Swan Speakers Opinions....thank you!

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Steve Adams, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. Steve Adams

    Steve Adams Second Unit

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    Hi people.

    Im looking at swan speakers...they LOOK amazing...but how is the performance? what do they compare to?

    thanks....

    Steve
     
  2. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I LOVE my swans. I'm currently running 4.1 mains, a C3, and 2.1 surrounds along with a AV12 EBS sub and Pioneer Elite 43TX receiver. I upgraded to the Swan's from Paradigm 5SE MK3 mains, 3SE MK3 surrounds, and a 3SE MK3 as a center (predecessors to the current Paradigm Monitor line).

    I was very surprised at the increase in sound quality (subjective). Movies became much more alive yet everything took on a smoother sound characteristic as well. No harshness or brightness, no boomy bass, just very clean and accurate sound. With music (not my main concern) everything is very smooth and detailed without being harsh or overly laid back. All in all a very neutral speaker. As hard as i've pushed them (a few clicks above reference in a 12'x12' room) they've never hiccuped, distorted, or bottomed out.

    Given it to do again I would have still gone w/ the Swans, but would not have got the 4.1 mains. I would have either went almost all-out and got the 5.2s, or stuck w/ 2.1s as mains for now and added 5.2s later for 7.1. With the sub I have I feel (especially for HT) that the 4.1s are a waste and the 2.1s would have sufficed, especially in the room I'm currently in. Also, the 4.1s seem to be there more for people who really want a tower speaker but don't want to pay the $$ for the 5.2s or 6.1s. The big reason I want the 5.2 mains eventually is because they are almost perfectly matched to the C3 center w/ the exact same driver compliment. It's supposedly one of the best matched systems out there outside of 3 identical speakers.

    You may also want to give the rocket's from av123 a look. Alot of people moved from the swan's to the rockets. They seem to be neck and neck for HT but alot of people prefer the more laid back sound of the rockets for 2ch music.

    The Swan's are now available in a Faux Black-Cherry (vinyl) finish that makes them much more affordable... I really wish Rocket would follow suit beacause I would like to give them a try but can't justify paying so much for the real wood finish when I'm very content w/ the look of my Black Cherry Swans. The BC Swans still have the piano black top and bottom pieces and the sound is identical to the wood veneer counterparts.

    Hope this helps [​IMG]
     
  3. Steve Adams

    Steve Adams Second Unit

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    thanks, yes it does.

    Im going to get the 4.1 with the c2 center and 2 sets of r2's. then for sub duties I will have a powered SVS Tube. Driving them will be a newcastle P-965 and A-965 combo. Dvd duties will be taken care of with a kenwood 300 disk dvd player, and satailte from Direct TV and Starchoice. VHS duties will be from a JVC S-VHS unit. Also in the rack will be a cutsom Home theater computer for mp3 use, and other editing things and trivia for the theater until the main title starts.....opening scenes like feautre presentation and things like that will be ran through this computer....I projecting from a boxlight (sanyo PLV-Z1) 16x9 projector...

    going to be a nice system I think....my system that I have now will be turned into my bedroom system.
     
  4. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I wouldseriously reccomend 2.1 mains and moving up to the C3 center. The C2 is really really small and i've heard it shows in it's sound compared to the C3. Also, since you're going to have an SVS and it seems like this is going to be HT only I don't think the 4.1s will do you any good over the 2.1s. Like I said, if I had it to do over again I think I'd go with 2.1 mains because for HT they're really the better value. Also, the R2s are a full range speaker (no tweeter) and I think they just fill a price point for people who want dipoles but don't want to pay for R3s.

    For $100 more I think the 2.1/C3/R3 would be a much better choice, especially for HT. Towers look impressive but really aren't neccessary for HT w/ a capable sub. Also if you're not required to wall mount your backs i'd prefer 2.1s back there as well. I've never really like the overly ambient non-directional sound of dipole surrounds, but that's really personal prefference.

    Good luck w/ your system!
     
  5. Jon Lane

    Jon Lane Stunt Coordinator

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    Great comments, guys, and a terrific analysis, Stephen. What can I add? [​IMG]

    Users tell us the 4.1 is preferred for (1) music because of its dual agile 5.25" drivers and its surprising bass, and (2) for looks -- its more slender than the 6.5"-woofered 2.1. 4.1's are easy to place, and they don't require stands, which saves about $150 or more. If you fall into those two categories the 4.1 is quite a sleeper value, IMHO.

    But I'd agree that with matching 6.5" midwoofers throughout, a 2.1/C2/R3 system (with the necessary subwoofer to fill in for the 2.1's missing lower octave) is also the higher output system, at least in the center and rear locations. I like your thinking, Stephen.

    I hope this clarifies more than it confuses... :b

    Maybe we should make up a 2.1 system? Talk to me.
     
  6. Steve Adams

    Steve Adams Second Unit

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    what about the 5.x with c3 and r3's? what about that...I do listen to some music with this system, I would just turn off the sub for that....
     
  7. Jon Lane

    Jon Lane Stunt Coordinator

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    The 5.2 was developed from the original midrange-less 5.1. Since the C3 is basically a horizontal 5.2, the 5.2 and C3 match perfectly.

    Our 5.2 HT system in Rosewood and 5.2BC HT system in Faux Black Cherry include the 5.2, C3, R3, and Sub10. All speakers except sub therefore include matching 6.5" alum/mag dish midwoofers throughout, and the 5.2 mains and C3 center also include matching 50mm and 28mm Danish-style domes with Neodymium motors.
     
  8. Bernie_A

    Bernie_A Stunt Coordinator

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    Steve,

    I have the 5.2 fronts, C3 center and 2.1 rears and it's an awsome HT...IMHO. I'm driving them with the HK AVR-7200 and my neighbor, who has Paradigm Studios with a Denon 3803, loves the way the Swans sound. The Paradigms are VERY nice but they are a little forward and bright sounding...this is not a being critical. They are just different than Swans. Neither one of us has envy over the other and it's actually kind of cool that we don't have the same setup for comparison reasons.

    I would have to agree with Stephen reguarding the combination of speakers for HT use. I debated long and hard over getting 2 sets of 2.1's with the C3 center but I didn't want to look at stands so I went with the 5.2's up front instead.

    I am now contemplating get another set of 2.1's for a 7.1 setup but that's just a thought right now. Keep in mind...these are not small speakers so make sure you have room for them. They are not light either so make sure you are ready to help the deliver man when they show up...very impressive indeed!

    Personally, if I had to do it all over again, I would get 3 sets of 2.1's with the C3 for a 7.1. You are going to spend a few bucks on stands but, it would be such a nice little HT for the money. Either way, you won't go wrong with the Swans. Spend what's comfortable and enjoy!

    Also, Jon Lang is awsome to deal with. I have probably sent him 20-30 e-mails before and after my purchase and he always answers my questions and gives his advice. Class bunch over there at the Audio Insider......great customer service which is something to consider in your desision.
     
  9. Steve Adams

    Steve Adams Second Unit

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    I want towers, as like you, i am sick fo stands...im getting 2 sets of r3 for 7.1. I have a set of psb alphas for my main system now....I love these speakers but it's time for a change....so it's the newcastle pre/pro and amp, with the swans....sounds like an unbeatable combo for the cash!
     

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