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DQ-10 Reconsidered


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  • 2 months later...

Attached is an essay based on 8 years of living with the DQ-10 and 37 years of audio and speaker building.

Hi there

I just read your writeup.

A very enjoyable article, I will re-read it, to digest it more.

Thank you for creating it and posting it here for us all to read.

I remember draughtingmonkey driving to the store a year or two ago, for a quart of milk, he returned home with DQ-10 speakers in hand.

He did forget the milk though.

I think he is still sleeping on the chesterfield. LOL

Thank you again.

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Thanks for posting this very interesting article.

I read it quickly but I will read it in depth on the way home from work tonight.

What especially caught my attention, was the reference to "You are there" VS "They are here".

I first noticed this on my Ar3a's one night when suddenly I seemed to be transformed in the recording space.

I wasn't looking for this effect and I never heard or read of it until reading your article today.

At that time I also owned Klipsch Heresy speakers and I posted my impressions in a thread on the Klipsch forum which somehow wandered into this discussion.

Without a doubt the AR speakers are "You are there".

I could never get my large Advents into "you are there" mode.

I sold the Klipsch Heresys once I heard what the AR3a's were capable of.

Anyway, here is one of my postings (this one from 9/16/2008) in that thread where I'm trying to explain what I meant by "You are there" versus "They are here" :


"You are there" is when the speakers bring you to Carnegie hall or the recording studio.

"They are here" is as if the musicians came over your house and were playing in your listening room.

The difference is not subtle. And yes, at first listening, the AR's seem muffled and dull until you really get into the music. Then you start to realize that it's all there. Kind of like those 3rd eye art pieces where there is a 3D picture within the picture. Seems odd, but it's true.

The AR speakers are not going to grab your attention. You have to sit, concentrate and listen carefully. Not for everyone.

My experience is that the AR's strong point is classical music.

I am also very happy with the Hereseys. They lack in bass but are crystal clear. I guess they are indicative of the heritage line in that some CD recordings are awesome while others are just about unlistenable.

Right now I have the Hereseys in place and will keep them there for at least the next couple of months.

My idea was that if I could live with Heresys then eventually I will get a pair of La Scalas.

Another difference is that the Klipsch heritage don't break up with higher volumes whereas the AR's do. The AR tweeters are known to degenerate over time.

Being indecisive by nature, I'll probably wind up keeping both.


Now I am very curious as to what the DQ10's actually sound like.

I'm guessing it is similar to the AR sound but with more 3 dimensionality.

I may have to find out for myself if a pair surfaces in my area.

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  • 1 year later...

"You are there" vs "they are here" .

Great way of putting it. Brilliant.

Haven't read your article yet. Looking forward to it.

I think the issue is not entirely resting on the performance of the speaker. It has a lot to do with how the performance was miked. Close mikes, multi-channel, multiple mikes per sound source/instrument give a very "they are here" recording, mostly regardless of speaker type. Caveat: some direct / reflecting speakers like the DQ10 or 901 will make direct miked instruments sound like "you are there" due to the speaker design.

Stereo mikes placed far out into the audience will give a good "you are there" effect. The better your stereo separation and less sound reflection in the room, the better. Headphones are best.

Maybe I will have more to say, or be revealed as a fool, after reading your article. Looking forward to it either way!


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  • 6 months later...

BAS_Test-Report_Dahlquist-Speaker_Alvin Foster.pdf

Attached is an essay based on 8 years of living with the DQ-10 and 37 years of audio and speaker building.

By sheer "chance" I came across this interesting paper on the DQ-10, and it reminded me of my personal experience with this speaker. I heard the Dahlquist speaker over a period of several years compared with several famous speakers of that period, such as the Large Advent, AR-3a, AR-LST, Allison One, IMF Monitor speakers, large Infinity speakers and several other well-respected loudspeakers. I had a pair at home for a short period of time as well, driven first by a Crown DC-300A amp and later by a 250 watt/ch Threshold amp with accompanying Threshold preamp. The sound was effortless with both amplifiers, and the DQ-10 strikes a great first impression, one of great clarity and realism and front-to-back "focus" (imaging). There seemed to be a 3-dimensional sense of realism to the sound, but over time, this sensation began to wane, and I felt that there was ultimately some coloration to this sense of "realism" with this speaker, with a prominent and somewhat forward perspective to midrange frequencies. I also owned a pair of AR-LSTs, and I compared the two speakers often, switching back and forth frequently. I had an equalized switch setup at that time, and I matched the sensitivities of both speakers (actually pretty closely matched except for the LST's low impedance and apparent greater output for a given input). I felt that the LST was more natural-sounding and cleaner throughout the frequency band, especially the deep-bass output at higher levels. At normal levels, both speakers seemed closely matched in deep-bass output (much like the Large Advent and the AR-LST: equal until you turn up the juice, then the Advent begins to unload in the high-power realm). This is not strange since the DQ-10 used a version of the original Large Advent woofer. I didn't think too much about my overall impression of this speaker until I read a review in one of the noted New England audio societies, The Boston Audio Society.

After all the fanfare over Jon Dahlquist's legendary loudspeaker, the BAS auditioned a pair of DQ-10s in a dealer showroom and then did a similar comparison to my own home-listening experiment. They compared the DQ-10 with a pair of AR-LSTs. The big difference here was that the BASS members were seasoned experts in high-fidelity sound reproduction, and not (as I) a single individual making comments about his or her impression of this speaker.

I have attached the file of that comparison.

—Tom Tyson

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  • 2 months later...

Thanks for this very interesting early evaluation of the DQ-10. Give the distance in time and differing equipment, I can't argue with any of these conclusions. I do believe the piezo tweeter is too greatly attenuated. The HF control, in my experience, does not make much of a difference, which is perhaps as it should be. I have been thinking of comparing the stock piezo with a JVC pseudo-riboon tweeter I have, above 12 Khz and then above 6 Khz. It may be possible to supersede the dome lower tweeter and the piezo with one unit, but that project has alow priority with me right now.

FWIW, my DQ-10s were recapped a few years ago with metallized polypropylene units, which made a very slight improvement in overall quality. The speakers are in my study which is 11 x 14 and only about 6-7 feet from the listening position, my desk. They are driven by a Sumo Polaris amp of 160 w/ch at 4 ohms. Since I don't need much volume in that small room, I don't think either the amp or speakers are strained.

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  • 4 years later...

I read the BAS article with much interest but then realized they were using a pre-production unit (no serial #). There were a number of improvements made to this speaker prior to full-scale production (and even after - mirror-imaging) and the BAS article must be viewed in that light.

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