Monday, 9 December 2013
Bowers & Wilkins DM1
A few weeks ago I came across a pair of DM1 speakers in a local cash converters. My eyes lit up when I spotted them but I was soon put off when I saw a price tag of £100 on them. Dam, what a shame I thought. I made them a silly offer but left empty handed.
When I got home I was surprised to see that the DM1 were fetching more money than I had previously thought and £100 wasn't that unreasonable after all.
Anyway, today I have returned home with them safely wrapped up in blankets. They have a few marks here and there but overall very good condition and more importantly the drivers are all working.
The Domestic Monitor 1 - circa 1968
3 way infinite baffle, EMI bass driver, Celestion HF-1300 MKII and Coles super tweeter.
This was one of the first mass production speaker designs from B&W, along with the DM3. There was an earlier model called the P1 which used an EMI and Celestion in a two way big box design. The sales from the P1 were used to purchase test equipment which was used to accurately measure the new speaker designs, namely DM1 and DM3.
First off, the EMI bass driver. I can't tell you just how good EMI drivers are. Most people are aware of the fiber glass materials used in the cone construction but what you don't hear so often is the dual cone materials. The middle of the cone is made from a piece of thin aluminium and then a paper/glass fiber cone is fitted around that, yes "around it". EMI drivers are simply divine, made by master craftsmen and appreciated only by the most discerning "music" lovers.
Now, the EMI used in this system is 10x6" and it has 4 foam squares to lower the cones resonance. According to sources on the net, each square weighs 1g. Also the cones surround is some kind of polymer/pvc material with a narrow double rolled edge.
As the unit is mated with a HF-1300 you know there's going to be a fair bit of mid-range produced by the EMI and its glorious!
The HF-1300 is the MKII version which is a different kettle of fish compared to the standard 4ohm cheap version found in later Dittons. The MKII has AlNiCo magnet system and is 16ohms (I think).
The Super Tweeter is usually a Coles 4001g but the earlier models have a slightly different version with different suspension, a hole in the center pole and a flattened dome. The assembly is slightly recessed into the face plate aswell. I don't know exactly what they are but these are the ones to have. Watch out though, they will blow if your not careful.
I'm listening to these as I type and I'm sure many of you will be interested to hear how they sound. Well, I had fairly high hopes as people had been comparing these to Rogers Ls3/5a and other well established speakers. I have also seen people calling the DM1 a BBC monitor but I have found no evidence of that "yet".
The sound, is breathtaking! The first second I heard them, I knew they were special. The mid-range is very lush. Imagine bubbles made from a very sticky liquid popping in your ear. They are very open with extremely good top end response. The bass is a little shy but I honestly don't care, they are sublime and the bass is all there just not the earth shattering stuff. The bass is clean and clear, the whole presentation is very fresh and yet musical. I don't want to ever unplug them!
Personally I'd never use a pair of Ls3/5a instead of these, Im not saying the Rogers are not as good but I could never love them like I love these.
This is me - In a state of bliss. Untill the next time guys...