Dali Helicon 300 v B&W 805s

The Swedish Chef

Wammer
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Aug 25, 2005
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Philip
i popped in to the local hifi klubben shop in göteborg today and had an impromptu chance to demo both the dali and b&w speakers back to back with the same kit powering them. both of these were on my "to demo list" so i took the opportunity for a quick listen. and quick it was, barely 10 minutes with each speaker in place, but still.

the source was a thule spirit dvd/cd player with a matching thule spirit amp. the whole shop has been newly reinvested and the demo room was missing any kind of soft furnishing to help absorb the sound, but a least it was the same for both sets of speakers. both speakers come in at around 20ksek, which is roughly 1,500 pounds.

the test track used was a rather swinging rendition of nature boy by a swedish jazz group with vocals, bass, piano, drums and a brass section.

despite the room and short amount of time with them, the difference between the two speakers was quite stunning, and one that i feel would be the same with a better room and more time on my hands.

the b&w presented the music anda very upfront, all most forceful way with a very strong focal point between the speakers. the vocals came across as well in front of the other instruments and considerably louder. the bass, although quite deep and powerful for a standmont was a little strained, whilst i liked the sounds coming from the tweeter with high hats and cymbals.

the dali's sounded completely different, a much larger, read wider, presentation. the soundstage extended well beyond the boundaries of the speaker both torwards the middle and out to the side. the scale of soundgave the instruments a greater level of spacial separation, at the cost of a tighter sweat spot. the combination of the ribbon tweeter and normal dome one produced a more airy treble than the b&w's. unfortunately i can't remember enough about the bass extension to give an accurate account, but nothing seemed odd at the time.

as a brief conclusion the dali gave me more of what i'm looking for and will no doubt be arriving in a few weeks fora home demo. the b&w didn't give me the desire to listen to music, unlike the dalis.

the salesman summed it up nicely in swedish by saying the dalis give you the best seat in the house to listen to the orchestra, whilst the b&w's place you in the middle of the orchestra.

the only downside to the dalis is that the matching stands are 800 quid a pair! putting them tantalisingly close in price to their bigger brother the helicon 400's, hmmm:p

 

JamPal

Content Provider
Wammer
Jul 19, 2005
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Sussex, West Side
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James
HiFi Trade?
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hhhhmmm indeed. Perhaps you need to demo the bigger brothers too. Although I think we can all guess were that one will lead.
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FWIW, I am a big fan of B&W (DM603 S2
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) and Dali speakers, and have found often to have been more impressed with the Dali speakers. However the best I have heard from Dali speeks is with Thule leccies, so there may be a syngery there that you may not get at home. If the dealer is willing, you might do well to try the B&W's at home too, just to rule out the special synergy Thule and Dali seem to have.

Good choices so far though mate. It's a great price range to be shopping in:^ enjoy!

 
E

earl of sodbury

Guest
Hope I won't be "teaching granny to suck eggs", but both Thule and Dali are (I believe) part of the HFK empire, and so one is likely to be developed with the other in mind - yielding an extra level of synergy (if you believe in that sort of thing...). FWIW I admire both brands greatly, but have still to hear ANY B&W speaker that I like...

Also bear in mind that Dali have a new "Mentor" range imminent - so far as I could gather they use Helicon drivers in a cheaper-to-make but still Very smart box (real wood veneers etc.) - heard the floorers at the recent Heathrow show and liked them very much
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churz, eofs

 

The Swedish Chef

Wammer
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Aug 25, 2005
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Göteborg, , Sweden
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Philip
arrr lost my reply, bugger:Upset:

ok, again from the top, but more concisely.

yes there seems to be a good synergy between dali and thule. i did not know they were from the same stable, interesting. who do b&w design with in mind?

i've also never heard a pair of b&w speakers i've liked, but so many places sell them somebody must like them

the mentor 6 is arriving in the shop in 2 weeks and i'll demo them together and then get a home demo of the winner.

the finish on both the helicons is great and a real selling point for me.

the 400 path is a dangerous one, but made slightly easier by 12 months interest free credit:Not Sure:

 
E

earl of sodbury

Guest
The Swedish Chef wrote:

arrr lost my reply, bugger:Upset:eek:k, again from the top, but more concisely.

yes there seems to be a good synergy between dali and thule. i did not know they were from the same stable, interesting. who do b&w design with in mind?

i've also never heard a pair of b&w speakers i've liked, but so many places sell them somebody must like them

the mentor 6 is arriving in the shop in 2 weeks and i'll demo them together and then get a home demo of the winner.

the finish on both the helicons is great and a real selling point for me.

the 400 path is a dangerous one, but made slightly easier by 12 months interest free credit:Not Sure:
I believe B&W have both Rotel and Classe under their wing. I'm fairly sure HFK's relationship to Thule and Dali is similar to Richer Sounds with Cambridge and Mordaunt Short in the UK.

Agree that the Helicons are bloody gorgeous looking! That 12 months interest-free surely has to be sore-tempting...
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churz, eofs

 

The Swedish Chef

Wammer
Wammer
Aug 25, 2005
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Göteborg, , Sweden
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Philip
classe, hmm that explains why the shop also stock that brand, hmm interesting stuff, should therefore in all fairness try the speakers out again but with classe kit.

more to think about, what wouldi do with all this spare time if i didn't have this urge to upgrade:D

 

Craig

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Jul 20, 2005
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Craig
earl of sodbury wrote:

The Swedish Chef wrote:
arrr lost my reply, bugger:Upset:eek:k, again from the top, but more concisely.

yes there seems to be a good synergy between dali and thule. i did not know they were from the same stable, interesting. who do b&w design with in mind?

i've also never heard a pair of b&w speakers i've liked, but so many places sell them somebody must like them

the mentor 6 is arriving in the shop in 2 weeks and i'll demo them together and then get a home demo of the winner.

the finish on both the helicons is great and a real selling point for me.

the 400 path is a dangerous one, but made slightly easier by 12 months interest free credit:Not Sure:
I believe B&W have both Rotel and Classe under their wing. I'm fairly sure HFK's relationship to Thule and Dali is similar to Richer Sounds with Cambridge and Mordaunt Short in the UK.

Agree that the Helicons are bloody gorgeous looking! That 12 months interest-free surely has to be sore-tempting...
shock.gif.7732780fe7e208b945ce79ca96402fca.gif


churz, eofs
Not sure what HFK is but they are tied to a dealer network in Scandi: Hi Fi K....

Penny drops. Yes, LIBELOUS REMARK REMOVED! Have some far too cosy tie-ins with NAD and B&W as well. Assistants are of the one-step-up-from-Richer Sounds mould.

Chef. I really really like the 805s but have been hankering after a demo of the Dali's for donkey years and they were not set up at my local show ..... and I hate HFK so i ain't going there.

 

The Swedish Chef

Wammer
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Aug 25, 2005
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Philip
fair enough point craig but the fact is that the market for hifi kit higher up the chain is so small over here, (in actual numbers but not i guess in the ratio of populas), that you have to demo kit where you can find it.

 

Craig

Wammer
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Jul 20, 2005
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Craig
Arrggh, Ye Gods, did you actually go to HFK? I shoulda figured
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Oddly enough, I think the high end market in Denmark (don't know so much about .se) is thriving, most dealers I know are stocking serious kit, and in fact I've found HFK to be the bargain basement place....cheap NAD, Denon, Cambridge Audio and, oh I love it, B&W, Dali andGale

To be fair, aside from the last one, there's nothing wrong with those brands, but I have never found them (staff) knowledgable or dedicated when it comes to their higher end stuff. And appaling with the lower end stuff. "No, you should buy this"

AV on the other hand.....that get's them really rocking

edit:eek:ops, I cannot read. You're first post says HFK. Sorry

 

Craig

Wammer
Wammer
Jul 20, 2005
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Copenhagen
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Stop it Chef, you're just making it worse.
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TBH they do have a few very good offers from time to time on ex dem kit they need to flog. A pair of 300's were going for a nice price last month. Do you get the newsletter?

 

musicbox

Wammer
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Jul 23, 2005
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Edinburgh
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Alan
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I've got the 400s. Love 'em.

But need lots of space around them, otherwise room boom will be a problem. Possibly not best for loud rock in a small space. Got a very nice sound out of them with 50W Graaf 5050 until it blew up:(.

 

Sony6million

Wammer
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Jul 20, 2005
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United Kingdom
I tried to hear the Helicon 400s a while back but never got to, they looked gorgeous though.

The 805s however I have heard twice now, one in a dealer demo for new speeks, the other on home loan from different dealer. Both times they gave me a sore head; very 'hi-fi', clinical, not inspiring. Technically very good, lovely design and excellent build, but not for me.

 

enjoy_the_music

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Jul 20, 2006
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Farmer Rich
I had the benefit of owning the Dali Euphonia Ms4 speakers....they were up in the top 5 i have ever owned.

Hmmm...seems weird but i am pretty sure David Lyngdorf owns Dali loudspeakers and the Lyngdorf/tact amps mate very well with them.

Still...they are quite an easy load to drive.

 

Uncle Ants

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Oct 11, 2005
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Tony
enjoy_the_music wrote:

Hmmm...seems weird but i am pretty sure David Lyngdorf owns Dali loudspeakers and the Lyngdorf/tact amps mate very well with them.Still...they are quite an easy load to drive.
I heard the Helicon 800s as well as the mighty Megalines being demmed at the Manchester show early this year being driven by TacT and very impressive they were indeed.

One of the few rooms in the show which impressed. So good in fact Auntie Ants dragged me back to have another listen.

 

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