Sunday, 29 December 2013

B&W DM-70

Domestic Monitor 70

These were acquired from a friend. I was sent a picture message of them and that's it, they were mine. How could I resist those amazing looks! The curves, the circle in the middle, that black panel on top and dont get me started on the matching stands. And its not just the looks, the few bits of info I could find looked very promising.

12" bass drivers made by E.M.I. and a curved electrostatic panel on top. Panel made from several small panels firing out in an array. Nearly 2" thick ply baffles steamed and clamped to create a curved baffle. Bolt on, sand filled stands and a mains leads hanging out the back.

These were highly respected in their time and were the flagship offering from B&W. These speakers with such style and finesse are what turned B&W into one of the big boys. Sony was so taken with the 70s that they sold them under their name. You sometimes see speakers just like mine here but with Sony badges. I believe there is still a plate on the back of the panel which says B&W.

You can often find them on ebay but finding a nice pair, fully working and near enough for collection is hard. They go for good money but still cheap in comparison to the modern day equivalent. Its always nice to get things in good condition but I've never seen a mint pair of these. Foam on the drivers always goes and the veneer around the baffle starts flaking off in big chunks. Quite often faults in the panel resulting in popping noises and a drop in output volume.

So when buying, remember:                   POP - FLAKE - ROT

Here the drivers are awaiting re-foaming, notice the perfectly matched meter readings. Checkout the crazy over sized crossover in the middle below.


This pair had some veneer flaking but I was able to stick most of it back down and soaking the cab in linseed oil finished it off, now they are perfectly fine.

to the right:  The electrostatic power supply - high voltage inside!  The lead is short and trust me, that thing dont stretch.

The sound is good, plenty of bass and good open mid-band. Top end is extended and well defined, stereo image is a little fuzzy but overall a very good musical presentation. Are they worth the money? Well yes but you're going to need a big room to get their best.


  1. Hello, what is a pair of dm-70's worth in overall good working condition?
    I have come across of a pair, but I have no clue what I should be paying for them...
    high regards, phil

    1. Hi Phil, the going rate seems to be anything from £700 to £900 on good pairs fully working in tidy condition. But few pairs come up for sale so its hard to say. Make sure the foam surrounds have been done or that will be more expense for you.
      Thanks for commenting and good luck with your possible purchase!

  2. Hello, What amp do you recommend for these speakers? Would vintage tube amp be a good choice? if so any idea what to go for?

    1. Hi Nick, Im certainly no expert but I would think a tube amp would be ok for listening at lower levels but these aren't the most efficient speakers and you may have better results with big solid state gear, Sansui BA-2000 certainly worked well with them indeed.

  3. As an owner of one of the best speakers on planet Earth, i.e. the mighty `B&W DM70, In my experience they sound better with 30+ Watts of solid state Class A, thier large 13 inch bass cones with their mass-adding rubber blocks definitely benefit from the higher damping of such amplifiers compared to valve / tube amplifiers which all have very low comparative damping via their far higher output impedances, this translates to a tighter & more controlled bass performance with the B&W DM70`s. I use an 80 Watt pure Class A `Jungson JA99c, 26Kg of Class A muscle that cost me £464 via Cattylink, spookily amazing value, 5 years old & working perfectly still, despite what some folk say about Chinese Imports.

  4. Just bought a pair and will use my Musical Fidelity A370 to power them