Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register
Decware Audio Forums
09/02/14 at 03:02:56


Pages: 1
Send Topic Print
Decware DM 944 Bookshelf Speakers revealed (Read 5840 times)
RFZ_Quest
Ex Member



Decware DM 944 Bookshelf Speakers revealed
08/28/06 at 05:05:46
 
Decware DM 944 Bookshelf Speakers
[/color]

I had the opportunity earlier this year to evaluate this set of compact 2-way bookshelf speakers which sound anything BUT compact. These measure at 8 inches wide by 10 inches deep by 16 inches high. Ideal in size and performance for smaller rooms and apartment living where space and placement restrictions are a major factor.

These cabinets are very sturdy in construction and the build quality is excellent. Three quarter inch thick MDF comprises the general structure material with a very attractive real wood veneer finish applied in natural or black oak as standard order. *Custom finishes are available upon request and priced accordingly. The set that I evaluated were finished in natural oak and had that nice neutral appearance that goes with any décor.  

These can of course be placed upon shelves if so desired but I recommend placing them upon floor standing speaker stands which will elevate them to the proper listening height, lessening the effects of surrounding elements. It is always best if the speakers can be placed centered within the room and distanced from hard surfaces such as being too close to the surrounding walls. This arrangement will definitely bring the best results acoustically but if this is not an option, satisfactory results can be had otherwise. If you are seeking the best possible room coupling for optimal performance, the free standing centered option is the way to go.

The primary objectives for this speaker design besides the obvious factor of its small size are to make this cabinet perform to a degree that one would perceive as a much larger set of high quality speakers. These were specifically engineered to produce high end sound with extreme efficiency while still maintaining  small stature in overall size.

This is a task of rare proportion as most speakers in this category simply cannot compete on the same level and definitely nowhere near this price range. I have heard speakers in this size category from other manufacturers with many  sounding quite decent. However, most fell short within the critical aspect so crucial for use with tube based amplifiers. EFFICIENCY!! At 94 dB with 1 watt at 1 meter, this available sensitivity makes for an extremely easy load to the driving amplifier and is far superior to what is common in the competition. To produce decent sound levels for less efficient speakers, this requires a substantial increase in power demand which typically dissipates into wasted heat energy!  Many  speakers of this size are rated typically as low as 87 to 89 dB in range and that makes a world of difference.  A  3dB increase in efficiency effectively reduces the required power level by ½ for each frequency band and that represents a major portion of applied power that no longer dissipates as thermal waste. As efficiency rises, much less power is required to produce the same desired sound pressure levels.

The DM 944 models like all other Decware designs, are perfect companions for low powered amplifiers such as the popular Single-Ended-Triode types. Properly designed S.E.T. amplifiers are the ultimate choice in a purist approach to sound quality. The power ratings for this type of amplifier necessitate the need for high efficiency speakers. With proper matching, a couple of quality watts is more than sufficient to produce full bodied rich sound within a room at volume levels that would surprise many.

A major contribution to this speakers fidelity can be attributed to the choice of drivers and the practical elimination of power robbing crossover networks. It may come as a surprise to you that these drivers are the same combination as used in the larger high definition HDT MKII cabinets.  

Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 12/14/07 at 04:19:50 by Steve Deckert »  
  IP Logged
RFZ_Quest
Ex Member



Re: Decware DM 944 Bookshelf Speakers revealed
Reply #1 - 08/28/06 at 05:07:50
 
Crossovers are a necessary part of most speaker designs and are generally of substandard quality in commercial offerings. Rendering compromise to the signal passage, the perceived outcome of the musical waveform suffers, therefore altering the sound from its natural form. The natural timbre is subjected to alteration and fine inner detail is often lost in the process.

It is a safe assumption that if the crossover network was to be eliminated from the signal path, therefore the compromise as well. This is another great aspect to the design of the Decware speaker line as you will find very little need for crossover networks within these fine cabinet designs as they were engineered to perform as full range units. Any degree of dampening conversion is accomplished through ingenious mechanical means rather than that of electrical deviation to the signal. This means that you hear untainted sound  as it was produced by the driving amplifier in all of its glory.

This particular set of drivers are of the right parameters to pull this off from such a small set of enclosures. The main driver runs completely unrestricted and full range. The addition of a supplemental high frequency ribbon transducer augments this driver for a finer presentation of detail in the upper registers. Only here will you see any addition of components to the signal path as we do not want the ribbon element to be subjected outside of a very narrow frequency range. The addition of a single capacitor is required here which solely effects the ribbon element without any effect upon the full range driver in the critical mid-range band. The main driver remains active throughout the upper limits of the hearing threshold for which is most responsive in human audibility. This is a well executed  6dB 4th order cabinet with the upper frequencies set to crossover at 8 kHz. A very high quality polypropylene film & foil capacitor has been chosen to accomplish this task and that is the extent of it! Pure and simple with a liquid transitioning of sound from signal to musical reproduction as it was intended to be heard.

I evaluated this set of speakers placed upon floor stands which placed them at ear level. The speakers were positioned approximately six feet apart and toed in slightly toward my listening position at about eight feet away. The room dimensions measured 19 ft L by 12 ft W by 8 ft D  representing the typical to average size room. Plenty of open space was allowed to free-up the perimeter of the speaker location with as much distance from surrounding walls as possible.

This is a fairly large room for a speaker of this size but to my amazement, the DM 944’s are up to the task, producing very coherent musical qualities to a degree which places them in the league of much larger speakers. I had my doubts as to how this small cabinet size could possibly allow them to perform on this level. This definitely became a revelation to me as once again, Decware design implementation has proven the concept of “thinking outside of the box” (literally).
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 12/14/07 at 04:20:20 by Steve Deckert »  
  IP Logged
RFZ_Quest
Ex Member



Re: Decware DM 944 Bookshelf Speakers revealed
Reply #2 - 08/28/06 at 05:11:55
 
To drive these speakers, I kept to the basics with a signal path optimally short and clean. The components involved are engineered to exact standards and  coupled in unison with absolute impedance matching which greatly effects a systems synergy perception.

Starting with the well balanced tube D.A.C. from the Dec685 digital source, the signals are again buffered through the Decware ZSLA line stage, providing the appropriate gain control for the signals entering the amplification stage. The amplifiers chosen for this evaluation are the world class Decware SV83M- (Dual Core Transformer) Single-Ended-Triode Mono-Blocks. These have a tube configuration consisting of SV83 or EL84 output tubes in a trio array per amp. The driver tube can be either 6N1P, 6922 or 6DJ8. The rectifier tube is a 5U4G type.

For this test, I installed a fresh set of Ei Elite (gold pin) EL84EG tubes with all six balanced and matched equally between the two mono-blocks. The driver tubes chosen were Ei Elite (gold pin) 6DJ8EG’s and rectification was handled by a set of n.o.s. RCA 5U4GB tubes.

The entire signal chain consists of vacuum tube processing from the DAC conversion stage all the way to the speaker inputs.

The S.E.T. amplifiers produce roughly 3 watts per channel in normal mode continuously, with additional headroom to spare on short demand. With a flick of the switch, the dual-core transformers are engaged for a considerable boost in “usable” power which is worth an additional couple of watts per channel. Not only is there an increase of dynamic headroom, but along with this mode comes a more stunning sense of holographic imaging. The lower frequency extension also takes on a higher degree of depth and definition. I have always preferred this mode and have rarely listened to the standard setting for any length of time. This was the power option that put these amps on the top of the hierarchy when they were introduced several years ago. I chose to use these amps not only for their pristine sound quality but most importantly as a direct test of the DM944‘s actual efficiency. Efficiency ratings are one thing but the true test waits to be revealed through actual demonstration.

Keep in mind that these are very small enclosures with a rated 55Hz ~ 22kHz frequency range  with  a 4 ohm nominal impedance rating. An important aspect of the signature mono-blocks is that they actually increase their power potential as the impedance factor decreases! These amps work very well with 4 ohm speakers. 55Hz is not exactly low frequency territory but for a cabinet of these limited dimensions, that is an incredible limit when considered as a flat response. I can assure you that these produce audible sound below that figure, just not to the degree of the larger models which have much more internal volume. What do you expect within its class, you cannot defy the laws of physics although this example tries to bend practical theory out of the realm.

[/color]
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 12/14/07 at 04:20:46 by Steve Deckert »  
  IP Logged
RFZ_Quest
Ex Member



Re: Decware DM 944 Bookshelf Speakers revealed
Reply #3 - 08/28/06 at 05:14:53
 
I actually listened to these speakers for three consecutive days and grew quite fond of their sound. I never once felt compelled to swap back in any of their larger brethren. Although it was apparent for which I was lacking in the lower registers between the two, it did not matter as everything from 55 Hz on up justified the listening experience to a level which is hard to beat. Although I did not augment these with a subwoofer, it would be my conception to believe that a small subwoofer such as the Decware death box designed for mobile use would round out the lower extension rather nicely and would provide an exceptional degree of balance to the DM 944’s performance. The Decware radial subwoofer model Zrsub would be even better. Of course, if one was to have the WO32 in addition to these speakers, it would become the ultimate fidelity match for which to mate with them. I am not saying that the use of a sub is mandatory but merely an integral part if frequencies below 55Hz are to be realized with great finesse. It all comes down to personal preference and the type of musical passages presented. For music practically void of low level information, it does not matter anyway.

My primary listening sessions involved a range of music style from classical to new age offerings and a dose of classic rock thrown in to make for a diverse mix. The primary source consisted of digital material from standard compact discs to the ultimate SACD format with premium DSD mastered recordings.

I find the presentation of the DM944 speakers to be quite smooth and well rounded within their specified range. Never once did I experience listener fatigue or notice any shortcomings to their sound. As I have a great deal of experience with the much higher rated speaker line from Decware, these become a great reference for which to judge the smaller models. Considering the substantial difference in price from the more expensive models, the performance that I heard by comparison easily qualifies the DM944 models as an exceptional value and one that I doubt could be matched by any other contender in its category. Remember, these speakers house the same high quality drivers as installed in the top rated HDT MK2 models at a bargain price by comparison. Do not expect these to perform like the HDT MK2’s but be satisfied knowing that you have the same high quality drivers and build construction in the bookshelf models.

I never had to push the single-ended-triode amplifiers past moderate levels to provide sufficiently strong sound pressure levels. The sound never showed signs of stress and they proved to be an easy load for the amps to handle. That sums up their ability to prove the designated efficiency ratings for which they are claimed to have. A few quality watts can really make these speakers sing and that they do effortlessly! As can be expected, the imaging properties have shown to be top notch with a clarity in definition that compares to the higher class of speakers.
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 12/14/07 at 04:21:12 by Steve Deckert »  
  IP Logged
RFZ_Quest
Ex Member



Re: Decware DM 944 Bookshelf Speakers revealed
Reply #4 - 08/28/06 at 05:16:55
 
As a final addition to the evaluation, I drove these speakers with the new TORII MK2 push-pull amp rated at 25watts per channel and it proved to be more than an abundant source of power to drive these. I barely had to use any volume input at all with probably no more than 25 percent of available power to bring the DM 944’s to incredible sound levels which is much more powerful than one would surmise for something this small. Further extension of the lower frequency range opened up to a new degree with a punch that will get you involved with a great deal of enthusiasm. A higher degree of bass definition was noticeable at the lower end of the spectrum with a level of vibrancy revealing a very realistic feel for the music presented. The power rating for the TORII MK2 was overkill in essence, but that extra dose of sonic enhancement really brought these speakers to life without any trace of being overdriven. These will answer the call when put to the test and I believe they have the ruggedness to withstand many, many years of continued use before showing any signs of failure.

I would not hesitate for one moment in recommending these for serious audio reproduction and would consider these in a quad formation as an excellent home theatre surround speaker as well. They made my NHT monitors sound sick and congested by comparison and those do not even come close to generating the presence for which these will with the same or even higher levels of power. This is where you really start to take notice of the special qualities which prevail within this design.

In general, if you are seeking a no compromise speaker in a compact design with incredible sound qualities to match, that speaker would be the DM944 bookshelf model without the limitations of typical bookshelf design.



NOTE: These posts were edited to remove the color=beige so that people using the default forum template could read the text.  -Steve
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 12/14/07 at 04:22:48 by Steve Deckert »  
  IP Logged
Yo-Han
Ex Member



Re: Decware DM 944 Bookshelf Speakers revealed
Reply #5 - 08/28/06 at 21:32:32
 
thx!! reviews about these speakers are rare or non existing on the net...on a google search, i came along more people wandering about these small decware speakers ... they'll all find their way now


Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
gexter
Ex Member



Re: Decware DM 944 Bookshelf Speakers revealed
Reply #6 - 08/31/06 at 13:08:31
 
Thanks
great review! Everything I expected and more about the DM944.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Pages: 1
Send Topic Print