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Elderly DM4s


                My system consists of Arcam A75 amp  with Arcam 72 CD player which drive an elderly pair of B &W DM4s  ( about 30yrs ) Which sound OK but I'm sure technology has improved  in that time so I'm looking at replacing them with smaller bookshelf or stand speakers on a wooden floor.

I  have been considering B&W CM1s, B&W 685s, Epos M12.2s or M5s or any suggestions around this budget please .



Andrew Everard's picture
Last seen: 3 years 4 months ago
Joined: 30/05/2007 - 12:34
Posts: 28828
Re: Elderly DM4s

The CM1s or DM685s would seem to be an obvious way to go, but don't write off the DM4s just yet unless you really want some smaller speakers.

They're not hugely valuable in collectors' terms, but the DM4s were much respected speakers in their day, and loudspeakers have seen less technological advances over the decades than just about any other area of audio. After all, in most cases we're still talking cones and domes driven by coils and magnets, and mounted in rectangular wooden boxes, so as you can see, not much has changed.

If the DM4s are still working well, and obvious problems like dried out or cracking driver surrounds haven't shown up, I'd think long and hard before parting with them unless I did some extensive auditioning and was truly convinced I could buy something better, and not just different. 

Anonymous's picture
Re: Elderly DM4s

Thanks for the quick reply Andrew, the DM4s do  sound very good indeed.

I will take your advice and do some more research and perhaps just refurbish the cabinets to give them a new lease of life, as you say its the sound that is most important.

Anonymous's picture
Re: Elderly DM4s

You may be interested in my own experience with elderly B&W speakers - in my case DM3s, now 35 or 36 years old. These still sound very good and remain in constant use in my living room. However, several years ago I also purchased a pair of some much smaller AVI Pro-Nine Plus speakers, which I use in the kitchen, and so I have in effect been running a comparative test between the two for quite a while.

Once one is settled in the lounge with the DM3s, they sound fine - but moving between the two rooms one is always struck by how much better whatever one is listening to sounds on the AVIs in the kitchen. I am in no doubt that the latter are very much better - they present music with a greater clarity and reveal detail that simply does not catch the ear on the DM3s, and sound very much more lifelike (we attend a lot of concerts so know what instruments really sound like). We have occasionally set the AVIs on top of the B&Ws for direct comparison, and each time we do so I resolve to replace the B&Ws with a pair of AVI floorstanders as a matter of urgency, so marked is the improvement in the sound of the more modern speakers. But of course, that would mean spending a lot of money, and, as I say, when one is not actively comparing the two the old DM3s do in fact continue to sound extremely good. So I continue to use them and will probably do so for some while.

But I am in no doubt: in the case of the DM3s (and I am guessing that this may well be true of your DM4s), replacement with a smaller speaker could represent a genuine improvement, so long as you choose carefully - and I would certainly have no hesitation in recommending that you try the Pro-Nine Plus before you make a final decision.

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