equalizer was turned all the way up in the mids and highs. I removed one of the crossovers and to the eye they look ok I would have to remove them and measure everything to know for sure. Has anyone run into this before ? should I rebuild the crossover to see if it will improve ? What other measurements should I take ? Thanks in advance for your assistance.




I have had a bunch of great speakers in the last 10 years including Vandersteen 5, 5a, Utopias, Electras, Magnepan 3.7i, Ariel 10t, Von Schweikert VR4 GenIII, B&W 802 D2, Tyler, Martin Logan Summit X, Martin Logan Expressions 13a, Reference 3a and more. The Dunlavy speakers were terrible. As it turns out the person that purchased them from me informed me that changes had been made to the crossovers. I suspected that but it was difficult to confirm because Dunlavy speakers of the same model can have different crossovers as they are voiced individually. The new owner has much experience in this area and was able to correct the issue. The speakers now sound very good.

Yep, what you described was atypical of the many many Dunlavy speakers i have heard and sold. My comment wasn’t aimed at you. Best to you on your musical journey 


@cerberus79,  good that you got to the bottom of the problem, even after no longer owning the speakers.

I enjoyed a pair of Duntech Princess speakers for 19 years and would like to clarify a few points here.

John Dunlavy began his speaker business, Duntech, in Texas before moving it to Australia.  That company continues in business under other ownership.

His Duntech models were high quality in design, components, and build.  John believed in time and phase coherency and based his designs on that.  But my Princesses were rated at 90 dB which may have misguided some.  The manual recommended at least 200 wpc "for musical enjoyment" and I found that to be true.   The best match I found was with VTL 300 monos, and later Parasound JC-1 mono amps.

At one point John returned to the US to begin building a new Duntech model.  My assumption was his concern over the high shipping costs from OZ because of size and weight, so a model built in the US could be more competitive.  However it was not a sales success and John separated from Duntech to begin another company, Dunlavy Audio Labs (DAL), located in Colorado Springs.  There he designed and began building a new line of speakers, based upon their sibling Duntech models.  These were the SC series mentioned here by others.  The DAL speakers became highly successful for both home and studio applications.  So I'm not surprised that your buyer found inappropriate crossover modifications to be the culprit for the poor performance.  John's engineering prowess led to the crossover designs which were critical to the sonic success all of his models. 

When John's health began failing he sold DAL, but the continuation of the brand was not successful and the company closed after about a year.  For those with adequate space and appropriate components I believe both Duntech and DAL models can provide great musical satisfaction, when found used in good condition.