Focal vs. Paradigm - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 05-04-2012, 05:41 AM - Thread Starter
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I will be making my speaker purchase next Friday and have narrowed it down to the Focal Chorus 826V and CC800V and the Paradigm Studio 60v.5 and cc590v.5

I have heard the chorus 700 series but not the 800 so I am going off hearing the lower level of the Focal's. I have heard the paradigm studio series and I really liked both. I like both about evenly and the price is about the same for both as well. Both auditions were in a treated room powered by nothing but an AVR.

These will be powered off of a Pioneer Elite VSX-52 for now but later I am hoping to add an XPA-3.

My question to you all is what might I hear different in an open living room versus a treated sound room and which of these speakers might be better off for that purpose.

Btw this is going to be used for a 80/20 mix of movies to music.

Thanks in advance for the help.
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post #2 of 19 Old 05-04-2012, 07:05 AM
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I'm also interested in both speakers but have been unable to hear the Focals. Aside from liking them, what are your impressions and observations of the Focals and how do they compare and contrast with the Studio 60's?
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post #3 of 19 Old 05-04-2012, 07:17 AM
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Those are both speakers that should sound very good, but I would never make an irrevocable commitment without hearing them in my own room with my own equipment for a few days. The sound will be much different than what you hear at a dealer.

Make sure that you can return them for a full refund if you don't like what you hear.

My choice between the two would be the Focal 826V, but those are both very good speakers, and it is going to come down to which sounds better in your home with your gear. One concern I would have is that Focal lists a minimum impedance of 2.9 ohms for that speaker, and many HT receivers are not able to properly drive an impedance that low.

The Paradigm also drops to 3.7 ohms at around 200 Hz, according to the test results in Stereophile, so that is again a concern, but not quite so extreme.

I would talk to the tech support people at Pioneer about that impedance issue.

Actually, though, since we are talking about a pair of speakers that cost well over $2000, I would actually purchase a set of Vandersteen 2C speakers; that would be my first choice in that price category. Its impedance also is higher and would be a better load to drive with your receiver.



Quote:
Originally Posted by txhouse View Post

I will be making my speaker purchase next Friday and have narrowed it down to the Focal Chorus 826V and CC800V and the Paradigm Studio 60v.5 and cc590v.5

I have heard the chorus 700 series but not the 800 so I am going off hearing the lower level of the Focal's. I have heard the paradigm studio series and I really liked both. I like both about evenly and the price is about the same for both as well. Both auditions were in a treated room powered by nothing but an AVR.

These will be powered off of a Pioneer Elite VSX-52 for now but later I am hoping to add an XPA-3.

My question to you all is what might I hear different in an open living room versus a treated sound room and which of these speakers might be better off for that purpose.

Btw this is going to be used for a 80/20 mix of movies to music.

Thanks in advance for the help.

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post #4 of 19 Old 05-04-2012, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
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The focals were definitely more dynamic and seemed to accentuate the highs a little better than the paradigms bit the paradigms seemed to give a more full bodied sound.

I would classify the focals as dynamic with a super sweet top end and the paradigms as a speaker that does everything well. I heard a trumpet player on them and could swear I could see him taking breaths in between playing.
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post #5 of 19 Old 05-04-2012, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txhouse View Post

The focals were definitely more dynamic and seemed to accentuate the highs a little better than the paradigms bit the paradigms seemed to give a more full bodied sound.

I would classify the focals as dynamic with a super sweet top end and the paradigms as a speaker that does everything well. I heard a trumpet player on them and could swear I could see him taking breaths in between playing.

You heard the trumpet player on which, the Paradigms?
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post #6 of 19 Old 05-04-2012, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes the paradigms.
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post #7 of 19 Old 05-04-2012, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txhouse View Post

I will be making my speaker purchase next Friday and have narrowed it down to the Focal Chorus 826V and CC800V and the Paradigm Studio 60v.5 and cc590v.5

I have heard the chorus 700 series but not the 800 so I am going off hearing the lower level of the Focal's. I have heard the paradigm studio series and I really liked both. I like both about evenly and the price is about the same for both as well. Both auditions were in a treated room powered by nothing but an AVR.

These will be powered off of a Pioneer Elite VSX-52 for now but later I am hoping to add an XPA-3.

My question to you all is what might I hear different in an open living room versus a treated sound room and which of these speakers might be better off for that purpose.

Btw this is going to be used for a 80/20 mix of movies to music.

Thanks in advance for the help.

Chorus sound a lot better than the studio 60s in the mid bass and low bass dept. The chorus have larger drivers then the 60s and it does make a difference at least when I heard them, which changed my focus to the studio 100s.

I would try to find a dealer who will allow you to test drive them in your own house so you can test drive them in your environment. You will easily identify which speakers would best in your room and to your ears.
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post #8 of 19 Old 05-04-2012, 11:49 AM
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Just for kicks, if you can, and if you have already not, audition the Sonus Faber Toy speakers. I recently did and was entranced. It got even better when I realized that they were only at $899/pair.

eh...never mind. you are shopping floorstanders. These are bookshelves.
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post #9 of 19 Old 05-06-2012, 06:38 PM
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Hi :

I went through a similar thing a few years ago and I bought the Focal's. I started with a 3.1 and now I have a 7.1 all Focal Chorus. I thought the trickle down affect. They are primarily a high end company and I thought that there technology from there better products would help in the lower end. At the time I could not a and b them side by side as they were not available from the same source.

However I could not be more pleased with my selection.I recently changed my rears to the Focal Cobalt sr 800's from the 705 Chorus bookshelf.

Just thought that i would place one big vote for Focal (JMLabs).. They sound even better when there broken in. Of course every one has different ears and Focal is not as well known as Paradigm on this side of the pond.


Best of luck in your speaker selection and enjoy them.

Norm L
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post #10 of 19 Old 05-06-2012, 07:41 PM
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Focal all the way. I'm not a huge fan of Paradigm and feel their products, while very solid value, are overrated and hyped. Being that you are going to be using them for mainly Home Theater duties though, the Paradigms actually might not be a bad choice as they are easier to drive and typically do better with movies/sound effects than music. The Focals are quite a bit tougher to drive but are a much more musically communicative speaker imho, yet do Home Theater as well as the Paradigms.

I recently auditioned the Signature series and was quite underwhelmed... sounded an awful lot like my old PSB Image system! At the same time I was also auditioning a Monitor Audio GX system, which I found was superior to the Signature system while being easier on the wallet.

Check out the Monitor Audio GX series, they are worth an audition but might be slightly out of your price range.

Why let facts or common sense get in the way of your opinions.

Quick shot of my gear/theater.
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post #11 of 19 Old 05-06-2012, 07:51 PM
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One thing that I haven't seen anyone bring up is the center channel. You will be listening to 80% movies so it is of particular importance. I'd easily give the nod to Paradigm when it comes to the center speaker. The cc-590 is a 3 way speaker which is generally preferable to the 2 way focal center speaker. It will offer more even off axis listening and potentially more power handling.

FWIW, I have listened to both of these set-ups listed and I preferred the Paradigms.
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post #12 of 19 Old 05-06-2012, 08:58 PM
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Paradigm has always had that awesome full bodied midrange. Focal Chorus midrange seems a bit airy and dry thus somewhat unnatural. The highs of the reverted tweeters are ok and better than Paradigms but nothing compared to ribbons. The lows are very fast and tight which I think is the best part of the Chorus line. Honestly though I bought my Chorus 800 speakers just for the looks. For the same amount of money, I'd get something with a ribbon tweeter. Like an Arx or Golden Ear...

PS: Thinking back I've only considered the Focals for HT usage only as they wouldn't have passed my standard for music. I've auditioned the 700 vs 800 and due to the crossover the 800 is superior with certain models having better bass.
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post #13 of 19 Old 05-14-2012, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the help guys. I tried listening to the goldenears and wasn't all that impressed with them. I listened to both again and ended up ordering the 826 v cc800v and a sunfire hrs-12 sub.

Thanks again for all the help and I'm looking forward to picking them up this weekend.
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post #14 of 19 Old 05-14-2012, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txhouse View Post

Thanks for all the help guys. I tried listening to the goldenears and wasn't all that impressed with them. I listened to both again and ended up ordering the 826 v cc800v I'm looking forward to picking them up this weekend.

Good choice - have fun and enjoy.

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
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post #15 of 19 Old 05-14-2012, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txhouse View Post

Thanks for all the help guys. I tried listening to the goldenears and wasn't all that impressed with them. I listened to both again and ended up ordering the 826 v cc800v and a sunfire hrs-12 sub.

Thanks again for all the help and I'm looking forward to picking them up this weekend.

Excellent choice. Those 826V's are brilliant. Enjoy them!
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post #16 of 19 Old 05-14-2012, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuralXTC View Post

I recently auditioned the Signature series and was quite underwhelmed... sounded an awful lot like my old PSB Image system.

I have the Sig S8 v.3's, had the S4.v1's and also had the PSB T6's, B2's and B1's, and if you think the Sigs sound anything like the PSB's you we either listening in a crappy environment or you were smoking something I'd be afraid to buy.
The PSB's aren't remotely close in any area, but the top end of the Sig's Be tweeters is in a whole nuther universe, and I'd argue the same about the G-Pal's of the V.1's to albeit to lesser extent.

I understand audio tastes are subjective, but that's just a bit too "out there" not to rebut. Something must have been amiss with the audition.
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post #17 of 19 Old 06-14-2012, 08:59 AM
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I'm curious to know how the OP likes the new Focal's?
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post #18 of 19 Old 10-25-2012, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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I couldn't be happier with my speakers. I changed everything up in my living room so now everything goes through the speakers. I can't wait until I get a house and get the matching surrounds and a dedicated amp for them. If anyone has any reservations about getting the chorus line, go out and get them. You won't be disappointed. 6uhepara.jpg
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post #19 of 19 Old 10-25-2012, 02:31 PM
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I'm in the same boat as the OP. I was set on Paradigm Studios and decided to do some due diligence and test as many brands as possible.

I was very impressed with Focal 800s - very clear and detailed. I did feel the Paradigms had more of a full sound, but at the same time it was muddier. Now need to see if I can hear some Ws. Hopefully they can fill out the low end.

I heard some great Dynaudios, but they were pricier bookshelves. May revisit other lines.

I still need to listen to some PSBs and Monitor GX series (although the GX are certainly higher cost).
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