Current speaker comparable to Q Acoustics 1030i

decto

Active Member
Hi all,

Some 10-12 years ago I picked up 4 Q Acoustics 1030i speakers at clearance prices in Richer sounds.
These have been used as L, R and Surround L, R along with a QA 2000Ci center (there were no 1000C in stock) and a BK Sub.
It was less expensive at the time to buy these that 1010 + stands.

The surround have now been replaced with Dali C-1 due to a furniture change.
Currently using Sony 2400ES but likely to upgrade in next 12m with budget 1k.

I'm considering replacing the LCR, possibly even with Oberon on-wall (L,R) but I don't know where the 1030i fits into the stack and what an equivalent would be in todays offerings of either book shelf or floor standing speakers. My google fu hasn't helped much either other than the speakers were considered a reasonable entry level unit.

Right now, I have to run the center at -8db for even levels on the amp test tone wheras the 1030i and C-1 are +/- 1db.

Can any one suggest an equivalent or the minimum speaker that would be slightly better.

There's a lot of kids TV run through them as it's the main living area and the amp is the default sound, but the main use will be movies (typically -10 to -20db) especially when the kids are in bed and flac through we like music sometimes in the evenings, we don't really sit listening to the details so more casusal.

Thanks
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
So you have Dali Alteco C-1 as surrounds. If looking to keep low budget then the Dali Spektor range has same drivers to your Altecos. So example Spektor 2 as front l/r, Spektor Vokal as center channel. Alternative option would be Spektor 6 as front l/r if you wish floorstanders.

But if you are eyeing to spend 1k£ for receiver then i would consider the Dali Oberon range. Either Oberon On-Walls or Oberon 1 / 3 with speaker stands. Oberon 5 floorstanders are compact slim option. Oberon Vokal naturally then as center channel.

From Q Acoustics the 3050i is the latest version of your 1030i partnered with 3090Ci. Monitor Audio Bronze 200 or 50 for front l/r and Bronze C150 is good alternative. I think you should visit your local hifi shop, example Richer Sounds has all these models usually so you could compare the main speakers side by side. Just book demo time and tell which models you want to hear, ask them to use Sony DN1080 in the demo session.


Not sure what has gone wrong with the setup as the levels are so different. Would be nice to see picture of your front room to see how the speakers are placed etc. The Sony ES2400 has some auto setup with microphone so you should be able to set the levels correctly. Then checking that speaker size is set all small and crossovers set ~80-100hz for those speakers.

Which BK model you have?
 

decto

Active Member
Hi Gasp,

I went with the Dali C-1 as you recommended here: C-1 or Minx thanks.

They look high in the photo but the center is aound 16 inch above ear height in case I add some atmos speakers. I did run 4mm cable as it's a 10/12m run but this doesn't fit the terminals without cutting around 1/3 of the strands away and the Dali don't support banana plugs, it's just a coloured sticker and a solid centre so I've got some 2.5mm to replace it with which will be easier to hide in the D conduit.

So far they seem to integrate OK, though I've only had a few hours usage.

A corner couch is on order which will extend from this position adding another seat into the corner.

YGEpxqI.jpg



Setup as below.

The right hand speaker is ~30 inches from the right wall and 8 inch from the back wall.
On the left the couch is pushed up against the wall when the room is open but will pivot round to form a U around the TV when we have people over, though these seats are not important for critical viewing / surrond sound hence shown as occasional in the other thread.

I've squeezed the sub, BK XLS200 DF on the right as the REW tool seemed to suggest the least issues here. I have just picked up a calibrated mic so I can get some actual REW data to see what's going on before buying bigger or more subwoofers.

TV , 42" G10 plasma to be replaced by 65" Sony XH95, If I measured correctly it should sit with roughly the same centre speaker clearance and be a couple of inches wider than the TV cabinet.

L5cscq2.jpg



I need to find the calibration mic for the Sony, I put it somewhere safe while we redid the family room and it's being a little shy. I used a calibrated (db A) meter set to db C and manually adjusted the levels at the prime seat with the test tone to get them all too match 75 db when the amp is set to 0 db. ( I assume this is correct for reference). Previously I've only even run Auto cal. The centre was far louder audibily and on the meter so I had to trim it back significantly. I had noticed the previosuly the center always seem dominant but having not been to the Cinema for a long time didn't have a comparison.

I did notice the equaliser menu seemed to have a lot of top end boost, not sure if this was set automatically or if it's per channel / group of speakers so may need to look at this.

I do have the speakers set to small with ~80Hz cross over, I was experimenting 60 - 100 hz. If I the leave the fronts on full range the amp or speaker distorts in base heavy explosions, crashes etc. when the volume is set higher than -10 db so I went back to small. With the cross over and the sub dialed in to level there is no obvious distortion even at 0db.

The Dali on-wall would allow me a lot of flexibility as the floor space would be freed for a bigger sub if these give a similar performance to the 1030i. The driver in the on wall is smaller but they claim optimisation for on wall mouting some porting trickery.

The Oberon 5 with the centre, could be an option and I think that's the nub of the question. If spending £1000 for Dali LCR gets me quite similar performance or only slightly better to what I have now then I either need to increase the budget or stick to the speakers I have and make them work in the room.

I will take your advice and arrange a listening session.

The kids are off for the next 2 weeks and we have lots of events planned so unlikely I'll get to do more than read a few years of historic What Hifi on Readly.

In your view is the approx eqivalant tier to the 1030i, the Spektor?
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Hi Gasp,

I went with the Dali C-1 as you recommended here: C-1 or Minx thanks.

They look high in the photo but the center is aound 16 inch above ear height in case I add some atmos speakers. I did run 4mm cable as it's a 10/12m run but this doesn't fit the terminals without cutting around 1/3 of the strands away and the Dali don't support banana plugs, it's just a coloured sticker and a solid centre so I've got some 2.5mm to replace it with which will be easier to hide in the D conduit.

So far they seem to integrate OK, though I've only had a few hours usage.

A corner couch is on order which will extend from this position adding another seat into the corner.

YGEpxqI.jpg



Setup as below.

The right hand speaker is ~30 inches from the right wall and 8 inch from the back wall.
On the left the couch is pushed up against the wall when the room is open but will pivot round to form a U around the TV when we have people over, though these seats are not important for critical viewing / surrond sound hence shown as occasional in the other thread.

I've squeezed the sub, BK XLS200 DF on the right as the REW tool seemed to suggest the least issues here. I have just picked up a calibrated mic so I can get some actual REW data to see what's going on before buying bigger or more subwoofers.

TV , 42" G10 plasma to be replaced by 65" Sony XH95, If I measured correctly it should sit with roughly the same centre speaker clearance and be a couple of inches wider than the TV cabinet.

L5cscq2.jpg



I need to find the calibration mic for the Sony, I put it somewhere safe while we redid the family room and it's being a little shy. I used a calibrated (db A) meter set to db C and manually adjusted the levels at the prime seat with the test tone to get them all too match 75 db when the amp is set to 0 db. ( I assume this is correct for reference). Previously I've only even run Auto cal. The centre was far louder audibily and on the meter so I had to trim it back significantly. I had noticed the previosuly the center always seem dominant but having not been to the Cinema for a long time didn't have a comparison.

I did notice the equaliser menu seemed to have a lot of top end boost, not sure if this was set automatically or if it's per channel / group of speakers so may need to look at this.

I do have the speakers set to small with ~80Hz cross over, I was experimenting 60 - 100 hz. If I the leave the fronts on full range the amp or speaker distorts in base heavy explosions, crashes etc. when the volume is set higher than -10 db so I went back to small. With the cross over and the sub dialed in to level there is no obvious distortion even at 0db.

The Dali on-wall would allow me a lot of flexibility as the floor space would be freed for a bigger sub if these give a similar performance to the 1030i. The driver in the on wall is smaller but they claim optimisation for on wall mouting some porting trickery.

The Oberon 5 with the centre, could be an option and I think that's the nub of the question. If spending £1000 for Dali LCR gets me quite similar performance or only slightly better to what I have now then I either need to increase the budget or stick to the speakers I have and make them work in the room.

I will take your advice and arrange a listening session.

The kids are off for the next 2 weeks and we have lots of events planned so unlikely I'll get to do more than read a few years of historic What Hifi on Readly.

In your view is the approx eqivalant tier to the 1030i, the Spektor?

Thanks, you have all well planned there.

XLS200 is probably good to about 30-35hz. For action/scifi type flicks as you listen so loud you definitely want to consider something larger in that 24sqm room. But let´s see what kind of response you are getting, it`s great to measure now so you learn about your room. I would take measurements in each spots possible for a new sub in mind too. I would say roughly 500-600£ mark product would be minium. You can sell the XLS200 quite easily here at classifieds if it´s in good shape.

It`s always hard to compare without listening and then the personal preferences also.. Spektor is likely closer to what you have now, but i dare to say they will sound quite different so you might feel them being better who knows. Definitely visit your local store as soon as possible. Usually when doing upgrade i would want something better sounding, nicer looking etc. so going cheap with speakers isn´t necessarily the best way to go. I would be suprised if the Dali Oberon LCR wouldn´t sound better, but i think you would be looking at least the towers then.

If you are looking more noticeable upgrade and want on-wall speakers i would consider the soon to be discontinued Dali Opticon LCR, this has hybrid dual tweeters with larger drivers (6,5") and cabinet. Great price on them now as new mk2 model costs 599£/each! You just have to think about the av-cabinet as the speaker is larger (center channel). The tweeter combo can be turned for the center channel (vertical orienation) so it will be then optimal. Of course you would then look something like Denon X3700H or Marantz SR6015 both at the 1k£ mark now.


For a size comparison left is Oberon On-Wall and Right side is Opticon LCR:

DSC09027_1280x1280.jpg



If considering the 1k£ mark then there is starting to come more options. Example Monitor Audio Silver range is very good and popular within AVF members. They even come with real wood veneer finish (walnut/natural oak/rosenut). Similar to Dali Oberon 5 these 200 model are slim compact sized. I have heard the earlier version of Oberon 5 and earlier Silver floorstanders side by side and the Silvers were better as they are competing more with Dali Opticon range. There is cheaper ex-display models:

And the center channel you probably would want the smaller version:


Kef Q550 and Q250C/Q650C comes to mind too:


Plenty of good choices and you don´t necessarily need to buy Dali LCR. I would check all options and make a list which would suit you size/finish, then book demo time and ask to compare those models.
 

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