Swans

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by CalvinCarr, Mar 31, 2004.

  1. CalvinCarr

    CalvinCarr Supporting Actor

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    O.k. I finally had to look. I have been looking at some new speakers and saw the Swan Refrence package. The one with all the goodies and 2 subs. Are they really all that?
     
  2. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Swan's speakers offer a very high performance-to-price ratio, especially in the faux black cherry finish.

    If your main concern is home theater I would go w/ 5.2 mains, 2.1 surrounds (or R3 surrounds if you like dipoles or plan on wall mounting) and a C3 center. The timbre match of the 5.2s and C3 is supposed to be EXTREMELY precise offering the kind of uniform front sound stage you usually only get with 3 identical front speakers.

    If you listen to a good amount of 2ch music without a sub I would upgrade the mains to the 6.1s. They're not AS perfectly timbre matched to the C3 as the 5.2s, but not off so much as to make the C3 stick out. They do however offer a big jump in frequency response and offer a much more enjoyable 2ch listening experience.

    Regardless of which mains you go with you'll need a sub for HT to get the very low frequency and sub-sonic information that are on many of todays movie soundtracks. While many people get hung up on having everything match, and it's definitely desirably with speakers, having a subwoofer from a different brand is perfectly acceptable and, in this case, probably a better use of your money. I would look at SVS and HSU for the best bang-for-the-buck in the $550 and up range, or if you're looking for good performance in the $400 range, the Adire Rava. If you go with the Rosewood finish HSU even has their VTF-3 available in a matching finish. Once you pick the mains, surrounds, and center fit your needs best, get as much subwoofer as you can.

    Don't overpay for expensive cables... 10% of your total system budget for cables is what most recommend and usually more than you need. 12awg speaker cable from Home Depot or Lowes is just fine, and Acoustic Research Performance or Pro series cables can be found for very good prices online. If you want something a little nicer (broadcast quality) at similar prices contact HTF Member Vince Maskeeper who makes great Canare based cables at very close to cost. Anything more expensive (and probably inferior) to Vince's cables are pointless and a waste of money.

    Hope this helps [​IMG]
     
  3. CalvinCarr

    CalvinCarr Supporting Actor

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    Anyone else? I had looked at spending around 7K but if this is a good set up then...
     
  4. Bernie_A

    Bernie_A Stunt Coordinator

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    I have the 5.2 fronts, C3 center and 2.1 rears and could not be happier. I would recommend something with a high current amp section though. I had these hooked up to a basic Pioneer 810 and it was crap. Switched to a HK 7200 and the whole system stood up and took notice. I bought the Swans based on their vocal clarity reviews and I have not been dissapointed at all. We do about 95% movie so that was important to us. They are a very neutral speaker (IMO) with some vocal brightness but over all, very neutral (again...IMO....YRMV)

    I highly recommend them. I have not done any real 2 chnl music listening but for HT, they have been great.

    Also, right now, the Sub10-BC is $399. I am tempted to get a pair of them just to see. I don't have a huge room and anything would be an improvement over my CHT-10.

    One last thing. The guys over there at TAI are great to deal with. Specially Jon Lang. Hop on their forum and he will answer any technical questions you may have.
     
  5. CalvinCarr

    CalvinCarr Supporting Actor

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    So it wouldn't be good to use my old Sony 595 reciever? I plan to upgrade that too but I can only do one part at a time. So should I do the reciever first? I'm looking at the Pioneer Elite VSX-59TXi.
     
  6. Bernie_A

    Bernie_A Stunt Coordinator

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    Personally, I would do the speakers first. You'll have a blast with that upgrade for a while then, when you can afford it, get the reciever. That's what I did and it was like having a whole new system "again". Then, you'll want a bigger TV. Then, you'll want a better DVD player. Then, you'll want a bigger and better something........that's the road I've been heading down and the Swans have grown with me so far. I'm sure they aren't the last set of speakers I will ever own but for now, they have been a great step into a little higer end audio and continue to impress me.

    But don't be mislead either. While they are a great value, they aren't $7000/pr speakers either. I made the mistake of going to Tweater one day and listened to some $8000/pair of electrostatic somethingoranothers and wow, they were breathtaking. Just stay away from the HIGH END stores and be happy with whatever you choose.

    Be prepared though. If you should buy the Swans, they come double boxed and in white "booties". Nice touch I thought. Take good care of the boxes because if you decide you don't like them, package them back up and you're out only the hundred bucks or so to test drive them for 30 days.
     
  7. CalvinCarr

    CalvinCarr Supporting Actor

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    Do you mount the Dipoles on the rear wall or side walls?
     
  8. Garrett V

    Garrett V Agent

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    Stephen, do you think the Marantz 6400 receiver will do an adequate job driving the Swans? I will be using the 2.1's as the L/R and the C3 center. Thanks.
     
  9. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I would say the Marantz 6400 would do well, but I would step up to the 7400 if given the chance. While the Swans are efficient, the more REAL power you give them the better they will sound. Also the 6400 lacks some features that are common on most other receivers in the class, such as component video switching and is somewhat low on digitsal inputs.

    Hope this helps [​IMG]
     
  10. Jon Lane

    Jon Lane Stunt Coordinator

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    "REAL power", that's an excellent way to put it, Stephen.

    With the Swans being as sensitive as they are (up to 90+dB/1W/1M vs the more typical class rating of as low as 1/2 that, or 87dB) we actually recommend looking for more modestly-sized amps and receivers that have high instantaneous current capability. Look for doubled or nearly doubled 4 ohm power ratings, such as 75 into 8 ohms and 140 into 4 ohms.

    That kind of effortless grunt always gets a good speaker's attention, and in the case of the Swans, according to our users, lets them hit the magic zone.

    Myself, I like the B&K 55.2, which, at only $499 (MSRP) really grabs ahold of all our stuff, from the 2.1 to the 6.1, and fills the room completely with a wall to wall soundstage. Yes, a 125 or even 200 watter may be more to your liking when things get loud, but my point is that you can do a lot with a few hundred well-placed dollars. Just look for those high-current numbers and you're probably in a fairly safe zone.
     
  11. Steve Adams

    Steve Adams Second Unit

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    John, would the newcastle A-765 work good with the swans im looking at? 5.2 C3 and 2 sets of dipole rears?
     
  12. Jon Lane

    Jon Lane Stunt Coordinator

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    Looks like it would be a very successful match, Steve - if the 765 specs like the high-current 965, it should compliment the 90dB 5.2's well. I haven't heard it yet myself, but the spec profile looks promising.

    Does it show nearly twice the rated power into 4 ohms?
     
  13. Garrett V

    Garrett V Agent

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    Stephen, I agree with your comments. However, I,m not concerned so much with the extras that the 6400 doesnt have as pretty much I only run a DVD player out of the receiver. Marantz lists the 6400 as "high performance, high power" receiver (for example they do not use this language on the 5400 model) so I was hoping that the 6400 would do the job for now and I always could add an amp later down the road if I needed more power??
     
  14. Garrett V

    Garrett V Agent

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    Stephen, one more question. I agree with your comment on "REAL POWER". Any way of knowing if which has more real power, the Denon 3803 or the Marantz 6400?? Thanks

    I was looking hard at the 3803 since the price may drop with the new 3805 coming out.
     
  15. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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    I have a 3803 and it will do fine for anything but a true audiophile which there are not many. I am talking 4K in power and such alone. Also I assume you are aware that their cherry color is a vinyl veneer. For just a bit more you can get real wood, similar speaker at av123.com
     
  16. Steve Adams

    Steve Adams Second Unit

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    John. Im not sure on the 4 ohm rating. I know that people with this setup on other speakers sounds unbeleivably "real"! like when it's raining on a movie, it's like it's really raining outside. great sound for sure.. I can't wait to get the new theater done!
     
  17. Joshua H

    Joshua H Stunt Coordinator

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    Jon, is it possible to get Swan packages without the sub? My current sub already reaches to 30hz, and if I were to upgrade it I'd be considering a diy tempest to hit 20-ish. Is excluding the sub a deal-breaker for the packages?
     
  18. Jon Lane

    Jon Lane Stunt Coordinator

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    Steve, I'm fairly sure the Sherwoods all have excellent current reserve. Should be a real winner!

    Joshua, we honor system pricing even when you already have a sub or plan someone else's. Drop me a line or call us during the week.
     
  19. Joshua H

    Joshua H Stunt Coordinator

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    Great to hear Jon [​IMG]

    On an off-chance, has anyone heard both the Swans (say, 5.2) and JBL s38s? I currently have 4 of the latter and an s-center. Both the JBLs and the Swans are "good for the money," but I don't really have a concept of how the s38's compete within the swan/axiom range.
     
  20. CalvinCarr

    CalvinCarr Supporting Actor

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    I'm still curious about where to mount the rear speakers?
     

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