View Full Version : Dahlquist DQ-8 : changing directions


kenwood61
08-31-2009, 10:24 PM
So I figured I could be fine for years with a receiver, or maybe my Sansui AU/TU517 setup . . . but somehow a minty pair of Dahlquist DQ-8's found their way into my house today an they want to replace my Boston Acoustics A150's . . . all in the pursuit of finding that more realistic musical experience, mind you. When the bug bit me I was thinking of finding some DCM's. I missed a nice pair, but I also love the look and reputation of the Dahlquist. So those were on my short list. And yes, I did know they want more power than the DCM's, but fortunately less than other speakers with a similar design philosophy.

So now I realize I want the headroom and other significant benefits of separate power and more of it. Thanks to Deli, I have some good ideas of where to start looking.

However, I have to start saving up, so I have some time. I will use my Sansui's until I have the capital I need to move up into a tuner/preamp/amp(s) setup, and most likely, I'll have to go one amp at a time. These speakers have bi-amp capability (one speaker is missing the brass looking couplers), and from what I've read, they are designed to enjoy one amp per speaker. So be it.

So I'm hoping you guys will help me build a list of specific makes/models worth considering at the entry level price point that will help me really enjoy these speakers. Maybe one option is to keep the TU517 and getting a preamp/amp. I'm open to ideas. I know I need a quick amp, with lots of overhead and a fast slew rate, but I have no idea how to determine that when looking at specs (but I bet I'm about to learn).

I'm already thinking about the following makes:

Adcom
B&K
Cambridge Audio
Hafler
Yamaha

There tend to be a few Carver's that show up in our area, so I'm wondering about those.

Sir.Byrd
09-01-2009, 08:25 PM
I run a Halfer DH 220 with my Dahlquist DQ-8s, and recommend it.

tentoze
09-01-2009, 08:40 PM
Those are pretty easy to drive. Bi-amp if you want, but if you do, you don't need scads of power. I've run bigger Dahlquists (DQ-10's and 20's) with a Denon POA 2200 (200 wpc) and never felt any need to look for more. With 200 wpc on those 2-ways in any reasonably sized room, you wouldn't get very far on the volume control before you headed for the door. Also, to your question about determining slew rate, I can't speak to other brands, but it always was on the spec sheet for the Denon amps I owned.

JohnVF
09-01-2009, 09:24 PM
I have run the larger but similar DQ-30s on one high current amp and they sounded great. I wouldn't go broke trying to find an amp for them...their are many nice ones. I've heard they sound good on tubes, to. The 30s are 4ohm and drove them with two tube amps (one top and one bottom) and they sounded fantastic, but they usually get driven by an amp that puts 200wpc into 4ohm. I don't remember what the 8s were rated at, but they might be 8ohm.

terra1
09-01-2009, 09:44 PM
Are you sure it's bi-amp vs bi-wire? I have never done either, although I think my Boston VR-40s are one or the other. They always sounded great without being bi with my 110 watt Onkyo TX-SV909Pro audio visual receiver.

Here's a link with a DQ-8 bruchure in one of the posts see post #8.
http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=155299

Also, you can look at the vintage sansui site that has a lot of brochures on receivers and amps. The first I really noticed slew rates was when they talked and bragged about their G7000/G6000 receivers. I suppose you could check their amps brochures as well. NAD always brags about headroom in their brochures.

Frankly, I would take Sir.Byrd on his offer to borrow or listening to his DH220 to see how it sounds and start from there.

I believe the DH220 is about 115 watts. See if that has enough power to fill your room. That can give you a good start.

It's interesting getting into a lot of esoterica like headroom and slew rates, I just don't always know how to translate it into what I really need. So, I would look at quality amps with decent power first. Then mince and dice specs and slew rates.

Sir.Byrd
09-01-2009, 10:14 PM
I have run the larger but similar DQ-30s on one high current amp and they sounded great. I wouldn't go broke trying to find an amp for them...their are many nice ones. I've heard they sound good on tubes, to. The 30s are 4ohm and drove them with two tube amps (one top and one bottom) and they sounded fantastic, but they usually get driven by an amp that puts 200wpc into 4ohm. I don't remember what the 8s were rated at, but they might be 8ohm.

The DQ-8s are 6 ohm nominal

kenwood61
09-01-2009, 10:39 PM
Thanks guys. I have the brochure that came with the speakers.

It says they are 8 ohm nominal impedance, sensitivity 89 dB at 1 Watt/1 meter, recommended power is 20-150 watts, and they are bi-wire. In another post, a fellow mentioned he has the tweeters running off a tube amp and the woofers off solid state. That's too complicated for me now, and I don't have the room for all that gear. If I can get the sound I enjoy off one amp, that will certainly fit my budget better.

thedelihaus
09-01-2009, 11:13 PM
You can run off one amp, single wire or bi-wired.

And yes, you can also bi-amp them. I'd run it different than you're thinking- use a big amp on the bottom, one channel to each speaker's woofer. Follow with similar sized or smaller for the top.



BUT- for now, one amp will do just fine, 'till the big bucks are in your pocket and burning to get out.

Denon POA -1500, POA 2200, Hafler Dh200 and dh500, lotsa strong Adcoms, B&ks St-202/202+/ex-442, plenty of Yammies, etc.

Keep an eye on the Haflers. Good performance for a budget price.

kenwood61
09-01-2009, 11:32 PM
If I just hook up to one set of posts on each speaker with the flat metal jumpers that are on there now . . . that's bi-wired?

thedelihaus
09-02-2009, 02:15 AM
No- bi wired is two sets of wire from the amp.

One set of wire from the amp is "wired". Two, or "bi", is doubling up from the amp and one set each to top and bottom on the speaker connectors.

Arkay
09-02-2009, 04:20 AM
If the DQ-8s are like the DQ-12s I have, then they are set up for bi-amping. Completely separate internal crossovers.

One tip: you can experiment with different wires in place of the brass "jumper" strips. I know that it "shouldn't" make any difference in sound, but the fact is that --once you have a good amp and good speaker cables in place-- those little "jumper" connections CAN and DO affect sound. I'm assuming the Dahlquists are revealing enough to let you hear the differences; I think they are, although I haven't experimented with mine this way (yet).

Congratulations on a fine pair of speakers (:music: :yes: :thmbsp:), and enjoy the journey along the upgrade road!

Marantz 500
09-02-2009, 05:20 AM
I would be cautious about biamping DQ8 speakers. I ruined a fine power amp trying to biamp my DQ8 speakers, which I thought would be OK for biamping. If I remember correctly it does not say in the DQ8 manual that biamping is possible, only biwiring is mentioned. And one of my amps was defective after trying to biamp DQ8 speakers. Just a word of caution! Very nice-sounding speakers apart from that, though.

kenwood61
09-02-2009, 10:09 AM
Marantz 500, the brochure does only specific connection types as normal or bi-wire, so I will not even try to bi-amp (which I can't now anyway). But if I like these, I can see myself looking to move up the line to 3-ways at some point. Maybe then. But I need to focus on now.

Deli, so if I'm running two sets of wires, I assume that means I have to go to speakers A and B, and make sure they are always both on? Is there a benefit to that? Curious.

JohnVF
09-02-2009, 11:02 AM
If you bi-wire the separate leads can come off of a common binding post at the amp. Just make sure that you remove the jumpers...I forgot that the other day and almost fried my amp.

I bi-wire my DQ-30s...two positive leads off of the postive terminals on the amp, two negative leads off of the negative terminals. It's all coming from the same place, so to speak, which is why there's debate over whether it's worthwhile I think, but in the case of my DQs, it does make a difference in how the midrange behaves, as well as a subtle tightening of the bass. The midrange cleared up (though it was already really nice) and the whole soundstage seemed to focus a bit more. It wasn't night and day but it was noticeable.

kenwood61
09-02-2009, 11:45 AM
Lots to think about. Once I get my Sansui 517s back, I'll see how those will work. I may have to look sooner than later to replace that . . . and I have some great ideas for amps, but I'll need to look at preamps and tuners, or keep my TU517 and find a preamp, or I noticed an Adcom tuner/preamp local for about $125 that looked like it would fit the bill.

Someone asked for pics so here's the quickies I just took of one. I need to get my space rearranged to use these.

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/2151/p1010183f.jpg (http://img24.imageshack.us/i/p1010183f.jpg/)

http://img513.imageshack.us/img513/4119/p1010180o.jpg (http://img513.imageshack.us/i/p1010180o.jpg/)

http://img212.imageshack.us/img212/6053/p1010182l.jpg (http://img212.imageshack.us/i/p1010182l.jpg/)

http://img214.imageshack.us/img214/5741/p1010179.jpg (http://img214.imageshack.us/i/p1010179.jpg/)

kenwood61
09-02-2009, 11:46 AM
From what I can tell, the grills have never been removed. These are from the original owner who took care of them like I would have. Can't ask for anything more!

Marantz 500
09-02-2009, 11:50 AM
I used my DQ8's with a Proton D1200 power amp, 100 WPC. A great-sounding combination.

Sir.Byrd
09-02-2009, 12:13 PM
Excellent condition in looks like.
I'm thinking about redoing the grills on mine AGAIN (cat scratched) from black to a brighter color.

kenwood61
09-02-2009, 09:39 PM
Once I hear how the Sansui's do after coming out of the shop, one possibility will be to keep those beauties, and add a bigger amp later to run the bottom end. Use the AU's (65+) for the upper end. At the very least, I can enjoy my investment in those. I'll report back next week. I think I should be picking the Sui's up next Thursday.

SB, I vote for JBL cobalt blue, or amber orange :) That would look cool.

kenwood61
09-02-2009, 09:40 PM
M'500 . . . I haven't heard of the Proton, other than a tv I bought with that name back in the late 80's. Same company?

Sir.Byrd
09-03-2009, 12:53 AM
Once I hear how the Sansui's do after coming out of the shop, one possibility will be to keep those beauties, and add a bigger amp later to run the bottom end. Use the AU's (65+) for the upper end. At the very least, I can enjoy my investment in those. I'll report back next week. I think I should be picking the Sui's up next Thursday.

SB, I vote for JBL cobalt blue, or amber orange :) That would look cool.

I have both colors on other projects... I was thinking purple.

Marantz 500
09-06-2009, 10:54 AM
Yes, I would think it's the same company. Not sure if they make anything of worth today, the D1200 is an old model, fairly easy to find second-hand.

http://www.hifiengine.com/manuals/proton/d-1200.shtml

stereocuuple
09-06-2009, 11:39 AM
We have ours recovered in grasscloth/burlap... I think they look great, and the cloth doesn't affect the sound at all.

Thanks,
Erin

kenwood61
09-13-2009, 09:13 PM
I think I will be fine with my Sansui AU/TU517 setup. Just got it back, and they speakers sound good. I don't have in the best room, but it's the best I can do for now. I will still consider a bigger amp and biwire down the road, but I have two other things to focus on first. Thanks guys for the input!

kenwood61
09-13-2009, 11:08 PM
Here's some pics of my "new" setup . . . still need to tweek, and get better isolation for my turntable, and room for a second tt.

http://img30.imageshack.us/img30/2020/newsetup1.jpg (http://img30.imageshack.us/i/newsetup1.jpg/)

http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/3885/newsetup2c.jpg (http://img6.imageshack.us/i/newsetup2c.jpg/)

JohnVF
09-13-2009, 11:21 PM
Nice looking setup.

I don't know what your limitations are with setup, but I think playing with the placement of the speakers might give you more of a change in sound for the positive than finding a bigger amp. I've heard of people running those speakers on 35 watts of tube power.

From my experience with my DQ-30s, sort of like big 3-way versions of the 8s, they turned into almost completely different speakers when out in the room by about two feet, away from side walls. They also imaged better with a slight bit of toe-in. I don't know if you can try that but even if you could do it temporarily you might notice a huge change in the width and depth of soundstage. The 30s do a really good job of disappearing when set up to maximize what they can do.

Good luck with them! They look great.

kenwood61
09-13-2009, 11:32 PM
Thanks! Hey JohnVF, I just commented on your DQ30 thread. :thmbsp:

I will try moving them around. It was enough today for me to situate as you see in the photos. I have a heater vent on one side and the corner wall on the other. I have a keyboard with monitors on that same wall coming out of the corner, and a built-in work table on the opposite wall, and my computer/office partially in a closet (with doors removed) opposite the speakers so they hit me in the back of the head, unless I turn around to enjoy. I also have a window above the heater vent so it's a precarious area to deal with. I may test out in the living room some time when my wife is out and about, but it will have to live in my office for now where I can enjoy. And I am enjoying them. I want to try out some different wiring. I bookmarked a DIY bi-wire project on AK that I liked, so I may try that. I have the Monster flat wire now that is a pain to get and out quickly for testing, and I'd rather have something slick looking. I have some of the braided wire jacket from Techflex.

I think you may be right in the AU517 having plenty of power. I can crank it up half way on some material and it seems to take the power well.

Susurus
09-13-2009, 11:47 PM
Elegant set with audio racks there in your listening space!

Corners? Hey it could be a lot worse. Friend has some Vandys on either side of his armoire TV/audio cabinet. He always listens with the doors open--completely blocking the front of the speakers with the doors! Sure it drives me a little nuts if they are too close to the walls but if you're working around space limitations then a limited baffle like your DQs or baffle-less type like Vandys helps a lot.

Yes, I blew out woofer surrounds once on my 12's with a Parasound HCA amp, but they were way overdue; brittle. GordonW has perfect replacements, I've redone all my DQs' woofers.

Next time you're on your way down to stumptown, stop on by. You may find some of my DQ's interesting.

10's - double stacked w. P-500 Hafler.
20's w. Onkyo TX-8500.
12's w. Yammi, Lux, anything.
9c missing tweeters... :sigh:

JohnVF
09-14-2009, 12:01 AM
Thanks! Hey JohnVF, I just commented on your DQ30 thread. :thmbsp:



If I knew a way to magically transport them through time and space, you could have a shootout. They're just sitting in the corner here. I pulled them out to listen this evening, but the way my speakers are placed now (literally in the middle of the room in a loft) they just weren't able to shine, and I couldn't move the cords as they are run under carpet. They seem to need some sort of surface behind them, though it should be a couple feet back, to really sound great. So, I understand you when you say you can only put them where they are..but they really do open up with some air around them. Just not a whole room of air.

kenwood61
09-14-2009, 12:15 AM
Stumptown. How'd it get that name?

Well, on one of my next visits to Portland, I'll try to make that happen. I'll let you know.

===

I wish you could magically transport those. After looking at your photo, I can see what you mean by limited space. Bummer. You've got me curious now about experimenting with placement. I'll let you know how it goes . . .

Susurus
09-14-2009, 04:15 PM
Probably because it's got people stumped. :yes:

Or referencing remnants of the local logging industry...


And since your nick says Kenwood I'll make sure the KR-9050 is up and running.

--

Yes placement is more critical for DQs than most. The inverted top 10's on my double stack place the woofers at stand up ear height--that accounts for 90% of the advantage of two sets IMHO. In other words, listening to just the top set by itself works great.

8's and 30's are ported. None of my DQ's are ported. (Just not a fan of ports).

Sir.Byrd
09-14-2009, 04:42 PM
Nice cubes! I wonder where you got those from.

kenwood61
09-14-2009, 10:47 PM
From one of the most generous and cool dudes on AK :)

kenwood61
09-14-2009, 10:50 PM
Probably because it's got people stumped. :yes:

Or referencing remnants of the local logging industry...


And since your nick says Kenwood I'll make sure the KR-9050 is up and running.

--

Yes placement is more critical for DQs than most. The inverted top 10's on my double stack place the woofers at stand up ear height--that accounts for 90% of the advantage of two sets IMHO. In other words, listening to just the top set by itself works great.

8's and 30's are ported. None of my DQ's are ported. (Just not a fan of ports).

Now that I'm settling in a bit with listening from various sources (phono, cd, tape, ipod) I am going to have to experiment with placement, and potentially try out a different set of speakers and tuner/amp (or receiver) combo. Most material seems boomy where I need to turn the bass down, and I find myself going up a notch or two on treble, in order for it to "open up"—at least that's what it feels like to me (in case I'm not using the correct term). Maybe it's the Sansui. Maybe it's the DQ-8's. I need to evaluate more, but I can tell that as it is now isn't what I was hoping for, so I need to work through it . . .

Susurus
09-15-2009, 04:09 PM
Most 2-ways are more efficient. DQs are not efficient, ever. They want current. But they have other charms--like midrange tone. :thmbsp:

JohnVF
09-15-2009, 04:15 PM
I can only offer suggestions from what I learned with my DQ-30s, so they may not apply, but they're from the same company and similar in design.

The bass could get sloppy with a small amp. I switched to a nice high current amp that really grabbed those woofers...they seemed to have more excursion than I was used to, and really wanted to move back and forth...needed current to control them. They tightened up with a combination of power and placement. Bass definitely got tighter and more focused when they were away from walls. This is not a speaker to stuff into the corner.

Susurus
09-15-2009, 04:28 PM
I'll be Mr. Picky-Picky and emphasize that it's the damping factor that 'controls' larger woofers and tightens up the bass. Unfortunately there's not a high correlation between amp power and DF specs. My Yamaha C-4 says 200, and it has great bass for example. 50 is where it starts to get good. Tube stuff typically gives a DF of 16. Fine for horns of course.

Maggies don't care about DF because it doesn't take an iron grip to hold a sheet of clear Mylar with a 0.5 mm excursion! But they care about current even more than DQs (there, now I'm back on topic :D )

JohnVF
09-15-2009, 04:38 PM
I'm currently (no pun intended) looking at an amp with a damping factor of ">500"...I hope to get clean, tight bass with it.

kenwood61
09-15-2009, 10:09 PM
So let's say I decide it's worth figuring out a realistic budget for an amp with the "right stuff". Does this allow the continued use of the AU517 as a preamp, or wire the tweets off of? I love the look of the DQ-8's with the Sansui, so as you might understand, I'd like to think this could work.

kenwood61
09-15-2009, 11:54 PM
Most 2-ways are more efficient. DQs are not efficient, ever. They want current. But they have other charms--like midrange tone. :thmbsp:

When I setup both DQ-8's (bi-wired) and my Boston A150's, the Boston's were a little louder when I switched back and forth, but not significantly. I assume this is one way you can measure the difference in efficiency?

kenwood61
09-16-2009, 12:16 AM
Boy, the server sure is slow tonight . . .

JohnVF
09-16-2009, 12:24 AM
When I setup both DQ-8's (bi-wired) and my Boston A150's, the Boston's were a little louder when I switched back and forth, but not significantly. I assume this is one way you can measure the difference in efficiency?

I've had one speaker on L and a different one on R, to check relative efficiency. I did this recently at an audio dealer and was surprised by how efficient a new PSB Synchrony was compared to an older Altec 890c. They were nearly identical, and I wouldn't have thought that.

JohnVF
09-16-2009, 12:29 AM
So let's say I decide it's worth figuring out a realistic budget for an amp with the "right stuff". Does this allow the continued use of the AU517 as a preamp, or wire the tweets off of? I love the look of the DQ-8's with the Sansui, so as you might understand, I'd like to think this could work.

Yes, you could run the 517 as a preamp. With a "y" cable you could use the 517 on the tweeters and a different amp on the woofer, as long as you had a way to attenuate the power of the separate amp to match the levels. Some amps have level controls.

But getting a big amp gets you into territory where you then have a preamp, in the 517, that is probably outclassed by the amp it's pushing. It will work, but you're in some way wasting a bit of the amp by not having as good of a preamp driving it. And different preamps make a huge difference in my experience. But it will work.

kenwood61
09-16-2009, 12:40 AM
I thought that might be the case. At this point, my main focus is on the sound quality. So it might be more a case of enjoying the 517s while I save up the dough for something worth making the change. The 517 has the exact inputs I need, which is handy, but I think that I'd want to audition the new piece of equipment to know it was the right move for me before letting go of the 517's . . . which could be a while, or it's possible, I might keep and replace the smaller H/K setup I have. Fortunately nothing I have to make a decision on today.

JohnVF
09-16-2009, 01:05 AM
Don't rule out a bigger integrated amp, either. I run separates usually but I also have a few integrateds in my stash that give my separates a run for their money, like the Yamaha A-1. If my Luxman 5L-15 was working (down with some mysterious apparently impossible to diagnose ailment), it sonically keeps up with almost anything I've heard. The Yamaha 1010 and 2010 are really nice, too (though I think the A-1 sounds better)...or even the larger Sansuis like the Au-9900.

kenwood61
09-16-2009, 01:24 AM
Food for thought. I won't rule anything out. But I should settle down with what I have now, and do more reading, and listening if I get opportunities to hear other gear.

Part of my adventure is getting used to the idea that when I get something I thought I really wanted, I think I want something else :)

JohnVF
09-16-2009, 01:57 AM
If you aren't liking the Dahlquists, I'm being totally honest when I say placement can make or break a speaker like them. I can't emphasize it enough. A time/phase aligned speaker with open baffle tweeter is going to need some patience with setup. They do some magical things, but if they're going to just be placed where it's convenient, their strengths are being wasted, and you'll just notice their faults. And all speakers have faults...but with something like a DQ-8, it's pluses can so overshadow the faults that it's pretty amazing when everything snaps into place. I'm not trying to rain on your parade, I'm just being honest and trying to help you get the most out of your speakers.

JohnVF
09-16-2009, 02:01 AM
To add to the above...my DQ-30s are one of the best sounding pair of speakers I've heard. But I changed my room around, and they can't be by a wall right now. And they sound terrible. They didn't last 5 minutes in that setup, I couldn't stand listening to them, and I LOVE those speakers, just not with how my room is now. Thankfully I have speakers that do work in that setup (actually, better than they do with a wall around). But being improperly placed destroyed everything I love about the DQ-30s. They became hollow and shrill...and they're 90lb speakers! It was just from room interaction, or lack thereof.

kenwood61
09-16-2009, 10:17 AM
Hey John, well said. And thanks! I don't dislike these speakers and from what you're telling me, I am encouraged to experiment more. I'm going to test out elevating them as well before taking the time to fabricate some elevation bases I am thinking could look nice with them. On certain music types, they sound really good just as they are. Rock music, not so much, partially (I think) because of how that stuff is typically recorded). But on the music I really enjoy—I see potential. I honestly can't imagine many speakers that would interest me being as good as these, so I'm motivated to find their sweet spot.

The other factor is the Sansui AU/TU517. I know other components, or receivers will sound different, so that's something I am prepared to consider trying out.

Don't be afraid to rain on my parade man!! :D

Susurus
09-16-2009, 01:17 PM
(1) I was not being specific. A couple of FYI's here can help clarify.

http://www.the12volt.com/installbay/forum_posts.asp~TID~73962~PN~1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudspeaker#Efficiency_vs._sensitivity

(2) Compared to most people's systems you have the opposite problem: your speakers are significantly better than your amp. Unfortunately they are also more demanding.

kenwood61
09-16-2009, 03:00 PM
After I fuss with the setup and placement of speakers, I may need to decide if I like and want to keep the 517s or the DQ8s . . . but at present I would lean more to the DQ8's, unless at some point, I decide that for my listening space, I need a different speaker. I'll have this space for at least another year. At our next place my hope is to build a listening space better suite for any type of gear. But I have to live in the present :thmbsp:

JohnVF
09-16-2009, 03:08 PM
Pretty much any speaker you find that isn't horn loaded will benefit from better/more powerful amplification. Having decent power really opens up your choices. You don't have to get crazy with it, but a good solid 80-100wpc will really open up some speakers. And some, like Dahlquists, open up more as you give them more. I don't think the 8s are anywhere near as hard to drive as, say, DQ-10s, though.

thedelihaus
09-16-2009, 03:51 PM
Here's some pics of my "new" setup . . . still need to tweek, and get better isolation for my turntable, and room for a second tt.

http://img30.imageshack.us/img30/2020/newsetup1.jpg (http://img30.imageshack.us/i/newsetup1.jpg/)

http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/3885/newsetup2c.jpg (http://img6.imageshack.us/i/newsetup2c.jpg/)



Looks great! Very classy!

...bass could get sloppy with a small amp. I switched to a nice high current amp that really grabbed those woofers...they seemed to have more excursion than I was used to, and really wanted to move back and forth...needed current to control them. They tightened up with a combination of power and placement. Bass definitely got tighter and more focused when they were away from walls. This is not a speaker to stuff into the corner.

Yes. The man speaks the truth on bigger amp for the woofers, and if possible, placement.

I'll be Mr. Picky-Picky and emphasize that it's the damping factor that 'controls' larger woofers and tightens up the bass.


100% truth.

So let's say I decide it's worth figuring out a realistic budget for an amp with the "right stuff". Does this allow the continued use of the AU517 as a preamp, or wire the tweets off of? ...I'd like to think this could work.

Yes- it will work, and is a great idea.

Yes, you could run the 517 as a preamp. With a "y" cable you could use the 517 on the tweeters and a different amp on the woofer, as long as you had a way to attenuate the power of the separate amp to match the levels. Some amps have level controls.

But getting a big amp gets you into territory where you then have a preamp, in the 517, that is probably outclassed by the amp it's pushing. It will work, but you're in some way wasting a bit of the amp by not having as good of a preamp driving it. And different preamps make a huge difference in my experience. But it will work.


However, he's just had the amp re-capped. A big plus- freshly serviced. And I think the 517 has a nicer preamp section than most think.



Pretty much any speaker you find that isn't horn loaded will benefit from better/more powerful amplification. Having decent power really opens up your choices. You don't have to get crazy with it, but a good solid 80-100wpc will really open up some speakers. And some, like Dahlquists, open up more as you give them more. I don't think the 8s are anywhere near as hard to drive as, say, DQ-10s, though.

I'd still aim for a bit more "Oomph", wpc wise, but more importantly is an amp that has a nice wpc to current ratio.






The booming of the bass you are experiencing is either a placement issue, a bit of slop in the drivers due to lack of power or current delivery, or a combo of all of them.

rpampt
09-16-2009, 04:42 PM
If you start replacing amps, I'd suggest a power amp that is bridgeable. Easy to move up that way. Example, start with a 60 wpc amp and if not enough power, bridge it for 120-140 watts and buy another one to go with it. Or can use 2 power amps and do the biamp thing. Can even use one with your integrated Sansui as the preamp until you decide or have funds for a new preamp.

Just seems like power amps are just more versatile to go along with the quieting factor of separates.

I have 3 hafler amps and I've used them a variety of ways.

Good luck with your journey.

JohnVF
09-16-2009, 04:51 PM
I'd still aim for a bit more "Oomph", wpc wise, but more importantly is an amp that has a nice wpc to current ratio.




Completely agree on this. I should have broadened my advice for more oomph. I personally 'only' run a 100wpc amp, but it will run circles around some 200wpc amps, doubling down to 200wpc at 4ohm and 360 watts at 2ohm. Current and headroom to spare, and that 100wpc is plenty to drive my DQ-30s (which are 4ohm, so I guess they're getting 200wpc).

tentoze
09-16-2009, 04:51 PM
I don't think the 8s are anywhere near as hard to drive as, say, DQ-10s, though.

Exactly. They are a pretty simple 2-way design. They could be powered with a bazillion watts per channel if one really wanted to, but I own a pair, and I think it's throwing money away to do so. Just because a speaker has a "Dahlquist" badge doesn't automatically mean it is difficult to drive, or that it needs stupid amounts of power to reach its full potential. The 8's simply do not require it.

Susurus
09-16-2009, 07:07 PM
Well when the discussion goes into this level of detail, I guess it's time to forgo some generalities and get specific WRT current handling capacity, efficiency, sensitivity, room position and a host of other variables. What is the rating of these? The xover components? Internal volume? Port diameter and position? Imp. curve?

Not a fan of bridging. You just lose half your damping factor that way. It's not something for nothing. Of course with Hafler MosFETs you start out pretty good to begin with. :thmbsp:

TT is correct that for a vintage Dahlquist, the 2-way sets are easier customers. But that doesn't mean they are easy for their type or weight class. Not my idea of simple; box speakers are much simpler. A hybrid limited baffle gives you an splendid openness but there is also a cost. You don't have the same acoustic loading properties as a box speaker. It's trickier to match up with the LF cabs. (Try the Carver Amazings to see limited baffle done on a larger scale--amp-killers, esp. the 1st gen).

I'm convinced that some 2-ways like ARs and KLH acoustic suspension designs benefit considerably from heftier iron (but not 'stupid' levels of course). The porteds might sound louder for the same wattage through them but that doesn't mean they sound better.

If it's a choice between H's Iron Rule variables I'll take lower sensitivity every time.

kenwood61
09-16-2009, 10:14 PM
1) Looks great! Very classy!

2) However, he's just had the amp re-capped. A big plus- freshly serviced. And I think the 517 has a nicer preamp section than most think.

3) I'd still aim for a bit more "Oomph", wpc wise, but more importantly is an amp that has a nice wpc to current ratio.

4) power or current delivery, or a combo of all of them.

1) Thanks Deli :thmbsp:

2) Actually, the shop resoldered many joints on the board, cleaned glue that was problematic, adjusted DC offset, tightened the collector hex nuts, cleaned PCB in areas and everything needed to get the amp 100% functional.

So if replacing the caps is guaranteed to result in a positive sonic improvement, I would gladly spend the money. I like the AU that much. However, I don't know if I would have to replace the four big caps only, or many others. I know the big caps at Percy's are around $50+ each. So it may not be smart going that route no matter how much I like the amp. I hope that makes sense. FYI, I do have another thread on cap replacement on this AU517 I posted BEFORE deciding to take to the shop. So I should probably revive that . . .

3) I need to find out what "wpc to current ratio" means so I can know what is a good ratio and how to look for that.

4) I have things setup so the bass is not as boomy. After listening more and playing a bigger variety of material, this is what I'm hearing. The bass is not as tight as I'd like—possibly needing more power. The highs and mid's seem to be mixing together. Now on classical music where there isn't much going on except the flute, violins, and so forth, no problem. But as soon as you throw in a bunch of instruments playing at the same time (read: busy) the mid to upper range doesn't have the separation and detail I would expect. If I were to break up the midrange into upper and lower, I would say the lower part of the range seems to be missing, while the upper seems to be overlapping the high end. Seems a bit mixed. I hope I am making sense.

kenwood61
09-16-2009, 11:26 PM
So I did a little testing with going from bi-wire to a single per side and didn't notice a difference. What I am noticing is that the right channel speaker has less lowend bass. For example, on Steely Dan's "Aja" CD, the first song "Black Cow" has some good bass notes. There is a noticeable difference between the two channels. Maybe I'll swap the speakers to determine if it's the amp's right channel, or if it's the speaker. If it's the speaker, I have to consider it to be a crossover issue or driver, eh?

thedelihaus
09-16-2009, 11:34 PM
Could also be the recording.

JohnVF
09-16-2009, 11:34 PM
So I did a little testing with going from bi-wire to a single per side and didn't notice a difference. What I am noticing is that the right channel speaker has less lowend bass. For example, on Steely Dan's "Aja" CD, the first song "Black Cow" has some good bass notes. There is a noticeable difference between the two channels. Maybe I'll swap the speakers to determine if it's the amp's right channel, or if it's the speaker. If it's the speaker, I have to consider it to be a crossover issue or driver, eh?

If your speakers are still set up like in the pictures, the speaker in the corner might have more perceived bass, as the corner might be acting something like a giant horn for the bass.

Sir.Byrd
09-16-2009, 11:48 PM
Why don't you stop by and listen to my DQ-8s with the Hafler, as well as bring the screws and pick up the cassette deck from john on the way here?

kenwood61
09-17-2009, 12:17 AM
John . . . so I swapped the speakers and you're right. The speaker in the corner has more bass . . . crazy! I can't believe it's that big of a difference. But it's there.

Will, I'd love to even bring my speakers over just to hear if they sound the same as yours. I'm starting to think I'm over-analyzing this setup :scratch2:

kenwood61
09-17-2009, 12:18 AM
Oh, I don't know if I can swing by this Saturday . . . depends on the weather (I'm supposed to be painting the house. I'll let you know.

Sir.Byrd
09-17-2009, 12:19 AM
Oh, I don't know if I can swing by this Saturday . . . depends on the weather (I'm supposed to be painting the house. I'll let you know.

Saturday evening works for me.

kenwood61
09-17-2009, 12:47 AM
I'll let you know.

JohnVF
09-17-2009, 12:48 AM
John . . . so I swapped the speakers and you're right. The speaker in the corner has more bass . . . crazy! I can't believe it's that big of a difference. But it's there.

Will, I'd love to even bring my speakers over just to hear if they sound the same as yours. I'm starting to think I'm over-analyzing this setup :scratch2:

This is why placement is a huge issue. Room interaction is often overlooked when somebody isn't happy with something about their setup. The farther away from the walls the cleaner the bass will be on those speakers, to a certain point. With the DQ-30s, once you get too far, they start to lose their presence a bit. They sound hollow and too bright. Maybe this is also what is causing your midrange to sound off to you. You have what is essentially a naked tweeter (it's in a very small enclosure, at least) throwing sound all around those speakers, and the reflected sound is hitting you, too. But the woofer isn't in an open baffle, so it's not as omnidirectional. I would imagine that this could cause a coherency problem if they aren't the ideal distance from the back and side walls, or at least close.

But...I've only heard 8s for a very short period of time. Too short to really do anything but guess what is causing what you hear. If you toe them in (angle them in toward you a bit), that might clear up some of the midrange congestion, too.

kenwood61
09-17-2009, 12:49 AM
Could also be the recording.

I think I'm noticing that the better the gear you get, the more it reveals poorer recordings . . . or at least let's you hear things you didn't hear before. But that corner is definitely contributing. I have to get some longer wires so I can play around a bit more.

kenwood61
09-17-2009, 12:59 AM
I'm going to play around with them a bit, and give different adjustments time to settle in my ear. I have a rug that is not in the room now. If I put in, should that help some deflection? It's all hardwood floors.

JohnVF
09-17-2009, 01:09 AM
It's certainly worth trying. Rugs can actually make a pretty sizable difference. Some speakers are better than others at ignoring the room. I found the DQ-10 near impossible to situate in my listening area. I never ended up loving them, but have heard them in other rooms sound pretty great. My room sucked the air out of recordings played on them, they sounded really dry. Recordings lost the sense of being in a room. It was the strangest room interaction I've come across. The DQ-30s were much easier to place. They just needed room to breath, but not too much, and they were happy.

Sir.Byrd
09-17-2009, 01:15 AM
I'm going to play around with them a bit, and give different adjustments time to settle in my ear. I have a rug that is not in the room now. If I put in, should that help some deflection? It's all hardwood floors.

I have a full-floor rug with my DQ-8s.

thedelihaus
09-17-2009, 01:59 AM
I bet sir Byrd's Hafler/DQ combo is nice.

The note earlier about bridging is something I agree with- bridging can have negative effects on damping.

That Sansui is nice gear.

If more bottom end oomph is needed, does that hafler have variable out? If so, that'd make it a good, affordable solution.

A big hurdle you are going to have to tackle, in my opinion, is yoir room. Placement of speakers, room treatment, etc. Although lots of folks are purists, and may balk at my next suggestion, in the real world sometimes an EQ is a godsend for a tough room.

Are you over-analyzing your system? A bit. :) I'd take time to enjoy that wonderful system you now have. You're at a point where, although you can till improve on your system, it will get more expensive with each step up, and the improvement, while noticeable, will get smaller and smaller.

kenwood61
09-17-2009, 10:59 AM
I agree the room is the big hurdle. As for power, if more power will open up and separate the highs and mids, then that is going to be a "next step".

I put on Andreas Vollenweider's "Down to the Moon" LP I just picked up to see how it would sound. I was reminded of what a great table the AR is (even with Grado hum) and the DQ-8's sounded really nice. But then they sound great, with my current system as-is, with this type of music. I was also reminded that the TT is not as isolated as it was on the work table it used to be on, so that's something to look at.

I did notice an Adcom GFA-545, Carver TFM55, and Hafler DH-200 this morning on CL for reachable prices. Well, the Carver would be a bit of a reach.

kenwood61
09-18-2009, 05:32 PM
My ears are adjusting . . . good news . . . but I am going to start planning for the AMP and an EQ to help with room acoustics.

thedelihaus
09-18-2009, 06:10 PM
If you can, look forca parametric EQ, and/or one with a microphone that helps you balance the room.

relaximus
09-18-2009, 07:14 PM
John and Deli are so right about placement with these things. My DQ-30's are still finding their way around my room looking for that right spot. Although, I did notice a huge improvement when I changed out the Harman Kardon AV receiver for B&K ST-140M monoblocks. Even though the HK was (supposedly) a high-current design pushing 70wpc (@8 ohms, don't know the 4 ohm rating), the B&K's really opened them up and added a bunch of control to the bottom end. I would guess that the B&K's likely push around 200w into 4 ohms and the DQ-30's feel like they'd love even more. I had tried them with a Sansui 9090DB, but it wasn't a terribly good match. I have another ST-140 (stereo), so I may have to try using that to drive the top-end of the 30's with the monoblocks driving the bottom. I guess the key is to keep playing with placement. When you find that right spot, back it up with better upstream components and be ready to get wowed.

Dave

JohnVF
09-18-2009, 07:27 PM
If they respond like the 30s to placement, I don't know that an EQ is going to solve all your issues. It might help, but it's not going to be a replacement for, well...placement.

JohnVF
09-18-2009, 07:30 PM
John and Deli are so right about placement with these things. My DQ-30's are still finding their way around my room looking for that right spot. Although, I did notice a huge improvement when I changed out the Harman Kardon AV receiver for B&K ST-140M monoblocks. Even though the HK was (supposedly) a high-current design pushing 70wpc (@8 ohms, don't know the 4 ohm rating), the B&K's really opened them up and added a bunch of control to the bottom end. I would guess that the B&K's likely push around 200w into 4 ohms and the DQ-30's feel like they'd love even more. I had tried them with a Sansui 9090DB, but it wasn't a terribly good match. I have another ST-140 (stereo), so I may have to try using that to drive the top-end of the 30's with the monoblocks driving the bottom. I guess the key is to keep playing with placement. When you find that right spot, back it up with better upstream components and be ready to get wowed.

Dave

Mine ended up surprisingly far apart ( maybe 8-10') for how close I was sitting (maybe 6' from the line the speakers were on), with a toe-in that shot the tweeters about 3 feet to either side of my head in the sweet spot, with the speakers about 2.5 feet from the wall behind them and 3 feet from the nearest side wall. Of course, all rooms are different but this is where my 30s sounded best.

relaximus
09-18-2009, 07:50 PM
Thanks John, I'll take all the hints you can offer. Don't get me wrong, I really love the 30's (I can't believe you're selling yours!), but they are damn near as hard to position as my TimeWindow 3's. But, I have a difficult room to deal with (wide and short, with weird nooks, openings and rear reflections). The last speakers that truly felt and sounded happy in here were DefTech Pro-Tower 400's. My DefTech BP-20's hated the space. Like the OP, I haven't given up on the DQ's yet, but I am beginning to think I may be better served with a more traditional design (at least in this space).

Dave

JohnVF
09-18-2009, 08:09 PM
Thanks John, I'll take all the hints you can offer. Don't get me wrong, I really love the 30's (I can't believe you're selling yours!), but they are damn near as hard to position as my TimeWindow 3's. But, I have a difficult room to deal with (wide and short, with weird nooks, openings and rear reflections). The last speakers that truly felt and sounded happy in here were DefTech Pro-Tower 400's. My DefTech BP-20's hated the space. Like the OP, I haven't given up on the DQ's yet, but I am beginning to think I may be better served with a more traditional design (at least in this space).

Dave

Don't get me wrong...I love my DQ-30s. The only reason I'm selling mine is that the Sony SS-m7s sound similar and are much more versatile. The part of the hobby I love the most (besides listening) is switching gear in and out, and the DQs were just not friendly to that. They preferred a big SS power amp, and sounded best to me with a tube preamp. That kind of limited my fun. The Sonys are 8ohm and not hard to drive. But the DQ-30s taught me the joy of a time/phase correct design. They sound HUGE (but only if placed right, of course).

relaximus
09-18-2009, 08:14 PM
... They preferred a big SS power amp, and sounded best to me with a tube preamp.
Hmm, I think I've got the power end of things covered with the B&K monoblocks. Perhaps, it's the Outlaw Audio pre that I'm running?

Dave

JohnVF
09-18-2009, 08:18 PM
Hmm, I think I've got the power end of things covered with the B&K monoblocks. Perhaps, it's the Outlaw Audio pre that I'm running?

Dave

The only issue I had with mine was a slightly hot high-end...I'm not a big fan of metal tweeters (unless they're Celestion...) but a tube pre tamed that, as did moving them around. If yours, or one of yours, is hanging out in the open with nothing to bounce the high end off of, it might sound like mine when I had them out in the middle of my room (loft). Hollow and a bit shrill even, the opposite of what they sounded like along the wall. I had an even tougher time placing DQ-10s, so much so that I gave up. The DQ-30s were AMAZING when properly situated, though.

Blue Shadow
09-18-2009, 08:55 PM
So after reading this thread, I see a number of things touched on by not completely discussed. Maybe I can say a bit more about them.

Speaker placement as relates to the more bass from the speaker in the corner: As you move the speaker away from walls, the bass decreases and tightens up, as stated. The corner is 3 walls (floor, back and side walls) the other speaker sees two walls to work with, the floor and back wall. There are a number of folks here that pull their speakers out from their 'parking place' (WAF hiding place) back in the corner when listening seriously. The speaker in the 'parking place' probably sounds fine for background music but when sitting in the sweet spot and really listening, moving the speakers is a nice thing to do to improve the sound. I don't know the DQ-8 so can't say if it would like to be out in the middle of the room without anything but the floor to assist with bass reproduction, but you can determine that with your longer speaker cables. The DQ-10 was the last Dahlquist I sold before getting out of the sales operation.

The hard floor is not the best for audio. I have heard that every opposite pair of walls should have one soft wall. Carpet, curtains, wall coverings and furniture all contribute to absorbing those pesky reflections. If the ceiling is hard and reflective a carpet or area rug can work wonders. I was in a house with a front room with stacked advents on the long wall. Sounded bad until we put a curtain across the entire opposite wall even though the window was only 1/3 of that distance. Imagine visitors comments when we closed the curtain across the front door to listen to tunz. Yes it was college days.

The Sansui may have more boom than you want. I can't say for sure as my only comparison is the lowly 12wpc Sansui 331 receiver vs. the Marantz 2238B on a pair of Dynaco A25 speakers that were sitting on the floor. The boominess of the Sansui was replaced by a clarity when I tested the 2238B that I relamped for my niece. Biggest difference I have ever heard in electronics and I used to sell the stuff and listened to a lot of different gear in the store.

The bi-amping is something you don't need to consider unless you really want to go for all that extra gear and trouble. I have read that you are just getting into the hobby and enjoying what you are hearing. Keep doing this, grab a different brand of electronics, 50-100 wpc and see if that makes a difference with the DQs. This swap of electronics would just be to hear that difference as the power you need, that is something to think about.

If you want to listen twice as loud, you need 10, yes ten times as much power. But the recommendations above for an amp in the 80-200 range will definitely open up the speakers. The extra headroom, the quick impulse power available, will help the speakers. But the choice of a 120 wpc or a 175 wpc unit should not be made just on the number as those two will perform to similar volume levels. Over 100 wpc, 50 watts is just a bump, but below 100 wpc adding 50 is a nice step up.

There are other concerns with bi-amping and learning about that should take long enough to allow you to collect the money to do it if you want when the time comes. You need to split the high and low frequencies at the preamp level (electronic crossover) and send them to separate amps and have these signals go to the woofer and tweeter separately. If the power amps can 'see' each other through the wiring, one will be damaged. "Blowed up, Sir" comes to mind. Make sure the speakers are designed for this and not just bi-wiring if you decide to bi-amp.

I have never tried bi-wiring and have read that it is just a way for the cable manufacturers to sell more speaker wire. I can't comment but you did indicating you did not hear much difference.

Keep up the good listening and the reports on the changes you hear and the improvement you want and you will get lots of comments as have already received.

Looking forward to more reports.

kenwood61
09-18-2009, 10:36 PM
Hey guys, I appreciate all the comments. It's really helpful.

So here's how I have them now (in relation to John's comment on distance).

The "corner" speaker is a foot from both walls and toed-in aimed at the side of my head. Since the speakers are 44" from each other, I don't need to toe-in much. I'm sitting just over 6' from the speakers when I'm working, and when I turn around, 6 feet. Remember, my room is just under 11' x 11' with a slanted roof (ranch-style house) that goes from about 7.5' at the corner wall, to about 9.5' in the opposite wall. And of course, hard wood floors, which I have to see what I can find that is affordable and does the trick.

As for boom, my friends, my ears seem to be adjusting, and after moving the speakers out a bit, are sounding better. In fact, at times I think I have the loudness switched on because the low end is sounding good, and it's not. That brings a smile to my face. I'm forcing my ears to get used to flat tonal controls and then at some point soon, I'll allow myself to make adjustments. But what is happening—and other amateur hobbyists take note hear—is my brain is resetting itself and I'm enjoying the speakers more than I did a day ago, and the day before that. It's partially time, as well as placement, which I'm still working on, and power, which I'm looking for.

For grins, I put the speakers on top of a file box and then my Klipsch Kg3.2 speakers and I actually like them best on the ground with spikes. I may design and build some risers, but it's not necessary.

After re-reading these posts—and there are some good and informative ones—I am realizing my biggest issue is power, to tighten up and give better control on the bass, and possibly replace the AU/TU at some point. But you know what? I'm thinking the Sansui will be fine with more power.

And by the way Blue Shadow, the DQ-8's can be bi-wired, not bi-amped. Since my lengths are short (under 4 ft) I'm not concerned about cost. If I go single, I can use the wires on my Home Theater or second room. Your comment on the third "wall" being soft really made me realize I better deal with that. As I do all these small tweaks, the sound is going to change, so I need to pay attention to that. I might benefit from paying attention to what changes occur. All part of learning, eh?

One idea I have is that since I need to find another pair of bookshelf speakers for my other room, that I will look for something I can use to either supplement my DQ-8's when I want to rock out, or even see how they work instead of. But I don't want to spend more than $125 on those. But this might be interesting if I can find some smaller ADS, since I liked the L570's I had (but too big for that room), and have been keeping my eye out for NHT, Paradigm, B&W, JBL and BA40s/60s.

Bottomline. I really think my DQ-8's will work in this room. Maybe not at their best, but pretty darn good. Maybe I want them to work too much. But unlike wearing a shoe that hurts after awhile, but keeping it 'cause it's cool, well, I don't plan on doing that with these. They're not THAT cool :)

kenwood61
09-18-2009, 10:43 PM
For grins, this weekend I plan to try the DQ-8's out in the living room with my Yamaha V-701 receiver. It's 80 wpc and probably has better specs than the Sansui. I want to hear the difference and see if I learn something. I'll try it in my office listening space as well.

One other thought. If you look at my "rack", it consists of three box cubes. I am thinking that because those are reflective surfaces, they are going to effect sound, which would be a good reason all hifi racks I see don't have sides to them. Am I correct on this?

terra1
09-19-2009, 04:56 AM
I thought I remembered some slanted ceilings. I would suspect that and the small room could contribute to some odd reflections.

Will be interesting to hear what placement in a larger living room with more space to separate them will do.

JohnVF
09-19-2009, 12:21 PM
I think a lot of the issues will go away in a larger room. Sometimes we just learn to accept that we're not able to put our gear into a position to make it sound the best. I have that situation in the upper level of my loft. The a-frame roof is really low (so much that I have to duck on either side of the 'room' (it's just a platform). But my bedroom is up there, and two stereos. Reflections are really odd...actually making pretty much anything image, at the cost of detail. It's not ideal, but I just accept it as what it is. Luckily I have a big open main listening area.

The only real limitation I see besides the small room is that you only have the speakers 44" apart. They would probably image better farther apart. When you move them to the big room, that may or may not be something you hear if you're able to separate them further from each other.

I don't think you'll need risers of any kind with these. They're designed to just be on their own spikes, and the tweeters are already at optimal levels. If you raise them, they'll probably be shooting over your head.

Anyway, sounds like you're having a good time with them! It's all a learning experience. If I could have all of my speakers optimally placed I wouldn't be able to move around my apartment! So there are compromises. Oh well...it's all good.

charles64
09-19-2009, 01:28 PM
Wow,lots of great comments on the DQ-8's.So here's my two cents. I have mine about 2 feet from back & side walls,up on the carpet spikes and about 10 ft. from where we sit to listen. I use the banana clips into the brass connector centers on the bottom set with the brass jumpers tightened down linking the top and bottom set. 14gauge monster cables hook the into the "A" speakers of my Sansui AU-717 integrated. They are a great fit for my sized room and we're very happy with them. The DQ-8's and the 717 play very nice together. I hope whatever you decide to go with you enjoy them as much as I do...:thmbsp:

thedelihaus
09-19-2009, 01:41 PM
For grins, this weekend I plan to try the DQ-8's out in the living room with my Yamaha V-701 receiver. It's 80 wpc and probably has better specs than the Sansui...


It may, but I'll wager that the Sansui is still better.


...One other thought. If you look at my "rack", it consists of three box cubes. I am thinking that because those are reflective surfaces, they are going to effect sound, which would be a good reason all hifi racks I see don't have sides to them. Am I correct on this?

A less reflective area with speakers like that could index help.

Also- are you by a hardware store, packing store, or material store?

Grab a large sheet of foam or two (or four) and see if placement of said foam at different locations changes anything within your room as you move them around. Try them on your side walls, on the floor, etc.

kenwood61
09-19-2009, 02:52 PM
I'll try the foam. Interesting idea. I'm going to put a rug in today. But at low "normal" background listening levels the FM jazz station sounds nice.

I will not mess with risers now since there are other things more important. Like my turntable on top of the cubes. Too much bass makes the stylus jump. It's a Grado Silver so it doesn't track as good as other carts.

I have a line on a Parasound HCA 800II amp with 100 wpc and bridgeable to 260 wpc in mono. The price is right and it's supposed to be super clean. If I end up with it in my house later today, I'll post to let you know how it effects the experience.

I should say part of my problem may be that I have musician ears. I have Yamaha studio monitors with my Motif synth/keyboard and the sounds, from piano to organ, to guitars ranging from spanish acoustic to metal, and fully programmes symphonic sounds with dynamic key control sound amazing and REAL with these Yamaha HS50M in the same listening space. So being used to that kind of realism spoils my ears.

thedelihaus
09-19-2009, 03:43 PM
Risers for these seems like effort that will not net you any positive return. I'd not futz with it as these are purposely designed to be used as you are using them- on spikes and on the floor.

If the needle is jumping from too much bass, consider adding an isolation platform for your turntable. There's most likely sound waves getting to your table and this may possibly muck up the sound.

kenwood61
09-19-2009, 03:59 PM
I have a rug in here and the sound has smoothed out a little bit.

The cubes I have the turntable on will vibrate if you step on the old wood floors too hard and are not as stable as I'd like. I have glued the main structure of the cubes together so they are now permanent, and I was thinking about bolting them all together and adding a base with heavy duty wheels with rubber so less vibration can effect them. But I'm thinking that if I get a "proper" hifi rack/stand that fits the look I'm going for, I'll have more air around the speakers, and that's a good thing.

But I do want to add a level of isolation to the TT. When on a stable surface, the isolation of the AR is quite good. I may look up DIY ideas and see what other guys have done.

If I get that Technics up to snuff, I still plan to build a base for it to fit in that would act as an isolation platform. I have some sorbothane half ball feet I got off ebay that are in my mind too bouncy. I have the AR sitting on those to help with some of the vibration . . .

kenwood61
09-19-2009, 08:36 PM
I just got a Parasound amp. Here's a link to that thread if you care to help me figure out how to hook it up properly.

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=252484

kenwood61
09-20-2009, 05:10 PM
WOW! what a difference!!!!!!!! I don't have to mess with the tone controls. The sound is exactly what I was hoping for. Everything opened up. It's like a whole new ball game now. No muddled sound off my phono, cassette or FM. I couldn't listen on CD since I had to use the cable off that to get things setup. And I have the speakers wired standard, and everything seems fine. Thanks guys!!

I asked this question in my Parasound thread, but I have the AU517 on "Direct Coupled" instead of "Capacitor Coupled" on the "Separated" side of the switch. Since above that there is the Pre Out, and Power In, I thought the switch below would line up. Tell me which way it should go, but right now it works and I didn't blow anything.

Oh, and I didn't put the channel volume all the way up on the Parasound. I have it at about 3 o'clock which allows me more room on the Sansui volume.

But if this sounds this good as-is, I can't imagine what a better preamp would be like.

I will say that the bass is tight as long as I don't push wayyyy up on volume to levels I wouldn't just listen too, even if rocking out. Not a whole song anyway. But I was delightfully surprised at how loud it would get before I could tell the woofers performance level started to drop.

These speakers are definitely keepers and are now working really well. I'll still work with placement to optimize, but I'm soooo excited that I don't have to touch the tone controls with the more open airy sound with clarity and details. This is night/day difference. Really far out coolio! :banana::thmbsp::music::smoke:

kenwood61
09-20-2009, 05:11 PM
Can you tell I'm excited?

Now, I have to go out and help work on the house, or my wife will wonder what happened to me . . .

JohnVF
09-20-2009, 05:47 PM
If you like the sound with no tone controls, you might want to look into a preamp without them. If you're not going to use them, best to get their attendant complication out of the way. The simpler the path, the better the sound..to my ears, anyway. Just my opinion.

kenwood61
09-20-2009, 06:05 PM
I will use the controls depending on the material . . . but it's nice that the sound is still good with everything flat. But I know the reality is that I have recordings that need some help.

kenwood61
09-20-2009, 06:07 PM
Any thoughts on the Direct vs. Capacitor coupling?

Blue Shadow
09-20-2009, 08:51 PM
Can you tell I'm excited?



Well I was hoping for an honest opinion of the new sound. Do you listen to more cassettes than CDs? You can use the RCAs (if they are separate cables) for either unit, including the set for FM. I expect the set for the TT is attached to the TT. Whatever, I expect you will be getting another set of cables very soon. Oh the tuner, cassette and CD can all use the same input to the AU so if you want to just Turn the volume down then switch the cable from the cassette to the CD or from the Tuner to the CD, you can do that, until tomorrow or so as I know that cable is a very near term purchase, unless you are making your own cables.

Glad you got a nice amp for those speakers. You are putting together a great system.

Direct coupled linked in the other thread.

kenwood61
09-20-2009, 09:54 PM
In order I typically listen to:

FM
CDs
Phono
Cassettes

The FM and Phono sound great. I think the phono stage of the AU517 is really nice. I'll try the cable swap you mentioned. I'm picking up Audioquest Sidewinders tomorrow for connected the Parasound to the AU517.

I do have the switch set to Direct Coupled, so I guess that was a good call. I started reading the brochure but I gotta run so I'm going to read later tonight or tomorrow. But I'm wondering. It talks about the capacitors being the major cause of distortion. Does that mean that it's possible my caps were effecting the sound even if the tech guy said the lo and high freq. measurements were good?

kenwood61
09-20-2009, 10:16 PM
Hmm. I am going to try a different cable tomorrow, but the cheap skinny cable I'm using on the cassette deck might not be best for the cd player. The CD player doesn't sound better to the same degree as the FM tuner and Phono, both excellent, and the cassette is a bit better. So I wonder if it's a matter of the cable on the CD, since it sounds closer to the same whether it's going into the Tape 1 input or the Aux input. What do you think?

I tried a few different CD's. I'm going to listen more in depth tomorrow. But man, the jazz station sounds fantastic!! This TU517 rocks.

Blue Shadow
09-20-2009, 11:37 PM
But man, the jazz station sounds fantastic!! This TU517 rocks.

The TU is known to be a good tuner and you should consider yourself lucky to have a station that plays something you want to hear and with quality.

Well you are now into the phase of the hobby with lots of swaps. Cables are harder to hear a difference, but with your background, listening to music for many hours, you have a tuned ear. This is both good and bad. You can hear the difference so now you have to spend the time, effort and money to get the goods. A nice time to enjoy the hobby as you continue to upgrade what you hear. Swap cables let us know what you hear but don't go so far that the mods think there will be a new war about whether one can hear a difference. Cable wars don't last long here.

kenwood61
09-21-2009, 01:48 AM
I'm not into cable wars. Part of what drives me is aesthetic, be it vintage or modern. Since I'm a graphic designer by trade I tend to like gear that is designed well and sounds good (or great). I've had a thing for the old black faced Sansui gear and I am happy with the 517. I like mixing it with the newer stuff too. In a way, I don't necessarily want a pure 70's or 80's or whatever system. I like the fact that I have a mid-60's AR XA that sounds great with some newer stuff. It's fun having gear I can enjoy, and I'm really glad you guys have helped steer me to where I am now. I know there are little things here and there on the horizon, but what I'm really glad about is that I feel I can relax now and enjoy what I have and spin some tunes.

I'll report back as needed. I will definitely be back here tomorrow and let you guys know how it's going.

kenwood61
09-23-2009, 11:28 AM
I just took the grills off last night and did a good clean. They were dusty inside. I noticed something strange (to me). The tweeter baffles are both offset to the right of the speaker. Wouldn't you have a left and right, with each offset in that direction?

I'll have pictures later to show the condition of these. I'd just about say they are mint. Never been opened up.

kenwood61
09-23-2009, 04:01 PM
Ahhhhhhhhhh, I just noticed that I have a chipped edge on my tweeter magnet . . . problem or no worries? I can't tell a difference between the tweeters performance. One is perfect. This one is not.

http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/2742/p1010321c.jpg (http://img42.imageshack.us/i/p1010321c.jpg/)

http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/151/p1010320d.jpg (http://img32.imageshack.us/i/p1010320d.jpg/)

kenwood61
09-23-2009, 04:05 PM
As promised, here are some pictures of the speakers with grills off. Fortunately, you don't see the chip from this angle :)

It's always surprising how all the invisible dust becomes visible in photos.

http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/4402/p1010322p.jpg (http://img27.imageshack.us/i/p1010322p.jpg/)

http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/1900/p1010324z.jpg (http://img85.imageshack.us/i/p1010324z.jpg/)

kenwood61
09-23-2009, 04:06 PM
http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/4466/p1010317l.jpg (http://img197.imageshack.us/i/p1010317l.jpg/)

bobrown14
09-26-2009, 07:25 AM
If you bi-wire the separate leads can come off of a common binding post at the amp. Just make sure that you remove the jumpers...I forgot that the other day and almost fried my amp.

I bi-wire my DQ-30s...two positive leads off of the postive terminals on the amp, two negative leads off of the negative terminals. It's all coming from the same place, so to speak, which is why there's debate over whether it's worthwhile I think, but in the case of my DQs, it does make a difference in how the midrange behaves, as well as a subtle tightening of the bass. The midrange cleared up (though it was already really nice) and the whole soundstage seemed to focus a bit more. It wasn't night and day but it was noticeable.

I have DQ-8s, DQ-10s and DQ-12s. I've bi-amped both and now bi-wire both. Both improved with bi-wire and then about the same bi-amped, both improved over single wires to either. I don't think the DQ-8s need big power. I've got mine hooked up to a Sansui 771 (~45 watts/channel) bi-wired in a 12 x 16 dressing room and they sound great, anything more that 9 o'clock on the volume meter and I gotta get out of the room.

You can bi-amp them - it's the same as bi-wire cept with a 2nd amp, not needed in my opinion as I've tried them that way, again with no real improvement over bi-wire. If it were me and I already had a TU-517, I'd get the matching AU-517 and you're good to go, take off the straps on the binding posts and run 2 sets of wires.


Cheers,

Bob

kenwood61
09-26-2009, 11:01 AM
Hi Bob,

I appreciate your comments. I do have the matching AU517, and I have tried them bi-wired and single wired.

The AU517 will drive them. In fact, the brochure for the DQ-8's recommends 20 to 150 watts, undistorted . . . so most receivers and amps should drive the speakers. My problem, which may have more to do with the AU517 (65+ wpc) was that I wasn't getting the sound I had expected. Maybe I was used to the Concept 6.5 I had for a long time that sounded really good. Uncolored, detailed, good highs. The highs and mids that I was hearing (before adding the Parasound HCA 800II) were not as detailed and "clean" as I wanted. The extra headroom of the Parasound gives it something extra I was missing.

The good news is that I know I can get good sound just running the AU517. So at the very least, I have a preamp that can drive the speakers if something goes wrong with the Parasound.

thedelihaus
09-26-2009, 12:24 PM
Lookin' nifty!

JohnVF
09-26-2009, 01:01 PM
I kind of like them better without the grills. They seem less imposing that way. I wasn't aware that they didn't share the tweeter the 30s have. Interesting. The 30s have a metal dome tweeter.

kenwood61
09-26-2009, 02:42 PM
Maybe it's just me, but the the sheer grills are the speaker equivalent of lingerie . . . If the speaker cabs didn't have the wood mounting blocks, I might keep them naked, but the tweeters are exposed without the metal mesh cage to protect them.

I listened to them without the grills but didn't notice a difference. But that could be my ears.

Deli, they did clean up extremely well. Aside from the chipped edge on the one tweeter, I would call these a 9.8 or even 9.9 out of 10. Let's call it an even 9.85 :thmbsp:

kenwood61
09-26-2009, 02:45 PM
I don't suppose anyone knows what the little 1/8" hole is above the tweeter in the mounting block? It would be cool to make a casting out of the mdf/compressed wood that houses the tweeter and make a hard plastic or resin version. If I wanted to go all out (and I don't) I could see using exotic wood, maybe some Paduak, or something with deep reddish brown coloring to fabricate a new mounting piece for the tweeter . . . then I could see leaving the grills off. :)

Susurus
09-26-2009, 07:19 PM
I would mirror-image them. Maybe swapping the mounting horizontal blocks? You might actually have a set of odds, like two left feet! Somebody else out in cyberspace has two righties!

I mirrored my 10's. That was more of a chore.

I expect the small hole is just an artifact of the manufacturing/alignment process and has no sonic significance presently. 12's have them too. And the magnet shard will have about zero effect on the sound, and if you want to get new drivers remember these were matched to close dB of each other.

kenwood61
09-26-2009, 07:36 PM
I have played around with placement more and I don't think mirror-imaging them would make a difference in my small space . . . but I may down the road if these move into a larger room :)

As for matching tweeters, I figured this would be the case. I had/chose to have both tweeters on my ADS L570's rebuilt at the same time. Someone else is enjoying those now.:tears: well, I can look forward to other speakers for that room . . . eventually . . . maybe I'll look at some Dahlquist M905's that are up locally . . .

kenwood61
09-26-2009, 07:45 PM
Oh, they are sounding better. I put Canare 4S11 Star Quad's on them in bi-wire configuration. I am still deciding on what banana/spade plugs I like so I can order. I have Techflex (carbon) on it's way. I pulled out from the corner more. Make's a difference.

kenwood61
10-04-2009, 08:48 PM
I got my set of DIY bi-wires done today . . .

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/1990/canareset.jpg (http://img197.imageshack.us/i/canareset.jpg/)

http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/7369/speakerconn.jpg (http://img33.imageshack.us/i/speakerconn.jpg/)

http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/1817/ampconn.jpg (http://img41.imageshack.us/i/ampconn.jpg/)

So much easier connecting these things in my tight space. :thmbsp:

Susurus
10-05-2009, 05:47 AM
Your DIY connectors look really slick! :thmbsp:

kenwood61
10-05-2009, 10:17 AM
It would not have been possible without the thread gotchaforce posted here . . .

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=94203&highlight=interconnect+canare

dbxdx5
10-15-2009, 11:22 PM
Just caught up to this thread. Fwiw I've owned my DQ-8s since new--about 18 years or so--and I still love them. I have them positioned in a fairly good-sized room about a foot from the rear walls and roughly a foot and a half from the sides. They're probably about six feet apart. I have the spikes in and resting on quarters which in turn are on the hardwood floor. There's a three by five rug a few feet in front and centered between the speakers. They're bi-wired with Kimber Kable (can't recall which type) and are powered by a B&K ST-140, which has always been more than enough power to give me great soundstaging, good bass (they aren't meant to go much below 40hz), and wonderfully exciting dynamics. I'm sure I'll replace them at some point, but I keep struggling to come up with a good reason. . . .

The rest:
Anthem TLP-1
Denon 3910 Universal Player
B&O Beogram 1800 TT
Akai X-1800 SD reel to reel

kenwood61
10-15-2009, 11:33 PM
Well dbx, I can agree with you. I like mine the more I listen to them. Mine are around 4 ft apart and my desire to make these work has me with speakers where I never thought in my life I would put them. They are 1.5' from the back wall, and have about the space all around them. It's almost like having headphones :) Well not exactly. But I like them enough that I would be hard pressed to replace them. And I do know that can always happen as the rest of you guys know. But I'm going to enjoy them for the time I have them, whatever that is. I have them bi-wired with DIY cables using Canare 4S11 and locking bananas all around.

I'm working out adding some smaller Dahlquist M903's to the opposite side of the room. I have to get more cable (Belden 5000UE) to run across the room and up the wall. Should be fun.

Susurus
10-17-2009, 11:51 AM
The limited baffle HF has a lot of merit. Very few companies use it because it looks odd and it's more difficult to properly align the surfaces than you might think. Remember that John Dahlquist was from NASA--so I trust he had the knowledge base.

And yes the grill material is very thin and sheer on my 12's; the most acoustically transparent of any of my speakers. Only downside is that it offers virtually no protection to the drivers, but I want to find more of it--most speakers I prefer to listen grill-less but this material is an acceptable alternative.

.

charles64
10-17-2009, 01:34 PM
I just took the grills off last night and did a good clean. They were dusty inside. I noticed something strange (to me). The tweeter baffles are both offset to the right of the speaker. Wouldn't you have a left and right, with each offset in that direction?

I'll have pictures later to show the condition of these. I'd just about say they are mint. Never been opened up.

My DQ-8's are also offset toward the right (from the front)on the blocks of both speakers.I suppose you could flip-flop the blocks on one speaker to have a left tweeter offset,although I doubt you'd notice any difference.

kenwood61
10-17-2009, 05:15 PM
You are probably right. I mainly was trying to figure out if they made these offset the same or if there are "left" and "right" speakers. In my environment, I doubt I would notice anyway :)