Ask Stephen Monte of Quest For Sound. He carries both. Cheers,
I have not listened to the DB-99 and M15 side by side. I have listened to them both though. I like the M15 better and feel it is a better value. I owned the VonSchweikert VR-4jr ($4000 list at the time) and, at the time, felt that the DB-99 ($12000 list at the time) was superior to the VR-4jr. I did not, however, feel it was so much better as to warrant three times the price of the VR-4jr. The M15 ($8500 list), on the other hand, betters the DB-99 to my ear and does so at only a little more than twice the list of my VR-4jr. The M15 is the first speaker over $5000 that I would try and stretch my budget for.
As to the M15 sound If you feel the VR-4jr is lacking in the area of detail and/or musical excitement the M15 may be just the ticket. I am impressed with how low and powerful the M15 bass is and yet it is also very fast/tight. The mids/highs provide plenty of micro detail and yet manage to stay non-fatiguing for me and still convey the overall sense of the music (the detail serves the music and does not draw my attention to the point of distraction). There is an overall immediacy to the performance that I had not experienced in a loudspeaker prior to auditioning the M15. You get a front row seat or perhaps you are sitting on the edge of the stage even! Some may not like this perspective and I generally have not liked speakers with that perspective in the past. But the M15 manages to give me an up front sound without the in your face feeling or Ive got to turn it down or run away now! sense. The sound envelops me and draws me in. Me likey!!
I've heard both extensively(at Quest).The DB 99's are phenominally good speakers.I've heard them with low power SET Tubes and monster SS Amps.They sound great with any decent amp.I've owned 4 jr's and they're not even close!(although the 4 sr(which I've also had)is a great speaker in its own right and gives the 99's a run for their money.This being said,I also love the M15's.They are visually striking and remarkably balanced sonically.While not as analytical as some domes,the tweeters are extremely revealing for horns(without harshness or nastiness).If I had a larger room I would purchase them immediately!
The two or three times I have heard them (M-15), they have been out in the room, about five feet out and four feet or so from the side walls. I have not heard them in comparison with the 99's so I cannot offer any comparisons there. From my perspective, what I have heard, was not my cup of tea. Emphasis on the MY.
My ears heard too much of a disconnect between the horn and that BIG woofer, with a port big enough to stick your head into. The fit and finish is very nice though.
How lucky it is for you that a nice dealer like Steve Monte carries both the speakers you are interested in. Also, he has them both in the same room where you audition them with the same equipment.
I have not heard the DB-99's.
As much as I like lowfidilety ( great guy ) I respectfully disagree with his opinion of the M15's. I heard them on 2 occasions and both times I really found them to be among other things very colored and not coherent. This only my opinion and others may disagree. So please audition if you can.
All the best,