The Bowers and Wilkins DM602 S1 loudspeakers were the speakers that connected me with Bowers and Wilkins. I currently have the DM602 S3’s, however it was when these earlier speakers hit the market that said “I gotta have me a pair of those!”.
Below is an excerpt from a What HiFi “That was then…” article (read it here) referring to the original DM602 S1 speakers:
In the first of a regular series, we take a look back at the birth of a legend, the B&W DM602 speakers from January 1996, and analyse their influence on the new 685 S2s
Talk to senior members of B&W’s engineering staff about their favourite products and it doesn’t take long for the DM602s to be mentioned. For many, these stand-mounters remain the company’s defining affordable model.
The original (transcribed) What HiFi review from January 1996:
Five Star Speakers from B&W
B&W’s DM602 speakers are the latest in the 600 series, a fair departure for the company’s normal fare, the engineering niceties have been largely rethought.
With cabinets measuring 490x236x306, the 602’s are larger than B&W’s £200 601 loudspeakers, and with the grills off might appear overbearing to some. Even so, we weren’t expecting thunder and lightening from the £80-buys-a-bigger-box Kevlar-coned contenders.
But hold up, the 602’s must be on steroids, ‘cos once you’ve cleared the fresh-from-box nasality, they slam into your music with verve and style. We tried them with a range of amps, and they simply got better with every increment in price.
You just can’t wrong-foot these B&W’s, and for what are ostensibly middleweight speakers, they produce the most amazing base for the price. For example, there’s an explosion on the end of Pink Floyd’s Pulse which does what a thunder clap does overhead – you don’t actually register it as sound, but you feel the air move. The 602’s reproduce this as if you are at the gig – and they’re not smoking afterwards!
Yet they’re nimble enough to produce snare drums and any instrument you care to mention in full-swing detail.
The sound is up-front and full of snap, but they have timbral faith, too – Dollar Brand’s piano on African Sun is funky and plaintiff, and guitars have the right amount of twang.
Indeed, we played everything through the 602’s, from grungy rock to classical; they even sounded detailed and full with mellow jazz at low levels driven by a valve and costing many times their price. At £280, these B&W’s are superb.