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Dali Zensor1 v Mission MX2 v Wharf D 10.4 for HT setup

discover

Well-known Member
Hi guys, need some advice on a basic/entry level 5.1 speaker setup.
Will be decorating my living room next week or so and thought I'd add in a budget 5.1 system without spending too much brass as I'll also be updating my 4 year 42" Samsung plasma to a new 55" TV.

I have narrowed down the speaker system to 4 options.
These will be connected to a Yamaha RX-V471 or similar Yamaha AVR and a BK Gemini Mk2 Subwoofer.

Option 1:
Wharfedale Diamond 10.2 bookshelves, 10.1 Surrounds & 10.CS Centre - £515

Option 2:
Wharfedale Diamond 10.3 Floorstanders, 10.1 Surrounds & 10.CS Centre - £645

Option 3:
Dali Zensor 1 Bookshelves x 4 + Zensor Vocal Centre - £630

Option 4:
Mission MX3 Floorstanders, MX2 Surrounds & MX-C1 Centre - £660

I would like to know which of these speaker systems will sound best with a Yamaha AVR.
Most of the viewing will be for general TV (Sky HD) and Blu-ray movies.

I'm a little dubious about the Mission MX series as I've read mixed reviews about the tinny sound/poor build quality etc.

Will the Wharfedale 10.2 fronts be okay for loud action movies or do they distort rather easily? Same for the 10.1 rears?

I've only read positive reviews of the Dali's but can't get a demo of these locally without travelling too far.

I've owned Wharfedale Valdus speakers many years ago and if I remember correctly, they were good build quality and lasted years but the sound was average, not very well detailed.
In my room I have a Yamaha 3067 with MA Silver RX speakers, obviously I'm not expecting quality sound of that level but something with a nice tonal match.

Any advice, opinions and even criticism will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. :)
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
Personally I would go for the Dali from that list. Wharfedales are often described as slightly warm sounding which may not pair well with the warm sounding Yamaha you are looking at. Also by the sounds of it you may not be a fan of the Wharfedale sound either. The Wharfedales in general will be fine with your usage and I doubt they are going to distort at anything short of mental volume levels (and I suspect the amp will struggle before the speakers do).
 

discover

Well-known Member
Thanks (again) PSM1, I'm sure you've helped me out many times before in the past!
To be honest I was actually leaning towards the Dali Zensor setup but cost efficiency is priority as I still need to buy a screen, amp and sub and then the costs for decorating etc.
Having researched further, I see that richersounds and superfi are doing the Wharfedale 10.3 Floorstanders at £199. Would these sound better at the front than the Dali? I haven't considering the costs for the speaker cables and stands yet.
I'm probably hardly ever going to be sat in the living room, it's just some nights I have the house to myself and my mates tend to come around. (Won't let them in my cinema room, can't trust them near my equipment lol) :D
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
I've always considered the Diamonds to be a relatively Neutral speakers. I use my Diamond 9.6 with a Yamaha Stereo amp with no conflict.

Based on a test report I read, the Dali Zensor 1 have a very flat frequency response much like Studio Monitors. Other similar bookshelf speakers will have a slight boost in the bass which is great for listening, but less desirable in a studio monitor. I will say that the frequency response of the Zensor 1 is the equal of that of any similar sized bookshelf speaker. Plus the Zensor 1 are a very modest (roughly) £175/pair. The Dali Zensor Center, however, is higher than average price at about £229/ea.

Do consider the bass driver size. The Diamond 10.2 have a 6.5" bass driver and response down to 40hz. The Diamond 10.3 floorstanding also has response down to 40hz, but it only has a 5" bass driver. A 6.5" is about 1.7 times larger than a 5". That is something to keep in mind. But also keep in mind the Diamond 10.2 will require stands which will cost additional money.

If at all possible, consider the Diamond 10.4 with TWIN 5" bass drivers and response down to 38hz. The price is really pushing it for you indicated budget at about £329/pr, but when you consider they don't need stands, it come out pretty close.

Diamond 10.2 + Stands = £200 + £100 = £300

So, yes, the Diamond 10.4 are indeed going to cost more, but not that much more.

Another similar speaker to consider would be the Monitor Audio BX series. The BX1 are about £199/pr with 5.5" bass driver, response down to 55hz at -3db, and the BX2 at about £249/pr, 6.5" bass driver, response down to 42hz at -3db.

The Diamond speakers are rated at -6db, to get the -6db response on the Monitor Audio you can subtract about another 5hz or a bit more. So, the BX1 would be closer to 48hz to 50hz @ -6db and the BX2 would be 35hz to 37hz which is pretty good. Extending that thought, and to make sure we are comparing the speakers fairly, the Dali Zensor 1 are about 46hz to 48hz at -6db.

If you plan to use a Sub, then the bass response is not as critical for movie playback.

As to the Misison MX, I've not had a lot of feedback on them. But the newer MV and MX are considered pretty good, and those who have them seem pleased. But I personally think Wharfedale Diamond, Dali Zensor, and Monitor Audio BX would be higher on my list of desirable speakers.

But there is a personal factor, only your ears can tell you which you prefer. Others might dislike the Misison MX while you might love them. All of the speakers listed are VERY well liked by someone, so I think you have a very good short list to pick from and in general I don't think you can go wrong with any. Which means the real deciding factor is your personal preference and taste.

Steve/bluewizard
 

discover

Well-known Member
Thanks very much for the really informative post Steve!
I was leaning towards the WD 10.2 but for only £30 more do you not think that the MA Bronze BX2 is a far better option overall. I've heard these before and to my ears they didn't sound far off from the Silver RX range. With that in mind, even though I haven't heard any of the WD 10. Series, I'm pretty sure I think I'll be going for the BX2 at the front.
If circumstances change and I have to lower my budget and went for the WD 10.2 for fronts, would the older 9.1 be okay for the rears?
(theyre cheaper now and also have the same cabinet design as the 10.2)
 

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