20 year old Mordaunt Short MS10i Classics v's Dali Zensor 1s?

Smoking Joe

Active Member
20 years ago (roughly) I bought a pair of Mordaunt Short MS10i Classics for 300 quid. Probably a week's wage at the time. I had the standard MS10i (120 quid) and the Classics were a big extra outlay at the time but a serious upgrade in sound quality. The MS 10i Pearls had just came out at the time and I auditioned them in a local HiFi shop. The guy told me not to bother with the Classics as they were over priced and so I just auditioned Monitor Audio can't remember the model for 300 quid and the MS 10i Pearls for 150 quid. But then the sales guy had to pop out so I switched to the Classics and he came back in and was "WTF did you do? That sounds good!" He had never even ever tried them as he assumed the Pearls were just as good.

Anyway looking at new Dali Zenzor 1s which cost 254 Euro, in relative terms, a lot cheaper that the MS Classics when they were new. The Zensor 1s are also a lot smaller. Does modern tech in a smaller cabinet mean a better speaker?
I've yet to give the Dalis a test. But I have my Classics (in use every day) and also have my standard MS10is stored away. Just wondering if the Dalis would be better? I have a set of them sitting in the back room, I just need to set up and so a comparison. What are the bets?


Distinguished Member
That might be an issue for scale... but I don’t think so.

Modern materials especially, (drivers and x-over components) and a lack of tiredness should count for more I’d say.

Smoking Joe

Active Member
It will be interesting to test as I am dubious that modern can have improved that much. And apart from the caps in the cross overs I don't think that there is anything else in a speaker that will become tired. So I'm interested to test them and see what I find.. :)


Well-known Member
And apart from the caps in the cross overs I don't think that there is anything else in a speaker that will become tired.

Foam drive unit surrounds usually disintegrate after 15 years or so (not saying the MS speakers use foam - I wouldn't know). I also wonder about foam damping material used inside some speaker cabinets, which could turn to dust though I've not experienced it.
Speaker voice coils can become off-centre and start to rub on fixed parts, maybe due in part to changes in the suspension spider(s), maybe in part due to the voice coil starting to come away from the former. This can happen through normal usage. Has happened to me on several occasion.
Paper cones, particularly undoped ones, are affected by their environment over time. The cones of Volt units I use changed colour noticeably with age but I don't know of any audible effects.
There are other possible deteriorations such as glue drying out. Some of the big air-cored inductors on my pair of Mission 770's worked loose over time. Maybe cabinets could suffer air leakage too if glue dried out?

However, I've no idea how your MS speakers will compare sonically with the Dali's. One point I would make though is that you've enjoyed the MS speakers for many years and would have grown accustomed to their sonic signature. How readily will your ears/brain accept a different sound? A quick A vs. B comparison with your MS speakers may well favour the familiar. If possible, best try new speakers at home to give you time to acclimatise to them and appreciate their strengths.

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