Budget floorstanders - Sonus Faber vs. Revel vs. Focal


I am moving on from the vintage speakers I've been playing with over the past 10 years (ADS L1230, Ohm Walsh 4, Klipsch Forte, Snell Type A) and want a smaller footprint, new speaker.  I had narrowed down to the following:

Sonus Faber Venere 2.5
Dynaudio X34
Focal Chorus 726
Revel F35/F36

My room is rather large (20x30x9), half living room, half dining room, so I need to move a good bit of air.  I tried the Dynaudio X34's and they felt a little "small."  My gear is a Mcintosh C39 pre and Proceed AMP 5 ([email protected], [email protected], has 4 working channels and can use to biamp).  I mostly listen to rock/alternative/punk with some jazz and classical and have preferred a warmer sound - I am not as much into detail and pinpoint imaging as I am an energetic, fun, easy-to-listen-to sound.  I have been known to turn my system up quite loud and want something that doesn't become unpleasant at volume.

I'd appreciate any opinions from folks who have heard any of the above.  Thanks.

hanfrac
For me it would be the Revel F36.  I owned a set last year while my Magnepan 3.5's were being rebuilt.  My room is a similar size (21 x 19 with a cathedral ceiling that tops out at 18 feet and open to other rooms).  I found the F36 to be transparent without any excess brightness, slightly warm in the midbass, and good extension.  They got plenty loud powered by a Schiit Vidar (100 watt/ch) and were pretty tolerant of less than perfectly mixed music.   They are sensitive to side wall placement (Revel makes their speaker to maintain output to the sides, so if placed close to side walls, treating the first reflection point makes a big difference).  

Traditionally, I have found Focal's and Sonus Faber to be too bright.  Dynaudio have usually been pretty laid back.  Like you, I listen to mostly rock/alternative, so prefer a warmer sound.  

I will throw out two speakers that may be worth considering.  A used Vandersteen 2Ce Sig II.  Vortex Acoustics VR-22 ($2800 new) or used VR-33.  Vortex Acoustics is Von Schweikerts directly sale speakers and are designed to be run close to the front wall so they take up little space.  
coincidentally, i was using ads 1230s in my living room before switching to revel f30 and it was a massive upgrade
I owned the F36s for a while. They'll have no problem filling that space. They're brighter than the others on your list but probably the most detailed as well. I felt the tweeter lacked refinement, and upper bass was very elevated to the point of being overwhelming at times. If you liked the Snell sound, you probably won't care much for the Revels, however, if you like the Klipsch sound then they might be a good fit.

In that price range, I like the Martin Logan Motion 60XT better than any on your list.
I am a Sonus Faber fan but getting big volume out of the smaller ones is just not possible as it is with the other speakers on your list. Visit Music Direct and look at the various JBL models. The Klipsch classic line also has speakers that are dynamic, efficient and decent sounding. I think the Cornwall is a great speaker for the money. If you want to rock these are the speakers you want to look at. Way more dBs per dollar and they will save you a lot of money on amplifiers.
Thanks.  I'm not really thinking about JBL or Klipsch.  I have decent amplification and the Klipsch just aren't the look I'm going for.  Plus, I've done Forte's.

I really have enjoyed my 1230's, but feel like I want to experience a modern speaker and determine for myself whether the engineering advances make for more enjoyment.  I want to feel like I also get a "massive upgrade."

@helomech - surprised that you think the Revels would be brightest, as it seems like the Focals have more of a reputation for brightness.  That's very helpful.

@mcreyn - had not heard of the Vortex's.  A little beyond what I want to spend and they aren't "lookers," but seem like incredible sound per $.
@helomech - surprised that you think the Revels would be brightest, as it seems like the Focals have more of a reputation for brightness. That’s very helpful.



For the most part, Focal deserves that rep, however, the Chorus line is probably their most polite. Revel is mostly bright (and analytical) sounding until you get into the Salon series where their berrylium tweeters do away with the typical fatiguing highs of metal domes.

I think you might be surprised at how well your vintage models compete. I recently did an A/B comparison of 40+ year old, 2-way Large Advents to some popular 3-ways that retail for $3K. I preferred the Advents by a wide margin.

If your list is not set in stone and you can place the speakers at least 3’ from the wall behind them, I highly suggest you consider the Spatial Audio M4 Turbo S’. These are better than any speakers on your list, especially regarding their highs, which sound remarkably similar to that of a beryllium tweeter. They are one of the best speakers I’ve heard under $6K.
Those Spatials look sweet.  Given my room size, I'd probably go to the bigger M3.  
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Purchased a preowned pair of KEF R900's locally for a good price.  I hope these get the job done.
Haven't heard the R900s but I really like the tonal balance of properly positioned LS50s. A nice feature of the Uni-Q driver is that the speakers don't have to be placed on-axis for good imaging. You can use toe-in to adjust tonal balance to taste without any real detriment to imaging.