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Swans Diva Setup - First impressions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Roy-BE, Aug 21, 2001.

  1. Roy-BE

    Roy-BE Auditioning

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    Hi
    I'm a proud owner of a new Swans Diva Setup:
    Front 6.1
    Center C3
    Surround R3
    Surround Back 2.1 + stands
    Previous setup was JBL Studio (S38/S38/S-Center/S412P)
    Equipment - Denon AVR 5800, Pioneer Elite DVF-07, Infinity HPS1000 sub. (Also Mits X400 FP with iScan Pro.)
    This setup was about $2500 and here are my observations:
    Outside -
    Great packaging (never seen anything like it), they were double packed in a way that nothing could have harmed them.
    After taking them out of the box - these are great looking speakers...
    The wood work is great and the piano black is a steal. Those have a high wife acceptance factor compared to the bulky JBLs I had).
    The 6.1 is large but because it is not boxy it is nice looking. The center is relatively big, but blends well in our decor. The R3 are very attractive too, and the 2.1 are really handsome.
    Setup and connections:
    I used 12 gauge wire (I think that it was Acoustic Research Pro), and I did not bi-wire. Nice terminals, and very nice (and heavy) feet. I used Radio Shack's SPL meter to adjust at 85db.
    Listening:
    Still in the break in period I can tell you the following:
    The 6.1 (in Pure direct mode of the 5800) have a very tight bass response and they are extremely fast. They have great highs and tremendous mids. The tweeters are sweet and they are not as harsh as the JBL titanium tweeters can be. The mids in my mind are the best part of the speaker and I heard subtleties that I never heard before in any setup I listened to.
    I had to raise the volume more than I used to with the JBLs, suggesting that they have a lower sensitivity.
    In summary - just great.
    The 2.1 are VERY good too. I shut off all the speakers and listened to them with great pleasure. They have a very nice soundstage and they are very detailed.
    I have listened to a couple of sound tracks and the C3 Center is doing a great job. It blends well with the mains, and it gives a clear dialogue at any volume.
    The R3 were a surprise because I did not want to buy them for the surround because they did not have the same design and I was thinking that they'll not blend well. Well, I had a surprise, they are SO good that I was simply amazed (I used direct radiating JBL S38 as surrounds before). They really envelope, and have great response and detail.
    To sum up - these are for keeps! (at least for the next few years). Those of you in the Sacramento area are welcome to stop by for a demo...)
    Roy
     
  2. David Scott

    David Scott Stunt Coordinator

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    Congrats! I have the same set-up as you do: 6.1's, C3, R3 and 2.1's and couldn't be happier. Just starting to hook them up to my new receiver (Denon 3802) and if I can figure out how to get the on screen set-up menu to work I'll be in business [​IMG] . For the last few weeks I've been listening to them on an old Pioneer receiver and they still sounded great, ready to compare the two receivers. I noticed I live just a couple hours north of you, used to sail at Folsom lake when I was younger...
     
  3. PomingF

    PomingF Second Unit

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    Roy:
    I guess you must have gotten tired of paging through the 15 pages post over @ the other forum. [​IMG] They just closed the thread and part 2 has started with Mark Schifter just got back in time for the switch. I've have my 6.1's for almost a month now and have to say it's better than anything up to I say twice the price.
    I have compared them to my Def Tech, B&W & most recently the Maggies with the Divas holding up really well musically considered being the least expensive. Before being totally broken in the bass is a bit less than what I am used to but still very fast & tight without any boominess. Yes, that midrange also reminds me of that sweet B&W trademark sound & I can't imagine what they will be like with the P-1A SOCS.
    Btw, my center & surrounds are still making their way slowly across the country in courtesy of UPS. [​IMG]
    PF
     
  4. Roy-BE

    Roy-BE Auditioning

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    PF - Thank you, I was not aware of the thread and posted it there. Roy
     
  5. Kelly Scott Rickards

    Kelly Scott Rickards Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Poming....
    What model of B&W speakers would you compare the Diva to...
    I am considering getting a set of 5.1 mains, a C3 center, a pair of the bipolar side surrounds (forgot the model #) 2.1 rear surrounds and an SVS Ultra Sub...
    Do you think the Diva sound quality is up there with say the Paradigm Referance Studio 20s and 40s?
     
  6. JoelW

    JoelW Stunt Coordinator

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    We just got our Swan Diva test unit into our lab on Sunday. Their packaging is incredible! I couldn't believe how well packaged they were.
    We were all very happy with the looks. We immediately hooked them up. We did notice they sounded a bit harsh a first, but after 12 hours of pumping sound through them, they definitely broke in some.
    We spent most of the weekend A/Bing them with the nOrh 4.0 and the HTD Towers. Good clean fun.
    We're working on our full review of them. BTW, we got the set of bookshelf speakers, a C3 center and a pair of R3 surrounds.
     
  7. Aaron H

    Aaron H Supporting Actor

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    JoelW,
    I'd be interested in hearing your comparisons with the norh's. I've got 3 pairs of speakers I want. The Diva's, the norh's 4.0 and the Paradign Studios. I'll probably end up with the Paradigm Studio's for the HT, but definitely want to try and squeeze in each of those 3 sets in the house somehow....somewhere....
    Aaron
     
  8. PomingF

    PomingF Second Unit

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    I have the top Nautilus model (or used to be 'til recently) with the funny looking midrange/tweeter top enclosure and have to say it's midrange is addictive. Of course this comparison is very unfair to the Divas but they held up okay. The Maggies do outgun the Divas in details & soundstage but the Def Tech's only shine in the bass category with their 15" built-in SW's. I have not listened to any Paradigm (no local dealers) but others (Max) over at the AVSForum did and went with the Diva. I would consider the 6.1's bass low enough to pull full range duty for music and had just gotten the R3 surrounds & C3 center with them all matching quite well together despite not fully broken in yet. Over @ AVS there will be more people posting their impressions soon as the surround/center orders are being filled.
    Regards.
    PF
     
  9. PomingF

    PomingF Second Unit

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  10. Steve_D

    Steve_D Second Unit

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    It's worth noting that Max compared the Divas to Paradigm Monitor 7, not Studios. He also prefers floor standers to stand mounted whihc precludes him liking Studio 20/40, and prefered the Studio 60's over the Monitor 7 which he calls about even with the Diva 6.1 alebit at a higher price point.
    I'm not saying anyone is right or wrong, just a little background since Max's reviews are mentioned above as a reference point.
    ------------------
    http://www.sdiver.org
     
  11. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

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    PF if the DT's only shine in terms of bass then something must be wrong...this is a bipolar speaker and the soundstage should be huge [​IMG] Of course I do recall you mentioning that you weren't able to position them ideally.
     
  12. PomingF

    PomingF Second Unit

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    Bob, I thought I also said somewhere about competition being very tough with what they have up against. [​IMG]
    PF
     
  13. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

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    PF with what you have I am sure the competition for them is tough...but I think if you give them some room and fine tune them (paying particularly close attention to positioning, cables, cdplayer, amp choice) you have a speaker which is very tough to beat in it's price range overall (for both music and movies) [​IMG] It takes some time and effort, but it's well worth it!
     

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