Help with a pair of Focal Aria 948 please

Greetings People.

Let me introduce Myself please. I am a total novice to the Hi -Fi world. When I was a child I lived with my old brother, and he had an old Marantz Model 4240 feeding a pair of Celestion Ditton 33 Speakers. That setup was continuosly playing at home, and I grew up listening to them, and I got my ears used to that wonderfull sound.

Now that I have grown up, I thougth it was my time to get a nice equipment for myself. First of all I wanted a 7.1 set up to watch movies at home, and got a Marantz SR7008 receiver. I was planing to get a good Turntable, feed it to the marantz, and be able to hear our own vinyl colection again, then I decided to get some good main speakers, and purchased a pair of Focal Aria 948. That was my first novice mistake, since soon it was clear that the Marantz is a good 7.1 Amplifier, but it lacks when you intend to power the Arias 948 with it.

Told the problem to my dealer, and he lend me a Devialet 120 Amplifier, so i could feed the Focals properly, with that kind of gear, I should get the sound quality that I remebered from my childhood, but, to my surprise and alarm, the experience was a disapointment.

With the devialet the Arias sounded much better, of course, but I feel that the speakers lack bass power. The sound is very clear and defined, but I find it lacking in presence. It doesnt "fill" the room, dont know if Im expressing myself properly. Tweaked with the amplifier a little adding more bass, improved a little, but still not the bass I remembered from childhood, added more bass and then the sound turned into a mess.

So guys, I Dont know if the problem are the Speakers, the amplifiers, or maybe the problem are my expectations, that are too high, please give me some advice, Im pretty disappointed with my purchase.
I would personally change the speakers. Perhaps you could look into the Golden Ear series of speakers? They have gotten rave reviews and are great for high quality stereo and home theater.
You need to start listening to some equipment. You have an overall idea as to what type of sound you are looking for, but have no idea how to get it. You need to demo as much equipment as you can. This is not something you can throw money at. Aside from that, if you just bought new speakers, are you sure they're broken in? Put at least 150-200 hours on them before you judge them.
Focal does not have a huge rep for bass response at the lower price levels. Light airy highs and a liquid, neutral mid range are their forte. It is true what you write about a receiver not being great on two channel music, I have a Denon and had to work very hard with the settings to get decent two channel sound for music. One thing that helped me is I can bi-amp the fronts with the surround channels on the Denon, but focal speakers are not bi-wireable.
Since you are shooting for a 7.1 setup, I'd recommend using your sub and setting the receiver in 2.1 mode with the Arias when playing two channel music, that should fill the sound out.
I submit that the focals are an easy load for most amps, with a sensitivity as high as 92db, maybe a future purchase would be a pre amp with a home theater by pass, you tried using the maranta as a pre amp only, try it the other way around, with the marantz as amp only.
I was drawn to this thread because of the Arias, this is a speaker I'd love to have in my listening room. I would definitely run it in a 2.1 system, though. Digging deep is not really what their reputed to do well. Nice speakers though, congrats on them. If you do decide to swap them out, consider monitor audio's silver line, audition the rx-6 if possible.