DCM TFE100 Floorstanders - Very good sound and dirt cheap right now - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 24 Old 11-30-2019, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
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DCM TFE100 Floorstanders - Very good sound and dirt cheap right now

Got some DCM TFE100’s yesterday from pricedrightsales.

First off, I was surprised and impressed with the extra box reinforcement that pricedrightsales added to the boxes – heavy cardboard corners and plastic strapping (see pic). That took some time and care. I’m impressed with pricedrightsales in general – great customer service and communication.

The TFE100’s have impressed me so far, with one caveat. The have prodigious bass for a small floorstander – maybe too much, at least where I have them placed. They are in the unfinished portion of our basement where we have our exercise equipment.

They are on 30” risers that I built a couple years ago to get floorstanders’ tweeters closer to ear level when standing (see pic). The backs of the TFE100’s are about 1 foot from the wall. Raising the speakers 30” from the ground should reduce boundary reinforcement, but the bass coming from them is a bit fat. In a normal room and on the floor, I think they might need some significant distance from the wall in 2.0.

Running them in 2.1 crossed over at 80-100 Hz eliminates the bass heaviness.

As far as midrange and treble go, they sound very balanced and detailed to me. The tweeter is very nice – significantly better than the TP series tweeter, IMO. They are also not as bright as the TP160S. When running in 2.1, the overall sound signature reminds me very much of my Polk LS90’s. Basically, in 2.1 with the bass balanced, I can find no real faults with their sound, and could live with them. Having owned dozens of speakers that cost a lot more than these, this is saying something.

Compared to the Klipsch Forte 1 in the same location, well, the Forte 1 are more dynamic and have significantly higher sensitivity. The Forte might also have a bit more pronounced midrange. I would be happy with the Forte 1 or TFE100 in this system.

BTW, the rest of this basement gym system consists of a Denon AVR-2807, two JBL SUB 550P, and a Sony BDP for my personal FLAC library and Qobuz FLAC streaming over UPnP.

Given that the TFE100 can be purchased for $225 a pair right now (pricedrightsales website with additional 10% off), they are a steal and offer impressive sound quality for such a low price.

A few comments on their construction and looks:

I think they look pretty decent. Because they are somewhat short and narrow, they do not call much attention to themselves.

The sides of the cabinet sound a bit hollow with the knock test. However, at their price, I would not expect a super rigid cabinet.

The grill requires removing 4 hex screws and retaining clips, so these are going to be 100% grills-on or grills-off speakers.

With the relatively low tweeter position, one may need to devise a way to angle them back for normal floor use.
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post #2 of 24 Old 11-30-2019, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by adam2434 View Post
Got some DCM TFE100’s yesterday from pricedrightsales.

First off, I was surprised and impressed with the extra box reinforcement that pricedrightsales added to the boxes – heavy cardboard corners and plastic strapping (see pic). That took some time and care. I’m impressed with pricedrightsales in general – great customer service and communication.

The TFE100’s have impressed me so far, with one caveat. The have prodigious bass for a small floorstander – maybe too much, at least where I have them placed. They are in the unfinished portion of our basement where we have our exercise equipment.

They are on 30” risers that I built a couple years ago to get floorstanders’ tweeters closer to ear level when standing (see pic). The backs of the TFE100’s are about 1 foot from the wall. Raising the speakers 30” from the ground should reduce boundary reinforcement, but the bass coming from them is a bit fat. In a normal room and on the floor, I think they might need some significant distance from the wall in 2.0.

Running them in 2.1 crossed over at 80-100 Hz eliminates the bass heaviness.

As far as midrange and treble go, they sound very balanced and detailed to me. The tweeter is very nice – significantly better than the TP series tweeter, IMO. They are also not as bright as the TP160S. When running in 2.1, the overall sound signature reminds me very much of my Polk LS90’s. Basically, in 2.1 with the bass balanced, I can find no real faults with their sound, and could live with them. Having owned dozens of speakers that cost a lot more than these, this is saying something.

Compared to the Klipsch Forte 1 in the same location, well, the Forte 1 are more dynamic and have significantly higher sensitivity. The Forte might also have a bit more pronounced midrange. I would be happy with the Forte 1 or TFE100 in this system.

BTW, the rest of this basement gym system consists of a Denon AVR-2807, two JBL SUB 550P, and a Sony BDP for my personal FLAC library and Qobuz FLAC streaming over UPnP.

Given that the TFE100 can be purchased for $225 a pair right now (pricedrightsales website with additional 10% off), they are a steal and offer impressive sound quality for such a low price.

A few comments on their construction and looks:

I think they look pretty decent. Because they are somewhat short and narrow, they do not call much attention to themselves.

The sides of the cabinet sound a bit hollow with the knock test. However, at their price, I would not expect a super rigid cabinet.

The grill requires removing 4 hex screws and retaining clips, so these are going to be 100% grills-on or grills-off speakers.

With the relatively low tweeter position, one may need to devise a way to angle them back for normal floor use.
nice review.. i get the feeling the tfe series is going to end up a cult favorite , much like the jbl 530.. sounds like they might be every bit as good...

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post #3 of 24 Old 11-30-2019, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam2434 View Post
Got some DCM TFE100’s yesterday from pricedrightsales.

First off, I was surprised and impressed with the extra box reinforcement that pricedrightsales added to the boxes – heavy cardboard corners and plastic strapping (see pic). That took some time and care. I’m impressed with pricedrightsales in general – great customer service and communication.

The TFE100’s have impressed me so far
I am not surprised, that they held up well against the Polk LS and Klipsch Forte

And that is why I like the TFE60 bookshelf speakers a lot -- the TFE series is not a wimp -- the mids and highs are really nice and grow on you, that is a good tweeter -- as far as the bass, you may need to adjust some at 100 hz and 63 hz

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post #4 of 24 Old 11-30-2019, 05:09 PM
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I am not surprised, that they held up well against the Klipsch Forte

And that is why I like the TFE60 bookshelf speakers a lot -- the TFE series is not a wimp -- the mids and highs are really nice and grow on you, that is a good tweeter -- as far as the bass, you may need to adjust some at 100 hz and 63 hz
are the tfe bookshelf's still available anywhere ? i'm debating grabbing something..

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post #5 of 24 Old 11-30-2019, 05:14 PM
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are the tfe bookshelf's still available anywhere ? i'm debating grabbing something..
Yes they are -- note that they are 16 inches deep -- holiday code through Monday BFCM2019 for 10% more off
https://pricedrightsales.com/product...r-pair-tfe60-b
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post #6 of 24 Old 11-30-2019, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
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nice review.. i get the feeling the tfe series is going to end up a cult favorite , much like the jbl 530.. sounds like they might be every bit as good...
Yeah, the TFE200 and TFE60 had a couple very positive reviews when they came out in '06, but they really flew under the radar for the most part.

At their current closeout prices, the TFEs are winners from a price-performance standpoint, IMO...especially the TFE100 floorstander.
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post #7 of 24 Old 11-30-2019, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Lp85253 View Post
nice review.. i get the feeling the tfe series is going to end up a cult favorite , much like the jbl 530.. sounds like they might be every bit as good...
I will tell you a secret -- I prefer and like the TFE60 bookshelf speakers better than the JBL Studio 530 ... but that is between me and you
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post #8 of 24 Old 11-30-2019, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
Yes they are -- note that they are 16 inches deep -- holiday code through Monday BFCM2019 for 10% more off
https://pricedrightsales.com/product...r-pair-tfe60-b
thanks .. is this the outfit you bought from?

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post #9 of 24 Old 11-30-2019, 05:29 PM
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thanks .. is this the outfit you bought from?
Bought from Ebay -- but this is the Ebay seller's home website
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post #10 of 24 Old 11-30-2019, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
And that is why I like the TFE60 bookshelf speakers a lot -- the TFE series is not a wimp -- the mids and highs are really nice and grow on you, that is a good tweeter -- as far as the bass, you may need to adjust some at 100 hz and 63 hz
Running them with a highpass at 80 or 100 Hz and running subs eliminates the bass heaviness, but if I were running them full range on the floor, they might need some bass reduction or a lot of space from walls...not 100% on this though, since I have only used them in this unconventional way on risers.

And yes, they can take some power and volume without signs of strain.
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post #11 of 24 Old 11-30-2019, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I owned the JBL 530 for a while.

I thought they sounded very good at low volume, but they could not handle any real power/volume - woofers would pop and bottom out at moderate levels running full range. Back they went...

And pricedrightsales is a great outfit in my experience. They really seem to care about customer satisfaction. They even offered me a partial refund for the TFE100 because the website price is lower than the eBay price I paid.
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post #12 of 24 Old 11-30-2019, 05:36 PM
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And yes, they can take some power and volume without signs of strain.
They are composed well -- and the radiation pattern from the TFE series is good -- the engineers did their homework

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post #13 of 24 Old 11-30-2019, 06:22 PM
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how is the sound stage and imaging on these towers?

Speakers: KEF Q100, Q300, Q750, Q650C / Fluance Signature Series, SX6, XL5F/ Mirage M-190 / DCM TP160S-CH Subwoofers: Outlaw Ultra X12 (x2) / BIC H100-II
Receiver: Denon AVR-X4500H, AVR-X1400H Integrated Amplifier: Yamaha A-S501/ Fosi Audio TPA3116 mini amp Extras: MiniDSP Umik-1 Amplifier: Emotiva BasX-A300
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post #14 of 24 Old 11-30-2019, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
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how is the sound stage and imaging on these towers?
I have not focused much on this since they are not really in the best room/location to assess this (unfinished basement on risers). I'll try to assess this in the next few days.

I did notice that they seem to have a wider soundstage than the Klipsch Forte 1 that I was using just prior in this area. The TFE100 provide a bit more of the illusion that sound is coming from beyond the width of the speakers.

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post #15 of 24 Old 12-03-2019, 09:13 PM - Thread Starter
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To try to assess the TFE100 soundstage and imaging, I’ve tried to simulate more of a typical listening environment for the TFE100 in the workout area (unfinished side of basement). I moved them to the floor and sat in a chair that puts my ears at about the same height they would be on a couch (ears about 40” from the floor). The backs of the TFE100 are now about 28” from the wall (probably a greater distance than most typical room situations). I have the TFE100 angled up a bit – fronts are about 0.5” higher than the backs of the speakers.

On the floor, the soundstage of the TFE100 is a bit lower than I’m used to, given that the tweeters are only about 28” from the floor. It takes a bit of getting used to. If I slouch down, the soundstage sounds more like what I’m used to. Also, slouching down brings the high frequencies up a bit. I noticed that snares and vocals timbre changed when my ears got closer to tweeter height. I might experiment with a bit more upward angle.

Center imaging is solid – no complaints. Soundstage width did extend a bit beyond the width of the speakers, depending on the track. The speakers did not totally “disappear” like I experience with my Polk LS90 in the finished media room in the basement. However, the TFE100 are in a compromised area, not in a real/typical room. I don’t typically listen critically in the basement workout area anyway.

On the floor and 28” from the back wall, the TFE100 still produce quite prodigious bass…and this is in a large/open unfinished portion of the basement with concrete floor and walls (with some soft treatments on the walls and floor near the speakers). When I switch from 2.0 to 2.1 (100 Hz crossover with 2 JBL 550 subs running about 2 dB hot), 2.0 sometimes sounds like there is more bass punch than in 2.1. This may sound crazy, but this is what I perceive. However, bass in 2.0 sounds a bit less defined.

So, my original caveat/watch-out with the TFE100 remains – the bass might be a bit overdone and might need some EQ or bass management in a normal room. I do find their bass output to be quite impressive for a relatively small floorstander with a single 6.5” woofer.

While doing more “critical” listening with the TFE100 on the floor, my original perception of very good mids and highs remains, although I perceive slightly elevated highs vs. my reference of the Polk LS90. However, take this with a grain of salt because the LS90 are in a finished, carpeted room with plush furniture.

Another thing to note is that the TFE100 in 2.0 could be pushed to pretty high volume without signs of distress with a Denon 2807. I did not get out the SPL meter, but for reference, at times I was running the Denon at -10 on the master volume with the TFE100 calibrated to -2.

All-in-all, for $250/pair, I can’t think of a new-purchase speaker I’ve owned that can match them for mids/highs resolution and balance, bass depth/punch, and SPL capabilities for that price…with the caveat that the bass could need some taming depending on the room/situation.
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post #16 of 24 Old 12-05-2019, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I noticed that the DCM website has frequency plots of the TFE200 and TP160. Not sure how they generated the plots, but they indicate the MLSSA system, which I believe simulates anechoic.

The TFE200 has a large bass hump, and the the TP160 has one to a lesser degree in their plots.

Assuming the plots do reflect anechoic, perhaps DCM designed a bass hump into the speakers, and maybe the TFE100 has one too, explaining the bass heaviness I hear. Purely conjecture based on seeing those plots...


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A weird thing I noticed running the TFE100 with a 100 Hz crossover is that some weird tunnel-y/phase-y midrange sounds come from the port. These sounds have a strange, almost like phaser-like processed sound.

I can hear it when my ear is a few inches from the port, but farther than that, the driver output dominates, so it is not noticeable.

Also, when running full range, the bass output from the port dominates, so I can't hear the weird midrange sounds.

I'm curious as to what could be causing this weird midrange to be output from the port.

I don't consider it a real issue, but more of a curiosity.



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post #18 of 24 Old 12-05-2019, 06:25 PM
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A weird thing I noticed running the TFE100 with a 100 Hz crossover is that some weird tunnel-y/phase-y midrange sounds come from the port. These sounds have a strange, almost like phaser-like processed sound.

I don't consider it a real issue, but more of a curiosity.
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There can be some leakage from the port, even rear ports -- but I can not explain or know the science behind it -- the key is that from my seating position I do not want to detect front port leak, as my ears can be sensitive to that -- listen to a Bose sub/sat system and there is a lot coming through the bass module port.

When you look at Parts Express Tech Talk, and some DIY forums, they tend to talk about it some

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post #19 of 24 Old 12-05-2019, 08:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
There can be some leakage from the port, even rear ports -- but I can not explain or know the science behind it -- the key is that from my seating position I do not want to detect front port leak, as my ears can be sensitive to that -- listen to a Bose sub/sat system and there is a lot coming through the bass module port.

When you look at Parts Express Tech Talk, and some DIY forums, they tend to talk about it some
Yeah, I've *heard of* port midrange leakage, especially with large ports, but guess I have never *heard* it before. The strange phaser effect of the sound is curious. I'm sure there is a good physics explanation that I'm not aware of.

Given that the midrange is in a sealed enclosure, I assume it is coming from the woofer. However, I believe that woofer and midrange might have a lot of overlap, based on what I have read about the TFE200 crossover. I can say that the midrange shows a significant amount of excursion/movement, so it is definitely playing a decent amount of bass frequencies. I then expect that the woofer is also playing a decent amount of midrange frequencies.


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5.1 and 2.0 ch: Marantz AV7704/Emotiva DC-1/Rotel RB-1582 MKII/Audiosource Amp Three x 2/Polk LS90, CS400i, FX500i/Outlaw X-12, LFM-1/JVD DLA-HD250/Da-Lite 100" HCCV/Sony ES BDP/Sonos Connect. DC-1/RB-1582 MKII/Sonos Connect also feed Polk 7C in garage and Dayton IO655 on patio. 2.1 ch: Denon AVR-2807/Klipsch Forte I or NHT SB2/JBL SUB 550P x 2. 2.0 ch: Outlaw 975/Outlaw M2200 x 2/Klipsch RF-7 III/Sony ES BDP/LG 65" LED. 2.0 ch: Klipsch Powergate/NHT SB3. Kitchen: Sonos Play5.

Last edited by adam2434; 12-05-2019 at 08:18 PM.
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post #20 of 24 Old 12-10-2019, 06:20 PM
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Here is a good report on the DCM TFE100 and it held up against the JBL Studio 580 -- and yes the TFE100 has some good bass
https://forums.audioholics.com/forum.../#post-1355429

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post #21 of 24 Old 12-10-2019, 06:37 PM
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Here is a good report on the DCM TFE100 and it held up against the JBL Studio 580 -- and yes the TFE100 has some good bass
https://forums.audioholics.com/forum.../#post-1355429
I'm really curious about the tfe60 compared to the ascend cbm 170...

YAMAHA TSR 5790.. front l/r Dennis Murphy modded emotiva b1's ..BIC v1220.....Emotiva basx10.... infinity alpha 20 center.. polk t15 rears..samsung 55" j620d
bedroom .. YAMAHA r-xv 383... front l/r.. ascend cbm 170 se... kef q100 center ... Emotiva basx8... samsung ku6300 50 in
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post #22 of 24 Old 12-10-2019, 07:05 PM
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I'm really curious about the tfe60 compared to the ascend cbm 170...
I know what I like, and i have listened to the Ascend CBM-170
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post #23 of 24 Old 12-10-2019, 08:39 PM
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I know what I like, and i have listened to the Ascend CBM-170
i have a feeling the dcm's are every bit as good , if not better.. i get the feeling that the drivers might be a bit better , as well as the cabinets...

YAMAHA TSR 5790.. front l/r Dennis Murphy modded emotiva b1's ..BIC v1220.....Emotiva basx10.... infinity alpha 20 center.. polk t15 rears..samsung 55" j620d
bedroom .. YAMAHA r-xv 383... front l/r.. ascend cbm 170 se... kef q100 center ... Emotiva basx8... samsung ku6300 50 in
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post #24 of 24 Old 12-11-2019, 03:45 PM
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Dang, wish I had some extra $$, would love to grab a pair of one of these......

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