B&W 603 vs Dali Oberon 5!

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
First guys are there anyone using Soundcare Super Spikes on their Dali Oberon 5 speakers?


The plinth seems only to accept normal spikes with out shoes spikes included. There are only some kind of rubber feet that can either be placed alone or under the spikes to protect the floor from scratching. So if anyone have tried the spikes I’ve mentioned feel free to contact me.

Now the build quality for the Oberon 5. Top marks.10 points. They just feel like a more expensive speakers, by that I mean Spendor own expensive speakers. Even though it’s not a real wood finish it’s still very good! Sound. Top marks. 10 points.

The sound flows effortlessly from the speakers. The crossover settings are in class of their own. You don’t hear if you’re listing too the bass/midrange, treble. It’s so airy. Right out of the box the sound is snappy, dynamic and very warm easy to listen too.This I suggest is the soft dome treble.

The ribbon treble Dali uses on some models sound awful. But the soft dome treble is silky smooth. For its size the bass is deep enough for small rooms. Midrange is a bit laidback compared too other Dali models, by that I mean the vocals are a bit behind the band. Some may not like this, but I do. Horns, violins never sound hard so you can listen to Sinatra all the day long if the mood takes you😁.

The Dali are easy to drive for most budget amp too get an existing sound! A Rega Brio would be excellent. They can stand more or less glued to the back wall!

Now to the not so good issues. The height could be 15 cm higher. But since Dali plays best on axis, and give wide, airy sound there shouldn’t be any problems in the long run. There should have been a magnet grill. Otherwise up there with some of the best speakers I’ve heard regardless of price!

Now the B&W 603 is a different animal all together. The midrange is not as clear as the Dali’ making them sound slightly veiled. Voices are more upfront though and very realistic. It just that they sound a bit shallow/metallic. The bass is of course much more deeper, but the bass is overpowering the midrange, treble making the sound a bit to slow and too boring in the long run. Treble is soft. Nothing wrong there. It’s just in that price range I expect a class leading sound. Note, we’re all different and some like a different house sound. Build is not up to scratch. The matte black finish looks like something someone have made in their garage. So overall 9 points too the Dali. 7 points too Bowers. In the future I may try the Oberon 7. Please discuss😊. Happy listing. Whether the Oberon 5 gets better with burn mains to be seen, but most of the speakers I’ve had have gotten better after 30-hours or so...
 
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Al89

Novice Member
Hey thanks for your review of the 2 speaker sets I was looking at on my other thread! Really good to hear. How did the Oberon 5's burn in in the end? I was looking at these also but have been advised by several people to spend extra and go for the Opticon 6 mark ii. Don't know if you have heard them but would love to hear your thoughts regardless? I have a relatively small room 3.5x4.5m so not a lot of space behind the speakers, plenty of room either side. I currently have (very old) Mission 773's that I'm looking to replace!
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Hey thanks for your review of the 2 speaker sets I was looking at on my other thread! Really good to hear. How did the Oberon 5's burn in in the end? I was looking at these also but have been advised by several people to spend extra and go for the Opticon 6 mark ii. Don't know if you have heard them but would love to hear your thoughts regardless? I have a relatively small room 3.5x4.5m so not a lot of space behind the speakers, plenty of room either side. I currently have (very old) Mission 773's that I'm looking to replace!
I am pretty sure you’ll be happy if you choose the Oberon 5 or the Option 6 Mark 2 speakers. The Opticon looks better, and sound is more neutral. More refined, more space around the instruments. Very detailed, but also not bright. However I think the Oberon 5 or even the 7 may suit your listing room better. They are not as refined sounding as the Opticon. But way more fun. The bass is more on the fuller, deeper size.
 

Al89

Novice Member
Thanks for your reply! I have now find a rather attractive price for the opticon 6 mark I older model and wondering if this would be worth considering?
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Thanks for your reply! I have now find a rather attractive price for the opticon 6 mark I older model and wondering if this would be worth considering?
I don’t think you well be disappointed. Very good speakers.

Which amplifier are you considering to use with the speakers?

They are not the most difficult to speakers to drive, but they only are rated 85-86 dB. So they are not that efficient like the other Dali speakers.


I’d consider Denon, Marantz, Rotel, Yamaha. At least around 80-100 watts.
 

Al89

Novice Member
I don’t think you well be disappointed. Very good speakers.

Which amplifier are you considering to use with the speakers?

They are not the most difficult to speakers to drive, but they only are rated 85-86 dB. So they are not that efficient like the other Dali speakers.


I’d consider Denon, Marantz, Rotel, Yamaha. At least around 80-100 watts.
I am currently running a Yamaha RX V681 but will probably want to upgrade in the near future. Do you have any recommendations? Denon 3700h seems to get a good write up but I don't have a dedicated stereo amp so....
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Arcam SA20, Marantz PM8006. Those two amplifiers are more on the warm, romantic side of neutral, but still fairly neutral sounding. If you want the midrange to sound fuller then other brands then this two amplifiers I would recommend.

However it could be that the Marantz amplifier is too soft sounding, but I don’t think it should have any problems driving the Dali speakers.

Aren’t they 86 db, 4 ohm speakers (the Dali speakers) ?

If you want more slam then Rega is something you should consider. @gibbsy, owns a very good Rega amplifier. There are several Rega amplifiers in the same price range as the amplifiers I have mentioned.

You do of course have Rotel. So it depends do you want dynamic sound or warm sound.

Dali does in my opinion like amplifiers that emphasis the midrange, so it could be wise to listen to Marantz, Arcam.

Denon is very good. Then PMA 1600NE is an amplifier that is very nice to listen to. Not as dark, soft sounding then Marantz, but still they resemble Marantz in some areas.

Depending on your budget Yamaha have some extraordinary amplifiers ranging from the AS801 to the AS2100. Yamaha is my bet if you want control, dynamics.

If budget is something to consider then Denon, like Yamaha several models.

Roksan I have no experience with, but @Orobas knows a lot about roksan.

If money is of no concern then you can’t go wrong with Macintosh:D
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
I am currently running a Yamaha RX V681 but will probably want to upgrade in the near future. Do you have any recommendations? Denon 3700h seems to get a good write up but I don't have a dedicated stereo amp so....
Do you want AVR receiver or stereo amplifier?
 

Al89

Novice Member
Do you want AVR receiver or stereo amplifier?
That is the exact question I was now going to ask. I like both movies and music and can only afford one! What would make the biggest difference to my current set up. Keeping the yamaha and buying a stereo amp or upgrading my AVR to something that is also more musical than my current set up. I wish money was no issue! Haha

The Dali are 4 ohms yes.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
That is the exact question I was now going to ask. I like both movies and music and can only afford one! What would make the biggest difference to my current set up. Keeping the yamaha and buying a stereo amp or upgrading my AVR to something that is also more musical than my current set up. I wish money was no issue! Haha

The Dali are 4 ohms yes.
An AVR amplifier we’ll not sound as good as a normal stereo amplifier. This is because an AVR amplifier has more bells and whistles, so to speak. It is made more for movies, not music.

If you wanna buy AVR amplifier then I guess Arcam is the only way to go. However it is going to be expensive. Arcam makes very good AVR amplifiers.

But usually a normal stereo amplifier wins every time.

You can of course buy an amplifier with HT-Pass, that way you can still use your Yamaha amplifier. Then just switch over to the stereo amplifier when you listen to music.

But in the end it is your ears, taste. There is nothing wrong in using the Yamaha amplifier.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Yeah I know an AVR is never going to be as good but I want the best of both worlds haha.
I suggest you listen to some amplifiers, and see if you prefer AVR or an ordinary stereo amplifier.

You also have stereo receivers to chose from. Denon (sorry can’t remember the model number) but it cost about the same as the Yamaha 803D stereo receiver.

If you like the Yamaha sound the latter may suit you.
 

Al89

Novice Member
I suggest you listen to some amplifiers, and see if you prefer AVR or an ordinary stereo amplifier.

You also have stereo receivers to chose from. Denon (sorry can’t remember the model number) but it cost about the same as the Yamaha 803D stereo receiver.

If you like the Yamaha sound the latter may suit you.
Thanks!
So for example the Yamaha 803D - how would I use this in a surround set up? Or would I just bypass this and use AVR? This is the bit I am not familiar with?
 

Orobas

Well-known Member
Arcam SA20, Marantz PM8006. Those two amplifiers are more on the warm, romantic side of neutral, but still fairly neutral sounding. If you want the midrange to sound fuller then other brands then this two amplifiers I would recommend.

However it could be that the Marantz amplifier is too soft sounding, but I don’t think it should have any problems driving the Dali speakers.

Aren’t they 86 db, 4 ohm speakers (the Dali speakers) ?

If you want more slam then Rega is something you should consider. @gibbsy, owns a very good Rega amplifier. There are several Rega amplifiers in the same price range as the amplifiers I have mentioned.

You do of course have Rotel. So it depends do you want dynamic sound or warm sound.

Dali does in my opinion like amplifiers that emphasis the midrange, so it could be wise to listen to Marantz, Arcam.

Denon is very good. Then PMA 1600NE is an amplifier that is very nice to listen to. Not as dark, soft sounding then Marantz, but still they resemble Marantz in some areas.

Depending on your budget Yamaha have some extraordinary amplifiers ranging from the AS801 to the AS2100. Yamaha is my bet if you want control, dynamics.

If budget is something to consider then Denon, like Yamaha several models.

Roksan I have no experience with, but @Orobas knows a lot about roksan.

If money is of no concern then you can’t go wrong with Macintosh:D
Roksan on the 603 will show that nasally midrange up big time. I can confirm that in person having heard them with the 603

Roksan on the Dali ... Only thing i am concerned on here.. is the treble.. and that's coming from knowing what the Oberon 8 sounds like on a Caspian!!! Wow that treble is crisp and forward.. but the rest of the mid/bass is just perfect.

Stay clear of the Roksan Blak series.. they suck.. and yes i know this is coming from a Roksan owner! but against the Kandy and Caspian... the Blak has kind of lost its way

Either way.. both Dali and B&W are regularly specced with Roksan at hifi shops like Doug Brady with models like the Oberon 7 and the 603.

At the end of the day i would place Roksan as a party animal that just goes until the speaker gives out. Not the most refined listen by any means.. but with the right speaker.. oh boy will it sing!

The only thing that annoys me with Roksan really is volume.. you really have to power a roksan to get it to sing properly.. At lower volumes it is just a bit too brash i think with most speakers unless it is partnered very carefully. I Have found this with my current combo.. at low volume my Rok/Dyn combo is in your face.. not much bass.. very mid / top forward.. but get that volume north and the sound really changes and opens up.. which means you need room and understanding neighbours lol
 
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Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Thanks!
So for example the Yamaha 803D - how would I use this in a surround set up? Or would I just bypass this and use AVR? This is the bit I am not familiar with?
To be honest I’m not so sure my self.

I know that the amplifier need to support Pre Out or HT-Pass which it is also called. Both mean the same.

So you then just use two RCA cables from the Pre Outputs on the amplifier to the AVR amplifier. But I’m not hundred percent sure which output you need to use on the AVR amplifier. Others probably well soon tell the right answer.

Unfortunately the 803D does not support Pre Out.
 

Al89

Novice Member
To be honest I’m not so sure my self.

I know that the amplifier need to support Pre Out or HT-Pass which it is also called. Both mean the same.

So you then just use two RCA cables from the Pre Outputs on the amplifier to the AVR amplifier. But I’m not hundred percent sure which output you need to use on the AVR amplifier. Others probably well soon tell the right answer.

Unfortunately the 803D does not support Pre Out.
Would you not use the pre out on the avr to feed the front speakers via the stereo amp?
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
AI89, what you essentially want is to use the stereo amplifier as a power amplifier which then we’ll control the front speakers in a home theater set up. Still I’m not certain if it we’ll controll all the speakers or just the front speakers. On my Marantz PM8006 (fabulous stereo amplifier for Dali Oberon 5, Dali Oberon 7) you need to push the power amplifier button so it can act as a power amplifier in a home theater setup. With these features you get the best of both worlds. One sound for movies. One sound for stereo. If you google it I’m quite sure you we’ll figure it out.
 

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