B&W DM600 S3 versus DIY


Paid Member
2018-07-16 10:53 pm
North Notts
Just yesterday I made the decision the order some drivers to start my first 2 way. I went for Faital Pro 5FE120-8. I soon had a reply to say only 1 was in stock and no more due until Novemeber so the order was cancelled. Thinking I could get them from Blue Aran, it turned out they were out aswell! My other option was an Sb12 or 15 of some description but I didnt place the order yesterday, at twice the 5FE120 cost I wanted to think on it. And I like 3FE22 so the Faital was appealing.

I was going to pair these with either a Seas or Monacor tweeter, or maybe even a small Fountek or Peerless FR.

Anyway. On way home last night I collected some B&W Dm600 s3 from my fathers partner. I was listing them on ebay for her from her late husbands estate. I thought I better try them first.

Wow....these sound gteat!. They are just what I had been looking for in the bass department. Really excellent in my room.

So I know if these are maybe 100gbp on the used market ( they have quite a few knocks and scrapes) that I wont come close to DIY for that money, but for instance the above mentioned drivers I have considered, in a similar size box (8 litres or so) can I expect comparable LF to the B&W? Any other general comments on the SQ of them compared to any DIY you may have experience of?

Thanks for your time to read this.
How good DIY can be will depend entirely on the skill of the builder. I did a silk-purse-from-sow's-ear project fairly recently, which turned a few heads at a local audio gathering. It was a pair of Fostex PM04, which I had to convert to passive since the amp module had been removed. The drivers are about as cheap as it's possible to get (stamped frames etc etc), but they sounded pretty decent in use, so long as their power handling was accounted for.

IMO, the absolute best purchase that a DIY speaker person can make would be a measurement setup. Having one of those means you can measure, simulate, modify and re-measure any speaker.

So, my recommendation would be to grab the measurement mic and see what the B&Ws are doing in your room.

Then start experimenting:
- Block the ports, see what that does
- If you're unhappy with the mid-high range, disconnect the crossover, measure the drivers individually, and come up with a new crossover design.

I don't have any experience with those particular B&Ws, but every model I've heard has favoured crossover simplicity over performance, and that's not a compromise I'd agree with. Simple is good, so long as it actually does the job.



2013-10-08 12:26 pm
Agree with chris661.
B&W make great drivers and cabinets, but there is room for improvement in redesigning the crossover. An example is B&W Bowers Wilkins DM 601-S3 Crossover Upgrade for Better Midrange Perfoprmance . Working on the crossover requires a measurement setup.

How much LF you can expect depends on what sensitivity you are after and how much you are willing to spend. Deep bass from small enclosures is possible, though it results in a low sensitivity and costly woofers. Matching the 55 Hz @ -6 dB of the B&W DM600 S3 should not be difficult.
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2012-02-10 12:12 pm
This hobby of ours can get to be quite expensive and time consuming and I doubt one can go around it. In return people feel the joy to be able to understand the matter and do things better on their own. So, one is to choose one's own priorities. For 100 GBP you can get a pair of Peerless 831950 (5" class poly unit) and a pair of Vifa DX 25 TG 59-04 at Wilmslow Audio, units of reasonably good quality. Of course, a better move could be to modify the S3's crossover and/or recondition the veneer for instance.


Paid Member
2018-07-16 10:53 pm
North Notts
Thanks for those replies. I hadn't thought of modifying the crossover so I think I will keep hold of these and have a play about. Maybe i will learn something from them that i can then implement into a full DIY build.

It please me that the 50Hz level is easily doable and sounds good in my room. I guess i have decent LF room gain so if my DIYs can manage 50 or lower then I should be good.

The 5fe120 sim gave [email protected] and the SB SB15 gave 40Hz -6db. But I guess I done know at what thd.