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Focal Aria Dilemma

eazyryder

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Sep 3, 2009
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I currently have the aria 926s at home on demo.
Love the sound from the aria 926 but was wondering whether to go ahead with the purchase or possible look at the 936s with a lower frequency response of 39hz db Vs the 926 with 45hz dB.
Has anyone experienced the 936s Vs 926?
Will the 6hz difference make all that much of a difference?
 

eazyryder

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Haven't heard your speakers but only your ears and the interaction with your room can decide this for you.
My listening room is fairly large at 25ft x 14ft.
Yes it would be best to try a pair at home.
I was really after an opinion from someone else in the forums who may has already done this.
The extra outlay for the 936s is considerable compared to the 926s, so the difference would have to be substantially better for me to switch from the 926s I currently have.
 

insider9

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It is unlikely they are that much better. Ive not hear them so can only comment on characteristics. Unless you listen loud and bass is the first thing you notice I wouldn't expect to hear massive differences. Both speakers have a suggested listening distance of 10ft. With anything less than that and a multi driver 3 way design you may lose coherence. If I were you I'd only change if I wasn't happy/wanted to try something else. Otherwise I'd put the money into another component.
 
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eazyryder

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It is unlikely they are that much better. Ive not hear them so can only comment on characteristics. Unless you listen loud and bass is the first thing you notice I wouldn't expect to hear massive differences. Both speakers have a suggested listening distance of 10ft. With anything less than that and a multi driver 3 way design you may lose coherence. If I were you I'd only change if I wasn't happy/wanted to try something else. Otherwise I'd put the money into another component.
I think you will be fine with the 926. They produce plenty of bass without the extra driver.
I have the 826v in a similar size room, and these fill the room with ease.
I was thinking that myself and TBH the bottom end on the 926s does not sound in any way light or lacking impact.
I am happy with the 926s but you always wonder "what if I go to up to the next rung" :unsure: .
And their is also the matter of the £600 difference in price, going from the 926s to the 936s.
Seems a lot extra outlay for another driver.
 
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expat_mike

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I had intended to get some 926, but saw a dealer with the 936 on a promotion for the walnut finish, which meant the price difference with the 926 was negligible, so I ordered the 936 because I expected that the improved bass response (in the specs), would avoid the need to consider a subwoofer as well.
I was enjoying the 936, but then discovered (much to my surprise) that I could direct drive them using a Chord Hugo 2 dac, with enough volume for jazz music. A setup like that reproduces double bass with such control, that I don't think that you would have any problems.
My room size is roughly the same as yours.
 

eazyryder

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Sep 3, 2009
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After 2 weeks of listening to the Aria 926 I have unfortunately had to return them.
I was having issues with the Metal inverted dome tweeter, with terrible sibilance on certain recordings.
Also sounding a bit thin, light and splashy at times.
It may be my room acoustically at fault but coming from the smoother sound of the Vifa ring radiator in my previous AEs Reference, my ears where picking it up everytime.
The overall balance of the Arias is Forward and bright and I found myself turning the volume down regularly to prevent a headache.
I have came to the conclusion that I personally prefer a smoother sounding speaker definitely without a metal dome tweeter.
 

insider9

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I wouldn't associate metal domes with being bright. However what you describe is what my experience of Focal Arias was too. Good that you have tried.
 

gasolin

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After 2 weeks of listening to the Aria 926 I have unfortunately had to return them.
I was having issues with the Metal inverted dome tweeter, with terrible sibilance on certain recordings.
Also sounding a bit thin, light and splashy at times.
It may be my room acoustically at fault but coming from the smoother sound of the Vifa ring radiator in my previous AEs Reference, my ears where picking it up everytime.
The overall balance of the Arias is Forward and bright and I found myself turning the volume down regularly to prevent a headache.
I have came to the conclusion that I personally prefer a smoother sounding speaker definitely without a metal dome tweeter.

What amp did you use?

Burn in time?

Did you use silver speaker cable?
 
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eazyryder

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What amp did you use?

Burn in time?

Did you use silver speaker cable?
Naim Nait XS2
Demo Model, no burn in required
QED Genesis Silver Spiral, which is silver but not regarded as overly bright.

Before auditioning the Focals I had also tried a pair of dali rubicon 6.
No problem at all in the treble through the nait xs2 and genesis spiral cables.

Its a simple matter of my ears dislike in the metallic sounding inverted dome.
When you crank the Focals up with a little rock or heavy metal they become a little confused and shouty.
Its hard to track individual instruments within the acoustic bombardment to your ears.
 
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gasolin

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Naim Nait XS2
Demo Model, no burn in required
QED Genesis Silver Spiral, which is silver but not regarded as overly bright.

Before auditioning the Focals I had also tried a pair of dali rubicon 6.
No problem at all in the treble through the nait xs2 and genesis spiral cables.

Its a simple matter of my ears dislike in the metallic sounding inverted dome.
When you crank the Focals up with a little rock or heavy metal they become a little confused and shouty.
Its hard to track individual instruments within the acoustic bombardment to your ears.
2 star review of qed genesis

The Silver Spiral is impressive at first with lots of treble info and a strange airy kind of openness but, after a while, that high frequency information smears everything else. I like to listen at fairly loud levels and the treble information made my ears prickle, especially in already bright recordings like Tong's Classic House.

Mabye qed genesis is not a good combination, has bad synergy with your speakers


Focal Aria 936 (3x bass) goes down to 2.8ohm (from 80-500hz it's 4 ohm or lower), mabye the Aria 926 has almost as low impedans and the amp can't handle such low impedans ?

https://www.stereophile.com/content/focal-aria-936-loudspeaker-measurements




Ringing,sibilance from 18-19 khz and up, can you actually hear so high frequencys? Other wise a good frequency responce where the 926 may have a little less bass

 

gasolin

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you don't have to look at the pros or good reviews you also have to look at the cons,not so good reviews

Mabye they mention something you don't like or just isn't perfect for your system like when what hifi write requires careful system matching
 
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eazyryder

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Sep 3, 2009
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2 star review of qed genesis

The Silver Spiral is impressive at first with lots of treble info and a strange airy kind of openness but, after a while, that high frequency information smears everything else. I like to listen at fairly loud levels and the treble information made my ears prickle, especially in already bright recordings like Tong's Classic House.

Mabye qed genesis is not a good combination, has bad synergy with your speakers




You seem you have picked one bad review from a majority of positive ones?
Here is another random review--
Extremely revealing, detailed, open and transparent. Leaves very little of it's own signature. Dynamic, vibrant, energetic with excellent three dimensional soundstage. Exceptionaly good at low listening levels. Requires QED Air-Lock done by dealer with special QED tool set, ensuring proper setup.
WHAT HI FI-----
"Outstanding, among the best"
"This kind of transparency is difficult for rivals to match"
HI FI CHOICE-----
"Very low power loss, across the audioband it’s the perfect solution for high-end systems"
"Natural, organic way of making music that’s wonderfully smooth"
Near total transparency that is the mark of an award-winner."
HI FI NEWS------
"Cannot be faulted for build, technical parameters, sound or value"
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
999
184
19,070
WHAT HI FI-----
"Outstanding, among the best"
"This kind of transparency is difficult for rivals to match"
HI FI CHOICE-----
"Very low power loss, across the audioband it’s the perfect solution for high-end systems"
"Natural, organic way of making music that’s wonderfully smooth"
Near total transparency that is the mark of an award-winner."
HI FI NEWS------
"Cannot be faulted for build, technical parameters, sound or value"
I know it's got good reviews, the review on futureshop just did somewhat with the expersince op had with the focal aira 926

Once bought the QED Ruby Anniversary Evolution it was not pleasant to listen to in the highs, atm im using QED XT40 and for my tv XT25 and they sound good.

I got the QED Ruby Anniversary Evolution for 1/3 of the rtail price and the XT40 was cheaper and i like it better

I think it has do with system synergy

Rather have a system with synergy than 5 star whathifi products that doesn't have synergy
 

eazyryder

Well-known member
Sep 3, 2009
62
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18,545
I know it's got good reviews, the review on futureshop just did somewhat with the expersince op had with the focal aira 926

Once bought the QED Ruby Anniversary Evolution it was not pleasant to listen to in the highs, atm im using QED XT40 and for my tv XT25 and they sound good.

I got the QED Ruby Anniversary Evolution for 1/3 of the rtail price and the XT40 was cheaper and i like it better

I think it has do with system synergy

Rather have a system with synergy than 5 star whathifi products that doesn't have synergy
Yes I suppose the same goes for reviews on the focal aria 926s.
And yes the focals clearly don't agree with my system, but I have demoed dali, acoustic energy, Wharfedale, Monitor audio, and kef with no sibilance all on my system with silver QED genesis cables.
To me that points more toward undesirable issues with the focal that requires to much attention to "Fix"

I suppose (as its says in the follow up to the above posted video review) a cheaper dull "copper signal speaker cable" is required to cloak the issues with the Aria 926s as the QED genesis silver spiral clearly exposes them.
 

eazyryder

Well-known member
Sep 3, 2009
62
23
18,545
Anyway for the last couple of days I have moved on from the Arias to Wharfedales EVO 4.4 and so far I am really impressed with them and cant believe how little they cost, especially compared to my recently demoed Focal and Dali Rubicon 6s.
To my ears the wharfedales trumped them both.
Can easily hear why what hi fi gave them the 5 star Award 2019.
I should have auditioned them first, but was stupidly put off by the lower price
 
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Dom

Well-known member
Aug 6, 2011
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Before I using the Odyssey 2 with bare wire exposed. But demoing cable is hard! I was interested in the Atlas Hyper 1.5. Which was more expensive than the Rocket 11, and since What HiFi made the Rocket 11 product of the year I just bought blind, again. :)
 
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