Focal diablos vs Dynaudio focus 380 PLEASE HELP


Curious as to what peoples thoughts are comparing these. I know they are both totally different animals but im having a very hard time deciding weather a pair of super high end mini monitors with a JL fathom 12" subs, is a better choice for a wide variety of music vs the dyns (also paired with 2 f112's). The dyns would be able to get me the SPL over the focals, but they probably aren't as smooth, not to mention almost half the price for the setup im considering.. Any thoughts would be most appreciated! The electronics used would be a classe cap2100 and cdp 302 for the focals (roughly $10,000) Or Bryston 4bsst2 with bp 26 and cd1 for the dyns (roughly 18,000 used)
w7_gsr
You really have three decisions to make...

(1) monitors vs. floorstanders
(2) Focal vs. Dynaudio
(3) price range

RE: (1) monitors vs. floorstanders. IME, it is usually easier to integrate a pair of monitors with a sub than a pair of floorstanders, and the results with monitors + sub tend to be more coherent than floorstanders + sub. On the other hand, floorstanders are likely to give you a greater sense of scale. So which is more important, scale or coherence? It depends on your personal preferences and what kind of music you tend to listen to. Jazz? Chamber music? Go with coherence. Rock? Symphonic music? Go with scale. IMO, of course.

RE: (2) Focal vs. Dynaudio. I've owned multiple speakers from both Focal and Dynaudio, including two speakers that bear some resemblance to what you're considering: Focal 1007be and Dynaudio Focus 140. Incidentally, I also have a similar sub: JL Audio Fathom 113. And I've heard the Diablos, but not the Focus 380's.

The Diablos, and Focal speakers in general, are resolving, transparent, and coherent. The Dynaudio Focus line is dynamic, warm, and relaxed. Which is preferable is a matter of taste and what the electronics are like. With the wrong electronics, the Focals can have some glare and grain. With the right electronics, they can be very realistic. I don't have much experience with Classe or Bryston, so I can't be of much help as to how well each of those would mate with Focal and Dynaudio, respectively.

RE: (3) price range. Again, totally up to you. I only mention it because at the moment you seem to be comparing apples to oranges in terms of price, and IMO that can confuse the matter.

Hope this helps a little.

Bryon
I was talking with a friend just last night who had just got home from listening to the dyn focus 380s . He is a fan of dyns and has owned other lines and currently using has contour. 3.4s. He had gone to the dealer to see about purchasing C2s. He had told me he was completely blown away by the focus 380s. I have no experience with focal but suggests if possible listen to the new focus line they have been changed from the previous lines and are reportedly much improved. Good luck.
Well thanks man! Yeah, just comparing speaker price alone, ive found both USED in great shape for around 7500. Its obviously going to cost more to power larger (not to mention worse effecient) speakers. So thats the only real difference in price. I can somewhat justify the difference though as my father has a older classe cap 150 and its had a few (very minor) quirks. The bryston has a 20 year warranty, so that gives me some piece of mind.. Im assuming all things being equal (with the low end cut off around 90 hz for the sub) That the dyns will be able to play much louder given there raw quantity of drivers. I don't reach super loud spl all the time, but when it calls for it, for the money im spending, I want to get to reference/concert levels when I call for it. That and given the bulk of the music style I mainly play, Id say the dyns/bryston would be the ideal fit for me. I haven't personally heard the fathom, but I did have the w7 (car audio and loved it) Along with the reviews I hear, im willing to purchase without an audition. Do you feel the 113 a lot more output than the 112? (if you've had the opportunity to compare) I find only a couple hundred dollar price difference used between the two) Would you opt for the 113 or do you find that its overkill? Keep in mind I plan on running 2 to even out room acoustic/modes. Thanks very much for the lengthy inputs! Most appreciated!
Diablo integrates with sub best I have ever expierenced-it seems they are just way designed from the start-powerfull downt to 65hz or so, below that sharply goes down like a rocket.

It can play a sloud as Dynaudio floorstanders, but needs to be cutted below 60Hz in that case
Do you feel the 113 a lot more output than the 112? (if you've had the opportunity to compare) I find only a couple hundred dollar price difference used between the two) Would you opt for the 113 or do you find that its overkill? Keep in mind I plan on running 2 to even out room acoustic/modes.
Yes, I'm familiar with the F112. I have a good friend who has a pair of them in his system. They are a little faster than the F113, but they don't have quite as much scale. So it's a question of speed vs. scale. But I think you'll be very happy either way.
I don't reach super loud spl all the time, but when it calls for it, for the money im spending, I want to get to reference/concert levels when I call for it.
Then go for the Dynaudio 380's. Even my Dyn Focus 140's were remarkably composed at high volumes. I suspect the 380's will be impressive, especially when you add the subs.

When you get your system together, let me know how it turns out.
I think you're going to be very happy.

Bryon
Elviukai, it sounds as though you're opting for the diablos in this comparison. Have you heard the updated version of dynaudio focus line to make a direct comparison?
-Do other people agree that cutting a high end monitor speaker at 80-90 hz and adding a sub would be very similar in output alone compared to a larger floorstander thats also cut out at the same frequency? Usually what you get with a floor stander are the obvious increase in cabinet size and larger low end drivers.. which wouldn't ultimately be totally useful considering the low end is already taken care of via subs. Anyone elses thoughts would be most appreciated. I feel like its a lot to ask out of just having a 1" tweet and a single 6.5 to cover 85 percent of the sound produced to reach 105-115 dbs, even with a sub.
If you like loud listening levels but without hurting your ears ,bryston and dynaudio the way to go.
$7.5K should be more than enough for buying a pair Confidence C2 speakers
which should be much better than the Focus you are considering. Regarding
Bryston electronics, they certainly work fine with Dyns, but IMO there are quite
a few other combinations that will work better. Plinus and Simaudio are among
the most popular, Musical Fidelity (their big integrated KW 500/550, TRi-Vista
and NU-Vista) will give you a full worm sound with good detail and powerful
bass, Accuphase will work even better.

Regarding your desire to reach 115 dBs in your room. My advice would be to
take care of your ears. They do not grow back and/or regenerate. 115dB is
extremely loud.

Finally, I would like to corroborate what Elviukai said, i.e. Focal Diablo (also
Micro Be) are much easier to integrate with a sub. Dyns speakers, with their
powerfull low end, are more difficult to integrate seamlessly (at least this is my
experience).
$7.5K should be more than enough for buying a pair Confidence C2 speakers
which should be much better than the Focus you are considering.
I wouldn't be so sure that the C2 beats the new Focus floorstanders.
I have nothing to add to the other comments, as I have not heard the Focals, but I would like to comment on your sub question. I have integrated many subs in different type rooms. It is as much a function of the room as the speaker. If full range placement gives you a 60 hz bump, you can cross below that and move your sub placement to keep good low end, but eleviate the issue with a 60 hz bump... or any frequency for that matter.if there is no bump or dip below 90 where you want to cross, I have also experienced that a higher crossover point can clean up the speaker so that mid bass or even mids can be improved. Proper integration is a matter of the speaker, placement and the room.
The Focals have the better tweeter, true?
Drubin, my experience is that older models from superior lines (e.g. Confidence
mk1 models) are almost never outperformed by newer models from inferior
lines (e.g. new Focus models). This is especially the case with companies like
Dynaudio. I have never compared the Focus 380 and the C2 mk1 speakers.
However, I have compared the Confidence C1 mk1/mk2, Contour S1.4 and
Focus 160 monitors. If the amp is up to the task (i.e. drive appropriately
Confidence speakers) then to my ears there was no contest C1 mk1/mk2 >>
S1.4 > Focus 160. I see no reason why this situation will change when
comparing the floor standing models from these lines. Finally, I realize that
many might prefer a speaker with more bass (Focus 380) over one that images
more precisely (C2 mk1).

Dave, one should never buy a speaker for its tweeter. It is the midrange that is
important. The Focal and Dynaudio speakers sound very differently as their
designers had very different goals. With Focal the focus is on transparency and
speed, whereas with Dynaudio the focus is on the music. That is, Dynaudio
speakers have a more relaxed presentation and a much more fuller midrange
(and bass) than Focal speakers.
Ok, thanks for highlighting the differences. From what you said here, the Focals are more attractive to me.
My general impression is that the Dynaudio Focus is a very excellent speaker that is pretty much full range, whereas the Diablo Utopia gives you the state of the art from around 65 Hz on up. Here's an interesting review of the Diablo which toward the end says:

For $12,000 plus - expect to be seduced by your music collection all over again. Add in a top-level subwoofer and expect to get 85 to 90 percent of the performance of the $185,000 Focal Grand Utopia BE reference speakers, a speaker that many think are the best speakers money can buy. If you wanted to make an argument that this makes the Diablos a relative value, I wouldn't argue with you. When paired with a sub, Focal Diablos will take on Wilson Sasha WPs, Bowers & Wilkins 800 Diamonds, Revel Salon2s and Magicos and give them a run for their money on all counts.

I suspected that that's the crowd you're running with when you add JL-quality subs to the Diablos. Read the whole review; he found the Diablos musically seductive and totally involving.

Subs with stand-mount speakers also have the distinct advantage of lower cabinet noise. As opposed to large floorstanders, small speakers have no large side panels and no huge woofer backwave to deal with in the same space as the midrange and tweeter. Properly integrated, JLs plus Diablos should sound cleaner than full-range speakers *built to the same price point.*
I see no reason why this situation will change when
comparing the floor standing models from these lines. Finally, I realize that
many might prefer a speaker with more bass (Focus 380) over one that images
more precisely (C2 mk1).
exactly,that is what happened when I compared S5.4 and C4,At that time I prefered thundering and very expressive bass of S5.4 ,but now I know that confidence line needs even better electronics to shine and when it does I see no contest here.As for comparison of focal diablo and new dyn focus ,focal will give better quality sound,fair comparison should be between confidence line and diablo.And in this case will be matter of taste,as everybody states that