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Unauthorized Official Avance/Aspen Dana Thread

post #1 of 131
Thread Starter 
Well there doesn't seem to be a real official Avance or Aspen Dana thread yet, so though no one asked me to, I thought folks might not mind if I started one.

For those who don't know, this line of speakers is available through www.theaudioinsider.com (often known as TAI). Jon Lane of TAI imports and co-develops several popular lines of speakers including Swan, Gamut, Acculine, and Dana.

According to TAI, the Dana line originally sold/sells under the Avance brand but I believe, and I hope Jon himself or someone else will correct me if I'm wrong, he's working on rebranding them (and customizing them to some degree) in America under the Aspen name.

Currently there are several 600 series speakers on TAI, featuring mostly Vifa drivers. The higher end 900 series, including the bookshelf 930s and tower 980s and featuring Scan-Speak drivers, should be launching fairly soon.

I'm currently enthralled by my brand new pair of Dana 930s. Apparently Jon has or had a very small initial stock of these available by request only, and I managed to snag a pair. Only finish option on these at this point is cherry, with a very beautiful, understated satin type finish. I don't want to get too deep into describing them just yet as I'm working on a detailed review to be posted here and on Jon's site soon (I'll start a new thread for that to make it easy to find). I've only had them a few days so I need to live with them longer to really get to know them. For now I'll just say -- WOW.

So let's talk about our Danas!
post #2 of 131
just so we know your frame of reference, what other speaker models have you listened to?

What are the expected retail prices for the 930 and 680?

Will there be a matching centre or is it the 660?

Are these really designed and manufactured in Europe or is there some Asian stop in the chain somewhere?

Where can I find more information online about this brand?

What are some of the models they have been known for in years past?
post #3 of 131
I'm trying to take the day off -- just got back and found this new thread. Thanks, jb.

Quote:
Originally Posted by einsteinjb View Post

Well there doesn't seem to be a real official Avance or Aspen Dana thread yet, so though no one asked me to, I thought folks might not mind if I started one.

For those who don't know, this line of speakers is available through www.theaudioinsider.com (often known as TAI). Jon Lane of TAI imports and co-develops several popular lines of speakers including Swan, Gamut, Acculine, and Dana.

I can't lay claim to designing GamuT (or Dana to date, which is a GamuT family derivative. I've contributed to Dana's model range which we'll talk about shortly.)

Lars Goeller of GamuT is a most gifted designer. His team has been the braintrust behind some of the more "regarded" ultra-fi models containing Danish drivers on the international market, he was formerly behind the ScanSpeak line of parts, and is currently the mastermind behind GamuT/Dana.

Quote:


According to TAI, the Dana line originally sold/sells under the Avance brand but I believe, and I hope Jon himself or someone else will correct me if I'm wrong, he's working on rebranding them (and customizing them to some degree) in America under the Aspen name.

"Aspen" will be my own brand, jb, and in time will come from the Dana plant(s). "Avance" will no longer be associated with Dana, and the Dana line will stand apart and alone as an individual brandname.

Quote:


Currently there are several 600 series speakers on TAI, featuring mostly Vifa drivers. The higher end 900 series, including the bookshelf 930s and tower 980s and featuring Scan-Speak drivers, should be launching fairly soon.

We're awaiting the towers and centers, but the 630, 640, and Sub600 are complete and are shipping daily in cherry. Maple comes just a bit later as will black.

Quote:


I'm currently enthralled by my brand new pair of Dana 930s. Apparently Jon has or had a very small initial stock of these available by request only, and I managed to snag a pair. Only finish option on these at this point is cherry, with a very beautiful, understated satin type finish. I don't want to get too deep into describing them just yet as I'm working on a detailed review to be posted here and on Jon's site soon (I'll start a new thread for that to make it easy to find). I've only had them a few days so I need to live with them longer to really get to know them. For now I'll just say -- WOW.

Yes, the 930 are our "reserve". We have a limited supply and since they have the performance envelope they do, we're leaking out a few to folks with proved systems who understand them and how to use them. At the risk of hyperbole, they are in the ultra-fi class for stand monitors and naturally need to be fed and housed as such.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfromcanada View Post

What are the expected retail prices for the 930 and 680?

They're at TAI, dl.

Quote:


Will there be a matching centre or is it the 660?

Yes, as well as the 650 center (dual 4.5" midwoofers) which would match the 630 as well or better.

Quote:


Are these really designed and manufactured in Europe or is there some Asian stop in the chain somewhere?

We may use offshore manufacturing as need requires in the future, but this is a true Danish brand. Coming from GamuT, they're quite nicely made, if I may say so here.

Quote:


Where can I find more information online about this brand?

The TAI site.

Quote:


What are some of the models they have been known for in years past?

Good question. Maybe a Dana historian can give us some model background. A complete roster of models will follow here eventually, our host permitting.
post #4 of 131
Good luck and happy selling, sounds like good stuff.
post #5 of 131
Let's keep the responding to trolls ^ to a minimum.

One page people might not find at first with some more info about the whole line: TAI forum page, with some photos

There are a some reviews at the product page at TAI, for those looking for comments. Might be some overlap with the reviews posted here:
knight RT's 630 review
Mucho's 630 review

PDF with some measurements for the 630 - in Polish
post #6 of 131
sorry, I was watching some football and don't think I wrote clearly

what are the msrps (or estimated) of the 930 and 980?

the website shows two centres, 650 and 660, is another centre in development to
match the 930?

how would you compare the 930's to the Swan D2.1 se?
post #7 of 131
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfromcanada View Post

what are the msrps (or estimated) of the 930 and 980?

the website shows two centres, 650 and 660, is another centre in development to
match the 930?

how would you compare the 930's to the Swan D2.1 se?

I can't answer some of this, Jon will surely chime in. But I can tell you he's announced initial pricing on the 930s as $1599, possibly to go up after production is fully underway. No idea on the 980s, but I'm curious too (wish I wasn't, my bank account is suffering from my curiosity, lol).

I haven't properly heard the D2.1SEs (had a pair briefly but there was something wrong, possibly shipping damage or an early production run glitch so I returned them and took the 930s as he had no more D2.1SEs in stock) so I can't really compare them for you. I'm sure Jon will post more info but in a nutshell he loves them both, calls them both different flavors of "superspeakers," but he'll tell you the 930s are the technically superior speaker due to their seriously high end drivers, internals and engineering. As good as the D2.1SE is, the 930 takes it even a step further in several areas. However, that's not to say many people won't prefer the D2.1SEs. I think at this level you pretty much choose your preferred flavor of excellent.
post #8 of 131
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfromcanada View Post

just so we know your frame of reference, what other speaker models have you listened to?

Sorry, I think I initially missed your question. Well, since audio mixing (both live and studio) are my career, I spend quite a lot of time listening to (and mixing) music in all forms, both live and reproduced, and I've heard a few brands of speakers. I'm not, however, up on all brands of speakers by any means, and I haven't spent all that much time out in B&M stores lately listening to current models. I just don't really feel all that motivated these days to spend time listening to speakers in rooms that sound completely different from mine, on different gear from mine, with a salesman and other customers hovering nearby.

I am quite familiar with B&W's 600 series S2 and S3 speakers, having owned 602 S2s and having spent quite a lot of time enjoying my engineering partner Mike's system where he used to use DM604 S3s as fronts with the matching S2 center. I thought that center sucked though, definitely not up to the quality of the mains. We also spent some time auditioning the 700 series as well as the 802 diamonds, and I've auditioned Paradigms a few times including their Studio series and their Signature series. I quite liked the S4 but thought they were overpriced, and the diamonds just blew me away (but should for what, $20K).

I've also spent lots of time listening to B&W's Nautilus 802s with the aluminum tweeter, since Mike had those for a while.

Also quite familiar with Dali Helicon 800s and matching C200 center, since Mike's got those now and he has a very hard time getting me to leave once he's fired the system up.

Of course I've spent time either working with or listening to various pro studio monitors including Genelec, Yamaha, Tannoy, Alesis, Mackie, KRK, Dynaudio, who knows what else... Oh and I spent several years mixing on these huge old JBL Horizon L166 3-ways that were vintage long before I picked them up but damn could they rock the house... Live I usually work with various & sundry EV, EAW and Turbosound boxes, though I sometimes mix on in-house systems consisting of whatever...

In my car I listen to Oz Matrix Elite separates with JL Audio subs, powered by JL amps...

In the past I've owned Boston Acoustics CR75s, rather too bright and not the greatest things ever but at the time they did the job (and before that the old A40vs or A60vs, can't recall which, they had 6.5" midwoofers if that helps)... Briefly had a pair of Ed Frias modded BIC DV62CLR-S MTMs... Had a pair of SVS SBS-01 bookshelf speakers for a while, gave those to a cousin when I got my Ascend Acoustics CBM-170SEs, which are now my surround speakers. And of course now I have my Swan 5.2Fs and 5.2C here in my room, though the 5.2Fs aren't hooked up since I'm using the Dana 930s as my mains at the moment.

Whew. Does that answer the question?
post #9 of 131
ahh, a car audio man also, very nice!
post #10 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfromcanada View Post

what are the msrps (or estimated) of the 930 and 980?

Actual prices are $1599 and $2599, respectively. The 930 is shipping regularly, the 980 is already out of stock.

Quote:


the website shows two centres, 650 and 660, is another centre in development to match the 930?

Correct, correct, and yes.

Quote:


how would you compare the 930's to the Swan D2.1 se?

Both are 7" 2-ways with 28mm domes, so same class. Unlike anything in popular ID in terms of performance ceiling, save, I believe, the excellent Sierra, which is a 5.5" 2-way. Perhaps Jeff might say more at some point on this...
post #11 of 131
The 930 is a gift at their price,they perform in the very very high nether regions,the D2.1SE is a stunner at its price and pretty much dismantle's anything near or above its price in most cases,but the 930 is in a total different world they are a extremely magical speaker.You do need good electronics for them to play good,but great electronics can send you to some wonderful dreamy places.the 630 is the most amazing speaker I've heard for under $800.
post #12 of 131
high praise indeed
post #13 of 131
Wow, they sound truely spectacular!
post #14 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tawaun da bomb View Post

The 930 is a gift at their price,they perform in the very very high nether regions,the D2.1SE is a stunner at its price and pretty much dismantle's anything near or above its price in most cases,but the 930 is in a total different world they are a extremely magical speaker.You do need good electronics for them to play good,but great electronics can send you to some wonderful dreamy places.the 630 is the most amazing speaker I've heard for under $800.

I don't see the 930's on the website. Can you get me a link to those?
post #15 of 131
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tawaun da bomb View Post

The 930 is a gift at their price,they perform in the very very high nether regions,the D2.1SE is a stunner at its price and pretty much dismantle's anything near or above its price in most cases,but the 930 is in a total different world they are a extremely magical speaker.You do need good electronics for them to play good,but great electronics can send you to some wonderful dreamy places.the 630 is the most amazing speaker I've heard for under $800.

I'm going to have to fully agree with Tawaun's description of the 930s. Every time I fire them up I'm stunned by what comes out of these relatively small boxes. In all my years, I just did not know sound like this was possible in such a small package and for such a low price. Sure, if you spent $5000 or more on something I'd have very high performance expectations, but at $1599 the pair?? That's not peanuts for speakers in general but the moment you first hear them, you understand that you got the deal of a lifetime. I just can't say enough about the Dana 930s. In fact I'm looking to find a local Revel dealer as well as a Dali dealer... I want to bring these in and compare them side by side with the highly respected Revel Performa M-22 and the Dali Helicon 300s. Actually I want to hear those speakers but I also want to see the look of shock and dismay on the faces of the unsuspecting salespersons when they hear the 930s then find out what they cost!

I can't compare them to the D2.1SEs or the 630s. I haven't heard the 630s at all. I did briefly have an early production pair of D2.1SEs here but it turns out there was something wrong with them, either shipping damage or a very rare manufacturing defect (Hivi's quality control standards are among the best in the business). I truly wish I could have heard what they're supposed to sound like... The reviews are amazing and no pictures can do them justice. The finish and overall look of QUALITY is just stunning. I put the defective D2.1SEs next to a gorgeous pair of Dali Helicon 800s in light cherry and I have to say the Swan finish was absolutely on par with the $5000 Helicons.

(I also have to give props to Jon Lane who immediately offered to send me a pair of the 930s risk-free when he heard there was something wrong with the D2.1SEs, since he didn't have any more of the Swans in stock -- and he even ate the shipping charges for my trouble!! Nice. Needless to say he's not getting these 930s back. )
post #16 of 131
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdogroeder View Post

I don't see the 930's on the website. Can you get me a link to those?

Nope, because they're not on the site yet. I'm sure Jon will add them just as soon as they're fully in production and available.

There is a pic in TAI's forum under the thread announcing the Dana line, and there's a couple pics along with the D2.1SEs, the Ascend Sierra-1 and the B&W 805s in one of Craigsub's recent threads. Use the forum search function, you'll find it. It's either the bookshelf shootout thread or the Swan 6.2 vs. Rocket 850 thread I think.
post #17 of 131
Does anyone know where else I can buy dana products other than the audio insider? Perhaps a dealer so I can audition?
post #18 of 131
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huttizo View Post

Does anyone know where else I can buy dana products other than the audio insider? Perhaps a dealer so I can audition?

Nope. As explained on the TAI web site, Dana is exclusive to TheAudioInsider.com. Of course you get the obvious benefits of an ID brand -- the ability to audition in your own home, on your own gear for 30 days, and get your money back if you don't like them. All you pay is shipping. Pretty cheap for a 30-day in home trial.
post #19 of 131
so the 630's are getting rave reviews, the 930's are geting rave reviews......

what about the towers? can anyone comment on those?
post #20 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by einsteinjb View Post

Nope. As explained on the TAI web site, Dana is exclusive to TheAudioInsider.com. Of course you get the obvious benefits of an ID brand -- the ability to audition in your own home, on your own gear for 30 days, and get your money back if you don't like them. All you pay is shipping. Pretty cheap for a 30-day in home trial.

The difference with TAI and say a company like AV123, Axiom or Ascend is that TAI is a reseller, where as AV123 is the direct manufacturer.
post #21 of 131
I'm not sure I follow, Curtis (or if I should) but there's just a bit more to it than that.

If we can help out, please don't hesitate.
post #22 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Lane View Post

I'm not sure I follow, Curtis (or if I should) but there's just a bit more to it than that.

If we can help out, please don't hesitate.

Thanks Jon...I was just pointing out that as for the ID model, your's is a bit different than the others where TAI is an importer not a manufacturer. If I am wrong, I apologize.
post #23 of 131
I don't know if there's a general model, Curtis, or what it would mean if there was, but we're quite deeply involved with our products and product sources -- nearly everybody's an importer these days anyway. That said, we'll launch our fifth brand in '08, which will be my design throughout. Should be fun...
post #24 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Lane View Post

I don't know if there's a general model, Curtis, or what it would mean if there was, but we're quite deeply involved with our products and product sources -- nearly everybody's an importer these days anyway. That said, we'll launch our fifth brand in '08, which will be my design throughout. Should be fun...

Jon, having your own brand will be great. That brand being your own, and you selling it direct, would be more along the lines of AV123, Axiom, Ascend. Also not sure if it is a general model as you alluded to, but things would be more similar, especially if you are doing all the design and engineering work from the ground up.
post #25 of 131
Thread Starter 
FYI it appears a couple of Dana models have just been marked down on the TAI site, if anyone's interested. Here:

http://www.theaudioinsider.com/produ...hp?cPath=21_25

Dana 660 center is now $309, and the Dana Sub60 is $649. Nice.
post #26 of 131
Jon,

I noticed the dimensions for the smaller Dana 650 center are missing on the product page. Do you or someone have the dimensions?

Of course, I'd prefer the Dana 660s due to larger spkr size and lower price but their width might be 1.3" too wide

Thanks for answering all my previous questions on the Acculine thread and helping me to find this one.
post #27 of 131
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoshizzle View Post

Of course, I'd prefer the Dana 660s due to larger spkr size and lower price but their width might be 1.3" too wide

Isn't that what power tools are for?
post #28 of 131
too wide? It isn't a very big speaker for a center.

I just got a pair of 630s and 660 center today. I have been A/Bing them to another ID LCR setup. I'll post a longer review after a few days and some more source material (I've just been going through some tracks on the Steely Dan "Two Against Nature" live DVD). The short story is that the 630 is a *very* small speaker. But it does not sound like one. The 660 center seems just about perfect with articulation, although I need to listen to some movies for better HT use evaluation. I have an Onkyo 605 driving them. Not a fatiguing speaker at all...if anything a bit laid back especially compared to others. But I can hear all the instruments in the mix (2 pianos, 4 horns, 2 guitars, bass, drums, one lead and 3 backing vocals). I don't get quite the clear definition that I hear in my Adam p11a NFMs, but I wouldn't expect that...unfair comparison, and a different end use.

Oh, and they are beautiful. I don't go for the glossy rosewood finished or shiny piano black. These are a very understated satin cherry that is of quite high quality. If you are tight on space, these should be on your short list. If you aren't tight on space, they still are a great choice. I'm wondering what a pair of towers would be like up front with the 630s in the rear (right now I have an old pair of Cambridge SW sat speakers in the rear, but I've turned them way down for the comparison).
post #29 of 131
The 980's look very interesting. Any updates on availability?
post #30 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoshizzle View Post

Jon,

I noticed the dimensions for the smaller Dana 650 center are missing on the product page. Do you or someone have the dimensions?

Of course, I'd prefer the Dana 660s due to larger spkr size and lower price but their width might be 1.3" too wide

Thanks for answering all my previous questions on the Acculine thread and helping me to find this one.

hi phoshizzle,

(Love that moniker...) Both the 620 and 650 -- the two smallest "micro"-class Dana items -- are to start up next quarter. We don't have them yet and therefore do not have the dims.

The 630 & 660 models are fairly compact -- 5.25"-based designs -- and I'd hope they could fit the space. Costs are indeed attractive by comparison.

We'll be launching a 640 satellite based on a 6.5" midbass driver also in Q1 (current 640 effects speaker will become the 630er.)
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