Focal - JM Lab Owner's Thread - Page 218 - AVS Forum
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post #6511 of 6539 Old 08-01-2014, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by scirica View Post
Maybe yes, maybe no...It may depend on the installation options or constraints. I'm just asking for some plugs that could be used optionally in certain installs.
I think it's safe to assume the ported speakers are tuned for the ports, and therefore closing them up, without modifying the tune, would be problematic. But you're right, it's not implausible that one could situate the speakers poorly, e.g. inside a cabinet, in a way that would make the downsides of plugged ports pale compared to the downsides of open but terribly situated ports. Since center channel speakers are often situated in subpar placements, it's interesting that they chose to include ports at all, and rear-firing ports at that.

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post #6512 of 6539 Old 08-01-2014, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by niccolo View Post
I think it's safe to assume the ported speakers are tuned for the ports, and therefore closing them up, without modifying the tune, would be problematic. But you're right, it's not implausible that one could situate the speakers poorly, e.g. inside a cabinet, in a way that would make the downsides of plugged ports pale compared to the downsides of open but terribly situated ports. Since center channel speakers are often situated in subpar placements, it's interesting that they chose to include ports at all, and rear-firing ports at that.
Exactly. Some (like mine) are actually inserted part-way in a hole I cut in the drywall of my chimney. Definitely sub-optimal for rear ports. My Linn CC was ported in the front which made a lot more sense and worked fine with my drywall cutout. Probably need to find a stand for the center at some point and just plug the hole in the wall.

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post #6513 of 6539 Old 08-01-2014, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by scirica View Post
Exactly. Some (like mine) are actually inserted part-way in a hole I cut in the drywall of my chimney. Definitely sub-optimal for rear ports. My Linn CC was ported in the front which made a lot more sense and worked fine with my drywall cutout. Probably need to find a stand for the center at some point and just plug the hole in the wall.
Trade your 900-series speakers for my 700-series ones to resolve your issue?
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post #6514 of 6539 Old 08-02-2014, 08:34 PM
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FWIW, I upgraded from a Chorus S - CC700S to a Profile CC908.
I was always unhappy with the CC700S, it always sounded flat, like all I got was mids, no highs and no lows... This was in a system with 716S fronts and surrounds, and 706S rears. I even did a side by side compare with the CC700S and the 706S side by side, and the 706S blew it away on both the highs and the lows... I have no idea what the problem was on the on the CC700S, either it was just a horrible design, or perhaps mine had a crossover issue.

The Profile CC908 is amazing! Beautiful sound and was a great upgrade! Note, it is a 3-way with 2 woofers, a mid, and a tweeter...
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post #6515 of 6539 Old 08-14-2014, 04:16 PM
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My Focal 926 playing non jazz demo

I get tired of the Jazz demos. So here's one with full range rock https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1D4...ature=youtu.be
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post #6516 of 6539 Old 08-15-2014, 12:37 PM
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I need some more written feedback from Focal owners! I am going tomorrow to A/B Electra 1038 Be2 and Aria 948. I will do my best to take accurate (subjective) notes. I'm sick to my stomach with the decision I have to make!
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post #6517 of 6539 Old 08-15-2014, 07:04 PM
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Good luck with the demo.

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post #6518 of 6539 Old 08-15-2014, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg121986 View Post
I need some more written feedback from Focal owners! I am going tomorrow to A/B Electra 1038 Be2 and Aria 948. I will do my best to take accurate (subjective) notes. I'm sick to my stomach with the decision I have to make!
I haven't heard the Aria but the 1028's and 1038's are just fantastic speakers. It would be very interesting to see if the two are close in your thoughts. The 1028's were simply outstanding. They were just an all around better speaker then my 1027's. I am sure the Aria's are good, but they have a tall order if they are going to match the 1038's. I am sure though that each one has its own sonic signature and you may like the sound quality of the Aria better. I know for me, I would have to move to the 1028's to get anything above what I have. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

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post #6519 of 6539 Old 08-15-2014, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Greg121986 View Post
I need some more written feedback from Focal owners! I am going tomorrow to A/B Electra 1038 Be2 and Aria 948. I will do my best to take accurate (subjective) notes. I'm sick to my stomach with the decision I have to make!
Why be sick to your stomach? I'd love to be in your position.

I'm looking forward to reading your comparison.

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post #6520 of 6539 Old 08-16-2014, 08:07 PM
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Focal Aria 936 vs 948?

I just finished building in a dedicated home theater in Southern California. It's 15 x 20 feet long with acoustical treatments. I'm getting close to buying my speakers. I listen to music 50% and movies 50% of the time. I'll be buying a subwoofer for movies.

I think I like the Focal 936's. My question is: I heard the 948's and willing to spend the extra $1000, but is it overkill for this size room? They are bit richer and have better bass, but frankly is it diminishing returns?
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post #6521 of 6539 Old 08-16-2014, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by trmoore2 View Post
I just finished building in a dedicated home theater in Southern California. It's 15 x 20 feet long with acoustical treatments. I'm getting close to buying my speakers. I listen to music 50% and movies 50% of the time. I'll be buying a subwoofer for movies.

I think I like the Focal 936's. My question is: I heard the 948's and willing to spend the extra $1000, but is it overkill for this size room? They are bit richer and have better bass, but frankly is it diminishing returns?
Any serious home theater will have one or more subs (if you want consistency across seats you'll likely want to go with two), and the usual recommendation is to cross over at 80 hz, since almost by definition the sub(s) will handle sub-80 hz frequencies better than your speakers. From that perspective, your upgrade makes little sense, spend the money on better subs instead! For music, there's at least a case to be made, though with my current Focal 716s (2.5-way towers) I've been playing around with 60 and 80 hz as crossovers to a very musical Rythmik subwoofer, and they both sound great with something like solo double bass, which strays solidly into subwoofer territory. My two cents.

Also, any chance of an in-home demo? Because it's hard to know how the speakers will interact with your room, if you demoed them in a bigger space, you might actually end up preferring the 936s in your space.

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post #6522 of 6539 Old 08-16-2014, 08:50 PM
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Enjoy the torture................. the 1038be should show the 948s up, but then you have to look at the dollar difference to see if it is worth it?
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post #6523 of 6539 Old 08-17-2014, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by niccolo View Post
Any serious home theater will have one or more subs (if you want consistency across seats you'll likely want to go with two), and the usual recommendation is to cross over at 80 hz, since almost by definition the sub(s) will handle sub-80 hz frequencies better than your speakers. From that perspective, your upgrade makes little sense, spend the money on better subs instead! For music, there's at least a case to be made, though with my current Focal 716s (2.5-way towers) I've been playing around with 60 and 80 hz as crossovers to a very musical Rythmik subwoofer, and they both sound great with something like solo double bass, which strays solidly into subwoofer territory. My two cents.

Also, any chance of an in-home demo? Because it's hard to know how the speakers will interact with your room, if you demoed them in a bigger space, you might actually end up preferring the 936s in your space.
Thanks for the feedback. I'm planning on buying the 15" Rhythmik sub. I guess my bigger question is: Has anyone bought the Aria 936's and wished they had a "bit more?" I.E. the 948's? Of course they sound better, but is it really worth the money?
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post #6524 of 6539 Old 08-17-2014, 09:34 AM
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I'm sure the 1038be's are amazing speakers after spending 6 months with my Aria 948's. I'm convinced the 948's are a bargain at the $5k price point. I'd probably have to leapfrog the be line to Utopia to experience enough of a difference to justify a bigger investment. But I'm willing once my golden ticket comes in!


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post #6525 of 6539 Old 08-17-2014, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trmoore2 View Post
Thanks for the feedback. I'm planning on buying the 15" Rhythmik sub. I guess my bigger question is: Has anyone bought the Aria 936's and wished they had a "bit more?" I.E. the 948's? Of course they sound better, but is it really worth the money?
Frankly, if you're going to get a 15" Rythmik sub anyway you may be just as well off buying the Aria 926s and saving even more $. The Aria line is going to be voiced very similarly so all you're going to get for the extra dollar outlay is the bottom end. By getting a 15" Rythmik sub that will be taken care of .. in spades I might add.

Also, keep in mind that with the sub, you will have better placement options and can put the sub where it will sound the best and have the least impact on room modes. If you get the Aria 948s you will have to be more careful with speaker placement in your room than you would with a pair of Aria 926s. Too close to a wall or corner and the 948s may sound boomy.

And something else to think about is the tweeter height in regards to your listening position. Ideally, the tweeters should be just about ear level when seated. With the 936s and 948s you may have to sit on a booster seat or phone book in order to have the tweeters around ear level.
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post #6526 of 6539 Old 08-17-2014, 09:49 AM
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Great advice ^^. In my living room the tweeters do sit about 5" above ear level when I'm seated on my sofa. Still, the "voicing" on the 948's is amazing. I also found that the 948's needed to be at least 2 feet away from the back wall and several feet from the side walls. They need a good size room. Acoustic treatment helped as well. Btw, I do not use my Sub15 for two-channel music, only for movies and some MCH recordings.


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post #6527 of 6539 Old 08-17-2014, 02:41 PM
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I have my seats on a platform, so the tweeter height is not a problem. "Scirica" did you audition multiple models and why do you chose the the 948's?

Picture of room:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/54361298@N00/14951505602/

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post #6528 of 6539 Old 08-18-2014, 06:17 AM
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EDIT: I reviewed the specs again of the 948 and 936 and I see the 948 has a significantly lower crossover point between the tweeter and the mid-range. This explains the seemingly "richer" or better performance that one might hear. The 936 is 3100Hz and the 948 is 2600 Hz. The bass specs of the 936 and 948 are within 2 Hz at -3dB so there isn't that much of a difference there. They are the same height as well. Given their similarities, I am targeting the 936 because the 948 is simply too large. I have a small-ish apartment so the relatively slim profile of the 936 and its performance are a perfect match for my needs. But, now the slightly better crossover points of the 948 are making me reconsider my position!

Unfortunately, I did not get to spend any useful amount of time with the 948 and Electra. Only a few brief songs with each. With only this brief period of time it's obvious the Electra is truly audiophile grade. It has no obvious tonal qualities beyond being flat and uncolored. The Aria is not in this camp, but it's pretty close. The Aria definitely has a distinct tonal quality with an emphasized bass response and something in the upper mid-range and treble which I couldn't quite characterize. The Aria has tons of clarity and detail which is primarily what I am after right now. It's enough to represent a significant milestone in performance gained from the speakers that I have just sold to prepare for this upgrade.

I'm going to go back and spend some more time with the Electra and Aria 948, but I think I have already decided on the Aria 936. It's just irresponsible for me to spend the money on the Electra right now. With the money saved I can buy a used integrated amplifier that I've been eyeing and pay off a bit of debt at the same time. This will be a significant increase in system performance and enjoyment for me.

I have ZERO evidence to substantiate this claim, but I am also afraid that Focal will be updating the Electra line. When I look at their history I see the Electra has already been through a few revisions. Now they have the "Low Luster" line which is what I've been listening to. It's nearly $3,000 less than the high gloss finish Electra. I am fearful that they are trying to purge some of their materials and stock in order to make way for a significant upgrade. The Flax woofer is so close to the performance of the W Cone that I feel they must be considering ways to improve the W cone. I think the Aria is the smart choice for me over the next 3-5 years in case a new Electra comes along.

Last edited by Greg121986; 08-18-2014 at 06:31 AM.
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post #6529 of 6539 Old 08-18-2014, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg121986 View Post
EDIT: I reviewed the specs again of the 948 and 936 and I see the 948 has a significantly lower crossover point between the tweeter and the mid-range. This explains the seemingly "richer" or better performance that one might hear. The 936 is 3100Hz and the 948 is 2600 Hz. The bass specs of the 936 and 948 are within 2 Hz at -3dB so there isn't that much of a difference there. They are the same height as well. Given their similarities, I am targeting the 936 because the 948 is simply too large. I have a small-ish apartment so the relatively slim profile of the 936 and its performance are a perfect match for my needs. But, now the slightly better crossover points of the 948 are making me reconsider my position!

Unfortunately, I did not get to spend any useful amount of time with the 948 and Electra. Only a few brief songs with each. With only this brief period of time it's obvious the Electra is truly audiophile grade. It has no obvious tonal qualities beyond being flat and uncolored. The Aria is not in this camp, but it's pretty close. The Aria definitely has a distinct tonal quality with an emphasized bass response and something in the upper mid-range and treble which I couldn't quite characterize. The Aria has tons of clarity and detail which is primarily what I am after right now. It's enough to represent a significant milestone in performance gained from the speakers that I have just sold to prepare for this upgrade.

I'm going to go back and spend some more time with the Electra and Aria 948, but I think I have already decided on the Aria 936. It's just irresponsible for me to spend the money on the Electra right now. With the money saved I can buy a used integrated amplifier that I've been eyeing and pay off a bit of debt at the same time. This will be a significant increase in system performance and enjoyment for me.

I have ZERO evidence to substantiate this claim, but I am also afraid that Focal will be updating the Electra line. When I look at their history I see the Electra has already been through a few revisions. Now they have the "Low Luster" line which is what I've been listening to. It's nearly $3,000 less than the high gloss finish Electra. I am fearful that they are trying to purge some of their materials and stock in order to make way for a significant upgrade. The Flax woofer is so close to the performance of the W Cone that I feel they must be considering ways to improve the W cone. I think the Aria is the smart choice for me over the next 3-5 years in case a new Electra comes along.
I would also suggest auditioning the Aria 926 as it has a slightly different sound.
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post #6530 of 6539 Old 08-18-2014, 07:14 AM
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I would also suggest auditioning the Aria 926 as it has a slightly different sound.
I have actually auditioned the 926 in my home for a week with an Anthem PVA 7 power amp and Oppo BDP-105 as DAC/PreAmp. I loved it! But again, its tweeter to mid-range crossover point is 2400 Hz. I am really confused now by Focal's choices of crossover on the 936! It seems almost like it will be terrible by comparison.

I should add that my dealer only has the 926 and 948 so I have blindly made the decision to target the 936 since it seems like a good compromise. I am going to email the USA distributor in hopes that they can shed some light on the crossover points of the 936. It seems like a really weird choice considering all others in the Aria line are well below 3000 Hz.

Last edited by Greg121986; 08-18-2014 at 07:21 AM.
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post #6531 of 6539 Old 08-18-2014, 08:46 AM
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I have actually auditioned the 926 in my home for a week with an Anthem PVA 7 power amp and Oppo BDP-105 as DAC/PreAmp. I loved it! But again, its tweeter to mid-range crossover point is 2400 Hz. I am really confused now by Focal's choices of crossover on the 936! It seems almost like it will be terrible by comparison.

I should add that my dealer only has the 926 and 948 so I have blindly made the decision to target the 936 since it seems like a good compromise. I am going to email the USA distributor in hopes that they can shed some light on the crossover points of the 936. It seems like a really weird choice considering all others in the Aria line are well below 3000 Hz.
How about the 926 with a good sub?

In my listening auditions at multiple dealers listening to 2 or 3 models at a sitting from the Aria family, I felt that the 926 was the best sounding based upon my tastes. But everyone has their own opinion so do keep auditioning and let us know your thoughts.
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post #6532 of 6539 Old 08-18-2014, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
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How about the 926 with a good sub?

In my listening auditions at multiple dealers listening to 2 or 3 models at a sitting from the Aria family, I felt that the 926 was the best sounding based upon my tastes. But everyone has their own opinion so do keep auditioning and let us know your thoughts.
I have considered that. The JL Audio E110 seems like a nice piece. I am trying to simplify my setup, though. I have a REL Stentor III, but I'm letting a friend use it. I'm ultimately trying to simplify my system from its former 5.1 channel setup to regain a bit of floor space in my apartment.
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post #6533 of 6539 Old 08-18-2014, 11:00 AM
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I wrote an email to the reviewer on AVForum (he reviewed the 926 specifically) if he had a thought about the 936 vs the 948 in a 15' x 20' room. I also wrote to Focal in France their opinion, but I can't imagine them giving an opinion. I will post if I hear back from either.
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post #6534 of 6539 Old 08-18-2014, 12:24 PM
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I emailed the USA distributor asking for clarification on the crossover choices throughout the Aria range. From their website, Focal's own technical support staff is out of the office until Sept. 7.

Here is the breakdown of crossover points according to Focal's spec sheets. The Aria 936 is a bit of an oddball here.

Aria 906 -----/ 2800 Hz
Aria 926 290 / 2400 HZ
Aria 936 260 / 3100 Hz
Aria 948 280 / 2600 Hz

Electra 1008 Be2 ----/ 2200 Hz
Electra 1028 Be2 350 / 2200 Hz
Electra 1038 Be2 230 / 2200 Hz
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post #6535 of 6539 Old 08-18-2014, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
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I emailed the USA distributor asking for clarification on the crossover choices throughout the Aria range. From their website, Focal's own technical support staff is out of the office until Sept. 7.

Here is the breakdown of crossover points according to Focal's spec sheets. The Aria 936 is a bit of an oddball here.

Aria 906 -----/ 2800 Hz
Aria 926 290 / 2400 HZ
Aria 936 260 / 3100 Hz
Aria 948 280 / 2600 Hz

Electra 1008 Be2 ----/ 2200 Hz
Electra 1028 Be2 350 / 2200 Hz
Electra 1038 Be2 230 / 2200 Hz
That is kind of bizarre to have such varying crossover points given that all of the Aria line use the same TNT V2 tweeter and mid/woofer.

With the Chorus 800V line the crossover points are as follows:

836V: 250 Hz / 3 000 Hz
826V: 300Hz / 3kHz
816V: 300Hz / 3kHz
807V: 3 kHz
806V: ?? Couldn't find it
706V: 3000 Hz

These are straight from Focal's site. Honestly, I like the idea of a tweeter being crossed over at a higher frequency in order to keep the tweeters from having to reproduce mid-range frequencies.

I own the 826Vs, but since I've added a couple of 15" subs to the mix I probably would have been just fine with the 816Vs or even something from the 700V line. I use the high pass setting on my Crown XLS 2000 set to 60 Hz for the 826Vs so they aren't reproducing anything too low.

1: Sony DVP-S7000 | Denon DVD-2900 | Laptop > Emotiva XDA-2 > Emotiva Control Freak > Crown XLS2000 > Focal 826V | Def Tech BP2000
2: Computer > Parasound Zdac > Emotiva Control Freak > Acurus A150 > Focal 706V | Def Tech SM450 | Velodyne F-1000B
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post #6536 of 6539 Old 08-18-2014, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius View Post
That is kind of bizarre to have such varying crossover points given that all of the Aria line use the same TNT V2 tweeter and mid/woofer.

With the Chorus 800V line the crossover points are as follows:

836V: 250 Hz / 3 000 Hz
826V: 300Hz / 3kHz
816V: 300Hz / 3kHz
807V: 3 kHz
806V: ?? Couldn't find it
706V: 3000 Hz

These are straight from Focal's site. Honestly, I like the idea of a tweeter being crossed over at a higher frequency in order to keep the tweeters from having to reproduce mid-range frequencies.

I own the 826Vs, but since I've added a couple of 15" subs to the mix I probably would have been just fine with the 816Vs or even something from the 700V line. I use the high pass setting on my Crown XLS 2000 set to 60 Hz for the 826Vs so they aren't reproducing anything too low.
I really like my 716Vs, but I think there's a strong deductive argument to be made for a 3-way over 2.5-way design to let the midrange just do midrange content.
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post #6537 of 6539 Old 08-18-2014, 01:52 PM
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Focal's marketing info on why their 1008 Be2 series with the beryllium tweeter was such an improvement over the previous generation indicates a tweeter reproducing more of the mid range is better. Essentially, a lower tweeter crossover point is better according to their ideologies.

Quote:
Our new goal with the IAL (Infinite
Acoustic Loading: the creation of an
extremely high-bandwidth tweeter, that
would be able to descend in frequency
as far as possible, in order to take over
from the midrange as early as possible.
The stakes: create a design where
the critical frequency range of 2000 to
5000Hz
, where the ear is most sensitive,
can be reproduced by an ultra-light
tweeter dome. The 2009 version, which
dome diameter goes from 25 to 27mm,
optimizes the recovery of the cut-off
frequency and improves dynamics and
precision.
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post #6538 of 6539 Old 08-18-2014, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trmoore2 View Post
I have my seats on a platform, so the tweeter height is not a problem. "Scirica" did you audition multiple models and why do you chose the the 948's?
I didn't formally audition multiple models. I was getting tired of my Linn 5140's that served me for 15 years and looking for something around this price point. My friend is an Aria dealer and let me bring these home for a month before making the decision to buy. I got a pretty healthy friends & family discount which closed the deal.

I know my next jump will be significant, butthe more I listen to the 948's with good amplification, room treatment and clean source material the happier I am with this "interim" solution.

McIntosh MX121. McIntosh MC205. Focal Aria 948 Main Speakers, Aria CC900 Center. Focal Electra IC 1002 In-Ceiling Surrounds. Paradigm Studio Sub 15. Oppo BDP-105D. Roku XS. Roku 3. Apple TV(3). DirecTV. Panasonic TC-P65VT50. Samsung UN40FH6030F, URC MX-780.
My current SACD list
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post #6539 of 6539 Old Today, 05:48 PM
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After countless hours of reading on entry level audiophile speakers I decided to purchase 836W and I must say I am extremely happy with my decision. After listening to them for past 3 months I'd like to add a center speaker and a subwoofer. Sometimes this year I will move to 5.1. For now, I would like to get an opinion from owners of 836w towers and their experience with cc800W.. Is the cc800W enough of a speaker to keep up with the towers for movies? I read couple times that it is decent center channel but is lacking in output and is having hard time keeping up with the towers (whatever original poster meant by that). I know I should stick to same brand/series of speakers to match the towers but if there is a better way to get around the center speaker I'd like to hear it. As far as the sub goes, I decided to purchase Funk Audio 18.0 C.
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Focal , Focal 705v , Focal Chorus 836 V , Focal 716v Floor Standing Speakers , Focal 706v Chorus Loudspeakers , Focal Chorus 726v Floorstanding Speaker Light Walnut
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