Bowers & Wilkins DM14 Speakers

Sold for: $525

B&W DM-14

When I bought these, the photo that was used to sell them on line was one of the worst I’ve ever seen — it looked like it had been taken by a alcoholic on a fall-down-drunk binge at night without a flash. The sales pitch gave no model number, no substantive information or specifications . But I could make out just enough to know what these speakers were, mainly because I’d bought a pair of B&W DM1400s (pretty much the same speaker) a week earlier.

The couple selling me these babies lived quite close — about 10 minutes drive away. Their apartment was in a gated compound built on the side of an extinct volcanic cone — it was all high rock walls, red iron, buzzers and swing gates. They met me outside the front door—a brother and sister—and they were both young: he was about 19, she about 17, with naughty, high-class English accents.

And they were both stinking drunk!

I could smell the gin as soon as they opened the door! A couple of tactful questions later and I’d found out that both Mummy and Daddy were overseas and had left them all alone. My next thought was: “Am I buying the “family silver” so these kids could buy some more gin?”

But because I know a mighty deal when I see one, and because I’m a bit of an alkie myself, and because I have no morals, I forked over the cash and they forked over the B&Ws. Deal done! And as we say, a large result!!!

About the speakers themselves — these are largely bulletproof because they have protection circuits to prevent drunken teens from blowing them up. The first thing you need to check is the tweeters as these can fail, but they are generally repairable. The tweeters on these DM14s were both working, as were all the other drivers. Ahhhhh, what a fucking bonus!

These are superbly built speakers and would give most modern numbers a right thrashing! Although not much bigger than a large bookshelf speaker, they weigh in at nearly 18kgs (42lbs). Check out the numbers on these (and ignore the official B&W spec sheet on these — it is wrong): these are acoustic suspension speakers with a frequency range of 30Hz — 22KHz. Yep, they go real low and with heavily damped and well-braced cabinets, they handle that deep thrust with aplomb. Add to this some real wood veneer and not only do these sound fantastic, they look brilliant too.

Note that they LOVE power — at least, AT LEAST, 100 watts RMS per channel on your amp, and more if you’ve got it. Sure, you can run ’em on less, but they will sound, well, kinda bland.

Dimensions: 560h x 260w x 300d