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Focal or Klipsch?

Koeitje

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Start by getting something like a Purifi or Ncore amplifier and see what more power does. Same to lower distortion as your First Watt amplifier but 10 times the power. If there is a difference between amplifiers either one or both of them are either not performing in their operating range or they are badly designed.

25W is something I would look for in a desktop amplifier, not something I would use in a living room.
 
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Start by getting something like a Purifi or Ncore amplifier and see what more power does. Same to lower distortion as your First Watt amplifier but 10 times the power. If there is a difference between amplifiers either one or both of them are either not performing in their operating range or they are badly designed.

25W is something I would look for in a desktop amplifier, not something I would use in a living room.

I would rather stick with Pass designs, and class-A if possible, not with what gives more power. Later defeats the purpose of good speakers.
 

Koeitje

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I would rather stick with Pass designs, and class-A if possible, not with what gives more power. Later defeats the purpose of good speakers.
Why do you want class A? And what do you mean defeating the purpose of good speakers?
 

Koeitje

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They sound better. From what I heard and to my ears at least.
Did you ever do a double blind test? Listening with your eyes doesn't do you much good if you are looking for high fidelity.
 
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Did you ever do a double blind test? Listening with your eyes doesn't do you much good if you are looking for high fidelity.
I do not listen with my eyes, I have several sets of speakers and amplifiers at home. Back in the 90's I brought a pair of Paradigm Esprit BP, still have them. Quite well built speakers, have them in the other house. I also have several vintage Marantz receivers (as my almost other hobby); 2238B, 2270, 2275, 2285B. Each has a character, but 2285B is my favorite of course. In the exercise room I have NAD C370 (210W into 8 Ohm), which is also quite a fine amplifier, for what it is of course. Connected to smaller JBL pair. In my main system I have the entire line of Pass components; phono, pre and of course PS (50W). You can't be comparing it to anything in smoothness, clarity and overall delivery. Connected to a pair of Focal 948. I now also have a pair of JBL L90, which I find the most enjoyable speakers to listen to, especially when paired with older 2285B Marantz. Ah, also Marantz SR8001 for the movies, for those I switch cables to Facal speakers (also smaller in the back, C900 in the center and two large subs on both sides besides). So I think overall I do not need to listen with my eyes, I am quite able to hear the difference. But if you still do not believe me, please have a look at this review (it is not always so easy to match those);

I do like this setup though, especially the speakers.

 

Arash

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if the footprint and WAF are not a concern I would choose Cornwall without battin' an eye. These are two animals from different planets. apples and oranges comparison. Cornwall is a really nice speaker to listen to. I would also suggest considering Cornscala style A from the late Bob Crites (link).
 

Koeitje

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I do not listen with my eyes, I have several sets of speakers and amplifiers at home. Back in the 90's I brought a pair of Paradigm Esprit BP, still have them. Quite well built speakers, have them in the other house. I also have several vintage Marantz receivers (as my almost other hobby); 2238B, 2270, 2275, 2285B. Each has a character, but 2285B is my favorite of course. In the exercise room I have NAD C370 (210W into 8 Ohm), which is also quite a fine amplifier, for what it is of course. Connected to smaller JBL pair. In my main system I have the entire line of Pass components; phono, pre and of course PS (50W). You can't be comparing it to anything in smoothness, clarity and overall delivery. Connected to a pair of Focal 948. I now also have a pair of JBL L90, which I find the most enjoyable speakers to listen to, especially when paired with older 2285B Marantz. Ah, also Marantz SR8001 for the movies, for those I switch cables to Facal speakers (also smaller in the back, C900 in the center and two large subs on both sides besides). So I think overall I do not need to listen with my eyes, I am quite able to hear the difference. But if you still do not believe me, please have a look at this review (it is not always so easy to match those);
You are listening to different speakers in different rooms, which really isn't very useful. Anyway, if do believe you might hear actual differences between certain amplifiers. I don't deny that. Those vintage amplifiers just bring a ton of distortion to the table and are often also limited in power output. I have had the same experience with older amplifiers and lower powered amplifiers. But the moment I moved to more powerful modern amplification everything suddenly started to sound the same.
 

Beershaun

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They sound better. From what I heard and to my ears at least.
How about sending your selection to Amir to measure and review? The main thing I'm learning from this site is modern equipment allows us to move away from buying components "with a sound" to buying transparent components, and then shaping the sound we want with DSP techniques like Parametric equalization. Which are now cheaply available in freeware on a raspberry pi streaming endpoint. Amir's measurements allow us to understand the final output of our speakers and then decide where and how much to adjust the frequency response to get the sound we want. I think it's a much better approach than trying to buy a component that creates a particular sound.
 

Arash

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How about sending your selection to Amir to measure and review? The main thing I'm learning from this site is modern equipment allows us to move away from buying components "with a sound" to buying transparent components, and then shaping the sound we want with DSP techniques like Parametric equalization. Which are now cheaply available in freeware on a raspberry pi streaming endpoint. Amir's measurements allow us to understand the final output of our speakers and then decide where and how much to adjust the frequency response to get the sound we want. I think it's a much better approach than trying to buy a component that creates a particular sound.
It's not that simple. You can't imitate a particular speaker's frequency response with DSP on a high dynamic speaker and expect the same sound. Dirac Live can mimic any desired frequency response but after all, it sounds like rubbish.
 

Beershaun

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It's not that simple. You can't imitate a particular speaker's frequency response with DSP on a high dynamic speaker and expect the same sound. Dirac Live can mimic any desired frequency response but after all, it sounds like rubbish.
Sure. Each speaker has different physical limitations and there are limits to what can be adjusted. I'm saying without a target and without a measurement to know where you stand, it's really hard to get what you want in the end. Especially if you are trying to stack up multiple components in the hope that they end up sounding the way you want.
 

111db

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I do like this setup though, especially the speakers.


Maybe this video highlights an option worth considering: Get the Cornwalls or similar large highly dynamic speakers of reasonably hifi quality, and use some of the saved funds to actively multiamp them with DSP to provide an opportunity to tweak them to your preference. One thing about DSP that I particularly like is the ability to change system tonal balance wirelessly from my listening position via parameter controls or profiles to compensate for perceived tonal imbalances of recordings.
 

oursmagenta

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Are you willing to buy a measurement mic? That may give you the right tool to assess why you prefer one set of speakers to the other.

You will be able to do level matching, and above all to eq one of the pair to the other.

The umik-1 is not super expensive and to be honest it's something that you will definitely use more than once if you are serious about objective testing.
 

righthookmike

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I have owned many klipsch speakers. The cornwalls I had were probably the set of speakers I kept for the shortest amount of time in my life. They weren't bad, the bass just seemed to not blend right for me. I've been to more live concerts than I can count and I think that's part of the fun of Klipsch is that live music is generally heard through a PA. from my experience they play Much better with lots of power, (parasound hca 220wpc) i've used among others. I own aerial 10t's, Much more neutral and refined but i love being outside listening to the Klipsch , Currently epic cf 4. I have a focal satellite sub surround sound and if their towers are anything like that I also would work on getting a better sound out of the 948's . the small ones I have surprise me, And I listen to jazz through my cf 4's almost every night. they seem to love jazz.
 

dfuller

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I would rather stick with Pass designs, and class-A if possible, not with what gives more power. Later defeats the purpose of good speakers.
I'm not sure that's true. Most direct radiator speakers are around 85-86dB/1w/1m. As such in a living room situation where you're probably more like 3 or 4 meters away, you'll need quite a bit more power than that, especially for peaks. I think for most people 100 watts per channel is plenty. Beyond that, class A actually makes for rather garbage power amps - they burn a ton of power without doing anything and their distortion performance is generally, well... pretty bad. Just by virtue of being class A, they are limited in their maximum current swing pretty heavily compared to Class AB (and class D, but we're going to skip that for now).

Pass designs are also low (or no) NFB, and as such have mind bogglingly high distortion. Amir's test of steady state behavior on an ACA shows a veritable spray of harmonic distortion - including high order harmonics which are not so easily masked. https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...pass-aca-class-a-power-amplifier-review.9741/
 
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arancano

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If I were going to be replacing my 948s, I would definitely choose the Kanta No. 3 over the Cornwall. If I had the option to keep the 948 then the Cornwall might make a good pairing.

Focal:

Excellent frequency response
Kanta has advanced baffle design
Made in France
Very good sensitivity
Minimum impedance is quite low
Great colors and styles.

Klipsch:

Colored sound. Not up to current engineering standards.
Excellent sensitivity.
Excellent impedance curve is amp friendly.
Sounds like a PA or sound reinforcement.
Made in Arkansas.
Classic hardwood veneer cabinet. Lovely grill cloth.

I run Heresys with my tube amp and run 948 with a chip amp. I will probably get a beast of class D for them later on, but the Loxjie A30 is fine with them. Contrarily, the 25W SET tube amp had major problems, i.e., oscilating plate current with the Arias.

I definitely prefer the Arias for classical and most Jazz. The Heresys are fun with metal, especially low-fi stuff, but mostly just because they play nicely with my tubes and the tubes look really cool. The Focals are better speakers overall. If I were more patient, I probably.would jave saved for Kanta No. 3, but I didn't want to wait.

I doubt there is a huge difference between the Aria and Kanta in sound, though the Kanta will certainly be better. Why don't you try another amp, like one of the 250 or evem 400W Hypex or Purifi amps from Buckeye, March, or Audiofonics? No way amy of those will struggle delivering current to.the Focals, and they are.not too expensive. Or Splurge on a pair of Benchmark AHB2s and be good on amps for the foreseeable future.

I would love a pair of Cornwall IV, but not for my primary speakers. Focals are.way more transparent and well engineered. Simce 948 and Kanta 3 are similar, maybe get the 948s working well in your system and then decide if you want to upgrade to Kantas.
When you say the Klipsch are not up to current engineering standards, what do you mean? Which standards are you referring to?
 

arancano

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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.
Wow, speakers designed for the brainless and not the true music lovers. Thank God I am self-confident, with a couple of advanced degrees and 50 years an audiophile who attends live musical events of all kinds. I have the Focal 1038be, Klipsch RP-8000F and Forte IV and enjoy them all for different reasons. My preference, however, is the new Forte IV.

I always look at measurements and see this web site as a crucial source of information in evaluating audio gear. Amir provides a scientific and objective viewpoint. Ultimately, however, my ears make the final decision. I disengage my brain in favor of how the SQ from a speaker makes me feel. So you are right about the brainless part. I would take issue with not being a true music lover.

Oh, by the way, metal and rap are not the only things that sound quite good on the new generation Klipsch speakers. Positioned brainlessly or wired incorrectly they can live up to the reputation most people still hold. Learn about their requirements and do right by them and the heavens will open for all kinds of music. That is hyperbole, but when I'm listening the brain is not functioning.
 

dfuller

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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.
What, you think metal and rap sound good with screechy bright speakers? It doesn't. Also, what does "true music lover" mean? Are metal and rap "not true music"?
 

luft262

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I think you could like either speaker. Those are both amazing speakers. Based on the speakers you have (Focal Aria 948) and the speakers you want (Klipsch Cornwall) I can imagine you have deep pockets. I have the Focal Aria 926's and I really like them. I picked them up used. If you listened to your friends JBL speakers, which have a horn tweeter and are similar to the Cornwall's, and you liked them the Cornwall's might be a good fit for you, but remember that his room will sound different than your room and you might not be getting the same experience. You'd be getting similar, but different speakers and putting them into a different room.

The Aria 948 are top tier speakers. They would make 95%+ of audiophiles and music lovers happy, but at the end of the day it's your system and you have to love it. I'm not sure what you budget is, but you might want to just make sure you haven't caught "the bug" and you're just drifting from one expensive speaker set to another, because you could get other things for that money as well (other audio products, clothes, trips, savings, etc.)

I don't think most audiophiles will ever be 100% satisfied with their system. If you have a system that is 90%+ of what you want from it I'd keep it, especially if it's an expensive set of speakers. Diminishing returns are real.

Do you pair your 948's with subs? You might want to just get a more powerful amp and some subs.
 

Head_Unit

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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.
I think "joyful" is not a good word in this context, I think "similar" is the good word. Because I suggest you call up Upscale Audio https://upscaleaudio.com/pages/contact-us as they carry both Focal and Klipsch and other stuff. I totally get what you are saying that there is a liveliness about horns, though there is a wide spectrum in horns from good modern designs to cosmetic ripoffs with no hint of acoustic knowledge anywhere in evidence. I'd also suggest you consider JBL horn-loaded https://www.jblsynthesis.com
 
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