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

Timforhifi

Timforhifi

Junior Audioholic
I don’t think aria are bright either, just brighter than canton. The Martin Logan are definitely sharp and dynamic and at some levels or with certain gear can sound overwhelming. Reason why I passed on the 60xt.

Really so many variables though like you said. Room and gear
 
AVUser001

AVUser001

Full Audioholic
I don’t think aria are bright either, just brighter than canton. The Martin Logan are definitely sharp and dynamic and at some levels or with certain gear can sound overwhelming. Reason why I passed on the 60xt.

Really so many variables though like you said. Room and gear
One of these years, I'll see if I can hear the Cantons ..and see how they compare with the Focals in my own room, with my gear and my source. The source material plays a significant rule here too..

Until then I wont make a subjective comment ' A brighter than B'. But then I wont have the Aria 936 to compare , just the Chorus & Electra.

For eg, this Stereophile review of Focal Aria 936 , specifically calls out as not being bright (to the reviewer). So YMMV, certainly applies here like you also say about room & gear and I try to always qualify my observation with "to me, in my listening" etc to stress the subjective impression.


"One thing the Aria 936 was not was "bright." I mention this specifically because, in my occasional browsing of Internet audio forums, I've encountered the statement that "Focal speakers tend to be bright." Based on my experience with the Aria 936, and with the earlier Chorus 826W, I must disagree. Extended highs, transparent to the tonal characteristics of the recording and of the associated equipment—yes. But from what I've been able to determine, the Aria 936 did not add significant brightness of its own. I can certainly imagine that with a cheap-and-not-so-cheerful amplifier, and a particularly "digital"-sounding source, the resulting sound could be brighter than ideal. I preferred to set my Ayre Acoustics CX-7eMP CD player to its Listen rather than its Measure filter—but then, that was my preference with other speakers as well. And while there were differences in the sound depending on whether the electronics were the solid-state Simaudio Moon pair or the tubed CAT and McIntosh, in neither case could the sound be described as too bright—or too soft, for that matter. Vocal sibilants are, for me, the most telling indicators of exaggerated treble—a "spitty" character that I find very annoying. However, the treble of the Aria 936 was clean and extended but not overly bright, with no emphasis added to sibilants—a tribute to the design of Focal's new tweeter.

Conclusions
"A big, spacious sound, tonally neutral, with impressive dynamics, and powerful bass for the size of the speaker." That was my capsule description of the sound of Focal's Chorus 826W 30th Anniversary, and it also describes the Aria 936, which is all of those things—and more.
"
 
Timforhifi

Timforhifi

Junior Audioholic
Aria are great speakers and scale very well. Overall focal is very underrated.

I guess my biggest hang up was building my theater room with speakers that did both music and movies well. The aria 936 or 948 were just as fun or as good compared to the vento 896. 896 did a few things better but that’s personal preference. The huge difference was when comparing vento 866 center to cc900 aria. Cc900 sounded good but it was definitely an afterthought and just felt ok. 936 are way better than that center. The 866 vento was like having another 896 in the room. Incredible center channel for movie watching.

Obviously all my personal experience and preferences.
AB0BE4C2-3ABD-4E91-A038-53A1619992AF.jpeg
 
AVUser001

AVUser001

Full Audioholic
Aria are great speakers and scale very well. Overall focal is very underrated.

I guess my biggest hang up was building my theater room with speakers that did both music and movies well. The aria 936 or 948 were just as fun or as good compared to the vento 896. 896 did a few things better but that’s personal preference. The huge difference was when comparing vento 866 center to cc900 aria. Cc900 sounded good but it was definitely an afterthought and just felt ok. 936 are way better than that center. The 866 vento was like having another 896 in the room. Incredible center channel for movie watching.

Obviously all my personal experience and preferences. View attachment 34138
ah k , the center. I have the CC800v in my HT..Its been good..ton of movies, clear punchy dialogue,no issues..,but obviously not on par with the mains. Nex time, I might get another main for center ;-) , like @Danzilla31 does

Looks cool. Are you not using this center anymore ?
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
Aria are great speakers and scale very well. Overall focal is very underrated.

I guess my biggest hang up was building my theater room with speakers that did both music and movies well. The aria 936 or 948 were just as fun or as good compared to the vento 896. 896 did a few things better but that’s personal preference. The huge difference was when comparing vento 866 center to cc900 aria. Cc900 sounded good but it was definitely an afterthought and just felt ok. 936 are way better than that center. The 866 vento was like having another 896 in the room. Incredible center channel for movie watching.

Obviously all my personal experience and preferences. View attachment 34138
One thing disappointing to me about the Canton towers is that the height of the Tweeter is not very high. I raise my Vento 876's 8" to get them to ear level. They sound good on the floor, but better at ear level (to me). IIRC, the 876 actually has the tweeter at a higher elevation than its bigger brethren. How do you manage yours? Do you elevate or tip or just leave them below ear level?
 
Timforhifi

Timforhifi

Junior Audioholic
My seating is sofas and a love seat so about the standard 22-24” high. I don’t really sit completely upright while I watch movies or do critical listening. I relax and lay back and put my feet up, so maybe my ears are 37-40” up at that point. I’ll attach pic of my fv18 that sits about 35” off ground with its feet. Tweeter on 896 is probably 36-38” off ground at that point, I thought 876 were 37” tall. I could be wrong though, you can see chrono 518 on right at 40” tall.

I also replaced the terrible feet they come with. I got much bigger isolation spikes. If you’re interested it’s an m6 thread and really made a big difference.

I also worked on placement and have them slightly toed in and leaning back with slight rake. So tweeter fired upwards on 896, again really helped. I then bought a cabinet that would sit my 866.2 level with 896 mids and tweeter. Or the best that I really could, but’s it’s close. I sit about 14’ back and towers are right under 13’ apart.

596.2 is a little smaller in size and even lower tweeter but similar is done to make best sound. In fact I do similar things with testing over weeks to find my best sound. Moving an inch here or there really changes everything. Also speakers are about 18” off the back wall and room is 17x31x9.
9D3F345A-77CB-43DB-B5DF-3ED38B7270D3.jpeg
 
V

vavan

Audiophyte
I went through paradigm prestige, Goldenear reference, revel 208, bowers 702, focal aria, and many many more. Canton was my favorite
could you please explain in what areas f208s were worse for you than 896? 896.2 were in my shortlist but I ended up taking revels as couldn't audition either
 
Timforhifi

Timforhifi

Junior Audioholic
could you please explain in what areas f208s were worse for you than 896? 896.2 were in my shortlist but I ended up taking revels as couldn't audition either

Well it’s interesting comparing the two directly. Both are excellent speakers but just do things a little different. Starting with style the canton are better looking to me. Revel top cap is cheaper looking to me and uses more plastic. The wbt connectors on vento are a nice touch as well but it’s just my preference. Sound quality is also subjective so it’s hard to expect same experience. To me the f208 had a full thick bass layer that hung around in the room longer. Which is very nice and I loved it on certain music. The 896 has deep loud bass as well but it’s fast and stops incredible fast. So really depends on what you want but I’ll give the nod to f208 for bass. Mids the 896 are just more open and chesty. This could be from having a 7” vs 5.25” but I’m not sure. All I know is cash sounded like he was in front of me with 896 and f208 sounded good but I could tell it was a speaker. Mids 896 was easily better.

Now treble it’s really what you prefer, one was clear and detailed, one was smooth and darker. F208 still has detail but it’s more laid back but very neutral. 896 has that smooth sound with its ceramic tweeter but has a sparkle that shows off its detail. Playing at very high spl, like 110db, the f208 are amazing and smooth. 896 will be different here at this high spl, they need power and right gear or they can sound brighter. With right power the canton really shine and reach higher levels of fidelity.

Both are really excellent speakers and close in many areas. Just the 896 comes on top with almost every category. That’s really just how I feel though and another person could say f208 image better and just are better.

Msrp they are close to each 896 are $6400 a pair and f208 are $5000 a pair. Obviously that’s msrp and you can do much better. That extra $1400 shows in cabinet and build quality on vento.

I’ve been a huge fan of Harman too, from my first pair of Jbl. I’ve had infinity beta, kappa and irs. I’ve had jbl ls80, l890, studio 412p and many more. Revel f30 and others. So I’m a big fan and didn’t expect to like the canton so much.
 
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KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
My seating is sofas and a love seat so about the standard 22-24” high. I don’t really sit completely upright while I watch movies or do critical listening. I relax and lay back and put my feet up, so maybe my ears are 37-40” up at that point. I’ll attach pic of my fv18 that sits about 35” off ground with its feet. Tweeter on 896 is probably 36-38” off ground at that point, I thought 876 were 37” tall. I could be wrong though, you can see chrono 518 on right at 40” tall.

I also replaced the terrible feet they come with. I got much bigger isolation spikes. If you’re interested it’s an m6 thread and really made a big difference.

I also worked on placement and have them slightly toed in and leaning back with slight rake. So tweeter fired upwards on 896, again really helped. I then bought a cabinet that would sit my 866.2 level with 896 mids and tweeter. Or the best that I really could, but’s it’s close. I sit about 14’ back and towers are right under 13’ apart.

596.2 is a little smaller in size and even lower tweeter but similar is done to make best sound. In fact I do similar things with testing over weeks to find my best sound. Moving an inch here or there really changes everything. Also speakers are about 18” off the back wall and room is 17x31x9. View attachment 34173
I'll have to measure when I get home to sit in my LP seat, but IIRC, 42" is what I use for ear height.
The 876 is 37.4 and looking at it, you would subtract ~3" to get center of the tweeter at 34.4. Still, something is wrong, because with the 8" of lift (which would put them at 42.4", they are still slightly below my ear level.
As for the other Vento towers, here is a photo with the 896, 886, and 876 (and the rest of the Vento family) in a row. As you can see, if simply standing without any special setup, the 876 has the highest tweeter!

Using a rough estimate, the 896.2 (I assume they did not change height from 896) is 43.3 tall subtract off 7" for the mid-range and an inch above and below and you are down to 34.3", then another 1.5 inches to get to the center of the tweeter and you are at 32.7"! Of course tilting it back a few degrees and elevating it can make up the difference!
 
Timforhifi

Timforhifi

Junior Audioholic
I'll have to measure when I get home to sit in my LP seat, but IIRC, 42" is what I use for ear height.
The 876 is 37.4 and looking at it, you would subtract ~3" to get center of the tweeter at 34.4. Still, something is wrong, because with the 8" of lift (which would put them at 42.4", they are still slightly below my ear level.
As for the other Vento towers, here is a photo with the 896, 886, and 876 (and the rest of the Vento family) in a row. As you can see, if simply standing without any special setup, the 876 has the highest tweeter!

Using a rough estimate, the 896.2 (I assume they did not change height from 896) is 43.3 tall subtract off 7" for the mid-range and an inch above and below and you are down to 34.3", then another 1.5 inches to get to the center of the tweeter and you are at 32.7"! Of course tilting it back a few degrees and elevating it can make up the difference!
So I wanted to see exactly how high my 896 are and how high they are without my isolation spikes. Center of tweeter in stock form is 33.7” dead center. With spikes it’s 36”. Leaning it back does help for sure elevating the tweeter. Then I measured sitting upright on my sofa and my ear height is 43” off ground but I’m 6’7”. Laying back with feet up I’m down 4-5”. Maybe that’s why 596.2 don’t sound nearly as good, the tweeter is 30” off ground.

Then again I’m sure canton knows what they’re doing, so it’s probably fine. I’ve never sat back and thought I was missing detail or sparkle from my tweeters. Then again the mid is probably most important part to me, but of course we still need tweeters.

I almost bought the 876 for my bedroom over the 518. Just couldn’t do it solely based on weight and size of speaker. I was worried my kids or dogs would knock them over at around 35lbs and only 37” tall. Now 518 are only 39.5” and around 42lbs so it was probably not as big of a deal. 876 are really nice speakers and looking back should of went vento. Still the 515 center and 518 were a nice surprise and sound as good as 596.2 and 556.2. Helps pairing 518 to right equipment also. Upside on bigger 596.2 is greater for full range though. With a sub it doesn’t matter as much.

As you can see I love my canton speakers
 
Timforhifi

Timforhifi

Junior Audioholic
I have seen Vento 896.2 for $3,000 a pair I hope you didn’t pay 6400.
I bought them at accessories four less but I did see them on display at $3299 each. I also got the 896 because I wanted piano black finish. Really the .2 is nicer to look at but has no advantages in sound. Uses the exact same parts or so I was told by canton. It’s a cosmetic upgrade but many would never even notice the difference.

I did pay more though than they are now. I paid $2800 for my 896 and $1000 for 866.2 center. Weeks after mark did his special on reference line and I could of gotten 3.2 and 50.2 for same price. That was a little upsetting. Haha
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
Leaning it back does help for sure elevating the tweeter. Then I measured sitting upright on my sofa and my ear height is 43” off ground but I’m 6’7”.
I wanted to determine how important it was to elevate the speakers. I set up tests and have @TheWarrior come over to check them out. One of them was me lifting the speaker (only one playing) as TheWarrior listened. He heard a substantial difference (that he considered an improvement) as I lifted the speaker to his ear level. We have listened to enough speakers to know we generally have the same preferences. Based on this, I put yoga blocks under the speaker to raise it 8"! They did sound good on the floor, but better on-axis with the ear. Getting your wife to tilt the speaker back a little is easier than lifting the speaker, but you can determine what you are giving up and whether it is worth altering as a fine tuning measure.
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
I'll have to measure when I get home to sit in my LP seat, but IIRC, 42" is what I use for ear height.
The 876 is 37.4 and looking at it, you would subtract ~3" to get center of the tweeter at 34.4. Still, something is wrong, because with the 8" of lift (which would put them at 42.4", they are still slightly below my ear level.
As for the other Vento towers, here is a photo with the 896, 886, and 876 (and the rest of the Vento family) in a row. As you can see, if simply standing without any special setup, the 876 has the highest tweeter!

Using a rough estimate, the 896.2 (I assume they did not change height from 896) is 43.3 tall subtract off 7" for the mid-range and an inch above and below and you are down to 34.3", then another 1.5 inches to get to the center of the tweeter and you are at 32.7"! Of course tilting it back a few degrees and elevating it can make up the difference!
When I first saw this pic, I figured maybe it was your living room! LOL :)

I guess you don’t have every model though. :)
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
I'll have to measure when I get home to sit in my LP seat, but IIRC, 42" is what I use for ear height.
The 876 is 37.4 and looking at it, you would subtract ~3" to get center of the tweeter at 34.4. Still, something is wrong, because with the 8" of lift (which would put them at 42.4", they are still slightly below my ear level.
Just for the record, the tweeter in the 876 is at 34.6" high and my ear level is about 44" (I am 6-2, but have a fairly upright seating position when listening critically - can probably subtract 1.5" for more casual listening (if I don't recline my seat a little when watching a show). Certainly 1.5" will not be a concern in most situations, but the 34.6" at 9.4" below my ears does make a difference in the upper frequencies.

For reference, a 5 degree tilt of the speaker works out to a little more than an inch for each foot of distance between the LP and the speaker.
 
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ematthews

ematthews

Audioholic General
I have owned all these speakers except the ML. I went from Revel F208 to Dynaudio to the Focal Aria. The Aria in my opinion sounded best to me... Then I got the Canton's..... I am still going strong with the Canton's.. Love them.
They are the A45 Anniversary towers.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
I have owned all these speakers except the ML. I went from Revel F208 to Dynaudio to the Focal Aria. The Aria in my opinion sounded best to me... Then I got the Canton's..... I am still going strong with the Canton's.. Love them.
They are the A45 Anniversary towers.
I have been wondering what a pair of the A45 BS speakers would run!
 

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