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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys ... Well I'm back with another speaker thread :)

This is it guys, I need to finalize between 2 sets of Speaker setups (No other brand suggestions please - it will just confuse me more) ..

I've finalized between two 7-speaker sets, but can't decide between them:

Set 1 (KEF):

Front: 2x KEF Q900
Center: KEF Q600
Side Surround: 2x KEF Q800ds
Rear Surround: 2x KEF Q100

Total from my dealer (authorized & outside the US): around $2900

Set 1 (Focal):

Front: 2x Focal Chorus 826VW
Center: Focal Chorus CC 800VW
Side Surround: 2x Focal Chorus SR-800V
Rear Surround: 2x Focal Chorus 806VW

Total from my dealer (authorized & outside the US): around $4100

My findings: I listened to some Blu-ray demos on both of them in a small showroom (around 11'x6' room) about 2 months back. I found both to be of exceptionally good quality. Focal seemed *slightly* better to me in created more realistic sound effects reproduction (gun shots, car crashes, etc.), while KEF I think seemed *slightly* better in vocal reproduction ..

Also, I will be using dual PB12 NSD's in my setup (already purchased) .. AVR will most probably be Denon X4000 (still needs to be purchased), and my HT room is about 18'x22' ..



So which setup should I go with ? KEF or Focal ? :)
 

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If if was me I would save the extra cash and go with the Kef speakers. I like how the Focals look though. Maybe the difference you were hearing was a setup issue a few tweaks in your space and you may not hear the difference. You could use your savings for room treatments as well, if needed. But you can't go wrong either way:).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The one thing bothering me that the room in which I listened to the sounds was very small .. like 11'x6' or so .. My HT room is much larger, 22'x18' .. So I'm wondering if the difference in performance between the two setups might increase when they're put in a larger room ... Would this be the case ?

A $1200 saving could be good though .. I could buy an amp, which I was holding out on because of budget contraints .. But still I don't want to compromise on speaker quality so much that I regret it later ..
 

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I listened to some Blu-ray demos on both of them in a small showroom (around 11'x6' room)

The one thing bothering me that the room in which I listened to the sounds was very small .. like 11'x6' or so
6' :scratch:.
That's a closet. How on earth did they have the 7 speakers arranged in a room with a 6' dimension? Did you mean 16'?
 

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It is still your call - I lean towards Focal

However, no one can speak for your ears.

Speakers do sound better outside of a walk-in closet.
 

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Yeah... 11' x 6' ... a jail cell (I think - AJ might know for sure :huh: ). That is super small and by any means not where you want to evaluate speakers to see how they will sound in an 18' x 22' room. Even 11' x 16' is still quite different, so you won't really be able to rely on how you heard them at the store.

My room is 19.5' x 23.5'... not too far off from yours room. The Focal 816V did fairly well when pulled out from the wall for two-channel listening. We did not evaluate it for movies though.

There is hardly any replacement for evaluating in your own room, but you may not have that luxury.

Are you mainly movies, two-channel or a mix?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah... 11' x 6' ... a jail cell (I think - AJ might know for sure :huh: ). That is super small and by any means not where you want to evaluate speakers to see how they will sound in an 18' x 22' room. Even 11' x 16' is still quite different, so you won't really be able to rely on how you heard them at the store.

My room is 19.5' x 23.5'... not too far off from yours room. The Focal 816V did fairly well when pulled out from the wall for two-channel listening. We did not evaluate it for movies though.

There is hardly any replacement for evaluating in your own room, but you may not have that luxury.

Are you mainly movies, two-channel or a mix?
Well my use will be mainly movies, and video games occasionally ..

I will definitely try to convince the dealer to let me try them both out in my room before I make up my mind, but I'm not sure if he'll agree to it .. This could be a problem, since I'm located about 2 hour flight from where he is :(

Anyways, I agree that that room was *way* small, and most probably the speakers will need help in reaching the same quality in my room .. So won't it be better to get the KEFs and spend the $1200 on an amp maybe ?
 

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I think you will be pleased with either, so saving money and going with the KEF speakers is likely the best move. However, that KEF center has an 87dB sensitivity and will no doubt need good power, being one of the more active speakers in the system. The 900's are better at 91dB, but your suggestion of more power is likely a wise thought.

Is there a particular reason you are stuck on these two brands? There are a LOT of companies that will allow you an in-home trial. With you mostly doing movies and games, I suspect there are several you could be happy with and save even more, especially in that small room.
 

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Well if your dealer is local and you have some concerns regarding what the speakers will sound in a large area can you ask your dealer if he can make a 30 day return policy ? Like that you can start with the KEF's and then if it isn't what you expected you could change for the Focal's
 

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Yeah... 11' x 6' ... a jail cell (I think - AJ might know for sure :huh: ).
Wasn't in jail, but an "institution" with 11' x 6', heavily "treated", excuse me...padded, "critical listening" rooms.

I think you will be pleased with either, so saving money and going with the KEF speakers is likely the best move. However, that KEF center has an 87dB sensitivity and will no doubt need good power, being one of the more active speakers in the system. The 900's are better at 91dB, but your suggestion of more power is likely a wise thought.
Yes, the center specified sensitivity is lowish, but there is another reason he might want an external amp....

So won't it be better to get the KEFs and spend the $1200 on an amp maybe ?
I'd say yes, if your going to crank things up in that room. The 900 impedance drops to just over 3 ohms and the Focal slightly below 3 ohms. That's pretty demanding for a 7ch receiver driving all channels. I'd say take the Denon + $1200 budget, get an every-feature-you-need HTR, with preouts...and a nice 3 ch amp for the fronts.

cheers
 
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