View Full Version : Anyone heard a DMS-1?

John Nebel
08-14-2003, 11:46 AM
DMS-1 was supposedly the latest, greatest, and last large-format JBL monitor.


Has anyone compared these to other systems?

There were a number sold in the first tent sale and I've not seen any of them for sale anywhere else. They are never mentioned, almost like the crazy aunt in the attic.


Mr. Widget
08-14-2003, 11:57 AM
I too share your curiosity. I asked about them on the last forum and didn't get much. I wonder if they weren't killed due to the then generally poor quality of digital processing. (It is better today, but still needs improving. IMHO) I realize they offered an analog option, but it seems that it was even more rare and short lived.

Here is more info on them.


08-14-2003, 12:36 PM
Hey, Widget...

You coulda just started a new Thread: Anybody have experience with the SMC24 you'd like to share?

All Stuffed-up,

Don McRitchie
08-15-2003, 08:18 AM
I have never heard the DMS-1. However, someone whose opinion I respect stated that it was sonically wanting. That person considered the cross-over point too high. At 1000hz, it was beyond the capabilities of the 1401nd LF drivers. Even though it was biamped, using a lower cross-over point was not a solution given contstraints in the HF horn geormetry.

John Nebel
08-16-2003, 11:46 AM

Thanks for your insight on this. It will save a lot of time wandering down a blind alley.


Niklas Nord
08-20-2003, 12:25 AM
Neriks on this forum has heard the DMS-1,
he liked it :) :p

10-29-2003, 04:35 PM
Hello everybody,
I own a pair of DMS-1 and, just to mention what I compared them to "in house", in the same conditions and same room, I also own 4435, 4425, Tannoy DMT-2, Belle Klipsh, Heresy II, old Cerwin S-1 and little Genelecs. Of course I compared them also with whatever high-class monitors I could ear at shops and exhibitions here in Italy, even if in this case of course direct comparison was not possible. It needed a lot of time to set them up correctly, especially for what is concerning to find the right amplifiers for them (I wrote some posts about this in the past, and also a detailed comparison with 4435). Believe me, they are completely in another league compared to my other speakers, and better to whatever “hi-end” I heard out there until now (at least to my ears and my taste!). Otherwise, you can be sure I would have already "upgraded"! ;-)
I have no idea at all why Jbl stopped their production, but it cannot be for the sound. Not that I don't accept Don McRitchie statement, he has much more experience than me of course, but I can just guess that they could have discontinued them because, in a time when monitors like Genelecs where taking over in the recording studios (all-in-one-box pieces which include amplifiers and crossovers, with little possibilities to change the sound, and so being able to sound very similar in different studios that was and is an high priority needing in the recording industry) a system like the DMS-1 with the infinite possible corrections of the digital crossover and the many (and very different) way they can sound based on the amps you use, was not just up to what the market of master recording was asking. This could make sense also because other projects based on similar components but targeted to other markets (P.A. etc.) where those mentioned factors where not critical are still now in production.
But it cannot be for the sound, also because otherwise they would have modified them, or they would have come up with a new big monitor model, while instead they left the "mains" market and concentrated to the mid-nearfileds that the market was requesting.
Believe me, DMS-1 well set up are absolutely astonishing, especially for hi-class home listening (they have a "silkness" no "Genelecs" possess).

Sorry for my poor English,


10-30-2003, 07:48 AM
I actually saw the DMS-1s when 3 of them were posted on the first tent sale. At the time, all I could afford was a pair of the 2245s for $100 each. I believe the DMS-1 sold for around $235-250 each. They went fast. The next best deal was the custom box version CS3115 with a 2226G, horn loaed M209 8", and 2425HS mounted on a special horn, all for $325 per cabinet. I couldn't afford those either, at the time.

02-13-2010, 04:07 AM

To set the stories straight I was the one that bought all of the DMS-1 systems at the tent sale. They sold for $1,195.00 each. At that time my dealer cost on them was around $5,600.00 I think.

I will tell you this. They are the best monitors I have ever heard or used. They don't sound like anything. They just reproduce! My life in audio (40+ years) has mostly been in major studios like Elecric Lady, Record Plant, & live work with touring bands as a MME, FOH mixer or as a consultant for their on stage systems.

I am having to sell the last of the DMS-1 systems, but I will just have to learn to settle for.

02-13-2010, 06:19 AM
At the anaheim tent sale in '97 I bought a handful of the ASC24 and SMC24 crossovers and have since then bought/sold/played with all of the components that the DMS monitors use. I currently have a pair of the PA version ( Array 4894A ) in the living room with the ASC crossover until I finish restoring the 4350's. The pleated edge woof seems to go better into the crossover region than the foam woofs - I believe Zilch stuck a pair of LE14's into a set of these cabs?

I would have to agree with don on the horn geometry / size as being the reason they weren't a big seller but the decline ( read near collapse ) of real studios with large playback monitor needs was even bigger at the time.

When I did some listening tests with various horns I found that the 2352 horn worked the best but without rewiring the CD tweaks inside the SMC ( the only difference btw ) and they were just too large for a convention cabinet. I put that project on hold back in 2000 but might revisit when the new shop is up + running this summer.

BTW he beat me to the DMS-1 ( they were listed with the in-house number: 4496? ) by a mere hour. Back then you had to *call* on the phone to get these items and the list ( from the rep only ) was changing weekly....but MAN those prices..:)

02-16-2010, 08:46 AM
in Floyde Toole book there is an analysis of this speaker
page 381 -382

For perspective, this now-discontinued loudspeaker was included in numerous
double-blind listening tests over several years. It always was a front-runner,
either winning or being in a statistical tie with the best competitors. So although
there are imperfections, one may conclude that this family of curves describes
a highly commendable standard of performance.
Figure 18.8a shows an active/equalized loudspeaker at an early stage in its
development. The well-mannered directivity seen here is characteristic of good
constant-directivity horns. If directional control is required, as in an acoustically
“live” room that cannot be altered, horns are an excellent solution, especially
since horizontal and vertical directivity can be independently manipulated.

After EQ adjustments, the loudspeaker sounded as it (fi nally) looked:
very good. If there was a problem, it was a tendency to play it very much louder
than is commonplace with consumer loudspeakers. That is one of the seductive
characteristics of loudspeakers that do not power compress or distort at high
sound levels; they don’t sound loud until they are dangerously loud.
With two large woofers separated by a horn, the measurement distance of
2 m is within the near fi eld, and there is evidence of directivity at bass frequencies.
This is yet another advantage of spatially averaged measurements: they
can provide meaningful data in the near fi eld.
Horn-loaded loudspeakers are very well suited to large home theater installations;
they deliver high-level crescendos effortlessly, and their directional
control minimizes the amount of sound converted into heat in absorbers—which
translates into signifi cantly higher overall effi ciency