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Just listened to Focal 726S and B&W 603S3

2967 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  rocky1
I listened to the Focal 826V yesterday, and was very impressed. This is way beyond my price range though, but was excited to listen to a pair of 726S towers today because of them.

The Focal 726S were connected to a Denon 1906 receiver, supplying only 85 watts per channel. I thought the high end was almost as sweet as the 826V, but the mid and low end was very lacking. While it made for a clear and defined sound, it was not incredibly interesting (though my hopes may have been too high after the 826V).

I just finished listening to the B&W 603S3, and was impressed again by them. I don't think it is the best at anything that I have heard, but it does everything very well. I thought the high end was very natural (though not as defined as the 726S), but the mids and bass were much fuller then the 726 Focal. This was being driven by a Krell amp, and I am curious as to how much this added to the impact. For now, I will have whichever speakers I buy connected to a Yamaha 5960.

While I haven't narrowed it down to only these two speakers, they are definitely in the running. Are these comparable speakers? Were the Focals lacking (in comparison) because of the lesser amplification from the receiver? The B&W room was also treated fairly well, while the Focals were in a wide open room with hardwood floors.

I can get the Focals for about $200 less then the B&W's, and they fit much nicer in my budget. I am also considering some bookshelves, but I haven't heard any of them on my audition list (besides the Paradigm Studio 20's and B&W 602S3's which I scratched). Has anyone compared the Von Schweikert VR-1's to either of these floorstanders?
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Update: I also listened to the B&W CM1's, but enjoyed the 603's more. The CM1 did have a better high end, but couldn't keep up with the midrange and was lacking on the lowend.
Yeah its tough to compare a Krell amp with the B&Ws and a $500 Denon receiver with the 726S. Try giving a listen to the new 700 V series with a decent amp. I'm auditioning the 714V right now and my biggest complaint like you said is lack of low end--the mids are smooth, but at times I feel like the bass, while punchy, is just lacking. But then again the 714 only has 5.5" woofers. This with an HK 635. I listened to the B&W 603s with Rotel equipment in store and thought they were beyond dull sounding with a bloated midbass, but it was not in the most ideal of situations at the store.
I have the 603s3's with a rotel rsx1056 reciever and think they do everything very well.They are in my opinion a great budget speaker.Listening to music as well as Ht is extremely enjoyable with these speakers.They by all means are not the best,but compared to others in the same price range and some even higher they hold their own.If i remember correctly stereophile had a write up and they were very favorable to the 603's.
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