5.1 or 2.1 Focals [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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09-11-2006, 07:16 PM
Hi All:

I am retiring my old Luxman system to my office and started looking for a 5.1 system for the house. Today I auditioned a pair of Focal 714 floor speakers. The rest of the 5.1 system was not hooked up yet; as I was on my lunch hour I went ahead and listened to some of my favorite CDs with only the two speakers.

I was really impressed with them. It got me to wondering since I will be listening to music most of the time, do I really need all these other speakers? Should I just put more money into to mains and maybe add the rest later, if at all? If I do just go 2.0 should I go 2.1 adding a sub?

While I am soliciting answers, does anyone have any opinions regarding Focal speakers? I noticed on their website they don’t even list the 700 series. This struck me as a little strange. Have the 700s been discontinued?


Mr Peabody
09-11-2006, 07:38 PM
My answer would be yes, IF, you want the true surround sound effect. My preference is stereo for music but I really enjoy a good movie soundtrack, better than I thought I might. Both front and rear speakers are in stereo which can allow sound to go 360 degrees around your listening seat, diagonal, back to front etc. Center is important since that's where most of the dialogue and center screen sound effects come from. You'll find a correctly set up home theater quite entertaining. Nothing like bullets and airplanes flying around your room.

Have you bought any gear yet? I'd think you will have to spend some money to make yourself happy over the Luxman gear, especially for music.

09-11-2006, 10:06 PM
Yes, I love my old R-117 it’s just that I have had trouble with the left channel for quite sometime. I have it repaired and then eight to ten months later the left channel goes out again. I don’t plan to get rid of it. I will probably set it up in my office at work.

I recently moved to a larger city, so I think I will try having someone else have a go at it. I am not brave enough to try repairing it on my own. Usually it takes forever to get parts for it. So I end up being without it for months at a time.

The salesman at one of the local “audio boutiques” asked me what my current receiver is and I told him it is a Luxman R-117. Man, he smiled like an old man remembering his first love. “I use to sell those, man they are great units…” After a considerable amount of waxing poetic he concluded by saying “never get rid of it!”

Dusty Chalk
09-11-2006, 10:40 PM
I like Focals a lot.

Actually, sounds to me like you don't have much of a dilemma -- you found a pair of speakers you're happy with, why spend more on them?

In terms of 2.0 vs. 2.1 vs. 5.1 -- looking at the specs (they are on the site -- look under Chorus), they should go down to 50 Hz. That's usually enough for most music. Unless you listen to organ music or techno, you won't need that last octave or so.

Here's what I'd do -- go ahead and get the 714's, and just live with them for a while. While you're doing that, save up for a sub, or surround speakers, or whatever makes you happy. If you find that you're not missing anything, then spend the money on music. If you find yourself missing that last little bit, then go ahead and get a decent sub. Or surrounds later. The nice thing about this approach is, you don't have to spend all your money at once, but you still get immediate gratification.

Let us know what you end up deciding.

09-12-2006, 04:52 PM
I finally found the speakers on the web site. Thanks for the advice guys. I am auditioning B&W speakers next.


Mr Peabody
09-12-2006, 05:17 PM
If you are still in the auditioning phase you might want to give a listen to Dynaudio.

09-13-2006, 05:25 PM
i have been a focal addict for about 3 years now,and currently have a cobalt 5.1 set up and am very happy with it.i tried several others before taking this road(b&w,infinity,kef,mission,m&k)and to my ears the focals bested them all.but try before you buy,they are a little on the bright side.


09-14-2006, 06:34 PM
I checked out many different speakers and went with the Focal JM Lab Chorus S serious

are you looking at the 714 or 714S?
the tweeter is different between the 2 serious,
and if you like the 714, I would greatly suggest checking out the Chorus 716 S
imo, the extra $100 is very worth it!!!

before you decide, listen to as many different speakers as you can...
for me, the 716S was right at my price range, and sounded the best to me...

goodluck dude,