Focal-JM Labs speakers

I'm considering a pair of Focal 800 series speakers. The 816's to be exact. Can anyway shed any light on these and the brand? There is a step up from these, is it worth the extra $500.00? I was told that Wilson Speakers get some of their components from JM Labs for their this true?

I will be using these with either a Mac or Bryston 4b amp, and am also considering a VTL pre-amp, if any of this is relevant to anyway out there :)

Thanks in advance.
Focal decided to quit supplying speaker manufacturers, like Wilson, with parts. Instead, they are using their technology for their own speakers exclusively now.

Focal is a huge company, based in France, and has been around for like 25 years I think. It used to be that Focal made drivers for OEMs and JM Lab was their in-house speaker brand. But since deciding to keep their drivers for themselves, they merged the two halves of the company together and just kept the Focal name for all of it.

IMO, the Focal speakers are fantastic - especially the latest ones. Previous generations were "hit or miss" with some models that were great and others that were not. I assume you speak of the new Chorus 800 series and not the older Cobalt 800 series (which was not very good IMO). The new Chorus sound as good as they look with a generally warm presentation - but that doesn't mean the tweeters are rolled off. Their high frequency extention is what Focal is all about and I feel that is a key ingredient to making them as good as they are.

You can't go wrong with them. There are many other speakers that are good but these new ones have no more faults than the others. The amps you are looking at will all be good matches.

As far as which model you should get, it all depends on your room and tastes. If your room is not very big, the 816 will be plenty. Assuming you are going for strict 2-channel (ie, no subwoofer), you may need the bigger speaker if your room is large. I am very familiar with the previous generation and in my experience, if your room is less than 260 sqft, the 816 will be fine. The change in price is not for an "upgrade" but rather for more bass depending on your room.

I realize that this thread is extremely old, but figured I'd added my experience with the Chorus 816v and 836v speakers that are related to this thread for future searchers.

I narrowed my speaker search to the 816v and the 836v with a $1,000 cost difference. The 726v wasn't available at the store that I was planning to purchase and, for an unexplainable reason, I really didn't have a strong interest in the 826v model. I loved the 816v and almost purchased them before opting to go big and get what I really wanted.

The biggest difference between them, from my listening, wasn't the additional bass from the 2 additional drivers, it was actually instrument seperation. I think this resulted from the full 3-way design of the 836v compared to the 2-1/2 way 816v. There were aspects of the music in the 836v that simply didn't exist in the 816v. The bass extension was better, but was secondary in my choice.

I've since had the opportunity for short listen to an 826v, but the environment wasn't similar enough to make any real comparison. I don't think you can go wrong with any of them, but the 836v is my clear favorite.
focals are a very polarizing speaker--people seem to either love 'em or hate 'em. i agree with aball that their models are hit and miss, though they all have that magnificent tweeter. what's curious is that (to my purely subjective ears) their sound quality doesn't seem especially price-dependent--some of the lower cost models sound better than their pricier ones. i own an older pair of cobalt monitors, which i preferred to the pricier profile/electra. i also recently heard the $50k utopia maestros at a dealer showroom and was surprisingly unmoved--fantastic soundstage and detail, but a really wooly, uncomfortable-sounding low end. on the other hand, the very modestly-priced chorus line are getting rave reviews. go figure.
I have only had the opportunity to hear the 706v, 816v and 836v in the Chorus line and the Diablo, Scala and Grande in the Utopia line. I really like all of them, but can't speak to any of the others. My father-in-law recently got a pair of the 706v speakers and loves them. As you say, the tweeters sound great.

The store recently changed amplifiers and I have not been as impressed with any of the speakers with the new untit. With the old Krell amps I couldn't imagine being any more happy than the Diablo's did during several listening opportunities. The addition of a JL Audio subwoofer was more impressive to me than the Grande's were connected to the same system.

I know the store I deal with is very particular about what models they have in the store. They stock and recommend, as the best values, the Chorus 706v for bookshelf application and the Chorus 816v or 836v for floorstanding models.