Small floorstander shootout! Dali Oberon 5, Wharfedale Evo 4.3, Monitor Audio Silver 200 6g

JJHook

Standard Member
Hello. Having been wondering if my Dali Oberon 5s are correct for my ears or environment, I have been seeking out the opportunity to listen to alternatives of a similar size.
This week, I have made some progress in that I have had the opportunity to directly compare some of these.
Using a Quad Vena 2 amplifier plugged into the Dali Oberon 5s, Monitor Audio Silver 200 6G, and Wharfedale Evo 4.3.
I was particularly interested in the Wharfedale which took some tracking down and aren't reviewed often. These were all tested using a mix of modern electronic pop music and soft rock by bands unknown to me as I didn't plan the opportunity, and didn't have my test CD!
First of all, size and build quality. All excellent for the price, all reasonably sized, not too intrusive. I would say the MA probably are the smartest looking and best actual build quality but the Wharfedales looked impressive in Walnut. The Oberon's look great too and are the shortest. The MAs are very slightly taller but are shallower front to back. The Wharfedales are little more chunky which makes them look solid. In the environment I was in, these are my hearing observations. The room was was approx 5m x4m with roughly 3m ceilings. Carpeted floors.
BASS.
In context, these speakers will not have the punch and depth of their bigger siblings, however..
The MAs have impressive bass for the size of them, and it is accurate, detailed and clearly defined. They lack a little in mid bass which shows up in distorted guitars and timbre in brass to my ears but seems to help just a little with detail and clarity in upper frequencies for vocals, snare snap, and air.
Oberon 5s again impressive for the size and detailed but not quite as defined. These do have more mid bass but this seems to take a just a little away from the definition compared to the MAs, but helps with timbre.
The Wharfedales impressed with speed, accuracy and punch in the bass.
MIDS
The MAs have very well tuned mids to my ears, just enough bite for clarity without going into brightness in the upper mids, but again could be better at timbre so be careful.
The Oberon's sounded at times a little muddy compared to my setup at home but sounded like they needed a partial bung in the bass port to me, from experience with them at home They do have soft mids compared to some speakers, but I have also experienced this as a good trait with some music types and forgiving with older recordings, especially when coupled with the timbre offered in the lower mids.
I really wanted to be impressed by the Wharfedales with their soft dome mid driver. While the delivery of mids was as expected from reviews in terms of dispersion and detail, I found the tone to be rather flat and lacking dynamics compared to the other two. They probably were better at detail in the mids than the Dali's but no better than the MA, but then lacked in other respects.
TREBLE
I found the MAs to have the best treble from the three sets. Great air, detail, zing, swish and snap, with the Dali Oberon 5s not far behind lacking maybe a little snap and zing compared to the MAs but this may have been linked to the different upper mid signatures in comparison.
Much like the mids, the Wharfedales impressed with detail in treble but then didn't match in terms of air, swish and zing but a flat tone signature that may suit people looking for a flatter maybe more accurate tone, with detail and control.
SUMMARY
I come away from this thinking that these are very different speakers to suit different musical tastes. I would suggest that the Wharfedales need to be definitely heard before buying. They sounded detailed to me but not with air, they have a flat tone with good bass control to my ears and gave me the impression they need to be played loud to get the best out of them.
The MAs I would suggest would be great for vocal music, bass and rythym, or in systems that can add timbre, maybe Arcam would be a good match.
In this set up, the MAs sounded the most balanced, accurate and pleasurable musical listen to me, and probably the best to look at over time. The Dali Oberon 5s sounded a little muddy in the mids in this setup compared to my setup at home.
SO
I tracked down a pair of Silver 200 (6g)s from a friend of mine to compare to my Oberon 5s at home using my Cambridge Audio Azur 851a and Arcam RDac.
My Oberon 5s are partially bunged in the bass ports I find it helps in my environment, only partially bunged mind.
Overall, these have a similar tonal signature in my system. While the MAs offer a slight improvement in treble detail, air and bass punch which makes them maybe slightly better to listen to at marginally lower levels , the Oberon 5s are offering more timbre, and overall weight while not losing any speed or timing compared to the MAs. They both sound great for different reasons.
Red Hot Chili Peppers Blood Sugar Sex Magic sounds great on both but the MAs have a slight edge over the Oberon 5s. Metallica sounds better on the Dali, especially the older stuff. ACDC goes to the Oberon's, along with all the other heavier distorted guitar stuff etc.
Dire Straits Brothers in Arms is a tie. The MAs play the beats better and capture the atmosphere on the title track, but the Dali's capture the depth and mood, and sound better with the guitars to my ears.
Nina Simone - MAs.
Dance beat / House - MAs
Weak recordings - Dali every time
For movies, I would imagine the auto setup on AV amps would balance any difference s between these two.
For placement, I would suggest the MAs may be better. I find the the bass port on the the Oberon 5 needs taming when closer than 400mm to the wall, not so much with the MAs. However, once tamed, no issues.
IMO, both the MA Silver 200 (6G) and Dali Oberon 5 are great speakers for the purchase price but need to be matched to musical tastes to some degree. Certainly a good lesson in getting speakers into your own environment to have a listen before buying where possible.
 

password1

Distinguished Member
Thanks for your thoughts.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Oberons are equivalent to Bronze and Diamonds. Opticons would be a fairer comparison to Silvers and Evos.

The silver 200 and evo 4. 3 have an original rrp of £999 in standard finish.

The equivalent and similar price range to the Oberon 5 are the Bronze 200.

The equivalent of the silver 200 6g are the DALI Opticon 5. The new silver 7g compete against the Opticon mark 2.

Unfortunately Dali dont manufacture the compact opticon 5 floorstanders anymore which would have been the equivalent to the silver 200.
 

The latest video from AVForums

AVForums Movies Podcast: Which is the best decade for horror movies?
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom