SPEAKER FORUMS >> DNA Horn >> Decware DNA Horns

Message started by Steve Deckert on 05/25/11 at 12:53:37

Title: Decware DNA Horns
Post by Steve Deckert on 05/25/11 at 12:53:37

Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by deucekazoo on 05/25/11 at 13:31:36

Beautiful, can't wait to hear these!

Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by Lon on 05/25/11 at 15:26:58

Well, this is a surprising addition to the line. Not my cup of tea, but I know there are many followers of this type of speaker. And in a small room with the amps built in, probably a stunning performer. Will be interesting to see how this performs from early adopters. Hope it's a success!

Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by Pale Rider on 05/25/11 at 16:31:48

Wow. And I just earlier today pushed the button on my two other pairs of ERRs. I have to look at this.

Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by Pale Rider on 05/25/11 at 16:40:23

Well, that is one impressive looking speaker. And I suspect it sounds excellent. Bravo Steve!

But…………. I think I am going to stick with the ERRs.

Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by DougK on 05/26/11 at 22:49:22

I'm curious how this speaker compares to some of the others in the Decware lineup.  I also just recently purchased the ERRs, and while I'm very satisfied with them, I'm curious how to evaluate the speakers against each other.

From looking at the drawings from the DNA paper, the entire speaker is listed as being approx. 28" tall.  That's crazy small, should they be put on center channel stands to get them up to ear level, or will they work as is?  

Assuming one is using the Torii Mk III and a CD player to drive the speakers, can you compare/contrast the MG944s, ERRs, HDT, and DNA speakers?  How should we select between so many good options?

Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by Steve Deckert on 05/28/11 at 04:22:57

It's almost embarrassing to say this, but I've been wanting to do a video A/B comparison with all the Decware speakers for over 2 years already....  and will the first weekend I can steal two days of solitude...

I've learned from watching some of the CES and Rocky Mountain show reports on video that you can hear almost more about the speaker through the video sound track than in person.  

Until then, I'll give it my best shot at a simple explanative description of the speaker's sound.

DNA - This is the least efficient speaker we've ever done. Too low in fact for a long term relationship with a 2 watt Zen Triode Amplifier. So why go there... because in this case the sound is so unusually good that it's worth it.  6 watts will fill a healthy size listening room with good density so we felt it's still a go.

Of course with the lower sensitivity comes the smoothest frequency response of the Decware line of speakers.  It's just flawless and shout proof.  You get the forgiving nature of a less sensitive speaker with the attack and detail of a high efficiency speaker because the moving mass is only 7 grams and it's fully horn loaded.  Kind of the best of both worlds really.  Also next to the FRX driver, the most advanced and expensive driver used in a Decware Speaker.

MG944 - By comparison a pretty significant jump in volume compared to the DNA, around 5 dB.  And while the MG944 are one of the smoothest speakers we make, they come off a bit edgy by comparison to the DNA when listened to on a less than perfect source material.  Again ironic because you actually hear more detail from the DNA.  And while famous for it's deep bass extension the MG944's are unable to outperform the DNA until you reach a higher power level at which point you have a speaker that can clearly get louder and hold together under stress.

The imaging between the two speakers are equally focused and while the MTM arrangement of the 944's always had the best and most pin point image density, the DNA is slightly better and when you get your head out of the vise - really better.  Image depth is prominent throughout the listening space, not just an effect heard in the sweet spot.  In this respect they are similar to the ERR's which are a radial speaker.  Image height and width are better with the DNA despite being only 24 inches to the center of the driver vs, the MG944 being probably closer to 38 inches.  This is with the speakers flat on the floor and of course both can be tilted back to further enhance this effect.

The HDT is conservatively rated at 96dB and has similar speed and attack to the DNA so it sounds like a DNA on super juice.  Gets loud, handles power, and by far has the most presence giving music the most slam for it's size.  Great bass, plenty low, tight.  Although not quiet as extended as the DNA and perhaps a bit harder to set up, it is the clear winner when you want to hear music sound loud and live on lower power amplifiers.  All else being equal if the DNA driver had the same efficiency as the HDT it would probably  embarrass it pretty bad.  If I want to hear changes in an amplifier during the voicing phases when trying different capacitors and resistors I use the HDT's for their unusual honesty and presence.  I could easily use the ERR's or MG944's but it would just take longer.  Instead of hearing what I did in 90 seconds it would take 10 minutes or more on the other speakers.  DNA could be an exception, haven't tried voicing an amplifier with them in the mix yet.

ERR - The most laid back presentation of the group with imaging as good as the DNA but from almost everywhere.  By far the easiest to set up and the hardest to make sound bad due to the impossible to collapse 3D imaging and the warmer bottom they bring to the sound.  The ideal speaker for bright rooms, and the only one I would recommend besides the DM945's and now the DNA's because they're just so smooth it's going to be hard to aggravate their sound with a bright room.  Got glass, get ERR's and through the magic of a radial wavefront make it actually work for you rather than against you.

Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by Hotsauce on 05/28/11 at 11:44:20

Would there be an advantage to flush mounting the driver, like the change done to the DM944?

John C.

Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by Steve Deckert on 05/29/11 at 03:12:16

My plan was to flush mount it, and same with the ZOB's new FRX driver, however after measuring the response I felt it wasn't needed.  I'd say it's a cosmetic issue in both cases and I'm not sure which I would actually prefer.


Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by Brad on 05/30/11 at 04:33:18

Hi Steve! long time.  

The obvious question is if you will sell the cabinet plans for the DIY crowd?  

Second question which is prob a stupid idea but I'll ask it anyway... given the size of the baffle and "compression chamber" could you use two drivers to increase the efficiency?  I know the cabinet internals would prob have to be tweaked a bit.  I've heard people talk about the cancellation effects at high frequencies - creating holes in the imaging - but then I've also seen speakers like that which shouldn't work but do.  Eg, I was just reading about the Clairaudient 2+2 which uses two 3" FR drivers and has gotten almost unanimous praise (at the shows at least).  So what's the story here on the cancellation thing?  Is it just getting the spacing between drivers correct or does it also depend on the distance of speaker to listener?

[edit] forget the Clairaudient comment - I just realized it uses two front and two backward firing drivers in addition to side firing mid-woof (10 total drivers!)... so Omni-directional prob has big effect on that one imaging.  But the question about two forward firing drivers and cancellation effects still stands for the DNA - could it work?  And/or would it require a completely new cabinet design?

Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by Brad on 05/30/11 at 04:51:59

[edit] example related to my above question (this is not the DNA! :) ) LOL...

Btw, forgot to congrat you on a design that I'm sure sounds very nice. and sorry if I led this thread astray a bit.

Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by Pale Rider on 05/30/11 at 17:37:46

Steve's summary description above is very helpful; reminds me of the "which amplifier" guide. Would love to see a video A/B/C/D comparison of the speakers. After mine are built, of course. ;-)

Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by Steve Deckert on 06/04/11 at 18:14:10

Efficiency isn't the ultimate goal with this design.  It's sound quality, imaging, and bass extension.  If I were willing to have weak bass response that becomes non-existent below 50 Hz,  I could easily get a sensitivity of > 95dB with a different driver, but it would be a crime in this enclosure design to not make use of it's impressive low bass potential.


Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by stevef on 06/06/11 at 05:37:07

An interesting design. Kind of reminds me of some of Bud Fried's work.  Zen Fest is going to be very special this year.

Steve F

Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by Pale Rider on 06/06/11 at 14:06:07

Speaking of which, has anyone heard/seen any announcement or plans for ZenFest?

Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by Steve Deckert on 06/07/11 at 06:19:30

Decfest is always the first weekend of October, Fri, Sat, Sun.

Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by Pale Rider on 06/07/11 at 14:22:10

Thanks Steve. I missed the regularity of the ritual. October 1 is a Saturday. That weekend or October 7-9?

Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by Steve Deckert on 06/08/11 at 13:09:18

Oct 7 ~ 9

Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by Donnie on 06/10/11 at 00:47:44

That is my birthday weekend! Is there cake to be had?

Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by Chris K on 06/10/11 at 01:56:05

Even I can vouch that you'll have a wonderful birthday at DecFest. DeVon is the hostess thats the mostest! If she knows its ur birthday I'd bet a cake will shows up! That's if you show up Donnie. ;)

Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by Donnie on 06/10/11 at 02:27:41

I can't imagine not being there. E. Peoria is 1 hr 22 min from my house. I want to hear what my stereo should sound like.

Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by stevef on 07/12/11 at 19:39:40

Okay everybody, who has pulled the trigger on DNA speakers?  Any owner comments yet?


Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by Pale Rider on 07/12/11 at 20:45:01

I saw an order or two on the speaker list, but nothing delivered yet.

Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by Rivieraranch on 08/12/11 at 03:35:11

My birthday is October 8th

Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by Costas on 09/08/11 at 20:12:01

Hey, guys...
Any feedback on the DNAs yet?
Any reviews or even initial impressions?
I can't wait to hear what people think of this design...

Title: DNA Horn wood
Post by seemtorecall on 08/31/13 at 21:51:49

Can anybody tell me if the speakers are constructed from solid wood or is it plywood with a thin layer of nice wood glued on the outside? Any input would be greatly appreciated!


Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by ZYGI on 09/01/13 at 23:31:30


1/2" material sides, back and horn itself. 3/4" baffle board, extra 3/4" top and an 1-1/2" base.

Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by seemtorecall on 09/09/13 at 22:27:57

Thank You Zygi, I appreciate it.

Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by friscopelo on 10/23/13 at 19:04:59

Hello everyone,
I recently bought the plans of the DNA and i'm building a model in sketchup for construction purposes. i seem to lack a few measurements. Can anyone help me i don't have the distance for the last two horizontal lines that enable one to place the first corner of the horn or the top part of the compression chamber.

i'm referring myself at the top part of page 5 of the plans.

Thank you for your help.

Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by ZYGI on 10/25/13 at 01:30:33


I don't have the plans you have, can you email me a scan of what you are speaking of (zygi@decwaredotcom)

I'll get back to you tomorrow....


Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by seemtorecall on 04/24/17 at 16:39:57

I finished these speakers two weeks ago, my dad and I build a set each, very pleased so far, the bass extention is quite suprising, low and clean as promised, I find it odd there is not more information online about user impressions etc. of these speakers, they are quite special I think.

Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by Steve Deckert on 04/25/17 at 01:32:03

Thank you for taking the time to post your feedback!  The DNA horn plans have been our most popular DIY plans for the past 2 years with several hundred having been sold. Sadly most are not forum posters, at least not on this forum so we never get to read about their results, so again thank you!


Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by seemtorecall on 04/25/17 at 21:00:32

Of course Steve! Thank you for the design :)

Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by Earl Dunbar on 08/09/18 at 18:18:09

Hello All.  I have a SE84UFO on order and am now thinking about speakers. My room is small and not specifically sound treated.  The room is approximately 12 x 15 with a 9 foot ceiling.  Furniture consists of a futon, a couple of drawer units on casters, an open frame desk with an iMac, and a second display that is wall mounted.  On the drawer units are a flatbed scanner and a laser printer.  There is also an end table, so there are lots of reflecting surfaces.

The media system consists of a 39" television that is wall mounted.  Below is a small, open media stand for a turntable, Teac DAC, DVD/SACD player, satellite receiver.  Currently power is a Fisher 500C, which will be replaced with the SE84UFO.  

On either side of the media stand are double 15" storage cubes to store LPs, CDs, DVDs, books, etc.  The cube units are 28" tall. On top of each are my current speakers, 2-way 6" bookshelf units that are front ported at, if memory services, about 85dB sensitivity.

The setup is along the longer dimension, opposite the futon.  Behind the futon is a window, which currently has vertical blinds that are almost always closed. Another window, also with the vertical blinds, is along the end wall to the left of the futon.

Obviously the speakers will need to be replaced. Having read about both the 945s and the DNAs, I am wondering if either are a better choice.

My initial thought was to seek out some used, vintage high efficiency bookshelf speakers such as Coral, Pioneer, etc. The DECware 945s are attractively priced, but I am concerned about low end response.  I'm not a bass freak by any means; I listen to a lot of jazz, classic rock, folk and alternative, e.g., singer/songwriter ... and I do listen to classical from time to time.

The DNAs really appeal to me because of the sonic qualities that are attributed to them, and the low end response which would serve well when I can move the system into a larger room. However, the DNAs don't appear to be as efficient, so I'm not sure how they would work in a room about 15 x 22 or slightly larger.

I don't have a lot of flexibility to move furniture around in the current room, so installing DNAs on the storage cubes might place them a bit high - I suppose I could shim them very slightly at the back, but would that even be necessary or advisable?

While I want to give more business to Steve and the gang, maybe I should stand pat with some high sensitivity "golden age" bookshelf units until a larger room (and budget) dictate a change.


Title: Re: Decware DNA Horns
Post by 4krow on 10/07/18 at 21:35:23

A photo of the room would help a lot. In the end, it is how THAT speaker sounds in the room, and how much YOU like it. All things being equal, there is no 'best' speaker.

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