As I look around the internet for opinions on Focal speakers, I find some positive comments on the Chorus 826V and not so much on the Cobalt 826S. I'm wondering if the sound quality really differs, or if it's perhaps just luck that I'm finding people who have had better things to say about one than the other. I've read where people have said regarding the Cobalt the midrange "isn't natural", the midrange is "out of whack" and "am I hearing midrange coloration?".
Any experiences with Focal floorstanding speakers around here? Do you suppose the Chorus series has the same coloration issues the Cobalt series has?
I have not heard the floor standing model but I have the monitor 806S. Boths models were reviewed in Stereophile and rated in class "B" which is excellent given their price. The report stated that they sound similar but that the towers do not image quite as well as the monitors. However, I suspect the 826S is no slouch. The mids and treble on the 806S are very, very good with good associated equipment but I would stay away from receivers or bright sounding gear. They do very well with Classical, Jaz, Pop, and Blues. I would expect the Chorus 826V to perform equally well. I believe the 826V are newer and the Cobalt line was discontinued. I would not buy either Series for rock as they can sound a bit thin (bright) and you can crank them only so far due to the power rating. The Monitor Audio RS6 would probably be a better all around choice if you listen to a variety of music. I have heard them and they are all the reviews say they are and at under $1000 new, a steal. I still like my 806S and 2 NHT subs better for my tastes.
At the time I started this thread, I was debating whether to go to an Audiogon seller's house some distance away to listen to a pair of the 826S. The speakers in my primary system are the 806S plus a sub. I finally decided to go, despite the long drive, since the curiosity was nagging at me. I took my own Adcom GFA-545II with me. Things seemed to be reasonably good, but to my ears a step down from my 806S plus sub arrangement or at least not better. It was nice to have the more-focused bass of the floorstanders and they didn't seem as bright as their rep, but for me the midrange was indeed an issue.
i have a 5.1 set up with 806s in the rear and 816s in the front along with the cobalt center and subwoofer. i have been running this set up for about 4 years now and am very happy with it. the 816s are equally at home with music and movie sound and i really don't think you could do better at that price point or even close to that price point. i have heard the 826s and felt that they were even better, if you can find a set, buy them, you won't be disappointed. you will however be made aware of any weakness in your system because they are revealing.