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B&W DM4 circa 1976.Very Nice.


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I picked up a pair of these last weekend.They needed some work to get them working properly.The spider had come away from the voice coil bobbin one one and had to be reglued.Thankfully everything else seems to be working well.Even the Coles super tweeters that are known to stop working.Although you can still buy them new.They also use polycarbonate capacitors which by reputation hold their values and do not need replacing.

I owned a pair of these 20 years ago and had fond memories of them.

 

They are very much of the classic BBC influenced formula -bextrene coned mid/woofer ,Celestion HF1300 tweeter ,Coles super tweeter.Much the same combination as the Spendor BC1 and Rogers Export Monitors.The main difference being that the B&Ws do not use a thin walled lossy cabinet .Also the B&Ws appear to use a 4 ohm woofer which is a bit unusual for speakers of that era.

I have also owned the similar B&W DM2/DM2a which is  a transmission line version using what appear to be the same drivers.They are excellent too.They sound a bit different .A bit fuller and richer sounding and arguably a bit more woolly sounding too.Some people might prefer that sound.Especially if they have a larger room.

The DM4s are more neutral with an almost studio monitor sort of balance.The measurements are really remarkable  +/- 2db 30Hz to 25000 Hz. Back when you bought them new they came with a printed measured frequency response graph for each speaker.

 

Anyway I really like these speakers.I have owned some very decent two way stand mount speakers including Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor Ms and Dynaudio Contour 1.3 MK2s.I also built some Meniscus Kairos that are excellent and at least as good as those other two.But there is just something "right" sounding about these old B&Ws.Most of all they sound quite big and very expressive and are very musically engaging.They are even pretty valve amp friendly.My 28 watt push pull Trimax  amp drives them very well.

For anybody on a tight budget they represent incredible value.You can pick up a good working pair for around $400.And they are really not that different to a pair of modern Harbeths [in both content and sound]which will cost you more like $7000.

Perhaps they are not so good on stadium rock or electronica but they are very good on everything else and especially good on classical.

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Edited by THOMO
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48 minutes ago, Telecine said:

I have a pair too. They like a bit of room to breathe and really shine with the wick wound up and a decent amp. As you say, a steal for the money.

There are just some recordings that sound beautiful on them.

Shawn Colvin-Cover Girl for example.Especially the live tracks.

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On 08/02/2020 at 5:13 PM, Telecine said:

I have a pair too. They like a bit of room to breathe and really shine with the wick wound up and a decent amp. As you say, a steal for the money.

Just been going through a range of power amps.What is immediately apparent is they do not like amps which use much negative feedback.They sound a bit flat and dry with amps like that.Or perhaps just reveal that is how those amps sound.

The combination of 16 ohm tweeters and 4 ohm woofers is a bit unusual.That is likely to present an unusual load .The woofers need current more than power and the tweeters need power more than current.I suspect that makes them speakers that magnify differences between power amps.So amplifier matching is critical.It is almost like they need a high current SS amp for the woofers and a valve amp for the tweeters.

Having said that my old Nakamichi 420 power amp sounds excellent with them.A very good all rounder rather than a great sounding power amp but it seems to suit them.My Bakoon is  great sounding amp but does not really suit them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, THOMO said:

Just been going through a range of power amps.What is immediately apparent is they do not like amps which use much negative feedback.They sound a bit flat and dry with amps like that.Or perhaps just reveal that is how those amps sound.

The combination of 16 ohm tweeters and 4 ohm woofers is a bit unusual.That is likely to present an unusual load .The woofers need current more than power and the tweeters need power more than current.I suspect that makes them speakers that magnify differences between power amps.So amplifier matching is critical.It is almost like they need a high current SS amp for the woofers and a valve amp for the tweeters.

Having said that my old Nakamichi 420 power amp sounds excellent with them.A very good all rounder rather than a great sounding power amp but it seems to suit them.My Bakoon is  great sounding amp but does not really suit them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They sound great with my Classe DR-9. Not huge power but lots of headroom and current.

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7 minutes ago, Telecine said:

They sound great with my Classe DR-9. Not huge power but lots of headroom and current.

Well that is a classic.

I have not tried my Usher which is a hot running beast so I tend to avoid it in summer but imagine that will suit them nicely.

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