Focal Electra 1028 be vs Aria 948

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bostonz6

Enthusiast
Has anyone been able to hear these speakers side by side? I am going to be listening to the 1028 be this weekend, but I don't think I will have the opportunity to listen to the Aria 948 as no one around here has them. I welcome any advice that you may have. Thanks.
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
Has anyone been able to hear these speakers side by side? I am going to be listening to the 1028 be this weekend, but I don't think I will have the opportunity to listen to the Aria 948 as no one around here has them. I welcome any advice that you may have. Thanks.
The 1028 is a better speaker for sure, but is it better for the money for you I can't say. The 948 dips to 2.4 ohms so it's more demanding on an amp (especially at moderate levels) then the 1028, which is still not a easy load at 3.5 ohms at it's worse.


Based on your comment about subwoofer in your other thread, you might be better served to consider the 1008be and a sub, or two, depending on how low the material you are playing goes. The 1028 in room should be around 27-30hz, which is enough for most music applications unless you listen to organs, techno, certain movies.

Where are you located?
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
The Electra B/S are some of the best speakers I have ever heard.

I have never heard the Aria line to compare.
 
B

bostonz6

Enthusiast
The 1028 is a better speaker for sure, but is it better for the money for you I can't say. The 948 dips to 2.4 ohms so it's more demanding on an amp (especially at moderate levels) then the 1028, which is still not a easy load at 3.5 ohms at it's worse.


Based on your comment about subwoofer in your other thread, you might be better served to consider the 1008be and a sub, or two, depending on how low the material you are playing goes. The 1028 in room should be around 27-30hz, which is enough for most music applications unless you listen to organs, techno, certain movies.

Where are you located?
Thanks for your input. I am located just North of Denver, Colorado.
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
Thanks for your input. I am located just North of Denver, Colorado.
You should be able to get good prices on the focal since you are in the US. Again depending on you application, the bookshelf + sub will give you at least true 20hz to 30kz or lower.
 
P

PMR

Audiophyte
Has anyone been able to hear these speakers side by side? I am going to be listening to the 1028 be this weekend, but I don't think I will have the opportunity to listen to the Aria 948 as no one around here has them. I welcome any advice that you may have. Thanks.
I hope this post is still up to date and my entry will help you a little.
I owned an Aria 948 and Electra 1028 BE. These are completely different voices. Aria 948 needs a large room at my place of 18m2 and an additional 10m2 corridor did not allow them to shine.They have a very high bass, so they need a big, very large room. Moreover, they are noticeably more difficult for the amplifier. Electra 1028 BE is a speaker from the high end, it is already high end and cannot be compared with Aria. Both the finish and sound quality are exceptional. They are currently sold at bargain prices. Even at regular prices they presented very high performance. They are also significantly easier on the amplifier.They can play quietly and produce a high volume level like a live one. They have a very high bass, so they need a big, very large room. Moreover, they are noticeably more difficult for the amplifier. Electra 1028 BE is a high end speaker and cannot be compared with Aria. Both the finish and sound quality are exceptional. They are currently sold at bargain prices. Even at regular prices they presented very high performance. They are also significantly easier on the amplifier.They can play quietly and produce a high volume level like a live concert with great stability if you need it. It is a better tonally balanced speaker with better frequency response in the room. It offers and fast sound.They can play quietly and produce a high volume level like a live concert, still with great stability if you need it. Electra is a sophisticated speaker, better tonally balanced with better frequency response in the room. It offers a real, natural and fast sound. The instruments are separated.The sound is extremely clear and differentiated throughout the band to a low-frequency bass. It can reproduce the subtle tone and texture of the sound, which is not available in many other more expensive speakers. Electra gives way to the new Kant series, taking with it better Focal technology, now available in the Sopra series. In terms of sound quality the choice of Electra over Aria is obvious. If you can do it financially, you'll be happy.
The Electra 1008 be + subwoofer proposals above are interesting. Alternatively, consider 1038 be, but this one will require a large space and a stronger amplifier. The 1028 and 1038 are well-tuned loudspeakers for different room sizes. My friend had both at the same time and preferred the 1028 to be more reactive, fast, real. Anyway, the 1028 offers a lot of bass, it's tight and fast, controlled and low, good sounding in the middle rooms, it's a safe and versatile speaker.[/QUOTE]
 
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AVUser001

AVUser001

Full Audioholic
Has anyone been able to hear these speakers side by side? I am going to be listening to the 1028 be this weekend, but I don't think I will have the opportunity to listen to the Aria 948 as no one around here has them. I welcome any advice that you may have. Thanks.
See my earlier thread on my impression on Focal Aria and 1028 Be

As much as I liked Aria 936 , the Electra 1028 Be is in a different league in accurate reproduction(pinpoint accuracy, yet very pleasing to the ears, very engaging). Both have tight & most pleasant bass..not uncontrolled like I've heard in other speakers.
No issues I've seen with driving them with my Marantz SR7010 to my normal listening levels(75-80 dB, with occasional +20 dB peaks), soon to be replaced with a Bryston Amp (for other reasons). I was worried about the higher phase angle at certain frequencies reported, but see my thread for the specifics., not a deal breaker, with a suitable amp with enough reserves ( & good heat sinks to handle the dissipated heat in the amp , from the phase angle). Yes they do dip to low impedences at certain frequencies, so choose a suitable amp with enough power reserve, not a show-stopper at all, by any means. Dont let that distract you , from ending up with the Focal 1028s..,something you'd keep for your life..They're that good,no kidding. Just grab'm before they run out, is my sincere advice, if you're looking to spend close to 5K.

The 1028 Be are a steal at their sale prices of <$5K currently. You wont be disappointed with either, but not exactly apples-apples comparison..The Beryllium tweeters are highly regarded and amongst the best tweeters of any!
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
I have never heard the Aria's, but the Focal Be tweeter is among the best I have ever heard!

This is a very uninformed statement, but given that you will only listen to the Electra, I'd say if you are really blown away by how good the treble is on the Electra, that is your speaker.
If it doesn't impress you that much, consider the Aria.
I am sure there are differences in the mids/woofers as well, but for me, it is the tweeter that really distinguishes a top level speaker!
 
Hench4Life

Hench4Life

Junior Audioholic
I'd second KEW on the tweeter. I still remember my first experience with their beryllium tweeter at an SF hifi show about 25 years ago. It was the end of the day, I was beat and I wandered into a showroom that was finally emptying out. My ex and I were there with just 2 other guys, one was sitting down reading, the other cleaning up. None other than Roy Hall - who offered, then started pouring shots of single malt Scotch - first time I'd seen disposable plastic shot glasses!

It turned out the guy behind me was Sam Tellig. Apparently, he knew where to be chilling end of day (although the Scotch helped). That Utopia was easily one of the top 5 speakers I've ever heard and the best sound at the show. And I'd lay most of the magic on that tweeter. To sound this good when I was pretty much done for the day with a bit of listening fatigue tells you something. I sat there for probably 40 minutes or so (2 record sides). Very few speakers have stuck with me like those have.

Now, in typical audioholic fashion, I've gone from looking at current faves such as KEF R7 to 1028's to Kanta N°2. I just love the beryllium tweeter, dying to audition those flax drivers. Some claim that the 1028 is excessively bright, but I'd also heard similar claims with my Thiels back in the day. I think part of the problem is they show off everything, especially your front end. I think with careful component matching and placement they'd be amazing.
 
M

mtrot

Full Audioholic
I'd second KEW on the tweeter. I still remember my first experience with their beryllium tweeter at an SF hifi show about 25 years ago. It was the end of the day, I was beat and I wandered into a showroom that was finally emptying out. My ex and I were there with just 2 other guys, one was sitting down reading, the other cleaning up. None other than Roy Hall - who offered, then started pouring shots of single malt Scotch - first time I'd seen disposable plastic shot glasses!

It turned out the guy behind me was Sam Tellig. Apparently, he knew where to be chilling end of day (although the Scotch helped). That Utopia was easily one of the top 5 speakers I've ever heard and the best sound at the show. And I'd lay most of the magic on that tweeter. To sound this good when I was pretty much done for the day with a bit of listening fatigue tells you something. I sat there for probably 40 minutes or so (2 record sides). Very few speakers have stuck with me like those have.

Now, in typical audioholic fashion, I've gone from looking at current faves such as KEF R7 to 1028's to Kanta N°2. I just love the beryllium tweeter, dying to audition those flax drivers. Some claim that the 1028 is excessively bright, but I'd also heard similar claims with my Thiels back in the day. I think part of the problem is they show off everything, especially your front end. I think with careful component matching and placement they'd be amazing.
Yes, I suspect it is similar to how people respond to the Paradigm Persona sound. They have clarity, imaging, and placement out the wazoo, but they certainly will tell you all about a bright recording. On great recordings, they are phenomenal.

I missed a set of 1028 Be a couple months ago for a great price and still wishing I had picked them up. As to Kanta 2, it's hard for me to seriously consider them when Kanta 3 is only a couple grand more. And I'm not sure what to think about the flax drivers. I think most people consider the W cone drivers superior. Sopra 2, which also get you the W cone drivers, are starting to show up at some pretty tempting used prices, actually for less than a new set of Kanta 2 or 3.
 
AVUser001

AVUser001

Full Audioholic
Now, in typical audioholic fashion, I've gone from looking at current faves such as KEF R7 to 1028's to Kanta N°2. I just love the beryllium tweeter, dying to audition those flax drivers. Some claim that the 1028 is excessively bright, but I'd also heard similar claims with my Thiels back in the day. I think part of the problem is they show off everything, especially your front end. I think with careful component matching and placement they'd be amazing.
Its called Accurate/Faithful reproduction , not excessively bright!
 
M

mtrot

Full Audioholic
Good find! Tempting. Too bad they don't have an open box set of 1038 Be.
 
Hench4Life

Hench4Life

Junior Audioholic
Its called Accurate/Faithful reproduction , not excessively bright!
Yes, probably excessively bright when people are using an Onkyo AV receiver or iffy class D.

I felt my Thiels could get strident on some material, and for a few years blamed some of the recordings. For example, I had gotten a pricey Japanese LP sleeve CD of XTC Nonsuch, and thought it was horrific. I literally took it out of the regular part of the collection. Once I had my BAT gear and PS Audio cable, one evening while listening to my regular redbook version of Nonsuch, I decided to dust off the Japanese one and try it. I was frankly stunned. It. Was. Amazing. My old Adcom/MIT cable combo was the problem. Once I had something with gobs of current, a little tube sweetness and quality balanced cable it changed everything.

No doubt, I'll feel the same with the Focals. Half the fun is matching things up - but I feel I'm well on my way already. My take on every well set up Focal I've heard is one of sweetness and spaciousness.

From what I understand, the main reason that Focal switched to flax was a cost-savings measure. They can mass-produce those. The W glass compound need to be entirely hand assembled. However, there does seem to be a consensus that the new IAL3 tweeter is a notable improvement over the 2nd generation. How much? I don't know.

For me, the 1028 or Kanta No2's seem about right, as my listening spaces aren't particularly large. I have a weird open floorplan, so in a way the rooms are big because they open up on each other, but it's still snug. No doubt, those with decent sized rooms would opt for the 1038 or Kanta No 3, as would I.

Still, the cost of the 1028's on closeout is tempting. Yes, saw those at Music Direct a couple of weeks ago, and I'm fine with black! ;)

For those in the Chicago area, I see there's a pair of 1028 dealer demos for sale at that AG place for $3500. Local pickup only.
 
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KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
Just throwing it out there that you can get the Focal Twin6 Be for $4400/pr new. That is what I did. Don't remember exactly what I paid for them, but I bought open box returns from Sweetwater at a nice discount.
These speakers have controlled pricing (like iPhones), but the reseller (like Sweetwater in my case) makes a nice profit on them! If you are buying them new try to identify some other pro-gear that you want and ask what type of discount they can give you on a package deal. Unless the other item is also price controlled, you can probably work out a nice deal!
PS - for an in-home stereo system, you are best off to stand the speakers up on end to get optimized horizontal dispersion!!
 
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