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I want to build my first home theater (5.1) slowly. Current budget is 1.3 lakh.I did audition 3 speakers to finalise the purchase this week.
I want the speakers to be paired to my NAD D3020, which is 30W to 40W Amps.
A bit of History:
Earlier few months back, i was helping my friend setup a 5.1 HT setup and i was recommending him DALI to be auditioned, as there were great reviews on this forum. I have Wharfedale and he was also interested in it. But i was recommending him DALI
To our surprise, when we auditioned Dali Zensor 3 in a stereo setup with Marantz Amp+CD Player, it sounded very bright and shrill treble/High Frequency . we didnt like at all and were kind of disappointed, that we hated it while lot of folks like it in forum. checked treble and settings on amp/CD Player, and all were are default normal settings
we gave it a second shot with Dali Zensor 5+vocal+Zensor 1+pioneer sub+pioneer amp in a 5.1 Setup, still we didnt like it, found the same issues as above stereo setup and also the 5.1 setup didnt sound good.
we suspected pairing in stereo and acoustic issues in 5.1 room and Pioneer sub/amp to be culprits but we didnt have patience to try else where the DALI's
My friend at the end decided to go with wharfedale 155 based 5.1 HT setup.
Current Audition :
(For My Stereo Setup - want Speakers upgrade from my current and already sold BA A250 speakers)
Lot of surprises with Dali this time
Equipment: Amp: NAD D3020, Playing 320 Kbps MP3 and FLAC files on JRiver Software, over USB to in-built DAC on D3020
(Same playlist being played for all the speakers below)
Wharfedale 155: (FloorStanders)
(230 are What-Hifi 5 star rated)
(Want to buy wharfedale 230 but auditioned 155 at my friends place as 230 wont be much different apart from outer aesthetics/finish)
I liked the sound, laid back and easy listening typical wharfedale. What i am used to today and no complaints. well rounded and no special emphasis on any spectrum of music. Bass is adequate and Big. treble and high frequencies not straining to ears, which i like.
D3020 was able to drive these huge floor standers, without any issue.
(This was put as my safe and backup option, if i am not convinced about other brands. and wharfedale is economical to pocket too.)
The Price for 230 is 48K in hifimart.
Dali Zensor 7: (FloorStanders)
(What-Hifi 4 star rated)
They have huge mid range drivers of 6-inch and i was skeptical if D3020 will be able to drive these and loud enough?
I was amazed that D3020 is able to drive these more effortlessly than Wharfedale. They are more louder as well. Bass is bigger too.
The overall clarity and soundstage is amazing, the high frequencies were very detailed too.
To my surprise, this time they didnt sound bright and i was throughly excited and enjoyed the speakers. They are just so open and blasted my music.
I listend to a good 40 mins and various genres of music. The Rock music, which i listen to the most, felt the best in a speaker, that i tried till date.
This became my top contender (just wanted to check q-Accoustics 2050i and close on my decision)
The price is 59K
Dali Zensor 5: (FloorStanders)
(What-Hifi 4 star rated)
Decided to try these, just for the sake of comparison to Zensor 7, though i didnt have plans for Zensor 5 unless, my D3020 was unable to drive Zensor 7.
i cut short my audition after listening to 2 songs and 5 mins time, as its unfair to compare these with Zensor 7,
Zensor 7 had big and wide sound and Sensor 5 was not a match to it.
Q Acoustics 2050i: (FloorStanders)
(What-Hifi 5 star rated)
Listened to same playlist and i find that they have their own unique sound. i find the sound very controlled and not open.
The BASS is way less then Wharfedale and Dali Zensor 7.
What-Hifi says some may find the presentation touch too polite and i kind of agree after the audition. It feels as if speaker is holding back and not really free and open
When i noticed this, the showroom guy, said your amp is small , which i disagree as this speaker has 92Db sensitivity, better than 90Db of Dali and Wharfedale and these 2 sounded overall louder and better BASS
i didnt find them really as exciting as Dali Zensor 7, i stopped my audition at about 25 mins. With Dali, i was engaged and i went on for 40 mins, without realising, as i was enjoying it.
Though these speakers are same price as Wharfedales and economical in UK.
In India they costs way higher and hence not value for money in my view. And for white colour is 20K more LOL what a rip off.
The price is 59K for black/walnut and 79K for glossy black/white.
Q Acoustics 2020i: (Bookshelf)
(What-Hifi 4 star rated)
Since the showroom guys said, you amp is low powered for 2050i and u will get better BASS with book shelfs, i tried this one.
stopped audition after 2 songs, no better BASS and infant lesser than 2050i, but that is expected as its bookshelf.
overall these also didnt sound that exciting. They dont have a wide sound.
In fact i like my Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 better than these, at least for me and they are cheap at 18K
Q Acoustics Concept 20 Bookshelf)
(What-Hifi 5 star rated)
The media and what-hifi goes gaga over this. As thought these are some heavenly speakers and a bench mark.
I am very disappointed. They sounded like i am listening to some Mini-Hifi Setup
They are extremely costly at 40K and special stands an extra 20K
What-hifi says, these stands are well designed and speakers sound better with them.
I audition with speakers placed on them, and i dont get what they mean
Also the stereo image was not proper, i moved speakers inward towards me, moved the sofa to the front. but still felt something is wrong.
Listened to 2 songs and stopped, as i am not impressed.
Again i like my Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 better than these, at least for me and they are cheap at 18K
So finally it came down to Dali Zensor 7 @ 59K and i ordered White colour, as it matches my living room decor too, which is white.
And Dali prices the White the same cost as normal black/walnut and pleasant surprise.
I find that Dali/wharfedale costs the same as in UK and in-fact cheaper in india.
Q-Accoutics is costly in India, though its same cost as wharfedale in UK. They are somehow marketed as a premium upscale brand, like BOSE in india. This is my honest opinion.
Also this exercise made me also to agree with other members, that rating are always not correct.
Listen and make your decision, on what you like. To your preference.
One observation is that what-hifi gives 5 starts for anything and everything from Q-Accoustics. Search on the web . It says something.
Sorry, I forgot to attach the diagram of my room.Arindams2,
I understand due to your condition you cannot go for auditions, why don't you arrange a HiFi meet at your place and invite members from Kolkata to bring in their equipment to demonstrate their setup and you can treat them with drinks and pizzas
Had you been in Mumbai, I would have been more than happy to demonstrate the concept 20.
To the OP
none of the speakers you have listed
i have heard 2 of your 3 choices extensively
the only "satisafctory" budget floorstanders ( in my personal opinion ) are the tannoy mercury V4i and the usher
The sonodyne is pretty good as well
but less refined than the tannoy or the usher
Q acoustics i have not heard
but its worth a try
only do rememebr one thing
What hifi stars = crap
please DO NOT go by that
Please do hear them
if you are looking to pair with a a entry level or mid level AVR
keep the sesitivity in mind
86 db just doesnt cut it in many cases
though i would still pick
a good bookshelf
But thats another issue you dont need to confuse yourself with