Dali Zensor 1 vs Monitor Audio BX1 vs [insert your choice]. AV Reciever Help in 2.0 starter System

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by benjitb, Feb 28, 2014.

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  1. Dali Zensor 1

    66.7%
  2. Monitor Audio BX1

    16.7%
  3. Other, Please state (preferably one in Richer Sounds so i can sample it)

    16.7%
  1. benjitb

    benjitb
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    Hello all,

    i am very new to all this so i would really apprechiate some help... "Need Imput". This is a significant investment for me, so thanks for helping.

    I am UK based and have a ps3, HD 1080p TV and PC laptop with music on it. I am looking to link all this to an AV reciever and buy some good quality 2.0 speakers to start out with instead o buying a cheaper 5.1 surround system. I'm not a bass head.

    First the AV Recievers i've been looking at (again i'm uk based)
    I'm looking at the highly reccommended £170: Yamaha RXV375 Black | AV Receiver | Richer Sounds ; due to its excellent reviews and Yamahas' consistant reliability, sound quality and lack of outsourcing in construction(I may be wrong).

    Ideally i would like some networking facilities such as internet radio on the: Yamaha RXV475 Black | AV Receiver | Richer Sounds but it seems a little expensive for £80 more. For a bit cheaper at £200 is this Harmon Kardon: Harman Kardon AVR171 Black | AV Receiver | Richer Sounds ; but i havn't done extensive research like i have with the yamaha's.

    Secondly the Speakers I'm looking at using. My aim is the best sound quality for the money, not a fan of Bass, i don't want to have to play music loud to hear the quality of the speaker.

    I will be using the speakers for TV (+Netflix), Film and Music (from laptop & cd). I decided to spend a little more than i originally intended as through my research this seems to be a wise investment. So instead of £80-100 i am looking to double that, up to £200.

    I am Interested in the Dali Zensor 1's as they have superb reviews and are "easy to drive" (whatever that means). I'm off to listen to them this week at a store, where i was recommended trying them against the Monitor Audio BX1's.

    Dali ZENSOR 1 Walnut | Speakers Per Pair | Richer Sounds
    Monitor Audio BRONZE BX1 Walnut | Speakers Per Pair | Richer Sounds

    I would apprechiate any opinions on the two or any others from the richer sounds list you would reccommend, or another speaker from their list to compare when i go in.
     
  2. PSM1

    PSM1
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    The Dali and MA speakers are both good speakers and which is best will depend on your personal sound preference etc. Listen to them both and maybe the Roth Oli as well and see which you prefer.
     
  3. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    If you are starting with only a pair of speakers, can we assume you plan to, over time, build this up into a full 5.1 system? Because if you are not, then perhaps there are other workable solutions.

    You may not be a bass head, but for music and more so for movies, you need a reasonable degree of bass. Consequently, I would suggest you look at -

    £238/pr = Wharfedale Diamond 122 (6.5", 40hz @ -6dB)

    £249/pr = Monitor Audio BX2 (6.5", ~36hz)

    In the same catagory as the original speakers you mentioned, consider -

    £195/pr = Wharfedale Diamond 121 (5", 45hz)

    And for reference, here are the speakers you selected -

    £199/pr = Dali Zensor 1 (5", ~46hz to 48hz)

    £199/pr = Monitor Audio BX1 (5.5", ~48hz to 50hz)

    If there is any way you can push your budget up into the Diamond 122 and Monitor Audio BX2 range, I think in the long run, you will not regret it.

    There is a Dali Zensor 3 speaker with a larger bass driver, but it is, I think, above your budget -

    Superfi - DALI ZENSOR 3 SPEAKERS (PAIR)

    7" bass driver 50hz at -3dB and approx 43hz to 45hz at -6dB.

    All of the above low bass rating are the nearest best guess -6dB response.

    As to the AV Receiver, we generally don't recommend any AV amp under £500. But technology moves down from higher models to lower models and many of the newer under £500 are pretty impressive for the modest amount they cost.

    However, you want the best AV Receiver you can get, so if you can swing the Yamaha 475, it would probably be the best choice.

    In fact, if there is anyway you can push one model more, so much the better -

    Yamaha RXV575 Black | AV Receiver | Richer Sounds

    And the typical minimum model is the next model up from that, though I suspect that is completely out of your budget range.

    Yamaha RXV675 Black | AV Receiver | Richer Sounds

    So given your budget either the Yamaha 475 or better yet the Yamaha 575 seem every workable.

    The Yamaha 375 is a highly rated amp, but you want to climb as far up the ladder as you possible can, so I would recommend the 475 or if possible the 575 receivers.

    Combining either of these amps with the larger speakers I recommend should give you a very good system for both music and movies, and allow you to expand the system at a reasonable price in the future.

    One additional amp that might be worth considering is the compact Marantz MR1504. Generally Marantz AV amps are very well regarded, though this is a lower more compact line. Still, Marantz in general tend to be highly rated.

    Superfi - MARANTZ NR1504 3D READY NETWORKED HOME CINEMA RECEIVER

    However if that is absolutely out of your budget range, any of the Zensor 1, Diamond 121, or Monitor Audio BX1 would be a good place to start. Perhaps when you are ready to upgrade to more speakers, you are move these speakers to the rear and then add larger speakers to the front.

    For what it is worth.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  4. benjitb

    benjitb
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    Steve, you Sir, go above and beyond.
    Thankyou for taking the time to help me in what i have found to be a rather confusing and time consuming search. I have a couple of questions if you wouldn't mind.

    I seemed to have gradually formed the opinion that spending a bit more on speakers and the AV Reciever is the way to go. Yourself, Dante and PSB have reccommended the 475 so it is really now the one in the running.

    I am very tempted by the Marantz, others have said its performance may not be as good in comparision with the yamaha. It does look very nice though, i have to say i was tempted by its silky design! If it was between these two what would you say?

    The 675 is way too much i may just be able to do the 575 but really it would seem too much, i'm really looking at a little under £500 for both, which must seem a squeeze. If i could just make the 575 what why would you reccomend that one?

    The Wharfedale Diamond 122 you recommended are £280 at RS Wharfedale DIAMOND 122 Black | Speakers Per Pair | Richer Sounds but Superfi - WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 122 BOOKSHELF SPEAKERS (PAIR) much cheaper here, so i'll listen to them as well, thanks.

    The Dali 3's are too dear for me. I have seen the Monitor Audio BX2 for £225 so I think on tuesday when i go in to listen (for the moment, at least!): i'm thinking the Dali 1's, BX2's and the WD122.
    Regards

    Edit: I'm looking at the Yamaha RXV573 Black | AV Receiver | Richer Sounds as well Its the previous mode, but a much hisger speck for £170. Any thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
  5. lokyc

    lokyc
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    The Zensors excel in their cabinet construction, which gives them icredible transparancy for a speaker at this price level. The downside is I find them a little laconic, lacking dynamic attack.

    the MAs I find too bright and brash, and a bit fatiguing.

    The Yams I find process effects really well, at the expense of exaggaration. I think the MAs will sound too harsh on them. the Dalis may be better.

    If you can stetch your budget, may I put forward B&W's new 686 S2. Or at least go have a listen. They come in at £300 a pair and just arrived in stores today.

    They are excellent speakers. The improvements in the S2 has made the 686 a complete speaker in its own right, not just the cut-price version. It fills a room, has precise imaging, easy to place, and has a clear treble thanks to the new tweeter. B&Ws tend to be neutral and easy to match amp wise. Also very dynamics and versatile and handles anything thrown at it.

    Bass material can be supplanted by a good sub. You may find the 2.11 setup maybe all you need for a small room. Perhaps adding a centre channel for clearer dialogue. But the dispersion characteristics do make them less dependent on surround speakers to provide immersion. Have to warn you, finshing is behind the Dalis, which I find the best in this price bracket.

    And don't underestimate the importance of bass. Its not just about booms and rumbles. A low volume but deep bass extension supports the entire sound stage and makes it come alive.

    I personally like the 686s a lot. More than the bigger 685. And a good sub will make up for its relatively bass reach. But don't belitte it. It will sound more complete and balanced than the Zensor 1s and BX1ss, in fact probably better than the BX2 and Zensor 2.
     
  6. benjitb

    benjitb
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    Hi Lokyc,

    Thanks so much for your advice, i apprechiate it. Unfortunatly the more expensive models you mentioned are too far out of my price range. I am already spending a little more than i originally planned. Thankyou for your detailed desciption. The 686's are just a push too far though. I can't really push past about £230 and thats already really straining it.

    Are you saying that the extra £70 would be a Major major difference?
     
  7. lokyc

    lokyc
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    Erm, Oops, the new S2s are £350.

    But the old 686 S1s still beat the Dalis and MAs. I audtioned both as they were givn such glowing reviews. But they felt a bit lacking. (Whafedales were clearly budget). Tried the 686, the choice was obvious.

    Good news now is that they are clearing old stock. Superfi has a pair in derby going for £240. You won't regret it compared to those 2.

    The S2s are at another level. But their pricing also reflects that. the S2s though are probably more future proof. They have a lot of potential. But current budget limitations I understand.

    A first generation 685 based Home Theatre isn't bad either. Slap a power amp on and the B&Ws really sing.
     
  8. benjitb

    benjitb
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    That HT 685 costs £1200, too much. I'm london based, if i can find those speakers here for my price range i'll have a listen.
    I'm looking at Yamaha RXV573 Black | AV Receiver | Richer Sounds to power it all as it seems good value for the price (170) otherwise i'd have to spend £250 for the kind of spec i'd like.
    Any thoughts?

    thanks
     
  9. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    On the AV amps, what you are really getting as you move up in the product line is Component and build quality. How good can you expect a 7 channel amp to be for £179? So, like I said, you want to climb as high up the model ladder as your budget will allow. Also, consider features like Networking. Many AV amps have this now, and it is probably with the extra bit of money, to get Internet Radio and Network Audio Streaming.

    From a quick check both the 475 and the 575 have Networking capability. If you have a library of music files on your computer, this is a great why to access them, and play them on your system. Then of course, Internet radio gives you virtually unlimited access to music in the Internet.

    Just that one Networking feature alone is worth the additional money.

    As to speakers - here are some AVLand reviews-

    Wharfedale Diamond 121 Speakers Review by...


    Wharfedale Diamond 122 Speakers Review by AV...


    DALI ZENSOR 1 SPEAKERS REVIEW by AVLAND UK


    Just a few thoughts.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  10. lokyc

    lokyc
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    In London, you are actually spoiled for choice. There are loads of independant retailers that one first appearance sell only the high end stuff, but they do carry the entry level ranges. Being genuine enthusiaist, they may be more patient to help you choose your kit. You'll be surprised, they sometimes to good deals and ex-demos as well.

    Big chains are good if you know what you're looking for. Deal-wise, they're not always best, just the most visible. If you see a good price somewhere, its always worth asking if the independants can match that.

    Thing is to be patient and don't get pressured. And don't feel diminished just because you're starting the first rung of the ladder. Any place that doesn't value you as a customer, best to walk away. They won't give you value or try to sell you expensive cables.

    Check out B&W's website for list of London retailers. You'll surprised how many thereare.

    But if you do listen to the Dalis, Wharfedales and MAs. Slap the B&W on and you will see what I mean. The latter sell themselves.

    Can't you tell you much about the SQ of the entry level range AVRs. But the Yam 373/5 and Sony STRDN 1040 both seem highlly regarded. The Denon X4000 reduced in price is also well reviewed on this forum recently.

    Networking features are nice, but depending on your needs etc, IMHO should not be the deciding feature. A Roku or WD TV Live which are relatively affordable can be added on for media streaming features easily. But SQ you can't change once you're committed to it.

    And forget about DSP modes. They're a distraction and I'm sure after a while, you'll just go for the most natural and default setting anyway.
     
  11. benjitb

    benjitb
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    Thank you all very mych for your input, this weekend has been good to process all the info. I'm come to the conclusion that in the long run for both the AV Reciever and Speakers spending a little more now is probably worth the benefits it will bring in quality. I do not want to have to upgrade the AV R and want to keep these speakers as the main front pair.I'm planning on getting this model Yamaha RXV475 Black | AV Receiver | Richer Sounds at the moment, the RS chap didn't reccommend going up to the 575 over it interestingly enough, saying i may as well choose the 474 or 2 models up.

    So Finally, when i go in on to listen on Tuesday i plan to try the 475 with the Dali ZENSOR 1 Walnut | Speakers Per Pair | Richer Sounds (£200); the | | Richer Sounds (£200) (plus the BX2's afterwards) and the Wharfedale DIAMOND 122 Black | Speakers Per Pair | Richer Sounds (279) as i've seen them for £238 elsewhere and they seem like very good value and tempting.

    ps: i noticed this as i was umming and ahing between the 475 and 575 Denon AVRX2000 Black | AV Receiver | Richer Sounds Would this be really worth the extra £50 spent on it over the Yamaha RXV475 ?

    Any final thoughts before i go in are apprechiated.
     
  12. DLowe

    DLowe
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    Have you thought about the Missions:

    Mission M33i Black | Speakers Per Pair | Richer Sounds
    I have the M73i and find them most pleasing,

    possibly with a older model, but higher in the range Yamaha:
    Yamaha RXV573 Black | AV Receiver | Richer Sounds

    possibly then (as you would have £200 left in your budget):
    Mission M30i Speakers, Mission M30i, Mission M30i Loudspeakers (wrong colour to go with fronts, but matched and cheap)
    and:
    Mission M3C2i Centre Speaker for £129.95 in Products

    that's the full 5 speakers and a higher model Yamaha within the £500 budget and I don't think you would be dissapointed
     
  13. benjitb

    benjitb
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    Hello everyone, thought i'd update you after all your help. I went in and listened on a yam 675 (no 475's out) to the 3 speakers.

    I started with the Dali 1's and they were very nice sounding, clear with excellent quality. Then i put on the BX2's and they were absolutely fantastic. The more i listened to them the more i liked them, and at just £25 more, completely worth the increase (the dali 3's are £75 more). I listened to a variety of music and the rock, acoustic and instumental grew on me.
    I then tried the Wharfedale 121's and although for one song they sounded good, they couldn't compare the rest of the time.

    Of course the BX2's are slightly larger speakers so it is a little unfair on the other two. The sound quality was, for me a lot clearer, especially in pinpointing the left/right speaker and individual instuments. Overall they filled the room and were a pleasure to listen to.

    If anyone has heard the BX2's with the Marantz 1504 and the Yamaha 475, i'd be interested to hear from you.
     

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