Review: Staged DRM DRM Stage II SW Speaker
A magical moment that will bring me a lifetime of… life
There have been three magical moments in my life.
One was when I was introduced to music courtesy of my fraternity sponsor’s graciousness… and boredom… and my high school sweetheart going out with someone else.
The second was when I met my true love.
And the third time and the most lasting magical moment was when I walked into a small audio store in Colorado Springs CO and discovered the lifetime wonders and joys of music.
I remember the discovery well.
I walked into the main display room of this store. On the right was a large curved wall with a representative of virtually every mid-fi loudspeaker brand available. On the left was a flat wall with three very high-end loudspeakers: B&W's top model, KEF’s top model, and the most beautiful loudspeaker this engineer has ever seen.
Although appearance has some effect on me, it is performance that is paramount.
I greatly admired the two English loudspeakers. And I had never been able to directly compare their two top models because I had never found a store that sold both. I was very interested in determining which was the best for I had been looking to purchase an extremely high quality audio system. But despite extensive auditioning over many years, I had not found a loudspeaker I liked since the McIntosh ML-1C with extensive equalization that I knew had been bested many years ago.
I had the top B&W and top KEF compared against each other in a blind test. I preferred the B&W even though it was too muted.
As I was leaving this store with the knowledge of which of the two I preferred but with the disappointment that it was not good enough, I was asked if I would like to compare two more loudspeakers in another blind test. I agreed. And that test was that third magical moment in my life for I heard music as I have never heard music before.
It was like listening to music for the first time.
The music was detailed and extended without the typical harshness and ringing, it was clear without the typical dullness, and it had the tightest bass I have ever heard outside of a small, smoky jazz club whose band was not amplified.
The music was being produced by a loudspeaker I had never heard of: the Diatone DRM DS-505.
At that moment, I knew I had found my new loudspeaker system. But, the engineer in me forced me to continue my quest.
In earnest, I listen to everything I could, everywhere I could be including me going to the International Consumer Electronic Show's. But, I could never find these loudspeakers on display at the CES shows. But, I did find one other loudspeaker that sounded as good: the $225,000 Wilson WAMMs.
Immediately after this show, I returned to that small audio store to reaudition the Diatone DRM DS-505 because I thought they had been bested by the WAMMs.
There, I discovered that the store had converted these speakers that were meant to be used in the world's highest quality recording studios into home loudspeaker systems.
Now they were called the Staged DRM's.
Using the recordings I brought to the CES shows to audition every so-called state-of-the-art loudspeaker system there, I auditioned these modified loudspeakers to find that they had bettered the WAMMs.
I bought a pair of the DRM Stage II SW. And this has been the best purchase… investment I have ever made.
Recently, I returned from the latest CES show to determine if my pair of DRM Stage II SW is still the most accurate, most musical, most satisfying loudspeakers ever produced. They still are.
I have found some additional bonuses with these loudspeakers.
I have had them in several homes that have very different configurations to find that they sound great in every one of them.
I have auditioned many different ancillary equipment configurations with these loudspeakers to find that although they are very revealing they are not very difficult to drive. My favorite configuration is: Denon PRA-2000 pre-amp, Parasound HVA-2200 power amplifiers, Dynavector Karat DV-17D LV MC phono cartridge, and heavily modified Kimber Kable 4TC speaker cable.
Sadly, Diatone chose to produce only 100 pair for the entire United States market.
Denon PRA-2000 pre-amp
Parasound HCA-2200 power amplifiers
Dynavector Karat DV-17D LV MC phono cartridge
heavily modified Kimber Kable 4TC speaker cable.
Wilson Audio WAMMs