DALI help please! Zensor, Oberon or Opticon?

ShardsOfMe

Distinguished Member
Your wisdom please, fellow AVF’ers :).

I have upgraded my old Arcam Solo Movie 2.1 2007 DVD to an Arcam Solo Movie 5.1 2016 (Blu-ray/streaming version), although I only ever use my systems for 2.0 (or perhaps 2.1 - read on) music use - I have found that the Arcam …Movie units are so much better for this than their …Music counterparts.

The new Solo is paired with my old Zensor 3s and whilst it sounds pretty great so far, I can’t help but feel that the Zensors are holding it back.

I have the option of Oberon 1s at a very reasonable price (£170) that I can pair with my spare Cambridge S80 sub to help with the bottom end, or at least until I find a DALI sub 😉.

I am also looking at Opticon 2 Mk. 2s as what should be a substantial step-up. These are more expensive but still a decent price against list (£540 against £899).

Whatever I choose, I can’t stand mount the speakers because of room limitations - everything is on a solid wood rack/unit. Zensor 3s are about as big as I can go - I did previously have Spektor 2s and they were a better size though with the expected compromises.

I listen to everything from classic rock and pop, through ‘tunes the milkman would find it hard to whistle the next morning’ outré jazz, to the occasion bit of classical. I love the Arcam and DALI combination and am not looking at other brands, but am a bit lost as to where diminishing returns come in within the DALI range.

So, your opinion please - do I stick with the Zensor 3s; sidegrade to the Oberon 1s (with or without sub - opinions would be good here also); or go for the Opticon 2s? Will I hear the extra £360 with the Opticons over the Oberons?

And, as a curve ball, what about Alteco-C1s as fronts? They would solve the room issue - but I don’t know whether Altecos should even be under serious consideration.

Thanks in advance! The new Arcam is the nicest piece of kit I’ve ever owned; I just want to do it justice with a sensible pairing - and I know you guys will give me honest, unbiased and practical advice :smashin:.
 
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Kapkirk

Active Member
Well I'd say if you can obtain the Opticon mk2's for £540 go for it, they should offer a more balanced treble than the Zensor's with better dynamics all round. I'd skip the Oberon 1., good as they are for a small speaker they will not compete with the much better Opticon Mk2.
Sorry, not sure what you mean by "would the Alteco solve the room issue" They are designed for surround sound more than for 2ch duties.
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
My mother has Opticon Mk1. We listened to a range of speakers when she got them, including Zensors. The Opticon has so much more about it. Can't comment on the Oberon.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Opticon all the way. More easier going sound. More air, less boxy sound. Simply because the crossover settings, cabinets are of better build quality.

Are you going to use Arcam Solo? Bit confusing post.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Subwoofer well of course add more bass with Oberon, Opticon. This is your call.

However Opticon sounds of course better, I believe you’ll miss this. Try subwoofer first. With each speaker. Then see.
 

ShardsOfMe

Distinguished Member
I surmised that Opticon will (should) sound better. The two crucial questions are really:

1. Do the Opticon justify being almost three times the price of the Oberon?
2. If so, is the Arcam good enough for the Opticon?

Thanks!
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Oberon 5 takes up the same space as the Opticon, if you intend to use speaker stands.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
This is subjective, in my opinion. Yes. Arcam, if I’m not mistaken is surround amplifier?

Stereo amplifier always win. Arcam SA10 as example.
 

ShardsOfMe

Distinguished Member
This is subjective, in my opinion. Yes. Arcam, if I’m not mistaken is surround amplifier?

Stereo amplifier always win. Arcam SA10 as example.
I understand. The Solo is configurable as 2.x, 3.x or 5.x, I only ever use it in 2.0 and it is excellent (it's a fairly high-end Class G amp). I am not looking to change the Arcam.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Opticon we’ll have more open midrange. Clear vocals, better precise bass. More air in the treble. The speakers disappear more, if you catch my meaning.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Opticon every time.

It’s a whole league up from the Oberon.

The Arcam will not struggle at anything less than anti social levels and speakers are the most important part of any hifi; always buy the best you can afford. 👍
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Ps. If you do decide on a sub there is no need at all to buy one from Dali.

BK Electronics would be a better bet.
 

Ascotbilly

Well-known Member
Opticon every time.

It’s a whole league up from the Oberon.

The Arcam will not struggle at anything less than anti social levels and speakers are the most important part of any hifi; always buy the best you can afford. 👍
@Paul7777x I recall you mentioned the Menuets in a thread ages ago. Any idea how they compare to the Opticons?
 
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ShardsOfMe

Distinguished Member
Opticon every time.

It’s a whole league up from the Oberon.

The Arcam will not struggle at anything less than anti social levels and speakers are the most important part of any hifi; always buy the best you can afford. 👍
I went with the Opticon 2 Mk. 2, and you couldn't have been more right; they're stunning. I did trial the Oberon 1 but they were underwhelming (and that's if I'm being generous) - the Zensor 3 were an order of magnitude better, which was a real surprise.

Happy bunny! Thanks to all who took the time to respond and advise, I'm very grateful.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
@Paul7777x I recall you mentioned the Menuets in a thread ages ago. Any idea how they compare to the Opticons?

The Menuets I heard, not the new SE version, were quite startlingly good. As befits a small speaker, they do make a very wide soundstage and the detailing was exceptional even if they’d cost more.

I do think they’d need a sub for any biggish room, or if the listening position was far away. But I’d choose them and a sub over so many other bigger speakers.

I haven’t heard the Opticon MKII, but the originals are a great speaker.

If I could not have a sub too, I think I’d buy the Opticon 2s in a bigger room.

But I’d need a good listen to both at the same time. The Menuets really are first class speakers.

Ps, the Menuets do not sound as small as they look, very much far from it. They are surprisingly expansive. But if you play truly deep bass, say loud Reggae, club Electronica or anything that relies on a double bass say, then at more than modest volumes you can tell.

But for everything else it’s not a big deal and the clarity and speed are worth every penny.
 
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Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
I went with the Opticon 2 Mk. 2, and you couldn't have been more right; they're stunning. I did trial the Oberon 1 but they were underwhelming (and that's if I'm being generous) - the Zensor 3 were an order of magnitude better, which was a real surprise.

Happy bunny! Thanks to all who took the time to respond and advise, I'm very grateful.

I’m delighted you’re pleased. The speaker part of a hifi is far and away the most important bit of it.

Top class electronics are now very good even at the budget end, but speakers do increase in quality and realism the more you spend (up to a point).

The Opticons do seem to be exceptionally good value, and you’d need to be in serious money land to easily better them.
 

ShardsOfMe

Distinguished Member
I’m delighted you’re pleased. The speaker part of a hifi is far and away the most important bit of it.

Top class electronics are now very good even at the budget end, but speakers do increase in quality and realism the more you spend (up to a point).

The Opticons do seem to be exceptionally good value, and you’d need to be in serious money land to easily better them.
Indeed; mine were Open Box at £549, and Peter Tyson - who were brilliant to deal with - took another £40 off because of a small (and I mean small) blemish on the bottom.

O - 1.jpeg


I am blown away for the price I paid. I am hearing new things in recordings that I thought I knew inside-out!

One more question, if I may Paul? I have low-end Cambridge speaker wire, somewhere around £2 per metre maybe twenty years ago :). There is so much contradictory information around - if I go to, say QED XT25 or Chord C-SCREEN (which seem to be the two most recommended, although AudioQuest Rocket 11 seems popular too), will I hear the difference? Thanks!
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
NO NO NO. Don’t waste your money. Copper is copper. Go to amazon get 14 avg (4mm) speaker cables. You can find cables with attached banana plugs, then don’t.

My philosophy regarding cables is to buy decent ones, nothing more complicated then this.

This applies RCA cables also. Buy some decent shielded ones. Mono price etc.
 

ShardsOfMe

Distinguished Member
NO NO NO. Don’t waste your money. Copper is copper. Go to amazon get 14 avg (4mm) speaker cables. You can find cables with attached banana plugs, then don’t.

My philosophy regarding cables is to buy decent ones, nothing more complicated then this.

This applies RCA cables also. Buy some decent shielded ones. Mono price etc.
Thank you! I got two 3m runs of Amazon cable with banana plugs for £8 from the Warehouse Deals promotion :).
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Learn from my mistakes. If you want to, then buy them. There can be small, small differences, however it’s not worth it.

You pay for copper which is made in space, same isolation but better according to them.

I use little bit more money on RCA cables, optical cables. Because the plugs can be of low quality one some of them.

However I’ve always heard great stuff about Amazon cables. Van Damme too.

I believe Van Damme has 4 mm speaker cables with banana plugs soldered to the cables, for fraction of the price for the super, super expensive ones.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
If you want to buy new ones, goggle Van Damme. Mighty fine cables.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Thank you! I got two 3m runs of Amazon cable with banana plugs for £8 from the Warehouse Deals promotion :).
14 AVG? Just to be safe, I recommend 14 AVG cables. 16 AVG works too, but google Van Damme. The banana plugs are soldered to the cables.

I am not fan of bare wire, screw banana plugs.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Dali are fine speakers. Wide, dynamics soundstage.
 

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