Dunlavy SC-Vs are superb if big. They are one of the few speakers that will recreate a decent square wave and triangular impulse response. This is due to very careful design, low order crossovers, time alignment of drivers, etc. The speakers are very revealing and dynamic but favor larger rooms and room sound treatment. Non-spectacular parts sources and cabinet construction are controlled through good design, testing, measurement and quality control. John Dunlavy came up with several speaker, audio, and other technology patents, including the particular use of inverse star shaped felt absorbers to control forward dispersion patterns.

We've uncovered a possible flaw in Dunlavy's otherwise excellent design. Dunlavy uses first order (6 dB slope) crossovers to best preserve phase (minumum phase) and to generally keep things simple and apply less processing to the signal. All of this makes possible the excellent phase coherence and therefore the unusually clean square wave and impulse performance. The downside of low order crossovers is that more out of band energy is delivered to each driver. But since a multitude of drivers covering a wide range of sizes are used, each driver is only asked to cover a fairly limited frequency band. Because the frequency range each driver must handle at full power is thus limited, most of the drivers can cope with the rest of the out of band energy caused by the low order crossovers pretty well.

The exception is the tweeter. Most tweeters can handle only tiny excursions. This means they don't like getting low frequency energy. But with 6 dB crossover slopes, they're going to get quite a bit whether they like it or not. Unfortunately, they don't like it, and the result seems to be that they occasionally get overloaded by excessive energy from outside (below) their crossover's passband. What we've heard is that sibilants, violins, horns, etc. with a lot of high frequency energy seem to be overloading the tweeter and causing it to distort, leading to some harsh high frequency noise. Our current theory is that this is due to excess energy being sent to the tweeter, especially from below its full power passband. Perhaps this is causing the tweeter to run out of excursion and mechnically clip. It may be possible to tune out this problem with upstream electronics or cables, or even some gentle high frequency rolloff. Another solution would be to use a high excursion tweeter like the Scan-Speaks, or to use more high fequency drivers to distribute the load, but any of these would require a thorough redesign.