Originally Posted by dhensley
...I was very impressed with The Home Theater Doctor. Although they do not seem to have regular store hours the guy I spoke to spent a long time talking to me on the phone, offered to setup/move speakers and amps around to different rooms so I can get the best representation of my home system...
I think I spoke to him about auditioning the Forest last year. I remember that he was very accommodating as far as his hours. Unfortunately, a friend's funeral got in the way, and then I ended up jumping on a great deal on the Focal 1037be... so I never ended up hearing the Forest.
Definitely audition them in your place, if you can. Room acoustics can be very different, even when the rooms seem to be similar. You may want to also consider room treatments before auditioning the speakers. That's next on my list, right after I finish running my speaker wires in the walls (for the surrounds). Probably even before I buy the surrounds
...BTW - I heard some dynAudio 220s at SoundFactor and was really impressed with them with my first listem. The soundstage was soooo wide and they didnt appear to be weak in any particular area (again to my poor and untrained ears). I am considering going back to take a listen, but right now the looks of the speaker are holding me back. My GF does not really like them (i think they are quite bland as well) and unfortunately that is a factor...
That's interesting. I listened to those and liked the sound a lot. Rock and vocals very very good. However, when we played some Beethoven, it was a completely different story. Everything sounded like it was coming out of a $2 radio.
I've been told it was probably the amp. All I know is that, when driven by the same amps (tried two different ones), the B&W 702 and the Focal 836 totally blew away the Dyn 220. I was very disappointed, since I went there specifically to listen to the Dyn. The entire time, I really wanted to not like the Focal, but acoustically, it just completely destroyed the other speakers in every possible way.
Btw, aesthetics played a large part in why I spent so much on my speakers. Even though I really liked the sound of the Focal 836, except I really, really, really, did not care for the looks. A very subjective thing, since a lot of people seem to like the looks of that line. Since you (and your GF) will have to look at them every day, I think it's a perfectly valid criteria for choosing speakers. It's really a piece of furniture, if you think about it.
Having said that, I personally thought the Dynaudio Focus 220 looked nice, if somewhat plain. In fact, I don't know that it looks much different than the Totem Forest. Still, it comes down to what you and your GF think.