Dahlquist DQ-10 cap and wire upgrade [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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02-08-2016, 04:44 AM
It's been quite a while since I've posted anything here, mostly because, for some unknown reason, I haven't been able to open up the site. I was pleasantly surprised when I gave it a shot this morning and found it operating just fine.

Several months ago, after speaking to Joe at Regnar (the very same guy I spoke to almost 10 years ago about rebuilding the woofers in my DQ-10's), it became apparent there was something very wrong with one of the crossovers in my DQ-10's. After a lengthy discussion, I decided to "bite the bullet" and spend well over $400 for a complete capacitor upgrade and all new wiring. And so, I cut off each of the 15 wires coming off the crossover boards, removed the boards from the speakers, removed all the existing wiring, and sent the boards off to Regnar in New York.

Upon receiving the "new" crossover boards, I was amazed at the outstanding workmanship: it looked almost as if the folks at Regnar had completely stripped the board of everything, then put it all back together, with a thick waxy coating on the board itself, and meticulously positioned components. And the new black and gold caps actually DO look pretty impressive! The all-new wiring was quite something to see as well, all of a substantially heavier gauge than the original single-strand aluminum stuff, though I realized I had a pretty big job ahead of me.

To make a super-long story shorter, after spending over an hour on each speaker ,soldering the new wires onto the correct drivers - all are color-coded, so it's pretty difficult to make a mistake - the "Big Moment" came to hear whether or not it was worth all the work. And so, was it?

OH YES!! The speakers sound so different, and so much better, it's almost hard to believe they're the same speakers I've been listening to since 1977! EVERYTHING sounds better: cleaner, smoother and a lot more "gutsy."

I know there are many Dahlquist lovers who read this site, and my suggestion to any of you who have not done this to your speakers is to waste no time further and do it right away! It's far from cheap, but well worth it. Quality workmanship comes at a price, but at around $460, you wind up with a speaker system that still holds its own against many others costing many, many times more.

A hint: you have to drill a larger hole in the bass enclosure to run the 7 wires that go from the boards into the enclosure, as the new wires are considerably thicker and won't fit in the original space. Regnar's instructions call for the use of a glue gun to seal the space around the wires. As I don't own a glue gun, I used a "super-scientific" substance instead: chewing gum! And, as a teacher-friend told me, "that will last forever!"

02-08-2016, 05:19 AM
Good to hear from you, Emaidel.

The Dahlquist DQ-10's still have a dedicated following. The last I saw or heard one was maybe 25 years ago, but I liked it then. I'm glad one can still get support and upgrades for that classic product.


02-08-2016, 12:02 PM
Good to hear from you too.

Apparently, there were quite a few people who bought DQ-10's over the years, especially given the fact that Regnar, a company solely dedicated to the repair/refurbishing of Dahlquist speakers, has been around for so long, and is still very much in business. I first contacted them over 10 years ago regarding rebuilding my woofers as a result of a lousy job of refoaming them by an outfit in Florida. That company insisted they did everything right, and blamed the distortion I was hearing on ME driving the speakers "beyond their capabilities." Once Regnar got my woofers, they called me and described in detail precisely the frequencies at which each woofer was distorting, and explained - in great detail - what they called a "botch job."

There's no doubt that many of Regnar's prices are a bit outrageous; however, some of what they do is well worth the money. I'm sure there are plenty of people who could have installed the new caps on their own, and properly connected the 15 different wires coming from each board, but that's beyond my limited scope of expertise. In addition, there turned out to be other issues with the crossovers that Regnar discovered and discussed with me that someone doing the cap and wire upgrade on his own would never have known about. I guess it all boils down to "quality workmanship comes at a price." Whether someone is willing to pay that price is up to that individual alone.

Mr Peabody
02-09-2016, 04:45 PM
Hi, Emaidel, first it is really good to hear from you. Hope to see you more and share some history with us.

In the scheme of things what you paid isn't so much. I agree, it's better to pay a bit more and get a quality job. Seems like I can't take my car to a shop for anything without spending about that. In audio, $460.00 is where some would start for cables. You improved your speakers and will get more years of enjoyment from them so I think you did well.

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