Focal Kanta No1 Speaker Review & Comments

Apollo

Active Member
Thanks for the review Ed.

Your words paint a sonic picture which give a good idea of something which really needs to be experienced in person. Probably not my sonic cup of tea by the sounds of it, words like 'intense' don't describe a speaker you can just relax into for hours on end!

Also, I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I couldn't spend £4.5k to look at those. The bright coloured front baffles look better but clash badly with the flax driver. Not sure about having 'Sandwich' embazoned on my driver either :(
 

Jokerr

Well-known Member
How do they compare to Bowers & Wilkins 705 S2? You have reviewed them, so perhaps you can provide some comparative performance points - please.
 

ozzzy189

Well-known Member
I often read reviews even if I have zero interest in the product, this was one of those but the review was written in a really interesting and informative way yet the humour of the writer shone through making for an entertaining read. I love background music and my current choice will be with me for a very long time.
 

ozzzy189

Well-known Member
Top row, 2 & 3 are just about passable. The rest are pretty rank imo.
 

lgans316

Distinguished Member
Thought these were 499 at first looking at the Best Buy award. The owners of these would have anyway fled the country if another major party comes into power on Dec 13th lol.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
How do they compare to Bowers & Wilkins 705 S2? You have reviewed them, so perhaps you can provide some comparative performance points - please.
I feel that the Kanta No1 is entirely competitive with the 805D3- so it's quite a bit better than the 705. The Focal is faster and more tonally vivid, with a better soundstage. The 805D3 has better bass and is a little more forgiving of poorer material.
 

Jokerr

Well-known Member
I feel that the Kanta No1 is entirely competitive with the 805D3- so it's quite a bit better than the 705. The Focal is faster and more tonally vivid, with a better soundstage. The 805D3 has better bass and is a little more forgiving of poorer material.
Thank you Ed. I am also going to check out the Focal Chora floorstanders, which are less than £1,400.
 

mainaman

Well-known Member
Top quality hi-fi standmounts are pushing/starting from 5k these days;even the direct buy brands are thereabouts.XTZ Divine Deltas for 4000 euros and Devialet Phantom Golds for 5k(with amps and DACs onboard) would be interesting to review...
 

ozzzy189

Well-known Member
Thank you Ed. I am also going to check out the Focal Chora floorstanders, which are less than £1,400.
Have a listen to totem sky too
Very nice
 

ozzzy189

Well-known Member
Top quality hi-fi standmounts are pushing/starting from 5k these days;even the direct buy brands are thereabouts.XTZ Divine Deltas for 4000 euros and Devialet Phantom Golds for 5k(with amps and DACs onboard) would be interesting to review...
We’ve got a phantom reactor 600 and it’s superb for entertaining and background music. It’s a bit one dimensional but I’d imagine a stereo pair would be rather stunning.
 

Rockets

Active Member
As a designer all I can say is that the front moulding just looks wrong.

It looks like a retro fit to a existing design to freshen the look not something you would expect on a premium product nor a new design.

This is a real pity on what appears to be a very good pair of speakers.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
This is a particularly vigorous example of something that really does look better in the flesh though. Another facet to the appearance is that, placed correctly, from the listening position, you only see the baffle which also works well in the context.
 

Jason72

Active Member
Shame on you Ed, I spent the last couple of weeks feeling like the 'cat who got the cream' because I sourced a new sealed pair of Dynaudio 40's at a great price as my final ever speaker purchase and then along comes the Focal Kanta 1's !! 😁😁😁
I can only imagine how complicated it must be to do a speaker review (or review of anything for that matter) but I did smile at the end when you referred to the 40's as phenomenal and the Kanta 1's as meaningfully better. 😮
Time to smash yet another piggy-bank !! 😉

Great review Ed, but I do agree with other comments about the general look of the Kanta 1's. I would expect them to be aesthetically pleasing for that much wonga !!
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Shame on you Ed, I spent the last couple of weeks feeling like the 'cat who got the cream' because I sourced a new sealed pair of Dynaudio 40's at a great price as my final ever speaker purchase and then along comes the Focal Kanta 1's !! 😁😁😁
I can only imagine how complicated it must be to do a speaker review (or review of anything for that matter) but I did smile at the end when you referred to the 40's as phenomenal and the Kanta 1's as meaningfully better. 😮
Time to smash yet another piggy-bank !! 😉

Great review Ed, but I do agree with other comments about the general look of the Kanta 1's. I would expect them to be aesthetically pleasing for that much wonga !!
This is an interesting post as you're right: Ed did give the Dynaudio's a particularly glowing review and I can see why someone would buy them as their last-ever standmount.

The problem is, it's all relative. The Focal's are nearly twice the price of the Dynaudio's, so you would expect some improvement. But twice as good? Not so sure as the Law of Diminishing Returns tends to kick in.

I also believe that Bowers & Wilkins and KEF do very expensive standmounts too if you like their particular sound signature. And if you really want to push the boat out, there's these three:




The search for the "best" speaker can be never ending, so it's probably better to find something you love and just stick to it.
 

Rockets

Active Member
This is a particularly vigorous example of something that really does look better in the flesh though. Another facet to the appearance is that, placed correctly, from the listening position, you only see the baffle which also works well in the context.
I can understand that, it does happen. Something can look not great in a picture but the actual reality of seeing it in the flesh can give a totally new meaning.

I deal with it visa-versa operating with CAD, it can go either direction. Sometimes the CAD looks great and then you get the samples and it just doesn't gel but then other times the CAD doesn't look great but the samples look a lot better to the eye.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
Shame on you Ed, I spent the last couple of weeks feeling like the 'cat who got the cream' because I sourced a new sealed pair of Dynaudio 40's at a great price as my final ever speaker purchase and then along comes the Focal Kanta 1's !! 😁😁😁
I can only imagine how complicated it must be to do a speaker review (or review of anything for that matter) but I did smile at the end when you referred to the 40's as phenomenal and the Kanta 1's as meaningfully better. 😮
Time to smash yet another piggy-bank !! 😉

Great review Ed, but I do agree with other comments about the general look of the Kanta 1's. I would expect them to be aesthetically pleasing for that much wonga !!
The Kanta is better than the Special Forty but it's not worth upgrading to if you already own the Dynaudio. The first speaker the yields the feeling of being better across the board than the Dynaudio is THIS ONE. It ought to be- it's seven grand.

But twice as good? Not so sure as the Law of Diminishing Returns tends to kick in.
Indeed. I've spent time with the Wilson Tune Tot (stupid name, sublime speaker) and it's quite a bit better than the Special Forty or the Kanta (as well it ought to at £10,800) but it's not twice as good.
 

Jason72

Active Member
Hi,
I bought the Dynaudio 40's early October and they have been in a box in my loft till now. With an eight year warranty and sealed for £1,800 I could not miss out on the opportunity to own them. I'll learn to love them at that price !!
 

Jason72

Active Member
@Paul7777x,
Left the day after I purchased them for a holiday in Florida to celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary. Only got back a few days ago so will make up for it in the coming weeks.
Gregory
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Shame on you Ed, I spent the last couple of weeks feeling like the 'cat who got the cream' because I sourced a new sealed pair of Dynaudio 40's at a great price as my final ever speaker purchase and then along comes the Focal Kanta 1's !! 😁😁😁
I can only imagine how complicated it must be to do a speaker review (or review of anything for that matter) but I did smile at the end when you referred to the 40's as phenomenal and the Kanta 1's as meaningfully better. 😮
Time to smash yet another piggy-bank !! 😉

Great review Ed, but I do agree with other comments about the general look of the Kanta 1's. I would expect them to be aesthetically pleasing for that much wonga !!
I also forgot to say: every time you upgrade your speakers you run the risk that they will reveal weaknesses in either your source or amplification.

So what seems on the surface like a simple change and improvement can end up costing a small fortune as you then upgrade other components to keep up with your new speakers!

I would say to anyone: are you enjoying your music? If the answer is yes, then there's no need to change anything. If not, then think carefully about what you're changing and the overall financial implications of doing so.
 

Jokerr

Well-known Member
This is a particularly vigorous example of something that really does look better in the flesh though. Another facet to the appearance is that, placed correctly, from the listening position, you only see the baffle which also works well in the context.
I understand some Focal Speakers are very fussy with system pairing, but if done right are a dynamite combo. What system would you recommend?
 

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