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Thread: Hi from Spokane Valley Washington!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    4

    Red face Hi from Spokane Valley Washington!

    I'm new at this audio thing but have officially been bit by the audiophile bug! It started back about 3 months ago when I got a new system a NAD D3020 integrated amp and a pair of Dali Zensor 1 speakers. I had read about the Dali Zensor 1 on wirecutter. They are just fun to listen to; they just put a smile on your face whenever I listen to them. It truly is my first "audiophile" system if you can call $350 dollar speakers and a $400 dollar amp an "audiophile" system?

    So anyway now I'm wondering how much better does it get? What if I upgrade the speakers to Sierra 2's or to the new Sierra Sat's I like the size of my Dali Zensor 1's. How much will I notice almost immediately and long term? I guess what I'm asking is how much difference is there in $350 Dali Zensor speakers and $1200 - $1500 speakers?

    What about my NAD D3020 amp will it need upgrading to or will it drive the Ascend Acoustics every bit as well as the Dali's?

    Thanks any input - to a new budding audiophile

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Hi from Spokane Valley Washington!

    Hello and welcome to the addiction, er, family

    The Zensor series really is a fun speaker, nice and warm, not too much emphasis in any one area. The Sierra 2 would give you much, much better accuracy and detail retrieval. The tweeter on the Zensor can't really compare to the RAAL tweeter in the Sierra 2. You'll also get much tighter and accurate bass, so much so that it'll startle you how different it can sound at times, especially complex drum work.

    The NAD is great for desktop speakers and high sensitivity speakers, but isn't the best pairing for either the Zensor 1 or the Sierra-2 since they are both around 86 db @ 2.3 v / 1 m. You'd be better served by an amp that has around 100 watts of power or more, especially if you sit further back than a few feet from them. In a nearfield desktop setup you might be fine, but at loud volumes it will start to sound compressed.

    You should also consider adding a subwoofer, such as a Rythmik F12 or L12.
    -Alex
    PS4/Nvidia Shield --> Emotiva XMC-1 --> Emotiva XPA-5 --> Ascend Acoustics Sierra Towers and Horizon Center w/ RAAL tweeters (L/C/R), HTM-200 SE (Surrounds), 2x Rythmik F12 subwoofers

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Hi from Spokane Valley Washington!

    Thanks for the response Alex - I have noticed what you have said about the NAD D3020; the volume indicator starts at -100, -80, -60, -40... we listen at about the -40 to just barely a little -20 range. At -40 the Dali Zensor's are very nice pushing the volume to -20 I've notice the compressed sound as you describe, and maybe some slight distortion? So when I get ready to move into the Sierra 2's or Sierra Sat's (I really like the size of my Dali Zensor 1's) I'm looking at 2 new integrated amps:

    1. Peachtree Audio Nova 150
    2. NAD C 388

    We listen almost exclusively using Apple Airplay or direct from my iPhone 30 pin connector to USB connector on the NAD D3020 so we are using the NAD DAC.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Hi from Spokane Valley Washington!

    Nice, you've got the right idea. Both of those units are great. I would personally go with the Peachtree Nova 150, they have pretty impressive performance for those little packages.
    -Alex
    PS4/Nvidia Shield --> Emotiva XMC-1 --> Emotiva XPA-5 --> Ascend Acoustics Sierra Towers and Horizon Center w/ RAAL tweeters (L/C/R), HTM-200 SE (Surrounds), 2x Rythmik F12 subwoofers

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