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Monitor Audio MASS vs Dali Zensor 1

Hi everyone!

After years of terrible sound from the Tv speaker, I think time has come for a decent system, but I'm really confused about which would fit better my situation. I've been reading several magazines and they almost unanimously agree that the Monitor Audio MASS and the Dali Zensor 1 are among the very best in their price category.

 

I've found them boundled with a Denon X2000 at 799 GBP for the MA and 1079 for the Dali (which could be lowered to at least 1049 GBP with the price match). The room I need to fit is about 3,5 m long and 5,5 m wide, but it's a single environment shared between the kitchend/dining room and the living room (takes a bit less than half the overall surface).

The 250 GBP difference is not huge and if the performance would be significanty better it could be justified.

 

The problem is I don't know if in a small room like this it would make any difference: after the speakers would be sitting almost side to side with the sofa.

Any suggestion is welcome!

 

Salut from Luxembourg.

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RE: Monitor Audio MASS vs Dali Zensor 1

Below is a plan of the room:

Plan

I hope it clarifies a bit what I meant  Smile

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RE: Monitor Audio MASS vs Dali Zensor 1

Can you mount the rear Dali's on the wall behind your sofa? (as wide apart as possible with the sofa in the centre of them and about 50-60cm above your ears facing down slightly)

And can the sofa be easily moved forward just a little, when you are watching films?

Assuming you can wall mount the rears, move the sofa just a little forward, and the front L/R are stand mounted, with the centre just under the tv - that should work well.   

Rega Brio & Apollo + Mission 780

Sony BDP S480 Onkyo TX-NR609 Monitor Audio BX2 5.0 BK XXLS400

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RE: Monitor Audio MASS vs Dali Zensor 1

Hi and thanks for replying!

Unfortunately wall mount is not possible, as the walls are covered by a textured wallpaper which have to be replaced entirely if pierced (I do not own the place). However the sofa can be moved easily and would not be a problem to pull it ahead 30-40 cm (if not more) when needed.

Speaker stands for the rear channels would be a reasonable alternative?

Below is a picture of the sofa:

 

sofa

To give an idea, the wall is 230 cm and the sofa 175 cm and from what I read on Dali website, the stand they propose (E-600) are just 60 cm tall, so I thought that would have been enough (although the MASS stands are 114 cm tall :O)

This one instead is a photo of the Tv stand (just in front):

tv

the Tv stand is 35 cm tall: the idea is to put the center speaker in the shelf below of to add another component on the top.

Would it be workable also with stands or it's better to change direction completely?

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RE: Monitor Audio MASS vs Dali Zensor 1

Either way check the dimensions of the centre speaker to ensure that it will fit in your tv unit. Alternatively you could get a matching black table that raises your tv and has enough room under it to fit a centre speaker (if you can find one that suits or build one yourself  Smile ).

I think with your constraints - the MASS system will be less intrusive.

But have you demoed both systems? and have you seen them 'in the flesh'?

If you listen to them, it is likely to help you decide which one you want and can therefore accomodate in your room.

Rega Brio & Apollo + Mission 780

Sony BDP S480 Onkyo TX-NR609 Monitor Audio BX2 5.0 BK XXLS400

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RE: Monitor Audio MASS vs Dali Zensor 1

Gosh, I measured the size of the Tv unit and indeed neither the X2000 nor the Vokal fit in there for just 6 mm! :doh:

 

Thanks Jonathan for the tip!!

 

This thing is turning far more complicated to than expected... I should get a riser or support of sort to create the space.

 

I haven't tried neither: unfortunately here in Luxembourg MA does not have a distributor and the DALI dealer have not demo samples for the Zensor 1, so I'd have to go at least to Liege or Cologne or more likely to Paris or Frankfurt and this far from cheap and would eat into the budget.

Both received glowing reviews and I was interested in something that was acceptable also for music (although the compressed one downloaded from iTunes), this is why I eyed the DALI; however I start to think that the MASS would be far easier to accomodate...  :?

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RE: Monitor Audio MASS vs Dali Zensor 1

It is nice to have surround sound - especially for movies - and it can really add to the experience, but in your situation you will need to at least have rear stands for either system (have you factored in the cost of stands?), and run cables to them (another cost to be factored in), and possibly move your sofa so that the rear speakers are not right next to your ears.

The fact that you are now talking about music as well raises another option (sorry).  You could just get the front left/right, centre and sub. You may loose out on the bundle discount, but this set up will still significantly improve the sound from what you have now. I have not heard either system, but I would imagine that the Dali's would be better for music. Ideally you will need stands for the front L/R speakers to get the best out of them for music.

Or, just buy either bundled package, and put the rear speakers either side of you sofa on a table/chair (whatever you have) and tuck them away in the corner when not in use, This is not ideal but you will still get some surround effects. 

Just take your time to decide, and make sure you have factored in everything you need (cables, stands). By the way, it took me ages to decide what av system to choose  :?

Rega Brio & Apollo + Mission 780

Sony BDP S480 Onkyo TX-NR609 Monitor Audio BX2 5.0 BK XXLS400

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RE: Monitor Audio MASS vs Dali Zensor 1

I have the mass system, its a mind blowing sound, and the sub will blow you away, however its a hefty sizable beast of a thing, there's no hiding it discreetly somewhere, the surround speakers are quite a weight too and you would need the appropriate stands. Music is crystal clear, with the sub it takes it to another level.

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RE: Monitor Audio MASS vs Dali Zensor 1

Double post

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RE: Monitor Audio MASS vs Dali Zensor 1

The fact is that movies are the absolut priority, so a simple stereo was ruled out from the start... the fact that, even if the budget is not huge, what the heck, 1 grand is still 1 grand!! For the price I have the feeling (certainly stemming from limited knowledge) that I can expect also acceptable music reproduction - let's say comparable with a good iPod dock!   :grin:

 

Blackflash, can I ask you how did arrange the speakers of your mass? Are you are using the Mass stands, do you think they work well? I see the're very tall! For rear speakers I'm certainly going to need them, for the front there would be space at the sides of the Tv, although they'd be 80cm lower than the rear ones...

Another thing is that the Mass stands are quite expensive! At 120 GBP/pair they'd bring the total cost to about 1060 GBP, basically the same as the Zensor 1, which have the cable included (worth 50 GBP) but not the stands (I'd eventually resort to these at 72 cm or these at 61 cm, both sold for about 45 GBP/pair). 

However next week I'll be in Milan and with a bit of luck I should be able to try at least one of the 2!

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RE: Monitor Audio MASS vs Dali Zensor 1

i have this lack tv bench,i had to alter it to fit my pioneer amp,depth was fine but used the existing feet on the bench in the side panels to raise the height,and bought aluminium corner furniture feet for the bench,works perfectly and looks pretty smart,though i have my center on the top shelf,easy to do being ikea. Smile

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RE: Monitor Audio MASS vs Dali Zensor 1

I have the front speakers 1m either side of the tv and the rears, to the side of my listening position, all at head height, the spaekers are all wall mounted with MA wall brackets. You really should have them set up all at the same level, ie head height, apart from the centre speaker which i have sat  just in front of the tv, the sub you can place anywhere, mine is to the right of the tv stand.

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RE: Monitor Audio MASS vs Dali Zensor 1

I hope you don't mind but I just have to jump in.

 

I'm actually in the same dillema as the OP since I need a 5.1 system for my living room, and suprisingly my living room area is also 3,5m x 5,5m (together with the kitchen and dining) Smile

When the idea of a 5.1 system came to mind I sold my Wharfedales 9.5 and went on searching...  My options were:

1. Dali Zensor 3, 1, Vokal, and 12E-F sub ~ 1300€

2. Monitor Audio BX2, 1,  Centre and MRW10 sub ~ 950€ (1100€ with BXW10 sub)

3. Monitor Audio Radius RH90 x4, R180, R360 sub ~ 950€

4. Monitor Audio MASS set ~ 800€

So maybe another option for the OP Smile

 

I got to audition Dali set which sounded amazing, but a little bit strong in the treble. The bass was very good and strong, maybe even too strong for the set of 3's and 1's .

Next week I should be going to audition Monitor BX2 set, and MASS so I'll be sure to type in some info here.

 

What are your thoughts on Radius set?

 

I already own KEF LS50's and an integrated amp for 2 channel audio, so this would be mainly for Home Theatre, but still I can't help myself thinking that MASS and Radius sets are not up to par with BX2 and Zensor sets, especially considering the small difference in price ( if you count a cheaper sub on the Dali set). I always felt like 5.1 sets were lacking in the midrange, like most of them have good highs, and lows, but no midrange... can anyone comment on this for MASS and Radius sets?

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