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ivavcr's picture
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Focal 705V vs Q Acoustics 2020i vs Boston 25 vs Diamond 10.1
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If you were in a position to buy all of the above speakers at the exact same price, what would be your choice and why?

The other elements that are not variable at this point are: NAD 326BEE, Oppo 981 and Paradigm PDR 80 sub.

The only place for the speakers is two meter long shelf.

I would appreciate any input, especially if someone has a first hand experience with any of the combinations numbered..

 

Thanks!

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RE: Focal 705V vs Q Acoustics 2020i vs Boston 25 vs Diamond 10.1

OK lets rephrase my question. I currently own the Diamonds 10.1 with NAD, Oppo and Paradigm as listed above.

I was really impressed while listening to them in a show room. They do not sound nearly as nice in my own room/system. At higher volumes they are much less clear and imaging suffers badly. I am suspecting that the position, close to the wall, is a big part of the sound degradation. I partially blocked the rear ports  and the speakers sound much nicer and imaging improved significantly.

Last Saturaday I auditioned the Focals 705V and was pleasantly surprised. It appears that Focal is introducing new version of 705 and the old version is currently deeply discounted. Since the 705V has a front facing port, it is better suited to the placement close to the rear wall. At the same time, most reviews describe it as a "polite", "unengaging" , "cautious",  "lacking dynamics".......At its current price around  GBP 200 it may be a good value.

I also read stellar reviews (limited to British magazines) of  Q 2020i. Unfortunately I was not in a position to hear them in my part of Canada.

I liked the claim about their unfussy positioning requirements.

I added Bostons due to number of favourable reviews both in UK and NA.

So the question is: should I keep the Diamonds and try to fine tune the ports or should I switch to any of the three speakers listed above?

Thanks!

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RE: Focal 705V vs Q Acoustics 2020i vs Boston 25 vs Diamond 10.1

Probably better off with front ported speakers. I have rear posted dynaudios and they're about 2 foot away from the walls, any closer and they start to get boomy.

 

You also say they're on a shelf, if this is above your head this will also affect the sound, if you have some way to tilt the speakers to ear height whilst still keeping them from toppling this may help?

 

 

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RE: Focal 705V vs Q Acoustics 2020i vs Boston 25 vs Diamond 10.1

What about some second hand Dali front ported speakers - Lektors?

If you are thinking of the Boston Acoustics - my A26's are very nice to listen to, haven't heard the smaller version.

Not many front ported or sealed cabinet designs around that price. Other ones I can think of is the Wharfedale 9.1, Tannoy V1 which would be fine paired with the NAD.

The wharfedale 9.1 should fit nicely on the shelf though or Dali Lektors. You might want to avoid really deep speakers in the dimensions.

HiFi - Cambridge Audio 340C, Pioneer A30, Denon TU 260L, Dali Lektor 2. 

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RE: Focal 705V vs Q Acoustics 2020i vs Boston 25 vs Diamond 10.1

Boston very good speakers, 10.1 not so much find them not good with voices and treble a little shrill.

Focals are also good.

my choice would be focals/boston fos first choice, then QA 2020i for 2º choice...and the 10.1 I guess would  not even be a choice..

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RE: Focal 705V vs Q Acoustics 2020i vs Boston 25 vs Diamond 10.1

Or these http://totemacoustic.com/en/hi-fi/on-wall/tribe-i/

 

Made in Canada, but $875 (dunno what your budget is), not heard these, but may be worth a listen, which province are you in?

 

Heard the rainmakers, and they were good, but no good for your application

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RE: Focal 705V vs Q Acoustics 2020i vs Boston 25 vs Diamond 10.1

skippy, thank you for your suggestions. My Diamonds are less than a foot from the rear wall and the right speaker is very close to the corner and that probably makes things even worse. Yes they are above ear level. If the walls were solid (they are what is called dry wall - not very rigid) I would consider wall mounting. Tilting them on the shelf would not be approved by my wife :shame:

Blackdawn,  I believe that Dali Lektor would be a very nice solution. However they tend to be quite pricey on this continent. Since I like the sound of Diamonds when properly placed, I would definitely take front ported 9.1  if they were available. They are so cheap but I am not aware of the UK store that would ship to Canada. For some reason I did not find Tannoy V1 very attractive. I will try to audition A25 although it is rear ported and it appears that I should stay away from it.

ear, did you have a chance to listen to all three you are recommending or you are basing your suggestions on the published reviews?

The reason I am asking is that Q2020 is more or less unheard off outside of UK. It is also rear ported. Although my Paradigm Atom 5 did not have any ill effects from its rear port.

skippy, I am in Vancouver BC ( west or wet coast) and unfortunately, Totems are clearly out of my price range.

Time to catch some sleep before work. Thank you all!
:O

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RE: Focal 705V vs Q Acoustics 2020i vs Boston 25 vs Diamond 10.1

Since you're in Canada I'd look at the local manufacturers like Paradigm, PSB and Totem (particularly the Dreamcatchers).

You might want to look at the Stereophile recommended speakers for this year:  http://www.stereophile.com/content/2013-recommended-components-loudspeakers 

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RE: Focal 705V vs Q Acoustics 2020i vs Boston 25 vs Diamond 10.1

I'm sure the Dali Zensor 1 would be great - fairly small. Not too bass heavy but fairly flexible, in a similar way to the others even though rear ported. Possible move speaker out from the corner a little or use the balance controls on the amp.

HiFi - Cambridge Audio 340C, Pioneer A30, Denon TU 260L, Dali Lektor 2. 

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RE: Focal 705V vs Q Acoustics 2020i vs Boston 25 vs Diamond 10.1

If you can temporarily place the speakers at their correct listening height and distance from the wall to see if they sound any better, that may be a good place to start.

If they are better, you then know it's just a placement issue and it's time to see if her indoors will compromise. You can get stands from visions or best buy for around $60 or so.

If there's no compromise, I've noticed the focals have a key hole slot in the back for wall mounting. You have drywall, but at intervals (16" over here) there'll be vertical studs that the drywall's mounted on, you can get a better fixing on these, otherwise if the studs are in the wrong location you could fix a rail which screws to the studs and then fix the speakers to the rail.

Just ask if they have a demo pair that you could try (before u buy) at the dealer.

I'm in Calgary by the way and from the news you'll have seen we've had a little rain here.

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RE: Focal 705V vs Q Acoustics 2020i vs Boston 25 vs Diamond 10.1

altruistic.lemon, thank you very much for the link! I did a few more hours of reading.

Blackdawn, I like the idea of Zensors more and more. They are not as deep as Diamonds, so they would not be too close to the rear wall. They are ~ CAD 300 (including tax) in UK and around CAD 560 in Canada. I have to find a way to bring them closer to the UK price.

skippy, it is not only her, who does not allow.     :shame:     Realistically, due to room shape and size if I  put the stands in, there will be no

space for us. Although, having someone to blame always comes handy !! Since we rent, wall mounting may be a bit tricky. I like the idea of a loaner and may try to try the Focals.

The rain you had is not something I would wish to anybody! Just a few days before the floods, we landed and took off at Calgary on our way from Varadero to Vancouver. We did not notice anything unusual and that is a clear indication how intense it was!

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RE: Focal 705V vs Q Acoustics 2020i vs Boston 25 vs Diamond 10.1

skippy wrote:

I'm in Calgary by the way and from the news you'll have seen we've had a little rain here.

And you suggest Totem Rainmakers?  :doh:

To the OP: I heard the Totem Tribes (on wall speakers) and was underwhelmed. So don't feel sorry that they're over budget. I personally like the Focals. Didn't hear them with NAD amplification, but I have a hunch it'll work well.

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RE: Focal 705V vs Q Acoustics 2020i vs Boston 25 vs Diamond 10.1

Another vote for Totems. Not only do they sound terrific but they are easy about placement. Also a big fan of Focal. Not heard the 705 but have the 714V and 806V and they sound great with Arcam (similar tonal presence to Nad).

If you can find some get Ruark Sabre III - very impressive. However, they aren't made anymore so it'll have to be s/hand.

Amp; CDP; Turntable; Tuner; Speakers

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RE: Focal 705V vs Q Acoustics 2020i vs Boston 25 vs Diamond 10.1

I have first hand experience with Diamonds 10.2 and Focal Chorus 726V.  Yes, I know that they are not exactly the models you mention, but I can give you my two cents.

Some time ago I purchased a pair of Diamonds 10.2 to replace my old Eltax Silverstone 160 which I hade purchased in e-Bay for almost nothing.  I didn't hear the speakers before purchasing, I just chose them based on the reviews and information seen through Internet.  When I installed them I was really disappointed.  The sound was poor and clearly worse than that of the Eltaxs.  I exchanged them for a pair of Mordaunt Short Mezzo 1, which were miles better than the Diamonds, even being smaller: the sound was clearer, more detailed and more dynamic.

Recently, I upgraded again to a pair of 726V.  The change was also amazing.  The imaging and detail was a lot better than the Mezzo's, which was not bad at all.  I would say that the "distance" between the Mezzos and the 726V is similar to the "distance" between the Diamonds and the Mezzos. 

Of course the 705V are not the 726V, but I'm sure they are very much closer to their big brothers than the Diamonds. 

Hope this helps.

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