View Full Version : Dilemma


Cosmos
06-23-2007, 11:50 PM
Recently, I have found myself in a dilemma.. There seems to be an opportunity to purchase a few really fine speakers.. While I am normally quite opinionated, I don't have much of an opportunity to audition any of these prior to purchase and one of these I have never heard in person.. just their reputation..

Here's the list:

Dahlquist DQ-10s - I always liked these.. nice open neutral sound.. little light on bass extension, but incredible imaging.
ADS L1230 - Never heard them.. I like L880s alot though..
DCM Time Windows - it's been a many years since I heard them.. I remember them as nice but not overwhelming...

My gut is really telling me DQ-10s or ADS.. prices are within $150.. not enough to squabble about..

The real answer is I should buy them all, but I hate selling any audio gear and I am out of room already..

HELP ME PLEASE!! I don't need any of them, but I can't resist speakers of this caliber at good prices.

Doctordirt
06-23-2007, 11:57 PM
Go for the unknown and expand your appreciation

Saint Johnny
06-24-2007, 12:07 AM
I vote for "buy them all!!!"

DaWoofer
06-24-2007, 12:20 AM
Boy was I impressed by the 880es as well. I would love to hear the 1230es.

Cosmos
06-24-2007, 12:24 AM
I know there are a few AKers that own at least 2 of the 3.. I'd love their opinion.

As far as buying them all... It's really a limit on space.. I just don't need 3 more pair of large speakers.

thedelihaus
06-24-2007, 12:39 AM
I own ADS L1230s, Dahlquist DQ-10s, and have had on loan some DCM Timewindows for over 6 months now.

All three are fabulous.

The DCMs deliver excellent bass with it's pseudo-transmission line design, for being a speaker built of Sonotube. Having the odd-placed driver configuration gives them a very wide sweet spot. They have the ability to dissappear in a room, and are overall a great speaker. The narrow tall design is another positive- placement is fairly easy, and they don't take up much space.

Negatives? Despite their nice bass, I don't find it to be as deep as I prefer/require for my personal listening. I preferred the DCM Timeframe's bass over them.

The ADS L1230s are a true diamond of a speaker. They play low enough to satisfy my bass needs, but never get sloppy, muddy or overpowering in my room. The dome mids and tweets are wonderful. Think of an L810, as good as they are, with improved imaging (stacked mids and tweets, compared to side by side), but at the price of a less spouse-friendly size. With the external crossover unit, they are bi-ampable. Telarc used the bigger brother, the L1530, albiet in modified trim, in their studios. That should say something about the sound.

Negatives? Although not very deep, they are kinda tall, and definately wide, like a linebacker's shoulders. Though I find they image better than the L810s, which I've also heard, I still find the sweet spot to be narrower than some other offerings. Fine if you can place the speakers well, and you're sitting in or near the sweet spot and not milling about. They like to be fed decent power. 65wpc at least, but 100wpc helps out more, and bi-amping (with that required external crossover) should help further, or so i'm told.

The DQ-10s are a bit of true magic in a jar. The time alignment of the drivers gives them a realistic presentation that is superior to the others mentioned. Vocals on folk and country and acoustic tracks is eerily realistic. Jazz discs fill the room as if you were in the club during the playing.

Negatives? They take up a good chunk of living room real estate. Bass should be augmented by an additional subwoofer to get the most out of 'em. They prefer lotsa power.

In order, I'd go for the DQ-10s first, followed closely by the ADS L1230s, and taking up the rear, but certainly not last, I'd snag the DCMs.

But if you can swing it, I'd say grab all three.

For reference, some of my other favorites are my ADS L630s, my Boston Acoustics A150s and A200s, the Allison CD8s I've heard, the Infinity WTLCs with Ohm cone tweeter firing upwards that I've listened to, and the DCM Timeframe 600s that my friend Birddog owns. I've yet to get and refoam my AR 9LSis, but I imagine they'll make the cut as well in the top list. I'd also be pleased to run across many a Thiel, Vandersteen, IMF and early B&W.

Good luck with your choices. I hope my opinions have helped a bit.

Cosmos
06-24-2007, 12:47 AM
I own ADS L1230s, Dahlquist DQ-10s, and have had on loan some DCM Timewindows for over 6 months now.

All three are fabulous.

Good luck with your choices. I hope my opinions have helped a bit.

Thank you. Great information and post.

However, just as I feared, I am now even more confused.

It's not like I don't already have great gear.. I just like the change of pace every once in a while.

thedelihaus
06-24-2007, 12:48 AM
PS- the L880s use a single woofer like the L630s I own, but with a larger domed midrange- 2" compared to 1.5".

Although the twin 8" woofers of the L810s and L1230s supposedly go lower, there's a nice characteristic to the larger ADS woofers. Occasionally less a controlled bass note than the twin-woofer models, they aren't by any means sloppy, and actually lend themselves to rocking better.


I should ask, what kind of music do you favor most?

While all three speakers will do all types of music wonderfully, if I were a rock fan, or a fan of albums heavily produced like offerings from early Van Halen, or Queen, or the like, maybe i'd lean towards the L1230s a bit more than the DQ-10s.

But for vocals and jazz and the ultimate in realism from "natural" sounding albums, I'd still go for the DQ-10s.

Cosmos
06-24-2007, 01:02 AM
I should ask, what kind of music do you favor most?

That's a pretty tough question..

If I am casual listening... probably classic rock, maybe new country or Jazz

If I am really listening (some people call it critical listening).. probably Smooth Jazz. Some classic rock.

There are only a couple of genres that I can't do.. Opera and Bluegrass.. to me it's fingernails on the blackboard.

BTW, I don't believe I ever "critically" listen unless I am trying a new component or trying to detect a problem in the system.

I love the music, why would I want to be critical?

thedelihaus
06-24-2007, 01:09 AM
Then I stand by my list- DQ-10s, for thier naturalness gets first place, ADS L1230s for their ability to do it all good (as long as you're not milling about the room) as my second choice, and a close third to the DCMs for their wide sweetspot, easy placement and general pleasantness.

Cosmos
06-24-2007, 01:18 AM
Then I stand by my list- DQ-10s, for thier naturalness gets first place, ADS L1230s for their ability to do it all good (as long as you're not milling about the room) as my second choice, and a close third to the DCMs for their wide sweetspot, easy placement and general pleasantness.

Check it out.. I could get all 3 pair for less than a grand..

Isn't vintage audio great? (Unless you have a obsession with it, which I think I do..)

Thanks again. Your insight is helpful.

thedelihaus
06-24-2007, 01:38 AM
I'd say ave price for DQ-10s and L1230s is about the same lately, so both pairs should get you at 80% of that number. add the ave. price of the DCMs, and you're right at 100%.

I'd say go for it, and after a nice extended listening period, sell one or two of 'em for what you paid for 'em, give or take a little bit.

Cosmos
06-24-2007, 01:55 AM
I'd say go for it, and after a nice extended listening period, sell one or two of 'em for what you paid for 'em, give or take a little bit.

Sell?

Can you please use another word? I don't know the meaning of that one when it comes to Audio Gear... I wish I did, then I could get all 3 and have room for them.

In fact, I move that "Sell" and "Audio Gear" should not be allowed in the same sentence. It breaks the rules of nature.

thedelihaus
06-24-2007, 12:06 PM
Exactly.

Nat
06-24-2007, 09:16 PM
This is probably too late to be helpful, but it seems to me that if you are hesitant about getting all three, which is, of course, what you should do if you can, then probably you are not yet lost to vintage audiophilia, and having three pairs of speakers does not yet strike you as infinitely preferable to having one pair. In that case, buy the DCMs. More domestically acceptible, easier to drive, and less demanding of sources than the Dahlquists and ADSs. And just a lovely sounding speaker -- not perfect, and the bass won't break your windows , but lovely.

Blue Shadow
06-24-2007, 10:24 PM
Which Time Windows are you looking at? The TW 1 is good the 1a is not so nice in my opinion having both in the house right now. I sold the DQs and the TW (1) back in the day and although the DQ was a better speaker for critical listening, I had to decide between those two, maggies or bose. I was in college and did not have the money for the power to drive the DQs correctly. They need POWER. The bose, enough said, the maggies, again a power issue and I like volume sometimes so these would not quite work.

I chose the Time Windows. A nice balanced speaker with a very nice sound stage. Not quite the jazz bar sound of the maggies, not quite the sound of the DQ-10s. What the Time Windows did was play loud with 120 wpc (one channel per amp from a Hafler DH-200), image properly, never harsh, only a bit muffled in the lower mid bass (I did not have the money for the Time Bass optional subs) and what has turned out to be a nice indestructible long lasting speaker. I have had them since 1980 and will not sell them. Only repair was while they were under warranty and I was still selling the stuff. The phillips tweeter is a known entity and respected.

That said I would buy all of them. Although my brother could not listen to my L990 ADS because he did not like the highs, the 1230 is a better speaker. He owns Vandersteen 2Ce and likes my Magneplanar MG-IIIas with the same equipment he heard the L990s with at the same time. Time Windows and DQ-10s are great speakers. Buy em all.

Now that word 'sell' you are having trouble with. Let's skip that word and look at the word 'donate'. You are welcome to donate any of these or other high end vintage audio equipment to me at any time. I will gladly provide my address and we can arrange shipping/pick-up and such. As a matter-of-fact, I need to get some speakers in my house to the Toledo area and would not mind the drive if you were to donate something to entice me.

Good Luck with your purchase, let us know how you make out.

thedelihaus
06-24-2007, 11:42 PM
Which Time Windows are you looking at? The TW 1 is good the 1a is not so nice in my opinion...


blue Shadow, could you please let me know the differences in the two? I'm quite interested.

anything on both tangible and intangible, physical and in presentation, would be much appreciated.

I'm a big fan of DCM, so your information will be a pleasure to read, and I'm always eager to learn more about the speakers I love, like these.:thmbsp:

Cosmos
06-25-2007, 12:30 AM
Which Time Windows are you looking at?

They are the TW1.

I have plenty of power. Enough to drive what I consider to be among the most power hungry speakers in existance.. KLH Nines and Ohm Fs.

I like to roll equipment into and out of my main system. Further, I am in the process of building a dedicated listening room connected to the wood shop which will give me another system to play with.

The problem with buying all 3 is where to store them and all the other gear I already own, when not in use.. half of my wood shop is already filled with the current gear I own.

Vandersteen 2Ce

If it wasn't already bad enough.. I also found a pair of Vandersteen 2Ce Signatures for $800, but I don't think that is that great of a price..

Now that word 'sell' you are having trouble with. Let's skip that word and look at the word 'donate'.

Now that's a novel approach.. LOL. I sell industrial equipment for a living. Selling isn't the problem.. parting with "loved ones" is..

Trower
06-25-2007, 01:13 AM
I would go for the Dahlquist DQ-10s most defiantly, my uncle has some and I love them to death. If you could swing it I would go for the ADS L1230s I have heard the 880s and love the sound of those too. Well you still have half the shop, if it were me I would defiantly get them both.......

johndoe3
06-25-2007, 01:45 AM
I vote for the Dahlquist DQ-10's and the TimeWindows, great sounding speakers.
I've had both and really liked them.
Not a big ADS fan however.