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post #631 of 3631 Old 02-25-2008, 04:16 PM
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Ry,

Good info thank you, this thread isn't so long so I'll dive into it. The MK1 going disco is a good issue to note. It's going to be hard to find a matching center. Heli's brand new are outside of my budget. I think I will focus on Mentor 6/8 or Ikon 7/8. If there are any Ikon 7/8 owners feel free to chime in.

My current room is 22'x14' and the M60s fill it well. I'm tending to "overbuy" gear right now as the house is on the market and a basement with 8+ foot ceilings is a requirement in our next house. I'm going to build a dedicated 90% HT/10% music room.
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post #632 of 3631 Old 02-25-2008, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post

They're faced straight out like the manual suggests. I guess I have to keep playing with placement but don't have that much room to work with. Here is a picture of where they are at in the office.



Only difference between the picture and my setup is that they have the grills on. Right behind the curtain is a window with blinds and I have been contemplating getting a type of acoustic panel behind it but I have no idea which kind I would need. I was thinking bass trap to help with the bass reponse but now I am thinking high frequency absorber.If you guys could give me any ideas on panels I would appreciate it. Although I can't put them all over the place as wife wouldn't approve. This is a diagram of the room.

Gus,

Welcome to the Dali thread. Your room definitely has a few issues that I can see in this photo. The speakers are very close together, but I sense it's due to the items you have in the room and space constraints. I can see something in front of your left speaker that looks like a rack or piece of reflecting furniture. The speakers seem to be pretty darn close to the back of the wall/window, but you do have curtains there, so that might help. If I could suggest if you are thinking of doing acoustic treatments, you might want to Email GIK or Real Traps and see what they suggest. I could see where most any speaker might have issues with your room. However, you can only do what you can.

I would agree the treatments would be the first step to your room, rather then new equipment. I'd then build from there if you feel the need to change any components.

The receiver or separates debate is always a tenuous discussion and it's a very personal experience. Part of my path when I revisited the world of audio again after a break, was a Sony receiver similar to yours. I still have the STR-DA777ES made about 9-10 years ago for backup. That Sony piece was legendary in it's time and quite a few have written it's the best receiver Sony ever made. I have done subjective comparisons of my Sony and various other components, but have always preferred separates for my own personal tastes and reasons. There is so much more flexibility with separates then just a standalone receiver without external amplification. Would the Sony sound fine with the my current setup? Yes, it's not bad. However, through the years, I've changed components enough to know that the receiver avenue may be fine for some, but others gravitate to separates. It's just something you need to decide for yourself.

Fix the room to the best of your best ability and tweak from there. That would be my advise.

Charles

"Man plans, God laughs"
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post #633 of 3631 Old 02-25-2008, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mozvz View Post

Gus,

Welcome to the Dali thread. Your room definitely has a few issues that I can see in this photo. The speakers are very close together, but I sense it's due to the items you have in the room and space constraints. I can see something in front of your left speaker that looks like a rack or piece of reflecting furniture. The speakers seem to be pretty darn close to the back of the wall/window, but you do have curtains there, so that might help. If I could suggest if you are thinking of doing acoustic treatments, you might want to Email GIK or Real Traps and see what they suggest. I could see where most any speaker might have issues with your room. However, you can only do what you can.

I would agree the treatments would be the first step to your room, rather then new equipment. I'd then build from there if you feel the need to change any components.

The receiver or separates debate is always a tenuous discussion and it's a very personal experience. Part of my path when I revisited the world of audio again after a break, was a Sony receiver similar to yours. I still have the STR-DA777ES made about 9-10 years ago for backup. That Sony piece was legendary in it's time and quite a few have written it's the best receiver Sony ever made. I have done subjective comparisons of my Sony and various other components, but have always preferred separates for my own personal tastes and reasons. There is so much more flexibility with separates then just a standalone receiver without external amplification. Would the Sony sound fine with the my current setup? Yes, it's not bad. However, through the years, I've changed components enough to know that the receiver avenue may be fine for some, but others gravitate to separates. It's just something you need to decide for yourself.

Fix the room to the best of your best ability and tweak from there. That would be my advise.

Charles

Well I had a friend come over this weekend for some serious listening with the speakers and he helped me around with placement. We played with different tracks for a couple of hours and just for kicks we decided to place the speakers a tiny bit off-axis and wow the change was immediate. The brightness they were exhibiting at first is now completely gone and the highs are just delightful. Even my friend who tends to prefer a different sounding speaker was just amazed with what the Dali could do. He best describes the sound as artists performing in the room with us. I have kept them playing at low volume 24/7 in order to break them in some more but they just keep sounding better and better every day and that Dali tweeter is just something magical when it comes to detail and separation.
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post #634 of 3631 Old 02-26-2008, 09:31 AM
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gus,

good to hear you got your issues worked out!
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post #635 of 3631 Old 02-26-2008, 11:42 AM
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That's great to hear!!!

I'm fascinated to see how mercurial I am about upgrading from my Dahlquists to Dali. I actually heard the Mentor LCRs at CES and was so impressed -- and they will also work perfectly size-wise in my theater plans -- but, I hear one "scary" experience like above and I'm ready to bail!

Sheesh, one less-than-spectacular review (which turns out great in the end) shouldn't have so much power to paralyze, eh?!

Thanks all the same, it is great to hear about everyone's experience...

creative>energy

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post #636 of 3631 Old 02-26-2008, 12:22 PM
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The Stereophile March edition has a nice writeup on the Helicon 400 MK II's as Diamonds suggested a few posts back. I really can't insert to much of the content in the thread, but Michael Fremer seemed to like the Helicons.

Some adjectives he used:
Open
Airy
Spacious
Wall to Wall Sound stage
Generous Depth

One sentence he did write and I think it's OK to share this:
"If you like airy, 3D sonic rides, this speaker delivers them."

One paragraph or two probably will not get me in trouble. Gezzzzz..

Quote:


The Helicon MK.2's overall tonal balance was impressively smooth and free of glistening peaks, hollow sounding suck outs, or obvious colorations. But either the upper midrange presence region was slightly accentuated, or the midrange itself was slightly suppressed - this speaker was more about transient attack than harmonic richness and supple textures, and its overall balance was clearly on the slightly hot side in my well damped room.

Quote:


The Helicon MK.3's strong suits are clean, deep, non mechanical bass down to around 30Hz; extended, airy, smooth, grain-free high frequencies without excessive etch; and an enormous spatial presentation that wows at every listen. Its weakness is that it runs a bit hot on top and can sound bright. To compensate for this, I did much of my listening with the grilles on, which is unusual for me.

Buy the mag. Kal will appreciate that.

"Man plans, God laughs"
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post #637 of 3631 Old 02-29-2008, 12:46 PM
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I was wondering if anyone here has their Dali's paired with any tube gear? I just sold my Arcam so now I am looking to try out tubes to see if I would like the difference in sound.
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post #638 of 3631 Old 02-29-2008, 01:39 PM
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Gus,

Conrad Johnson ACT- 2 version 1 with a solid state amp. I am pleased with the results. A line stage pre pro makes a considerable difference in my situation, but I am never content. I think I am doomed to always be looking forward.

"Man plans, God laughs"
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post #639 of 3631 Old 02-29-2008, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mozvz View Post

Gus,
A line stage pre pro makes a considerable difference in my situation, but I am never content. I think I am doomed to always be looking forward.

I know the feeling my friend
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post #640 of 3631 Old 02-29-2008, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mozvz View Post

Gus,

Conrad Johnson ACT- 2 version 1 with a solid state amp. I am pleased with the results. A line stage pre pro makes a considerable difference in my situation, but I am never content. I think I am doomed to always be looking forward.

So you think that tube pre section paired with SS amplification is the way to go?
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post #641 of 3631 Old 02-29-2008, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post

So you think that tube pre section paired with SS amplification is the way to go?

Gus,

I don't have an absolute for you. Every person seems to hear something different. Everyone's room has different effects on their equipment. There are many people on here who make absolute statements on audio gear and in some instances, it's justified. However, with the question you are asking me, there are no final answers IMHO.

I do know that many of the Dali demo's by the company itself, use Cary equipment and it always seems to be tubes. Personally, I think the advantage of a separate line stage pre pro in a combined system works wonders. However, there are people that have purchased a pre pro and thought it was not any better then their original equipment of a sole receiver or SSP. I think Diamond's son uses all Conrad Johnson equipment in his setup. Maybe he can chime in with an opinion.

Personally, what I always attempt to create is a clean, clear, accurate sound, lots of detail without any edge. My room is not ideal in the sense that it's 11 X 13 and those dimensions are not conducive to a prime environment. I have treated the room via GIK treatments and I am still in a state of what's next. With the tube pre, the sound stage is wider, deeper and there is much more detail then with my Halcro SSP analogue outs. However, considering the price of the ACT-2, there should be a difference and it should not be subtle, which it is not.

A lot depends on what you want to do. If you want to focus on two channel then I'd suggest a tube line stage with a 2 channel amp and maybe a sub. If you want a combined system I'd suggest the tube line stage, separate solid state amp and an SSP with the latest technology. It's the best of both worlds in that scenario.

Others may see it quite differently. That's the beauty and the beast of what we do.

"Man plans, God laughs"
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post #642 of 3631 Old 02-29-2008, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post

I was wondering if anyone here has their Dali's paired with any tube gear? I just sold my Arcam so now I am looking to try out tubes to see if I would like the difference in sound.

I'm running my Helicon 800s off an Arcam Diva A90 integrated that's serving as a preamp to a Parasound Halo A21 power amp. I bought the Parasound at the same time as the Dalis. I am contemplating replacing the Arcam with a tube preamp. I'm interested in a heavily modified Copland CTA305 that's available locally, but I don't like the price. My other thought is to replace my Rotel CD player with something a little warmer. Any suggestions on CD players that would match up well with the Helicons?
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post #643 of 3631 Old 02-29-2008, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Mozvz View Post

Gus,

I don't have an absolute for you. Every person seems to hear something different. Everyone's room has different effects on their equipment. There are many people on here who make absolute statements on audio gear and in some instances, it's justified. However, with the question you are asking me, there are no final answers IMHO.

I do know that many of the Dali demo's by the company itself, use Cary equipment and it always seems to be tubes. Personally, I think the advantage of a separate line stage pre pro in a combined system works wonders. However, there are people that have purchased a pre pro and thought it was not any better then their original equipment of a sole receiver or SSP. I think Diamond's son uses all Conrad Johnson equipment in his setup. Maybe he can chime in with an opinion.

Personally, what I always attempt to create is a clean, clear, accurate sound, lots of detail without any edge. My room is not ideal in the sense that it's 11 X 13 and those dimensions are not conducive to a prime environment. I have treated the room via GIK treatments and I am still in a state of what's next. With the tube pre, the sound stage is wider, deeper and there is much more detail then with my Halcro SSP analogue outs. However, considering the price of the ACT-2, there should be a difference and it should not be subtle, which it is not.

A lot depends on what you want to do. If you want to focus on two channel then I'd suggest a tube line stage with a 2 channel amp and maybe a sub. If you want a combined system I'd suggest the tube line stage, separate solid state amp and an SSP with the latest technology. It's the best of both worlds in that scenario.

Others may see it quite differently. That's the beauty and the beast of what we do.

Ahh ok I understand. My Dali are in a 2ch system that is and always will be for music only so don't need fancy electronics with DSP's and all that. I guess I will keep a lookout for some conrad or cary tubes on audiogon to try out.
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post #644 of 3631 Old 02-29-2008, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post

Ahh ok I understand. My Dali are in a 2ch system that is and always will be for music only so don't any fancy electronics with DSP's and all that. I guess I will keep a lookout for some conrad or cary tubes on audiogon to try out.

There is also a lot of other tube gear in the marketplace that you could/should consider besides Cary and CJ that is less expensive in nature. My suggestion is do a lot of research on this subject and then post what you find. Everyone generally recommends what they own, but there are people on here with a wealth of experience with lots and lots of gear. It never hurts to ask!!

"Man plans, God laughs"
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post #645 of 3631 Old 02-29-2008, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Mozvz View Post

There is also a lot of other tube gear in the marketplace that you could/should consider besides Cary and CJ that is less expensive in nature. My suggestion is do a lot of research on this subject and then post what you find. Everyone generally recommends what they own, but there are people on here with a wealth of experience with lots and lots of gear. It never hurts to ask!!

Yeah I was thinking of starting out with something small and inexpensive like the Little Dot T100 which is a tube pre/SS hybrid and rolling it with some NOS tubes. I don't want to jump right away into expensive electronics because of the bad experience I had with the Arcam.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mozvz View Post

There is also a lot of other tube gear in the marketplace that you could/should consider besides Cary and CJ that is less expensive in nature. My suggestion is do a lot of research on this subject and then post what you find. Everyone generally recommends what they own, but there are people on here with a wealth of experience with lots and lots of gear. It never hurts to ask!!

One of my peeves about switching from a full function integrated to separates is that most of the preamps I've seen will require me to add a separate phono stage or even a separate phono preamp and a separate headphone amp. I understand that adding additional functionality to a box can compromise the sound, but surely, there are reasonably high quality tube preamps that include the ability to play LPs and to listen with headphones ... aren't there?
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One of my peeves about switching from a full function integrated to separates is that most of the preamps I've seen will require me to add a separate phono stage or even a separate phono preamp and a separate headphone amp. I understand that adding additional functionality to a box can compromise the sound, but surely, there are reasonably high quality tube preamps that include the ability to play LPs and to listen with headphones ... aren't there?

I have the Rolls Bellari vp129 tube phono preamp for my TT. It has a headphone amp in it as well. I really liked it at first but when I got the Arcam A80 the phono pre on it is just so much better. The Rolls has a very slight hum to it but to me the Arcam phono is just much cleaner sounding than the Rolls. I have been thinking of rolling another tube in it to see if it gets any better but I don't know much about tubes and what to get.
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post #648 of 3631 Old 02-29-2008, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post

Yeah I was thinking of starting out with something small and inexpensive like the Little Dot T100 which is a tube pre/SS hybrid and rolling it with some NOS tubes. I don't want to jump right away into expensive electronics because of the bad experience I had with the Arcam.

Gus, I believe there are better pieces available than the little Dot. What is the budget you have in mind? I would be glad to give you some recommendations.
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post #649 of 3631 Old 02-29-2008, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfest View Post

One of my peeves about switching from a full function integrated to separates is that most of the preamps I've seen will require me to add a separate phono stage or even a separate phono preamp and a separate headphone amp. I understand that adding additional functionality to a box can compromise the sound, but surely, there are reasonably high quality tube preamps that include the ability to play LPs and to listen with headphones ... aren't there?

Wolf,

One that comes to mind with Rogue audio. I know they have line stage where you can add the photo section. However, I am sure there are many, many others.

http://www.rogueaudio.com/

I understand what you are writing about having everything in one box. I am the type of person who likes to separate components if possible and in this case for my system, a separate phono stage if I ever go that route.

Again, it's just a personal path to what we like.

"Man plans, God laughs"
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post #650 of 3631 Old 02-29-2008, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by rydenfan View Post

Gus, I believe there are better pieces available than the little Dot. What is the budget you have in mind? I would be glad to give you some recommendations.

Ryden,

Please recommend as you are very in touch with this much more then most of us. We all can learn from your expertise.

Charles

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Gus, I believe there are better pieces available than the little Dot. What is the budget you have in mind? I would be glad to give you some recommendations.

Well I guess budget is around the same I paid for the Arcam which is ~$500. I would prefer used since I could get more bang for the buck. There is guy on audiogon selling a Jolida 202A locally for $425 but that's full tube integrated. Anything else you can recommend in that price range?
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As Charles said, Rouge is an excellent company for the money. You should be able to find a Rouge 66 in your price range, they come up pretty regularly.

This is a pretty incredible deal on an Audio Research piece.
http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....ube&1209345518

Frank at ava hi-fi truly makes some of the cleanist sounding pieces for the money. Some really nice hybrid and solid state stuff.
http://www.avahifi.com/

and here is a steal on a Conrad Johnson piece
http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....ube&1208275104

And keep your eye out for the Tube Audio Design TAD-150. I think they tend to go for around $700, and people seem very fond of them for the price.

If you need any other options or have more questions, let us know...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rydenfan View Post

As Charles said, Rouge is an excellent company for the money. You should be able to find a Rouge 66 in your price range, they come up pretty regularly.

This is a pretty incredible deal on an Audio Research piece.
http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....ube&1209345518

Frank at ava hi-fi truly makes some of the cleanist sounding pieces for the money. Some really nice hybrid and solid state stuff.
http://www.avahifi.com/

and here is a steal on a Conrad Johnson piece
http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....ube&1208275104

And keep your eye out for the Tube Audio Design TAD-150. I think they tend to go for around $700, and people seem very fond of them for the price.

If you need any other options or have more questions, let us know...

Cool I will keep an eye out for these but I noticed they are all preamps. What about integrateds? What do you think about Jolida (202A?).
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Gus, I did not realize you were looking for an integrated, sorry. $500 is a bit of a tough budget for that because you are trying to incorporate so much. My favorite integrated that I have heard is the Musical Fidelity A5. But those retail for over $3,000 and usually go for around $1,600 used so that is not much of a help to you.

You could certainly try the Jolida and see what you think? My recommendation would be to try and save up for a while and go the route of a tube pre and a small 2 channel amp. You will have so much more flexibility in terms of products and I believe you will be much happier with the sonic results.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rydenfan View Post

You could certainly try the Jolida and see what you think? My recommendation would be to try and save up for a while and go the route of a tube pre and a small 2 channel amp. You will have so much more flexibility in terms of products and I believe you will be much happier with the sonic results.

I agree with what you write here. If you have the rack space for a tubed line stage pre and an amp (SS/Tube) it would provide much more flexibility.

"Man plans, God laughs"
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post #656 of 3631 Old 03-01-2008, 01:03 PM
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If you truly want an integrated with tubes I have heard Cayin's products before and have been impressed. I believe Stereophile just reviewed the 50 and really liked it. I have not had a chance to read the review yet. I believe new they are around $1,200, so used they should be right in your price range.
http://www.cayinusa.com/Product_Name...egory=26:57:38
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post #657 of 3631 Old 03-02-2008, 06:01 PM
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Dear Dali Owners,

After listening to the Ikon 6's for an hour or so, I went back to the store to listen again, and potentially buy them. But for fun I had the salesman bring in the Helicon 400s for a demo. I can't express how different the two pairs were.

Cutting to the chase, I won't even think of buying the Ikons when I know something like the Helicons exists (for a bit more cash). I have nearly convinced myself that I will buy these Helicon 400s but I worry...

I will be using a Marantz 8002 A/V receiver to power them and I'm worried that it won't be nearly enough. During the audition we used a NAD 150w receiver of some sort, and with the dial turned up 1/3 of the way it sounded pretty decent.

Will my Marantz be a good match for the speakers sound wise and power wise? Or will I have to buy a separate amp, something I'd prefer not to do.

And lastly, is 2500 a decent price for a demo pair of Helicon 400s?

Thanks,
Adam
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post #658 of 3631 Old 03-02-2008, 06:17 PM
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Dear Dali Owners,

After listening to the Ikon 6's for an hour or so, I went back to the store to listen again, and potentially buy them. But for fun I had the salesman bring in the Helicon 400s for a demo. I can't express how different the two pairs were.

Cutting to the chase, I won't even think of buying the Ikons when I know something like the Helicons exists (for a bit more cash). I have nearly convinced myself that I will buy these Helicon 400s but I worry...

I will be using a Marantz 8002 A/V receiver to power them and I'm worried that it won't be nearly enough. During the audition we used a NAD 150w receiver of some sort, and with the dial turned up 1/3 of the way it sounded pretty decent.

Will my Marantz be a good match for the speakers sound wise and power wise? Or will I have to buy a separate amp, something I'd prefer not to do.

And lastly, is 2500 a decent price for a demo pair of Helicon 400s?

Thanks,
Adam

Adam,

I would think your receiver will be fine with the Dali 400's. I have tried an older Sony receiver with some 400's and 300's and it did a decent job. Separates (SSP/Receiver Preouts- Amp) would be desired by me personally, but I don't think you will disappointed with the receiver. Realize that speakers can be a lifelong marriage (unless you spend to much time on AVS) and you can always add an amp later even though at the moment, it's not your goal. It takes time and patience to build a quality system component by component. The Helicon's would be a great addition to build that foundation.

A thought I had was it appears you are considering purchasing from a local dealer. Why not ask the owner if you can bring the speakers home or take your Marantz into his shop and do a real time listening audition with the receiver?

"Man plans, God laughs"
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post #659 of 3631 Old 03-02-2008, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by TheAdamBomb View Post

Dear Dali Owners,

After listening to the Ikon 6's for an hour or so, I went back to the store to listen again, and potentially buy them. But for fun I had the salesman bring in the Helicon 400s for a demo. I can't express how different the two pairs were.

Cutting to the chase, I won't even think of buying the Ikons when I know something like the Helicons exists (for a bit more cash). I have nearly convinced myself that I will buy these Helicon 400s but I worry...

I will be using a Marantz 8002 A/V receiver to power them and I'm worried that it won't be nearly enough. During the audition we used a NAD 150w receiver of some sort, and with the dial turned up 1/3 of the way it sounded pretty decent.

Will my Marantz be a good match for the speakers sound wise and power wise? Or will I have to buy a separate amp, something I'd prefer not to do.

And lastly, is 2500 a decent price for a demo pair of Helicon 400s?

Thanks,
Adam

I'm guessing those Helicon 400 are MKI right? Good deal regardless.
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post #660 of 3631 Old 03-02-2008, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Mozvz View Post

Adam,

I would think your receiver will be fine with the Dali 400's. I have tried an older Sony receiver with some 400's and 300's and it did a decent job. Separates (SSP/Receiver Preouts- Amp) would be desired by me personally, but I don't think you will disappointed with the receiver. Realize that speakers can be a lifelong marriage (unless you spend to much time on AVS) and you can always add an amp later even though at the moment, it's not your goal. It takes time and patience to build a quality system component by component. The Helicon's would be a great addition to build that foundation.

A thought I had was it appears you are considering purchasing from a local dealer. Why not ask the owner if you can bring the speakers home or take your Marantz into his shop and do a real time listening audition with the receiver?

Thanks for the advice. I'm trying to think of these speakers as being the ones I keep a long time. My dad handed me down 20 year old speakers that he bought when he was my age. They're in some rough shape but they meant a lot to him. I'm hoping the Helicons will be that type of speaker for me.

The dealer is dumping Dali's products and is 2 hours away (the next closest dealer is in New York, I'm in Boston). These are some of the last Dali's in New England and I'm trying to get a pair before they're gone. Next time I'll bring my Marantz in to give them a listen.
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