Dali Helicon 300 + Rel Stadium 3 or Euphonia MS 4?

Hi everyone,

This is my first post here.

My current system consists of Dali Helicon 300 (mk I) with the original stands, and musical fidelity A5 amp and CD player. I have a relatively large listen room (l x w x h: 5.21 x 4.57 x2.46 ft; 5.7 x 5.0 x 2.7 meters) and I listen to all kinds of music (from Diana Krall to Metallica).

Basically, I can either buy the rel stadium III (new) for a bit less then 2000 euros or exchange my current speakers plus 3000 euros for the MS4 (new).

There is also a third option which I did not discussed yet in details with my dealer. That is to buy a rel stentor 3 (demo model from 2005) for about 2500-2750 euros.

What would you do In my place and why?

I thank you in advance.
I use a Stadium 3 on one channel and a Stadium 2 on the other and they are very good. But the main question should be how do you feel about the speakers yourself? No one can advise you concerning what type of sound you will like. I would guess that most of us will have definite ideas about which WE would like but we all hear different things. A good way to make a choice is to make a list of what you think are the advantages of each system and try to decide which ones are the most importain to you. I would not worry about buying used; I bought both of mine that way.
Hi Stanwal,

Thank you for your quick reply.

I forgot to mentioned, although it was a bit implied in my post, that I use my system mostly for music (99%). Probably, it is also important to list the street prices here in the Netherlands for the speakers helicon 300 mk3 with stands 4300 euros (per pair) while Euphonia is 8600 euros (per pair). Please note that I have the helicons mk1 and therefore I get a very good deal.

I like the helicon 300 a lot. They are very musical, produce a huge sound stage, have very nice highs and are also extremely beautiful (the least important). I have a single complain about them, a small one any way, they tend to over-resolve guitar distortion effects and as a result guitar riffs sound a bit polite. But as I said this is not very important since I really loved their musicality and the sound stage they produce, plus I do not listen to the likes of metallica that often these days.

Now regarding the euphonia MS4, I did not listen to them and it will be a bit difficult to get an audition. I know that they are supposed to be better then the helicons but still similar in character. It is therefore likely that I will like them. Thus, the question is how do they compare with the helicon 300/rel combo? Are they that much better than the helicons that it is worth to buy them instead of the rel? I am not a bass freak but I can't say that I do not care at all about bass either. (It is likely that the MS4 will have enough bass for my taste.)

Regarding the rel subwoofers. I had the stadium 3 and the strata 5 in my system for 2 weeks. Both at the same time. While there was not a big difference between the two subwoofers when listening to pop and rock music (because of the way I've set them up; clearly the stadium can go lower and louder), the difference was huge when listening to a jazz bass solo. The stadium was much better. Thus, I already know that I like the stadium 3 in my system. So, in this case the question is how much better is the stentor 3 compare to the stadium 3. Is stentor 3 going to work well with the helicons 300? I am asking this because I have read several times that the reference Rel subwoofers (studio and stentor) are meant to be used with large full range speakers.

Sorry for the long post. Also for typos, english is not my first language.
The REL will give you much more deeper bass and low details. I auditioned the 400's (mk l) and did prefer the bass response... more weight. In contrast, I used my REL B3 (from my Home Theater) with crossover set at 38Hz and 23Hz and with incredible results.

I would continue to play with the crossover. What is the setting for the crossover?
You are in Europe so have a look on Audiodata Soutien 2+. If set up properly can do wonders for 2CH listening provided the mains can go between 60-80 Hz with decent output.
The stadium 3 is a very good sub if you are not looking to shake your walls. But, the stentor's pich definition of the lowest notes are so captivating that I suggest you to look into second hand market and hopefully you get luky.

I have my REL's hooked up unconventionally-lineout from processor instead of the suggested speaker level connection so often recomended (i believe that's how it is called).
I haven't used the Studio or Stentor but I would not hesitate to use them with smaller speakers. I almost bought an older Stentor instead of my Stadium 2 but bought the Stadium because it is lighter and I am in my late 60s. But my Stadium 3 is as heavy as the older Stentor and I can handle it so if I had it to do over again I would have got the Stentor. I bought both of mine without seeing them and am happy with them. I bought a new cord from Signal Cable for the first one which didn't have one and it is much heavier than the regular REL Speakon cable. I have just had the second one a few weeks so haven't had a chance to see if it makes a sonic difference.
Hi everyone,

Thank for sharing your opinions.

As you probably imagine, deciding between the MS4, Stadium 3 and Stentor 3 kept me very busy this last 2 weeks. Eventually, I went for the Stentor 3. I got a very good deal from a dealer in Amsterdam. I've paid 2500 euros for a practically new unit with full warranty (Its normal price is 4700 euro, though one usually gets 10-15% off). The stentor is black. This helped the decision, the stadium was light oak and was not going very well with the rest of the living room. I did not have a lot of time to set it up properly, but after only 20-30 minutes of playing with the crossover and the volume of the rel the sound is quite nice with impressive dynamic. I still have to adjust the position, it is in the corner but I did not have time to move it around. For the moment the crossover settings are B1 (A6 also works well).

I was also able to listen to the MS4 hooked up to an all lyngdorf system, i.e. the integrated SDAI 2175 using the power amp SDA 2175 as a controllable amplifier (I do not know what that means and the dealer wasn't able to explain it to me) and the CD1 cd player. I've spent about two hours with this system and I listened to songs that I new very well. (I brought my own cds.) However, I could not bring my speakers to the dealer so, I am basically comparing the MS4–lyngdorf system vs. my system at home, i.e. helicons 300 with musical fidelity A5 amp & cd player.

The MS4-lyndorf system sounded very good, though not exceptionally good. Nevertheless, an all around solid performance. As I have expected the Helicon 300 and the MS4 have similar sound. However, the MS4 is clearly a better speaker. Everything sounded clearer, more articulated, and better focused and controlled on the MS4. Obviously, the MS4 have also better bass, but the improvement in the lower department was not as dramatic as in the rest of the categories I mentioned above. The MS4 still need a subwoofer in order to be full range speakers.

In defense of the helicons 300, I can tell you that they provide al least 90% of the performance of the MS4 for a third of the MS4 price (half of the price if you buy the very expensive but beautiful helicon stands). The helicons are more responsive (do not really know how to explain this exactly), they are also somehow more involved (in a good way) in the music (if this make any sense). It is possible that the slightly lack of articulation and focus of the helicons is drawing me more into the music and gives me the impression that the speakers are more vibrant, whereas all those little extra things that I could hear with the MS4 somehow distract me from the music by keeping me excited (which is not bed either). Finally, I should also mention that I find the helicon 300s with the stands more beautiful then the MS4s.

I can not tell to what degree were the lyngdorf electronics responsible for the differences I heard. But I do not think that they are that much better (or better) than the musical fidelity A5 combo, though I might be mistaken. If any of you have experience with the two amplifiers / cd players I would be happy to hear your opinions on this matter.

I have found the Musical Fidelity equipment to be good, I use the TriVista 21 decoder and the NuVista M3 amp.