looking back it was pretty colored and weird (tiny) imaging but we were in heaven at the time
I still have a pair. I spent 4 months completely restoring them. Even the old vinyl wrap was removed and new wrap was installed. Bass drivers were re-foamed by Regnar. I had a custom woodworker friend of mine take the original wood sides and make exact templates and then make all new sides out of solid Purpleheart.
I even designed custom solid steel stands and had them custom welded and added Purpleheart trim pieces.
Wish we could add pictures because these came out really nice and are stunning both visually and sonically.
I had many offers to sell them, but probably never will. I personally have so much time and effort in them, them seem kinda like family.
I owned them many moons ago Great speaker!
THE 12 MOST SIGNIFICANT LOUDSPEAKERS OF ALL TIMEEquipment reportby TAS Staff | Sep 18th, 2010Categories:
For this special loudspeaker-focus issue, I asked our most senior contributors to each name the twelve loudspeakers that had the greatest impact on high-end audio. These are the speakers that introduced a new technology, changed the market, influenced future designs, or revealed some previously unheard aspect of sound quality. Although each writer worked in isolation, the individual choices exhibited remarkable unanimity. From each writer’s picks we selected, by consensus of the senior editorial staff, “The 12 Most Significant Loudspeakers of All Time.” Our final verdict is presented in ascending order of significance (#1 being the most significant). Robert Harley
6. Dahlquist DQ‑10
One should always be wary of pronouncing “firsts,” but, appearing in the early seventies, Jon Dahlquist’s DQ‑10 was to my knowledge the first dynamic speaker to employ multiple drivers in an open-baffle configuration (except the acoustic‑suspension woofer, which was enclosed) staggered for proper time‑alignment and phase coherence, in an attempt to realize the openness and freedom from boxiness that Dahlquist prized in his beloved Quad ESL-57s—with the added advantages of deeper bass and dynamic extension well beyond the Quad. (The physical resemblance to the Quad was both mandated by the design and an intentional homage.) Far from flawless (including conceptually), the DQ-10 was nevertheless a ground-breaking design that preceded dozens of subsequent speakers (perhaps most prominent among them models from KEF, B&W, Spica, Thiel, Vandersteen, and Wilson) continuing up to the present day. Few large, full-range dynamic speakers before or for some time afterward equaled its openness. Paul Seydor
First heard them at Opus One in Pittsburgh, where I grew up, when they were introduced. The owner, Tasso Spanos, was a lovely, passionate guy who really knew music and loved good quality gear. In the day, he was a big advocate of double KLH 9's and Marantz tube amps, then as the industry evolved in the early '70s, became an ARC dealer. The Dahlquists were featured as a top choice in his store, which was located on the main shopping boulevard in downtown- a choice location (but for the streetcar noise). Tasso had the first Monks cleaning machine I ever saw in action, was very early in the high-end video thing- using the Advent projection TV with some sort of delay line for faux multi-channel sound and was quite clever about putting together systems. His shop was one of my first experiences in the so-called "high-end" at the commercial level, apart from the stuff some folks were DIY'ing in their basements.
I owned a pair in the mid '80's - '90's, that I bought from Randy Cooley when he was in Venice 1/2 block from the boardwalk, they were mylar capped and mirror imaged. I drove them with a John Iverson Eagle 2 amp that I bought from a salesman at Dimension In Stereo in Torrance, he said he had worked at Electron Kinetics and modded them. The front end was a Luxman C-10 pre, Luxman T-10 tuner, Teac 3300 SR and a Thorens 165 table & Grado cart.
I remember that the local high-end store in Ann Arbor (college days), Mich. featured the Polk 10, DCM Time Window, and Dahlquist DQ-10. I wasn't familiar with any of those brands prior to that first visit. All three made an impression, but the DQ-10 was the one that lust worthy. It was also furthest from my virtually non-existent, college student gear budget.
Kenny I don’t get back to Pa very often- we were invited to an outdoor party in eastern Pa some years ago- it was a sort of pot luck/bonfire. I had forgotten that the preferred garb was camouflage hunting gear with orange day-glo hats, and everybody brought something they killed. After many years in NY, I’m splitting time in Texas, and plan to relocate there, so in some ways, it takes me back to my roots. The one thing about the ’Burgh that is universally recognizable- the accent. Some people manage to lose it, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met someone and after a few words, I’ll say: "You’re from Pittsburgh, right?" They often say " How’d younz know?" It did have its good points, and I know many of my peers stayed there. Was a good place to grow up in the ’60s. The rust belt decline in the ’70s was sad.
Carl Marchisotto of Nola and Alon fame worked with Jon Dahlquist on the DQ-10. DQ-10s were one of the first high end speakers I heard, driven by an Amber 70 amp. Very inspiring stuff at the time! Cheers,
PS: Kenny if you are still in the neighborhood, you might want to PM me, as I am President of Philadelphia Area Audio Group.
Whart - I too spent time in NY, Angelica then Rochester and from there to Maine. Glad I left because the gun laws got out of control. Now, I spend my time between Canada and Maine for work. Off to Paris tomorrow then Calais.
Sbank - I grew up in Malvern and when I am back in town I will most certainly look you up.
Small world for sure.
Samhar---what was the name of that small chain of Hi-Fi shops in SoCal, one of which Randy operated (the one in Venice) before starting Optimal Enchantment? I was a customer at the one on Sherman Way in Woodland Hills, at the North end of the San Fernando Valley. DCM Time Windows, NAD, etc.---high value, budget high-end brands. I still have my Eagle 2A and Dahlquist DQ-LP1 x/o! The Dahlquists always seemed to me be an attempt to make a dynamic version of the original Quad, which it sure looked like.
Yes, no secret the DQ-10 copied the exterior design of the Quad 57.
Early versions of the DQ-10 were produced with the same driver array for both channels, a common practice at the time. A local dealer, Audio Directions, developed a few mods, including the mirror image array, later adopted by the factory. I never knew if Jon Dahlquist was influenced by the store's demo or not? Also it was popular to replace that Motorola tweeter. And someone developed a wood box base that could be opened to the woofer to create a larger back cavity to extend the bass.
I remember being impressed by the demo at that store, but they were just out of my reach so I settled for early Vandersteen 2s.
Auditioned them at New York Audio Show 1974 based on strong recommendation from the AR (Acoustic Research) docent at the listening room that AR used to maintain at NewYork's Grand Central Station. At the 1974 show the Nakamichi (tape deck) room was using the Dahlquost DQ-10s to show off the new Nakamichi cassette decks. The crowd was in awe at the stunning musicality...myself included. Had wished I could afford a pair ($700 a pair at the time). Nowadays I drop that much on accessories.
I really enjoyed reading peoples recollection of the speakers. I remember hearing them for the first time as a teenager In a store called Ear Drum in Nanuet NY. It was amazing to hear what sounded like an actual guitar in front of you. there was actually a Tech Hi FI right next to it, which was more of my budget at the time.
i can remember trying to get my father to buy us Infinity 2.5’s after that, which he would have no part of. He loved music and stereo but wasn’t into high end. Maybe those early days of being deprived of quality gear (I did have Pioneer HPM-100’s) in junior high and high school has lead to my lust for great gear today.
I still to this day don’t know how I came to crave quality audio even as youngster. No one that I knew of had anything good, but we were all rapid music fans. I can remember reading Audio magazine on the bus in high school, but my brother still has the exact same system he had in high school 35 years ago.
I heard them in a friend of my sisters house, who worked at Harmony House in NYC. I cant remember the amp (or receiver) but I remember a Sony Tone Arm that totally blew my mind. he used a glass cake cover to go over his table, or at least, thats what it looked like. he played the most uninteresting piece of classical music I ever heard, and I was glued to and moved b y every single note. If thats not a compliment to those speakers, I don’t know what is. That experience pushed me into the high end, 40 years ago.
bdp24----The stores were named Accurate Audio. I still have an Eagle 2a that I bought a few years ago, my original had a problem, I took it to a repair shop in Culver City for repair where it has been for 5+ years. I gave him the name of the person back east that rebuilds and modifies Eagle amps but he chose not to listen to their advise, he knew better, and did his own thing, told me there was a problem, and I haven't seen it since. I'm back into the chase of him to get it back !!!
Yeah yeah, Accurate Audio. Back when all those little appointment-only one-man shops sprung up everywhere, selling budget high-end lines. Brooks Berdan left GNP in Pasadena and worked out of his house for a couple of years before getting his storefront in Monrovia.
That Eagle 2A is definitely worth getting back. The repair shop guy vamoosed?
Cerrot - was harmony house also a repair and computer place on the upper east side of Manhattan? If that’s the place it was there I first heard quad 63’s us. I walked In repair my mac Se computer and said hey are those electrostats (I had read about them). I was totally shocked even thoug they were run with a quad amp and standard radio shack speaker cables. I ended up buying a used Crosby moded 63 as my first high end system.
Yogi- so I guess you grew up in Rockland as well? You were either richer or older than me since I couldn’t afford anything from ear drum.
What did you borrow or buy from th em?
I don't know how many times I have had encounters with these. While in college in the 70s I went to a stereo store in Charlotte and heard them for the first time. I had previously lusted after Bose 901s but when I heard Stevie Wonder's Boogie On Reggae Woman on the DQ10s I was amazed at the detail I could hear with instruments and these became my new standard. In about 1980 a guy I worked with had a pair of DQ10s that he was driving with a pair of Sanyo amps, something like 200 watts each, along with a powered subwoofer, thinking how impressive it was at the time. In the mid-80s I went back to graduate school and my roommate had a pair of DQ10s that he drove with a Hafler SS amp and Dynaco tubed preamp. I haven't heard them for about 30 years and wonder how they would hold up today against better designs.
John Dahlquist was a frequent guest back in the Early 70's at the New York audiophile club. He frequently explained and demonstrated his Dq10 pre and post product model for us.
having said that, the loudspeaker was theoretically supposed to be a moving coil proximity of the quad 57. While it became the rave of Harry Pearson, the speaker was indeed colored and a touch stringent; nothing like a quad by any means. The Spendor BC1 made it look sound like a toy.
John lives on Long Island at present.
I have had my DQ10s since the middle 80’s and have been working on them every since. The crossovers were completely redone: boards and all as well as the wiring. Eventually I even did some by-pass caps with some well-known name brands used for their individual characteristics. I also did some customized wool felt baffle damping. In recent times I added a Fountek NeoX 1.0 Ribbon Tweeter with its own crossover board. Finally I bought a DBX DriveTrack PA2 to adjust the drivers to work with room acoustics and to fine tune any frequency to my hearing preferences. The detail and the imaging, not to mention the timbre of music is to me quite extraordinary, but like all audiophiles, I do like to experiment “carefully” and do so over time with a lot of research before doing so.
I am at a crossroads in my decision making with regard to the drivers. Technology has come a long way, and there are a lot of very good drivers out there with which to experiment. The original boards and drivers can be kept to fall back upon; however, working on the premise that the original design layout has a lot to do with the width and depth of the imaging, I still feel there is a lot for the design to offer and compete with the newer models . . . after all the crossover is the heart of any speaker.
The DBX has allowed the double subs (DQ1-Ws) to be totally controlled as a active system, and the subs blend completely into the main speakers quite well. The DQ10s have always been criticized for lacking bass; however, in this treatment, it has been remarked how good the bass on these really are. I got a demo disk from Legacy, which has a double bass going down into the basement . . . and the fullness, extension, and detail without distortion cannot be denied. Of course, I had the 13" Seas woofers (no longer made) re-coned and rebuilt. The DQ10s bass unit I did myself.
The neat thing about the DBX is its ability to wirelessly allow the operator to not only view real time frequency responses . . . but to have so many tools to fine tune the sound. The subtle nuances and the finer details like the tell-tail sound that audibly cue one's ears to the sound of real brass cymbals, not to mention the harmonics and decay of the piano strings, really catch one’s ears when one hears these finer details being reproduced from recordings that were not seemingly there before.
The final question is: just how much more can one invest to improve these classics, and how much of a competitive edge do these “ole boys” still have with these young whipper snappers? Perhaps my quest for these classics to shine even more, will provide the answer to that question as this “ole boy” still enjoys his DQ10s!
It was 'Harmony House II' and they were on the upper west side, definitely on York Ave., can't remember how far up, but pretty sure in the 60's. It was pure high end audio. It was the first time I saw listening rooms in a hifi store. It was 1975. NY in its hi-f hay day. You walked the streets of Canal street with Scott tuners being displayed on the sidewalk...
Harmony House was on York Avenue, around 62nd street, and yes they did repairs too. I was a grad student in that area 1974-1979, and happened to wander in there, was hooked. They had great stuff, and would have designers/manufacturers in. Joe Grado was there once showing his new Signature cartridge, I think it was $200, and shocking at that high price. Someone asked him about its being fragile so he took the head shell off the arm and threw it across the room to dispel that rumor. They have Harold Beveridge in to show his speakers, so very many. I bought my first high end stuff there, they had Rapport, many many high end items, a truly wonderful store.
In 1974-'76 I worked part-time for Tasso Spanos at Opus One (Pittsburgh), mostly in his Indiana, PA store while an undergraduate student at IUP. Occasionally I'd slide down to Pittsburgh for a day or two of duty downtown. For everyone younger, in those days, hi-fi stores were vastly more common and distributed than today, and university towns had many competitors. We Boomers bought hi-fi in vast numbers then, usually before we bought our first used cars, and with a campus of 12,000 of us at the time, Opus One pushed a lot of audio into rural western Pennsylvania from Tasso's Indiana,PA outpost.
Opus One was one of the early retail laboratories for what came to be known as "high end audio" in the mid 1970s. We promoted the Double Advent system before Harry wrote about it. As someone else noted here, Tasso was an advocate of the double KLH 9 system earlier, and we always had a pair from trade-in against something newer, like Magneplanar Tympani III-a, or sometimes even a pair of Dahlquist DQ10. Or, of course, double Dahlquist DQ10s in the spirit of the Levinson Double Quads system. And yes, Opus One had the Advent Videobeam and the Betamax VCR.
We were very early sellers of Linn. We sold the Transcriptors Saturn and Glass Skeleton turntables, with the Vestigal tonearm. Early Nakamichi along with Tandberg, ReVox, Stellavox, Nagra tape machines. Early too with Audio Research, Mark Levinson, db Systems. Tasso had a long-time association with Marantz, which by the mid-70s was more powerhouse mid-fi brand than high-end, except for the fact that we did see and sell a mammoth Marantz 500 and later 510 power amp now and then. Pristine Marantz Seven ("c") preamps came through, often traded-in for an ARC SP3a-1. We were among the retail pioneers for Koetsu and Win Labs in the US, along with Supex, Decca, Micro-Acoustics, and we moved a river of Shure V15-III, ADC-XLM and Denon 103D cartridges. It was an exciting time to be in the business and specifically in Tasso's business since his relationships with primary vendors and the individuals who founded namesake firms ran throughout the industry. Saul Marantz was involved with Jon Dahlquist, so Tasso got DQ10s early. He was also one of the earliest recipients of the Sequerra tuner for retail.
In our campus store, a large craftsman-style house, for a couple of years our default centerpiece system was a pair of Dahlquist DQ10s driven by either a pair of Julius Futterman (real Julius, not the 1980s Harvey Rosenberg iteration) OTL monoblocks or an Audio Research Dual 76A. The preamp was usually either an ARC SP3a-1, Levinson JC-2 or a mint Marantz Seven. Sources were variously Linn Sondek with Transcriptor Vestigal arm and Denon 103D phono cartridge into a Levinson pre-preamp or a Monks step-up transformer, Thorens TD-126c with Shure V15-III direct into the preamp, or a Thorens TD-124 idler drive with Ortofon RMG arm carrying an SPU. We also had at all times a Nak 700 or 1000, and a Tandberg 10XD or ReVox B77 reel installed. For blasting the walls down, we sometimes drafted a Marantz 500 or SAE 2500 brute amp for untroublesome muscle.
The Dahlquist DQ10 was compact for a floorstander of the time, and versatile in the budgets, expectations and listening preferences it would satisfy. For a small extra charge we exactingly mirror-imaged the open-baffle array. A standard mod was to pull a Gold Toe black dress sock over the piezo supertweeter, which calmed its tizz and mitigated its tendency to beam. The Dahquist DQ10 -- at the time $695/pr. -- anchored ambitious student systems with Marantz 2270 or Tandberg 2075 receivers and Kenwood turntables with Shure V15-III cartridges, as well as audiophile or relatively deep-pockets serious music systems employing Audio Research SP3a-1/Dual 76A ($2000 at the time), Linn Sondek/SME 3009/Koetsu/Levinson step-up, and a Nak 700 or Tandberg 10XD lashed on as well. For its time, and given its 5-way crossover, the Dahlquist had tremendous appeal and ability to satisfy for its at-the-time revelatory articulation, soundstaging and - unlike Quad ESL - credible powerhandling for dynamics. At Opus One, your system choices were more often than not organized around an Advent speaker, the Dahlquist, or a Magneplanar, as resources and space allowed.
It was a time when over a roughly six year period, there was a sea change in tonal and transient fidelity over the most revered gear available a just half to full decade earlier. Those years set the stage for what became "high-end," and were in their way the years of greatest rate of change since the foundation years of hi-fi. On balance, the improvements introduced to hi-fi buyers between roughly 1972 - 1978 made improvements in any other six year period since seem just annually incremental. There have just been many, many relentless increments since then. The CD was a quake of sorts. There were landmark products earlier and later. But like rock between roughly 1964 - '69 when big steps forward seemed to come every week, hi-fi in the middle '70s was tearing away obfuscations of convincing musicality at a torrid pace. The DQ10 was one of the slashers. Ironically, it was about the same time I also heard the Rogers LS3/5a at Opus One, plus an open baffle full-range-driver array by a customer who worked at the Rola-Jensen factory in nearby Punxsutawney, using eight Jensen paper cone car drivers per stereo channel, the Gale 401A, various Altec and Lansing vintage speakers from Tasso's long trade-in history, and many other discoveries that hinted at the splintered paths to come.
Opus One's Indiana store was opened by Jim Wallace, who had been a young customer of Tasso's in Pittsburgh before moving to Indiana, PA, and its operation was continued by Jon Barletta until that store was closed due to loss of lease. Tasso lost Opus One in Pittsburgh in the great grind-down of independent retailers in the '80s, when hi-fi also lost its mass appeal.
My brother still has a pair of Dahlquist DQ10s that I sold to a customer/friend in 1976, and have been in continuous use since, along the way refurbed by Regnar.
I first heard them in the mid-70s in Des Moines, IA. I owned Infinity 2000A hybrid electrostats at the time and the shop invited me to bring them over after they closed so we could compare. I thought both speakers acquitted themselves well that evening, but I was very impressed with the Dahlquists. Shortly thereafter my roommate bought a pair of 2000As and we ran them stacked driven by a Marantz solid state amplifier, which had a lot of power, but which I finally realized sounded horrendous on top. A move to the SF Bay Area in the early 80s found me speakerless and after messing with a Polk Audio sub-sat system for a while, I found a used pair of DQ-10s which I plopped down onto black-painted cinder blocks as they had no stands. I enjoyed them for a number of years and I later sold them to a friend. They ended up in our startup company office around 1996 and at some point they disappeared in favor of an in-ceiling setup. Clearly, I have never forgotten them and I would love to hear an updated pair...
I did meet Marc at Opus One, but we spent very little time f2f since I was in Indiana and only seldom in Pittsburgh. I had more time with Doug Smith, in part because he drove his Lotus Elan (not so old then) up to Indiana from time to time, usually bringing a some Glenlivet with him to share with me, Denny, Rich and Jon (Barletta) in the Indiana store. It's likely Marc wouldn't remember me at all, except possibly for hearing I sold a hell of a lot of gear!
All in all, I was amazed to find out Tasso is still kicking, given his intensity, blood pressure, excitability and elevated heartbeat! The pain management therapy realm he's been involved in is the kind of logical extension you'd expect for his post-hifi days. Tasso was never happier than when he was simultaneously sharing, helping, proselytizing and convincing someone of a PoV he held dear.
Tasso taught his mind to interpret sound and mine convincing fidelity from any scrap of aural evidence available to him, and then judge the relative merits of the soundchain that produced it. At a time when people were thinking about individual components, Tasso sold synergies and systems, everything being imperfect to start with. It led to Opus One having the most unusually pure selection of convincing sound for the era, of any store I'd experienced in that era. I learned acute discernment in audio quickly working for him and with people around him who he had trained to listen. Opus One employees developed a fast, reliable "ear."
I sure remember them. I worked at Stereo Mart on Anaheim Blvd 1975-6. The store was a satellite of Audio Associates of Pasadena, started in the ’40s and claimed to be the oldest high fidelity store in Southern California. We had most of the big players of the time (e.g., Marantz, Revox, JBL, Ohm, Tandberg, Sequerra, Infinity, Altec-Lansing, ESS, B&O, Accuphase, Kenwood, Dual, Technics DD TTs, Philips, Nakamichi, etc.) and that included Dahlquist. We were always on the mfrs’ demo stopping points, and that included Saul Marantz stopping by for a half-day event demonstrating his (and Jon Dahlquist’s) new Dahlquist 10 speakers.
I had been an audio enthusiast for five years by then but the combination of the Marantz 1600 preamp (from their USA-made Pro line) and Dahlquist’s phased array speakers introduced me to the sound of 3D imaging, where you could hear not just a left-to-right sweep, but also front-to-back. We loved the Dahlquists; they sounded so much more real and threw that 3D soundstage that pulled you right into the music.
Rather than keeping the DQ-10s on the floor with their little feet, we were placing them on the Bose pedestals to increase the clarity and imaging. Around that same time Dahlquist came out with much better and cosmetically matching stands, which we switched to.
I was able to talk at some length with Mr. Marantz, who was a great guy to hang with. He mentioned that they were working on another base or stand for the DQ-10s which would house subwoofers, turning them into 6-way speakers. Dahlquist did come out with the DQ-1, a sub for the DQ-10s, but it was box-shaped and not an integrated base for the DQ-10. I never heard the DQ-10s with it because I moved onto another store before they came out.
I asked Mr. Marantz if he had any musical background that inspired him to do high end audio. He said he played classical guitar and mentioned that several of the other high-fi pioneers were musicians as well, mentioning that Avery Fisher was a violinist and Joe Grado an opera tenor.
We usually used a Beogram linear tracking turntable in our "high end" room, but when we got ahold of a Fidelity Research LOMC, we mounted it on a new Marantz 6300 DD turntable with Supex steup-up transformer. This was our source for playing the music for the demo and Saul was quite impressed with the sound of the rig. We used either Accuphase separates or the Marantz Pro 1600 preamp and one of their power amps to drive the DQ-10s.
Later the store picked up B&G electronics and the evening crew found that when you put a pair of their amps in mono mode making 500 wpc, "the Dahlquists really opened up!"
I have a guitar-playing buddy whose home system sources from a turntable playing a pair of DQ-20s powered by a Phase Linear 700. It's a good-sounding rig and doesn't sound particularly dated. My impression is that the DQ-20 is smoother and more refined than the DQ-10, as would be expected.
I heard them in the early 70's at a friends house of my brother's. It was the first high end system I heard and it was great. Nelson Pass amp and Preamp with a Lynn Turntable. He played Paul Simon's Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard. I could not believe how open and discovered imaging for the first time.
Does anyone remember HIFi Haven in New Brunswick, NJ
Yup, that was a great store. Afterwords, lunch (or dinner) with drinks at Tumultes which is still there, though not in its original location.