Sonus Faber vs Focal and maybe even Dynaudio or PSB


A favorable tax return is allowing me to upgrade my current B&W 684 2.5 way floor standers. I have a Rogue Audio RP-1 that I would like to keep in the system and eventually upgrade the Rotel class D amp to a more modern class D piece after I choose the speaker. I am also running a single Velodyne Micro-V

I want to support my local dealer because they are pretty good about letting me have demos or brand new stuff in my system. The speakers I can choose from are Focal,PSB, Sonus Fabor and DynAudio. I can probably demo any of these products. But I don’t want to go overboard and request to demo everything as I have a modest budget of $2K. The first product I have lined up for a demo is the Focal Chorus 726.

My sources are vinyl and digital (deezer and some HD files) fed through a Wadia 321. I listen to all types of rock, progressive and some jazz.

I have always been fairly satisfied with the B&W characteristics so I don’t want to have a speaker that is to bright or not natural sounding or has to much bass. I just want a well balanced product.

Any light that can be shed my direction is appreciated.


 The first question I would ask your dealers is if any of his demo speakers are for sale. He probably has a couple he would sell. Those are the ones I would look at first. Not only would get get more speaker for your money, but they would be somewhat broken in. 

 The  DynAudio will probably be the best sound for the money. I own Sonus Faber and love them. You might want to give them a listen also.

I'd absolutely be looking at the Aria 906 over any chorus floorstander.   Then get an integrated with bass management and integrate your sub properly.  Way better sound that way.
I have owned several pairs of Dynaudio speakers in the past 15 years. Take a good listen to the Contour 1.4s, Special 25 and C1.
SonusFaber would be my second choice. The SF are less dynamic and much warmer than the Dynaudios, IMO.

I also recommend class A/AB POWER AMPLIFICATION.
just me but i'd opt for a better amp first as the speakers you have are probably quite good.
what does your dealer have to demo in amps? 
I think your on the right track selecting the speakers first and then an amp to properly drive them.  An amp is a much easier purchase determined by what speakers you have.

Since you are familiar with how your B&W's sound, I would say the Focals are the most similar.  Then the PSB'S.  Then the Dyns and finally the SF's which would be opposite of the B&W sound.  Which you will prefer will be entirely up to you.

Have fun finding out.

Yeah that was the advice I got from another thread I had going about overall system upgrades based on what I already had.  Hopefully I can get the Focals going soon.
For your budget, I'd go with Focal, I think you'll get the best bang for the buck.
I appreciate the need to support your local dealer, but they are totally overcharging you on the Focal for the age of the speaker. Usually in the Focal life cycle, you should be expecting significant amount off retail for a speaker that old.

Dynaudio has fans, but most have a W shaped frequency response you have to personally really like. It does well at low listening levels however!
Sonus Fabers higher end are not voiced as neutral as the others you mentioned from what I’ve heard of the Amati’s, Stradivarius even the old Extrema’s, they are very slightly laid back in character and never in your face, but with full robust, rich sound, a bit like a good ESL. This voicing should carry through to the other end of their range. But they always like to have a good amp up them.

Also I'm with the others as far as your amp, a good A/B amp would be better.

Cheers George
Again my opinion fwiw is to find a good ss amp that works well with the B&W' s . Enjoy for a while then upgrade speakers when you have the funds. Definitely buy used if you can. A good neutral amp will sound good on any speaker assuming enough power etc. You might like the B&W's better with a more refined and musical amp. Good speaker wire important too. Maximize the B&W's and you may be set for a while. Just an opinion

erik_squires, I have moved up to considering the Arial 926. Is this speaker also "old" in the Focal line ?
If you are raising your budget to 3k you definitely need to check out Tekton Double Impact. If you heard the Dynaudios, Focals, and PSBs in that price range and liked them your jaw will hit the floor when you here these. They are internet direct but have a 60 day return policy but you won't be sending them back. 
I’m not very sure about the Ariel.

The way you can tell is when Crutchfield or Music Direct start carrying them at 45% off. Focal starts out selling at full price to retailers, and as the marketing novelty wears off and they need to close out their inventory the turn to on-line merchants.

Monitor Audio follows the same pattern.

I used to be blessed with a local retailer who would do the same, so I could buy locally and still get excellent bargains at the right time. :)


I have moved up to considering the Arial 926. Is this speaker also "old" in the Focal line
The Aria line is much more recent being introduced around 2014 and is still current.  It sits right in the middle of their different ranges for HiFi speakers.  Here is a link from Focals website...
It's easy to compare one brand to another, but when you take in consideration several more brands it makes IMO the task impossible. Choosing btw B&W and Focals I'd go for Focals for greater bass which is really important for the listener of rock. SF is really great for chamber music.
Vad,  Tell me about it.  I think I am focusing on Focal.  Problem is the budget handle seems to be coming off and things are spinning out of control.  I am now considering the  Electra 1008 Be. Help me.
<ELAC dealer disclaimer>
The ELAC Uni-Fi series is a noticeable step up from B&W 600 series, despite it low price.  The ELAC UF5 is a floor-standing, three way that I believe is worth adding to your list.  They only cost $1000/pr, same as your 684's, but they easily compete with the CM series.  I was amazed when I compared the UF5 to the CM7/CM8/CM9.  I found it to be much better everywhere.  (I sold B&W for 16 years, very familiar)  
ELAC has another line, Adante, to be released in June that will have a $5000/pr 3-way, floor-stander.  I imagine they'll give the 804D3 trouble for half of the price, but of course need to compare first.