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Old versus New


Active Member
Hello All,

I've been reading many (many) positive reviews of the Dali Zensor 3 speaks and I'm curious If these would out perform my 25 year old Missions?

I am currently listening to Mission 751's (Freedoms), the amp is Marantz PM6003 and it's fed by a Asus Xonar Essence card from my PC. I'm listening to flacs and 320k lame mp3's.

The Missions are from the late 80's early 90's and were very well reviewed and regarded at the time (so I've read) and I have to be honest I still have a lot of love for them, they're detailed with a tight base and nice sound stage, though slightly bright at moderate to higher volumes.

I suppose my question is for £320 and some 25 years later worth of technology would these budget end Dali's trump the Missions that in their day were not budget at all?

Have things moved on? Should I?

Thanks for any help,
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Distinguished Member
Easiest way to find out is to set up an audition of the Dali's and take along you mission as a back to back comparison, could even take along your amp as well.

Quite a while ago I was looking to upgrade my cd payer which was an early Rotel, compared it to a meridian and after listening to both there was not an order of magnitude in difference in the sound. The shop guy even had to admit he would not swap it out, came down to my old cd using a pressed steel chassis rather than the newer plastic one so the electronics had less work to do to take out the mechanically induced errors.

New is not always better.
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Distinguished Member
Are these your speakers -

Mission 751 Loudspeakers - Mission Gallery - 2012-09-03 10:34 - HiFi Engine

The factors to consider, besides the overall sound, are -

- Size of the Bass drivers - Not sure what the Mission are, they don't look that big. The Zensor 3, I believer are 7" bass drivers.

- Size of the Cabinet - Generally, the bigger the cabinet the deeper the bass.

- Depth of the Rated Bass - Though make sure you are comparing the same rating, either both speakers at -3dB or both speakers at -6dB. -6dB is still considered usable bass. The Zensor 3 are rated at 50hz at -3db, which would be about, best guess, 45hz or a bit deeper at -6db. I could not find specs on the Mission speakers.

- Cost of the Speakers - cost is not a guarantee of quality, but it is a pretty good general indicator. Adjusted for inflation.

- Sensitivity Rating - this is how much sound you get from ONE Watt of input; 85db is on the low side, 90db is pretty good, and above 90db is considered pretty efficient.

Currently the DALI Zensor 3 are priced at about £320/pair. I would say in that price range these are the stand out speakers.

Of course, nothing beats an audition.


Timmy C

Distinguished Member
I'm surprised you find the Freedoms bright. I have a lot of love for the Mission 75 series but my main problem with them, and particularly the Freedom models, is the top end was a little dull. Never heard the Dali's but given the price, I would be surprised if overall they sounded better than your Missions as they really were/are great speakers.


Active Member
Hello Ugg10, Bluewizard and Timmy C,

Thank you for your prompt replies.

With a day off work I've been busy today and followed Ugg10's suggestion to audition the Zensor 3's.

I auditioned then at my local Richersound connected up to a Cambridge Audio CXA60 amp and a Cambridge audio Azur 651c cd player.

I'll give my immediate and (emotional) impression first, yes I liked them straight away, they were an appealing listen straight away without attempting to analyze the sound coming out of them. They also seem well built, probably not the best looking speaker I've ever seen and certainly not the worst and I have to say worth every penny.

They have a nice soundstage, very open, good detail and a controlled powerful base, the mid range was particularly good and stood out. I was listening to a Dali sample disc with everything from pop to classical. Compared to my Missions I would be gaining base, a better mid range, wider soundstage and to my ear slightly less bright sound. The missions I believe have a slightly better and focused stereo sound.

Having said what I've said in the above paragraph, the differences between my Missions and the Dali's is not great and wow it shows how good these Missions are after some 25-30 years of age and tech advancement against them, they're running the Dali's close.


Distinguished Member
Other well regarded speakers at a lower price point -

Wharfedale Diamond 225 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Monitor Audio Bronze 2 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

And possibly these -

Tannoy Mercury 7.2 Speakers - Superfi

Around the price of the Zensor 3, the Zensor 3 stand out.

However, these other speakers are also very well rated.

These are probably the best bargain around right now in Floorstanding speakers, and not that much over your implied budget -

KEF Q500 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Wharfedale Diamond 240 Floor Standing Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

KEF Q700 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Notice the very substantial discounts on all these speakers.



Active Member
Hello Bluewizard,

Thanks for your reply.

I have pulled the trigger and bought the Zensor 3's.

When buying something like this I usually try to talk myself out of it, but this time there aren't many negatives to dissuade, they're cheap (I got them for £280 (not £319)) and they perform well above their price and they're very saleable if I change my mind.

I might write a little review after they run in,

Once again to all thanks,

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