Originally Posted by JEFFREY GTS
Well hello Jeff, I am a Jeff too. And I have really enjoyed your review thread on the comparison between the Dana 640i and the Swan D2.1se+
I think I have enjoyed it a little too much as I have read it multiple times. I printed it off and use it for bedtime reading material. My wife is always saying "Are you reading about those darn speakers again?"
Anyway, what initially brought me to the audioinsiders website were the Swan Diva 6.2's as I was looking for some tower speakers to replace my beloved Rocket RS450's. Then I came across the Arx A5 that really sparked my interest and they still do but after having a long conversation with Jon over the phone I think I am really sold on the Dana 640i's. They seem like quite the amazing speaker and something that I can really afford. Seems like a crime to be able to afford a speaker like that but I am not going to complain.
I wanted to wait to put the Dana's in a dedicated two channel set up in my bedroom but I simply am too excited about these speakers to wait, so they will go in my multimedia room. Since you have a lot of experience with the Dana's, will the 640i's be fine serving as a multi purpose speaker? They will play everything from movies, to television shows, Blu-Ray movies, SACD, Concerts and video games. I just want to make sure that the Dana's can do it all. Which according to Jon, they should do just fine as long as I am not trying to recreate club/party like levels of volume, which I won't. Don't get me wrong, I do turn up the volume on movies and do rock out with some Metallica or Rage Against The Machine but not to ear bleeding levels. My genre of music is pretty wide open,so thats why I want a do it all speaker. Plus if I do end up with the Dana 640i's I will be getting the center to match it and a couple of surround sound speakers for a full 5.1 system. So my question to you, do you think that the Dana 640i's will perform at the levels you are used to on the variety of things I plan on using them for?
Very sorry I haven't had time to respond to your post sooner. Lol I'm flattered that you enjoyed my review so much (though I know it's nothing to do with me, it's just the speakers). I've done similar things while shopping for gear, I understand.
I'm not sure if you dug deep enough in the archives to see it, but I owned the Swan 5.2Fs for a while, and I still have the 5.2C center speaker. It was almost comical to walk into my 12' square room and see those monsters, but I loved it.
I really loved those 5.2Fs and hated to sell them, but I made the decision to do so because I thought a smaller but somewhat higher end set of stand-mounts would be more appropriate in my room. I had a chance to grab one of a very few sets of the original Dana 930s that Jon had, and leaped at the chance (especially after reading his almost poetic descriptions of their high end ScanSpeak drivers and other advanced technologies). Believe me though, I grieved when I parted with the 5.2Fs. They are OUTSTANDING speakers and to me they're a fantastic balance between smooth, refined and accurate reproduction of detailed material and rock-the-house acoustic horsepower, a term Jon is fond of using. I even did several mixes using them as my studio monitors with very good results. I definitely gave up some things when I upgraded to the 930s, including the sheer "bigness" of their sound. They utterly filled any room I tried them in with ease, and if I was putting together a medium to large home theater room I would definitely consider going with X.2s all around. They look fantastic too. I'm still loving the 5.2C center and though it would be great to have matching Danas all around, I'm totally satisfied with the 5.2C and the way it blends with the Danas for home theater.
I'm very curious about the Arx models too and would love to hear them at some point. I doubt they'd suit my needs as well as the Danas but I'm sure they're amazing based on the reviews so far.
The 640is are absolutely a great multi-purpose speaker. I use them for surround for home theater, for music, and as my studio monitors for mixing (they've turned out to be excellent as studio monitors). I will say this though -- I personally feel they need a sub for truly full-range listening, though they do have outstanding bass response for a standmount. My crossover is set at 70 Hz for my mains, which really says something about their bass response. Normally for standmount mains I'd go higher than that. At 70 Hz, I hear no hole whatsoever in my system's bass response, and with the sub I have that "big" sound back that I missed after selling the 5.2Fs. If your expectations are realistic about what a pair of standmount-sized speakers can do, and you're not putting them in a very big room (or using them for hip-hop or dance music), I think most people would be more than happy with their bass response in a 2-channel system.
It's true that they're definitely not party speakers (unless of course it's an AVS Forum party!) -- they're way too refined and subtle to waste on people or situations where you just want thumping bass or screaming guitars. You probably wouldn't use a Stradivarius as a fiddle at a hoe-down or a Mercedes to lug a load of dirt around a farm, or serve a really fine expensive wine at a frat party. The 640is can play loud without distortion, no doubt, but their detail and resolution isn't (in my opinion) best suited for lo-fi music like Metallica or Rage. That kind of material might come off sounding too screamy and harsh, without the throbbing impact you would want. Fine, accurate reproduction is not generally a great asset with heavy guitar- or synth-based music. The Arx might be a better choice if that's all you listened to, or the X.2s. THEY can rock the house. (Again, not dissing the Arx models as I haven't heard them. Knowing Jon Lane, it's quite likely they do a great job on detailed, subtle music too.)
But since you said you want a speaker than can do it all, I think the 640i would be a fantastic choice. You might find they show off too many of the flaws in your rock and metal collection, but when you put on anything really musical and properly recorded, the 640is will put you right in the room with the artist. Their imaging is phenomenal, their soundstage big and engaging, and that midrange detail and resolution, damn. Kills me every time. It just makes every instrument sound more REAL. I think I've said it before; it's like the difference between a picture taken with a 3 megapixel camera and a small lens and one taken with a really high-end 12 MP pro camera. The low res picture is OK for everyday use and you can certainly see what's in it just fine, but you want the pro high res camera for really stunning and realistic reproduction. The 5.2Fs were, to me, in between those two extremes, closer to the high end, but not quite at the level of the 640is.
And yes, I still prefer the 640is over the much more expensive older 930s. Bit overkill using $1600 Dana 930s as surrounds in a tiny room, but there ya go.
Hope this helps. Love to hear what you decided on and how it worked out for you.