Upgrading from Zensor 1? What and where to buy

robotron

Active Member
Hi all,
I'm thinking of upgrading my Dali Zensor 1 speakers to something that's the next step up in terms of quality.
Budget is around £450.

They'll be used with a Yamaha R-N602 amp, sources include CD, FLAC from NAS, spotify and SL1210GR turntable.

The Zensors I have are OK, nothing wrong with them as such but I'd like something just a little more "punchy" if that makes sense. I'm not looking to be cranking it out and annoying the neighbours, and certainly don't want anything boomy so didn't want anything too large.

I wasn't sure if a better speaker of similar size would do the job, or if the limitation was a purely physical one caused by the Zensor 1 being so small.

I'm not listening to music at crazy volumes, just modest listening levels. The room is 8'10" x 13'2" and carpeted, with a sofa facing the speakers.

From reading reviews and looking at what's available my shortlist has the following on it:
B&W 607 S2
B&W 606 S2
Dali Oberon 1
Dali Oberon 3
Kef Q150
Kef Q350

The list is basically 3 models of speaker, all of which are in two sizes (smallest of each is very similar to my Zensor 1, larger is the next size up)

On the subject of how and where to buy, I'm not sure that a store audition would be representative of my room and listening levels and I'm trying to keep my in-store shopping to a minimum while Omicron is rife so am tempted to pick one model and buy online. (most likely B&W)

I'm not a fan of wasting everyone's time by using online stores as a free audition service but assuming the worst and that I don't like the result, how easy are returns of hi-fi equipment such as this once it's been opened and used? Are there certain retailers in the UK who are easier to deal with?

I was tempted to use Richer Sounds as they seem to have a good reputation for customer service. Hopefully I won't need to return anything but just wanted to ensure I don't end up stuck with something I don't like.

Thanks for any advice.
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
Hi.
These should definitely be on your list. Not heard the MKii, but have heard the original and they were super for the money.


On a different note, I've always found Richer Sounds a pleasure to deal with. They also seem to be a good employer.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Oberon 3 is going to more smoother in the top end then current Dali speakers. Oberon 1 also.

KEF way smoother but dynamic. My money is on the B&W. If you want more punch. More upfront sound. It might sound very nice on the Yamaha kit.
 

Orobas

Well-known Member
Given that Yamaha amp and what speakers you have shortlisted... I can rule out the B&W 607's in favour of the Triangle Borea BR-03 bookshelf speaker.. they are vastly superior in sound and scale to the 607s.
They retail for around £349 - £399 depending where you look and are a must to demo. They are not perfect by any means but if you can get past this and they work for you.. they are a joy.

The Borea's 3 main Faults...
that treble can lemon sharp on the wrong amp... Given you have a soft treble reply on your Yamaha.. you "may" be ok. The Borea is not nearly as aggressive as past Triangle speakers.. but you would not put these on a comparable denon model like the Pma-600 (price to your yamaha)

despite being front ported... you need to haul these a good half metre away from any wall in your room to stop them sounding stuffy

These are a "party animal speaker" if that makes sense.. they grab your attention with their presentation and make you want to bop rather than make you sit down and chill out and relax to them

Front/back view

image.php


Different finish showing with/out the grilles
7kijRH7Mw3ie9SqfRhBXPf.jpg


Frequency plot..
index.php
 

Orobas

Well-known Member
Average UK houses and most speakers really aren't good bedfellows.
yeah i know this only too well! my dm2/6's are in a 13ft x 15ft room and average out at about 5 inches (140mm) out from the nearest wall so you dont need to tell me that lmao :p:rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:

I'd rather be honest with the Triangles as they are very unique in the market against the other brands. Sure you can put them closer.. but they just won't sound as good as in clear air
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Try the speakers in the room first! Then you’ll know for sure.
 

robotron

Active Member
Thanks for the comments but those Triangle speakers aren't making the list, I definitely don't have room for them to be 0.5m from the wall.
 

Orobas

Well-known Member
Thanks for the comments but those Triangle speakers aren't making the list, I definitely don't have room for them to be 0.5m from the wall.
@robotron no worries.. They will work closer obviously just like any speaker will.. but the reason i mentioned it... is that front ported speakers generally sound better against a wall than a rear port that needs to be pulled away from a wall.. Focal speakers.. like the Chora 806. for example are front port but they sit and sound perfect against a wall. (the Chora's though are in your price bracket speaker wise.. but they are...... HUGE!!!)

These Boreas act like a rear ported speaker in comparison

Sound wise.. they are worth a listen as they are a serious contender for music in that list you compiled!

Depending where you are.. a demo on all the above mentioned speakers is recommended.. that way you can see what they sound like close to a wall, pulled away etc.

Those Elac Uni-Fi BS U5 (get the Slim model) that @ShanePJ mentioned are lovely speakers... Sound very nice. very unusually for the price.. the Slim variant of the U5 are 3 way bookshelf speakers.. they have that dual concentric treble/mid that reminds me of kef... if you can find a pair to demo.. then yes do so.. nice one there @ShanePJ !!
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
Thanks for the comments but those Triangle speakers aren't making the list, I definitely don't have room for them to be 0.5m from the wall.
If you can't do at least 20-30cm, i'd rule out anything with a rear bass port, unless you intend using room correction software. Even 20cm can be a bit close with some. My previous speakers were B&W 685s2. Front ported, but still boomy closer than 20cm.
On the B&W 6 series, I'm not a fan (Personal opinion). I found them very fatiguing and wasn't keen on the lack of midrange. Of course, you may think differently. It's all very subjective.
 

robdmarsh

Active Member
Given that Yamaha amp and what speakers you have shortlisted... I can rule out the B&W 607's in favour of the Triangle Borea BR-03 bookshelf speaker.. they are vastly superior in sound and scale to the 607s.
They retail for around £349 - £399 depending where you look and are a must to demo. They are not perfect by any means but if you can get past this and they work for you.. they are a joy.

The Borea's 3 main Faults...
that treble can lemon sharp on the wrong amp... Given you have a soft treble reply on your Yamaha.. you "may" be ok. The Borea is not nearly as aggressive as past Triangle speakers.. but you would not put these on a comparable denon model like the Pma-600 (price to your yamaha)

despite being front ported... you need to haul these a good half metre away from any wall in your room to stop them sounding stuffy

These are a "party animal speaker" if that makes sense.. they grab your attention with their presentation and make you want to bop rather than make you sit down and chill out and relax to them

Front/back view

image.php


Different finish showing with/out the grilles
7kijRH7Mw3ie9SqfRhBXPf.jpg


Frequency plot..
index.php
Given that Yamaha amp and what speakers you have shortlisted... I can rule out the B&W 607's in favour of the Triangle Borea BR-03 bookshelf speaker.. they are vastly superior in sound and scale to the 607s.
They retail for around £349 - £399 depending where you look and are a must to demo. They are not perfect by any means but if you can get past this and they work for you.. they are a joy.

The Borea's 3 main Faults...
that treble can lemon sharp on the wrong amp... Given you have a soft treble reply on your Yamaha.. you "may" be ok. The Borea is not nearly as aggressive as past Triangle speakers.. but you would not put these on a comparable denon model like the Pma-600 (price to your yamaha)

despite being front ported... you need to haul these a good half metre away from any wall in your room to stop them sounding stuffy

These are a "party animal speaker" if that makes sense.. they grab your attention with their presentation and make you want to bop rather than make you sit down and chill out and relax to them

Front/back view

image.php


Different finish showing with/out the grilles
7kijRH7Mw3ie9SqfRhBXPf.jpg


Frequency plot..
index.php
If you can find them used or open box, and I've seen a couple come up on eBay, I can whole-heartedly recommend Trianble Titus EZ. These are the same size as Borea br02, they are pretty placement friendly, beautifully built and to my ears sound better than any stand mounters I've heard under £1000. They are punchy yet refined, detailed yet non-fatiguing and play so many genres of music in an utterly captivating way. Vocals, both male and female, are to die for on these speakers. Oh and they partner very well with Denon, I have the Denon pma 800ne.
 

robdmarsh

Active Member
Just to be more specific about placement, my Triangle Titus EZ are about 15 inches from the wall and I don't get bass bloom.
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
Just to be more specific about placement, my Triangle Titus EZ are about 20 inches from the wall and I don't get bass bloom.
20 inches is far more than most UK houses will allow though. That's a shade over 50cm.
 

robdmarsh

Active Member
20 inches is far more than most UK houses will allow though. That's a shade over 50cm.
Just corrected that to 15 inches. I started at less than a foot and they still sounded "good". In their current position they sound sublime. I know we all have different ears and tastes and so on but you should all hear these speakers. I think the Audiophilliac's review on Youtube sums it up pretty well. One thing I disagree with him though, they can rock!
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Go for the B&W. They have smiley face sound. Plenty of bass, sharp tweeter. Nasal midrange/thin. Yamaha we’ll fix this the midrange because of its warm sound.

The soundstage we’ll be transparent, wide with plenty of drive.
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
Just corrected that to 15 inches. I started at less than a foot and they still sounded "good". In their current position they sound sublime. I know we all have different ears and tastes and so on but you should all hear these speakers. I think the Audiophilliac's review on Youtube sums it up pretty well. One thing I disagree with him though, they can rock!
If they sound as good as they look, they must be excellent. Never heard any Triangle products to be fair. They always seem to get good write ups.
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
Yamaha we’ll fix this the midrange because of its warm sound.
Either that or, like me, you'll be stuck with them for a while wishing you'd gone with something else.
 

robdmarsh

Active Member
Go for the B&W. They have smiley face sound. Plenty of bass, sharp tweeter. Nasal midrange/thin. Yamaha we’ll fix this the midrange because of its warm sound.

The soundstage we’ll be transparent, wide with plenty of drive.
These Triangles are on another level than the B&W 607/606 all versions. I had Monitor Audio Silver 2 and Wharfedale Denton 80 for a bit, and they were not in the same ball park. Don't know the later generations of MA Silvers, they may sound good. Sorry if this sounds like hubris, but enthusiasm is getting the better of me. Oh, and I've had them for three months, so it's not a wham, bam thank you mam kind of affair.;)
 

Orobas

Well-known Member
If you can find them used or open box, and I've seen a couple come up on eBay, I can whole-heartedly recommend Trianble Titus EZ. These are the same size as Borea br02, they are pretty placement friendly, beautifully built and to my ears sound better than any stand mounters I've heard under £1000. They are punchy yet refined, detailed yet non-fatiguing and play so many genres of music in an utterly captivating way. Vocals, both male and female, are to die for on these speakers. Oh and they partner very well with Denon, I have the Denon pma 800ne.
The PMA 800ne is a big step up from the 600 series :) I was looking at comparable amp price when i said that about the denon.. a Dra800h or the PMA-60 would be more than fine from my own listening perspective.. i just don;t rate the lower 600series or under for Triangle :)

@robdmarsh totally agree with you on the Triangle sound :smashin:.. they have what b&w dont... but they need to be partnered a bit carefully than b&w just through their treble..
 

Orobas

Well-known Member
If they sound as good as they look, they must be excellent. Never heard any Triangle products to be fair. They always seem to get good write ups.
Triangle speakers are a poor man's Focal....

Very good speaker, used to suffer a lot with an aggressive treble, but they have got a handle on it to some degree with these newer models but you still have to be wary of partnering with anything that has a sniff of being bright.

If you can partner them well.. they really sing :)
 

robdmarsh

Active Member
That's the thing, looking at those chrome surround tweeters you might expect harshness in the treble. But with my amplifier the definitely do not sound harsh - I hate brightness in the high frequencies, my previous favourite speakers were Elacs, and they are famous for laid back sound. What they do give you (the Titus EZ) instead of harshness is delicacy and air in the treble, hair standing on back of neck stuff.... ok, I think I'll shut up now about these speakers.
 

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