As a kid in the 1970s, I heard a pair of Snell Type A powered by a Sansui 9090db. I heard these at a friend’s house on a regular basis and was mesmerized. It motivated me to build my first system, but at 16-years old, I couldn’t afford much. The magazines were praising Dahlquist DQ-10 at the time. I lusted after them, but at $1000, they were out of reach. That was long ago—42 years to be exact.
Since then, I've spent a significant amount of time with Dahlquist DQ-10, DQ-20i, Alon Model I,Model II, Model V, Alon Circe,Shahinian Obelisk, Shahinian Hawks, Magnepan 3.7i, and Ohm 200. I’m often disappointed with traditional box speakers. I’m drawn to open-baffle and omni-directional designs. The Shahinian Hawks have everything I want. They have a spaciousness that completely fills the room and brings you to the performance, a midrange that haunts, a bottom end that hits you, and a top end that reveals more delicacies than you've heard on a recording. The Obelisk are close seconds, but I’m still fascinated with the DQ-10. They were so far ahead of their time.
Released in 1973. The Absolute Sound said this: 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.
Released in 1976. I wish I knew about these years ago. Shahinian doesn't advertise and it's almost impossible to audition, and yet they are game changers for those of us that want to replicate a sense of being in the room with musicians.
Released in 1994. The Walsh 200 was the mid-size model of the straight sided tower Walsh speakers that replaced the truncated pyramid cabinets of the earlier Walsh speakers. It replaced the 3XO and 4XO.
Compliance12 mm/N Tracking force1.8 - 2.2 g Weight9.2 g
Recommended load impedance> 1,000 ohms
Born in 2008. I'm very happy with this. It has all the warmth, body and detail I desire. I've had many phono stages, but this one sounds special. I owe a big thanks to the Bottlehead team for these kits. I'm tempted to build an Eros just to relive the building experience. I upgraded the following parts:
47K Vishay S102K (input load)
Russian FT-3 teflon interstage (0.1 uF) and output (0.47uF)
Rewired with a three foot strand of shielded Cardas 4x33 -- covered with surgical rubber hose and braided stainless steel. Exterior wrapped in a nylon sheath. Terminated with WBT-0108. Floating ground. A Michell Tecnoweight offered a significant improvement in the low end. The counterweight stub wrapped with mineral-filled asphalt adhesive to damp vibrations. I do Twl's tonearm tweak when using a DL-103.
I also admire your approach to building a system, DIY is much more fun than plug'n'play. I have the Sonic Euphoria Passive as well, along with DIY speakers. I've been wanting to build the Bottlehead Extended Foreplay III, it's good to know how much you enjoy it.
Enjoy that fine system, and Happy Holidays! Regards, Dan