Question KEF Q100 VS DALI ZENSOR 1

sid123

Novice Member
hello form

soo i have been looking to replace my Polk Audio RM series center channel and L & R channels in my 5.1 setup. I tried a bunch of different speakers but unfortunately they were all in different places with different content so its hard to compare the small details

I have narrowed down to the 2 i really enjoyed the KEF Q100 sounded great and the Dali Zensor 1 sounded great too

here a list of what i tried hopefully this might others and also give you guys and idea of what sort of sound and taste i like.

Q Acoustics 3020 + 3090C = harsh, hard to listen to over long periods of time, not my taste. Excellent detail and very good soundstage but still not my taste

Q Acoustics Concept 20 + 3090c = same story as the 3020 harsh.

Dali Zensor 1 + Zensor Vokal = very very good, very good soundstage, pretty good detail, honestly i kinda stopped paying attention to how they sounded and just started enjoying the demo movie haha

Dali Zensor 3 + Zensor Vokal = better in every way to the zensor 1 but out of budget and also massive :(

Wharfedale diamond 220 + wharfedale diamond Center = terrible, just plain bad. sounded boring, details were muddy and sounded super boring. Was very disappointed.

Mission LX-2 + LX-C =very very similar to the q acoustics i think although i'm not sure. very good compared to those Wharfedales but regardless out of budget

ELAC Debut B5 + B6 = treble seemed a bit rolled off on both, good bass but was pretty average tbh. Had decent detail. I feel they are overhyped tbh. And more expensive than the dali so nah

Klipsch RP160M + RP-205C = horrible, not as bad as the Wharfedales but pretty bad. Highs were pretty painful and the midbass was over the top. Overpriced and out of budget

KEF Q100 + Q200c = Leagues and miles better then then the Klipsch's, great detail with the demo i had, very clear and was very impressed but still super confused compared with the DALIS

Dynaudio Emit M10 + Q200c = very good but not worth the money tbh. Out of budget and apparently super power hungry.

Hopefully thouse impressions might help someone out but please do understand this is just my opinion and some people love other speakers and other don't.

I am leaning more toward the Dali mainly due to the fact i demoed them for a very long time and the shop owner is a super nice guy and i really enjoyed them. But i also did demo the KEF for a short amount of time and was pretty impressed. I couldn't compare both of them with the same material or the same level so it's a bit difficult to compare with different environments.

I would like to mention both the DALIS and the KEF are EXACTLY the same price.

Any thoughts?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I'd agree with you that your two favourites are very closely matched and you've enjoyed the experience with both the Dali and the KEFs. However for not much more money, £50 I believe you should go and audition a pair of Q300s alongside the Q200C. Although the ideal, or recommended centre for the 300s is the Q600 there is so little in it that 300 and 200 will blend perfectly together. I run a R200C with a pair of R300s and love them.

This combination will give you a clear winner as the 300s are far more detailed than the 100s.
 

sid123

Novice Member
I'd agree with you that your two favourites are very closely matched and you've enjoyed the experience with both the Dali and the KEFs. However for not much more money, £50 I believe you should go and audition a pair of Q300s alongside the Q200C. Although the ideal, or recommended centre for the 300s is the Q600 there is so little in it that 300 and 200 will blend perfectly together. I run a R200C with a pair of R300s and love them.

This combination will give you a clear winner as the 300s are far more detailed than the 100s.

Thanks for reply

Yea I was planning to go back and listen to the q300 as well as the q600 center channel and see how much better it is, I will also redemo the q100 with the q200 again aswell, still super hard to compare both.
 

DrHarvey12

Well-known Member
Dali Zensor 1 + Zensor Vokal = very very good, very good soundstage, pretty good detail, honestly i kinda stopped paying attention to how they sounded and just started enjoying the demo movie haha

This statement alone would make me favour the Dali's. Ideally you don't want to be "listening" to speakers; you do want to be enjoying the film / music instead.

However as gibbsy says - definitely go back and check out the Kef's and compare with the Dali's. Assuming you can take your own demo material then I would try a couple of films and then some critical listening pieces. It's good to get a feel for both media types.

When I first was demoing I preferred the Monitor Audio range for movies but the Dali's had the edge for music. In then end I decided I wanted the better music reproduction as the Dali's were still very good for films, even if I didn't listen to much music in those days that wasn't for house parties and the like.

I think no matter which set of speakers you end up with you'll be very happy. I'm a Dali fan and I expect that will continue until I lose my hearing! But I have a mate who has a set of the Kef's and is very very happy with them.
 

sid123

Novice Member
This statement alone would make me favour the Dali's. Ideally you don't want to be "listening" to speakers; you do want to be enjoying the film / music instead.

However as gibbsy says - definitely go back and check out the Kef's and compare with the Dali's. Assuming you can take your own demo material then I would try a couple of films and then some critical listening pieces. It's good to get a feel for both media types.

When I first was demoing I preferred the Monitor Audio range for movies but the Dali's had the edge for music. In then end I decided I wanted the better music reproduction as the Dali's were still very good for films, even if I didn't listen to much music in those days that wasn't for house parties and the like.

I think no matter which set of speakers you end up with you'll be very happy. I'm a Dali fan and I expect that will continue until I lose my hearing! But I have a mate who has a set of the Kef's and is very very happy with them.

Hard to audition the KEF's as its now discontinued, only 1 place have allowed me to demo them and the store owners weren't very nice. More interested in me buying it as soon and possible then me being a happy customer..... Thus I will try again and bring the same material i tested the Dali's with, that being mission impossible ghost protocol.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
However as gibbsy says - definitely go back and check out the Kef's and compare with the Dali's. Assuming you can take your own demo material then I would try a couple of films and then some critical listening pieces. It's good to get a feel for both media types.
I agree with that. I always take a James Taylor CD, no loudness wars with this guy. I would listen for every note on his guitar, it's perfection and the speakers need to be quick enough to keep up. As for film it just has to be Master and Commander in the first battle scene the R300s found every splinter as the French cannon balls crash into the decking. Far more detail over the 100s on the front soundstage.
 

Member 729553

Active Member
Hello sid123

Thank you for contributing to the forum.

Please can you let us know where and when you auditioned the Q Acoustics loudspeakers?
We ask because, if they sounded harsh, something has gone seriously wrong during that demonstration. With your information, someone from our local distributor can visit and help put things right.

Thanks

Q Acoustics
 

sid123

Novice Member
Hello sid123

Thank you for contributing to the forum.

Please can you let us know where and when you auditioned the Q Acoustics loudspeakers?
We ask because, if they sounded harsh, something has gone seriously wrong during that demonstration. With your information, someone from our local distributor can visit and help put things right.

Thanks

Q Acoustics

OH NO!

I didn't mean to bash your products! Was just my impressions

I also really don't want to point any fingers as the store owner is probably the nicest Hifi shop owners in hong kong so I hope you keep supporting him! All the other's Hifi shopes are rude and are more interested in getting the cousmter money then making the cousmters happy. Not the case with Hifi Gear, he allowed me to demo for as long as I want and kept telling me take my time and was unfussed about changing speakers for me many times.

The store is called Hifi Gear, he is a small bussniess based in hong kong. He's the only place that sell your products here so please keep supporting him. I tired them on Monday.

I extremely doubt that the gear he was running made the speakers sound harsh to me, he even told me some people like the Dali more and others loved the q acoustics more. He was actually very interested in what I thought as many people go in to try just one ethier the dali or the q acoustics and they somtimes end up with the other one they didn't come to try.

That was my experience as I came in to try the q acoustics and ended up preferring the more relaxed sound of the dali. The q acoustics was more punchy and more in your face sounding. I would actually prefer the q acoustics for music as they are more accurate and neutral then the dali but are still to harsh for movies, glass smashing in Mission impossible ghost protocol for example sounded quite painful at high volumes. I have to admit though sound stage was on point and super deep and detailed with the 3020.

In the case that it actually is something wrong, should I hold off on the purchase until I hear a proper set of Q Acoustics 3020?

Sorry for the long explanation and hopefully someone finds good use of this information when deciding but to those people please try them both yourself before buying. Trust your ears not your eyes.

On that note I think I will be going with the Dali, I tryed the q100 and the q200c, they were overly warm, too much mid bass for me. Soundstage was wider then dali. I also tired the q300 again even wider Soundstage but again deep voices sounded overly exaggerated not the case with the dali. I couldn't test them with the same material. I watched transformers 3 with the kef and mission impossible ghost protocol with the dali.

If I had the money and the space though I would get the zensor 3 and the vokal. But zensor 1 and vokal it is.

Many thanks Sid
 
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sid123

Novice Member
For those who are interested i am currently running Polk Audio RM 705 5.1 System, I have changed the Front L & R to JBL Control 2.4G speakers running in passive mode. (I literally gutted the internal wireless electronics and made it a passive speaker). I will be moving them to the the Rear L & R channels

I am running a Sub, It is a Revel Concerta B120 12 Inch subwoofer.
 

DrHarvey12

Well-known Member
Hope you enjoy your new Dali's :).

The Zensor's are a fantastic speaker for the price and a great speaker in their own right.

I think it does say something for Q Acoustics to post in these forums though. For this reason (and their size / performance ) I was seriously considering a set of the Q Acoustics as height speakers. Having heard them a while ago I was impressed with the soundstage they created, especially considering their WAF friendly size.

I ended up getting a fantastic deal on a set of used Dali Fazon's satellites instead. Still, I am impressed that they do interact with the community here. A plus point for them in my book for sure!
 

Member 729553

Active Member
OH NO!

I didn't mean to bash your products! Was just my impressions

I also really don't want to point any fingers as the store owner is probably the nicest Hifi shop owners in hong kong so I hope you keep supporting him! All the other's Hifi shopes are rude and are more interested in getting the cousmter money then making the cousmters happy. Not the case with Hifi Gear, he allowed me to demo for as long as I want and kept telling me take my time and was unfussed about changing speakers for me many times.

The store is called Hifi Gear, he is a small bussniess based in hong kong. He's the only place that sell your products here so please keep supporting him. I tired them on Monday.

I extremely doubt that the gear he was running made the speakers sound harsh to me, he even told me some people like the Dali more and others loved the q acoustics more. He was actually very interested in what I thought as many people go in to try just one ethier the dali or the q acoustics and they somtimes end up with the other one they didn't come to try.

That was my experience as I came in to try the q acoustics and ended up preferring the more relaxed sound of the dali. The q acoustics was more punchy and more in your face sounding. I would actually prefer the q acoustics for music as they are more accurate and neutral then the dali but are still to harsh for movies, glass smashing in Mission impossible ghost protocol for example sounded quite painful at high volumes. I have to admit though sound stage was on point and super deep and detailed with the 3020.

In the case that it actually is something wrong, should I hold off on the purchase until I hear a proper set of Q Acoustics 3020?

Sorry for the long explanation and hopefully someone finds good use of this information when deciding but to those people please try them both yourself before buying. Trust your ears not your eyes.

On that note I think I will be going with the Dali, I tryed the q100 and the q200c, they were overly warm, too much mid bass for me. Soundstage was wider then dali. I also tired the q300 again even wider Soundstage but again deep voices sounded overly exaggerated not the case with the dali. I couldn't test them with the same material. I watched transformers 3 with the kef and mission impossible ghost protocol with the dali.

If I had the money and the space though I would get the zensor 3 and the vokal. But zensor 1 and vokal it is.

Many thanks Sid

Hi Sid123

Firstly; many thanks for replying with the information.

Secondly; we have nothing but respect for Dali. They are a highly reputable speaker company.

Lastly, please don't be concerned. We're not going to 'cut anybody off' :).

We simply know how good our speakers can be when optimally sited and driven by appropriately matched electronics. Naturally, we would want to ensure this will always be the case.

Best regards
 

sid123

Novice Member
Hi Sid123

Firstly; many thanks for replying with the information.

Secondly; we have nothing but respect for Dali. They are a highly reputable speaker company.

Lastly, please don't be concerned. We're not going to 'cut anybody off' :).

We simply know how good our speakers can be when optimally sited and driven by appropriately matched electronics. Naturally, we would want to ensure this will always be the case.

Best regards

Thats great!

I love it when companies really care for their products and the people who buy them!

Also do let me know when you contact Hifi Gear, I would love to demo of properly driven Q Acoustics!
 

KenM10759

Active Member
Hard to audition the KEF's as its now discontinued, only 1 place have allowed me to demo them and the store owners weren't very nice. More interested in me buying it as soon and possible then me being a happy customer..... Thus I will try again and bring the same material i tested the Dali's with, that being mission impossible ghost protocol.

That's disturbing. Where had you heard that the KEF Q series is discontinued? I'm guessing it might have been from the "weren't very nice" store owners you were talking to.

The Q series has been on a roughly 30% discount in North America since around the beginning of October 2016, and supply has been somewhat spotty though quickly replenished. I've sensed that "change is in the air" though cannot imagine KEF would drop a good line at that price point without an improved replacement. They announced nothing at the 2 most recent major shows here (CEDIA 2016 and CES 2017), so I'm watching for anything on their websites, Facebook page and upcoming European shows.

Good luck getting a demo, it's definitely worth the trouble.
 

sid123

Novice Member
That's disturbing. Where had you heard that the KEF Q series is discontinued? I'm guessing it might have been from the "weren't very nice" store owners you were talking to.

The Q series has been on a roughly 30% discount in North America since around the beginning of October 2016, and supply has been somewhat spotty though quickly replenished. I've sensed that "change is in the air" though cannot imagine KEF would drop a good line at that price point without an improved replacement. They announced nothing at the 2 most recent major shows here (CEDIA 2016 and CES 2017), so I'm watching for anything on their websites, Facebook page and upcoming European shows.

Good luck getting a demo, it's definitely worth the trouble.

Confirmed by multiple sources including the main distributer of Hong Kong. The KEF Q series is soon to be discontinued as new models are launching in March apparently.

I don't have any sources to back up my claim other then word of mouth so take it with a grain of salt.

I tried the q series already, enjoyed the dali's more.
 

KenM10759

Active Member
I can accept that, it's been pretty obvious that "something's up" with the extended length of the discounted pricing.

So what's the major show around the March time frame where we'd most likely see something?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The Q series are soon to be replaced that is why many suppliers are heavily discounting them which makes them something of a bargain.
 

sid123

Novice Member
Again for thouse interested, mainly anyone from Hong Kong stumbles apon this post price for the speakers that I remember are

4200 hkd for q100 +q200c (£410)
4000hkd for zensor 1 +zensor vokal (£390)
3800hkd for q acoustics 3020 + 3090c (£370)
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Hmmm Monitor Audio new Bronze line is missing your list. I would definitely go listen it. Zensor line is old too, hope we see something new from Dali soon. And knowing Kef i would wait for the new line before pulling plug. Monitor Audio has new Silver line coming(no date), if you are not in hurry you would get one class better and size wise it sits between Bronze 1 and 2. Have no idea about hkd prizes though.

Bronze 1
Bronze 2

Silver 1
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I can accept that, it's been pretty obvious that "something's up" with the extended length of the discounted pricing.

So what's the major show around the March time frame where we'd most likely see something?

My source tells me that we should be getting some info at ISE show at 7-10.2 . So very soon. Hope he is right. Nicer looks and technically more near to R-serie. They can`t tell anything specific yet, as there is confidentiality agreement. Can`t wait what Kef brings to table at lower price point. Great brand! :)
 

KenM10759

Active Member
Interested in knowing what gets revealed in early February then! I would be surprised yet happy if whatever they bring out to replace the current Q series comes in at or below the non-clearance pricing of the Q series. It is about that time in the cycle of new product introduction for speakers, 5 to 8 years. I would anticipate R series update two years after that, so 2019-2020. Perhaps a new Reference in the 60th anniversary year 2021.
 

sid123

Novice Member
Hmmm Monitor Audio new Bronze line is missing your list. I would definitely go listen it. Zensor line is old too, hope we see something new from Dali soon. And knowing Kef i would wait for the new line before pulling plug. Monitor Audio has new Silver line coming(no date), if you are not in hurry you would get one class better and size wise it sits between Bronze 1 and 2. Have no idea about hkd prizes though.

Bronze 1
Bronze 2

Silver 1

Was on my list for demo, including jbl Studio series. Nobodey stocked the mointer audio, I really tried to look around for a seller and a demo but no luck. As for the Jbl Studio series the shop owner was not interested in demoing it to me so that was that :).

Regardless I have purchased the dali already. Now is the fight to wall mount and install them as I have to pretty much rip my entire system apart.
 

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