MartinLogan Motion 60XT vs Revel Performa3 F206 vs Focal Aria 936 vs Focal Electra 1028

AVUser001

AVUser001

Audioholic
Some of you may know I have presently the ML 35XTi in my office room for 2 channel music and I've been happy with those mostly..,barring the Sub issue with Sonos Amp(which is now replaced with my Marantz SR7010 for now). While it sounds great in the high/mid range, lacking a bit in the lower end. I dont listen usually to music with heavy bass or at loud volumes(<75db mostly). At the same time, I've been passively looking to replace my stereo DefTechs in the family room ( not bad, but not in the same league as my Focals & MLs), so could move the 35XTs there.

So I've been auditioning the ML Motion 60XT the last few days and really really impressed with them..far more dynamic, indulging , outstanding clarity and bass performance..,compared to the ML's bookshelves. Sound similar to my Focal 826 towers which are in my HT..there's something to be said of well integrated towers than bookshelf/sub combos for 2 channel music. I'm sure they'd have a dominating presence in my office room but does have spousal approval! I could run these full range with no sub..,the bass reproduction is that impressive, but obviously dont go that low, which may not be that critical for the type of music I listen to.

But before pulling the trigger on them for close to $2K, I was looking at the Revel Concerto2 F36 & Revel Performa3 F206( couple of others in this range) ..,but havent had a chance to demo those. I did demo against ML motion 40 and definitely liked the 60 better..for some reason the 60 was more towards my liking(less brighter, more neutral .but still very accurate). Most of the reviews pit the F36 against GoldenEar Triton Five, MartinLogan Motion 40, Monitor Audio 300 etc..obviously in this range. F206 may be comparable to the 60XTs, but they havent gone down in price while the 60Xts can be had <2K .

Any experience/thoughts on these two Revels (vs ML 60XTs ?)
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
Some of you may know I have presently the ML 35XTi in my office room for 2 channel music and I've been happy with those mostly..,barring the Sub issue with Sonos Amp(which is now replaced with my Marantz SR7010 for now). While it sounds great in the high/mid range, lacking a bit in the lower end. I dont listen usually to music with heavy bass or at loud volumes(<75db mostly). At the same time, I've been passively looking to replace my stereo DefTechs in the family room ( not bad, but not in the same league as my Focals & MLs), so could move the 35XTs there.

So I've been auditioning the ML Motion 60XT the last few days and really really impressed with them..far more dynamic, indulging , outstanding clarity and bass performance..,compared to the ML's bookshelves. Sound similar to my Focal 826 towers which are in my HT..there's something to be said of well integrated towers than bookshelf/sub combos for 2 channel music. I'm sure they'd have a dominating presence in my office room but does have spousal approval! I could run these full range with no sub..,the bass reproduction is that impressive, but obviously dont go that low, which may not be that critical for the type of music I listen to.

But before pulling the trigger on them for close to $2K, I was looking at the Revel Concerto2 F36 & Revel Performa3 F206( couple of others in this range) ..,but havent had a chance to demo those. I did demo against ML motion 40 and definitely liked the 60 better..for some reason the 60 was more towards my liking(less brighter, more neutral .but still very accurate). Most of the reviews pit the F36 against GoldenEar Triton Five, MartinLogan Motion 40, Monitor Audio 300 etc..obviously in this range. F206 may be comparable to the 60XTs, but they havent gone down in price while the 60Xts can be had <2K .

Any experience/thoughts on these two Revels (vs ML 60XTs ?)
Based on the R&D done at Harman, I'd definitely make them my first choice. There have been some really good deals on the Revel lines you are looking at on line FWIW. I haven't heard a bad speaker from them in the past 20 years.
 
AVUser001

AVUser001

Audioholic
Based on the R&D done at Harman, I'd definitely make them my first choice. There have been some really good deals on the Revel lines you are looking at on line FWIW. I haven't heard a bad speaker from them in the past 20 years.
Thanks, am assuming you have/heard them? Any contrast against the ML 60XTs.. The F206s are at 3.5K/pair , 1.5K+ over current price of 60XTs.
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
Thanks, am assuming you have/heard them? Any contrast against the ML 60XTs.. The F206s are at 3.5K/pair , 1.5K+ over current price of 60XTs.
The 206s measure well on and off axis most of their response. With a relatively flat responce, you can easily shape the sound to personal preference.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
I can't speak for the others, but the 60XT and Monitor Audio Silver 500s were the top of my shortlist.

Until I heard the Phils, that is. (Hard to believe that a $1350 pair of standmounts could beat $2500 and $3000 per pair speakers, huh. ;) )

I like the 60XT, especially at a discounted price south of $2K per pair, new?! Hell, if you could find the 50XT Center to go with those, I'd jump on that too.
 
AVUser001

AVUser001

Audioholic
I like the 60XT, especially at a discounted price south of $2K per pair, new?! Hell, if you could find the 50XT Center to go with those, I'd jump on that too.
So you guys saying , my top picks are the top picks of yours too ;-). ( I'll forgive you for the Phils ;-)..,jk , am sure they sound great)

Yes,new..,great value.

So on the Revels, this Revel F208 Audiogon feedback not very comforting.. esp, this commentary contrasting Focal Chorus 826v ( which are in my HT as mains). F208 is a step-up from F206 and costs $5K retail, while I bought the Focal 826s for , I think around $2K+ several years back on a sale(retail was ~3.5K) and is more comparable to the F206s, in price range. Does make me happy though ;-) , although you'd take such feedback with a grain of salt..

1579539426332.png


Now, my original thought was to stick with the proven Focal range(for my taste)..,perhaps Focal Aria. Only reason I started looking elsewhere, was 1) the MLs impressed me and sounded similar to my Focals , probably more pronounced on the highs..Focals to me are more neutral , pleasant and smoother ..but not as laid back like B&Ws. Some say Focals might be a tad brighter..,but I never ever felt that..I can keep hearing for hours without ear fatigue. 2) get something that has more local (US) presence. There are bunch of Focal dealers here and never had to engage them..,but thought to add some variety thats comparable and has local service(if needed).

And then, this detailed review of ML 60XT , contrasting his own Revel F206
1579540717040.png

I do have to wonder about that 80hz bass bump on the 60XT....,as I didnt feel anything frankly. Now he goes onto recommend a ML35XT with a Sub , becos of that..

Maybe I'll go audition Focal Arias to contrast the 60XTs..and see if can get them on sale..,but it seem for the price 60XT might be the best deal out there..
 
AVUser001

AVUser001

Audioholic
This is the bass bump, being referred to in the HomeTheaterreview
1579543879896.png
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
You really start getting in to the realm of maxing out the Bang-For-The-Buck classification somewhere around that $1250-$1500 ea price tag for towers. Beyond that, I felt that the incremental improvements in performance were far outstripped by the rise in unit cost.
In the end, it comes down to what you are chasing. The MLs at full retail value were't as good a value to me as the MAs. Frankly, the Silver 300 is a supremely fine speaker: yes it has it's limitations, but nothing in the OEM/Mass Market category really came close (definitely not the Motion 40), except perhaps KEF Q series... but they made my ears bleed. *shrugs
And therein lies the classic definition of YMMV. :D
I think you are looking at this from a good perspective, and just short of building your own speakers, are heading directly at getting something nice.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
This is the bass bump, being referred to in the HomeTheaterreview
View attachment 33487
That knee is pretty bold. I can only speculate that it's a very intentional characteristic built into the design. Most people like a rising response down low and they probably needed that boost to get the F3 around 35Hz, IIRC. Decent Room Correction would likely easily handle that in the event that it posed a detriment in daily use. I never felt the bass in those was overly bloated or pronounced... and do keep in mind that our hearing down low loses efficiency: to sound the same lower frequencies need to be boosted.
Again, only speculation based on my studies over the last 6mos or so. :cool:
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
That knee is pretty bold. I can only speculate that it's a very intentional characteristic built into the design. Most people like a rising response down low and they probably needed that boost to get the F3 around 35Hz, IIRC. Decent Room Correction would likely easily handle that in the event that it posed a detriment in daily use. I never felt the bass in those was overly bloated or pronounced... and do keep in mind that our hearing down low loses efficiency: to sound the same lower frequencies need to be boosted.
Again, only speculation based on my studies over the last 6mos or so. :cool:
A lot of manufacturers have a rise in their bass response based on a few theories. I'd definitely ignore it as you stated EQ is easy to cut it out.
 
AVUser001

AVUser001

Audioholic
Just came back from auditioning of Focal Aria 936..
In one word, WOW! Never have witnessed this level of immersive 3D soundstage with a pair of speakers..,not like this,no. Had to walk over, a couple of times to the Center and Surround speakers to make sure , they're not playing..,such was the immersion and large soundstage from the pair and one that was absolutely beautiful , smooth & pleasant!! Was on pure direct and no all channel stereo,did make sure of that..

I may be over simplifying the experience, but its at a class higher than the 60XTs and my Focal 826v, I felt..,although the 60 had more punch and energy than the Focals. Huge Soundstage from the Aria, did not witness that in my lower end 826v. Both ML & Aria had accurate reproduction across the range,maybe a little tigther bass from the Focals. The Inverted Dome tweeter & Flax cones are doing something..

Decisioning just became more interesting :)
 
AVUser001

AVUser001

Audioholic
Just to add, with both ML 60XT & Focal Aria 936, do not think I'd need a dedicated sub.., Both had fantastic bass going sufficiently low and more importantly , much more integrated natively than an external sub..so it'd just be 2.0 either way.
Wish I could take both and use the MLs for my HT!
Searching around for best deal on 936...
 
B

Beave

Senior Audioholic
So you guys saying , my top picks are the top picks of yours too ;-). ( I'll forgive you for the Phils ;-)..,jk , am sure they sound great)

Yes,new..,great value.

So on the Revels, this Revel F208 Audiogon feedback not very comforting.. esp, this commentary contrasting Focal Chorus 826v ( which are in my HT as mains). F208 is a step-up from F206 and costs $5K retail, while I bought the Focal 826s for , I think around $2K+ several years back on a sale(retail was ~3.5K) and is more comparable to the F206s, in price range. Does make me happy though ;-) , although you'd take such feedback with a grain of salt..

View attachment 33485

Now, my original thought was to stick with the proven Focal range(for my taste)..,perhaps Focal Aria. Only reason I started looking elsewhere, was 1) the MLs impressed me and sounded similar to my Focals , probably more pronounced on the highs..Focals to me are more neutral , pleasant and smoother ..but not as laid back like B&Ws. Some say Focals might be a tad brighter..,but I never ever felt that..I can keep hearing for hours without ear fatigue. 2) get something that has more local (US) presence. There are bunch of Focal dealers here and never had to engage them..,but thought to add some variety thats comparable and has local service(if needed).

And then, this detailed review of ML 60XT , contrasting his own Revel F206
View attachment 33486
I do have to wonder about that 80hz bass bump on the 60XT....,as I didnt feel anything frankly. Now he goes onto recommend a ML35XT with a Sub , becos of that..

Maybe I'll go audition Focal Arias to contrast the 60XTs..and see if can get them on sale..,but it seem for the price 60XT might be the best deal out there..
I would take anything you read on Audiogon with a huge grain of salt.

Better yet, I'd suggest you just don't read anything on there - unless you just want to laugh at the idiocy.
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
Just to add, with both ML 60XT & Focal Aria 936, do not think I'd need a dedicated sub.., Both had fantastic bass going sufficiently low and more importantly , much more integrated natively than an external sub..so it'd just be 2.0 either way.
Wish I could take both and use the MLs for my HT!
Searching around for best deal on 936...
For most music you probably don't need a sub, however it varies for most. They both have decent low end, just depends on room size, music tastes, and usage.
 
B

Beave

Senior Audioholic
Just came back from auditioning of Focal Aria 936..
In one word, WOW! Never have witnessed this level of immersive 3D soundstage with a pair of speakers..,not like this,no. Had to walk over, a couple of times to the Center and Surround speakers to make sure , they're not playing..,such was the immersion and large soundstage from the pair and one that was absolutely beautiful , smooth & pleasant!! Was on pure direct and no all channel stereo,did make sure of that..

I may be over simplifying the experience, but its at a class higher than the 60XTs and my Focal 826v, I felt..,although the 60 had more punch and energy than the Focals. Huge Soundstage from the Aria, did not witness that in my lower end 826v. Both ML & Aria had accurate reproduction across the range,maybe a little tigther bass from the Focals. The Inverted Dome tweeter & Flax cones are doing something..

Decisioning just became more interesting :)
The room (and speaker placement in the room) are going to have a large effect on what you hear. Did you listen to the 60XTs and the 826vs in the same room as the Aria 936? If you didn't, then any comparison you make is unfair.

Not to mention that if you listen to different speakers at different places, then way, way too much time has passed between listening sessions for your brain to remember sound quality and make fair comparisons.

Speaker comparisons have to be done in the same room, same placement (or as best you can, side by side), level matched, and same music, or else they're not worth doing.
 
AVUser001

AVUser001

Audioholic
For most music you probably don't need a sub, however it varies for most. They both have decent low end, just depends on room size, music tastes, and usage.
Right, it depends..like you said , on the LF capabilities of the mains, the music & taste and the room size.
For eg, with my bookshelves(35XT), just for music , I still could definitely use a sub, not just for the bass, but also to relieve the midrange. Well integrated full range, I'd take anyday for the type of music I hear. ( to add , in my office where I didnt want to crowd).
 
B

Beave

Senior Audioholic
Here are measurements for the 60XTi (hot off the press):

Soundstage NRC Measurements of ML 60XTi

Looks like some tipped up midbass (although NRC bass measurements are subject to problems).

Also looks like a really low impedance from the midbass all the way through the midrange.
 
AVUser001

AVUser001

Audioholic
The room (and speaker placement in the room) are going to have a large effect on what you hear. Did you listen to the 60XTs and the 826vs in the same room as the Aria 936? If you didn't, then any comparison you make is unfair.

Not to mention that if you listen to different speakers at different places, then way, way too much time has passed between listening sessions for your brain to remember sound quality and make fair comparisons.

Speaker comparisons have to be done in the same room, same placement (or as best you can, side by side), level matched, and same music, or else they're not worth doing.
Agree in general,but easier said than done.., challenge is most of the places do not carry all the speakers . So you're limited anyways..,even with different professional reviewers, measuring/reviewing different speakers with different kit in different rooms at different times..

and I wasnt going to buy all these , have it shipped , setup , test in my room & return ., not enough time frankly..although that'd be the ideal case, measuring them in your own room with your setup.

I was able to switch between ML 60XT , ML 60XTi & ML 40 , back & forth at one place..,that does not carry Focals.
Was able to switch between Aria 936 & Chorus 826s in a different place, that does not carry ML 60XT. Plus I own the 826vs and ML35XTs, so I know them very well.

These were all in the past ~2-3 days , so pretty recent memory.

In the end, its a collective judgement you make, based on your listenings , measurements, reviews and others experiences , factoring in things like budget,room,usage etc.
 
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S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
The Aria 936s have a reputation for having a bit of excess in the midbass, which may give the impression that they go lower than they actually do.

You can see from these measurements that the bass hump is larger than in most of his other measurements. (There is usually a hump due to his measurement technique. But this hump is larger than most.)

https://www.stereophile.com/content/focal-aria-936-loudspeaker-measurements
The impedance and electrical phase of the mid bass and upper bass make this a tough load for amps. I would not run these speakers on any AVR. A robust outboard amplifier is pretty much a requirement for those speakers.
 

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