The best amp or improvement for Dahlquist DQ-10's

I have been looking at and listening to many speakers but every time I come home to my DQ-10's I still enjoy them most. Their flaw, and the reason I'm looking, is the bass driver and/or the bass enclosure. The sound is not "tight" or "punchy" enough. I've read that this can be alleviated with certain amps. (Although I am skeptical). I've even contemplated changing the bass driver and bass enclosure.

MY QUESTIONS: Is there a speaker out that has the same mid's and high's but with "tight" bass? Is there an amp that really could tighten this "loose" bass? (No suggestions over 2k used market).

SETUP: I have a Rega Planet cd player and Rega 25 turntable feeding an Audible Illlusions 3A pre-amp with Amperex gold pin 6922's going into a Rotel 980BX 100 watt per channel amp.

I have some experience with teses speakers. The bass section needs alot of current. We tried a set with a Bryston 3b..not enough power. The amp kept clipping. Then we tried the 4B and it was excellent.

The 4B will control the bass with your speakers It has the power current and damping factor. Make sure the surrounds on your woofers are not dried out. That will change the compliance and muddy the bass.
The DQ-10's were my first speakers. There were some crossover mods that were available for some time which helped the bass. I found that they need a lot of current / power to really drive them. I also ended up getting a subwoofer for them which helped.
I owned the DQ 10's years ago. They worked beautifully with my, at the time, Bryston 4B. Go with a subwoofer, though. (I did ) You'll be very happy. I find it hard to believe that you haven't heard something you like better than the DQ 10s. They were great in their time. But that time is long gone.
As a past owner of DQ10s, I can only second the other comments on power/current. I would recommend a minimum of 200 wpc. I used an SAE 2400 (long out of production) with great results, but I sold it and the DQ10's about 5 years ago. I would recommend any of the current model high power solid state amps from Krell, Halcro, mbl, Pass Labs, Classe, McCormack, Marsh Sound or Rotel (more or less, highest to lowest priced). Any of the ss amps mentioned above (as long as they deliver 200 wpc) should make a great improvement over your 100 wpc Rotel. If you like the sound of your Rotel, then upgrade to the Rotel RB1090 (700 wpc/4 ohms)-- its a great amp and probably rivals any amp in getting the best bass from a speaker. Good luck
The hot mod at the time addressed the other end of the frequency spectrum. Mylar cap and dome. Mylar caps replacing the electroliytics in the crossover and a KEF T-27 dome tweeter replacing the Motorola piezo unit. The piezo always made the speakers unlistenable to me, but now that I'm older who knows?
Thanks to everyone so far. I'm going to check out amp's today. The DQ-10's already have the crossover mods. And Warrenh, I can't find anything that sounds as "lush" as the DQ-10's.
When you're ready Imin2u, put it our there: What speakers you could buy for an upgrade. Figure the DQ 10s are worth, maybe $350-$400. You definitely won't find anything "lush" for that price. I don't know what you have listened to, but I would seriously consider upgrading your speakers before doing the amp thing. Just my humble opinion. This is, of course, I realize,is very price dependent. So you may be over before you begin.
Warrenh, So far I've heard three Meadowlark models that are OK but still not as "lush" in the mids and highs. (And the bass wasn't as tight as I'd like).
I've also demo'd various Castle, Energy, JM Labs, Monitor Audio, Paradym lines/models. Hopefully, I'll find a place to demo the Totem, Triangle, and Vandersteen lines/models this weekend.

Also, I think I'll Start a new thread on what people have replaced their DQ-10's with and what they currently have.
I have a pair of pre mirror imaging DQ10's along with the DQ-1W sub woofer and the LP-1 variable low pass filter. I was never happy with the bass response of the DQ-10s until I added the other units. I run through the low pass filter into another amp which powers the sub. The results are amazing. The LP-1 offers variable settings that allow for nearly any kind of low end you might enjoy. The DQ-1W and LP-1 are both offered at Ebay on a fairly regular basis. If you have a few bucks to spend, you should give them a try.
I was in the same boat not too long ago...but found the dqs bass slow, tubby, and ill-defined...and even with adequate power...we are still talkin about 30 yr old Advent paper drivers here...for a speaker that still has that very "open" midrange but with real bass...Vandersteen 1b or 1cs come to mind...the bass is not the fatest on the planet...but it is clean at lower volumes...and retains the boxless/phasecorrect integrity of the DQs...
I replaced my DQ-10s only recently, after owning them since 1976.

Over the years as I improved my other components, including cables, I found the Dahlquists had a lot more good, solid bass than I ever thought they could have. It was a great experience to see how much I could get out of the Dahlquists, while buying me years and years to enjoy their strengths, invest in other components, and audition other speakers.

Ultimately, I succumbed to some Kharmas not long ago, but I appreciate the DQ-10's allure. All of the suggestions in this thread make sense to me. You do need a lot of power to make them sound their best.
I owned a pair of DQ-10's (mirror imaged) from 1978 (when I bought them new) until 1994, when they were damaged by the Northridge earthquake. I was very happy with them while I had them. Instead of getting them fixed, I replaced them with Thiel CS3.6's, which are a major improvement., and which I recommend. They have similar power and space requirements; I'm driving them with an Aragon 8008BB (200W/ch into 8 ohms, 400W/ch into 4 ohms).

Good luck!
Everyone has offered some fine advice so far excepting one very effective modification which will cost you much less money than a new amplifier and at the same time dramatically improve your overall sound. Get your self a second pair of DQ-10's and stack them one atop the other (4 lengths of 3/4" square aluminum tubing works perfectly as a frame). Wire the speakers in parallel (4 ohm load) and your amplifier should double (or nearly so) it's output wattage. 200 watts into stacked Dq-10's is SPECTACULAR! I have been listening to mine that way for over 10 years. Hope this reaches you in time.

Al B.
I own the Dahlquist 20I speakers and have mated them with Legend Audio Design monoblock amps. They are above your $2,000 mark, but they also have an integrated for much less, although I can't remember how much it is. There is plenty of bass for my tastes. I personally don't like booming bass, it overpowers the rest of the music. It took me a long time to find the right amps and I think my speaker/amp combination sounds phenominal. It is very detailed, dynamic, yet silky smooth. I have also listened to the McIntosh tube amps (not solid state) and they sound very nice also. You might also try Rogue.
I use a Mission 772 power amp to drive my DQ10's. This amp is old and uncommon here in England. It's quoted at 150W continuous per channel.It also drives a pair of Radford 360 degree things about which I know nothing. Marvellous. The next plan is to use an LP1 and drive a 1W or two 1W's with a Naim NAP90. Don't know whether this will work or how towire it all up. Any comments/advice?
I am new here, in fact by screen does not work let. That is new. In time I will figuer this site out but at this point I am loss. But anyone that can help me with this question please take the time to E-mail me at

I have a pair of DQ 10's and love the sound, but the amp will not handle them. I have a ADCOM GFA1A, and drive it in to shut down fast. Will the ADCOM 555 or 555II handle the DQ 10's?

I am not the purest I use to be. In fact the system has not be fired up for 8 year's. But the bug has bite again. Donot want to make a second mistake in power supply.

On a tight budget, as screen name will tell you I am in to cars as well. Knee deep in a blowen 69 Charger so used is all I can afford, $400.00 max. So no crown aps's for me.

Will someone please take the time to answer me by E-mail? Make subject DQ 10'S in uppper caseing. E-mail again.

Thank you for your time.

Cuda Ken
I was about to get rid of my DQ10s for some Maggies. But they were sold. However, the guy had a modded ARC D90B and SP8 and he assured me that I have never heard what the DQ10 can really do. He talkrd me in to it and it was the best combination I have ever heard with the possible exception of the original Ampzilla II and Thaedra by the GAS company. But these are next to impossible to find. Because of their jFETs they sounf like tube amps but have the power of solid state. I only paid about $2000 for the used RAC equipment but I think your preamp is fine.
I have owned my DQ-10,s since 1976, but have recently upgraded the amp to a Mission 777 and a Audio Research SP-3A-1 tube preamp. The bass has improved consideralby along with openness. I am now looking for a set of the origional optional stands that place the speakers 8'' to 12'' above the floor level OR could someone provide the measurments for the stand components, so that I could build my own? Thaks Much, Zootr

I built my own stands from solid (1.5" thick) walnut and made them about 2" higher than the factory stands. I just used one piece in the middle and made the stands "I" shaped. I think the factory one had three uprights. Was there more than one factory stand to choose from? Now I am thinking there was a cheap one (particle board?) with one center like the one I built and a walnut one with three uprights. That was a long time ago.

I can't send you measurements because mine were stolen along with the speakers.

Don't forget to add a small (1/4"?) strip to to the front of the top to tilt the speakers back. Good luck. I highly recommend using a stand.
Don_s, Thanks for the information on the speaker stands. I will probably build my own so thanks for the input about the 1/4" strip along the front edge.


Good luck. I think the strip was 1/4" thick. Maybe it was 3/8" or 3/4". I copied the factory design on that part of the stand but my memory could be wrong about the thickness. Hopefully someone with factory stands will post some measurements otherwise you may have to play with that part to make the speakers stable on the stands but not get too much backward tilt and throw off the driver alignment the Dahlquists are so famous for.

Try to achieve the same tilt you get with the little feet that come standard with the speakers. Hopefully that will keep the time alignment correct.