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Dali speakers - Page 102

post #3031 of 3437
Quote:
Originally Posted by nucky View Post

Don't buy Halo amp it sounds to bright for the dali 400

Care to expand a bit on your advice?
post #3032 of 3437
Quote:
Originally Posted by nucky View Post

Don't buy Halo amp it sounds to bright for the dali 400

I have heard the two together extensively and disagree with the above observation. Detail can be perceived as brightness. It is not.
post #3033 of 3437
I have 2 pairs of the helicon 300's, 1 of the pairs is the mkii's, the C200 mk2 and several other pairs of Dali's. I am also using a Maranrtz MM8077 that I put on ebay a few days ago. I am putting my money where my mouth is. I will be using 1 A51 and 3 A23's for surrounds. I have tried several amps and the Helicon line opens up and really does sound open, images fantastic. There is a significant differance than with the Mentor and ikon lines. I could not hear the difference between them.

The Helicon line paired with the Halos has me convinced to get 2 more pairs of the 300 mkii's for an 11.1 Surround system. By March i'll have 10 300 MKii's and the C200 MKii all driven with halos.

If I had not heard the differance I would not have wasted my money. My wife helped me make the decision concerning the Marantz. Her comment, sounds like crap, get more of the silver amps or sell speakers.
Edited by Dr_Mark - 4/28/13 at 7:16pm
post #3034 of 3437
Dr. Mark, I think you meant driven by Halos rather than helicons, right? smile.gif
10 Dali 300s? You are a maniac, now get outta here!
Personally, 300s are really special over achieving little speakers.
And I'm not damning with faint praise here.

I too am wanting a follow-up to nucky's "bright" Halo post.
That is not my experience in the least.
Halo amps, imo, are a solid value and sound great.
You could do far, far worse in amplification.
post #3035 of 3437
Using the Halo amp really opens up the Helicons and makes them sound best. The Mentor and Ikons sounded the same regardless of the amp used to drive them.
post #3036 of 3437
The Parasound Halo amps have a fine reputation and I trust they sound great with Dalis. I suspect that up to the mid-level speaker level, spending on higher-end amplification yields poor bang for the buck improvement in overall SQ. It is pretty well established that in BAB testing solid state amps are pretty hard to tell apart. That is, when amps are driven within specs and if designed to be neutral in sound. Same thing applies to DACs and speaker cables. Perhaps when one moves up to high-end speakers subtle differences in amps. DACs, etc., are more apparent. I am not an expert and have not A/B'd a lot of amps but here's my experience with Dalis and amps for what it's worth.

When I first acquired Helicon 400 MkIs (4ohm, 88dB sensitivity), I also got a Denon AVR 4310. The internal amps were rated to 6 ohms. It sounded fine until I cranked it to loud volumes when it would clip the amps causing some audible distortion and loss of dynamics. I attribute this problem to particular challenge the design of the 400s (the combination of low impedence & low sens) presented to the design of those particular Denon int amps especially given their limited transformer and capacitance capability when subject to high current draw. To be fair, the Denon was not being driven within specs when approaching reference levels. So I bought an Emotiva XPA5 amp (5 ch model $.9K) and it cleaned the SQ right up when cranked and for loud transient peaks particularly. It really did not sound any different to me when at low to average listening levels.

Next upgrade was to Denon AVR A100/4311, and the new int amp section was rated to 4 ohms. Now I couldn't tell any significant diff at any listening level between the Emo XPA-5. I also acquired an Emotiva UPA-2 ($350 2 ch model) that also sounded the same to me. I'd bought that so I could run all 7 Dalis while in Denon preamp mode which seemed to add a very subtle improvement in SQ.

Next upgrade was to Euphonia MS4s. Nice. They sounded overall quite a bit better than the Helis; more detailed, dynamic and precise-which I attribute to overall improved cabinet and driver design.

Then I took advantage of an opportunity to pick up a deal on some Euphonia MS5s and the matching CS4 . Not as strinkingly different overall in SQ as I'd expected. Better SQ precision and dynamics in the mids which I attributed to the 3-way design that allows the dedicated mid-range driver to focus on what it does best. Also impressively clean and dynamic lows due to the sheer capability of twin 8" woofs in that massive cabinet.

Now I'd been told, as I'm sure other Dali owners have been told, that the high-end Dalis really shine when really good (read: expensive audiophile) electronics are provided upstream. So I'd grabbed a deal on a Halcro MC30 amp (3 ch model $5K MSRP for $2K). I'd purchased the amp impulsively with the MS5s specifically to drive them and the CS4 so I could decide for myself if amps mattered with my gear in my room. The Halcro is a unique class D design aimed at high-end HT and MC music audiophile application, exactly my thing.

Result: to my surprise it sounds distinctly more dynamic and detailed at every listening level, when fed high quality source material. It is not a huge difference, and if I'd paid much more I'd be pretty disappointed in the amount of SQ improvement per $ paid. Also note that I've not subjected the Halcro amp to BAB comparison. I'm very happy with this system. Of course I've been told that I need to upgrade my $2K Denon universal player, get seperate extreme high-end pre/pro and even better quality amp than the Halcro but then I'll really be getting diminishing returns while spending loads more $.
Edited by SoundofMind - 4/29/13 at 7:15am
post #3037 of 3437
^this once you hit that level of speaker that can really make use of the improvements.
The difference between the amps was significant once I hit the Helicons. I went from an Denon 3808ci, to the Marantz 7005, to the 8801. Again it took the Helicons to reveal the detail.

Each improvement was significant.
post #3038 of 3437
^So we have had similar experiences with some similar upgrades in equipment. I wonder if you've found, as I did, that improved versions of Audyssey make a very significant SQ diff?

Moving up from MultEQXT to XT32 has really enhanced SQ in my room.
post #3039 of 3437
I have to agree with you, XT32 tamed my room. I really have the sound I have been looking for my entire life. Funny thing, I also had an emotiva XPA-5 and it got me started back into the audio world.

Next IMMEDIATE issue will be some amp stands
post #3040 of 3437
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogorf View Post

Care to expand a bit on your advice?
I sold my Arcam p7. and then bought the Halo A52 that was the worst amp I have ever heard forward and harsh sounding In my room.
post #3041 of 3437
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Mark View Post

I have 2 pairs of the helicon 300's, 1 of the pairs is the mkii's, the C200 mk2 and several other pairs of Dali's. I am also using a Maranrtz MM8077 that I put on ebay a few days ago. I am putting my money where my mouth is. I will be using 1 A51 and 3 A23's for surrounds. I have tried several amps and the Helicon line opens up and really does sound open, images fantastic. There is a significant differance than with the Mentor and ikon lines. I could not hear the difference between them.

The Helicon line paired with the Halos has me convinced to get 2 more pairs of the 300 mkii's for an 11.1 Surround system. By March i'll have 10 300 MKii's and the C200 MKii all driven with halos.

If I had not heard the differance I would not have wasted my money. My wife helped me make the decision concerning the Marantz. Her comment, sounds like crap, get more of the silver amps or sell speakers.

Dr Mark, how do you think my New Classic amps will do powering the Helicons 400's?

I would love to move up to the Halo A51, over here in the UK, that are really expensive and are very hard to come by in the ex demo / 2nd hand market
post #3042 of 3437
I agree with Dr. Mark. I had Nad and Bryston amps before running my Helicon 800s, and while they were good, once I changed to Halo A21 amp, it took it to a whole new level. The bass especially really came alive. I guess the high damping factor the halo has may have something to do with it? Anyway, that amp paired with an Atoll preamp makes for an exquisite combination that would be hard to beat.
post #3043 of 3437
Quote:
Originally Posted by marky301067 View Post

Dr Mark, how do you think my New Classic amps will do powering the Helicons 400's?

I would love to move up to the Halo A51, over here in the UK, that are really expensive and are very hard to come by in the ex demo / 2nd hand market

My Parasound Dealer has a 5250V.2 for me to play with next week. I can tell you how it stacks up then. But in the mean time I do put my money where my mouth is and this combination sounds wonderful. Also do make sure your amp is plugged directly in the wall and not any power conditioner.
A51 + 3x A23's biggrin.gif

post #3044 of 3437
^Wow. You've outgrown your equipment rack and then some...biggrin.gif
post #3045 of 3437
I am building some marble amp stands and waiting for my 10 foot XLR's to arrive. Will put the amps on the floor to the sides of the room. After the first 4 hours burn-in the wife came down and refused to leave till 4 hours later..... Disco............ rolleyes.gif

Well she did tell me to get rid of the black thingy and get what ever I needed of those silver thingies.
post #3046 of 3437
This thread is really interesting for a DALI adept. I have not finished reading all pages. A lot of Helicon owners here (nice!) and even some Mentor 8 owners (thát's special, there are not many - at least as far as I know). Someone bought the DALI helicon 800 for his son, and the Megaline for himself (I wish my father could do that). I wonder what happened.. have to read more. Also lots of discussions about amps. Good Good, I like that smile.gif

It seems I am the only Mentor 8 owner in the Netherlands ;-) , and also one of the few Dutch into DALI Helicon/Mentor. Most people here don't like the DALI sound. I wonder why? What is it about the DALI sound that most audiophiles don't like? Most reactions I get are:
"they are nice but there are much better speakers" or "they sound bright" & "the Helicon (and with that the Mentor) are not really audiophile, DALI made a big mistake but with the Epicon they straightened that out" or "DALI's sound too bright and muffled at the same time".

I know this is all subjective and maybe not even worth talking about. But still I wonder..if you guys get to hear the same and how do you respond?

[For those who like to know, current setup : NAD M3, Lyngdorf RP-1, NAD 565BEE +SQBT, MENTOR 8]
Edited by abdon - 5/5/13 at 4:02am
post #3047 of 3437
^
Abdon, welcome. I almost thought for a moment you were trolling. I don't know why Dali is not well-regarded by the people you've spoken to. Those remarks sound like the sort made by someone with a vested interest in another brand and simply have no credibility and they're kinda the sort of thing a troll might post to get a reaction. Not that you are doing that. wink.gif

In the US Dali has bungled advertising, promotion and distribution. That, and years of weak US dollar, has resulted in few dealers and Dali not being well known or popular here. Nonetheless, many of their models are very well-reviewed. I tend to respect Stereophile Mag reviews on speakers so I went to their website and entered dali in the searchbox, skipped the forum entries and found all very positive Dali reviews.
Helicon:
http://www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/308dali/index.html

Euphonia:
http://www.stereophile.com/content/fifth-element-22-page-older

Ikon:
http://www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/706dali/index.html

Stereophile Budget Component of the Year:
DALI Zensor 1 loudspeaker ($475/pair; reviewed by Robert J. Reina, Vol.35 No.7 Review:
http://www.stereophile.com/content/dali-zensor-1-loudspeaker
post #3048 of 3437
+1 to SoundofMind

The Bozos importing Dali to the US (soundorganisation.com) - not a spelling error - have just plain killed Dali in the States. For goodness sakes, they are cheaper in the UK! Enough to maybe pay for airfare, although many models may not fit in the overhead compartments.

Plus the people at sound Organisation are absolutely terrible to work with.

That being said, Dalis absolutely rock.
post #3049 of 3437
I am not a troll. But all trolls would say that.

You could check my background (my facebook is related tot his account). Here's a picture:





I am truly a big fan of Dali. I like the sound, and still i cannot understand why so many (dutch) people don't feel much for it. I am quiet active and I have listened to many (many) setups.. I know DALI is a good competitor. But I have this idea: when one goes to a shop with for example dynaudio, monitor audio, B&W, PMC, and some more famous brands, DALI (mentor, helicon and euphonia) sounds more "laid back". Most people respond to a more aggressive sound? And tend to buy other speakers. I do not have enough data to prove this. It is a guess.. Based on many conversations I had with other "audiofreaks".

This phenomenon interests me. But I am happy to read the good reviews, and to know that with you DALI has a better name. Maybe due to better marketing or better listeners, who are not prejudiced. That could be an explanation indeed.

BTW: I am waiting for a change to upgrade to the Helicon 800 mk2, but I know there are only a few pairs around here. (because they have a bad reputation around here). So little chance for a used set.
post #3050 of 3437
Quote:
Originally Posted by abdon View Post

I am not a troll. But all trolls would say that.

You could check my background (my facebook is related tot his account). Here's a picture:





I am truly a big fan of Dali. I like the sound, and still i cannot understand why so many (dutch) people don't feel much for it. I am quiet active and I have listened to many (many) setups.. I know DALI is a good competitor. But I have this idea: when one goes to a shop with for example dynaudio, monitor audio, B&W, PMC, and some more famous brands, DALI (mentor, helicon and euphonia) sounds more "laid back". Most people respond to a more aggressive sound? And tend to buy other speakers. I do not have enough data to prove this. It is a guess.. Based on many conversations I had with other "audiofreaks".

This phenomenon interests me. But I am happy to read the good reviews, and to know that with you DALI has a better name. Maybe due to better marketing or better listeners, who are not prejudiced. That could be an explanation indeed.

BTW: I am waiting for a change to upgrade to the Helicon 800 mk2, but I know there are only a few pairs around here. (because they have a bad reputation around here). So little chance for a used set.

Laid Back is another Danish music group mostly from the '80s. wink.giftongue.gifcool.gif

Try Slow Friday and hear the deep, smooth and even bass in that song through your Dalis. If you are a gourmet you may have a cold cold Tuborg or Carlsberg in hand to make your day fully Danish! smile.gif

A big congrats for your setup! smile.gif
Edited by mogorf - 5/5/13 at 1:24pm
post #3051 of 3437
abdon, I'd really hoped you weren't trolling and I'm completely reassured that you are genuine by your second post. Again, welcome. smile.gif

I agre with Feri above that your setup is beautiful, very tasteful!

I wish you best of luck in finding some higher end Dalis as you are clearly on the audiophile path. There is no doubt SQ improvement as you go up the line.
post #3052 of 3437
Quote:
Originally Posted by DHF View Post

+1 to SoundofMind

The Bozos importing Dali to the US (soundorganisation.com) - not a spelling error - have just plain killed Dali in the States. For goodness sakes, they are cheaper in the UK! Enough to maybe pay for airfare, although many models may not fit in the overhead compartments.

Plus the people at sound Organisation are absolutely terrible to work with.

That being said, Dalis absolutely rock.

I completely agree, I wish Dali would dump Soundorg. The prices are out of line on some of the speakers with Europe even after adding 25% VAT. But hey who am I but a paying customer.....
post #3053 of 3437
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundofMind View Post

abdon, I'd really hoped you weren't trolling and I'm completely reassured that you are genuine by your second post. Again, welcome. smile.gif

I agre with Feri above that your setup is beautiful, very tasteful!

I wish you best of luck in finding some higher end Dalis as you are clearly on the audiophile path. There is no doubt SQ improvement as you go up the line.

Thank you. I will. No need to rush. .

@mogorf : thx. I use spotify, so I will listen to it soon. Another great Danish Band is Efterklang and their greatest album is Piramida. Highly recommended.
post #3054 of 3437
Today in my own house,I demoed / compared the DALI MENTOR 8 and the Helicon 300mk2, with the Lyngdorf RP-system (I keep the bass in control with the Lyngdorf,which is necessary with the mentor) and the NAD M3.

Your experiences and responses are very welcome.



I think the Helicon is a more true and honest sounding speaker, where the mentor 8 is forgiving, and big sounding with a better deeper and wider soundstage.
The helicon is outstanding with acoustic- and "singer-songrwriter" , but it lacks depth and emotion in the middle-tones.

I really like the honest sounding voices and instruments, but overall.. The Mentor 8 is a better speaker to my ears. Despite the fact that the Helicon is "sharper" and more natural sounding. Maybe the helicon 800m2 combines the natural sound, the sharpness of the helicon and the grand sound of the mentor 8. I hope so.I'll find out.
post #3055 of 3437
Anyone know if Sound Org is dumping the Dali Helicons and Euphonia speaker lines? They have removed pricing info for them.
post #3056 of 3437
When my Helicon 800's were stolen last October, I didn't find any price info on the Sound Org site and had to call them so this may not be a new development.
The guy had to rustle around to find a price sheet.
It seems like a small thing but I wasn't impressed with the fact that he couldn't look it up in some digital fashion.
post #3057 of 3437
Is there a big jump in performance between the Helicon 400mk2's over the Mentor 6's, I have the chance to pick up a pair of mentor 6 ex demos, at a 60% reduction a pair of 400 MK2's ex demo! Roughly 50% / 55% of RRP.

Thnx.

Mark
post #3058 of 3437
I have not done aside by side A/B comparison of those models myself but IIRC I heard a Mentor tower (I don't recall the model exactly) and Heli 400 MKI in different rooms/differnt systems at the dealer and the Mentor did not sound nearly as good to me.

But allow me to state the obvious: it would be best if you did a side-by-side with your favorite well-recorded music. Doing this at-home in your listening room would be best. Especially as these are all demo speakers the dealer should be willing. Then you decide based on your ears, budget, enthusiasm for HiFi, etc.

My understanding is that the Heli MKII SQ has benefitted considerably from the redesign over the MKI (though again I've not made that comparison personally). If the Mentor is an older design, there be even more of a gap in performance between Mentor and Heli than before.

General guidelines: as you move up from the lower models to the higher, the improvements in SQ are unmistakable-but the amount of improvement PER DOLLAR is smaller and smaller. So you need to find your comfort level. The fact that you're asking this question implies that the Helis are within budget and I think you should probably go with them if you are a HiFi enthusiast.

My experience: I have been lucky to find very good deals in Dali as well. First I purchased a used pair of Helicon 400 MKI (MSRP around $3.8K) for $2.2K. These were a REALLY great value because their SQ is so good at that price point that almost nothing else could come close, much less with the Heli's stunning good looks in gloss cherry. I'd personally not want to give up anything of the Heli SQ and that was very affordable for me. I consider that my entry-level audiophile level.

Then I found a nice deal on used Euphonia MS4 (MSRP $12K) for around 70% off and every quality of the Helicon was improved significantly sonically. The construction, fit and finish is very impressive as well. These are world-class audiophile speakers and I was very satisfied with the value for the $ spent. I don't think I would've felt that way if I'd payed close to full price.

Again, Helis are a very good value especially when discounted!
Edited by SoundofMind - 5/25/13 at 12:23pm
post #3059 of 3437
^^^
+1

What Soundofmind is referring to is what economists call the law of diminishing returns. FWIW, I agree with him. Our listening tests have shown Dalis to be nothing all that special until you get to the Helicon and Euphonia lines.

I just auditioned some GoldenEars Aon 3s at my cabin. Being accustomed to Euphonia MS4s, I am not ready to dump my Dalis. That being said, the Euphs are not 10x better than these.
post #3060 of 3437
Quote:
Originally Posted by marky301067 View Post

Is there a big jump in performance between the Helicon 400mk2's over the Mentor 6's, I have the chance to pick up a pair of mentor 6 ex demos, at a 60% reduction a pair of 400 MK2's ex demo! Roughly 50% / 55% of RRP.

Thnx.

Mark

The Helicons have a significant imaging advantage over the Mentors. I would not trade my Helicons MK2's for a Mentor ever. I bought a pair of Mentors for surround duty and regret it.
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