Final thoughts on the Dahlquist DQM-9

The Dahlquist DQM-9 pair have been a pleasant speaker to listen to.  In today’s dollars, they would have sat cost-wise in the $3,000 range.  It’s hard to imagine that, given its construction.  It is not at all laid out like the DQ-10 with its five time-aligned drivers set on individual small baffles; instead, it is more like a traditional “bookshelf” speaker.

Since I have replaced them, I thought I’d give a couple of closing comments.

First, the dynamics and the bass were very healthy in these speakers.  Despite their being smaller than the Grafyx speakers I had in the system for decades, these actually sounded like they had more powerful bass, and handled any dynamics I threw at it.  They easily put out sound that belied their somewhat diminutive dimensions.

The midrange had no issues.  The highs, however, were strange.  Not a bad strange, but just not what I thought was completely true to life.  They occasionally seemed a bit “peaky,” accentuating already bright material a bit too much.  Strings recorded on the bright side (such as the biting strings in some of the Reference Recordings SACDs) came across a little too ragged.  The big issue here–were the tweeters intact?  They sounded mechanically fine (no rattles from voice coils rubbing, or odd colorations from being previously overdriven), yet slightly “off.”  Not a major complaint, as these speakers presented a lot of the music really well.

They do render the music more accurately than the Grafyx, especially in imaging and soundscape.  I’ve heard better on other speakers (I still don’t get that complete “holographic” effect with the imaging), but they were still an improvement in that regard.  It also showed a little more inner detail to the music.

The capacitors in the crossovers were left alone–they are not electrolytics, so, no worries there.  Cosmetically they need work.  The one grille is still broken at the corners.  The cabinets could use some new finish rubbed onto them (or a complete strip and re-stain).  And, I would have liked a good polishing of the aluminum trim on the three drivers.  But for now, they’re retired.

They’ve been a really good speaker for ten months, a welcome change to what I’d heard for decades.


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