Focal?

amplifiers, receivers and loudspeakers
Bob257
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Focal?

Post by Bob257 » 07 Mar 2019 18:10

Does anyone have experience with Focal 916 or 926? I'm still debating which speaker to upgrade to; Tonnay XT6F, XT8F, Ohm 1000, or the Focal?
It's so confusing! I'm running EPI 320 T/E right now with a Yamaha a-S801 amp. They sound pretty good, just wondering if one of the others would sound better?

jdjohn
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Re: Focal?

Post by jdjohn » 09 Mar 2019 04:23

I have a pair of Focals, but not those models. Mine are JM Lab/Focal Mezzo Utopias, and they are great. Here are some threads on the Polk forum discussing the 926s. https://forum.polkaudio.com/search?Search=focal+926

Spinner45
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Re: Focal?

Post by Spinner45 » 09 Mar 2019 06:54

Focals are over-priced for what you get.
I'm not fond of speaker drivers with baskets that are made of plastic.

jdjohn
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Re: Focal?

Post by jdjohn » 09 Mar 2019 21:33

Spinner, which ones have you listened to?

Spinner45
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Re: Focal?

Post by Spinner45 » 09 Mar 2019 22:07

jdjohn wrote:
09 Mar 2019 21:33
Spinner, which ones have you listened to?
Several models actually, after I had to repair them all, due to faulty drivers having mis-aligned cones due to plastic frame warping, and tweeters cooked.

I retrofitted better drivers with metal baskets and tweeters with improved power handling.
Offhand, I don't know which models because it was a few years ago.
I showed the owner the specifics and explained it all, he unloaded them on craigs list and got some real speakers - AR LST's and Original/Smaller Advents.
He's very happy with those.

jdjohn
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Re: Focal?

Post by jdjohn » 09 Mar 2019 22:18

Interesting. Do you remember if they were JM Labs, or perhaps before the merging?

Spinner45
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Re: Focal?

Post by Spinner45 » 10 Mar 2019 02:26

jdjohn wrote:
09 Mar 2019 22:18
Interesting. Do you remember if they were JM Labs, or perhaps before the merging?
Yes, I do remember that they were JM labs.
Two towers - two 6" woofers and single tweeter.
And a center channel speaker with two 6" woofers and a single tweeter.

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Re: Focal?

Post by jdjohn » 10 Mar 2019 03:27

Spinner45 wrote:
10 Mar 2019 02:26
jdjohn wrote:
09 Mar 2019 22:18
Interesting. Do you remember if they were JM Labs, or perhaps before the merging?
Yes, I do remember that they were JM labs.
Two towers - two 6" woofers and single tweeter.
And a center channel speaker with two 6" woofers and a single tweeter.
So a pair of tower speakers plus a center channel. I thought you said 'several models'???

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Re: Focal?

Post by Spinner45 » 10 Mar 2019 07:40

jdjohn wrote:
10 Mar 2019 03:27
Spinner45 wrote:
10 Mar 2019 02:26
jdjohn wrote:
09 Mar 2019 22:18
Interesting. Do you remember if they were JM Labs, or perhaps before the merging?
Yes, I do remember that they were JM labs.
Two towers - two 6" woofers and single tweeter.
And a center channel speaker with two 6" woofers and a single tweeter.
So a pair of tower speakers plus a center channel. I thought you said 'several models'???
Those were the ones I remember from recent memory.
But a couple years back I worked on some other ones, and since I ran a busy shop at the time, they're lost among the crowd.

I just don't care for them, they're too generic, nothing special about them.

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Re: Focal?

Post by raphaelmabo » 11 Mar 2019 08:44

I'm not familiar with your EPI speakers, but my favourite french loudspeaker brand is Triangle. The Triangle Esprit Gaia EZ is a lovely floorstander with a very musical sound that captures the listener. It combines smoothness with speed, rhythm and agility. A large scale sound. It's also a highly revealing speaker so it needs very good sources, and it likes power. Or the Triangle Esprit Comete EZ if one wants a stand mount, or the smaller Esprit EX. The Esprit EZ range uses similar ideas throughout and has the same sonical signature and Triangle's musical "house sound". Difference between the models is bass depth and scale.
http://www.triangle-fr.com/esprit-ez

https://www.whathifi.com/triangle/espri ... -ez/review
https://www.hifitoday.com/triangle-anta ... er-review/

An alternative to Tannoy is Fyne Audio. Fyne was started by ex-engineers from Tannoy. The Fyne F500 is their answer to Tannoy XT6, and Fyne F501 is the anser to Tannoy XT8 - and they look similar, using similar ideas. Fyne has got great reviews in brit magazines.
https://www.fyneaudio.com/f500-series/

https://www.whathifi.com/fyne-audio/f501/review

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Re: Focal?

Post by garpt » 13 Mar 2019 17:37

Focal home audio speakers are considered in the same class as the top major brands today, including Wilson, Bowers and Wilkins, KEF, Dynaudio, etc. They do not get as much coverage/ reviews in the U.S. as they do in European and other markets. The Grand Utopias are listed by many as the finest loudspeaker available by a major producer. Focal's image here in the U.S. leans more towards the auto speaker market, probably why the merge with JL. Which is a shame, because their home audio speakers are teriffic! There is also the false impression that Focal speakers are too "bright." Perhaps the earliest Berrilium tweeter leaned a bit on the bright side, but their latest (third gen., I believe), is a very highly regarded tweeter and is used in many Wilson speakers as well as sourced to many other speaker manufacturers.. They make EVERYTHING in- house in France, cabinets, drivers, etc. so they are constantly innovating. The Focal "house sound" is an amazing sound stage (the speakers "disappear") that is wide and falls well beyond the actual box. Although analytical at times, the new models lean on the warm side of neutral. The bass region is among the tightest and truest I have heard, and the model I purchased (below) had the best bass in the class. The midrange outstanding and "3d" like especially with vocals. They are relatively easy to drive (except for the largest reference models) and are not particularly fussy with placement, although spending an hour to get the best toe- in and distance from walls will reward you with that terrific soundstage that isolates every instrument in its own space. I recently picked up the Kanta 3's, the reference model in that new line. They were introduced last September, and I'm still waiting for an American publication to do a review although the couple out there from abroad are excellent. Pricewise, the Kantas 3's retail for $12000- At that price, I *may* have looked at other speakers, but since most speakers have a healthy mark-up, deals can be found, and I got mine for under $10K. That took the other competitor I was looking at (B&W) out of the running. If you listen to Focal speakers to demo, make SURE they are well broken in. These speakers need a longer than usual amount of time to pick up the warm character present in the new lines. They deserve a listen in the mid- high end space.

Bob257
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Re: Focal?

Post by Bob257 » 13 Mar 2019 18:34

Garpt,
Thanks for your input. 12K is way out of my price range though. I may even have to settle for the choral 726 Focal although I'm also interested in the Tannoy XT 8F.

Spinner45
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Re: Focal?

Post by Spinner45 » 13 Mar 2019 20:49

And they're STILL making driver baskets out of plastic!
I saw the videos on y-tube, and the brainwashed nerds singing high praises of these overpriced abominations.

garpt
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Re: Focal?

Post by garpt » 13 Mar 2019 20:51

Bob, I was just trying to clarify some opinions about Focal in general. Any of their speakers are certainly worth an audition either way. You are looking at two very different speakers sound wise, in my opinion, so it's definitely going to come down to personal taste, the type of music you enjoy, and your amplification. They are both fine speakers.
Aren't the Tannoy's around twice the price of the Focals you are looking at?

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Re: Focal?

Post by davidsss » 14 Mar 2019 11:17

My speakers, Osborn made in Australia, have Focal drivers and they have been great.

Must have had them for 10 years and no issues.

DS

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