Focal - JM Lab Owner's Thread - Page 238 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #7111 of 7179 Old 02-07-2016, 06:07 PM
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How do my old chorus 716v have a lager room size than the aria 936 which has 3 woofers?
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post #7112 of 7179 Old 02-13-2016, 01:11 AM
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Further to my post above, I have stumbled across another option.

How would the 836vw front pair with a cc1008be? I know the tweeters are different, but the drivers in the VW use the same sandwich technology as the electra.

I am concerned that if I get the cc700v the 836vw will outperform them to the point of being noticeable, and the cc900 is different again

Thoughts?
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post #7113 of 7179 Old 02-14-2016, 10:53 AM
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Question New Focal Series Coming? Electra Successor?

I'm currently thinking of upgrading my Focal Aria 948 speakers. These are great BTW, but the almighty upgrade virus is going through my brain.

I'm also busy with some room treatment upgrades, to minimize room echo.

Anyway, I've laid my eyes on the Focal Electra 1028 BE. Never heard them unfortunately. No dealer nearby. But they get great reviews everywhere. Price at the moment below 4000 euros/pair. Good deal I guess.

The Dealer closest to me, doesn't have them ready for demoing. Reason: he says they will be discontinued soon and in fall 2016 there will be a new series from focal.

Anybody out here that knows more about this? It sounds totally credible, as the electra be2 series is out since 2010.

Just curious, maybe I will wait....
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post #7114 of 7179 Old 02-15-2016, 12:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doomigee View Post
Further to my post above, I have stumbled across another option.

How would the 836vw front pair with a cc1008be? I know the tweeters are different, but the drivers in the VW use the same sandwich technology as the electra.

I am concerned that if I get the cc700v the 836vw will outperform them to the point of being noticeable, and the cc900 is different again

Thoughts?
I also just had some advise that pairing the mains with a Martin Logan XT50 centre would be a good match. Anyone had any experience with this combo or could comment on this as a viable option?
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post #7115 of 7179 Old 02-15-2016, 07:18 PM
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I've been demoing a large number of speaker brands for my new home theater build. ($6,500 budget for a 3.1 system) After sampling Klipsch, Sonus Faber, Revel, B&W, Paradigm and Focal, it has come down to the Focal Aria series or the Paradigm Prestige series.

During my first visit the merchant only had the 926 series in stock, but I was surprised to hear that they actual held their own against the flagship Paradigm prestige 95Fs. They came in 2nd place, but it was the entry level Aria tower versus the flagship Prestige.

The merchant has been kind enough to bring in the 936 and 948 series for me, and they will be set up as an A-B-C comparison in the same room under relatively optimal conditions. Now I can pit the flagship Aria against the flagship Prestige. I'm looking forward to the results!

My only concern is that the Aria center channel seems to be much more anemic than the Paradigm offering. The Paradigm is twice the size, and comes with a tweeter, one midrange driver, and four bass drivers. The focal has one tweeter and two midrange drivers. I'm concerned that it will struggle to keep up with the 936s and will get blown out by the 948s.

The merchant is telling me that I'll be surprised by how well the focal center channel holds up. It looks like Focal placed more emphasis on the midrange drivers, and Paradigm on the bass drivers. We will see....
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post #7116 of 7179 Old 02-15-2016, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuminousWarrior View Post
I've been demoing a large number of speaker brands for my new home theater build. ($6,500 budget for a 3.1 system) After sampling Klipsch, Sonus Faber, Revel, B&W, Paradigm and Focal, it has come down to the Focal Aria series or the Paradigm Prestige series.

During my first visit the merchant only had the 926 series in stock, but I was surprised to hear that they actual held their own against the flagship Paradigm prestige 95Fs. They came in 2nd place, but it was the entry level Aria tower versus the flagship Prestige.

The merchant has been kind enough to bring in the 936 and 948 series for me, and they will be set up as an A-B-C comparison in the same room under relatively optimal conditions. Now I can pit the flagship Aria against the flagship Prestige. I'm looking forward to the results!

My only concern is that the Aria center channel seems to be much more anemic than the Paradigm offering. The Paradigm is twice the size, and comes with a tweeter, one midrange driver, and four bass drivers. The focal has one tweeter and two midrange drivers. I'm concerned that it will struggle to keep up with the 936s and will get blown out by the 948s.

The merchant is telling me that I'll be surprised by how well the focal center channel holds up. It looks like Focal placed more emphasis on the midrange drivers, and Paradigm on the bass drivers. We will see....
I would be curious to see how the CC900 holds up with the 936's. I have the 936 and they are absolutely fantastic speakers. The clarity is so good that I haven't found the need to use the center speaker (I currently own a mismatched one - Aperion Verus Grande center).

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post #7117 of 7179 Old 02-16-2016, 03:50 AM
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Having heard both, my preference would be Aria.

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post #7118 of 7179 Old 02-16-2016, 01:48 PM
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I've decided to keep my 936's. I had rattle in two drivers that turned out to be the braided wire contacting the yellow suspension. I fixed them both and while I was in the cabinet, installed some 3 layer foam on the side walls near the bottom where the cabinet is resonant. The only weakness(s) of the Aria 936's is the relatively light bracing and thin cabinet walls especially noticeable in the lower 1/3. The Focal 826V(836V should be the same?) appears to have better cabinets with 1" side walls.
Also, what I had originally described as bright or harsh turns out to be the source material. Most radio programming and CD's are sibilant (to me) and the transparent nature of these speakers easily reveal flaws in the source. High quality SACD (Dire Straits) sounds stunning. MUST find more quality engineered SACD's.
I still wonder how the Focal 836W's compare to the Aria 936's.
My Rocket 850 Sigs are built like tanks, beautiful to look at and still in perfect shape. Bedroom duty?

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post #7119 of 7179 Old 02-16-2016, 02:16 PM
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I've decided to keep my 936's. I had rattle in two drivers that turned out to be the braided wire contacting the yellow suspension. I fixed them both and while I was in the cabinet, installed some 3 layer foam on the side walls near the bottom where the cabinet is resonant. The only weakness(s) of the Aria 936's is the relatively light bracing and thin cabinet walls especially noticeable in the lower 1/3. The Focal 826V(836V should be the same?) appears to have better cabinets with 1" side walls.
Also, what I had originally described as bright or harsh turns out to be the source material. Most radio programming and CD's are sibilant (to me) and the transparent nature of these speakers easily reveal flaws in the source. High quality SACD (Dire Straits) sounds stunning. MUST find more quality engineered SACD's.
I still wonder how the Focal 836W's compare to the Aria 936's.
My Rocket 850 Sigs are built like tanks, beautiful to look at and still in perfect shape. Bedroom duty?
Glad to hear that you made the decision. These speakers sound pretty incredible to me as well when I play content from Tidal. I haven't heard any rattling at all.

I'll see if I keep mine after seeing how the Sierra towers perform.

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post #7120 of 7179 Old 02-16-2016, 02:28 PM
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Glad to hear that you made the decision. These speakers sound pretty incredible to me as well when I play content from Tidal. I haven't heard any rattling at all.

I'll see if I keep mine after seeing how the Sierra towers perform.
I almost returned these and planned on getting the Sierra Towers with RAAL tweeters. I'm hoping the Aria's sound better to you.
The rattling was discovered when using a low frequency test CD. Couldn't hear it at all with music or movies.
When are you expecting the Towers?

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post #7121 of 7179 Old 02-16-2016, 02:36 PM
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I'm currently thinking of upgrading my Focal Aria 948 speakers. These are great BTW, but the almighty upgrade virus is going through my brain.

I'm also busy with some room treatment upgrades, to minimize room echo.

Anyway, I've laid my eyes on the Focal Electra 1028 BE. Never heard them unfortunately. No dealer nearby. But they get great reviews everywhere. Price at the moment below 4000 euros/pair. Good deal I guess.

The Dealer closest to me, doesn't have them ready for demoing. Reason: he says they will be discontinued soon and in fall 2016 there will be a new series from focal.

Anybody out here that knows more about this? It sounds totally credible, as the electra be2 series is out since 2010.

Just curious, maybe I will wait....
I have a pair of the Electra 1038Be (v1) and am a big fan of the sound. Based on your commentary, it might be the Sopra that replaces the Electra (at least at the high end). Regardless, it probably is best to wait, especially if you're happy with your Arias.

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post #7122 of 7179 Old 02-16-2016, 02:48 PM
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I almost returned these and planned on getting the Sierra Towers with RAAL tweeters. I'm hoping the Aria's sound better to you.
The rattling was discovered when using a low frequency test CD. Couldn't hear it at all with music or movies.
When are you expecting the Towers?
Should be mid week this week. I'm kind of hoping that the Aria's do too. I do really enjoy the sound and aesthetically they look amazing. But, having heard nothing but good things about a speaker in the same price range just begs the question I suppose.

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post #7123 of 7179 Old 02-16-2016, 02:53 PM
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my only nit on my 948's is the tweeter at very high volumes on "some" recordings over 105db in a huge 30,000sqft open room....needless to say this isnt a big deal for me and i assume not for very many. the tweeter can sound a bit harsh at those high levels on certain recordings like heavy metal/hard rock music/metallica.

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post #7124 of 7179 Old 02-17-2016, 08:00 AM
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my only nit on my 948's is the tweeter at very high volumes on "some" recordings over 105db in a huge 30,000sqft open room....needless to say this isnt a big deal for me and i assume not for very many. the tweeter can sound a bit harsh at those high levels on certain recordings like heavy metal/hard rock music/metallica.
I'm reaching 105db and above just a few two times per year -> at New Years Eve and spouse and mine BDs - yes ,at some recordings tweeter can be harsh.

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post #7125 of 7179 Old 02-17-2016, 09:47 AM
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I just wanted to report back in, as someone asked about the aria series center channel. I was down to the Aria's and the Paradigm Prestige, and ended up going with the Paradigm. After extensive listening I could tell that the Aria were slightly more musical than the Paradigms, but not significantly so. Unfortunately for Focal:

-The 926 model pairs with the center perfectly
-The 936 series overpowers the center
-The 948 stomps all over the center. They are not even compatible IMHO.

Focal's website basically says as much based upon the room recommendations. They pair it with the 926.

Based upon my room size for home theater, I was leaning heavily toward the 948 series, with the 936 as a backup, but the center is a big miss for Focal. Had they offered a more robust center, I might have forgone the Paradigm "free center" promotion. The merchant said this is the most common complaint he gets about the Aria series for customers looking to use it for a home theater setup.

Great speakers, overall. I would have no problem recommending them to friends, especially for two channel listening, or more modest rooms where the center would be well suited.
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post #7126 of 7179 Old 02-17-2016, 02:29 PM
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I just wanted to report back in, as someone asked about the aria series center channel. I was down to the Aria's and the Paradigm Prestige, and ended up going with the Paradigm. After extensive listening I could tell that the Aria were slightly more musical than the Paradigms, but not significantly so. Unfortunately for Focal:

-The 926 model pairs with the center perfectly
-The 936 series overpowers the center
-The 948 stomps all over the center. They are not even compatible IMHO.

Focal's website basically says as much based upon the room recommendations. They pair it with the 926.

Based upon my room size for home theater, I was leaning heavily toward the 948 series, with the 936 as a backup, but the center is a big miss for Focal. Had they offered a more robust center, I might have forgone the Paradigm "free center" promotion. The merchant said this is the most common complaint he gets about the Aria series for customers looking to use it for a home theater setup.

Great speakers, overall. I would have no problem recommending them to friends, especially for two channel listening, or more modest rooms where the center would be well suited.
Wouldn't Audyssey or some other calibration software correct the imbalance?

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post #7127 of 7179 Old 02-17-2016, 02:50 PM
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Wouldn't Audyssey or some other calibration software correct the imbalance?
He did XT32 correction. I spent a few hours at this merchant. The Aria center was sitting on small stands, on top of the the Paradigm 55C. We did a full test, and then isolated just the center speaker, and did a A to B comparison both times. The results were not even close. But I guess it isn't surprising. The 55C is almost as large as a smaller floor tower speaker placed on its side. I listened to the 948 at a different merchant, but he likewise did corrections.

The cc900 performs very well, but my opinion is that it tops out with the 936. It simply cant fill the (larger) rooms.
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post #7128 of 7179 Old 02-17-2016, 09:18 PM
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I've decided to keep my 936's. I had rattle in two drivers that turned out to be the braided wire contacting the yellow suspension. I fixed them both and while I was in the cabinet, installed some 3 layer foam on the side walls near the bottom where the cabinet is resonant. The only weakness(s) of the Aria 936's is the relatively light bracing and thin cabinet walls especially noticeable in the lower 1/3. The Focal 826V(836V should be the same?) appears to have better cabinets with 1" side walls.
Also, what I had originally described as bright or harsh turns out to be the source material. Most radio programming and CD's are sibilant (to me) and the transparent nature of these speakers easily reveal flaws in the source. High quality SACD (Dire Straits) sounds stunning. MUST find more quality engineered SACD's.
I still wonder how the Focal 836W's compare to the Aria 936's.
My Rocket 850 Sigs are built like tanks, beautiful to look at and still in perfect shape. Bedroom duty?
Everything should sound good on the 936's. That's quite possibly the best quality about them. And the resonances you speak of and all that -- I can't help but think you got a flawed pair of them.
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post #7129 of 7179 Old 02-18-2016, 01:17 AM
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my only nit on my 948's is the tweeter at very high volumes on "some" recordings over 105db in a huge 30,000sqft open room....needless to say this isnt a big deal for me and i assume not for very many. the tweeter can sound a bit harsh at those high levels on certain recordings like heavy metal/hard rock music/metallica.
If you are driving that speaker to 105db with the Marantz AVR listed in your profile, harsh is no surprise. You are living in the land of clipping and distortion.

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post #7130 of 7179 Old 02-18-2016, 01:25 AM
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I've decided to keep my 936's. I had rattle in two drivers that turned out to be the braided wire contacting the yellow suspension. I fixed them both and while I was in the cabinet, installed some 3 layer foam on the side walls near the bottom where the cabinet is resonant. The only weakness(s) of the Aria 936's is the relatively light bracing and thin cabinet walls especially noticeable in the lower 1/3. The Focal 826V(836V should be the same?) appears to have better cabinets with 1" side walls.

It is very disconcerting to hear problems like this with a $4000 speaker. Chinese manufacturing? It has bitten many others on the behind!!!
Martin Logan and JL Audio took a huge hit in quality from it.

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post #7131 of 7179 Old 02-18-2016, 06:34 AM
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It is very disconcerting to hear problems like this with a $4000 speaker. Chinese manufacturing? It has bitten many others on the behind!!!
Martin Logan and JL Audio took a huge hit in quality from it.
Nope. Focal is made from the ground up in France. Even their lower end Chorus line. There is something extremely fishy about his 936's.

Now what about Martin Logan and JL? What have you heard or better yet, experienced personally? I have heard nothing of the sort. Let's not continue the AVS tradition of being an echo chamber of false information.
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post #7132 of 7179 Old 02-18-2016, 06:56 AM
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Nope. Focal is made from the ground up in France. Even their lower end Chorus line. There is something extremely fishy about his 936's.

Now what about Martin Logan and JL? What have you heard or better yet, experienced personally? I have heard nothing of the sort. Let's not continue the AVS tradition of being an echo chamber of false information.
I agree. Although I went with the Paradigm Prestige, the fit and finish of the Aria series is excellent. Glass top, leather front, excellent piano black finish. And they are definitely manufactured in France.

Any type of product will have its defects. Focal certainly knows how to make very good (and in many cases very, very expensive) speakers.
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If you are driving that speaker to 105db with the Marantz AVR listed in your profile, harsh is no surprise. You are living in the land of clipping and distortion.
i have a couple nad amps bridged which provide a good bit of clean/low distortion power....volume on the marantz was -10. These speakers sing at the same levels with classical/jazz. steely dan is just amazing at high volumes.

obviously I turn down the volume when it doesnt sound good
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post #7134 of 7179 Old 02-18-2016, 08:02 PM
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Nope. Focal is made from the ground up in France. Even their lower end Chorus line. There is something extremely fishy about his 936's.

Now what about Martin Logan and JL? What have you heard or better yet, experienced personally? I have heard nothing of the sort. Let's not continue the AVS tradition of being an echo chamber of false information.
I have had many experiences with the Aria. Ive never sensed any issues with quality. Thats why those comments caught my attention.

JL. They played with having the new W3 made in china. One of the execs found his new W3 for sale with a different name on it. The chinese stole the design and slapped a different name on it. I think JL quickly abandoned chinese manufacturing. They spent a lot of money on the R&D of that driver. An expensive lesson learned by JL.

Martin Logan...... talk to them at any audio show. First batch of ESL I believe was the model. They came with panels detaching from the woofer portion of the cabinets. Some of the finishes were defective as well. I believe those issues were all resolved but ML dealers were far from happy while this was going on. Witnessed it first hand at a dealer in Cleveland Ohio.

Be critical. No need to make this stuff up. Sometimes the chinese manufacturing works out. Sometimes they steal your patents and you get to file bankruptcy......

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post #7135 of 7179 Old 02-20-2016, 02:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freesole View Post
Should be mid week this week. I'm kind of hoping that the Aria's do too. I do really enjoy the sound and aesthetically they look amazing. But, having heard nothing but good things about a speaker in the same price range just begs the question I suppose.
Did the Towers show up?

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post #7136 of 7179 Old 02-27-2016, 04:24 AM
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Surround Questions

I am currently running Focal Electra l/c/r. Very happy with the speakers. In the process of adding in 4 more speakers to a 7.2 config. Do not want to spend the money on electras all around.

Does anyone have experience in using Chorus 705/706 or Aria 905/906 for surrounds? Would I notice a difference?
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post #7137 of 7179 Old 02-27-2016, 09:11 AM
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No difference, nothing huge is needed for surrounds.

I have sopra 2's and 1008's as my surrounds, they are major overkill.

5.1 Music is important for me as well..
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post #7138 of 7179 Old 02-29-2016, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottyman View Post
Did the Towers show up?
Yeah I think you have seen the other thread on this. Honestly, the two towers are both fantastic speakers. There is no obvious difference in quality between the 936 and the Sierra Towers for me. My wife remarked that you really have to strain to hear any difference and even then, it is subtle. I would describe the 936's as a speaker that is dynamic and smooth while the Sierra Towers are slightly more neutral but more detailed. Detail is likely the biggest difference between the two and I wouldn't say that this advantage puts the Sierra's on top necessarily.

Where I am second guessing myself now though is on the center speaker... CC 900 versus the Sierra Horizon. I think the Horizon would win out big time based on some of the notes above versus the reviews of the Horizon. Hard, hard decision to make! One is approximately $850 and the other is $1450. Big difference in price but I would assume that there is also a big difference in sound quality too.

Ascend Acoustics Sierra Tower with RAAL
Aperion Verus Grande Center
HSU VTF-3 Mk5 HP
Anthem MRX 510 / Oppo 105D / Furman Elite-15 PFi

[For Sale] Epos Epic 5 Tower Speakers ($650)

Last edited by freesole; 02-29-2016 at 03:32 PM.
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post #7139 of 7179 Old 03-01-2016, 11:54 AM
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I am running Focal Aria 906s in my "small" system. Very surprised by how good they sound, for the money. Have mainly used them for simple jazz and acoustic music. When listening to Diana Krall, Norah Jones, Hollie Cole, and Jackson Browne, they have been fantastic. Vocals are so engaging, smooth and seductive and wrapped in a deep soundstage. Enough bass warmness to not need a sub - for these types of recordings. Highs are nicely detailed, with almost no siblilance.

Front end is a Sony transport into a Parasound D/AC-1100HD, Dynaco PAS-4 tube preamp (the one manufactured in the 1990s, not the old PAS-2/3 series) and then into a Cary SLA-30 EL84-tube (30wpc) amplifier. The PAS-4 is very neutral with just a touch of tube sound.

I've also listened to them running into a Harman Kardon AVR8000 receiver, which was their TOTL (and possible their best receiver ever built) in the early 2000s. It has a great amp section, which can produce over 200 wpc into 2 channels, which can be used separately through its own power-inputs. When running directly from the Parasound DAC into the AVR8000's preamp, the 906s have a more tightly defined bass, with a bit less warmth. The midrange is well defined and clean, but less seductive.

When routing the PAS-4 into the AVR8000 outputs, the sound settles in between the pure SS vs pure tube.

All three are nice, and determining which is the best may depend upon what music is on and what mood I'm in. But when listening in the evening to music with simple arrangements and great vocals, the all-tube setup is magic.
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post #7140 of 7179 Old 03-07-2016, 03:09 PM
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Focal 1027be???

Hey guys and gals just curious how much in today's market the focal 1027be is worth as I never see them for sale? Just come across the 1028be all the time.
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