Review: DCM TimeWindow 1 Speaker

Category: Speakers

This review covers the orignal DCM Time Windows. Not the subsequent versions.

I remember the first time I heard these. Their unique shape and sound where unlike anything I had heard before. Here was a speaker that really delivered the promise. It was driven by a PS Audio Amp and PS Audio LCC PreAmp. At the time I had the Large Advents,and while those speakers were very good indeed, the Time Windows were clearly superior. The music just seemed to come alive in a way that's hard to describe. There was just a seamless transparency to them. Not overly bright or accentuated on the bass. The balance was right on. It didn't really matter what the program material was, the Time Windows clearly and with authority brought the music to life. If they had any real weakness is for some peoples taste the bass may have been on the light side. But for my taste it was as it should be. The orginals used Philips drivers using a transmission line and the cabinet construction contributed to the overall sound. In the late 70s these were not cheap at about $800.00 but were indeed worth the price of admission. I was finally able to acquire a pair of these and have them to this day. Few things one purchases in life have enduring value and the Time Windows truly are in that category. Of all the reviews I have read on these speakers not one reviewer has clearly defined the sonics of this fabulous speaker. Use all of the adjectives you want and one will still come up short in the description. Best way to describe them, if you love music and have better than average components connected to them, the Time Windows will deliver the music with a verve that will astound you.

Now these speakers are some 20 years or more in age and continue to deliver the music. And that's what this hobby is all about. DCM no longer produces the Time Windows,having opted for the HT route. This is a true shame as these speakers deserve continued production. Timeless design is just that.


  • Dimensions:36"H x 14 3/4"W x 11 3/4"D
  • Weight:32 Pounds
  • Power Requirements:10 Watts Minimum per channel 89 dB/watt at one meter;200 Watts Maximum
  • Impedance:5 Ohms minimum/6-8 Ohms nominal
  • Frequency Range:25Hz to 18 kHz
  • Dispersion:180 degrees horizontal/60 degrees vertical.

    Specifications do not tell the whole story,listening does. The Time Windows due to their configuration can be literally tuned to any room. That is due to their shape. This was a brilliantly executed design that has remained faithful all these years.

    Associated gear
    Click to view my Virtual System

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    I used to own a pair of the original TimeWindows. They are wonderful speakers! I hooked up a Sony Beta Hi Fi VCR up to my system (that should give you some indication of how long ago I am talking about) and I got a high level signal through the VCR that blew out all four tweeters in the TimeWindows. The speakers had been out of warranty for a good while, but when I contacted DCM they replaced all four tweeters, send the speakers back in new boxes and charged me NOTHING! What a speaker, what a company!

    Thanks for the review. That brings back great memories.
    I had a pair of Time Windows in 1978.I loved them driven by my Hafler DH200,Musical Concepts modded Hafler DH 101, and a Linn LP12 turntable.I spent many late-night hours listening to MFSL direct-to-disc albums.I especially listened a lot to the classic jazz album,Jazz At The Pawn Shop(which I still have a mint original copy)It used to drive my wife crazy keeping her up so late when she was trying to sleep.Many mornings,though, she would wake up and I would hear her in the shower humming "Lady Be Good".In 1984 I traded in my Time Windows for the Vandersteen 2B speakers,which I just sold a few months ago.Oh, the wonderful sonic memories...
    I also upgraded from Large Advents to the Time Windows in 1981. I agree with all of the comments above about them and do regret selling them. I upgraded to Vandersteen 2B also, but I then had to spend a lot of money to replace my amp and front end in order to get the same level of musical enjoyment I got from the Time Windows. I drove the Time Windows with a Sanyo P55 mosfet amp and later a BRB 200 amp (anybody remember them?). Wonderfully musical. Also, a great name for a loudspeaker.
    I to had the original DCM Time Window 3's and still have the pair that are in the original boxes. I plan to hook them back up in a forth system and room with a TV in my master bedroom. Still have my modded Hafler XL-280 amp and Counterpoint SA-2000 preamp with EAD DSP-7000 and T-1000 both in 24K Gold and still sounds better than many other much more expensive systems. Unlike most other music lovers I cannot part with alot of my old gear. Still using my George Kaye modified NYAL Moscode 600. Both nothing comes close to my CAT JL-2 ( simply incredible amp ). Now I am rambling sorry - just listen to the music and be moved!
    I am an original owner of DCM Time Windows. I used to use a pair of OHM F's. Hard to imagine, but these are every bit as good. I still use them on my primary system today. I run them with a vintage Pioneer 1010. I've heard and owned a lot of speakers, but I keep coming back to the DCM's.
    DO any of you know what DCM stands for???

    Ann Arbor - Dope Capital of Michigan

    I owned a pair of time windows as well, very nice neutral speaker, however they really have too laid back a top end.

    I too am an original owner of a pair of TW1s and TW3s. I just freed them both up in the last year as gifts to family. They served my musical tastes for many years with a wide variety of electronics. I always thought that the treble was rolled off but I learned to easily live with that shortcoming considering how well they did in other sonic respects.

    Bob, the owner of DCM re-drivered my TW1s in the late 80s for just about the cost of shipping and even put new foam wrap on the speakers.

    Along with my Superphon Basic preamplifier from those days I would count the DCMs as the greatest value to satisfaction ratio I have experienced so far in terms of Audio bang for the buck. The equipment I listen to these days is drastically improved over the Superphon and the DCMs but the cost is so disproportionally higher (to achieve these improvements) that it doesn't make the same impact on my experience that these older units did in their day at their pice point.

    In some ways, Totem seems to be filling in the gap on small towers these days that deliver performance beyond their price point. I'm sure there are others too but in keeping with the topic question regarding the DCMs, they will remain a fond memory and a good value in my audio experience.

    The Time Windows were a little lacking in the extreme upper octaves, but the designers chose those Phillips tweeters to handle some power so the slight lack of extension was a trade-off. My memory is fading, but I think DCM might have been the initials of the guys who started DCM. If you'll recall, it was Peter Aczel of The Audio Critic who got this new company in the late 70's off the ground with their rave review. The Time Windows really sang with Hafler amps.
    I have two pairs of the original DCM TimWindows and noticed the foam covering the exterior deteriorating. It took me three years of searching for the replacement foam. I bought two rolls and have plenty of extra for others. Contact me if interested.
    I just picked up a pair of Time Windows and would like to replace the foam. If you have any left, please contact me.
    Well, mine after many years of service (driven with Apt-Holman amp/pre-amp) were placed into storage for 5 years -- and then pulled back out for service in another room. They now are driven by a small TEAC integrated amp -- and still sound marvelous!

    BTW -- I took off the foam, wrapped them in white muslin, and painted the tops in high gloss white enamel. Despite their size, they disappear against a white wall. The sound seems unchanged -- or slightly better!
    Mine are in the basement. I hooked them up to my old Luxman LV 101 integrated amp driven by an Apple Ipod and I must say they still crank!!!
    Nice to see some conversation about these wonderful speakers. I bought a pair in '78 and they have been in regular use ever since.

    After living with these for so long, and powering them with a variety of mid-fi solid-state amps, I can say that *if* there is a lack of bass response, it exists primarily because this speaker accurately plays what's handed to it.

    Case in point: For years, I thought the speakers were bass-shy. Then about 6 years ago I switched to tube amps and was *completely* astonished at the bass coming from these speakers...which were so widely believed to be deficient in that area.

    OK, so they're rated only down to 30db and only 89db efficiency, but do we really expect better from an $800 pair built in '78?

    The moral: switch to a tube amp--even a vintage, unmodded one--and you'll banish thoughts of getting rid of your Time Windows.
    I had a pair of these before buying Vandersteen 2CE's. One time I brought them to a party held in a gym, using a Luxman integrated amp and Cd player. They literally filled the room! Other speakers may be more accurate and/or have deeper bass or more extended highs, but the Time Windows sounded ALIVE! I may get another pair on Ebay soon.
    Ah, the Time Windows. I still own and use my original pair of Time Windows purchased back in the late '70's. It's very interesting that nobody who has responded to this thread has even attempted to characterized the sonic attributes of these great old speakers. Frequency response be damned, the Time Windows defy specs. Their presentation is just plain musical. They are vastly more than the sum of their parts. I had the prvilige of selling the Time Windows in an audio store for a few of years and can attest that no one ever expected that kind of sound to come out of a medium size tower with only two 6 1/2 woofers and two Phillips dome tweeters. How did they do it? Magic I guess...
    I bought mine in 1981. Still have them and have just now replaced the grill "foam" with fabric. My eye opener was when I auditioned them before buying. The system was made up of a PS Audio amp and Preamp tied to a Denon turntable sporting a Grace F9E Ruby cartridge. Violins and female sopranoes shine on this setup. I didn't hear anything about it I didn't like. Loving live music as I do, it was the nearest thing to bringing that home I could find. There were times when I thought that adding a sub would be the thing to do but, invariably, when the speakers were moved to a room more in keeping with their size or moved within the room to find just the right spot, that problem went away.They sounded so transparent to me, as in there was nothing between me and the musicians. Is this subjective enough?

    I still enjoy them. They still rock.
    I bought my TW1s in 1982 and they were in "main" service until September 2003. Our cats did in the foam socks, so I'm going to try grille cloth on them. The replacement "mains" are Totem Forests. The TW1s were powered by a Hafler 220 throughout their years of use. The Hafler is on the bench right now, most of the way through a "hyper" mod involving Musical Concepts driver boards and a dual-mono power supply (96,000µF, IXYS FRED rectifier bridges, dual-secondary toroidal power transformer). It will be interesting to see how they sound with the hyper-Hafler. They were always very well balanced, neutral, "musical" speakers, though not as pinpoint precise as the better ones available today at equivalent (adjusted for inflation) cost. Has anyone explored modernizing the drivers?
    I am very happy for there are still so many people love the DCM speakers. I got a pair of Timewindow 3 recently. They are in very good condition. However, I found most people talked about TW 1a or TW 7, but not TW 3. How do you think its sound? Can it beat the normal $1,000 speakers in the current market?

    I do not have much experience, and my amplifier is a small
    Adcom 535(60W*2). According to my hearing, the bass is far from 24hz, which is publicized by DCM. Although the
    89db-sensitivity is not low, I think a more powerful amplifier will make them better. Do you have any suggestions about the amplifier?

    Thanks and enjoy your DCM speakers.
    I owned a pair of 1A models from 1981 until a home burgulary in 1991. I would love to get my hands on another set so I keep checking ebay where several pairs have been sold.

    Regarding the sound:

    After I was married in 1988, my wife made a comment about 'my' speakers. Her comment was: "the singers sound real".

    Is there any more that needs to be said?
    I purchased a pair of Time Window 3's in about '82. My cousin owned an audio store in Minneapolis. He always had someone in their trying to sell him their top end speakers. When I was ready to buy I said what's the best you have and he played the DCM's for me. Wow! So crisp and clean. Yes sounds amazing on them. I also have TF-350's to round out the sound.

    Unfortunately, my receiver is a Luxman from the same vintage and it only has 35 watts total. I think it distorts out before the Time Windows even get warmed up. I don't think I've ever heard the best they can do since that day in the store. I need to upgrade my receiver, but I'll never get rid of my speakers. The 4 combined will make for an awesome home theater (now I just have to buy a TV!).
    I love my Time Windows. They are part of my DTS System. I got them in Late 1978. They are part of the Property Rights Issue for my wife and I. I own 1 of them, she has the other.
    The problem is that the cat, hereby know as Kona, attacked and destroyed the Speaker Cover of her speaker. Is there any way to repair or replace the Cover? Help.
    I still have my TW's purchased in early 1979 and also had a pair of the TW-7's.....agreed, great sound. Unfortunately, a cat got to the original TW's in my downstairs system and tore the hell out of the grill cloth. Any suggestions on replacement of the original material?
    You can contact DCM directly, they're still around. If not, you can have someone sew a sheet of the materail from Parts Express to size, creating a tube. The tops and bottom wood comes off somehow by twisting, then slide the fabric over the speakers.
    Has anyone re-coned their Time Windows?
    was it worth it?
    I;m thinking about re-doing my pair
    any suggestions?
    I spent three decades in the audio business and I considered the Time Windows to be a true classic. I own a pair, I use them in my woodworking shop. The grills are long gone, and they are chipped and scratched, but they still deliver. I use an Onkyo A-9 integrated amp and an Onkyo T-10 tuner with them. I also have an old Yamaha cassette deck and an onkyo CD. I change cd players frewuently because of the dust and all.
    In 1978 I bought my first pair of TW1. I didn't know a lot about good sounding speakers, but I knew that I liked these. I wound up selling them in 1986, to a good friend who begged me for them. I then bought the TW1a, I was told they had a little more bass, which they did. In 2002 I wanted to upgrade my system complete, I spent a lot of time and research looking for a speaker to WOW me, like the TW always did. I bought a set of Jamo E8 towers. I was not WOWed. I sold them for Jamo concert 11s. These speakers wowed me......but at what cost. I still have my TW1a's in my family room, hooked up to a small 110 amp Pioneer. They still sound fantastic. I will never get rid of these classic, Great sounding speakers. Thank you DCM.
    Anyone have a source for exterior replacement foam coverings for the DCM Time Windows? Thanks...
    A respondent to this ad has some foam coverings. check the geraldgasser line and contact him
    DCM Corp. 670 Ann Arbor Michigan, 48108.
    Phone# (734)994-8481
    They are very good to deal with and have replacement parts available if required.
    I own a pair of the original time windows and I absolutely love them. I am considering possibly upgrading them with a pair of aerial 6's. What do you guys think? Sould I proceed or should I stick with the windows? I would appreciate any feedback!

    A friend of mine has the Aerial 7 and they are fabulous. Whereas the Time Windows work very well with any quality amp,the Aerials are very unforgiving with less than very good amps. They need at least a mosfet output amp and at least 75 watts per channel to really perform. Threshold,Forte,Classe,Bryston,Levinson and other amps in this league is what you will need to really bring the Aerials alive. At the time I heard them they were being driven with a Classe 70 amp. He now has them connected to a Bryston 4 SST amp. I bought the Classe 70 from him for my second system,which is now listed on Audiogon.

    While the Aerials are very good and would love to have them.I still find the Time Windows just magical for me.
    Any recommendations for ss amplification to drive a pair of Timewindow 1As? Love them with my Jolida tube amp, but constant adjustments to minimize hum, replace bad tubes, and now a downed capacitor got me scrambling back to solid state.

    The hitch is that I've got a pretty tight budget for this system, so I've been looking at used Hafler, NAD, GAS, Accuphase, Tandberg, and McCormack stuff. Love these speakers for all the reasons everyone's been pointing out, but what's the most synergistic solid state amplification? Anyone experience particularly good/bad amplication matches? Sources include a Rega turntable and CAL CD player. Thanks.
    I was lucky enough to recieve a pair of these speakers from my dad since he got new speakers that took up less space but have nowhere near the sounds quality. The best story I remember about these speakers is my dad telling me that when he was stationed in Hawaii, he had these speakers set up outside at a party that was next to a golf course, and the end of one of the songs ended in a rain storm, and the sound was so true to life that it sent the golfers on the nearest hole to the clubhouse. I'm only 18 but have grown up hearing nothing but quality speakers and these have the best sound I've ever heard. The bass which was appearently a problem to some people is heard with great detail, but it's not just pounding or felt. Nothing could ever replace these.
    I also have a pair of time windows and also a pair of Dalquest DQ10. I love them both, as I did back inthe early 80's when i bought them. We always liked to party to the Time Windows, as they seemed to have more punch.

    The sad part about it that direct replacement drivers are not available. My pair really needs tweeters but i don't think i have any options other then replacements. Of the folks I have talked to about this, they all said that DCM used fairly cheap drivers.

    any iindeas / info here? My TW dont sound anything like they use to :( Whwn I called DCM, they seemed somewhat disinterested in the speakers.
    The original TWs had hexagonal woofers and 1" dome tweeters, both by Philips, and both excellent. The tweeters only went to 18KHz, but they sounded nice.

    I recently emailed DCM about replacement drivers and grill cloth. They referred me to Parts Express for tweeters and McMaster-Carr for foam grill cloth. No info on woofers.

    You might email DCM with your question. They were much more helpful this time than when I asked the same questions a couple of years ago.
    Say, I'm finally getting a surround system--got a Denon 5800. I'm going to keep my time windows (bought new around '84 or so) for 2 channel audio. Any ideas on what might be close to voice matched for a center channel?
    After reading these posts, I felt motivated to re-connect my 1982 vintage Time Windows. They have functioned as sound reinforcements in the corners for many years since I purchased Dynaudio Audience 42s. I was very pleasantly surprised by the overall performance of the Time Windows after having been exposed to the Dynaudio sound. The Time Windows do indeed sound remarkable, much better than I ever anticipated. I am driving them with a Sumo Nine Class A amplifier, purchased also in 1982 when I bought the DCMs. The combination of Sumo and the Time Windows is exceptional. The Sumo Nine is an underrated Class A amp designed by James Bongiorno. He insists he has never had an output transistor fail in a Sumo Nine, and I can vouch for that, at least with my own amp. With an ADCOM preamp/tuner feeding the signals, this is a very musical lineup. The sense of spaciousness from the Time Windows is refreshing, and never feels like an exaggeration. I am not sure right now whether I prefer the overall performance of the Time Windows or the Dynaudios. It is nice to have both in the house.
    I have TW IA's...DCM was bought out! And drivers are nolonger available, atleast not the same drivers used to make these speakers breath...Anyone have any suggestions?
    Just curious. Since the original Time Window used Philips drivers, is it possible to inquire directly through Philips as to availability of the raw speaker elements?
    I am not certain of the viability, since Philips is such a huge conglomerate.. But maybe someone knows a way to access someone there who might know.

    I am enjoying my own Time Windows more and more with each passing day. I have been using an Adcom preamp/tuner for a couple of years now. It has two sets of preamp out connections, one of which bypasses the tone controls. I mistakenly thought I had been using this link, but only within the last coup[le off days did I learn that I had been mistaken. I made the switch to the link without tone controls. What an amazing difference. I have never heard these speakers perform to their real capabilities before. This is truly liike acquiring a whole new system without spending one penny. The resolution across the full audible spectrum is much better, far beyond anything I have heard in my home before. My Dynaudio Audience 42s will be sitting idle for the foreseeable future. And forget my other speakers, Tannoy Mercury M2s. They cannot possibly compete with the sound I am enjoying right now.
    I have been even more impressed with the performance of these speakers since I noticed that my preamp out connections were not what I originally had in mind. I was under the false impression that I had bypassed the tone controls on my Adcom preamp. This was not the case. So I made the switch to the preamp out connections that totally bypass the tone controls. The improvement was immediately noticeable. Every part of the frequency spectrum sounds better, smoother and more resolute. Voices are more completely defined. Every vowel and consonant is clearly enunciated. Perdussion sounds much better across the board. And the highs are sweeter. This is quite a pleasant surp[rise. I am now more than ever seeing the DCM Time Windows as "The Poor Man's Quads."
    Thejapelvis - Try using a Class A output preamp along with your Sumo Nine Class A amp. This should really open up the Time Windows another level or two. While the Adcom tuner/preamp is a fine unit, it may be holding back the Sumo amp. Just a thought on my part. Have powered the Time Windows with a Forte Class A Amp and Forte Class A preamp and really found this to bring the Time Windows to a very high level indeed. Enjoy those Classic Time Windows, they are special indeed.
    Thanks for the tip, Ferrari. What might be a good deal on the Forte Class A preamp you recommend? I am not familiar. Sounds like great advice.
    Ferrari, I have just seen the review of the Forte Class A preamp on this site. This is one sweet unit, no doubt. I have something to aim for. This is exactly the type of preamp I always wish I had in my system. It would provide the real crowning touch. I wil keep my eyes and ears open for this, should it come up inh the used market. Not exactly the kind of piece that you could get from the Salvation Army thrift shoip, as so many audio enthusiasts like to brag about. The Forte would likely make my Dynaudio Audience 42 sound that much better as well. Thank you for the heads up.
    Just put spikes under my DCM 1As, and though this may have been an obvious add-on it's really tightened up the bass and opened up the sound. (I had them just resting on carpet before.) I think someone way back in the thread asked about reconing - I've been using my DCMs for over 20 years now, and they still sound as good as the day I got 'em. But anyone know whether these things need periodic maintainence - foam rot or cracking or whatever?
    The DCM Time Windows Original and 1a used Philips drivers and they have butyl surrounds for the drivers, not foam. I do not see any need to service those drivers, unless of course one over powers them and frys the voice coils. Other than that sit back,relax and enjoy.
    DCM stands for "Dreps Crone Maze"

    I have a set of TW1a's, TW3's and the "BIG Daddy" TimeWindow Seven's. If your are looking for a center or surround speaker, the CX17 are a perfect voice match for the TimeFrame and the TW3's & TW7's.

    These speakers are built to last.
    Amen to the last post. I was earlier thinking I might want to sell my Time Windows. But after spending the month of February listening to them again, I no longer feel like selling. It would be hard to find an equivalent speaker on today's market, without spending an obscene amount of money. The real value of the Time Window proves itself over and over. I am listening to my Dynaudio Audience 42 this month. But I will put the Time Windows back into the system during April. I have decided this is a nice arrangement.