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  #1  
Old 12-06-2007, 12:47 AM
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ericj ericj is offline
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DCM QED: Show me the light

I have a pair of these. Picked them up at the thrift store for $10 some weeks back. For reference, they just barely fit into the trunk of a MkIV Volkswagen.

I can't wrap my head around what's supposed to be great about them. I hear some potential, I've seen people say room positioning is extra-important, but I'm at a loss.

I'm in the process of remodeling my house. The main floor is a disaster area - I'm living in the basement.

So far I've only tried them in the bedroom, which has a vinyl floor. The existing rig in there is a passable Sony HT receiver driving a pair of Boston A120's (also purchased at the thrift store) (why yes, I am single, why do you ask?). The A120's sound Pretty Decent in there.

For some reason, the QED's Don't. They come off as harsh, and honky, and lacking in midbass.

So, before i decide that these simply aren't for me, how do i get them to sound their best?

I didn't actually know what they were when i saw them at the thrift store, but i could tell they weren't garbage, and i figured the tall & skinny nature of them could come in handy in a surround rig, as rear or side speakers. But they sound strange enough that i wonder if i would be better off passing them along to someone who will appreciate them more than i do.

I realize that the vinyl floor in there isn't optimal. When the livingroom is redone, that'll be hardwood floors and a rug. Which probably also isn't optimal, but in the interim livingroom in the basement, the fronts are ADS L810's, and seem to sound ok with cement floors mostly covered by a rug.
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2007, 03:54 PM
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Nobody?
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  #3  
Old 12-07-2007, 06:06 PM
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you think ya got something some people dont, happens to me all the time!
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  #4  
Old 12-08-2007, 07:21 PM
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Nat Nat is offline
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You might try them on a regular reciever or amp -- they may be an odd load, and most HT amps really can't handle anything that dips past 4 ohms at any part of it's frequency response. The DCMs I've heard are between very nice and astonishing (for the price and size, admittedly), so I don't think you've heard them at anything like their best. Or there's something wrong.
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  #5  
Old 12-08-2007, 08:04 PM
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KingBubba KingBubba is offline
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There are not many QEDs around as they were the "real" DCM's swan song. It could be that you are getting no responses because few have them or has any experience with them. I would like to have a pair just for curiosity sake.
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  #6  
Old 12-08-2007, 11:23 PM
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butch4695 butch4695 is offline
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dont give up on those speaks , i`ve got a buddy who picked up a pair recently at GW and he has got them set up in his unfinished basement on a concrete floor and being driven by an old 40w per channel marantz receiver , can`t remember model # but they sound damn good .i would say try a different receiver if you can . good luck .
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  #7  
Old 12-09-2007, 12:27 AM
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jimbofish jimbofish is offline
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I don't have any experience with either speaker, but I'd suspect the receiver hookup first. Connect to the same wires as the Bostons and hear what happens.
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  #8  
Old 01-18-2008, 09:54 PM
Pickles1953 Pickles1953 is offline
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The DCM QED is the little brother to the audiophile legend Time Windows. They use the same 6 1/2 inch woofer and dome tweeter as well as the same crossover network as the Time Window. But, where the Time Windows have the V-shaped front with drivers on each plane, the QED has the drivers mounted on the single front baffle. Both speakers use transmission line loading, and both are famous for their incredible imaging capabilities. Ericj, if your QEDs don't sound very good, and please don't take offense, I'd have to say it's because of the associated equipment being used with them. In my experience, Sony receivers have the same harsh, honky sound you describe. I can personally attest to this because I purchased a pair of Time Windows as a house warming gift for a friend of mine. He hooked them up to his existing Sony receiver and they sounded marginally OK. But, after upgrading his receiver to quality separates (a pre and power amp combo of less power than the Sony receiver) the speakers absolutely sang. If I might ask, in addition to the Sony receiver, what are you using as your source - what CD player, DVD player, or turntable/cartridge combination? This too may have a drastically detrimental effect on the QED's performance.
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  #9  
Old 02-14-2008, 08:46 PM
suprpntr suprpntr is offline
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Does anyone know if DCM Qed speakers are 8 ohm or 4? They have always been hooked up to a receiver that can handle 4ohm.
I rather have them on my Marantz 2270.
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  #10  
Old 02-14-2008, 09:16 PM
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2270 shouldn't have any problem with them.
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  #11  
Old 05-04-2008, 03:05 PM
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ericj ericj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickles1953 View Post
The DCM QED is the little brother to the audiophile legend Time Windows. They use the same 6 1/2 inch woofer and dome tweeter as well as the same crossover network as the Time Window. But, where the Time Windows have the V-shaped front with drivers on each plane, the QED has the drivers mounted on the single front baffle. Both speakers use transmission line loading, and both are famous for their incredible imaging capabilities. Ericj, if your QEDs don't sound very good, and please don't take offense, I'd have to say it's because of the associated equipment being used with them. In my experience, Sony receivers have the same harsh, honky sound you describe. I can personally attest to this because I purchased a pair of Time Windows as a house warming gift for a friend of mine. He hooked them up to his existing Sony receiver and they sounded marginally OK. But, after upgrading his receiver to quality separates (a pre and power amp combo of less power than the Sony receiver) the speakers absolutely sang. If I might ask, in addition to the Sony receiver, what are you using as your source - what CD player, DVD player, or turntable/cartridge combination? This too may have a drastically detrimental effect on the QED's performance.

Well, I admit that the Sony receiver in the bedroom is questionable. But they sounded bad with some other amps too. Including a Rotel RA-820bx.

I don't want to get into source quality arguments. Ever. That's a road i refuse to go down. I'm not even going to mention what source I'm using, especially when discussing the overall tonality of a speaker.

Anyhow. Since I started this thread, I've tried some other speakers on the bedroom rig. And i've come to an important conclusion:

My bedroom is the room where fair quality speakers come to sound bad.

It's not the amp, it's not the source, it's certainly not the cables - it's the room.

I have a pair of Boston A120's that sound just fine in there. Really pretty decent. And probably nowhere else. I also have a pair of cruddy cheap yamaha speakers that don't sound bad in there, but sound pretty lackluster elsewhere.

Last night i hauled the QED's into the livingroom and hooked them up to the Onkyo HT receiver that usually powers my ADS L810's (quite capably, I might add).

They sound fine. They're not my favorite speakers, but I think I'll keep them.

I've got a pair of Ohm Walsh 3's waiting for me in a basement in denver, so, I'm getting ready for the Battle of the Thoroughly Acceptable Vintage Speakers some time later this summer. At the moment i envision the QED's ending up as rear surrounds. I'm not sure where the L810's are going to end up, as the Walsh speakers are predicted to trounce them.

For now, I've inverted the QED's and stacked them on top of the L810's.

So, a final question. If i was gonna try and re-cap the crossovers in the QEDs, how would i get at them? Do i just remove the woofer? That looks like it takes some doing - it's been puttied in with some black, well, putty. Not nearly as much work as pulling the bottom cap off the speaker, though, I guess.
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  #12  
Old 05-05-2008, 09:21 AM
MudPuppy176 MudPuppy176 is offline
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That black goop is a royal PITA. Some kind of caulk/adhesive. HARD to remove without damaging the cabinet. Take it S-L-O-W.
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  #13  
Old 05-05-2008, 11:30 AM
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Nat Nat is offline
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If they are like Time Windows (which of course they may not be), removing the bottom cap is the way to go. My memory is that the crossover is on the bottom cap, and so not easily accessible through the woofer hole, and as pointed out, getting them out is difficult. The top and bottom in the Time Windows is held on by a nut and long bolt, and you can pry the bottom off once the nut is released. The top should just stay put since its difficult to get the bolt back through the damping material if you remove it.
As to how they sound -- if they sound consistently less than great on a variety of sources and in different rooms, then probably you simply don't like the way they sound. A recap might help, but even afterwards, you might find them underwhelming. Tastes differ.
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  #14  
Old 05-05-2008, 12:53 PM
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ericj ericj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nat View Post
If they are like Time Windows (which of course they may not be), removing the bottom cap is the way to go. My memory is that the crossover is on the bottom cap, and so not easily accessible through the woofer hole, and as pointed out, getting them out is difficult. The top and bottom in the Time Windows is held on by a nut and long bolt, and you can pry the bottom off once the nut is released. The top should just stay put since its difficult to get the bolt back through the damping material if you remove it.
As to how they sound -- if they sound consistently less than great on a variety of sources and in different rooms, then probably you simply don't like the way they sound. A recap might help, but even afterwards, you might find them underwhelming. Tastes differ.
What I've heard them described as is "1/2 of a time window"

Thing is, I don't see any evidence of a nut or bolt on the top or bottom pieces. Both ends look very much like they're glued on, and both have a thick bead of the black caulk that seals the drivers wedged into the angle.

Shining a flashlight through the port (which i presume is the bottom), i don't see anything attached to the bottom plate.

Since we're only dealing with two drivers here, I wouldn't be surprised if there's a single capacitor in there protecting the tweeter, and nothing else.
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  #15  
Old 05-05-2008, 06:14 PM
middleMI middleMI is offline
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re: have a pair

I have a pair of QED's. They are fantastic sounding, actually sold a pair of Time Window 1A's and kept the QED's. There is a bolt on the bottom of the speaker.
I grew up in Detroit and remember when DCM came into it's own. I think it was the Grammaphone that carried the Time Windows, but, I'm getting old and that part may not be accurate. Anyway, wanted the Time Windows and couldn't afford them, heard about the QED's and contacted DCM. I was invited over to the owner or co-owner's condo in Ann Arbor where he brought a pair of QED's for me to hear and buy.
Eventually traded in that pair on Time Windows.
But, I must say, the QED's have sounded nothing less than fantastic in my space with either a Rogue Integrated or my current DK Design integrated.
But, a definite bolt on the bottom, which needs tightening from time to time.
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