Focal Aria Surround System Review

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Steve Withers, Feb 25, 2014.


    1. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2014
    2. lokyc

      lokyc
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      Loved the Focal Arias at Bristol. They sounded real intimate at low volumes. I wondered about dynamics and asked them to crank it up slightly. The bass attack was good. So I was asking myself how they would be in a HT setup.

      Other than my fav B&W, I would say the Focal/Naim combo was the most memorable. Beating expensive Dynaudios and PMCs.

      I think some stereo speakers' use of passive bass extensions will confuse EQ systems.

      The stereo dispersion was also an issue I was ruminating.

      I think genuine multichannel content is ok.

      But upmixing stereo is more iffy. I much prefer my 2.0 content in 2.1 rather 5.1. Paradoxically, I get more surround effect.

      May differ with dedicated HT setups like KKs.
       
    3. BlueWizard

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      There is no link to the Review, could we get that fixed?

      Steve/bluewizard
       
    4. Mark Hodgkinson

      Mark Hodgkinson
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      Done
       
    5. Dans1210

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      These look very nice, currently in the market for new speakers, waiting on reviews for xtz cinema series...
       
    6. BlueWizard

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      Do I get the impression that the bulk of this test was done without a Subwoofer?

      What are your opinions on the type of subwoofer that would best suit them? You mention that the speakers are very light and fast, one assumes you would need an equally fast Sub.

      Any general thoughts or opinions you would have on pairing with a Sub would be appreciated.
       
    7. lokyc

      lokyc
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      Feed them to a better power amp. Their alluring qualities will not fully manifest with the 1565.
       
    8. Dans1210

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      Please explain?
       
    9. Ed Selley

      Ed Selley
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      Hi Steve. Testing was done with a Tannoy TS2.12 Subwoofer to hand that was switched in and out (with settings readjusted to suit). The Tannoy is less expensive a sub than I would recommend and although it packs a mighty wallop, it simply wasn't fast enough to augment the speakers properly. The only subs I've tested that are fast enough are the REL T-7 (which is too small to really boost the 926) and the SVS SB13 which would be perfect but mighty pricey. I am sure there are others- the Ken Kriesel one looks interesting but I'd be inclined to take a steer from a dealer on this one.

      One other minor point

      No driver in the 926 is passive- it is simply that phase is not consistent across all four drivers which means depending on the frequency the EQ test run at, you'll get an out of phase message.
       
    10. lokyc

      lokyc
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      A lot has been said about Focal's clarity. That doesn't quite completely capture what they are. As I said, I heard many speakers on Sunday, but while everything has precision and accuracy, the Focal is the one that stands out because of charactor.

      Its not just that its clear. The clarity conveys an air of freshness. Like an Evian commercial.

      The balance, dynamics everything is spot on. But there's more. There's a seductive, alluring quality hat draws you in. Its the speaker that leaves the greatest impression. Maybe its the Naim ampplification. But it was great combo.

      Going bakt ot he 1565. I had one as well. Very precise, dynamic. But rather unnemtional.

      Class D divides opinion. Alomst as bad as Marmite. But the ICE based ones are probably not the pick of the bunch. It has omething to do with the output filters or something. But the general consensus, for those that don't like it, is the sound very 2d. The sound stage doesn't come forward and fill the room.

      In a surround, HT setup, maybe not so bad. But it loses a lot of the atmospheric, immersion effect; which is why sound is so important in movies.

      Imagine if we had perfected 3D tech for the video bit. No funny glasses or off axis distortions, like Star Trek's Holodeck, and then moving to what we have now.

      I am concerned whether the class Ds can bring out all the subtle textures that make the Focal so unforgettable and lovely. (yes, that's the sort of terms to describe them. Lush is another)

      The Primare's implementation of Class D sounds pretty good. the Anthem's M1 monoblocks are apparantly fantastic as well, if ridiculously expensive. Bel Canto is another make which uses the Class-T variation.

      Also, a big floorstander can do with more juice.
       
    11. Dans1210

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      Ok thanks, not to go off topic but i had an anthem mrx 300 for a while and my rotel sounds better much bigger and cleaner, loads of headroom, im using a denon 3313 as a pre/pro that could be adding warmth to it as i recently tried a denon x4000 that sounded incredibly harsh.
      Interesting i read some great reviews of the 1565 before purchasing it and it blew me away on first audition, maybe its a nice marriage with the 3313 and my paradigms...
      I should add i dont really listen to music that much but using 3313 it has a nice sound with the x4000 was unbearably bright!
      My audio background, been djing vinyl since i was 14 now 37 like to think i have a good ear for these things.
      The rotel may well be as you say but the 3313 could be balancing it out...hence why with the x4000 its too bright.
       
      Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
    12. lokyc

      lokyc
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      Don't get me wrong. If you're driving big Paradigms, the 300 is definitely underpowered.

      Power amps, definitely will make a difference. Hence I got it!

      Its also good value. Partly because of the Class D factor.

      But, try it using something with a big toroidal Class A/B, like the new 1555 or even 1585, you will see the difference.

      Also, I don't know much about Paradigms. Only heard the S6s driven by the 710 in Bristol.

      They're loud. They're detailed. But they're not subtle.

      The Focals as I said, have to be felt rather than heard. You judge it with your heart than your head.
       
    13. Oberangeles

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      Hi, im planning to buy denon avr x4000 with HC system aria : focal front aria 936 / focal aria center cc900 / focal aria surround 906 and focal sub 300 P ... What do you hink about the configuration ? Will the AV x4000 be able to power the speakers enough ?
      Thx in advançe for your advices
      Florent
       
    14. JPP

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      Hi,

      Do you think the SVS Sb 2000 is a good enough match for the Focal Arias, due to their demands, that you mention ?
       
    15. Akil3x

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      Some doubt in my country :) Aria 926 VS MA silver 8???? Any opinions ?? thanks in advance
       
    16. JPP

      JPP
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      The Silver 8 is more comparable to the Aria 936 i think ?

      Since you listened to both, can you make some sort of comparison ?
       
    17. pandush

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      Hi there,
      i'm a new but with passion :) in the world of sound, technologies, brands, etc. I would like to make a home cinema with the speakers that already have, a pair of Focal Aria 906 for Front Left and Right and Focal Aria CC 900 for the center, some old small Panasonic speakers for satellites.
      I would like to have some recommendations about the AVR - Receiver that would fit better with the Focals. I'm reading some forums and info but still it's not clear for me what to choose.
      What i found close to what might be and close to my budget it's the Denon AVR - X2200W.
      Probably every receiver will play at least but my discussion it's not about that, it's about the best receiver for this Focals keeping in mind that I would like to use the System for movies and also for music. my Home Cinema Room it's about 20 sm, and the budget it's 500-1000$.

      Any suggestion would be very useful for me.
      thank you in advance
       
    18. Peerke

      Peerke
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      Hi Pandush,
      I have these Focal speakers with a SONY STR-DN860 receiver (7.2)
      Strong point of this one: very easy in control: switch between stereo (aria 926 front) for music and surround for movies: 1 button. I do not connect a sub. I am not a real bass-man.
      Sound quality: absolutely no complain. (recommend "direct mode" on the receiver)
      Compared it with a Cambridge CX60, Marantz (something, too expensive) but Sony is easier in use and sound-difference is not big.
      Really Satisfied with this combination.
      Hope it helps?
       

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