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DCM Time Windows


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I'm listening to a pair of DCM Time Windows from the early 1980s as I write and am having a hard time shutting down my system so I can sleep. This always happens with Time Windows--I just want to keep on listening. A friend heard mine a few months ago and wound up buying a pair for himself. He says the same thing--they're the speakers he keeps going back to. Does anyone else have experience with these speakers? Has anyone compared the 1As with the originals? Or heard the 3s? (I have not.) Also, does anyone know anything about the crossovers in these speakers? I've replaced Philips tweeters in a previous pair I owned (I missed them so much I had to get another pair), but I don't want to try removing the woofers for a real look inside. I had a brief email correspondence with Steve Eberbach (their designer) several years ago, and he said he liked the originals a lot, but I've long since lost his email address. I'm just curious about others' impressions, and what it is that makes these speakers so seductive. For the record, mine are being driven by a conrad-johnson MF-80 power amplifier, a vintage NAD preamplifier, and a Kenwood KT-6500 tuner.

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I've been listening to the TW3s for 15 years or so, they're really nice. Warm, not shrilly on the top end but still detailed, not lacking in the upper octaves to my 50+ years. Definitively not fatiguing, I can crank up the Pulse DVD and listen all the way through without touching the volume(if the wife's out of the house ;) )

I've heard better but at a price.

This has to be a synchronicity thing: I've been tweaking the car stereo which led me to Madisound which led me to Zaph Audio and then I started thinking about replacing the TW3s. A little Googling to find out some history on the DCMs and here I am....

Best,

Bill

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Here's my review of the original DCM Time WIndows (comments, please!).

http://www.epinions.com/review/DCM_Time_Windows_epi/content_511587618436

I just posted a review of the Time Frame TF-250s but don't think they're nearly as good.

http://www.epinions.com/review/DCM_Time_Frame_TF_250_epi/content_575798742660

Hopefully I'll get to hear some of the larger Time Frames at some point.

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My AR-3as will be back home soon. I'm listening to the Time Windows as I write. I'll do an A-B when I have both here. I think the Time Windows are more transparent and tonally neutral, while the AR-3as are a bit warmer and bassier, but I'll see if I can confirm this when the ARs come home. I do know that I really like both and could live with either for a long time.

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This is an old thread.  6 years ago, the OP said he would get back to us with his thoughts on the Time Window vs AR3a.  He has yet to get back with the answer.   Time passed and the thread was forgotten but I rediscovered it recently and decided to attempt a continuation. 

My Time Windows, which I purchased new, have been returned to service reconnected on a switch with AR5s sitting adjacent within 6 inches.

Each Time Window 1a contains two 6 inch cones and two 1” dome tweeters in a transmission line (bass reflex) design arranged much like an Allison 1.  In their instruction sheet, DCM talks about the great bass response but I don’t think these speakers will strongly respond below 60hz.  The piston area of two sixes is barely larger than a single 8" woofer. 

Their sound however is expansive, like a TOTL classic AR, and now that I have my AR5s dialed in I will compare the two systems above 200hz,  with bass for both being handled by an AR 12 inch.

The specifications below are from the factory instruction sheet.  For such an expensive speaker in the mid-80s, the specs are vague in the areas of frequency response, dispersion and crossover frequency…nothing like what AR supplied in the classic years.

 

DCM Time Window 1A Specifications

Weight 32 lbs

Dimensions 36 H x 14.75 W x 11.75 D inches

Power Req

10 Watts recommended minimum per channel

50 watts RMS continuous pink noise max 20hz-20khz

Sensitivity

89db/watt one meter on axis

Impedance

5 ohms minimum

6-8 ohms nominal

Frequency Range 25hz- 18khz 

Dispersion

180 degrees horizontal

60 degrees vertical


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DCM Time Window vs AR5

 

Short version:  As setup in this configuration, the Time Window 1a and AR 5 are indistinguishable after switching.   My Time Windows sound the best I have ever heard them.

Longer Version 

Test setup:

Electronics feeding both systems are identical including equalizer settings

The bass response of both systems is identical below 200hz because they are bi-amped thus, this comparison is of performance above 200hz.

Drivers for both systems are set at listening height with cabinets almost touching.

The DCMs have no attenuators.  The AR attenuators are set to tweeter max and mid about 75%.  AR tweeters are Chris rebuilds.

Both systems were volume and frequency-balance equalized to a third system that served as a reference for my ears.  (Note the AR 5s had been equalized previously but I reset them for this test. If the DCMs could not have been closely matched in frequency balance at this point without equalizer adjustments, I would have stopped the test.

Listening

Listened to several hours of pop and jazz voice recordings.  At times the intervals were long enough for me to forget which speaker I was hearing.  Occasionally I would repeat a recording and push the switch button to listen and compare on the other speaker pair.  There is no practical difference in the sound of these speakers above 200hz.    If you like the expansive sound of the AR Classic 3 way domes the Time Windows are very similar in sound. 

Caveats:

 

This test was conducted without the need to optimize speaker placement for bass reproduction because each speaker system was used as a “top” for a separate bass system. 

IMO -The Time Window 1a, standing alone, has bass extension similar to an AR 8 inch, that is IMO.  DCM claims for bass were more substantial but were never stated, for example, as a -3db down point.  Crossover frequency was never published but must be well above 1khz.

Time Windows, with no attenuation, have a bright sound much like an AR Classic with controls set to max output. You will almost certainly need an equalizer.  I know from experience,  pre-amp tone controls are inadequate to tame them.

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