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  1. #1
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    Swan Diva 6.1 mini-review

    It's been 3 months since I picked up my Swan Diva 6.1's and my initial impression of the speakers that I posted on AVS still holds. Here is my mini-review:

    First off, my main comparisons for the Swan's are the speakers that I had pegged to replace my old, beloved PSB Century 800's...the Paradigm Studio 60's ($2K) and the Canton speakers ($2,600) that a salesman tried to push on me over the Studios (can't remember the model # off the top of my head but they were the towers with the built in sub).

    When I heard the Studio's and the Canton, I was struck by the difference. Both did great with midrange and highs but the Canton clearly had an edge in bass reproduction. Not just depth of bass but speed as well. They were clearly designed to go low and fast. That said, the Studio's did a much better job at creating a wide and convincing soundstage. With the Canton, it was very easy to localize instruments whereas the Paradigm gave a big soundstage while keeping the clarity of the instruments intact. I realize that this is a poor description but it's the best I can come up with. I guess a better way to explain it is that with the Canton, the sound of a guitar from the left was clearly coming from the speaker whereas with the Paradigm, it was like the speakers disappeared. I should caveat these criticisms by noting that despite them, I still love both of these speakers. They each brought music to life and sounded phenomenal in their own way.

    So, how did the 6.1's fair? In a word, I was floored. Like the Studio's and Canton, mids and highs were spot-on and sounded fantastic. Every tap of a cymbal and every note from a female singer sounded sweet and accurate. Even at low volume it was easy to hear the most subtle note in the midrange.

    But the kicker for my ears was that the Swan's got right the two things that the Studio's and Canton's did well combined - a big soundstage with a great bottom end. Like the Studio's, the Swan's seemed to disappear and I was engulfed in the music. Like the Canton, I could literally feel the deep bass notes from across the room. Detail was never lost on any of the tracks that I played and the bass never sounded "muddy" (actually, this isn't totally true as it did sound muddy at first...until I took the foam packing insert out of the bass port!).

    Last caveat - I auditioned the Studio's and Canton in an audio shop. Although the room was designed for auditioning speakers, it clearly isn't the same thing as listening to speakers in your own home...which is what I did with the Swan's.

  2. #2
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Thanks for the review...

    I remember (gawd I sound so old) when this thread contained little else but discussions of Swan Diva's and nOrh's latest offerings. How times have changed. First Swan post I've seen in a coon's age. Thanks for the review.

    Worf

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worf101
    I remember (gawd I sound so old) when this thread contained little else but discussions of Swan Diva's and nOrh's latest offerings. How times have changed. First Swan post I've seen in a coon's age. Thanks for the review.

    Worf
    Forgive me if I'm wrong but I used to be a frequent poster here some 8 or so years ago and there was a very prolific (and well informed) poster that went by the handle of "Worf". Would this be that same Worf???

    Oddly enough, I had heard the Swan Diva's many years ago (probably around the time that I was posting here) and was floored then. But, they were expensive and I couldn't swing it at the time. Then, this past fall, I decided to bite the bullet and demoed brick and mortar brands for well over a month before thinking "what about those Swan's that I loved so long ago?". Took a look on-line and lo and behold, they were on sale for a very good price. I spent far less than half of what I would have spent on the Paradigm Studio 60's (which I was VERY close to buying) and I consider them a better speaker (IMHO of course).

  4. #4
    Charm Thai™ TheHills44060's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worf101
    I remember (gawd I sound so old) when this thread contained little else but discussions of Swan Diva's and nOrh's latest offerings. How times have changed. First Swan post I've seen in a coon's age. Thanks for the review.

    Worf
    ha ha i remember those days...now every thread is about Emotiva, lol.

  5. #5
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Might be me....

    Quote Originally Posted by Keithfromcanada
    Forgive me if I'm wrong but I used to be a frequent poster here some 8 or so years ago and there was a very prolific (and well informed) poster that went by the handle of "Worf". Would this be that same Worf???

    Oddly enough, I had heard the Swan Diva's many years ago (probably around the time that I was posting here) and was floored then. But, they were expensive and I couldn't swing it at the time. Then, this past fall, I decided to bite the bullet and demoed brick and mortar brands for well over a month before thinking "what about those Swan's that I loved so long ago?". Took a look on-line and lo and behold, they were on sale for a very good price. I spent far less than half of what I would have spent on the Paradigm Studio 60's (which I was VERY close to buying) and I consider them a better speaker (IMHO of course).
    I don't recall any other "Worf's" round here but me. But I would never call my self "prolific" (though I did lose about 1,000 posts in the great migration) and only well informed about SOME things LOL. In any even I'm glad to see you back. But Swan's used to be the bee's knees on this forum and were not only well thought of but quite well reviewed. I personally am glad you took the time to write such an in-depth review. IF I had to install an entire system for someone and I was starting from scratch I'd certaily look into their stuff. I just went to their website and man have they expanded their offerings on both ends of he scale.

    But back on point, thanks for the review.

    Worf

  6. #6
    IRG
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    I haven't been back to this forum much in the last 4-5+ years myself, and I recall too, a lot of mention about Swan and nOrh. Are these two companies still around? And yeah, I see mention too of Emotiva - never heard of them til I came back to this forum.

    I remember fondly too, the days of Mtrycrafts fighting with everyone over cables. Does that still happen here these days? Those were fun discussions.

  7. #7
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Ive been watching that Swans site for a while. They have a huge following over at AVS. Saw a pair of the Diva D2.1se for sale at audiogon last week for $400 and noticed some one snatched them up really fast.

    I've been hearing a lots about the drivers in the Diva's.





    Some say they are Dynaudio knockoffs and at one time they use to make drivers for Totem. How true is that? I do know you can purchase their drivers from Madisound and Parts Express.

    Frenchmon


    EDIT:

    Ok think I found what I was looking for concerning the drivers, but don't know how true this is. Can any one confirm? Posting number 5 says the woofer in the Totem is the Hi-Vi D6.8 which is the Swan Speaker company made over in China. Totem using Swan drivers? Must be some good drivers. I have nothing against gear made in China....some good stuff comes out of China, just a little surprised that Totem uses the Hi-Vi drivers. I always thought they made their own drivers due to the price of their product.

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1216344
    Last edited by frenchmon; 01-14-2010 at 01:13 PM.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  8. #8
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Errrr...

    Quote Originally Posted by IRG
    I haven't been back to this forum much in the last 4-5+ years myself, and I recall too, a lot of mention about Swan and nOrh. Are these two companies still around? And yeah, I see mention too of Emotiva - never heard of them til I came back to this forum.

    I remember fondly too, the days of Mtrycrafts fighting with everyone over cables. Does that still happen here these days? Those were fun discussions.
    I don't quite know if FUN is the term I'd use. But it sure was interesting times. Trust me I don't miss the flame wars and gunfights, but I have to admit the place were lively. Both Swan and nOrh are still around I even had a pair of the base model nOrhs but sold em. Swan has really expanded their lineup to cover some mighty amazing products.

    Worf

  9. #9
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    I remember the posts from Mtrycrafts always end up in a heated argument. Is Norh speaker still any good. In the past they got great reviews. I almost bought a pair myself.

  10. #10
    Charm Thai™ TheHills44060's Avatar
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    I remember the Swans Allure's from years ago but I've never heard any of the more recent Swans speakers from after 1998-1999. It seems the company's focus has changed a lot since then.

    I always thought the marble cabinets of the Norh's were attractive and the scanspeak drivers are top notch but overall they are just way too out there for me to ever seriously consider.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worf101
    I don't recall any other "Worf's" round here but me. But I would never call my self "prolific" (though I did lose about 1,000 posts in the great migration) and only well informed about SOME things LOL. In any even I'm glad to see you back. But Swan's used to be the bee's knees on this forum and were not only well thought of but quite well reviewed. I personally am glad you took the time to write such an in-depth review. IF I had to install an entire system for someone and I was starting from scratch I'd certaily look into their stuff. I just went to their website and man have they expanded their offerings on both ends of he scale.

    But back on point, thanks for the review.

    Worf
    Funny you mention the former popularity of Swans. I remember thinking years ago that these were speakers that I'd want to audition based largely on what people in these forums were reporting. I did manage to hear a pair many years ago (not even sure what model they were) and they sounded great! At the time, they were well above my price-range but given my somewhat new station in life (re: full-time job with pretty good pay) plus the fact that there was a very good sale going on, I had to jump on them. All the talk on this forum from years back probably did play a part in my subconscious decision to look at the Diva's.

    At any rate, I've listened to MANY speakers over the years and the Diva's rank right up there with the best I've ever heard. My buddy has a Maggie 3.5 set-up and when I go to his place, I don't feel like my system is inferior. True, the Maggies cast a much wider soundstage than any box speaker but the quality of the music, the detail and clarity, is every bit as good on my Diva's. And the Diva's have something the Maggies don't have...deep, accurate bass without the need for a sub.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mingus
    I remember the posts from Mtrycrafts always end up in a heated argument.
    Well that name takes me back! I recall those arguments...many were with me! Back in those days, the big argument (one of many) stemmed around people calling Yamaha receivers "bright" and Denon "warm". Heck...I don't even remember what side of the fight I was on!

  13. #13
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    Keith, thanks for the inside scoop on the Swan's

    I've always wondered about the Swan products. They've always look like eye candy to me and I have never known what to think about their signature sound. It's nice to have a new post on a product that I am not familiar with and really good to read about the specific comparison to another brand to be able to better gauge the SQ of the Swan's. Thanks for mini review.

    LeRoy
    Last edited by LeRoy; 01-16-2010 at 12:48 PM.

  14. #14
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Hey one more thing...

    If I haven't said so already Keith.. welcome back. Stick around we can always use another set of ears!

    Worf

  15. #15
    Forum Regular stevenv's Avatar
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    Very nice looks like Dynaudio

    Where do you order them?

  16. #16
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    I believe those HiVi drivers are the same ones that Totem use.

  17. #17
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keithfromcanada
    Well that name takes me back! I recall those arguments...many were with me! Back in those days, the big argument (one of many) stemmed around people calling Yamaha receivers "bright" and Denon "warm". Heck...I don't even remember what side of the fight I was on!
    Mtrycraft was an interesting guy, could debate the hell out of a subject without have any experience doing it. I loved how he used to argue with me about recording soundtracks, bitrates, and Dolby and Dts when he has never done any soundtrack recording or owned an encoder. Now that was fun!
    Sir Terrence

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  18. #18
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    I own Swan 6.1, 2.1se, and nOrh 4.0 : )

  19. #19
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Hello.....

    Quote Originally Posted by stevesatch
    I own Swan 6.1, 2.1se, and nOrh 4.0 : )
    Thanks for chiming in. Please could you do me a favor though? Could you tell us where and how you use them? Compare and contrast their sounds, strengths and weaknesses and any pics would be greatly appreciated.

    Just trying to add to the knowledge base here.

    Thanks in advance...

    Worf

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by koven
    I believe those HiVi drivers are the same ones that Totem use.
    Some of the Totems did utilize a HiVi driver but it wasn't Totem's first choice. My understanding is that they couldn't procure Dynaudio drivers for a number of years and switched over to the HiVi's. Not sure if they've managed to get Dynaudio's back or not.

    The funny thing is, they swapped out drivers and no-one even noticed a difference. speaks volumes about the quality IMO.

  21. #21
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    I'm coming in late on this thread, but if any of you are still looking, here's some info on the Swans company. They merged with HiVi (driver maker) a decade or so ago, but some of the top people from the original Swans moved to California where the headquarters of Swans is now. The Diva 6.1 has all HiVi speakers inside except for the dome material used in the top mount tweeter, and if you believe their write ups, is manufactured in Germany for Swans. I just built a facsimile of the 6.1 using same woofers, but I didn't like the sound of the F series woofer and change to a Dayton midrange. The TN28 tweeter sold at the parts stores don't have any statistics showing this German dome, and if you check the Swans/HiVi site they show two different models of the TN28. The one shown as the high end also has a write up as being part of the Diva family and the other TN28 has no write up at all. I've never seen the high end TN28 for sale, so I guess you have to buy the Diva 6.1 or 6.2 to get this high end model (that's fair). I did replace the top mount with the Morel CAT408, which sounds very well with the other speakers. It would be nice to do an A/B to find out how much difference there is.

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