Canuck Audio Mart Hifi and Audio ForumCanuck Audio Mart Hifi and Audio Forum
It is currently Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:45 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 87 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:56 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:31 pm
Posts: 116
Location: St. Albert, AB, CA
Does anyone know if there are any Spatial owners in the YEG area? I can get a great price on a pair but no way to hear them.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:29 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:31 pm
Posts: 116
Location: St. Albert, AB, CA
UPDATE #3:

Just got home through our current snowstorm and wanted to share thoughts on my most recent demos. As usual I took notes...

In a nutshell, Focal has really outdone themselves with the Arias! For the money, these have truly incredible performance. I was shocked because they sound much more expensive than their very affordable price tag, and I was only able to hear the smallest of the floorstanders, the 926 as that's all they had in stock.

We listened to 3 speakers today, the Opera Quinta to start, then the Bryston Middle T, then the Focal Aria 926, then back to the Bryston again.

Same room, same equipment, same placements, same music.

Starting with the Opera's these were as good as before, seemingly doing everything well. If they have a weakness it's in overall dynamics and delivery, but these are very smooth, musical speakers that are a pleasure to listen to. Just not totally convinced they have the scale I'm looking for.

Moving to the Bryston Middle T's, one of the first things you notice is that this is not a very pretty speaker. Sure that's not the end of the world, but it is something. Mind you these were black and the cherry would probably be a big improvement. Here are my impressions in point form:

-Not the last word in resolution,
-Big soundstage, and recessed slightly behind the speakers which is preferable
-Good, but not great imaging - overall locations were stable but these aren't pinpoint accurate
-The titanium tweeter in these is very good, super smooth yet revealing and detailed
-These 8" woofers can really pound, on the big electronic/orchestral track Crystallize by Lindsey Stirlings, the bass was almost perfect - especially after the 2 minute point where the song slows as if it's going to end and then BOOM... a big dynamic bass track puts you right back into the song. We both were smiling along with this song, like the Brystons were made for it
-Big orchestral works sounded good and BIG, however the bass always had a way of seeming too intrusively boomy. And by that I don't mean too much bass, but just boominess. Instead of the sound of the instrument you just got added boom. Unfortunately this was a common theme on many tracks we tried and it became distracting. Night Train sounded almost perfect again, and Bass & Drum Intro wasn't far off, but Tempation by Diana Krall sounded bloated, as did most of the orchestral works.
-I also got the impression that the midrange was undersized or there was too much crossover or sound being reproduced by the 8" woofers. It gave the impression of slow transients and being a little muddled at times, not as clean or fast as you'd hope for. This became obvious when the Focals were rotated in
-Overall these were really pleasant to listen to though and I loved their full, rounded sound. I can see the appeal here. Maybe a little too boomy.

Moving onto the Focal Aria 926's, these aren't the models I would be interested in but all they had in stock for comparison. At 1/2 the price of the Bryston Middle T's I thought it would be an unfair comparison, turns out I shouldn't have been worried. These basically destroyed the Bryston in every category except bass extension, but the Focal's bass was so balanced and clean, and surprisingly these speakers were much more dynamic.

-Arias were by far the most detailed speaker I've heard yet, my notes said "hyper-detailed", "the most detailed speaker I've heard" and "maybe too revealing!"
-Dynamics and ability to move air were excellent, even for this smaller floorstander and it's two 6" woofers. It sounded super fast and responsive, never missing a beat. I'm guessing this is related to it's lightweight flax driver technology. I like the built-in platform for them and the bottom porting as well combined with the front ports, prefer this porting arrangement over rear
-Very clean sound, bass extension was incredibly clean and bass sounded like the actual instruments not boom. Not that much leaner than the Brystons
-I thought the timber and tonality of the Aria's was the most natural yet
-Did I mentioned these are beautiful speakers? Especially with the grills off!
-One of their best attributes is the huge soundstage they throw, they really filled the room well - as well as both the Brystons and Operas but this time the soundstage felt a little more forward though
-Possibly their best attribute is the pinpoint imaging out of these things, combined with their mountains of detail, I was able to pinpoint the exact spot the background noise in Take Five was coming from, and make a guess about what it may be -- this is the first time I've ever had the kind of detail and imaging to be able to do that. Claps in the crowd from John Mayer's Out of my Mind Live at Nokia Theater sounded like individual people in the crowd near you, not just a collection of clapping noises
-This brings me to my last point on these, they may be too good - or in other words TOO hyper-detailed, lively and engaging. I felt like they may have been fatiguing to listen to. I spent roughly 45 mins with each speaker and these ones are the only ones I felt like I needed to turn down or turn off to have a break. I put the grills back on to see if that helped, but they sound essentially the same on or off.

At this point we switched back to the Brystons and you could immediately tell where the Focals did almost everything better, but the Brystons are so easy to listen to for long periods I left those play a while.

Now, I imagine the Aria family of speakers sounds very similar what with the same inverted tweeters and 6" midrange. There is a pair of Aria 948's available for a great price, but I'm a little worried about what I perceived as these being fatiguing and not sure what to make of it???

Could it be because we listened at higher levels and these were the last set of speakers, so by this point I was just getting a little listener fatigue? We were around 75-85db most of the time with peaks to 90db or so. Maybe they weren't well broken in yet?

As usual, strengths and weaknesses for all of them. But as far as being outright impressed by something, the Focals did that today more so than the others. I felt like we were listening to $10k speakers not $3k ones, which I guess is why some prefer the Aria line even over the more expensive Electras.


Last edited by edge42 on Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:34 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:54 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Calgary, AB, CA
I too did a tour around Edmonton and took notes moving up from my Arros. Enjoy your tour and keep us updated as you have. Cheers!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:35 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:31 pm
Posts: 116
Location: St. Albert, AB, CA
msommers wrote:
I too did a tour around Edmonton and took notes moving up from my Arros. Enjoy your tour and keep us updated as you have. Cheers!


What did you end up with if you don't mind me asking?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:51 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2006 7:45 pm
Posts: 577
Location: Athabasca, AB, CA
For me,there are lots of speakers that sound FANTASTIC,in THAT ROOM.
What about auditioning them in YOUR ROOM,
That changes everything,just sayin.
Edmonton has dealers that will let you take speakers ..amps.. ect to home audition.

If you put speakers in a GYM,tiled room,carpeted,hard surface floor,they will for sure sound Totally different than the dealers room.
Happy Huntin :D .


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:43 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:54 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Calgary, AB, CA
edge42 wrote:
msommers wrote:
I too did a tour around Edmonton and took notes moving up from my Arros. Enjoy your tour and keep us updated as you have. Cheers!


What did you end up with if you don't mind me asking?


Gambled on an internet direct pair — Tyler Acoustic Linbrook floorstander. I’ll write up a summary in my thread later but they’re kinda closest to the Opera you described.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:12 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:52 pm
Posts: 45
Location: Calgary, AB, CA
I’ve never been impressed by Bryston speakers, I’ve listened to all of them hooked up to a boat load of different equipment. The Arias are disgustingly good for the price. And the 926 is a very sweet spot For money to performance ratio. After listening to the kanta, I was left wondering why the hell anyone would buy them, when you could get a very similar sounding Aria for much less, and they look nicer! I love flax drivers! And I own Electra’s!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:25 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:04 am
Posts: 430
Location: Brampton, ON, CA
Axiom makes Bryston.

_________________
ImageImageImage


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:20 pm 
Offline
Distributor/Sponsor

Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:56 pm
Posts: 63
Location: Edmonton, AB, CA
edge42 wrote:
UPDATE #3:

Just got home through our current snowstorm and wanted to share thoughts on my most recent demos. As usual I took notes...

In a nutshell, Focal has really outdone themselves with the Arias! For the money, these have truly incredible performance. I was shocked because they sound much more expensive than their very affordable price tag, and I was only able to hear the smallest of the floorstanders, the 926 as that's all they had in stock.

We listened to 3 speakers today, the Opera Quinta to start, then the Bryston Middle T, then the Focal Aria 926, then back to the Bryston again.

Same room, same equipment, same placements, same music.

Starting with the Opera's these were as good as before, seemingly doing everything well. If they have a weakness it's in overall dynamics and delivery, but these are very smooth, musical speakers that are a pleasure to listen to. Just not totally convinced they have the scale I'm looking for.

Moving to the Bryston Middle T's, one of the first things you notice is that this is not a very pretty speaker. Sure that's not the end of the world, but it is something. Mind you these were black and the cherry would probably be a big improvement. Here are my impressions in point form:

-Not the last word in resolution,
-Big soundstage, and recessed slightly behind the speakers which is preferable
-Good, but not great imaging - overall locations were stable but these aren't pinpoint accurate
-The titanium tweeter in these is very good, super smooth yet revealing and detailed
-These 8" woofers can really pound, on the big electronic/orchestral track Crystallize by Lindsey Stirlings, the bass was almost perfect - especially after the 2 minute point where the song slows as if it's going to end and then BOOM... a big dynamic bass track puts you right back into the song. We both were smiling along with this song, like the Brystons were made for it
-Big orchestral works sounded good and BIG, however the bass always had a way of seeming too intrusively boomy. And by that I don't mean too much bass, but just boominess. Instead of the sound of the instrument you just got added boom. Unfortunately this was a common theme on many tracks we tried and it became distracting. Night Train sounded almost perfect again, and Bass & Drum Intro wasn't far off, but Tempation by Diana Krall sounded bloated, as did most of the orchestral works.
-I also got the impression that the midrange was undersized or there was too much crossover or sound being reproduced by the 8" woofers. It gave the impression of slow transients and being a little muddled at times, not as clean or fast as you'd hope for. This became obvious when the Focals were rotated in
-Overall these were really pleasant to listen to though and I loved their full, rounded sound. I can see the appeal here. Maybe a little too boomy.

Moving onto the Focal Aria 926's, these aren't the models I would be interested in but all they had in stock for comparison. At 1/2 the price of the Bryston Middle T's I thought it would be an unfair comparison, turns out I shouldn't have been worried. These basically destroyed the Bryston in every category except bass extension, but the Focal's bass was so balanced and clean, and surprisingly these speakers were much more dynamic.

-Arias were by far the most detailed speaker I've heard yet, my notes said "hyper-detailed", "the most detailed speaker I've heard" and "maybe too revealing!"
-Dynamics and ability to move air were excellent, even for this smaller floorstander and it's two 6" woofers. It sounded super fast and responsive, never missing a beat. I'm guessing this is related to it's lightweight flax driver technology. I like the built-in platform for them and the bottom porting as well combined with the front ports, prefer this porting arrangement over rear
-Very clean sound, bass extension was incredibly clean and bass sounded like the actual instruments not boom. Not that much leaner than the Brystons
-I thought the timber and tonality of the Aria's was the most natural yet
-Did I mentioned these are beautiful speakers? Especially with the grills off!
-One of their best attributes is the huge soundstage they throw, they really filled the room well - as well as both the Brystons and Operas but this time the soundstage felt a little more forward though
-Possibly their best attribute is the pinpoint imaging out of these things, combined with their mountains of detail, I was able to pinpoint the exact spot the background noise in Take Five was coming from, and make a guess about what it may be -- this is the first time I've ever had the kind of detail and imaging to be able to do that. Claps in the crowd from John Mayer's Out of my Mind Live at Nokia Theater sounded like individual people in the crowd near you, not just a collection of clapping noises
-This brings me to my last point on these, they may be too good - or in other words TOO hyper-detailed, lively and engaging. I felt like they may have been fatiguing to listen to. I spent roughly 45 mins with each speaker and these ones are the only ones I felt like I needed to turn down or turn off to have a break. I put the grills back on to see if that helped, but they sound essentially the same on or off.

At this point we switched back to the Brystons and you could immediately tell where the Focals did almost everything better, but the Brystons are so easy to listen to for long periods I left those play a while.

Now, I imagine the Aria family of speakers sounds very similar what with the same inverted tweeters and 6" midrange. There is a pair of Aria 948's available for a great price, but I'm a little worried about what I perceived as these being fatiguing and not sure what to make of it???

Could it be because we listened at higher levels and these were the last set of speakers, so by this point I was just getting a little listener fatigue? We were around 75-85db most of the time with peaks to 90db or so. Maybe they weren't well broken in yet?

As usual, strengths and weaknesses for all of them. But as far as being outright impressed by something, the Focals did that today more so than the others. I felt like we were listening to $10k speakers not $3k ones, which I guess is why some prefer the Aria line even over the more expensive Electras.


I think that you are doing the right thing by auditioning as many speakers as possible and collecting reference points.
It is probably the best way to determine.
Your room would be the next step. Most stores will not lend you speakers to try them at your own space, which can change a lot.
I have a friend who asked for my help/advice in buying a pair of speakers. Originally he wanted to copy and paste my previous system (cross over modified Sonus Faber Grand Piano Home with Two Thiel SS1 subs).
I advised him to not jump into the conclusion that they will necessarily sound good in his room. Schlepped the speakers to his space and both of us thought that my speakers sounded "broken" in his space. Boomy, muddy and not engaging. Go figure.
Acoustics, especially in a room which is not acoustically dampened, make a huge difference (my personal opinion: 50% of the resultant sound).
We ended up borrowing different speakers from a gracious dealer who I had good relationships with and my friend ended with a pair of Reference 3A Episode which worked well in his room.
If you recall, I did offer you to come and have a listen to a pair in my listening space and if you happen to like the sound, to try a pair with no obligation at your place.
My offer still stands.

knowing what I know today, could have saved me a lot of time and a lot of money.

At the end of the day, it is your room, your ears and your money.

Kind regards,

Doron


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:28 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:54 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Calgary, AB, CA
Sounds like we should do an Edmonton tour of each other's places :lol:


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:36 pm 
Offline
Distributor/Sponsor

Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:56 pm
Posts: 63
Location: Edmonton, AB, CA
msommers wrote:
Sounds like we should do an Edmonton tour of each other's places :lol:


I am up to it. If nothing else we all learn something and enjoy the music and the company in the process :D


Shoot me a PM if you'd like.

Cheers,

Doron

_________________
Doron Or, P. Eng.
Westlake Audio and McAlister Audio distributor and technical rep.
doronor3@gmail.com
(780) 995-6056
https://www.facebook.com/3dBSoundCo/
http://www.westlakeaudio.com/
http://www.mcalisteraudio.com/


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:48 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:45 am
Posts: 1271
Location: Burlington, ON, CA
[quote="edge42"]UPDATE #3:
There is a pair of Aria 948's available for a great price, but I'm a little worried about what I perceived as these being fatiguing and not sure what to make of it???/quote]

Trust your instincts. Many of us find metal domes fatiguing - and no, you probably won't get "used to it". B&W and Focal are best avoided if you are sensitive to it. Aim for soft dome tweeters in the future.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:54 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:31 pm
Posts: 116
Location: St. Albert, AB, CA
doronor wrote:
msommers wrote:
Sounds like we should do an Edmonton tour of each other's places :lol:


I am up to it. If nothing else we all learn something and enjoy the music and the company in the process :D


Shoot me a PM if you'd like.

Cheers,

Doron


Sounds fun for sure! Hopefully I'll have something more impressive to hear soon, but I'd love to have some folks over for beer and tunes.

On that note I heard a CAM members Tannoy Precision 6.2 LE's on the weekend and they were fantastic. Reminded me a lot of the Focal Arias, but less clinical and more dynamic punch. The dynamics were quite good and I believe the best yet of what I've heard. Got me looking into a couple Tannoy options, namely a used set of Precision 6.4's with the dual bass radiators and the very well-reviewed XT8F's. Both look like good possible options.

Otherwise I can't seem to get the Spatial M3 Turbo S option out of my head. $2,800 to my door, hmmm. Decisions, decisions.


-- 05 Mar 2018 20:56 --

hollinger wrote:
edge42 wrote:
UPDATE #3:
There is a pair of Aria 948's available for a great price, but I'm a little worried about what I perceived as these being fatiguing and not sure what to make of it???/quote]

Trust your instincts. Many of us find metal domes fatiguing - and no, you probably won't get "used to it". B&W and Focal are best avoided if you are sensitive to it. Aim for soft dome tweeters in the future.



Good point, I think I've gotten over the Focals based on this... just don't think I'd ever be able to sit down and enjoy them for extended listening sessions - they remind me more of something I'd use as a reference speaker to see how something could/should sound then turn off before I got fatigued.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:54 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Calgary, AB, CA
The first time I heard a Tannoy GR speaker (Turnberry or Stirling), I was in love. It was begging for tubes and not a Devialet that I heard but it was the end of the day at The Audio Room in Calgary and wasn't going to stay longer than necessary. Those guys there are spectacular by the way, and in my opinion well worth the drive down.

Later at 3db here in Edmonton, I heard a pair of DC10A with my (then) Hegel H360 and again, was smitten. The problem is when I tried the XT8 I was not. It was boomy and while the Tannoy "sound" was there, it just didn't "get" me like the other two Tannoys I tried. The problem for me, at present, is their starting price. I also don't personally love the aesthetics of the GR series anyways and for that kind of money, I really would prefer to love looking at, and listening to, them! You know how some auditions stick with you, that GR audition still sticks.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:23 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:31 pm
Posts: 116
Location: St. Albert, AB, CA
msommers wrote:
The first time I heard a Tannoy GR speaker (Turnberry or Stirling), I was in love. It was begging for tubes and not a Devialet that I heard but it was the end of the day at The Audio Room in Calgary and wasn't going to stay longer than necessary. Those guys there are spectacular by the way, and in my opinion well worth the drive down.

Later at 3db here in Edmonton, I heard a pair of DC10A with my (then) Hegel H360 and again, was smitten. The problem is when I tried the XT8 I was not. It was boomy and while the Tannoy "sound" was there, it just didn't "get" me like the other two Tannoys I tried. The problem for me, at present, is their starting price. I also don't personally love the aesthetics of the GR series anyways and for that kind of money, I really would prefer to love looking at, and listening to, them! You know how some auditions stick with you, that GR audition still sticks.


I would have loved to hear the GR's.

Interestingly it looks like you're not the first to mention boominess or too much mid-bass from the XT8F, seems Tannoy started offering port plugs to deal with this if needed in people's rooms. I wonder if the port plugs would have changed your impression.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 87 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group