DCM TimeFrame TFE200 Home Theater Speaker System
Loudspeaker maker DCM has been around just about as long, and has reconstituted itself and its product line nearly as many times, as Lynyrd Skynyrd. The late-1970s design that made DCM's name, the original TimeWindow, was a modest-sized columnar speaker (with transmission-line loading) that caused quite a stir among audio geeks of the day for its excellent imaging and good tonal balance. Over the ensuing decades, the TimeWindow and then TimeFrame labels have reappeared on various speakers targeted at different market niches. Our centerpiece in the here and now, the DCM TimeFrame TFE200, is but the latest example, and it emerges under the aegis of the Mitek family of car-, home-, and pro-audio companies, which now owns the brand.
The new TFE200 is a quite large, tall, and narrow-but-deep three-way tower that boasts bass extension and output to match its imposing size. Conventionally ported through a wide, bottom-front duct and equipped with a striking perforated-metal grille, it's a handsome structure. DCM included complementary center- and surround-channel models in our kit, as well as one of its new 12-inch subwoofers, the 150-watt TB1212.
SETUP I placed the DCM family in my accustomed sites, with the center on a low stand below my Samsung big-screen TV, the surrounds on high side-wall shelves, and the sub to the left-rear of the left front tower. The TFE200s and the center-channel TFE60C have metal biwirable dual multiway posts - nice, at this price. Both models include the handsome metal grilles (those for the sub and surrounds are cloth), but after a rap on the TFE200's expansive sides generated an audible metallic clang alongside its rather hollow "thonk," I removed the grilles before listening.
MUSIC & MOVIES The TimeFrame TFE200s are large, full-range speakers, so I began listening to them alone, in stereo. And full-range is no empty claim: These big boys go low, with generous output below 35 Hz or so and a generally warm, impact-rich bottom end. Material such as acoustic jazz yielded solid, powerful bass lines, but the overall mid-to-treble effect seemed a touch recessed. Removing the grilles (as already mentioned) and, especially, tilting the speakers rearward radically (about 10°) made a dramatic difference: The TimeFrames sounded brighter, clearer, and better defined all around.