Please grade a system (woofer + floorstanding speakers)

Bog.Lungu

New Member
Jan 13, 2022
6
0
3
36
Romania
Hello mate,
I really need you help!
I want to fill up with a high quality and laud sound a 25 square meter room.

I don’t want to specify a tight budget but my focus is to create a system using :
  1. Subwoofer ( Subwoofer SVS PB-1000 PRO ) because for my specific taste low frequency are mandatory.
  2. 2 x Floorstanding Speaks.
My conflict is that I didn’t have the opportunity to compare side by side the following speakers :
  • Focal Aria 948
  • Triangle Genese Quartet
  • Focal Aria 926
  • Triangle Genese Lyrr
  • Focal Chora 826
  • Focal Aria 936
Can you please try to grade them from the sound quality perspective ( taking in consideration the whole picture described above) ?

Thank you
 

docvale

Well-Known Member
Mar 22, 2011
531
48
420
Briarcliff Manor, NY
Hi and welcome!
Could you list the rest of your system, for a reference? I have the Aria 936 and have listened to the 948 several times at a friend's home.
I run the 936 in a room that is larger than yours, with a Devialet 120. Personally, the bass is very rich and precise, despite there's now a broad agreement that properly integrated and positioned subs can add benefits to the entire acoustic spectrum.
Do you already own the sub that you mentioned? or is it just something you had in mind?
 
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TooCool4

Well-Known Member
Feb 7, 2013
625
473
310
England
Forget about people grading them for you, go and have a listen with your own ears that is the only way you will know what works for you. What is good and works for someone else, may not work for you.
Before you waste your money on someone else's say so, go and audition for yourself. Preferably try them in your own room with your kit. Good luck.
 

Bog.Lungu

New Member
Jan 13, 2022
6
0
3
36
Romania
Hi and welcome!
Could you list the rest of your system, for a reference? I have the Aria 936 and have listened to the 948 several times at a friend's home.
I run the 936 in a room that is larger than yours, with a Devialet 120. Personally, the bass is very rich and precise, despite there's now a broad agreement that properly integrated and positioned subs can add benefits to the entire acoustic spectrum.
Do you already own the sub that you mentioned? or is it just something you had in mind?
Hello docvale!
To be honest I don’t have subwoofer.
In this moment the list above is the grocery plan but please don’t try to convince me to drop it from the list.
 

Bog.Lungu

New Member
Jan 13, 2022
6
0
3
36
Romania
Forget about people grading them for you, go and have a listen with your own ears that is the only way you will know what works for you. What is good and works for someone else, may not work for you.
Before you waste your money on someone else's say so, go and audition for yourself. Preferably try them in your own room with your kit. Good luck.
Hello TooCool4,
Thank you for your inputs.
I will try to find a showroom that can help me with a audition as you described above but first I look for a little help in order to narrow the list.
 

Gregm

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2019
280
195
115
France
First, for a room the size of yours, two subs would be better than one, you will hear & feel bass without it being bloated or cancelled out, especially as you want to play loud.
On to your shopping list.
Focal: I think that the models you choose are too big for your 25m2 room - except maybe for the Chora. I am no Focal expert*, but sound wise I prefer the Utopia range, followed by Sopra & Aria.

So, given the room and your penchant for loud music, why not go for a bookshelf model from the Aria or a higher range? They will play loud, image outstandingly, be easier to place, and easy on the eye. You have decided that your low frequencies will be enhanced by (a) sub(s), so no problems there!

(Triangle: I don't know the models you mention, I remember lsitening to a high-end pair that sounded very clear, dynamic and somewhat lean.)

*I like the Focal sound, it's precise and clear, at times like the solution to a mathematical equation; but I appreciate the precision.
 
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Bog.Lungu

New Member
Jan 13, 2022
6
0
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36
Romania
First, for a room the size of yours, two subs would be better than one, you will hear & feel bass without it being bloated or cancelled out, especially as you want to play loud.
On to your shopping list.
Focal: I think that the models you choose are too big for your 25m2 room - except maybe for the Chora. I am no Focal expert*, but sound wise I prefer the Utopia range, followed by Sopra & Aria.

So, given the room and your penchant for loud music, why not go for a bookshelf model from the Aria or a higher range? They will play loud, image outstandingly, be easier to place, and easy on the eye. You have decided that your low frequencies will be enhanced by (a) sub(s), so no problems there!

(Triangle: I don't know the models you mention, I remember lsitening to a high-end pair that sounded very clear, dynamic and somewhat lean.)

*I like the Focal sound, it's precise and clear, at times like the solution to a mathematical equation; but I appreciate the precision.
Hello Gregm,
I like your proposal, your inputs.
In my imagination a small speaker (bookshelf), can’t produce the same sound quality and loudness of a floorstanding speaker.
But if you are sure about the above statement ( please reconfirm ), now I have a lot more variables to take in consideration.

Later edit : Sopra and Utopia are pretty expensive
 
Last edited:

Gregm

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2019
280
195
115
France
But if you are sure about the above statement ( please reconfirm ), now I have a lot more variables to take in consideration.

Later edit : Sopra and Utopia are pretty expensive
One example: I listened to Mahler 2 (Barbirolli / Stuttgart) through a pair of stand-mounted Diablo -utopia aided by two focal subs in a larger room than yours (¬40m2?) and they filled the room very well. Presumably the bookshelves from the other series will also do so albeit, not as well SQ perhaps! Good luck!
 
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Hear Here

Well-Known Member
Feb 14, 2020
447
221
50
Portsmouth, UK
So, given the room and your penchant for loud music, why not go for a bookshelf model from the Aria or a higher range? They will play loud, image outstandingly, be easier to place, and easy on the eye.
What! Bookshelf speakers look better than floorstanders? Quite the reverse - a box on a clumsy steel stand takes as much space and looks worse than an elegent floor-standing box.

Sound wise (particularly bass) the floorstander will give better results. I don't like subs much unless in an AV system as they rarely mate well with the main speakers (controvertial I know), so I'd get a pair of BIG floor-standers that include twin 10" or 12" bass drivers - something like Avantgarde if the idea of horns doesn't alarm you. These can play astonishingly loud, the bass is full and deep - and you can adjust the relative bass volume easily. They'll take more floor space than smaller speakers, but less than small speakers plus subs. And horns can be placed closer to side and back walls than conventional ones and don't need a hugely powerful (and usually costly) amplifier - so Plus, Plus perhaps.
 

ecwl

Member
Mar 20, 2021
45
36
18
So many things to unpack here. For some generic statements:
Triangle vs Focal: That’s a personal preference thing. I prefer Focal sound. You might prefer Triangle. You should know what you prefer.
Chora vs Aria: The higher end speaker line always has less distortions, sound more detail with more realism. Usually, the higher end speaker line can also play louder. So as long as you can afford it, buy the higher end line within the same speaker brand
Floorstander vs Bookshelf: Within the same speaker line, a floorstander would always sound better than the bookshelf because the bass and midrange would have less distortions as you’re asking for the bookshelf woofer to do a lot more. This is especially true for large rooms or if you need or prefer the speakers to play loud. That said, I used to own bookshelf speakers and I was amazed how my ears can learn to ignore the midrange and low bass distortions but once I upgraded, looking back, I realized how much more distortions were there.

Now here’s where reality kicks in and exceptions to the rule occurs.
You have a fairly big room but if you have odd room acoustics or if your seating position is at a particular room node with a bass peak and you can’t move where you sit or if your speakers or subwoofer have to sit in specific spots and are not moveable, sometimes, you can find bookshelf speakers to be better than floorstanders. The reason for example is that if your seating position has a huge 40Hz bass peak and your bookshelf only goes down to 50Hz but your floorstander goes down to 30Hz, even without a subwoofer, you can imagine that the bookshelf is going to sound smooth from say 40Hz upwards whereas the floorstander is going to have a super annoying 40Hz bass peak. And with a subwoofer, you still can’t eliminate that bass peak for the floorstander but you can integrate the subwoofer with the bookshelf by rolling it off from 20-35Hz to not excite the bass peak and get good sound. You will still get more low bass distortions from say 50-70Hz with the bookshelf but it’s still better than hearing the annoying 40Hz peak with the floorstander. Btw, this happens way more often than you think, particular for people who swear by their bookshelf speakers.
The other thing to consider is this… You never mentioned whether your amp/pre/DAC is going to roll off the speakers or whether you plan on running the speakers full range. So let’s say you have a floorstander that goes down to about 37Hz. In a lucky room with great acoustics, you can just roll in your subwoofer from 20-37Hz and you’ll get fantastic clean sound. But let’s say because of room acoustics, your speakers actually extends into 25Hz because there is a slight bass peak from 25-37Hz but the 25Hz-60Hz bass is somewhat uneven. The challenge then is: how do you integrate the subwoofer with the floorstander? You can overlap the subwoofer from 20-60Hz to even out the bass but then you will blur the bass slightly as the floorstander and subwoofer bass would not match perfectly. Or you can integrate the subwoofer at 25Hz and live with the uneven low bass or you can choose something in-between. Now in the exact same scenario, if you own a bookshelf speaker that rolls off at 60Hz, you can just add the subwoofer as the SVS model you want has DSP so you should be able to program the subwoofer to have fairly even bass from 20-60Hz to integrate with the bookshelf speaker. Of course if your amp/pre/DAC can roll off the speakers with a crossover, you can get the floorstander and not have to worry about this scenario, except the additional crossover may not be completely transparent.

So my takeaway is:
1) Follow the general rules in choosing the speakers
2) If you already have a system setup and you’re upgrading, buy a microphone and measure what’s happening at your seating position in terms of room acoustics
3) Understand the potential exceptions to the rules based on what you measured
4) Don’t buy the subwoofer yet. Measure what’s happening with the new speakers first before making a decision on the subwoofer.
 
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Bog.Lungu

New Member
Jan 13, 2022
6
0
3
36
Romania
What! Bookshelf speakers look better than floorstanders? Quite the reverse - a box on a clumsy steel stand takes as much space and looks worse than an elegent floor-standing box.

Sound wise (particularly bass) the floorstander will give better results. I don't like subs much unless in an AV system as they rarely mate well with the main speakers (controvertial I know), so I'd get a pair of BIG floor-standers that include twin 10" or 12" bass drivers - something like Avantgarde if the idea of horns doesn't alarm you. These can play astonishingly loud, the bass is full and deep - and you can adjust the relative bass volume easily. They'll take more floor space than smaller speakers, but less than small speakers plus subs. And horns can be placed closer to side and back walls than conventional ones and don't need a hugely powerful (and usually costly) amplifier - so Plus, Plus perhaps.
Thank you for your response, I really appreciate it but to be honest I am afraid of the horns
My initial selection was made taking in consideration the “design” factor but I try not to say “never”
 

Bog.Lungu

New Member
Jan 13, 2022
6
0
3
36
Romania
So many things to unpack here. For some generic statements:
Triangle vs Focal: That’s a personal preference thing. I prefer Focal sound. You might prefer Triangle. You should know what you prefer.
Chora vs Aria: The higher end speaker line always has less distortions, sound more detail with more realism. Usually, the higher end speaker line can also play louder. So as long as you can afford it, buy the higher end line within the same speaker brand
Floorstander vs Bookshelf: Within the same speaker line, a floorstander would always sound better than the bookshelf because the bass and midrange would have less distortions as you’re asking for the bookshelf woofer to do a lot more. This is especially true for large rooms or if you need or prefer the speakers to play loud. That said, I used to own bookshelf speakers and I was amazed how my ears can learn to ignore the midrange and low bass distortions but once I upgraded, looking back, I realized how much more distortions were there.

Now here’s where reality kicks in and exceptions to the rule occurs.
You have a fairly big room but if you have odd room acoustics or if your seating position is at a particular room node with a bass peak and you can’t move where you sit or if your speakers or subwoofer have to sit in specific spots and are not moveable, sometimes, you can find bookshelf speakers to be better than floorstanders. The reason for example is that if your seating position has a huge 40Hz bass peak and your bookshelf only goes down to 50Hz but your floorstander goes down to 30Hz, even without a subwoofer, you can imagine that the bookshelf is going to sound smooth from say 40Hz upwards whereas the floorstander is going to have a super annoying 40Hz bass peak. And with a subwoofer, you still can’t eliminate that bass peak for the floorstander but you can integrate the subwoofer with the bookshelf by rolling it off from 20-35Hz to not excite the bass peak and get good sound. You will still get more low bass distortions from say 50-70Hz with the bookshelf but it’s still better than hearing the annoying 40Hz peak with the floorstander. Btw, this happens way more often than you think, particular for people who swear by their bookshelf speakers.
The other thing to consider is this… You never mentioned whether your amp/pre/DAC is going to roll off the speakers or whether you plan on running the speakers full range. So let’s say you have a floorstander that goes down to about 37Hz. In a lucky room with great acoustics, you can just roll in your subwoofer from 20-37Hz and you’ll get fantastic clean sound. But let’s say because of room acoustics, your speakers actually extends into 25Hz because there is a slight bass peak from 25-37Hz but the 25Hz-60Hz bass is somewhat uneven. The challenge then is: how do you integrate the subwoofer with the floorstander? You can overlap the subwoofer from 20-60Hz to even out the bass but then you will blur the bass slightly as the floorstander and subwoofer bass would not match perfectly. Or you can integrate the subwoofer at 25Hz and live with the uneven low bass or you can choose something in-between. Now in the exact same scenario, if you own a bookshelf speaker that rolls off at 60Hz, you can just add the subwoofer as the SVS model you want has DSP so you should be able to program the subwoofer to have fairly even bass from 20-60Hz to integrate with the bookshelf speaker. Of course if your amp/pre/DAC can roll off the speakers with a crossover, you can get the floorstander and not have to worry about this scenario, except the additional crossover may not be completely transparent.

So my takeaway is:
1) Follow the general rules in choosing the speakers
2) If you already have a system setup and you’re upgrading, buy a microphone and measure what’s happening at your seating position in terms of room acoustics
3) Understand the potential exceptions to the rules based on what you measured
4) Don’t buy the subwoofer yet. Measure what’s happening with the new speakers first before making a decision on the subwoofer.
Hello ecwl,
I really want to thank you for your perspective and appreciate the time you take to write down all this pages.
I really need time to understand very well your inputs.
I am happy because now I can unfold a plan based on your experience.
 

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