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Monitor Audio vs Focal?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Paulq2, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. Paulq2

    Paulq2 Active Member

    I am looking for a new set of speakers to pair with a Yamaha -N402D for TV/Audio duties in a medium-sized room. The 2 I am looking at are MA Silver 1's and Focal Aria 906.

    The Silver 1's are quite prodigious for their size with a great top and low end but the mids suffer a bit. I have only listened to the 906's with Linn gear and to me, they sounded rather anaemic. However, the Yamaha is an altogether fuller sound and has tone controls to boost the frequencies a little if needed but I am wary that they may be too bass light.

    I don't have the opportunity to demo the Focals but would appreciate views if anyone has heard these particular combos?
    Minio likes this.
  2. Minio

    Minio pfm Member

    I’ve not much experience of Focal speakers but have found that Yamaha works well with MA Silver range speakers.

    Specifically the RX2 (now the Silver 2 I think) with an A-S500 was a very good match.

    In a medium size room you might want to consider the larger Silver 2.
  3. Paulq2

    Paulq2 Active Member

    Thanks - I was probably leaning towards the MA's anyway as Focals seem to be a bit Marmite. The room is medium sized but I have been using a pair of Dynaudio Emit M10's with the Yamaha which are fantastic - or 'were' fantastic til my brother 'borrowed' them. They are about the same size as the MA1's and I found them ideally suited to the room sized. Before buying them I demo'd the M20 and found them to be a bit overblown so it's possible the Silver 2's may be the same?
  4. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    Tread carefully , can't you just get another pair of dynaudio if they worked well with the yamaha? I do love vocals having owned a few but I was in a shop recently and heard some that were worse than painstripper . Be very careful and try them first with your amp if possible. You should not have to use tone controls to rectify a problem like that
  5. daren_p

    daren_p pfm Member

    If you can’t demo the Focals I wouldn’t recommend taking a chance on them, especially if your previous speakers were Emit 10’s & you liked them/had good synergy with your Yamaha. I have owned the 906 in my second system & didn’t get along with them, swapped them out for Emit 20’s which were much better for my taste. I have heard a couple models of the new MA silver range and felt they pereformed very well for their price point (would be closer to the Emits then the Arias), so for sure worth a listen (current range is a step up vs the previous one you mention). Not sure your location but I have since gone to Totem Sky towers, which also come in a bookshelf version, which are well worth a listen if you can stretch your budget slightly (I’m in Canada so if your in the UK the price increase may be much larger on the Totems)
    hifinutt likes this.
  6. TonyScarlett

    TonyScarlett pfm Member

    Currently have some Focal 906s which are surplus to requirements, I didn't find them bass light even when I was using them with my Leak ST20, been replaced by some Harbeth P3ESRs, just haven't got round to selling them yet. If your anywhere near the Midlands I'd be happy to demo them for you.
  7. crimsondonkey

    crimsondonkey pfm Member


    Why narrow down to those two?
    radine, Tim Jones and fatmarley like this.
  8. Minio

    Minio pfm Member

    How about Dali Zensor 3’s. People are selling them on eBay in nearly new condition for ‘buy and sell on’ prices. Now superseded by very similar Oberon.

    They image very well and are detailed with nicely controlled ported bass. I’ve yet to try mine with the Yamaha though as I’ve used them on my Naim system so far.
  9. Minio

    Minio pfm Member

    Just tried them. Zensor 3's sound better to me with the Naim.

    Can sound a little analytical with some material on the Yammy.
  10. PerF

    PerF Trade box swapper

    The latest Sopra, Kanta or whatever they call them are pretty much horrible and overpriced
  11. ex brickie

    ex brickie pfm Member

    ooooh harsh! Not sure why Focal made the Sopra but the Kanta wasn't bad when I auditioned it. You certainly shouldn't buy Focal without a good audition. I had Diablos and they are fabulous on a first listen. The detail is amazing. But when you live with them it gets more tiring - which is a shame
  12. thebiglebowski

    thebiglebowski pfm Member

    I blame MA & Focal for a decrease in the bat population.
    hifinutt likes this.
  13. yuckyamson

    yuckyamson pfm Member

    I will say the new Kanta's look bloody amazing. As in, good enough that you almost don't have to care how they sound. (There was a time I never thought that way but I've grown into an A-D-U-L-T unfortunately).

    I will say that Monitor Audio doesn't get all the credit it deserves. Because their designs are utilitarian and they have a lot of models they can often get overlooked for others that have a bit more pizzazz or something "Fresher" feeling. A good example was a few years' back when Robert Deutsch reviewed the Platinum 300 Mk 2 and basically said they smoked the brand new Wilson Sabrina's he was using as his reference for a few months. In the very next issue the Sabrina's won loudspeaker of the year award. (?????)

    Whatever the price point, it's worth listening to the Monitors and seeing what you think honestly.

    Unless of course you want something that looks good. Then get the Kanta's and FTW.
    radamel likes this.
  14. ex brickie

    ex brickie pfm Member

    I rather liked the Kanta look too. A touch of retro about them....

    But I did listen to them against Dynaudio, ATC 40s, PMC and Spendor floorstanders at a similar price point. I walked away with B&W 804D3 but Kantas were in the top half of my preferences.

    Sopras really not so good ....
  15. Fretbuzz

    Fretbuzz pfm Member

    Yeah I wouldn't get Focals without hearing first - you may like them but can see why they divide opinion.
  16. Paul Burke

    Paul Burke pfm Member

    Sorry for plug but- some nice kantas of a friends up for grabs in the classifieds. Can demo in northwest uk. Only focals I used to have experience with was the huge ones with 500 series naim kit at shows.

    Sounded bloody awful, heard the kantas though and they’re a massive improvement, much better with non naim kit too
  17. Dougie2404

    Dougie2404 pfm Member

    Listened to a few different Focals, all shrill to me. Although in the same family as Naim it's really a match made in hell, as Hifinut said previously paint stripper comes to mind.
  18. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    not all of course , i did love the micro utopia and my diablos where lovely too
  19. PerF

    PerF Trade box swapper

    Really awfull
    Not able to hold a tune
    Boom boom
    Why people pay premium is beyond me

    I feel real sorry for the staff (if any left) they are forced to demo brilliant electronics with such speakers
  20. Hayche

    Hayche pfm Member

    I have had the 906 for years. They are warm and refined with good bass. They also image exellent and disappear. If anybody finds these shrill they have very bad room acoustics.
    You are welcome to have a listen if near Bolton

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