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Dali Zensor 1

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Does anyone have experience with these speakers? I was wondering how they compare to others at this price range. The reviews on Amazon are all positive, though one person did comment that the treble might sound a little harsh to some. Besides that, I can't really find any comments about the sound quality.

 

Edit note: misinterpretation regarding treble.


Edited by spaark - 6/17/12 at 7:07am
post #2 of 14

Hi!

I have a pair of the Dali Zensor 1.

Absolute fantastic for that price!

 

I find them very well balanced and with i nice bass for being that small.

I haven't noticed them being harsh on the treble.

 

Do you have the possibilities of listening to them where you live?

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Good to hear :). There are a few shops where I can listen to these, but I'd like to know what other head-fiers think when comparing to similar-priced speakers. My ears aren't as trained, especially when doing quick demos.

post #4 of 14

I have a pair too. I think they sound superb for the money. Indeed, they could be priced even higher. As above I find the sound to be pretty well balanced and neutral. I certainly don't find them harsh. Build quality and appearance is also spot-on.
 

post #5 of 14

I've just brought home a pair of these, on the strength of the Stereophile review. They have about six hours of playtime and sound amazing already, even driven by my humble mini-Onkyo.

Look lovely too, with the grilles off. 

post #6 of 14

I got a chance to hear these recently and I also liked them alot. Driven by a pretty humble NAD integrated and they still sounded fabulous. 

post #7 of 14

Tried asking this elsewhere, to no avail. Maybe this thread is a more fitting place ? Apologies if not.

 

 

I use my pair of Dali Zensor 1 (bought, as mentionned, on the strength of the Stereophile review), with a Nuforce Icon HDP hooked to a cheapish Onkyo mini-system (a CR-525). Both DAC and speakers sound good as is, but I've been told using a dedicated amp could do wonders (some of the things I listen to do sound a little dry, not shrill or harsh but thin). I don't intend to pump up the volume (as they said "back in the day"), and mainly listen to chamber-music-like, speculative stuff in a smallish, untreated room. A few of my favorite albums are Eric Dolphy's Out to Lunch !, Gastr del Sol's Upgrade & Afterlife, Jim O'Rourke's Bad Timing, Josquin Desprez'sMissa Pange Lingua (by Marcel Pérès and the Clément Janequin ensemble), Van Dyke Parks' Song Cycle, the Beach Boys'SMiLE, Roy Harper's Stormcock and Gustav Leonhardt's solo Bach recordings.  This said to set the stage.

 

I've looked at the following amps, mostly usual suspects I imagine. I'd be, of course, open to further suggestions, if said suggestions are available in France (no Emotiva, for instance) :

 

- the Yamaha AS-500 (if the AS-300 is unsuitable ?), though the What-hifi review has me worried ("Doesn't like harsh partnering kit").

 

- the Marantz PM5004 (I could consider the PM6003, as it's in clearance at my local Hifi shop, but not the 6004). Not very neutral, is it ? 

 

- the Atoll IN30 (Made in France !). I don't suppose this has been heard much.

 

I do intend to give each of these a listen, but would rather "clear the air" somewhat before I do. There's no way, for instance, I'll be able to check these out with a HDP. 

 

I should add that I don't have a turntable and that I don't plan to add a sub, meaning a phono-stage or subwoofer out are not priorities. I'll be using the HDP as headphone amp, so I don't need a headphone-out either. Finally, as both amp and DAC will be sitting at arm's reach, a remote control is not necessary.

 

Subsidiary question : would it be allright to put one of these incredibly huge amps under my monitor (which is lighter, I'm sure, than the CD players these amps are usually used with / stuck under) ?

 

Thanks for your help in any case.


Edited by Mrtn77 - 8/23/12 at 11:52am
post #8 of 14

Hi! I'm pretty sure about getting this pair. However, I don't know if my little Denon CS-555 (22w per channel on 4 ohms) will be enough to move them properly in a 21m2 (3x7m) living room. I don't need high sound levels (neighbours, you know...) I'll be happy to read any opinion. Thanks!

post #9 of 14

Supposing your "Denon CS-555" is a typo for "Onkyo CS-555", your setup seems fairly similar to what I had (Zensors hooked to a Onkyo mini-system in a 20m2 room).

It sounded much better than the bundled Onkyo speakers but did sound somewhat dry and thin with some of my music (the classical stuff, mostly. Worked fine with rock etc).

I ditched the Onkyo for an Atoll In30 in the end ( http://www.atoll-electronique.com/atoll-ampli-preampli-integres.php ), and am very happy that I did. The Dalis and Atoll work wonders together.

But I managed to live with the Dalis through the Onkyo for a few months, without going mad or thinking to bring them back.

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrtn77 View Post

Supposing your "Denon CS-555" is a typo for "Onkyo CS-555", your setup seems fairly similar to what I had (Zensors hooked to a Onkyo mini-system in a 20m2 room).

It sounded much better than the bundled Onkyo speakers but did sound somewhat dry and thin with some of my music (the classical stuff, mostly. Worked fine with rock etc).

I ditched the Onkyo for an Atoll In30 in the end ( http://www.atoll-electronique.com/atoll-ampli-preampli-integres.php ), and am very happy that I did. The Dalis and Atoll work wonders together.

But I managed to live with the Dalis through the Onkyo for a few months, without going mad or thinking to bring them back.

 

Thanks for you answer! And yes, I meant Onkyo, not Denon :). I think I'll keep it for a while until upgrading to a better amp. Anyway, now I have another doubt... I've read in a couple of reviews that the zensors lack some bass so maybe a sub would be needed. Since I'm not planning to get a sub, I'm starting to consider another pair like the tannoys mercury V1, that are known to have little more bass response and excellent price for value (now on amazon UK: 125 euros = 160 dollars). What do you think? Do you miss some bass out of your zensors? Any other pair I should consider? Thanks!

post #11 of 14

I haven't found the Dalis lacking in bass at all. They're lovely all around, sound natural, never boomy, bloated, harsh or tiresome.

I'm no bass-head but the somewhat bass heavy stuff I'm liable to listen to (say The Wailers' Catch a Fire or Tortoise's Standards, for instance) sounds perfectly fine.

I paid 200 euros for my pair and couldn't be happier. I'd never dream of adding a sub. I might consider it if I were into Hollywood Blockbuster style Home-Cinema (which I'm not), but never for music.

If you haven't read it by now, I'd suggest you read Stereophile's review of them. It's what sold them to me.


Edited by Mrtn77 - 10/21/12 at 4:45am
post #12 of 14

Although this thread has been idle for a while, I figured I'd put in my own 2 cents since it still turns up on a Google search (good to know that head-fi has good precedence).

 

I bought a new pair of Zensor 1's for a small apartment, driven by a Marantz M-CR603 that I listen to via optical or Air Play from my MBP. They burned in relatively quickly, even though I never had a chance to crank up the volume past 1/3 max (as much as it pains me, I'd love to!). I was able to listen to the exact same demo set-up in the audio store before buying them, so I knew what I was getting. I also read numerous reviews on these speakers, and their spectacular pairing with the M-CR603, so I was simply happy to see that they really did indeed live up to the hype.

 

I have my Dalis on a large wood desk in a small room corner, on the rubber pegs provided in the box, and with a wooden wall behind, so I get decent bass resonance, even if it isn't optimal. Everything is just super clear and clean, the spectrum comes across as reliable and flat. There is no fizz or sibilance or anything unpleasant in the highs, although cymbals don't shine quite as bright as systems that are many price points above this one, and there is not a lot of bass presence under ~100 Hz. Still, I don't feel any urge to smiley face my EQ (I like all genres of music, and listen to an insane variety regularly). The mids and middle-highs are so superb that I can tell how dry a speaker or singer's mouth was when recorded...I can literally hear the saliva in their mouth. The bass response is very linear in much of the frequency band, even if it tails off a bit under 100 Hz.

 

Very brief summary: Am I really listening to such a brilliant sound from such a cheap pair of speakers?! Apparently...yes.

 

That being said, if I moved this system into a larger room, I'd probably want some more bass. But the Dali SUB, as nice as it seems, costs several times more than I paid for this pair of Zensor 1's, so it only makes sense to go that way if I also upgrade to Zensor 3's, but those will anyways have more bass presence owing to their larger cones, so even less justification for a $500-$700 sub. Thus I would say that the Zensor 1's are basically a very good small room or shelf speaker, especially for systems that won't annoy the neighbors in crowded living environs (such as mine), but may not be the ideal system in the case of much larger rooms or systems...but this probably doesn't come as much of a surprise to the reader...

post #13 of 14

good,I'd suggest you read Stereophile's review of them. It's what sold them to me.thanks

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post #14 of 14
I just got a pair of these the other day, my first pair of proper speakers. Supported on a pair of Atacama stands they sound very good for £200. Also of note is that they retain a great level of detail at low volumes which is perfect for late nights! The level if detail is pretty good and the bass is surprisingly punchy and extended but I agree with Stereophiles review that it can be a tad bloasted or amazingly tight, it depends on the recording.

I am returning the denon dm39 I purchased with these sure to a noisy CD drive, but I reckon I will not be wanting to upgrade from the zensors for some time!
Edited by Fleabyte - 6/14/14 at 1:58pm
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