KING OF POP, REST IN PEACE MICHAEL!!! You were a great inspiration, you will be missed very much.
Colombo-Sri Lanka, California-USA
Manufactured in the early 90's, DQ 20i is the very last model Jon Dahlquist designed. Exquisit design, everybit of the design contributes to the overall sound stage. I currently own two pairs and this would be the 6th pair and held on to the last two pairs I purchased.
I must warn the reader; Dahlquist DQ20i is not for a beginner, absolutely not, if you are fairly new to this hobby my advice would be look for another speaker. I fell deep into this hobby when I first heard it, 5 seconds, that is really all it took me to get addicted to these jewels. In my opinion this is the very best speakers on planet earth!!!!
I started my Dahlquist DQ20i speakers hunt, bought many pairs and sold because I couldn't get them to sing. Be very careful, to this date only the tweeters are being manufactured, although you can get the drivers refurbished.
1-They require proper placement, without placement you will never ever discover the magnitute of these speakers. They need space, if you dont look for a different speaker.
2-They can be picky, that may not nessasarily reflect on mega-dollar components. If you have no intentions of Bi-Amping these speakers buy the DQ 20's dont bother with the DQ 20i, its enabled for Bi-amping for a very good reason, Horizontal Bi-Amping I mean.
3-They need tweaking - No exceptions, dont over do it. Sorry you are on your own on this.
4-You have to have patience and devotion, lots of it. Gradulally you will find the sweet spot, you will understand what components match and what doesn't. Remember you can have the most expesive components but that doesnt mean the DQ 20i will like them. This is the Master piece you have to design the whole system around it. These speaker Demands respect, so remeber to give before you get. You are going to discover the majesty of these gradually not the very moment you plug it in.
Above are the very fundermentals, surface, tip of the ice burg, it gets much deeper when setting it up. If you are not up for it dont buy it, I am not talking days or weeks, it can take years depending on you. So if you dont know what you are doing step away from it.
Some Rumors you should know: Some people plug in for the first time and make a call based on that experience. Some people say these speakers have rolled off highs, NO, its very important to recognize the components and cables married to the system, this plays a major roll on the highs. Some say bass is Bad, some say bass is addictive but doesnt go deep, some people have no complaints. Well..... I did go through these faces and I went through an excruciating experience but I couldn't give up on these speakers. I worked over three years to get them to sing the way they do and I know they have more potential. Highs are natural, mids are neutral and texured, deep killer bass, Magnificient sound stage! Everyone who listened to my system wanted to buy these speakers, I even got an offer for $2000 I am not kidding, mine are in mint condition. Condition is very important for appearance, remember Dahlquist DQ 20i will dominate you living room, appearance counts. And NO I am not selling my two pairs of Dahlquists even for $2000 call me crazy!
I have put the Dahlquist DQ 20i next to: Martin Logan CLS II, Swan Diva 6.1, Alon IV, Revel F30, Revel Ultima Salon, JM Labs Electra 926, Klipsch- La Scala, Forte II, KLF 20, KLF 30, Monitor Audio RS6, Wharfedale Opus 1, Sonus Faber Home, Dali RS3, and many more.... DQ20i's were unpresidented and unparallel, so when I say they are the best on the Planet I mean every word! Dont believe me? Try it your self.
My Music taste: Jazz, contemporary Jazz, world Music, Jungle, rock, 80s and 90s pop, Alternative Music and Ambient.
So there...... do your research and spend your money wisely. Good Luck.
I purchased the DQ-20i's in 1992 upgrading from the DQ-10's. I initially bi-wired them to an heavily modified Adcom 545, used with a Superphon SP-100 preamp (no active gain stage). I later purchased an N.E.W. A-20 pure class A solid state amp (20wpc into 8 ohms) and used it for the mids and highs while keeping the Adcom for the bottom end. I upgraded the Superphon to Audio Alchemy equipment (DLC, DDE 1.1 (modified), DTI Pro, and power supply station).
This was a very nice combination in my basement listening room which was on the 'dead' sounding side. They presented a very wide and deep soundstage, 'polite' on the top end, very neutral in the mids, and a deep but slightly 'fat' bottom end. Since they aren't very efficient, I had to crank the volume up a bit in order to flush out their best sound. I never tired of them in the least! Unfortunately I had to box them up 2 years ago (due to a marital seperation) and purchase Paradigm Active 20's due to space constraints. They are still in their original boxes along with a complete crossover upgrade kit that I never installed. I'd be willing to part with them since I don't see myself affording a house anytime soon where I'd have room to let them 'breathe'and not bother the neighbors.
All in all they're a GREAT speaker and replacement parts and drivers are still available through a company up north founded by some guys who were with Dahlquist untill they were bought out years ago.