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Focal or Klipsch?

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#21
Klipsch CW4 is wallet friendly. Kanta for in term of look. You have spend more for equipment to match a system If you choose Focal. CW 4 is a real deal If you have enough space to put them in, buy Mcintosh ma5300 or ma352 is far enough to make them sing.
 
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aigo

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Thread Starter #22
Klipsch CW4 is wallet friendly. Kanta for in term of look. You have spend more for equipment to match a system If you choose Focal.
I think I have a pretty solid system - Pass Labs, but the thing with Focal's is that not every system plays well with it. In other words, it is a hit and miss choice. At least this is how I see it. I never listened to Kanta, though, so it might be an exception.
 
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#23
I think I have a pretty solid system - Pass Labs, but the thing with Focal's is that not every system plays well with it. In other words, it is a hit and miss choice. At least this is how I see it. I never listened to Kanta, though, so it might be an exception.
IMO, they are different in price range and maybe different taste for everyone. I were listened CW 4 2 times and I really like a sound of CW 4, very detail and can bring out all note of a song. With a price of CW IV, I think you will get more than loss.
 

Head_Unit

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#24
Quite a fine amp I would think, but if not powerful enough for the Focals at levels you want to play they won't be powerful enough for anything without a horn. But is the problem not being able to play loud enough without distortion??? OR what do you mean by "open up and sing"? I've extensively heard Focal Aria 936 first at Upscale Audio through PrimaLuna separates, then through Denon AVR-2312Ci and now Denon AVR-X3600h in-home. None of those are super-powered, and the levels get quite loud (large open rooms in both cases) though maybe not rock concert level.
 

Helicopter

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#25
Quite a fine amp I would think, but if not powerful enough for the Focals at levels you want to play they won't be powerful enough for anything without a horn. But is the problem not being able to play loud enough without distortion??? OR what do you mean by "open up and sing"? I've extensively heard Focal Aria 936 first at Upscale Audio through PrimaLuna separates, then through Denon AVR-2312Ci and now Denon AVR-X3600h in-home. None of those are super-powered, and the levels get quite loud (large open rooms in both cases) though maybe not rock concert level.
Agree. The minimum impedance of my focal aria 948 is trouble for my 845 SET amp. Heresys, the amp performs much better and I suspect CW4 is a better match for first watt than kantas. i wouldn't run focals with a class A amp. My little Loxjie A30 chip amp, oTOH, does fine with my big Focal Arias. This issue I get with 2.4?ohm min impedance and the SET amp is not sonic, the plate current oscillates. Of course that sounds horrible, but it just constrains the power I can use substantially. You would never listen that way as it would probably break the amp or ruin the tubes.
 
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Thread Starter #26
Quite a fine amp I would think, but if not powerful enough for the Focals at levels you want to play they won't be powerful enough for anything without a horn. But is the problem not being able to play loud enough without distortion??? OR what do you mean by "open up and sing"? I've extensively heard Focal Aria 936 first at Upscale Audio through PrimaLuna separates, then through Denon AVR-2312Ci and now Denon AVR-X3600h in-home. None of those are super-powered, and the levels get quite loud (large open rooms in both cases) though maybe not rock concert level.
I don't really play loud, as a matter of fact I never do. But just for comparison; few weeks ago I picked up in a good condition JBL L90, those are from the 90's, and what a difference did that make! They were quite fine with the original quarter of a century old caps, somewhat forward sounding yet very revealing. I replaced those with Jantzen Superior Z-Cap on the signal path and Standard Z-Cap in parallels and I can say those are far more enjoyable speakers to listen to - very engaging they deliver every note with aplomb! Switched cables back to Focal today, and no, I could not play them longer than 10-15 minutes. They are too soft, although smooth, even without grills in front, and I would say, well, rather boring.

So this was kind of my point - do Kantas really sound that more joyful to listen to than Arias. If it is similar, with some added air for the twitters, than I probably do not want it. Cornwalls that is then.
 

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Thread Starter #27
Agree. The minimum impedance of my focal aria 948 is trouble for my 845 SET amp. Heresys, the amp performs much better and I suspect CW4 is a better match for first watt than kantas. i wouldn't run focals with a class A amp. My little Loxjie A30 chip amp, oTOH, does fine with my big Focal Arias. This issue I get with 2.4?ohm min impedance and the SET amp is not sonic, the plate current oscillates. Of course that sounds horrible, but it just constrains the power I can use substantially. You would never listen that way as it would probably break the amp or ruin the tubes.
I must have missed it, is 2.4?ohm listed in the specs somewhere or did you calculate it? Very interesting point!
 

Helicopter

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#28
I must have missed it, is 2.4?ohm listed in the specs somewhere or did you calculate it? Very interesting point!
1614460858297.png

I was going off memory, thus the question mark. I think I had found a chart on some German site, but I don't see it now. IIRC, it was a little under 2.5.
 
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Thread Starter #29
View attachment 115273
I was going off memory, thus the question mark. I think I had found a chart on some German site, but I don't see it now. IIRC, it was a little under 2.5.
Found it here (at the bottom); https://h-m-entertainment.com/focal-aria-948-review

I thought speaker impedance should not dip below 80% of the nominal. Strange. That is how they increase sensitivity, by drawing more current I guess. And of course they do sound soft in at the lower end, as not every amp is able to handle it. This makes sense. Thanks for pointing this out!
 

Helicopter

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#30
Found it here (at the bottom); https://h-m-entertainment.com/focal-aria-948-review

I thought speaker impedance should not dip below 80% of the nominal. Strange. That is how they increase sensitivity, by drawing more current I guess. And of course they do sound soft in at the lower end, as not every amp is able to handle it. This makes sense. Thanks for pointing this out!
The 948s are way better with amps that can deliver more current. @VintageFlanker says they are best with something really beefy like 300-500WPC, and I hope to try that this year... just need to stop buying so many records for a while.
 
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aigo

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Thread Starter #31
The 948s are way better with amps that can deliver more current. @VintageFlanker says they are best with something really beefy like 300-500WPC, and I hope to try that this year... just need to stop buying so many records for a while.
Made an experiment yesterday; to elevate minimum impedance I added a 1 Ohm resistor to each each speakers red pole. It somewhat changed the signature of the speakers; the lower notes (bass) became loud and tight, as if an amplifier gained more power in an instant, and the stage moved some steps back. In a way it was rather pleasant to listen to, but way far back from its usual presentation. I guess half an ohm resistor would be just right for my setup. Or better yet two half Ohm in parallel, that would bring it to 0.25, way to go.
 

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Beershaun

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#32
Made an experiment yesterday; to elevate minimum impedance I added a 1 Ohm resistor to each each speakers red pole. It somewhat changed the signature of the speakers; the lower notes (bass) became loud and tight, as if an amplifier gained more power in an instant, and the stage moved some steps back. In a way it was rather pleasant to listen to, but way far back from its usual presentation. I guess half an ohm resistor would be just right for my setup. Or better yet two half Ohm in parallel, that would bring it to 0.25, way to go.
This seems like a good experiment to have amir replicate and measure to see what the effect is on a speaker response.
 
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#34
I don't really play loud, as a matter of fact I never do. But just for comparison; few weeks ago I picked up in a good condition JBL L90, those are from the 90's, and what a difference did that make! They were quite fine with the original quarter of a century old caps, somewhat forward sounding yet very revealing. I replaced those with Jantzen Superior Z-Cap on the signal path and Standard Z-Cap in parallels and I can say those are far more enjoyable speakers to listen to - very engaging they deliver every note with aplomb! Switched cables back to Focal today, and no, I could not play them longer than 10-15 minutes. They are too soft, although smooth, even without grills in front, and I would say, well, rather boring.

So this was kind of my point - do Kantas really sound that more joyful to listen to than Arias. If it is similar, with some added air for the twitters, than I probably do not want it. Cornwalls that is then.
I own the CW IV and feed them from an AHB2. Sounds really good to me, I have measured them and they are decent. They are not studio monitor accurate or anything though, but with Sonarworks I can get the response curve to be pretty evenly flat. My room is not ideal either so that really affects the response curve. This site has really enlightened me to how things work. Although Sonarworks makes them better, I tend to just play them as is and enjoy my room sound. I have started adding more to my room to make it less reflective and every time I add something the sound changes. I remeasure, move things around etc, its a lot of fun. I listen to everything from classical to metal and it is all enjoyable. Klipsch has really nice wood work too and are really cool looking, handmade American, to me those things mattered a lot. They also sound really even to me at all volumes for late night listening. I also wanted to have the horns, to me they sound really clean. If there is anything else you want to know from me let me know.
 

mt42

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#36
I have 918 (ca. 1994) and adore them. IMHO, you need a decent amplifier. I use Naim (who were acquired by Focal a few years ago). They are expensive, look at audiogon.com

PS> Bryston is also good.
PPS> TPA3255 clones are not bad and quite capable of driving tricky loads
PPPS> however, without adequate room audio treatment ... it's a bit futile
 
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aigo

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Thread Starter #37
I own the CW IV and feed them from an AHB2. Sounds really good to me, I have measured them and they are decent. They are not studio monitor accurate or anything though, but with Sonarworks I can get the response curve to be pretty evenly flat. My room is not ideal either so that really affects the response curve. This site has really enlightened me to how things work. Although Sonarworks makes them better, I tend to just play them as is and enjoy my room sound. I have started adding more to my room to make it less reflective and every time I add something the sound changes. I remeasure, move things around etc, its a lot of fun. I listen to everything from classical to metal and it is all enjoyable. Klipsch has really nice wood work too and are really cool looking, handmade American, to me those things mattered a lot. They also sound really even to me at all volumes for late night listening. I also wanted to have the horns, to me they sound really clean. If there is anything else you want to know from me let me know.
I read some comments about CW barely audible bass, do they really need proper placement? How big is the room you have them in?
 
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aigo

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Thread Starter #38
I have 918 (ca. 1994) and adore them. IMHO, you need a decent amplifier. I use Naim (who were acquired by Focal a few years ago). They are expensive, look at audiogon.com

PS> Bryston is also good.
PPS> TPA3255 clones are not bad and quite capable of driving tricky loads
PPPS> however, without adequate room audio treatment ... it's a bit futile
I also use Focal for movies (+ center CC 900, two big subs on the sides and back speakers behind) connected to Marantz 8001, they do sound softisch still. Although detailed and with good imaging. I realize some people do like this sound, I can't say I do.
 
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#39
Is this a serious question? Klipsch is the Cerwin Vega successor. Speakers designed for the brainless. Get Klipsch if you're on a tight budget and only like Metal and Rap. Get Focal if you a true music lover.
And how many times have you heard Cornwall IV speakers?
 
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Thread Starter #40
Is this a serious question? Klipsch is the Cerwin Vega successor. Speakers designed for the brainless. Get Klipsch if you're on a tight budget and only like Metal and Rap. Get Focal if you a true music lover.
I never heard what Klipsch sounds like, but I did listen to JBL L300 (from the same pre and ps as I have) and was very impressed with those. Thick, juicy sound with every note clear, enjoyed every second of it. The things is, as I mentioned above, they are not so easy to find, and buying without seeing them is somewhat uninviting. Klipsch Cornwall, on the other hand, can be had as brand new from the store.

Re. Focal, they are very fine speakers, but just not as engaging as what I would like to hear. They do not bring this life-like experience into the room as some of the JBL monitors or horn-loaded speakers do.
 
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