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

N

nonametofame

Audiophyte
thanks for sharing your experience. Glad to hear the 60XTs are serving you well in the 2ch music config. They're great!
The thread is also around 2.0 music , to replace my existing ML35XTi pair in office..., not home theater.
You're welcome. I overlooked that this was an upgrade for your office 2ch set up, but I hope what I posted might be useful to someone who is reading this thread, and was also curious about home theatre application. I really wish I got to audition Focals as well, so I can compare some other brands for dedicated 2 ch. I did also audition some M&K S150s, KEF LS50s, and Def Techs 450s for my bedroom set up, and ended up with a pair of Motion 15s, since I'm really enjoying the smoothness of the ML sound profile. Of course, they all sound a bit flat without the help of a subwoofer.
I'm not sure if you're tolerant of pre-owned speakers, but I was able to get put together my LCR trio for about $1,500 open box at a few local Magnolias. I have several in my area so it wasn't tough to piece it all together, selecting the ones without blemishes/missing grills. Good luck!
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
The measured avg SPL , is in my room with a pair of MartinLogan 35XTs in 2 channel music setup with Marantz SR7010..,and these existing speakers infact measured 89 dB sensitivity , lower than the Focals.

The audition in store (room treated) is also with Marantz AVR (SR6014).

The power requirements are based on dB SPL( 75 dB avg, 95 db Peak), Speaker sensitivity(89.5 dB), MLP ( 11ft), #Speakers(2) , Speaker placement.

So how will, swapping the ML bookshelves with a pair of Focal or ML towers , going to change the avg SPL requirement of 75 dB/95 db peak ?.

Even if I were to double the power requirement(+ 3db), its 40w and double again , 80W. I dont listen to listen anything louder than this..certainly not at reference levels.

Like I posted earlier, SR7010 is a top of the line Marantz AVR , that was in my HT , for 5 years now , playing MOVIES LOUD with my Focal 826V, with even lower sensitivity.

Or are you guys saying 201w with 2 channels driven into 4 Ohm load , is not clean power at 0.1% THD !?

View attachment 33529

I standby this , unless you guys convince me otherwise ;-)
I was referring to the others as well as the MLs. Having the bookshelf version and going to the floorstanding dosent equate to the same FWIW, especially considering to the low frequency extension.

You seem set on the MLs, so go for them as I'm sure you will like them.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
Its not the Wattage that is of concern with the Focals... it's the current required to drive them. Marantz Amps are rated to 4 Ohms, but with a 2.8 minimum in Impedance, you need a more robust Amplifier to safely drive speakers like those, many Polks, B&Ws, etc.
That is what gives speakers like these a reputation for being "power hungry" and thus called "amp busters." But its not the wattage rating of the amp that matters. Rather, stability below 4 ohms!

I might be mistaken in this, and will gladly accept the correction if I am!
 
AVUser001

AVUser001

Audioholic
Nonetheless, Focal definitely makes some nice sounding speakers!
If you are not aware of Accessories4Less, I think they are usually the best source for deals on Focals (but always do a quick check on Amazon because you never know when an open box deal might pop up)!
Yes, I am well aware of A4L..,there are few others as well for Focals. Right now, the best deal I can get is $2799 new for pair of 936 Aria. I can get them a little bit cheaper open-box also.
 
AVUser001

AVUser001

Audioholic
Its not the Wattage that is of concern with the Focals... it's the current required to drive them. Marantz Amps are rated to 4 Ohms, but with a 2.8 minimum in Impedance, you need a more robust Amplifier to safely drive speakers like those, many Polks, B&Ws, etc.
That is what gives speakers like these a reputation for being "power hungry" and thus called "amp busters." But its not the wattage rating of the amp that matters. Rather, stability below 4 ohms!

I might be mistaken in this, and will gladly accept the correction if I am!
True, but Power(wattage) & Current(amp) are not independent.

For DC circuits,
Power(P)=Voltage(V) * Current (I); where Voltage = Current(I) * Resistance(R)
So Power=Isq * R and so I = √P/R

and for AC circuits, phase angle comes into play
Real Power P = IsqR cos(Φ) = V*I*cos(Φ)

We know the Power(~200W at 4 Ohm load) and the minimum impedence(2.8 Ohms), measured at 108hz and phase angle of ~67?. How much current do we need to drive this speaker ?

@PENG , can you chime in pls ..
 
AVUser001

AVUser001

Audioholic
You seem set on the MLs, so go for them as I'm sure you will like them.
actually leaning towards the Focal Aria 936, for the reasons I mentioned earlier :) Want to see how they perform in my room, before doing anything else.

The ML bookshelves will go into my family room.
 
Timforhifi

Timforhifi

Junior Audioholic
I did a demo in home of the aria 948, was a fun speaker.

Then tried the ml 60xt and was forward sounding with nasally mids.

Then tried paradigm prestige 95 and they were nice as well but was a bit too much extension up high.

So I figured I would try revel f208 next and this was a great speaker for the most part. Lacked a little excitement but this was one of my favorites.

Lastly I had opportunity to hear canton speakers again. Was like every great trait in one speaker. Open full mid, smooth detailed extension up high, bass that filled a room and the best looking as well. The vento 896, only $1050 each or $2100 a pair at A4L. These speakers in retail stores are over $6000 a pair.

Also other speakers I liked were the kef r11 and r900 but I heard them in less ideal rooms. Still great but I really don’t like the treble of kef. Monitor audio silver 300 was excellent and so was 500. Gold line was fun as well but silver was actually more to my liking.

I spent over a year looking for perfect speakers and canton was it for me. This is all subjective of course and my experience but the canton vento is night and day better over Martin Logan motion. It’s a nice step up from the aria as well. Closer to the focal kanta or utopia.

Oh and by the way if you really only listen that loud the marantz will be fine. Why use that avr for music though in 2ch. Get something that sounds better with better power supply. You could sell that and get enough money for a nice 2ch rig. Even go tubes if you want. Just an idea but marantz will be ok. Just don’t use audyssey on these great speakers.

Good luck
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
and for AC circuits, phase angle comes into play
Real Power P = IsqR cos(Φ) = V*I*cos(Φ)

We know the Power(~200W at 4 Ohm load) and the minimum impedence(2.8 Ohms), measured at 108hz and phase angle of ~67?. How much current do we need to drive this speaker ?

@PENG , can you chime in pls ..
First of all, since you are talking like someone knowledgeable in EE, I would add that for ac circuits,
P = V*I*cos(Φ)*Distortion factor, that's just for tease, practically speaking we can mostly ignore the distortion factor that people rarely mentioned anyway.

So you have the formula but there is no simple answer because impedance (a phasor that has magnitude and phase angle) varies with frequency. Take a look of the graphs below and you can see how you can determine the current and power (in watts) on a point by point (frequency) basis.

For current, at a given voltage you can simply pick the lowest impedance magnitude point.

If the BMR is used as an example, it appears to be about 5.5 ohm at around 1,600 Hz. No idea why it would be lower than the woofer's minimum impedance, perhaps from cemf? (would need to do some digging..)

So you can find the current using just Ohm's law:
At 28.3 V (just an example), I = 28.3/5.5 = 5.15 A that's rms, peak would be 2X5.15 = 10.3 A.

The phase angle at that point was near 0 degrees so totally negligible. Suffice to say, the BMR can be considered easy to drive. It's sensitivity is on the low side, but still, something like the 3000 series Denon AVR should be able to do a good job for a lot of people.

If it were say 60 degrees, then it would be bad, because cos (60) = 0.5. It however, does not mean the calculated current drawn by speaker will be higher because of the 60 degrees phase angle. What it does mean, is that the "real power" (watts) consumed/dissipated by the speaker would be half of that of if the angle was 0 degree, and that means the power amplifiers output transistors would have to dissipate much more heat at high phase angles.

For a worked example, it is best you read it yourself in the article linked below:


1579706063325.png
 

Attachments

P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
That's why I think it is better for manufacturers to use voltage and current instead of power in watts.

Use of watts is, imo, the mean reasons why there are so much confusions and misconceptions perpetuated by hearsay on the internet.
 
AVUser001

AVUser001

Audioholic
First of all, since you are talking like someone knowledgeable in EE, I would add that for ac circuits,
P = V*I*cos(Φ)*Distortion factor, that's just for tease, practically speaking we can mostly ignore the distortion factor that people rarely mentioned anyway.

So you have the formula but there is no simple answer because impedance (a phasor that has magnitude and phase angle) varies with frequency. Take a look of the graphs below and you can see how you can determine the current and power (in watts) on a point by point (frequency) basis.

For current, at a given voltage you can simply pick the lowest impedance magnitude point.

If the BMR is used as an example, it appears to be about 5.5 ohm at around 1,600 Hz. No idea why it would be lower than the woofer's minimum impedance, perhaps from cemf? (would need to do some digging..)

So you can find the current using just Ohm's law:
At 28.3 V (just an example), I = 28.3/5.5 = 5.15 A that's rms, peak would be 2X5.15 = 10.3 A.

The phase angle at that point was near 0 degrees so totally negligible. Suffice to say, the BMR can be considered easy to drive. It's sensitivity is on the low side, but still, something like the 3000 series Denon AVR should be able to do a good job for a lot of people.

If it were say 60 degrees, then it would be bad, because cos (60) = 0.5. It however, does not mean the calculated current drawn by speaker will be higher because of the 60 degrees phase angle. What it does mean, is that the "real power" (watts) consumed/dissipated by the speaker would be half of that of if the angle was 0 degree, and that means the power amplifiers output transistors would have to dissipate much more heat at high phase angles.

For a worked example, it is best you read it yourself in the article linked below:

Thanks for your inputs!
No I'm not EE, but I do have some understanding of how electrons move through the circuits and the functions of the different components(resistors,capacitors,transistors etc) ;-) , from a 4yr degree couple of decades ago, focussing primarily on Computers/IT.

Back to the topic , yes the impedence varies by frequency and for the Speaker in question(ie Focal Aria 936), that I posted earlier in the thread, the lowest impedence is 2.8ohms at 108Hz ..where the phase angle dips to around say 66 , as you can see below from the Stereophile measurement..
1579719265317.png


So Power factor = cos(phase angle) = cos(66) = ~0.4
and per Ohm's law & I = √P/R , for 201.7W into 4 Ohm load (from Marantz SR7010 S&V test bench) , I get Voltage of 28.4V and Current of 7.1A.
For the worst phase angle of 66, the impedence is 2.8 Ohms , I = V/R= 28.4/2.8 =10.1A rms and 20.2A peak.
So Real Power P= Vrms * Irms * PowerFactor = 28.4 * 10.1 * 0.4 = 114.7 W (assuming the Voltage rms stays in that ~28v region).

so yeah , the real power is reduced drastically at high phase angles..The peak power(load) is reduced to as much as 0.24.
1579723083442.png


I think I know the answer, but the outstanding question still is..,wont the Marantz SR7010 be sufficient to drive a pair of Focal Aria 836s in a 2 channel music setup with couple of cooling fans running, listening well below reference levels ..,with all things, listed above, factored :)

Also , as I have mentioned few times before , this is very likely a temporary setup(ie Marantz AVR serving 2channel music)..longer term, I intend to replace either with an integrated amp with Airplay2 or a stereo pre-amp+2channel Power amp combo, as per the Sonos thread. I only moved the Marantz AVR from my HT into the office for 2 channel music, to buy me some time, on few of the tech refreshes going on..as I had mentioned in this & other threads!
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Thanks for your inputs!
No I'm not EE, but I do have some understanding of how electrons move through the circuits and the functions of the different components(resistors,capacitors,transistors etc) ;-) , from a 4yr degree couple of decades ago, focussing primarily on Computers/IT.
That helps..:)

Back to the topic , yes the impedence varies by frequency and for the Speaker in question(ie Focal Aria 936), that I posted earlier in the thread, the lowest impedence is 2.8ohms at 108Hz ..where the phase angle dips to around say 66 , as you can see below from the Stereophile measurement..

So Power factor = cos(phase angle) = cos(66) = ~0.4
I think you read the graphs wrong. Phase angle is the dashed _ _ _line, it seemed more like -20 degrees, cos (20) = 0.939, not a problem at all.., though the 936 is still a tough load for the range of 70-850 Hz.

I think I know the answer, but the outstanding question still is..,wont the Marantz SR7010 be sufficient to drive a pair of Focal Aria 836s in a 2 channel music setup with couple of cooling fans running, listening well below reference levels ..,with all things, listed above, factored :)
I always recommend the use of external fans on top of AVRs for longevity reason. The build in fans are likely there to protect the manufacturers against warranty repair for normal use. As such, expect them to kick in at temperature too high for longevity, i.e. well beyond the 3 year warranty period.
 
AVUser001

AVUser001

Audioholic
I think you read the graphs wrong. Phase angle is the dashed _ _ _line, it seemed more like -20 degrees, cos (20) = 0.939, not a problem at all.., though the 936 is still a tough load for the range of 70-850 Hz.
duh! ofcourse..problem with multi-tasking between "paid-work" and "hobby" in the middle of work-day!

I'll take the power-factor of 0.94 ANYTIME ...I dont loose much power at all, at the worst phase angle..smooth sailing there.

Now at 70-80hz, yes I do see the high phase angle , but atleast the impedence drop is not as low as 2.8 in that region..more like 6-4ohms ..and so the power factor is not that bad and still within operating parameters.

... makes me feel better , with actual numbers.

Thanks!
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
The SR7010 may be able to handle those speakers, but that impedance and phase would put a serious strain on all but the highest end AVRs. It will be pulling a whole lot of current through the amp at a heavily used frequency range.
Agreed, but if he is serious about needing only 75 dB from 11 ft he would be fine with the SR7011. I actually find 75 dB average C slow is more than loud enough for me. If I were to use the SR7011 with any 4 ohm nominal speakers, especially when the phase angles aren't great, I would put a couple of fans on top anyway. The AVR can handle the load but it would run too warm for it to last too long imo.:D
 
AVUser001

AVUser001

Audioholic
The AVR can handle the load but it would run too warm for it to last too long imo.:D
You #$@#( ;-) Dont curse pls...bless it instead!

( Its 8Ohm nominal impedence rated, but yes drops down to 4-2.8range.., )
 
AVUser001

AVUser001

Audioholic
I did a demo in home of the aria 948, was a fun speaker.

Then tried the ml 60xt and was forward sounding with nasally mids.

Then tried paradigm prestige 95 and they were nice as well but was a bit too much extension up high.

So I figured I would try revel f208 next and this was a great speaker for the most part. Lacked a little excitement but this was one of my favorites.

Lastly I had opportunity to hear canton speakers again. Was like every great trait in one speaker. Open full mid, smooth detailed extension up high, bass that filled a room and the best looking as well. The vento 896, only $1050 each or $2100 a pair at A4L. These speakers in retail stores are over $6000 a pair.
Thanks for sharing your experience...

Agree with you, there's an element of subjectivism in everyone's assessment knowingly or unknowingly. I've tried to keep this thread as objective as possible and would like to keep it that way ...

On Canton, I've never heard them..,but have heard good things about them, from this forum esp. I'm sure you're enjoying them thoroughly. Is it for music or home theater? What do you like & dislike about their Vento Towers?

Couple of things I like about Focal , esp the Aria 936 are their fantastic 3D soundstage and smooth..buttery smooth reproduction across the whole range with astounding clarity and neutrality. Sounded perfect for my taste.

Are Cantons available only through A4L ? Seems their return policy is not very attractive:

Restocking Fee

All items returned for a refund WILL BE assessed an automatic restocking fee as follows. 5% for refurbished or new unopened items. 10% for items sold as new and have been opened and/or used. Shipping costs incurred & paid to Fedex are non-refundable and will be deducted from the refund amount also (regardless of any amount you may have been charged including promotional "Free Shipping".). The original shipping we paid to Fedex will be calculated and deducted from the refund amount ($8.99 is not what it cost us to ship the order). These fees apply to ALL RETURNS for REFUND unless you received the wrong item, the item is defective (see below for defective return details), a physically damaged product due to shipping damage, or the fee is prohibited by law.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Thanks for sharing your experience...

Agree with you, there's an element of subjectivism in everyone's assessment knowingly or unknowingly. I've tried to keep this thread as objective as possible and would like to keep it that way ...

On Canton, I've never heard them..,but have heard good things about them, from this forum esp. I'm sure you're enjoying them thoroughly. Is it for music or home theater? What do you like & dislike about their Vento Towers?

Couple of things I like about Focal , esp the Aria 936 are their fantastic 3D soundstage and smooth..buttery smooth reproduction across the whole range with astounding clarity and neutrality. Sounded perfect for my taste.

Are Cantons available only through A4L ? Seems their return policy is not very attractive:

Restocking Fee

All items returned for a refund WILL BE assessed an automatic restocking fee as follows. 5% for refurbished or new unopened items. 10% for items sold as new and have been opened and/or used. Shipping costs incurred & paid to Fedex are non-refundable and will be deducted from the refund amount also (regardless of any amount you may have been charged including promotional "Free Shipping".). The original shipping we paid to Fedex will be calculated and deducted from the refund amount ($8.99 is not what it cost us to ship the order). These fees apply to ALL RETURNS for REFUND unless you received the wrong item, the item is defective (see below for defective return details), a physically damaged product due to shipping damage, or the fee is prohibited by law.
Don't you think some improvements can be made if you put those speakers on a nice pair of stands?
If you like the sound quality of the Aria, you may want to try the 1028 Be that you should be able to pick up for a lot less than what I paid a few years ago.
 
AVUser001

AVUser001

Audioholic
Don't you think some improvements can be made if you put those speakers on a nice pair of stands?
If you like the sound quality of the Aria, you may want to try the 1028 Be that you should be able to pick up for a lot less than what I paid a few years ago.
Ideally yes, but didnt want the kids tripping over the stands and hurting themselves (or the speakers ) and I know they will :) . So the next best thing, they're sitting on a sturdy chest, on heavy speaker isolation mopads (from Auralex Acoustics). In any case, my plan is to move these to my Family room and have the towers for music.

On the Electras, you read my mind :) ..,infact I was(still am) planning to visit another dealer in Pennsylvania to audition those , contrasting the 936s. Yes, they're running for ~4.5K/pair now.., think it used to be $7K/pair , down from original pricing of $9K, if I am not mistaken. They've been replaced by the Kantas, which are going for $9K, which is way more than what I'm willing to spend ( Point of diminishing returns kicks-in for me at about $5K/pair)

So you have the Focal electras ...:cool: You're going to be my friend ;-) .. How do you like those and contrast against the Aria 936s ? They have the Beryllium tweeter... and highly rated. Some of these feedback by renowned AV reviewers is what caught my attention , not having heard them.

“No speaker system I’ve had in my current listening room (10 years and counting) has produced a more consistently enjoyable performance on both music and movies, and few have equaled it.”
— THOMAS J. NORTON, SOUND&VISION


“... the increase in bass control and the almost uncanny integration between drivers [results in] a loudspeaker with such immediate and compelling appeal that lesser designs can simply sound broken in comparison. ... There is also the astonishingly vivid and stable imaging and soundstaging. ... the most musically communicative, engaging and involving loudspeaker I’ve heard at the price. ”
— STEVE DICKINSON, THE ABSOLUTE SOUND
 
M

mtrot

Audioholic
I spoke with my Focal dealer yesterday, and he's willing to bring over his demo set of Aria 948s to try out in my home! He's had them on display for quite a while and I think he's a motivated seller if I want to buy them. :D There's not a Revel dealer here, so I'm out of luck as to trying to arrange a comparison between the 948 and F208.

I need to see how the 948 compare to my current Legacy Audio Signature II towers that I've had for around 20 years now. Every time I think about replacing them with anything I can afford, I haven't done it because I feared that nothing I can afford will offer the bass of these Legacys. However, the 948 are pretty big speakers. The Legacys are larger, but they are sealed, not ported, so while the Legacys may go deeper, the 948s may offer more impact and slam down to around 35Hz. Yes, I know I can add sub(s), but I don't have much, if any, room for them in this family room.

Also, these Legacys have ribbon super tweeters, so I need to see how the highs compare.
 

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