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

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mtrot

Audioholic
The quest is over(well, for now). Focal Electra 1028 Be , it is.
Just came back from another extended audition, this time with the Electra 1028 vs Aria 936 vs DynAudio(think model is Evoke, not sure 100% but priced $5K/pair, was told).

Impressions..If I felt Aria 936 was at a class higher than ML60XT, then the Electra is whole another ball game! Astounding clarity, immersive & spacious sound stage, dynamic,energetic , detailed and still smooth & pleasant. Could hear certain instruments vividly that were absent in both the Aria & DynAudio and that I hadnt heard from the same tracks I've been hearing for years!
No, was not bright at all , in that well treated demo room. But the clarity & energy might make you feel a little bit brigther than Aria & DynAudio is what I thought.. the 936 & DynAudio felt a little bit more laid back and controlled contrasting the Electra..The Electra just opened up with no dampening in any range , engages you strongly & pleasantly, making the room & all the electronics disappear..,just leaving you with pure music. Had very good bass thats tight and doesnt overpower like what ML60XT might do , to its midrange.

To me the Aria 936 is still the smoothest speaker I've heard so far, very similar to the DynAudio with the silk-dome tweeters...Electra is smooth, but not as much the other two, I felt , but what it gave me was a perfect reproduction of the orchestra, not missing any instrument or detail without the brightness I feared, based on the concerns expressed in the thread. I do need to do a bit of room treatment to tame the energy..

While we kept switching between the 3 speakers ( fed from Cambridge Audio gear).., the dealer told me , he watched my facial expression everytime he switched. He later told me, I smiled everytime he switched to the Electra and thats how he knew this was the one for me! Didnt know dealer cared for such things..

Placed the order, awaiting delivery next week. A FANTASTIC value for less than $4.3K , a flagship once(for this line) , priced $9K originally. I will miss the Aria 936 though..,was such sweet sounding speaker with wide soundstage!

Hopefully it sounds the same in my room , as it did at the dealer with a bunch of room treatment which does play a big part.

[B]@mtrot , you *need* to hear them. YMMV. I'dnt worry much on the pronounced response in the 5-10K range.., all those things I forgot when I started listening. But again you need to hear and decide for yourself.[/B]
Thanks for passing along your thoughts on the 1028Be. Hmm, maybe I'll get on the road to hear those!
 
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PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Thanks for passing along your thoughts on the 1028Be. Hmm, maybe I'll get on the road to hear those!
I really think you should, as you may like them better than others you have auditioned. Again, the 1028 or even the 1038 Be are probably ready for some steep price drop because they are now aged inventory. That so called minor bump shown in the S&V graph is nothing, compared to the variance in that freq range between people, among other factors. For sure some will consider them "bright", but others may consider them "transparent", "airy" etc., it is a highly subjective matter and you'll never know until you audition them, ideally side by side with another pair of speakers you are familiar with.
 
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AVUser001

Audioholic
Good call, I hate to see you spend he money for the Arias and not go ahead and get the TOTL with the Be tweeter, but I have never heard the Arias!
The Aria 936 is worth listening, if you like wide soundstage and smoothness.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
The Aria 936 is worth listening, if you like wide soundstage and smoothness.
I'll definitely take advantage of it if the opportunity ever arises!
I would also like the opportunity to compare my Focal Twin6 Be against the 1028 Be to see if Focal does anything special with the tuning for Pro Audio vs Consumer Audio. I compared the 1028 to my Paradigm Signature S-2 (which also has a nice Be tweeter) and later compared the Solo6 Be against the S-2. With the S-2 as a reference for comparison, my observations were very much the same, so I know they are largely similar; however, I would want to do a direct comparison of 1028 against Twin6 Be before I concluded they were essentially the same SQ!
 
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chrysler82000

Junior 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 ?)
I have seen the 60XT's as low as $770 so far. I haven't heard the 60XTI's or 60XT's yet but they look really nice and are receiving some positive feedback. I found a deal and I'm so tempted to just pull the trigger. I found refurbed 60xti's with one year warranty for $1199. My intentions are to negotiate that down to $1099. At that price I think they would be a steal, of course I haven't negotiated yet, because I'm still looking at feedback.
 
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chrysler82000

Junior Audioholic
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.
That was a great discussion and very much appreciated. I haven't listened to any of the speakers mentioned. But I know nothing is worth retail. Retail is for the suckers who can't wait or the impulse buyer. So....ML 60XTI's for $1199 each and my intentions are to negotiate that to $1099. Given all the generous feedback I have received with my Klipsch room, and the changes I will continue to make as far as placement and crossover I have something to be proud of. It sounds good. I think what I'm mostly chasing is a new sound. Thus I'm gonna make a new 5.1 or 7.1 system for the upstairs. I'm really leaning on those 60XTI's what can I say. I know that youthman smile. And many of the speaker mfrgs I'm hearing of today has got me in a spin. I had no idea. Which begs to say, maybe I should continue my quest of knowledge before I buy......
 
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AVUser001

Audioholic
I have seen the 60XT's as low as $770 so far. I haven't heard the 60XTI's or 60XT's yet but they look really nice and are receiving some positive feedback. I found a deal and I'm so tempted to just pull the trigger. I found refurbed 60xti's with one year warranty for $1199. My intentions are to negotiate that down to $1099. At that price I think they would be a steal, of course I haven't negotiated yet, because I'm still looking at feedback.
couldnt hear a difference between 60XT & XTi , in my audition at Magnolia. Different finishes.,primarily is what I understood from Gene's interview with ML salesguy..but one of the dealers mentioned this "newer model has improved Cabinet, grille, mid bass and crossover." $1199 is a steal for XTi !! I didnt consider XTi,as there was a big jump and not worth it.
 
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chrysler82000

Junior Audioholic
couldnt hear a difference between 60XT & XTi , in my audition at Magnolia. Different finishes.,primarily is what I understood from Gene's interview with ML salesguy..but one of the dealers mentioned this "newer model has improved Cabinet, grille, mid bass and crossover." $1199 is a steal for XTi !! I didnt consider XTi,as there was a big jump and not worth it.
I'm gonna go to Magnolia today. Ugh 5 more hours. I offered $1000 waiting for a reply. Safe and Sound, they have the same price posted on Ebay and at there store. Maybe I get a discount if I buy direct.
 
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chrysler82000

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
I've been looking at everything you have mentioned and appreciate that you've been shopping for a year. I agree that at this price aesthetics certainly play a roll when deciding what you buy. I like the red cherry on the xti looks quite refined and has that rich feel to them. Grill no grill is a nice option, and the aluminum name tag says look at me., However, looking at screws? WTF. I do NOT want to see screws on the face of my speaker. Could be a deal breaker for me. The B&W stuck a penis on top of there speaker, hey look at me, so that's a no brainer, they're out. The canton Vento have some nice curves, no screws, no penises, however they may be lacking a little character. Just being a one tone wood or black finish. Then the Focals, nice curves, no screws, no penises, 2 tone with the black and walnut look to them. I think they just might be the best looking. But no deals and they are pricey.
 
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chrysler82000

Junior Audioholic
I've been looking at everything you have mentioned and appreciate that you've been shopping for a year. I agree that at this price aesthetics certainly play a roll when deciding what you buy. I like the red cherry on the xti looks quite refined and has that rich feel to them. Grill no grill is a nice option, and the aluminum name tag says look at me., However, looking at screws? WTF. I do NOT want to see screws on the face of my speaker. Could be a deal breaker for me. The B&W stuck a penis on top of there speaker, hey look at me, so that's a no brainer, they're out. The canton Vento have some nice curves, no screws, no penises, however they may be lacking a little character. Just being a one tone wood or black finish. Then the Focals, nice curves, no screws, no penises, 2 tone with the black and walnut look to them. I think they just might be the best looking. But no deals and they are pricey.
Crap. I see the difference between 896 and 896.2. Screws, no screws. Sorry I hope I didn't offend you. After taking a second look, the piano black look outstanding. With the curves and the high gloss finish give it some character when the light hits them. Damn screws.....
 
Timforhifi

Timforhifi

Junior Audioholic
Haha. It’s all good.

The screws don’t really bother me and I actually prefer the one tone finish. The Martin Logan are nice speakers for sure, but in a much lower class than the canton Vento. 60xti are more similar to the canton chrono 519. They really missed the style I’d like on the Martin Logan, front has a cheaper look. Sound wise they are great though and you’d like how they get dynamic.

Focal aria 936 is also a great speaker but is brighter sounding and less full than vento 896. I compared focal 948 to 896 too and 896 was just more my style.

I went through paradigm prestige, Goldenear reference, revel 208, bowers 702, focal aria, and many many more. Canton was my favorite but they are hard to find a demo before you buy.

I also have multiple setups in my house. Chrono, vento, definitive, veritas and jbl.
 

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chrysler82000

Junior Audioholic
Haha. It’s all good.

The screws don’t really bother me and I actually prefer the one tone finish. The Martin Logan are nice speakers for sure, but in a much lower class than the canton Vento. 60xti are more similar to the canton chrono 519. They really missed the style I’d like on the Martin Logan, front has a cheaper look. Sound wise they are great though and you’d like how they get dynamic.

Focal aria 936 is also a great speaker but is brighter sounding and less full than vento 896. I compared focal 948 to 896 too and 896 was just more my style.

I went through paradigm prestige, Goldenear reference, revel 208, bowers 702, focal aria, and many many more. Canton was my favorite but they are hard to find a demo before you buy.

I also have multiple setups in my house. Chrono, vento, definitive, veritas and jbl.
They look good in your room. I demo'd the 60XTI's yesterday. Along with the Klipsch 8060's, SVS, B&W. Pretty much the highest end speakers you can get at Big retailer Best Buy and ABT. I see why the screws are there, they help with alignment of the magnetic grills and hold that plastic cover in place. Then I went to Simply Stereo which is right down the street from me. Very small store, 3 rooms. I bought my very first stereo from them when I was 16, 1987. I'm impressed they are still in business. Turns out I just might buy my last stereo from them. I was blown away, in awe for 90 mins listening to the Paradigm 7f. I had an opportunity to listen to Best Buys $70k Mcintosh B&W set up. If I only had $70k to spend? :) well, I wouldn't spend it on this set up. These Paradigm were absolutely stunning. I can't remember for the life of me what that $5000 100 watt tube amp was that is powering these on sale $17k/pair paradigm 7f's. But these blew away that $70k set up. I can say that honestly too because Adam at Best Buy was really showing this system off, he wanted to play around as much as I wanted to hear it. So, I'm back in the hunt, 7f's too much for my 200 squ ft room. But they have 3f and 5f that I need to demo. I originally thought I can get a wow music system for $5k-$6k. Not gonna happen. My speaker budget went from $3200 to $9000. Any suggestions what I might wanna look at in this range?
 
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chrysler82000

Junior Audioholic
They look good in your room. I demo'd the 60XTI's yesterday. Along with the Klipsch 8060's, SVS, B&W. Pretty much the highest end speakers you can get at Big retailer Best Buy and ABT. I see why the screws are there, they help with alignment of the magnetic grills and hold that plastic cover in place. Then I went to Simply Stereo which is right down the street from me. Very small store, 3 rooms. I bought my very first stereo from them when I was 16, 1987. I'm impressed they are still in business. Turns out I just might buy my last stereo from them. I was blown away, in awe for 90 mins listening to the Paradigm 7f. I had an opportunity to listen to Best Buys $70k Mcintosh B&W set up. If I only had $70k to spend? :) well, I wouldn't spend it on this set up. These Paradigm were absolutely stunning. I can't remember for the life of me what that $5000 100 watt tube amp was that is powering these on sale $17k/pair paradigm 7f's. But these blew away that $70k set up. I can say that honestly too because Adam at Best Buy was really showing this system off, he wanted to play around as much as I wanted to hear it. So, I'm back in the hunt, 7f's too much for my 200 squ ft room. But they have 3f and 5f that I need to demo. I originally thought I can get a wow music system for $5k-$6k. Not gonna happen. My speaker budget went from $3200 to $9000. Any suggestions what I might wanna look at in this range?
It looks like you actually have the 60XT's. You were correct sound wise very much the same as the 60XTI's. Those grills on the 60xt were heavy. I really thought that added something to the speaker. Taking time and money to punch press a steal grill is impressive. Although I had a concern to there weight, do those small clips hold them tight enough? My impression was they might rattle.
 
Timforhifi

Timforhifi

Junior Audioholic
The paradigm persona are incredible speakers and beautiful. In that price range you can get canton reference speakers like the 3.2 or even go to the new line. Reference 3k

The 1k from canton is probably too much but damn it’s incredible!!
E1E3AEA2-A571-4CE3-93AD-303C7DA58140.jpeg
 
Timforhifi

Timforhifi

Junior Audioholic
Also I’ve met many people that have changed a few simple things like pre amp or avr that have had the best success. Something from denon or marantz is good up to a certain level but is limited for high dynamics or just playing damn loud. Well really audyssey is limited in many ways. Sounds like you like to blast it and I appreciate that.

My canton vento 896 can sound extremely loud and full. I’ve gotten 117db max spl playing music, which is louder than my older svs pb2000 could hit playing that mid bass. Now they won’t dig to 20hz at 110db but that’s what a subs for.

Look at some jtr speakers if you want loud, but they aren’t pretty.
 
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chrysler82000

Junior Audioholic
The paradigm persona are incredible speakers and beautiful. In that price range you can get canton reference speakers like the 3.2 or even go to the new line. Reference 3k

The 1k from canton is probably too much but damn it’s incredible!!View attachment 34101

Now if I can only listen to them?
 
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chrysler82000

Junior Audioholic
Also I’ve met many people that have changed a few simple things like pre amp or avr that have had the best success. Something from denon or marantz is good up to a certain level but is limited for high dynamics or just playing damn loud. Well really audyssey is limited in many ways. Sounds like you like to blast it and I appreciate that.

My canton vento 896 can sound extremely loud and full. I’ve gotten 117db max spl playing music, which is louder than my older svs pb2000 could hit playing that mid bass. Now they won’t dig to 20hz at 110db but that’s what a subs for.

Look at some jtr speakers if you want loud, but they aren’t pretty.
I moved stuff around all night last night. Ran audyssey 4 times. Everytime I had to manully make it better. Audyssey gets you about 1/3 of the way there. I originally was impressed with audyssey calibration. But now with the dual pb3k subs and 4 heights 4 surrounds it is very limited.
 
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chrysler82000

Junior Audioholic
I moved stuff around all night last night. Ran audyssey 4 times. Everytime I had to manully make it better. Audyssey gets you about 1/3 of the way there. I originally was impressed with audyssey calibration. But now with the dual pb3k subs and 4 heights 4 surrounds it is very limited.
And loud is subjective, My dad comes over and says it's too loud, my neighbor will complain once and a while, too loud. I don't hear a thing, crank it up :cool:
 
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AVUser001

Audioholic
Focal aria 936 is also a great speaker but is brighter sounding and less full than vento 896. I compared focal 948 to 896 too and 896 was just more my style.
I never felt the Arias to be bright at all. Quite the contrary, sounded buttery smooth to me and still very accurate and neutral. I felt I can hear for hours without any ear fatigue. Well, I guess this is where the room and subjective impressions come into play. The MLs to me, definitely sounded brighther than the Focals.
 
Old Onkyo

Old Onkyo

Full Audioholic
I agree with Beave on room probably having more to do with the differences you heard than the speakers - I don't know, but it seems doubtful that Focal has found some secret sauce to make such a big impact without there being something in the measurements to validate it!
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)!
I think I am in love beautiful.
 

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