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Diva 6.1 Opinions Mated with Higher-end Gear?


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#1 of 14 OFFLINE   dpippel

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Posted April 04 2002 - 11:13 PM

You know, the upgrade bug is more addictive than nicotine! Posted Image I started on my journey to the Dark Side by getting an outboard 5 channel amp and using my receiver as a pre/pro. I told myself that it would end there. Two months later I've ended up with the new amp, a new pre/pro, an SVS 25-31 PCi on order and now I'm looking to replace my speakers as well. Holy crap! SOMEBODY HELP ME!!!

Seriously though, I've been reading a lot of rave reviews on many of the HT forums about Swan Diva loudspeakers. The majority of people who have purchased them are in love. They love the sound, they love the finish and build quality, they love the price, they love the people behind the product.

HOWEVER, most of the reviews I've seen appear to be written by people who are either upgrading to the Divas from low-end speakers and/or are mating them to relatively low power A/V receivers. Nothing wrong with that of course, but I'm looking for Diva owners, particularly Diva 6.1 owners, who are using these speakers with separates. What are your opinions and impressions of the Divas? What speakers did you upgrade from? What equipment are you driving them with? Are you satisified/happy/ecstatic with your 6.1s?

My HT room is 15x25 feet and I've got my front soundstage/TV on one 15 foot wall. My listening habits are about 50/50 HT and 2 channel music. My gear consists of a Sherbourn 5/1500 amp (200wpc @ 8 ohms, 300wpc @ 4 ohms) and Marantz AV9000 pre/pro mated to a pair of Polk RT800 mains (not the 800i) and a Polk CS400i CC. While these speakers sound good I can't help but think that I'd be enjoying my system more with something a level or two above them. That's why I've been looking at the Diva 6.1s to replace my mains and a C3 to take up CC duties. It's buying them sight unheard that has me concerned. AV123 has a 30 day return policy, but if I don't like them the cost to send these big, heavy buggers back to CA (I'm in PA) would be, shall we say, prohibitive. I realize that speaker choice is completely subjective, but I'd like to get a feel for what others with similiar gear who own Divas think about the product. If anyone out there can offer up some guidance I'd be grateful.

Careful man, there's a beverage here!


#2 of 14 OFFLINE   Steve Zimmerman

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Posted April 04 2002 - 11:33 PM

Doug, if you haven't already done so, you can request a Diva audition from a current owner in your area.

I'm driving the Diva 6.1s with a Denon 3802 as the pre/pro and bi-amped with a Sherwood Newcastle 5-channel amplifier. I'm very happy with how it sounds, but the upgrade bug is an ongoing influence around here and I'm in the long line for the Outlaw 950/770 combo.

--Steve

#3 of 14 OFFLINE   dpippel

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Posted April 04 2002 - 11:47 PM

Thanks for the link Steve. Unfortunately, the closest Diva 6.1 owner to my location is about 4.5 hours away. I'm glad to hear that you're happy with yours though, and I'm sure you'll be happy with that Outlaw combo. I'm in line for a 950 myself Posted Image.

Careful man, there's a beverage here!


#4 of 14 OFFLINE   PomingF

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Posted April 05 2002 - 01:30 AM

Doug, I've been running my 6.1's off two of a Citation 7.1's four channels and thought they sound great. That was until I moved a pair of Bryston monoblocs into the room (mainly for the Maggies) and setup a multi-cahnnel music system using the Diva speaker package. With the Brystons the 6.1's sound deeper & faster with bass & less strained in highs as compared to the Citation. They just don't stop to amaze me. Posted Image

PF

#5 of 14 OFFLINE   SanfordL

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Posted April 05 2002 - 02:05 AM

As another person pondering grabbing the Diva 6.1's, what speakers are you (who have them) or did you upgrade from, and how did the Diva's sound compared to your old speakers. I like my Boston Accoustics, but I am looking long and hard at upgrading to a 7.1 system, and I can't just get 2 speakers, I have to grab all 7 at once. Posted Image I've read that the Diva's have a great laid back sound like Kefs, Thiel's, etc, is that what you current owners feel? How is sound dispersion from the 6.1's if you are standing and possibly off axis (i.e. if I am having a party and folks are walking around instead of sitting?)

Doug, just remember, those 8" subs in the 6.1's are not shielded so depending on your TV size, you might want to take that into account in addition to the placement rec's from AV123. There are ways to shield the woofs, but I'd sure regret punching a cone trying to do it myself. I have a front wall big enough to not have to worry, but if you have a 60+ inch TV, an equipment rack, etc eating up space (my HT furniture takes up 10 feet all said and told) it might be an issue depending on your placement. I think the speakers want to be 32~36" away from the rear wall, and probably about the same on either side. Download the Diva owners manual from the Unofficial Diva site or from AV123 and check for their placement recomendations as my memory is probably not right on the money.

“The fact that there are actually ways of knowing and characterizing the extent of one’s ignorance, while still remaining ignorant, may ultimately be more interesting and useful to people than Yarkovsky,” Giorgini said.

#6 of 14 OFFLINE   dpippel

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Posted April 05 2002 - 02:19 AM

Sanford - Thanks for the heads-up on the placement issues. I've checked into it already and won't have a problem. My current TV is a 32" WEGA. It and all of my equipment are on an A/V rack that leaves me with some flexibility on side-to-side and distance from the wall positioning. I've currently got about 24" between my Polks and the television and can extend that for the Divas if necessary. And, like you, I'm really interested in what Diva 6.1 owners have upgraded *from*.

Poming - Gracias for the info. Sounds like you're impressed with the 6.1s. What did you have before you bought your Divas and how did your previous speakers stack up?

Careful man, there's a beverage here!


#7 of 14 OFFLINE   Walt N

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Posted April 05 2002 - 02:31 AM

They float like a butterfly, and sting like a bee with my trusty old Outlaw 750. I've had them for 9 or 10 months now and I'm very satisfied. These days I'm blowing my money on music rather than researching my next equipment upgrade which is not my typical pattern. My 6.1, 4.1, C-3 combo replaced a set of Klipsch RF-3's, KSF-10.5's, and an RC-3 center. Before those I had many different speakers in various 2ch configs over the last many years including Klipsch Cornwalls, RTR Series III's (the good ones, they were monsters), various Advents, KLH's, (before they went cheapie), Cannon, etc. I've done some in room A/B's with speakers I have, begged, or borrowed and while I can't say the Diva's will be perfect for you, they're as close as I've come (given my taste) for anywhere near this money.

#8 of 14 OFFLINE   dpippel

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Posted April 05 2002 - 02:46 AM

Thanks Walt. I think that I lean towards a warmer sound, as you apparently do. Right now I have a pair of Paradigm Reference Studio/40s that I'm auditioning at home as mains, and after an hour or two of listening last night they just seem a bit too bright. My room may have something to do with that impression, but I don't think that the Paradigm sound is for me. They have amazing detail and definitely sound better set to large with the sub still on than they do when I'm crossing them over to my sub at 80hz and below. My current sub is an 100 watt Infinity BU-2. I'm sure that things will change significantly when my SVS arrives, but given the size of my room and my listening habits, I think a speaker like the 6.1 will suit me better.

I realize that the 6.1s are going to give a completely different presence than the monitors just based on their configuration. Many of the comments I've read about the 6.1s sound use adjectives such as "warm with good high-end clarity" and "laid back". Many people seem to be impressed with the depth of the soundstage and the imaging of the higher frequencies on the Divas. That sounds like what I'm looking for - something with more depth and detail than my Polks are providing.

Careful man, there's a beverage here!


#9 of 14 OFFLINE   PomingF

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Posted April 05 2002 - 02:49 AM

Doug, my Diva system is an extension (separate room) to my original HT with the Def Tech BP2000/CLR2000/BPX system. Within each of their own environment/placement restrictions the Diva's has smoother/fuller upper mid & highs, better image and doesn't give away much in soundstage or bass despite the Def Tech's powered SW. All in all a very competent, musical speaker disregarding it's amazing price tag.

PF

#10 of 14 OFFLINE   Sean D

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Posted April 05 2002 - 02:49 AM

I am running my Diva 6.1, 2.1 and C3 off of an Anthem MCA5 mkII . I'm using a Marantz SR7000 receiver as a preamp until next week(hopefully) when I get the Outlaw 950 preamp.
I just got my divas about 3-4 weeks ago and I love them.
I used to have Energy 22.3 mains which were about 8-10 years old. They were the original Connoissuer series and at the time listed for $2000.00 U.S. I also had the AC300 center channel(nice speaker) speaker and RVSS rears. The Energy speakers are very nice speakers but I have absolutley no regrets at all on switching to the Divas. Do I feel the move was an upgrade? ABSOLUTELY. The Divas have a much wider and deeper soundstage and better imaging. The bass on the 6.1's may not have been as tight due to the Energy having 6.5" woofers but they are definately deeper.
My 2 cents

#11 of 14 OFFLINE   SanfordL

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Posted April 05 2002 - 05:06 AM

Sean, have you modified your sub crossover to keep the 6.1's from reproducing the subsonics? For my set-up, I'd want to run the 6.1's down to around 60hz, then have the SVS take over from there on downPosted Image , but who knows. It's all a big experiment, plus it's tough to say until you get them in your own listening environment.

Does it seem as though the Diva's go deeper than they can accurately handle (a sin I have a hard time forgiving)? I'd have to spend a couple thousand on speakers only to find that they are not accurate in the lower 250 - 80hz range. Any input is appreciated.

“The fact that there are actually ways of knowing and characterizing the extent of one’s ignorance, while still remaining ignorant, may ultimately be more interesting and useful to people than Yarkovsky,” Giorgini said.

#12 of 14 OFFLINE   Walt N

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Posted April 05 2002 - 09:27 AM

Sanford, I find the 6.1's to be very tight, fast, and clean throughout their spec'ed freq. range however I usually use them from 80Hz up and let a pair of SV's take the rest. I've been playing around with a few different things lately and with the sub amp off, there is a prodigious amount of mid/bass slam from these speakers even when high passed @80Hz (12dB per octave slope) but it's never sloppy. I tried stuffing the ports just for fun to see if it would improve transient response even further and integrate with the subs better, but I really couldn't tell much of a difference. Some find smaller drivers to be "faster" but I think that's a general misnomer. Larger drivers have larger motors with which to move the mass, so there really need not be any sluggishness when done correctly. These 6.1's don't have ultra high sensitivity, so what that means is there is plenty of motor, plenty of magnet, and plenty of current called upon from the amp to get the job done at high SPL's.

#13 of 14 OFFLINE   SanfordL

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Posted April 05 2002 - 10:05 AM

Thank goodness Walt. You had me scaird that I was going to have to start looking again instead of just saving.

Alright, I have to get out of here before I lose my mind.

Posted Image

“The fact that there are actually ways of knowing and characterizing the extent of one’s ignorance, while still remaining ignorant, may ultimately be more interesting and useful to people than Yarkovsky,” Giorgini said.

#14 of 14 OFFLINE   Sean D

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Posted April 06 2002 - 11:15 AM

Sanford, Right now I am running the Divas through an Anthem
MCA5 mkII and using a Marantz sr-7000 as a pre, so for movies with all my speakers set to small they get cut off at 100Hz. I am using dual SVS 20-39cs with Samson S700 for subs.When I get my hands on the Outlaw 950 pre(hopefully next week) I will play around with the adjustable crossover settings.For music I am just usuing the 6.1's by themself in direct mode. I definately did not mean to imply that the bass in the 6.1's were inferior to the Energys. In fact I was surpised at how low they can go. The 6.1's are still breaking in and I suppose I am also still getting used to the sound of them. My limited audio vocabulary may be the problem. Posted ImageI love the Divas and definately won't have the upgrade bug for speakers for a long time .....if ever.




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