Home About us Audio-activi ... team Our Opinion Latest additions News Hi-Fi Music Contacts Blog HiFiMusica (in Italian)
DALI ZENSOR 1
Dali is a Danish company that produces different lines of loudspeakers with different price ranges. One of my editors used to reproach reviewers that wrote on the web because they did not give enough information on producers; but if you are reading this article you are on line and all the information on Dali are just one click away from you on the Company web site. Let's describe the product, then! It's a nice, small and well-refined box that is intended both for audio and audio-video use. These loudspeakers can be used on a stand, on a shelf - not a bookcase though - or can be hung on the wall through the apposite notch in the back. In the back, there's also the reflex duct and connectors with single wiring. The front panel is nice and shiny like a piano; the rest of the box is dull black. The front panel has a 13 cm diameter woofer and a tweeter with a 2,5 cm dome. The crossover frequency is 2900 Hz and the declared sensitivity is 85.5 dB with a maximum of 106 dB with an input of 100 Watt.
The price is something worth stating straight away: 300,00 Euro the pair. A low price category for Hi-Fi.
Just a few words on the positioning. The loudspeaker is designed to be used also leaning on the wall. If it's used with a stand, we have to use the sound reinforcement given by the back wall. In my listening room I had better results with a maximum distance from the wall of 30 cm. With a distance of 1,40 mt from the back wall the bass was too light and somehow confused. The stands were GM Audio 75 cm high; this way tweeters were at ears' height as Dali recommends. The orientation was strong toward the listening point.
When listening to these loudspeakers we have to keep in mind their price. This is because in terms of absolute listening there are characteristics that can be spotted but if you think of the price, you'll be surprised to have such a result at this low price. The frequency response privileges the extremes of range. The high range is quite open but it's accurate and is somewhat harsh only at a very high volume. The medium range is a bit laid back. The lower range depends on the position in the listening room, once you have found the right place is quick, credible, and powerful and surprisingly low in frequency. I would not remove the front grille. Not only the loudspeaker is nice aesthetically but also the frequency response is better with the grille on.
I have listened to several tracks with these loudspeakers, both connected to full Spectral amplifiers and to NAD 3020. I must admit that if used at a neighbor-friendly volume, the sound and its colors are acceptable if we consider the price range. We can appreciate Zensor 1 especially at night, when we want some music in background: the tweeter sound is very clear and nothing gets lost even at the lowest volume; the bass defines well the sound and is not bent on the medium bass. The Bach Suites for Lute sound very good in the execution of Hopkinson Smith on Astrée with an instrument well defined and positioned in the back. Listening to more complex scores, Bach, Mass in B minor directed by Minkoski, we realize that the small Zensor 1 stand well high volumes and make no confusion. In dealing with more complex material, such as Beethoven Seventh Symphony by Kleiber or Children of Sanchez by Mangione the loudspeakers showed some difficulties. In this case, if the volume is pumped a bit, the loudspeakers show their effort, especially in the bass where the woofer doesn't have the necessary pressure for the high volume. The bass at a loud volume is very abrupt while at a medium volume is quite round. With modern music and electronic sounds the volume must be set high. In this case the bass is correctly abrupt and the sense of speed adds on... and you want to turn the volume up to the limit. I must say that the efficiency declared seems under estimated. The old NAD 3020 made them play very loud but of course, Spectral did best. The strength of these loudspeakers is in the "half-room" listenings with instruments like the piano (Brahams, Pogorelic) that is just a little lighter than it should be.
In conclusion: 300,00 euros for the loudspeakers, an amplifier not too expensive and with a clear voice, a good CD player or turntable and you can listen to good music happily. These speakers are fit for those that are at the beginning but also for those that want to grow step by step. We must also consider that at this price there is not much competition in this quality range. It's a good product that even the genuine audiophiles should try, just to understand where the market is going in this low price range. And then it even has a nice look, what else do we want?
Translation: Francesca Rubino
Video: Dali factory tour