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Focal Aria vs Arendal 1723(S) ?

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Lifer

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Yes it is ! And regarding this post, there are now measurement of both 1723S tower and Focal Aria 936 K2 on Audioholics to compare : https://www.audioholics.com/tower-speaker-reviews/focal-aria-k2-936

I guess Focal Aria measure a bit better, but it's not a clear winner.
And I am indeed scared of the tweeter hight since I will be seeting 2-2,5m away from the speakers...
 

delta76

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Buy one and be happy. There is no perfect speaker, and you will always wonder what did you miss. Don't think too much about it :)
 

Chromatischism

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The new Monitor Audio Silver 500 7G, hands down. Measured almost dead flat anechoic (+very good subjective impressions) by either Stereophile and SoundStage/NRC.
Indeed they do look good:

fr_on1530.png

Top curve: on-axis response
Middle curve: 15 degrees off-axis response
Bottom curve: 30 degrees off-axis response


However if you have walls within 45 degrees, I would put absorption there:

fr_456075.png

Top curve: 45 degrees off-axis response
Middle curve: 60 degrees off-axis response
Bottom curve: 75 degrees off-axis response

Edit: thewas beat me to it
 

Chromatischism

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Yes it is ! And regarding this post, there are now measurement of both 1723S tower and Focal Aria 936 K2 on Audioholics to compare : https://www.audioholics.com/tower-speaker-reviews/focal-aria-k2-936

I guess Focal Aria measure a bit better, but it's not a clear winner.
And I am indeed scared of the tweeter hight since I will be seeting 2-2,5m away from the speakers...
Let's see:

Arendal AH.png

Focal AH.png


Aria will splash the walls with a lot more treble. I think I would prefer the sound of the Arendal. However, I do use Audyssey's Dynamic EQ and it would not play nice with the 1723 S Tower's high frequency bump, since it bumps the same area. Overall without any EQ I think the Arendal should sound more natural.
 

hdkeith

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I am waiting on my Arendal 1723 Towers/center, but I did demo the Focal 936 and was not impressed, the low end came across boomy and obnoxious , where the Monitor Audio Gold 300 and Silver 500 both had tighter cleaner bottom end. I do not like bottom ported speakers as you have very little control of their low end extension.
 

Gary_G

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One of the rare wins for Europe, I certainly know what side I the pond I would want to be buying gear in!
Check the outlet side of Crutchfield. Walked in a store, they have only two and I live about a n hour away, and there was a pair of 926 for about half price in the outlet. I could not pass that up ! !
 

MarcT

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I am waiting on my Arendal 1723 Towers/center, but I did demo the Focal 936 and was not impressed, the low end came across boomy and obnoxious , where the Monitor Audio Gold 300 and Silver 500 both had tighter cleaner bottom end. I do not like bottom ported speakers as you have very little control of their low end extension.
Years ago, I heard a set of Focal 948 at a dealer in Dallas and the sound just seemed oppressive to me. Maybe they were not a good match for the mid sized room they were in, which was pretty much untreated. It seemed like the lower mid range was just too "in my face" and hurting my ears. Maybe it was just turned up too loud, but even at that volume, I was surprise that there wasn't more deep bass.
 

delta76

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Years ago, I heard a set of Focal 948 at a dealer in Dallas and the sound just seemed oppressive to me. Maybe they were not a good match for the mid sized room they were in, which was pretty much untreated. It seemed like the lower mid range was just too "in my face" and hurting my ears. Maybe it was just turned up too loud, but even at that volume, I was surprise that there wasn't more deep bass.
I could never justify the price of Focal Aria in the US. I would never buy 948 for more than 3000$/pair, let alone ~6500$/pair. I like them a lot (completely biased, and I bought them blindly so would lie to myself anyway), but there are better options at their US price.
for ~$1500/pair as I paid, well, nothing to complain :)
 

sngreen

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Thomas & Stereo gave a good rounbup on 926 in this video;




He brings some very good points (I have 948 in one of my setups);

1. Bass is very light. flux cone, low impedance at heavier load?

2. You never know it till you try them. They do sound very good with some amplifiers, and not so with other.

3. They are sensitive to cables. May sound bright with one set and more rounded with the other. I do not oberver such differences with the other speakers.


I built me Visaton La Belle, they stand side by side and I prefer La Belle most of the time to Focals. Most of the time, but not always. I find Focal play very well with Denon 4700 for movies and music alike, very pleasant to listen to, whereas La Belle is a perfect match to N. Pass chain (phono, pre, power amp, etc.). Focal may sound a little bit duller with some recordings, and quite revealing with the other - unforgiving?

What I do like about Focal is the imaging. The stage is deep behind and they completely disappear when well mastered source is sent their way.
 

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delta76

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Thomas & Stereo gave a good rounbup on 926 in this video;




He brings some very good points (I have 948 in one of my setups);

1. Bass is very light. flux cone, low impedance at heavier load?

2. You never know it till you try them. They do sound very good with some amplifiers, and not so with other.

3. They are sensitive to cables. May sound bright with one set and more rounded with the other. I do not oberver such differences with the other speakers.


I built me Visaton La Belle, they stand side by side and I prefer La Belle most of the time to Focals. Most of the time, but not always. I find Focal play very well with Denon 4700 for movies and music alike, very pleasant to listen to, whereas La Belle is a perfect match to N. Pass chain (phono, pre, power amp, etc.). Focal may sound a little bit duller with some recordings, and quite revealing with the other - unforgiving?

What I do like about Focal is the imaging. The stage is deep behind and they completely disappear when well mastered source is sent their way.
Except the first point which is true, 926 is lack of bass and you definitely need to add a sub. Even 936 and 948 would perform better with a competent sub.

The other two points are kind of bs.
1. Almost every speaker will perform better with some eq and room correction. You need to measure and adjust eq which is why a "'clean" amp is important.
2. Lol. Try open your focal and you can see which kind of wires in there. Not the cheapest but close. And you think a fancy speaker wire will change that? No. Buy a decent speaker wire (good quality, good thickness relative to length) and you are good.

Source : I own 2 aria 948 and opened both of them.
 

sngreen

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Except the first point which is true, 926 is lack of bass and you definitely need to add a sub. Even 936 and 948 would perform better with a competent sub.

The other two points are kind of bs.
1. Almost every speaker will perform better with some eq and room correction. You need to measure and adjust eq which is why a "'clean" amp is important.
2. Lol. Try open your focal and you can see which kind of wires in there. Not the cheapest but close. And you think a fancy speaker wire will change that? No. Buy a decent speaker wire (good quality, good thickness relative to length) and you are good.

Source : I own 2 aria 948 and opened both of them.
Inside the speaker wire is shorter than what goes to the speakers on the outside. In most cases at least. Maybe it is a different amp/Focal combination, but they are sensitive to the wire change in the setup I tried it. The difference is not even subtle. Makes almost no difference with the other speakers.

So how did you open them, did you pull the deco-cover from each driver? What did you see inside?
This is some interesting "discovery", and I do suspect it is the same with all Aria speakers,

Thomas also mentioned in the other video that lower to middle end Focal speakers are easily upgradable, whereas top models are already "tuned" to their best. Meaning Areas do not have the best componenets inside, far from it.

Maybe that is the reason why the self-made La Bella do sound so much better, they do indeed have the best components in them, including the wires. Best connectors, and everything is soldered.
 

delta76

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you are looking at it the way around. it's not because of the wires (which in any case would have the least impact - if any - to sound quality), but because Focal see that they can cut cost without affecting the sound quality. the driver and cabinet would have the biggest impact, then the crossover.
yes you pull the ring away - they are glued and can be easily glued back, then there are 6 (IIRC) screw which you can unscrew to unseat the driver. inside is nothing particularly interesting of sort. and I'm pretty sure other speakers are constructed the same way.
if you think a few meters of speaker wires can make a difference, let alone a non subtle one, I don't know what to tell you.
 

sngreen

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you are looking at it the way around. it's not because of the wires (which in any case would have the least impact - if any - to sound quality), but because Focal see that they can cut cost without affecting the sound quality. the driver and cabinet would have the biggest impact, then the crossover.
yes you pull the ring away - they are glued and can be easily glued back, then there are 6 (IIRC) screw which you can unscrew to unseat the driver. inside is nothing particularly interesting of sort. and I'm pretty sure other speakers are constructed the same way.
if you think a few meters of speaker wires can make a difference, let alone a non subtle one, I don't know what to tell you.

Cutting costs never makes the end-product better, but that is beyond the point.

What about the tweeter, how does this come off? Is there cover to be pulled out too?

So you say replacing crossovers (coils and caps) would make zero difference?
 

delta76

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What about the tweeter, how does this come off? Is there cover to be pulled out too?

So you say replacing crossovers (coils and caps) would make zero difference?
I did not open the tweeter because I have nothing to do with it. I did not say replacing crossovers make zero difference. I said the drivers and the cabinet are the most important, then the crossover. the point of crossover is to make sure which frequencies go to which driver. If a crossover performs better (i.e. closer to the specifications/without adding noise and distortion) it could mean a better sounding speaker. if changing coils and caps is enough (other than changing the design), I don't know.
Cutting costs never makes the end-product better, but that is beyond the point.
I never said it's better. in the world of manufacturing, manufacturers seeks to cut cost all the time without affecting the performance. nothing new here.
 

sngreen

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What are you talking about?:rolleyes: It was indeed the price for the pair.

Generally speaker prices are never listed as pair, usually per piece. Even in France ;)
What you have seen might've been a typo, we may never know.

Here in Austria they seem to be the cheapest, and the price have been very steady;
 

delta76

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Generally speaker prices are never listed as pair, usually per piece. Even in France ;)
What you have seen might've been a typo, we may never know.

Here in Austria they seem to be the cheapest, and the price have been very steady;
it has been in range of below 1500 eur/pair multiple times in the past

 

sngreen

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it has been in range of below 1500 eur/pair multiple times in the past


The first listing states "The minimum order quantity for the product is 2" (Implied that the buyer understands the price is per speaker). In the second listing they specifically state "per piece" - no ambiguities there.

Like I said, could've been a typo, as the graph shows it. Although I am sure they probably "fixed" it as soon as the first "buyer" called in. :)
 
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