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Thread: B&W DM7 Kenneth Grange classic

  1. #1
    Join Date: Apr 2015

    Location: Chipping Norton, UK

    Posts: 58
    I'm Steve.

    Default B&W DM7 - a Kenneth Grange design classic

    Thinking about getting B&W DM7 speakers and wondered if any here have experiences or advice.... good or bad!
    I like the B&W sound but could not afford them in the late 70s so had to settle for DM10's and later DM110's, both of which I still have.
    I have heard that they like a reasonably powerful (100w plus) amp to drive them properly, although the factory advises that they are " Entirely suitable for all high quality amplifiers up to 200 watts rating" ..... not sure if my Quad 33/303 will cope?

    Thanks in advance,
    Steve
    Last edited by Guitarrero; 31-01-2018 at 18:16.
    I wish I knew what I was doing ....
    www.reesguitars.co.uk

  2. #2
    Join Date: Jun 2016

    Location: Surfside Beach usa

    Posts: 95
    I'm charles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarrero View Post
    Thinking about getting B&W DM7 speakers and wondered if any here have experiences or advice.... good or bad!
    I like the B&W sound but could not afford them in the late 70s so had to settle for DM10's and later DM110's, both of which I still have.
    I have heard that they like a reasonably powerful (100w plus) amp to drive them properly, although the factory advises that they are " Entirely suitable for all high quality amplifiers up to 200 watts rating" ..... not sure if my Quad 33/303 will cope?

    Thanks in advance,
    Steve
    The problem is that you and 100's if not 1000's would go for these speakers if they performed today as they should i.e. when they were new - the engineering and build quality dictates that if these speakers were produced today they would cost 1000's of pounds.
    The 2 problems are that the kevlar bass/ mid units tend to deform over time but the most important thing is that the ferrofluid in those tweeters willl have dried out reducing HF output significantly. B & W do not service spares and you will be left high and dry - replacements are not available. Stop dreaming about getting something on the cheap and bite the bullet by either paying a lot of money for the modern B & W equivalent to DM7 or buy something new within your price range. Won't sound as good as DM7 but at least spares would be available if you need them. Strilkes me that you are the kind of person who thinks you can get something for nothing. In the case of model DM7 you'll end up with a load of potential problems. Oh and I forgot to mention you'll never get those grilles to stay on because the lugs will ALWAYS be broken.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 43,935
    I'm Grant.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 57charles View Post
    The problem is that you and 100's if not 1000's would go for these speakers if they performed today as they should i.e. when they were new - the engineering and build quality dictates that if these speakers were produced today they would cost 1000's of pounds.
    The 2 problems are that the kevlar bass/ mid units tend to deform over time but the most important thing is that the ferrofluid in those tweeters willl have dried out reducing HF output significantly. B & W do not service spares and you will be left high and dry - replacements are not available. Stop dreaming about getting something on the cheap and bite the bullet by either paying a lot of money for the modern B & W equivalent to DM7 or buy something new within your price range. Won't sound as good as DM7 but at least spares would be available if you need them. Strilkes me that you are the kind of person who thinks you can get something for nothing. In the case of model DM7 you'll end up with a load of potential problems. Oh and I forgot to mention you'll never get those grilles to stay on because the lugs will ALWAYS be broken.
    you speak to member that way again and you are out
    Regards,
    Grant ....

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
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  4. #4
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 77,198
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Yup... Charles, we don't address people here like that, so please don't do it again and instead engage with others in a more polite, less confrontational way, or I will have no option but to take appropriate action.

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Dec 2009

    Location: Hartlepool

    Posts: 79
    I'm John.

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    I am listening to my DM7 tonight. I don't know if the kevlar unit is deformed it certainly dosen't look it and it sounds sumptuous neither do I know if the tweeter has dried out and that sounds the business too. I got these late seventies and you'll probably guess I won't be parting with them. There's a couple of pairs on ebay at the moment.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Apr 2015

    Location: Chipping Norton, UK

    Posts: 58
    I'm Steve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Virkon View Post
    I am listening to my DM7 tonight. I don't know if the kevlar unit is deformed it certainly dosen't look it and it sounds sumptuous neither do I know if the tweeter has dried out and that sounds the business too. I got these late seventies and you'll probably guess I won't be parting with them. There's a couple of pairs on ebay at the moment.
    Thanks John,
    Glad to hear you are enjoying your DM7s regardless of the ravages of time!
    I think we have all distorted and dried out a bit since the late 70s, I know I certainly have, but I'm still hoping there's plenty of life left in this old vintage number
    I wish I knew what I was doing ....
    www.reesguitars.co.uk

  7. #7
    Join Date: May 2017

    Location: Glasgow

    Posts: 54
    I'm Rohan.

    Default

    DM7.....very nice presentation indeed, yes, the kevlar cones do seem to age oddly (discolouration and rippling seems a common problem). I believe the caps are all polyester so "good for life".

    I had read on some other forum that a coating was used on the tweeter that degrades with age and that a coating of shellac applied with an artist's brush does much to restore lost high frequency performance. Do not slay me- the opinions of others are merely being retold!

    The design is quite beautiful and they are bloody heavy with the integrated stands.

    I can't give much further comment about the sound as I haven't heard mine for quite a long time; they have been in the custody of my cupboard since last year.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Mar 2013

    Location: nottingham

    Posts: 268
    I'm nigel.

    Default

    IIRC there is a component or two built in to the crossover to give automatic overload protection for the tweeters.
    These can fail over the years and give the impression of tweeter failure.

    This happened to a pair owned by a friend of mine years ago, B&Ws advice was to simply bypass the suspect parts....and watch the volume.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Dec 2009

    Location: Hartlepool

    Posts: 79
    I'm John.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sumday View Post
    IIRC there is a component or two built in to the crossover to give automatic overload protection for the tweeters.
    These can fail over the years and give the impression of tweeter failure.

    This happened to a pair owned by a friend of mine years ago, B&Ws advice was to simply bypass the suspect parts....and watch the volume.
    Yes I had the fuses bypassed years ago while changing the speaker terminals to Michell 'big mother' terminals. Still go loud

  10. #10
    Join Date: Apr 2015

    Location: Chipping Norton, UK

    Posts: 58
    I'm Steve.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by VanDerGraaf View Post
    DM7.....very nice presentation indeed, yes, the kevlar cones do seem to age oddly (discolouration and rippling seems a common problem). I believe the caps are all polyester so "good for life".

    I had read on some other forum that a coating was used on the tweeter that degrades with age and that a coating of shellac applied with an artist's brush does much to restore lost high frequency performance. Do not slay me- the opinions of others are merely being retold!

    The design is quite beautiful and they are bloody heavy with the integrated stands.

    I can't give much further comment about the sound as I haven't heard mine for quite a long time; they have been in the custody of my cupboard since last year.
    Thanks Rohan,
    I fully expect and embrace some deterioration on almost 40 year old equipment, and it seems that people will continue to enjoy the DM7 warts and all. Thanks for the shellac tip; don't worry, I won't shoot the messenger!
    I agree, great design by Kenneth Grange .... maybe you should muster the strength to haul them out of the cupboard and fire them up again ... bound to put a smile on your face
    I wish I knew what I was doing ....
    www.reesguitars.co.uk

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