Vienna Mozart or Dali Helicon 400 with YBA

Dear Sir;

My system consists of: YBA Integre DT, Music Hall CD25.2 and a pair of old Kef floor standing speakers, Kimber PBJ IC, room size is about 3m x 9m (10ft x 30ft)

I am in the process of upgrading my speakers to either Vienna Mozart Grand or Dali Helicon 400. I have demoed Vienna Mozart and was very pleased by their warm detailed sound. My listening preferences are alomst exclusively to clasical piano music and some female voices/opera, but once in the blue moon, I listened to Kraftwerk, Hotel Costes, etc. I am looking for very detailed but not 'digital sound' (hence YBA). Also, it's nice to have some reasonable emphasis on bass but I don't listen to heavy metal or rock so it is optional. Most important timbre are: grand piano sound, female voice, violin, cello, and some Kraftwerk-like-electric-sound.

In any event, how do you describe Dali speakers vis-a-vis Vienna? I read some review on Dali and many said they have a prominent bass. But I haven't heard of a single comment on Dali's treble and mid-range (while Vienna seems to have very nice treble and mid).

Any comment is welcome.
Thank you,

Can't help with a comparison to Vienna speakers, but I own Dali Helicon 400s. They're the front L and R pair of a 7.1 set up in a 13' x 17' x 9.5' room.

Regarding their treble and midrange, I would describe them as being very sweet and smooth, yet very detailed at the same time. On their overall performance, I think they are well balanced top to bottom, are detailed at low listening levels while just as detailed and comfortable at higher listening levels.

IIRC from temporarily listening to them in stereo, before I got the 7.1 set up in place, they may be a little rich at the bottom end. Now, I have them crosssed over at 80Hz to a sub, so I have no recent experience on which to comment on the low end of the 400s per se.

Bruce -

Yeah, your remarks on Dali Helicons are quite consistent with my images of them. I guess I just have to audition them and see what I actually 'feel' those outstanding qualities.

At any rate, thanks for your comments.
I just auditioned Dali Helicon 400 today. The whole setup was for home theatre (all Krell equipment), so it was rather a vague experience to say the least... It appears though, that the treble and mid-range are very smooth(though maybe a bit bright), and, as many people say, the bass was boomy. It was 'high-fidelity' alright, but not my liking. I will probably go either Vienna or Triangle.
I love the looks of the Helicon 400s but I am not as big a fan of their sound. I thought they lacked resolution in the mids and upper mids for their price.

I heard Mozarts at a Tweeter one time using a couple different amps (B&K and Marantz I think) and they did sound warm and comfortable. The treble didn't sparkle but they weren't setup quite right IMO.

Triangles (I am going out on limb) are rather different. They aren't quite as warm since they favor tight bass but the latest versions aren't bright anymore which makes them a little warmer than usual. I highly recommend the ESw series. I had a pair of Antal ESw in my system and thought they were killer for the money - smooth and clean with superb imaging. The Mozart will be better at soundstaging size but won't have the image precision of the Triangles. Depends on personal taste and system components as to which is better. Both are great deals.

For piano, either the Mozart or even, a medium-level model fm Verity could fit the bill.
In any event, how do you describe Dali speakers vis-a-vis Vienna
Not Dali in general, but their small speakers vs the bigger Vienna and since you listen to piano:
The Vienna is like a Bosendorfer piano; the Dali is like a baby concert Steinway that's euphonically out of tune:)
Aball -

That's EXACTLY the way I felt about Dali, they don't quite have revealing mid and high, period. When I demoed Helicon 400, I was actually unimpressed by them except the looks... And guess what, I am looking for Antel or Celious, they appear to be my liking. For now though, I think I will purchase Vienna Mozart Grand. I might as well purchase Vienna Mozart and Triangle Antal/Celious then!

Gregm -

"The Vienna is like a Bosendorfer piano; the Dali is like a baby concert Steinway..."

Yeah, I think I know what you mean, I think the reason why Glenn Gould preferred Chickering Piano over Steinway is like preferring Vienna over Dali.

I myself play and own a conservatry size Steinway. She sounds nice indeed but not too 'intimate' if you know what I meant (The Steinway is gorgeous and perfect for sure but... You see, a 'but' is still there... I don't know how to describe it but I wish, having a Steinway, I had a Yamaha, Chickering or Bechstein grand...)

At any rate, btw, if I were to choose between a baby Steinway and a concert size Yamaha, I would choose the latter without a second thought. A concert Yamaha is actually sounds very nice! So I guess I will give up Dali then.

Thank you all for your insightful comments. I now have to audition Triangle then. Do you guys(or women) know where I can find Triangle speakers in New York City area?
A Bechstein grand -- that's a wow:)

BTW, you might want to give Verity speakers a thought. They're quite good at voice and (to a lesser extent) piano. But you do get the feel of what you;re listening to -- i.e. a Steinway, a Yamaha, etc...

I own the Helicon 400s and just went through a number of cable swaps. The end result is I felt the Dali's are VERY cable sensetive. I loved the mids and highs with Audioquest Gibraltars but the bass was "boomey". I tried a double run of DH labs T-14 for fun and low and behold the bass was tight, accurate, and abundant. Not boomey at all. However the mids backed off a bit. To me the Dali's mids are recessed a bit anyway so, the DH labs would not work. I wound up bi-wiring DH labs on bottom and Gibraltar on top. I works very well for me. I have not heard the Viennas. I'm sure you will be happy either way you go.
Hi Buda,

Thank you for your useful comments above. I am, however, erasing Dali from the shortlist of my next speaker selections. The kind of Image I get from Dalis is that they are brilliant but no more no less. I felt kinda similar feeling comapring betwen YBA Integre DT and Primare I20. While I20 is certainly a good int amp, YBA puts 'emotion' to it. So when I was listening some female vocals on YBA, it felt like 'music' and 'orgnic' rather than 'cd'. It's difficult to expalin YBA (hence people use the terms like 'YBA Magic'), but it's really a FANTASTIC player. So my speakers should not kill the magical quality which is inherent in YBA equipment. My choices are, as noted previously, Vienna and Triagle.
Seems like Triangle speakers would kill any "YBA magic" you are refering to. When I heard a pair of Celius ESW last week, they sounded clean and open but they also seemed too dry and thin and lacked depth. A little too "hifi" for my tastes.
My VA Bach Grands are excellent for vocals, horns, and piano. Great richness and timbre with detail also. Great recordings sound lifelike and not-so-great ones sound good too as the Bachs are a somewhat forgiving speaker. The only issue is if you want to get loud, which it sounds like you don't do very often. They are not a 'beefy' speaker. I also liked the Mozarts but the Bachs just sound more emotive to me.

Thanks for your input. Yeah, that's the first thing I was concerned about Triangle speakers. The reason why I am upgrading my Kef speakers is that, though they are very efficient, they are a little too 'dry' and 'light' to my taste. That's why a little dark (but super detailed) Vienna Mozart (or Bach) might be a good pair with YBA Integre DT. I like Wagner and I listen to his opera very frequently but I don't like to hear too 'dry', 'thin' and 'light' Wagner... I am almost certain now that my next pay check will go towards Vienna Mozart Grand or Bach Grand (if I find Beethoven Grand with a reasonable price, that's cool, too).
Ipous, let me clarify, I think the Triangles are a good value at their price points, just not my cup of tea. Since you mentioned Wagner, I think they would be fine for something like chamber music, I don't think they conveyed the full scale of an orchestra when I auditioned them. I believe Dalis or Viennas would partner well with YBA. Have you considered the Vandersteen 3A sigs?

Thank you also for your input. Yeah, I checked one of our members by the name of Defstathiou's system under 'virtual system', and he (I am assuming he is male) uses Vienna Bach with YBA Passion, and he thinks they are a fantastic pair (I admire his good taste in equipment selection except, mind you, the ugly boob box inbetween his beautiful hi-fi system...but that's another story, heh).

I hardly listen to music loud but once in a while I listen to Opera and Symphonie louder than my other piano repatoir(but since I live in an apartment in NYC, I just cannot be that 'loud':(

But mostly I like low volume and YBA is quite good at it! Seems like many amps, I mean too many amps, are not able to live up to their full potentials when the volume is very low, but it seems that YBA is able to create very charming and intimate environment even if the volume is low. I was listening to some female voice very low last night and she sounded very 'lifelike' - as if she were there! I suspect not many amps are able to do this.

About three years ago, I had audio refinement complete and was very satisfied with their, shall I say, 'psudo-YBA' sound. In fact, I still think I won't find better int amp for that price (I got it for $500 used). The musicality of the Complete is top of the line except it lacks in detail/speed and succinct bass sound you find in YBA (hence 'psudo-YBA'). But given a chance, I will set up my 2nd system with complete.

But Katz, what equipment do you use besides Bach?
I audition the entire Triangle line and felt the mids were VERY forward. I liked them but my concern was the "sweet spot". You really had to be positioned correctly for the best sound. In my world I rarely can just sit in the sweet spot and listen.



I couldn't agree more, that's the impression I get from Triangles - very light, forward, airy, punchy, but not full-bodied. Even in piano music - since I prefer polyphonic music - the speakers must be able to delineate each voice but still harmonise all the voices in one cohesive line. More and more I think about Triangles, I don't think they convey it in a heavy-profound German manner. I'd prefer French/German(well Austria to be precise) pair to French/French pair when it comes to hifi audio.


Yeah, I did extensive research on various speaker brands which can be paired with YBA. I even asked Audio plus people seeking their recommendations. One of the gentlemen there (He sounded he had french accent and very knowledgeable) told me that Vienna and YBA goes well. I did think about Vandersteen and accordingly, I did some extensive research but it appears that Vandersteen requires power. Considering my YBA Integre DT is 50W (though it sounds more than that), I don't think it would extract all the juice out of YBA. Well, I never know until I actually listen to them but that's my guess.

Thanks both for your insightful input.
Ipous, I am using an Adcom 555 II amp with Adcom GTP 500 II pre. Recently I added a Rega Planet 2000 and Eichmann Express 4 speaker cables. ( I guess I should put this in my system profile, huh?)
The Adcom has loads of power but can be a bit heavy on the highs and lows. It mates well with the Bachs, especially with their sweet silk domes and rich mids. The Rega has brought an added dimension to the sound coming out of the Bachs - very nice player! I am still undecided on the Eichmann cables, maybe a bit too warm.
The first time I heard the Bach Grands was with a $6000 Plinius, big-buck Cardas cables and ARC cd player in a treated room. I was simply amazed at what I was hearing out of these diminutive speakers! If you can afford a setup like that do it! My system is (obviously) much more modest but sounds good enough for now.

Hope I've helped.