Originally Posted by usp1
Can you compare the Dana 980s with the 5.2f?
Nope, not yet. The 980s aren't available yet. Problem is, I would LOVE to compare them side by side, but that won't be possible either. I need to sell the 5.2Fs to help pay for the 980s, and I definitely don't have room here for two sets of tower speakers in my room.
I do have the Dana 930 standmount speakers though, so I could give you some thoughts on those compared to the 5.2Fs. Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to do a real back-and-forth comparison... My room is about 11' square and full of recording gear and my futon so it's a tight space. I had to take the 5.2Fs out of the room completely to set the Danas up on stands.
But I did use the 5.2Fs in here for a year or so before replacing them with the Danas so I will be happy to give some thoughts. I'll be writing a full (amateur) review of the 930s soon both here and on the TAI site. Haven't done so yet mainly because the 930s really aren't available for purchase through the site yet so it would be a bit premature.
I love the 5.2Fs. I'm going to be very sad to see them go... I would keep them packed up for a future system if I had a choice. They're big, beautiful speakers with a big, beautiful sound. They really deserve a bigger room than mine, but even in this tiny space they sounded fantastic. Very natural, great top and bottom extension with silky, natural, wonderful mids and excellent imaging. Big soundstage, tight and punchy with or without a sub... Can't say enough about them, seriously. Yes I've heard better tower speakers, but not for $1000 or less. (This is not to say no better speakers could exist for that price; I just haven't heard any.) I got to compare them to my buddy's B&W DM604 s3s when I first got them, and while the B&Ws (which sold at the time for $1200 - $1400/pair street price) had a tighter, slightly deeper bottom end, we both preferred the mids and highs of the 5.2Fs, which is saying something because the B&Ws were no slouch in those areas.
Now the 930s... It's actually difficult to figure out what to say about them because they just do so many things right, it's hard to pick out something to mention in particular. I will say I was almost shocked to learn that speakers this size could produce sound that is not only so right, clear, natural, smooth, etc., but that is so big and deep. They sound like a much bigger pair of speakers, and will play much louder without distortion than their size suggests. Their bottom end shocked me too. They play deep and clean, tight as you could wish, and definitely don't require a sub for 2-channel listening. That's not to say a good sub filling in the bottom couple of octaves doesn't make them even better, sure it does. But take away the sub and play them full-range, and I believe most people won't find them lacking at all. Fire these up with a decent amp (I'm using an Emotiva LPA-1) and it only takes a few seconds to realize you're experiencing truly outstanding speakers.
I decided to keep the 930s as my mains and sell the 5.2Fs because much as I love my 5.2s, the Danas are just better. Everything that the 5.2s do really well, the 930s do even better, and in a smaller space. The 5.2s do extend deeper on the bottom of course due to their much bigger cabinet size and dual midwoofers, and pushed to extremes I'm sure the 5.2s will go louder without distortion than the 930s -- but either set produces way more than enough clean dBs for me in my small room. As for the bottom I cross to my SVS sub at 70 Hz and both sets play flat to way below that so that eliminates any advantage or disadvantage on the bottom end. Both are also fantastic for home theater (I'm still using my 5.2C as my center channel and loving it).
I'll say this -- if you never have the chance to compare the 5.2s to the Danas, you'd never miss the extra refinement and performance of the Danas and would most likely be ecstatically happy with the 5.2s for both music and movies (I was). But now that I've had the 930s here, I'm hooked on the Dana sound. I once had a Jeep Cherokee that I really liked. Loved everything about it, really fun vehicle. But for some reason I kept eyeballing Grand Cherokees everywhere I went. It was like well, I love my Cherokee so I'd probably REALLY love a Grand Cherokee -- it's MORE Cherokee, more of what I love! That's why I'm getting the 980s. Do I need them? Definitely not. The 930s are the perfect speakers for me in this room. But the 980s are MORE Dana, more of the sound I love so much, so since I'll have the chance to own them, I'm getting them. Stupid audiophile sickness I have, but I'm sure many of you can relate.