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Dali Zensor 3 - speaker cable & length

bdf123

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Apr 8, 2015
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Hi all

i have a pair of Dali Zensor 3's which I have ran off Pioneer amp and cheap (short) speaker cable. As part of moving things around I bought Cambridge Audio Ultra Micro speaker cable, thinking this better quality cable would be ok at 15m per speaker.

However, the sound level at this length is definitely quieter and needs more volume and i'm pretty sure the sound quality isn't as good at this length even with this cable (thoughts? My ears? Paranoid? Accurate? Or just quieter?)

15m is more than I need so could cut each cable down to 10-12m. Do you think this would make much difference to the quality using this cable?

my other option is to start going through walls which I may do, bringing it around the 5-6m mark in length

Whats people thoughts on this cable in general and the ideal speaker length?

I don't mind if I need to turn the volume up a bit but I feel the rich clarity sound is lacking

Thanks all :)
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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My experience with Dali Zensor 3 and silver plated speaker cable (namely Cambridge Audio Ultra 100) isn't very good . I was sold this cable along Zensor 3 + Onkyo A9010 combo at Richer Sounds. You can read my review on their website (apparently I'm Top 500 contributor...)

Anyway lenght will be determined by the shortest possible distance (within reason not straight across the room) from amp to speakers. What's the actual length you need? Have you considered moving the amp closer to speakers? You should not go longer than necessary. Not sure about the cross section but I'm guessing 1.5mm2, it's too thin for a 15m, imho. 15m is a long run.

If I were you, I'd be looking to return it for a better quality shorter cable if that's a possibility.
 

Al ears

Moderator
insider9 said:
My experience with Dali Zensor 3 and silver plated speaker cable (namely Cambridge Audio Ultra 100) isn't very good . I was sold this cable along Zensor 3 + Onkyo A9010 combo at Richer Sounds. You can read my review on their website (apparently I'm Top 500 contributor...)

Anyway lenght will be determined by the shortest possible distance (within reason not straight across the room) from amp to speakers. What's the actual length you need? Have you considered moving the amp closer to speakers? You should not go longer than necessary. Not sure about the cross section but I'm guessing 1.5mm2, it's too thin for a 15m, imho. 15m is a long run.

If I were you, I'd be looking to return it for a better quality shorter cable if that's a possibility.
I am very curious as to what kind of set-up requires a cable run of 12 metres as even my rear speakers in my home theatre set-up don't require that much. Is it not possible to plonk amplifier closer to and in between those speaker?
 

bdf123

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Apr 8, 2015
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Thanks both. The reason the cable is that long is because I plan to run both the living room speakers and bedroom speakers from the 1 amp. The amp being positioned pretty much in the middle of the 2. The 15 metres takes into account running around wall edges etc. I over bought what I need and tested the sound before making permanent arrangements. Realistically I will probably need a few metres less but bought more incase. But my concern is that even at 10-12m I'm still going to lose out on quality. Do you think 5-6m should be ok? Reluctant to start cutting up cable until I make a sound decision. This will require drilling through walls which is what I was trying to avoid. Thanks again
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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bdf123 said:
Thanks both. The reason the cable is that long is because I plan to run both the living room speakers and bedroom speakers from the 1 amp. The amp being positioned pretty much in the middle of the 2. The 15 metres takes into account running around wall edges etc. I over bought what I need and tested the sound before making permanent arrangements. Realistically I will probably need a few metres less but bought more incase. But my concern is that even at 10-12m I'm still going to lose out on quality. Do you think 5-6m should be ok? Reluctant to start cutting up cable until I make a sound decision. This will require drilling through walls which is what I was trying to avoid. Thanks again
If my estimation of the cable is correct and it is 1.5mm2 which is 15/16 AWG then with Zensors you shouldn't have a run longer than 10 meters. It is still a long run and ideally you should have a 2.5mm2 and ideally 4mm2. Have you actually heard the Zensors with your Pioneer using that cable? And are you happy with how they sound?

I take it, it's fully digital setup with streaming in mind? Otherwise I can see many issues with amp and and presumably source being in a different room. e.g. What are you going to contol volume with? How are you going to switch inputs? What happens if you want to use headphones with an amp? Will you have to go to another room to put another CD/record on? etc.
 
Nov 22, 2014
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Ok, three reason that all impact you problem, 1st is you speaker is 6ohms, 2nd is the run, is quite long for you average stereo setup, and then your amp, without know what amp you have i cant say for sure if thats is part of the problem, but just to help you understand the basic, here is the genreal rule of thumb, 6 ohms is harder to drive than 8 ohms etc, so your amp might be struggling to feed you speakers if its a low watt output, and that will get worse over 15 mtrs.

Thicker cable over longer runs will help lower resistance, you can always try the same cable, but at a shorter lengh to see if that make a difference, also silver cables is lower resisance than copper.

I use this stuff on my AV amp for my surrounds, Van Damme Blue Series Studio Grade Speaker Cable 2.5mm, comes in 4mm and 6mm too, exact specs on your amp would better help us to help you too :)
 

bdf123

New member
Apr 8, 2015
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I have a pioneer vsx 924. Zone 1 is mainly for the tv in living room and then zone 2 is the bedroom mainly for music. I live in a large 1 bedroom flat, controlling volume etc isn't much of a problem as I play music over Bluetooth. When using a control I'm in zone 1. Control wise it all works ok it's just the compromise on sound quality at the moment. I've not tested any thick cable at short distance although the bog standard cable I was using at a shorter distance (got it from my dad) sounded better. All this is a long term project that I'm building over time but as much as I like my sound and can hear when things are not right, I'm still very much a newbie. Thanks for all the advice
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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Don't take it as criticism, just trying to be helpful :) Would Bluetooth work from another room without dropping or is volume, selection of songs be done via WiFi?
 

bdf123

New member
Apr 8, 2015
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Ye the Bluetooth works fine from both rooms. Think the amp has LAN/wifi capability but the Bluetooth seems to be fine and doesn't drop in volume or cut out
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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In which case it's only a matter of a correct cable which is good. Would you be able to return it? If it's Richer Sounds it should be possible. Though I've never tried to return speaker cable.
 

bdf123

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Apr 8, 2015
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Ye should hopefully be able to return. What cable would you recommend? Would you recommend changing even if it was at a shorter distance of around 5-6m? I.e. Is this cable a complete no no for this set up?

Thanks!!
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
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Shorter runs it should be fine, but it's SPC (silver plated copper) and imho not a good match for Zensors. I'd suggest OFC (oxygen free copper) cable of 2.5mm2
-4mm2 cross section. The problem is at that thickness branded cables will cost from £10 per meter. And at 10m runs you're looking at £200+ unterminated for a pair. You can probably appreciate that running £300 speakers with £200 cables is a little, well....

Cables are one of the most controversial subject in hifi.

I'd personally suggest this and it will do the job just fine. If the retailer insist on giving you store credit then just get a pair of speakers stands :)

Clicky
 

bdf123

New member
Apr 8, 2015
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Ok great thanks for the tips. Yea when you put it like that, £200 on £300 speakers, it does seem steep. If I can shorten the distance this should help the bank balance on new ones (or sound quality on what I have potentially).

i'll have to reconsider position and wall drilling. I'm driving the missus mad, all part of the fun though for me haha
 
Nov 22, 2014
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get second hand stereo amp for the other room, might work out cheaper, and better all round, AV not the best at stereo anyway, seem to be going to a lot of trouble just to have music in another room, when there are better soloutions out there for less than £200, il even give you some decent cable :)
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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Simon Cunvin said:
get second hand stereo amp for the other room, might work out cheaper, and better all round, AV not the best at stereo anyway, seem to be going to a lot of trouble just to have music in another room, when there are better soloutions out there for less than £200, il even give you some decent cable :)
Yes, buy another amp/system. The Denon DM40DAB is only £179 (ex-speakers).
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
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bdf123 said:
How could I play the same music in both rooms with a seperate amp though? 
Are you going to do that? Play music in both rooms at the same time? Are the speakers in your main room also Dali Zensor 3?

One thing that makes this arrangement difficult is volume in both rooms will be interdependent.

With possibly different speakers and distance to speakers the results might not be satisfactory.

I was under impression you want to listen to music in either one room or the other.
 

Al ears

Moderator
insider9 said:
bdf123 said:
How could I play the same music in both rooms with a seperate amp though?
Are you going to do that? Play music in both rooms at the same time? Are the speakers in your main room also Dali Zensor 3?

One thing that makes this arrangement difficult is volume in both rooms will be interdependent.

With possibly different speakers and distance to speakers the results might not be satisfactory.

I was under impression you want to listen to music in either one room or the other.
The different cable lengths should not have any effect on the music per se , even if he used both at same time.
 

bdf123

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Apr 8, 2015
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Yea in both rooms are Dali Zensor 3's. The amp has 2 zone control so could have different things going on in each room and may want to at times but the main reason is to have both rooms, playing the same thing at the same time with stereo sound. The amp will pretty much be bang in the middle of both rooms I.e at 12 metre cable run for room 1 it would be 12 for room 2 and likewise if I shorten and drill holes, it would bring it to around 6m for both rooms
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
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Al ears said:
The different cable lengths should not have any effect on the music per se , even if he used both at same time.
Agreed! This isn't what I meant though, probably didn't express myself well. Bear with me.

Imagine a situation where there's two sets of speakers with different sensitivity and impedance in two rooms that have different dimensions and distance from speakers to listener.

In a worst case scenario, if you put more sensitive and easier to drive speakers in a smaller room where distance to listener is also smaller. At the same time using more difficult to drive and less sensitive speakers in a bigger room where listener sits further away. Assuming the volume levels cannot be controlled for room A and room B and are interdependent the volume may vary significantly. It's likely that to set acceptable volume in one room will make other speakers either too loud or too quiet.

It's all theoretical and may not apply especially if amp can have 2 levels of volume set for 2 different rooms. But worth considering for OP.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
740
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bdf123 said:
Yea in both rooms are Dali Zensor 3's. The amp has 2 zone control so could have different things going on in each room and may want to at times but the main reason is to have both rooms, playing the same thing at the same time with stereo sound. The amp will pretty much be bang in the middle of both rooms I.e at 12 metre cable run for room 1 it would be 12 for room 2 and likewise if I shorten and drill holes, it would bring it to around 6m for both rooms 
That makes my previous post irrelevant. Thanks for clarification. 6m runs sound much more reasonable.
 

bdf123

New member
Apr 8, 2015
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insider9 said:
bdf123 said:
Yea in both rooms are Dali Zensor 3's. The amp has 2 zone control so could have different things going on in each room and may want to at times but the main reason is to have both rooms, playing the same thing at the same time with stereo sound. The amp will pretty much be bang in the middle of both rooms I.e at 12 metre cable run for room 1 it would be 12 for room 2 and likewise if I shorten and drill holes, it would bring it to around 6m for both rooms
That makes my previous post irrelevant. Thanks for clarification. 6m runs sound much more reasonable.
An enjoyable read though. I learn so much reading what people post on here, thanks :) so I should be ok with the cable I have but at 6m distance? I could still probably swap the cable if another one is recommended but I am mindful of not getting it too thick for practical purposes. Thanks very much :)
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
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bdf123 said:
insider9 said:
bdf123 said:
Yea in both rooms are Dali Zensor 3's. The amp has 2 zone control so could have different things going on in each room and may want to at times but the main reason is to have both rooms, playing the same thing at the same time with stereo sound. The amp will pretty much be bang in the middle of both rooms I.e at 12 metre cable run for room 1 it would be 12 for room 2 and likewise if I shorten and drill holes, it would bring it to around 6m for both rooms
That makes my previous post irrelevant. Thanks for clarification. 6m runs sound much more reasonable.
An enjoyable read though. I learn so much reading what people post on here, thanks :) so I should be ok with the cable I have but at 6m distance? I could still probably swap the cable if another one is recommended but I am mindful of not getting it too thick for practical purposes. Thanks very much :)
For a cheap cable I would recommend the Profigold PGC82546. Just bought a couple of lengths and it is good. Not good for the price but decent even compared to QED Revelation and NACA5, one of which I have the other which I just tried in my system. The Profigold is different to either one of the above. I'll write a few lines about it later. That'll be fun again :)
 

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