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A new sound, finally...

CarlDW

New member
Dec 29, 2011
23
0
0
I have been researching into a new system for quite some time now, and after much deliberating and thinking about exactly what my requirements were, I recently visited my local Richer Sounds for a demo.

My starting point was the Marantz MCR611. It ticked all of the boxes for what I needed - 90% of my music is still played on good old fashioned CD, so a CD drive was a must - and the ability to listen to internet radio stations is also something which I wanted to explore. It had to be compact in size due to limited space and have plenty of inputs, with the potential to run my TV and PS4 through it. DNLA capability was also a bonus, as I have music stored on a laptop. I had also read many favourable reviews from experts and owners.

Speaker wise, purely based upon reviews and my available budget, I had chosen to listen to the Dali Zensor 1 and the Mission LX2.

So, the demo. What immediately struck me about the Missions was their soundstage and depth. Music had a decent weight to it, and they sounded particually good with more bass heavy tracks. The Dalis, on the other hand, sounded much leaner from a bass perspective, but the midrange and treble blew the Missions out of the water. They were so much more detailed, particularly with vocals, placing them more forward in the mix. I was impressed, but missed the punch offered by the Missions in the lower frequencies. I was then advised to try the Q Acoustic 3020. These fell mid-way between the Dalis and the Missions. The bottom end wasn't as deep as the Missions, and the midrange and treble not quite as sweet as the Dalis, but they were very well balanced across all frequencies. But I still wasn't quite satisfied with any of the speakers that I had heard - I wanted the midrange and treble of the Dalis, but with the low end punch of the Missions. So I then asked to listen to the Dali Zensor 3. Wow... all of the sweet midrange and treble of the Zensor 1, but with much more weight and dynamic punch in the lower frequencies. I was seriously impressed - the bass was deeper and better controlled than the Missions, but with an even wider soundstage. They sounded just as good with delicate vocal tracks as they did with heavy metalcore. They were definately worth the extra over the speakers that I had originally in mind, even if I had to stretch the budget a little, and will withstand an upgrade or two in the future years. Sold!

So, I am now a suitably happy boy. It's been quite a while since I have demo'd and purchased new kit, and I very much enjoyed the experience. I just hope the upgrade bug doesn't bite too soon...
 

muljao

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2016
253
50
4,920
Enjoy your new kit.

Many here will try advise based on their experience but trying out as you did is the best way by far to pick your kit.

I actually was unable to demo anything I bought due where I live etc. I am very happy but I don't know if I had a chance to demo would I have got an even better set up for my money.

Many say Dali and marantz are a match made in heaven
 

MajorFubar

New member
Mar 3, 2010
690
3
0
CarlDW said:
the midrange and treble blew the Missions out of the water. They were so much more detailed, particularly with vocals, placing them more forward in the mix. I was impressed
I'm glad you didn't end up buying them though, 'bright and detailed' impresses on an initial listen but it all too often quickly develops into 'shrill and forward' that you can't stand the sound of within a month.
 

CarlDW

New member
Dec 29, 2011
23
0
0
I agree that any speaker with a bright treble may indeed become tiresome after a while. I can't say that this was the case with the Zensor 1's, but compared to the Missions and the Q Acoustics, it was certainly more forward on the tracks that I listened to. What I liked so much about the Zensor 3's was the same detailed treble, but with much fuller bass. They didn't sound shrill, but very balanced. I imagine that after being run-in properly they will sound even better.
 

CarlDW

New member
Dec 29, 2011
23
0
0
Dali do suggest that they are set up straight ahead, with no toe-in. They also suggest placement against a rear wall... I will spend some time setting them up properly.

It's amazing how different they sound compared to the shop demo room - not in a bad way, just different. Being new will of course have something to do with that also! I still think that they were a great buy.
 

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