Focal Aria 948, Revel F208, Tekton Double Impact

Hey everyone, this is a long post, so thanks in advance to those who bear with me.

Home theater/stereo is a new experiment for me.  I was recently persuaded by some surprisingly positive experiences with soundbars to look for better, louder, options with more definition and overall sonic appeal. 

I am trying to decide on a set of floorstanding speakers for probably 70% HT use and 30% music.  This is my second attempt at finding a set of speakers in the last 6 months.  I started with a pair of Klipsch RP-8000f which I initially liked.  I found myself not wanting to listen to them for very long at what seemed like normal volumes - after maybe an hour listening fatigue would set in and my ears would feel a bit assaulted.  It is possible that they were not fully broken in, if those speakers require breaking in (I have heard that they may).  It is also possible that my room shredded the sound to crap since one speaker had to be right next to a large window, but this is not something I can avoid.  I began to wonder what better options might be available within a moderately expanded budget.

So, after reading forum after forum, review after review, I think I have narrowed the options to the Focal Aria 948, the Revel F208, and the Tekton Double Impact.  I want to start with a 2.0 system and hopefully (with eventual, begrudging approval from my wife) get at least a 3.1 system going.  So I'm really interested in floorstanders so that I can put money towards very good as-full-range-as-possible sound from the front L and R initially.  I am interested in at least a 3-way design so that I can get a dedicated midrange driver, as well, and large woofers for SPL and (hopefully) clear and substantial bass.

The problem is, I have no way of auditioning these speakers before buying and my room is so far from ideal that I am sure most of you will laugh and tell me to just use the speakers in the TV, haha.  The room is about 16' x 22' with a vaulted ceiling which rises from one long wall to the other long wall up to the ceiling of the 2nd floor of the house.  I have to stick these speakers near a corner and I have no way around that (the room simply cannot be rearranged or it will cease to be functional as a living room).  The "corner" speaker will be about 2.5-3.0' from the long wall and only inches from the short wall (immediately adjacent a large window).  The other speaker will be about 12-18" from the long wall and nowhere near a short wall.

I have heard that the Focal Aria 948 is fussy regarding placement and maybe demanding for amplification because of an impedance dip.  I've heard opinions which say these are easy to drive, as well.  I have also heard from a Focal dealer (when I was asking about a used Electra 1028 Be II) that the Arias are not the best sound for the buck.  He suggested Martin Logan Motion 60XTi, but I hear mixed reviews on the 60XTs (not many reviews on the XTi's yet).  But the Aria 948's have 8.25" woofers, which honestly excite me, and I expect they would be able to produce beautiful sound at substantial volumes.

The Revel F208 has boundary correction hardware on the speaker itself, which seems very useful if it actually works given my placement constraints.  I have also read that these are very neutral, which sounds appealing to me, but some find them "boring".

The Tekton speakers have had me intrigued since I first started looking for speakers months ago.  I first saw the Seas Pendragons but I ended up obsessing over the idea of the Double Impacts with the large mid-range array and the huge woofers.  They are reported as easy to drive and with a very "real" sound, but they feel like the riskiest choice among the three.  In spite of the rave reviews for the Double Impacts that I find almost everywhere I look, I can't help but wonder how their sound might compare to the Focals and the Revels, which are more traditional designs that, whether you like them or not, few can say are "bad" speakers (objectively speaking). 

Has anyone heard the Double Impacts, Focals and/or Revels?  Do the Double Impacts sound "nasally" with vocals or dialogue (as one forum member elsewhere commented... though I don't know if it was this forum or another)?

Will any of these speakers be more forgiving of the obviously less-than-ideal placement they will be forced to contend with?

And lastly, I bought a Cambridge Audio Azur 851W for less than half price on Audiogon.  It seems like it should be able to drive a 4 ohm or 8 ohm speaker with ease, though I have read it can get very hot.  Does anyone have any experience with this amplifier and can you comment on how it might sound driving any of the Focal, Revel, or Tekton options?  

Place the Aria's 948 under the most powerful and well made amp and you will be not disappointed. Focal's don't like weak amplification - 2 ohms and even down at certain be frequencies. But when they get properly feed , the notorious French's striving for the ultimate elegance is obvious ;-)
I owe a set of Revel F 208 and I love them now. The sound if amazing If you a an amazing amp. I’m using a Bryson 14b3 and the sound awesome but you need to try them in your system. I had a plinius s100 that was very dry and had no lower end  I tried McIntosh 452 amp it sounded very bright with no lower end. Had a mc 275 amp sound good but didn’t have the pow to drive the woofers. The first couple years of owning these speakers I didn’t like them and almost didn’t keep them but once I found a amp the can drive them they are awesome and glad I kept them. Note I also tried Bryson 4b3 and sound just like 14b3 . I also have an old counterpoint sa100. Also tried the new mark levenson sounded very good also And that amp sounds awesome on these speaker. The impedance swing in around 2 to 12 ohms so it takes a real good amp to hang on to them. The speakers have a large soundstage and natural sound. You will love them if you have the right amp good luck
Go with the F208.  They are outstanding.  Plus, there is a great matching center channel and sub if you decide to go that direction.  
I owned revel 208s, now I own 228be, I have a friend with tektons, I think they are fun sounding but not nearly as coherent as the revels, revel really does a great job blending the drivers, much better than most actually. They also have a huge sweet spot because the dispersion is so good. As far as boring or dry sounding? NOT,  they are just very transparent and sound like what is driving them. My system is super fun and involving to listen to, with either revel speaker. I am using  a Rel sub and Rogue m180 darks with Rogue or bel canto phono stage, bel canto dac 3.7 and SME model 10 with clear audio cart. The system is anything but boring. I have had people who thought that they did not like Revel after hearing them somewhere else use the word WOW many times after hearing them at my place. That being said this hobby is subjective, I have a friend that loves horns, and he will never own anything but horns, and they are not my bag at all.
Two years ago, I auditioned the Double Impacts in my house, with a group of several other AGon members. Our overall impression is that they do sound lively, have a pretty nice tone, bass is great. But, they don’t have a ’refined’ sound. The frequency response doesn’t sound smooth from top to bottom. Then there is the WAF factor, and generally the form factor. They look like you have two refrigerators in the music room. IMO, they are just too big unless your room is very large. And, they have a rather "industrial" look.

As someone mentioned above, the Tekton product specs seem to change over time. So, the set you order today may be different from what I had. IMO, that is a detractor. Also, I watched the site for a while, and often saw "ready to sell" speakers, but never "open box" or "returned demo". I know that I returned a set. Were they then sold as new? I don’t know, but I’m suspicious.

After the demo, I listened to a set of Revel F208s in a store while I was on a business trip. I really liked them, but there is no dealer in Minneapolis. When a used set came available locally, I bought them. They sound great. The top to bottom FR is smoother than the Tektons, but they don’t quite have that same "live" feel of the DIs. They do have a very refined sound, whether you are listening at low or high volume. We like them better, and we get lots of great comments from friends who come by to listen. And, they look the part of expensive speakers, while the Tekton’s don’t.

I run the Revels with an REL R528 sub, and a Primaluna Dialogue HP Integrated. They play plenty loud, and they sound great. My room is fairly large, and they fill the room very well. They were a good step up from my previous speakers, B&W 803N, which I also loved, but they are not in the same league.

The only change I would consider is to move up to the Revel Be line, but it’s not in the budget right now.