DK Design Group X-Dream - wow

Has anybody seen the review on the DK Design Group X-Dream speakers?

I better start saving up.
Hmmm, let me see....

I could either start saving for a speaker from an un-prooven speaker manufacturer that sees the need to use 350lbs of aircraft aluminum to make speakers with probably less than $1000 of actual speaker parts, and who didnt even use his own amp in the review, wich also had to be at his factory (why)...oh yeah they are sooo heavy.
Or I could enjoy my current speakers or entertain the purchase of speakers from far more prooven companies.
And ofcourse these speakers are a steal at only $25000!
You start saving..I am going to listen to music.
Will they throw one of those amps in for free if I purchase the speakers?
Really stunning review! Makes me wonder if the reviewer was given a "Happy Ending" after his tour of the DK manufacturing facility.
At least the reviewer admits upfront DK totally funded the review. So some things can be taken with a grain of salt.

On the other hand as a person who works in the world of precision machining... simply AWESOME!
I wondered how long it would be until this happened.

Might not be able to afford them however I do want to hear them.
So will these be like their amps. Wait a few months and have plenty to chose from on the used market.
Where does one sign up for the DK junket?
The bulk of the review centers on how the cabinets are made and this may be justified because the cabinets undoubtedly account for 95 percent of the cost of the speaker. Man, I'd hate the thought of accidently dropping one of those beasts on my toes. Ouuch!

I noticed the reviewer offers very little meaningful comment on how the speakers actually sound (maybe 3 paragraphs). About the only recording he referenced is the drum-track on the Burmester test CD. He didn't say anything about how various acoustic instruments were rendered. He spoke mainly in audiophile hyperbole, without referencing it to anything. I wish I could get away with writing reviews like that. It would require much less of my time if I didn't need to describe sonic characteristics in reference to specific recordings and instruments. Then I could devote copious space to aesthetic appeal, construction techniques, technical descriptions, theory, and THD specs.

I suppose if a buyer didn't like the DK's he could always melt them down and go into manufacturing high-performance bike frames. It would be a great start, what, with enough aircraft-grade aluminum to make about 300 frames. With the leftover drivers and crossover he could build a set of DIY speakers that would likely sound decent.
We can debate the veracity of some claims made for DK stuff, but one claim, that it takes three months to machine one enclosure, is absurd. An automated machining facility such as the reviewer cites, ought to be able to knock off several per day, with most of the time taken up by manual setup. If it really took 6 months/pair they would cost a lot more than $25,000.
Chadnliz - how do you know they only used $1000 worth of speaker parts? The review mentions that the speakers use only the best state of the art drivers and exotic cross over parts. The reviewer specifically mentioned that the cross over uses silver foil capacitors. If you check most DIY sites a cross over made with silver foil caps can cost more then some high end speakers.
Interesting that they chose to use a BAT/Pass Labs combination to demonstrate them rather than their own amp.

No specs yet in either the review or their website. They have some subwoofers that they're introducting as well that looke interesting.

Beautiful design...reminds me of a locamotive. Daniel sure seems to have his finger on the pulse of what makes audiophiles and their money go separate ways.

Marco, all excellent points. I don't doubt that these speakers sound exceptional, and it'd be a shame for the Audiogon community to start piling on at this stage.

However, considering the circumstances of the Positive Feedback review, namely a more-or-less paid sales presentation by DK, and lacking published specs or detailed listening commentary, the review cannot be taken as more than product marketing, in my opinion. It'd be great to see a more objective review, free of the pressures of conducting an audition in the manufacture's facility and with electronics supplied by the designer.

Sure makes me want to hear 'em, though!

After reading the review,I myself, I would like to
hear them also.Very impressive review.Thanks
so when do the free audiogon review samples start shipping?

oh...and if the DK amp is supposed to outperform other amps costing 3x the price...does this mean that we are actually getting $75,000 worth of speakers for the low low price of only $25,000.

act are limited
I find it particularly odd that they didn't use DK amps to drive the speaker. Makes one wonder. I do have to agree with Chanliz though, I'll bet 95% of the cost of that speaker is in the aluminum and not the drivers or crossover. The enclosure plays a huge role, but only if it is designed correctly.
"The review mentions that the speakers use only the best state of the art drivers and exotic cross over parts"

X-Dream technology

I really don't see where this "review" is any different than any other published review. When isn't a review paid for by the manufacturer? Isn't it normal for the manufacturer to foot the entire cost of "loaning" equipment to the reviewer? A paid for factory tour/junket is a pretty standard marketing ploy.

As far as not using DK amps for the demo - if this site is typical, there's a large number of audiophiles who simply will not accept that DK amps are high performance products. The same cannot be said for BAT and Pass. It might be seen as an attempt to add credibility to the speaker, but based upon the above reactions it seems to have back fired. Let's see if BAT starts demoing their amps with DK speakers. It looks like an interesting product.
I really don't see where this "review" is any different than any other published review. When isn't a review paid for by the manufacturer? Isn't it normal for the manufacturer to foot the entire cost of "loaning" equipment to the reviewer? A paid for factory tour/junket is a pretty standard marketing ploy.

This is true. However, there is a difference between speakers being shipped to one's listening room free of charge versus paying the reviewer's room and board during a five day stay. Also, since Mr. Khesin (sp?) provided the tour and presentation personally, wouldn't you agree this could apply some pressure on the reviewer unlike what he might experience at home in his own environment?

No question the reviewer was thoroughly impressed by the speakers. There's no taking that away. However, the tone of the review cannot be separated from the circumstances of the audition, in my opinion.

I have to agree with Tvad. The circumstances of the review are definitely suspect. Couple that with statements to the effect that the X-Dream is the best speaker ever, past, present or future, and you have the makings of some more of that good ole DK 'magic.'

Impressed is one thing. So over the top as to be on another planet is quite another.
How absurd is it to produce a $3K integrated amp and then only have $25K speakers to match with it? I would think something more in line price-wise with the amp.
Tvad, how much cost and afford do you think it would have been to ship and place the speakers( 800lbs + box) in the reviewers appartment?
This solutions was the best and that Mr. Kesin personally helped the reviewer showes his commitment.
excellent point Jond
29 more days and a pair will be finished!
Ellery911, it looks like you have a porsche 911. if you do, you paid dearly for the engineering that went into it. why is a porsche so much more than a kia? subaru? you for 1 should know that there are differences in technology. i too have owned porsche's and i do know i pay for the quality that goes into each 1. it would be so easy for a kia owner to say 'X-Dream technology' to a porsche owner.

also, i have read many reviews on what it takes for manufactures to build speakers, and the majority of the time (and cost) is in the making of the cabinets and in the r&d work that went in up front (look at wilson, totem, and sonus faber for examples). try this, call up a dealer and ask them what it would cost to replace a tweeter or woofer in your speaker system? i'll bet, cheaper than you think.
Crack is a lot cheaper.
Marble I believe is far better resonance-free cabinette material for the speakers...
RBStehno...yeah...for a number of years i had an 88 911 carrera...great bang for the buck car...i wouldn't have much problem justifying the 20k that i spent on it to a Kia owner who probably paid 12-15k. I would be able to also explain to the Kia Owner that a 911 could have been had for less than the price of his Kia (had it been purchased new of course). I would also be able to explain the differences in all the possible models that would be in the budget 911E/T/S...what upgrades he would want to look for if he were in the market for a 78-83 SC (chain tensioner upgrades/pop off valve etc)...the difference between the 84-86 Carraras and the 87-89 models. I would be able to explain the engineering in terms that would leave the Kia owner far more informed about 911's...even if some of the things are a bit the ventilation system.

now...back to the DK stuff...they still haven't been able to explain the "class A" designation that they have given their amplifier when it has been brought to question by a number of cmon...XDream technology?...what is it? What makes it different? What makes it better?

I can say one thing for sure...I think I'd get a better return on my $$$'s with a $25k 911 than with a $25k DK speaker.
I find it humorous how many people are so quick to jump on the band wagon of trashing DK, without even hearing, seeing, or having any knowledge of the speaker other than reading a brief review. Additionally, does everyone really think that DK Design is the only company to ever sponsor a review of their product? Thumb through any audio magazine to see who is advertising and who's products are being reviewed (I.E. Stereophile and Musical Fidelity). Wake up.

I think we should cut them some slack and wait until more info is available. Then let the market decide.

An unbiased approach,
Ellery911 - why do you think a high end car is a better return on your money then a high end speaker system? Are you saying that driving is more enjoyable then listening to music? Are you a truck driver?
maybe DK should ask BetterthenCrack to stop posting such ridiculous threads...haven't you noticed a bit of a pattern...BetterthenCrack isn't doing DK any favors being such a poor schill.

How can you say he is a schill, this is their first post about DK and it seems to only call attention to a review of a product by a controversial manufacturer ( with a tongue in cheek), nothing more.

Who are you callin' a schill?
Fight nice kids
Hi, Everyone!

I just have one thing to say. Don't judge until you have a chance to audition since everyone have their own taste. So, go to your local DK dealer and find out for yourself before making any more comments since it's unfair for DK as well as any speaker manufacturer.
Marakanetz...Actually, marble isn't rings. It looks nice. A layered construction, for example using styrofoam and sheetrock, is pretty good. There is also a material, the name of which escapes me, which is like styrofoam but with the plastic replaced by metal. This stuff is quite light, can be machined, and is very rigid. But the best way to stiffen any structure, including loudspeaker enclosures, is to curve the walls. Sonotube (used in building construction to pour concrete) is good, even though it is made of cardboard. But, who would pay 25 grand for a cardboard loudspeaker?
I am trying to think of a way to make a cardboard casting of the mold, then fill it with Quickcrete. That oughta get them to weigh at least 350 lbs apeice for under $10. Then, just add a few drivers and there ya have it, a clone at least as heavy for a small fraction of the cost.

In all seriousness, they are not the first to produce a pair of speakers at this price. Time will tell if they are worth buying or not. It would have been interesting to see how the reviewer thought they sounded with DK's own amp in addition to the others tested.

If you want to see some interesting CNC machining check out Keith Black racing engines and take the factory tour. These folks machine hemi engine blocks out of solid billet aluminum. Doesn't take six months either. The finished engines end up in top fuel dragsters and funny cars. They are 500 cubic inches and put out 7,000 horsepower. That's not a typo - seven thousand horsepower. Zero to 336 in 4.5 seconds. Quicker than Slappy's Mustang.
Matt says


How can you say he is a schill, this is their first post about DK and it seems to only call attention to a review of a product by a controversial manufacturer ( with a tongue in cheek), nothing more.



only because the other dozen or so threads that betterthencrack started about DK were deleted.

Betterthencrack...hey...sorry about the shill comment...maybe i should have sided with the conspiracy theorists from all your other (now deleted) DK threads that stated that maybe you were from the competition and knew that each time a thread like this was started that it would turn into a 3 ring

boy...i've missed these DK's been a what...2...maybe 3 weeks?
Not that your description is inaccurate just your spelling


Zander \Zan"der\, n. [Cf. D. zand sand.] (Zo["o]l.) A European pike perch (Stizostedion lucioperca) allied to the wall-eye; -- called also sandari, sander, sannat, schill, and zant.

shill ( P ) Pronunciation Key (shl) Slang
One who poses as a satisfied customer or an enthusiastic gambler to dupe bystanders into participating in a swindle.
Ctchen writes:
Tvad, how much cost and afford do you think it would have been to ship and place the speakers( 800lbs + box) in the reviewers appartment?

This solutions was the best and that Mr. Kesin personally helped the reviewer showes his commitment.
It certainly shows his commitment. No question there. But, it still places a great deal of pressure on a reviewer to write a positive critique.
In what column on the bookkeeping ledger do you think those DK dollars go? Yes, those spent to bring this reviewer to hear these speakers? Marketing & Advertising, that's where. This is paid advertisement, plain and simple. If Mr. Khesin is committed to anything, it is the same thing that all business owners are: survival.

Investment & return...that is the name of the game. From drug companies, to cigarette makers, to audio manufacturers, they all pay to influence opinion. This is not about your health, your safety, or achieving audio nirvana. It's about making bucks. Either you make 'em, or you die. Period. That is why this guy is paid to come listen to a pair of stereo speakers, and that is why he writes what he does. Because he needs to eat!
tmaco,if it wasnt for the 10,0000000 other posts hailing dk design's products as the new world leader some of us just might go audition these speakers.

even if the new speakers from dk are astounding & beat everything else on the market after all the schill post's that have come thru in the past there wont be too many people running out to hear them.

Hurry, hurry! Step right up and see the the amaaaaaazing and frightful "Capitalist"!! Yesirreee my friends you've never seen such frightful sight in all your life, not like this one! Hang on tightly to your wallets and purses. Keep the little ones close by your side and don't let'em stick there hands between the bars. If you have a heart condition, or are prone to fainting spells we'd ask you refrain from going inside and just move along and let the others through. You've come at the right time folks; the end of the fiscal quarter. You'll get so see what only a few may witness. Watch as the creature marks up his inventory! See the monster outsource production to other countries. Witness the anouncement of corporate tax breaks that have the beast trembling with excitement. See the horrid mishapen thing drool and spit as his vendors pressure it for payment of overdue invoices. Oh the horror of it all folks! And tonight it's only five dollars to take all this in, that is if you have the stomach for it! You'll be telling your grandchildren about this one folks, take my word for it.

As the new owner of DK, which will be announced this next week, I can see from the preponderance of skepticism here that, either people don't believe the reviewer, or they believe he was unduly influenced due to the nature of the review.
Frankly, this was a rush to judgement, so to speak, since the company was about to change hands, and quite possibly it may have been handled better, in retrospect.
The issue at hand here is the very heavy speakers in question, weighing in at almost 400lbs each. To ship them, and ask someone to review them quickly and (I am not sure easily applies).
Someone, less prone to scarcasm here, stated, "Don't judge until you have a chance..." or words to that effect.
I would have to agree. Not everything is always as it seems.The speaker is quite a revolutionary product, with plate aluminum as the super structure, and utilization of 48 db elliptical crossover networks. So this is not just any speaker we are looking at here.
Someone made a comment about the cost of product involved in manufacturing, and their comments are simply wrong. Sorry, but much of the cost in this product is the hands on creation of it, with the use of CNCs that had to be weighted, for precision cutting. This is quite a piece of art work, as well as a magnificant speaker, plus one that won't take up the whole room. Quite a feat, I think.
Before buying the company, there were many considerations to be weighed--the random charges of shilling and so on.
I can tell any and all, that I do not know of, nor will I use anyone to promote our product in any untoward manner. This is not to say that it was done before, I SIMPLY have no proof either way.
The X Dream is a unique product that, given it's price, will interest less than 2% of the respondants on the page, if they fit within the normal demographics, so that may be worth some thought.
Please, in all fairness give us a chance to earn business from you in the future.
I can already tell you that some improvements are in the works for the Integrated, simple things like a metric allen wrench, so the tubes can be changed without having to leave your home and search for a (I believe number 8, metric.)Also, if I can arrange it, better stock tubes will be put into the base units, though through my own experience, changing the tubes was part of the trill of ownership.
Also, we have the Series Three Integrated, coming out at a very reasonable $3295. We debated going to $3500.00 which frankly sounds very similar to most consumers according to our marketing people, but it wasn't necessary, and we want to be open and fair.
Also, to be released, in answer to someones comments on this thread, will be our Loudspeaker Line for the masses, the LSA Group, (which now owns DK Design) Loudspeakers.
They comprise a bookshelf at $1000. with a unique shape, and either a Rosewood or Black Maple Finish. We feel that these speakers outperform most speakers costing up to $3K.
Additionally we will have the Floorstanding model, the LSA 2 which will be about 36" tall, so similar in physical size, to the X Dream, yet will be of traditional wood, with the same Black Ash or Rosewood, at standard pricing, of $2000.00 per pair. We are thinking of offering them for a 30 day trial, with full refund available to those who do not find them to their liking.
Some will not. I designed them to sound very organic, and without the heavy handed tweeter, so familar to so many audiophiles out there.
The new owners have a combined 70 years of business experience, and hope to make changes in DK which will prove successful for everyone.
I just noticed that I failed to mention a Center Voice for about $600. which should have been shipped with the other products, but as is usually the case, this didn't happen.
We will be approaching our broad dealer base in the USA for distribution of all the LSA Speakers, with more to come shortly.
There will be a press release sent to all the major publications over the next few days. During the transition period some things may fall through the cracks, as is always the instance with new ownership, so I beg your indulgence as we try to do the best we can.
One other quick note. I was praising this product some months ago, simply as an owner, with no interest in the company, just 20 plus years of industry experience. And after a lot of thought and work, decided to actually buy the company--mostly out of respect for the great products that they, now we, create.
Thank you all for your interest in DK, and also, in the future, LSA Group, its parent company.
Larry R. Staples
President LSA Group
I find a few things suspect about the review.

1) Can a reviewer truly be objective unless the item being reviewed is incorporated into a system/room that the reviewer is fully intimate with?

2) The reviewer repeatedly refers to drug-like effects. For all we know, DK was pumping pure oxygen into the listening area just like the casinos in Vegas do to keep customers awake, excited and a bit high.

3) Even if the enclosure was milled from a solid piece of billet aluminum, it wouldn't take three months. You certainly couldn't pump out several a day, probably couldn't even produce one in a day, as a complex custom motorcycle wheel machined from a round billet blank can take hours (doesn't anyone here watch the Discovery channel?). Hbarrel, any professional opinion on this one?

4) If Wilson Audio can manage getting pairs of their mega-monsters out to reviewers, why shouldn't DK? Again, get the speaker into a reviewer's room with their familiar gear and I'll give more merit to their review. How many times has it been iterated here that the best rule of thumb is an in home demo?

5) Aluminum is not the end all, beat all material for an inert cabinet. It's pretty damn good, but not the best.

Just some observations. Please note that I would love to hear these things though. I doubt they would be my cup of tea, but I bet they are capable of fairly impressive dynamics. I have listened to the Krell LAT-1 (another aluminum speaker enclosure design) with Dan D'Agostino himself in the listening venue tweaking and optimizing, utilizing his own electronics too. Very impressive, amazing dynamics, just not my cup of tea.

I think it's a bit odd to slam these speakers from a single review; however, I do understand pooh-poohing the review itself.

If what you say is true (deleted other posts)then THAT does make him a schill.

The reviewer can't even get facts straight. He relates the machine aluminum to a Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch. Last I checked, my watch was stainless steel. As soon as a fact like that is incorrect, I have a hard time believing any other part of the review.
Larry BOUGHT DK Designs? Golly!
That's "shill" not "schill"-see my previous post
Well, there you go, the X-Dream speaker system is aimed at the less than 2% of the audiophile community who can afford them. Makes perfect sense. Of course there are other $25k speakers out there, but Mr. Olson emphatically states that the DK's are THE best ever and forevermore! OK. Let me just cash in a goodly chunk of my retirement savings and I'll be placing my order.

Oh, 400lbs per speaker? Another $2,000 for shipping, and $500 to have some movers carry them into the house. Hmm, while I'm at it, guess I'll have to have an engineer and contractor over to the house to make sure that the floor of my living room won't crumple under the 800lbs of aluminum. Time to trade in our car and start biking to work and everywhere else for that matter, in order to generate funds for the renovations/structural improvements. Heck, maybe I should just have a dedicated room added to the rear of the house. Perhaps most people's residence will be able to handle such mass over a relatively small area???

Any idea if my 2Wpc tube amp will drive these superlative speakers? What about the 125Wpc solid-state amp I used to own? Are the speakers more suited to certain types of music than others? Oh right, the reviewer had to travel to the manufacturer's facility to listen to the speakers, where there was only one system available to demo them and only a CD sampler from another ultra-high-end manufacturer with which to assess these incredible speakers.

How many dealers are actually going to want to have these in stock? It is to be hoped that those that do will also provide decent medical coverage for their employees, the ones that will have to carry them out to the customers' Hummer or the store's truck for home delivery.

Sheesh... ;-)