Review: B & W Loudspeakers DM-604 Speaker

Category: Speakers

This review is for the DM604S2 speakers. I have owned them since May 2000. In a nutshell, to me, these are really nice speakers. I play jazz, blues, classical & classic rock music thru them. I have played music thru them on a completely solid-state system i.e. solid-state CDP, pre & power as well as w/ my present system which has a tube preamp. I have concluded that these B&Ws mate better to tube equipment than solid-state. I prefer the sweeter tube sound thru them. Although the frequency response is (only) to 40Hz, I find the bass adequate. I like bass slam & I find that my needs are mostly satisfied here. I do notice that these speakers sound best when the volume is turned up - I feel the speakers "light" up. The specification sheet says the efficiency is 90dB SPL but it doesn't *appear* to be true in my system.
The Nautilus tweeter is fantastic, in my opinion. I really like the vocals thru it (eg. Patricia Barber, Ella Fritzgerald, Maria Callas, Patsy Cline). The speakers respond well to blues (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert King) very well - plenty of bass & great midrange.
Initially I had the speakers sitting on the carpet & the bass was really muddy. Using brass cones to elevate them really helped to tighten the bass & also raised the tweeter level 1-1.5 inches making it more suitable w.r.t. my listening position.
I really like the biwire option. Though there is much debate on biwiring benefits, I saw an improvement in my system. I was using mid-line Monster speaker cable which I swapped out for a Tara Labs Prism single run biwire for a marked inmprovement. I could have benefited from both brand change & single to biwire change.
If I had a complaint then it would be that it was available only in black ash thus had (& still has!) a low WAF.

Associated gear
Harmon-Kardon CDP
CAT SL1 Preamp
power amp portion of HK integrated amp

Similar products
CDM7SE, CDM9NT,DM605S2, Martin-Logan, N804, Boston Acoustics