Go with Joseph's , way more involving and thrilling
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For the price of the Focals you could almost be looking at the JA Perspectives. Anyway, I think the fact that you like the JA house sound is a good indicator although certainly not definitive. Also, the Focal tweeter is very different from the treble you get from a JA fabric dome, so that would be something to look for upon comparison. Markalarsen probably has some good insight to the differences between the two although he had a previous Focal model. These are not huge speakers, so if you have dealers of both nearby I'd arrange for an in-home demo and you'll have your answer pretty quickly I'd think. Personally I think the Pulsar is a much better looking speaker if that's even a consideration, although you may feel differently. By the way, just out of curiosity, what's your center speaker?
One last thought. Whatever you ultimately choose and given the quality of your amp I'd strongly recommend trying a good stereo preamp that could be seamlessly integrated into your surround system. As good as the 8801 may be, it could very well be a significant bottleneck to the performance you can ultimately achieve for stereo. IME the preamp is one of the most important contributors to a system's sound, so it's at least worth a look. Anyway, best of luck in your search.
Thanks for the feedback! There are no Joseph dealers anywhere near me, so their sound is a mystery to me. However, I went to a local Focal dealer and listened to the Diablos and they sounded superb. I got a good deal on a pair here and ended up going with them. I got the Diablos in red lacquer, which my wife LOVES as we are in a modern condo in Miami. As soon as I hooked them up instead of the RM25XL's, it was a huge difference in the high end and midrange -- much more expansive. Since I have a big subwoofer, the bass was not an issue. It was a little brighter sound than I am used to, as all of my music is FLAC on a server, and not as forgiving on less than good quality recordings. So I added MIT S3 cables, which really made a difference in the soundstage, I thought, and added a NAIM NDX streamer/DAC. I have to say that I have obtained audio perfection again. The system sounds exactly the way I like it. I guess I never know how the Pulsars would have fared until I find a pair to listen to!
@soix, what preamp would you suggest? I need one with a home theater bypass as they are used as my front speakers (JA Cynergy 5.1 center, FYI). I have a Plinius M12 preamp, but I'm not sure if I can rig up an HT Bypass for it (although I read somewhere that the Tape inputs could potentially be used. I also thought about a Devialet 200 or 250 and eliminating the Plinius amp, but it is a pretty pricey piece of equipment, on top of everything else! Suggestions?