Dynaudio Evoke or Focal Aria Or Paradigm Prestige


First time poster here. I live in Canada. I want to upgrade my speakers. Here are some info about what I have. My room is 14 feet by 13 feet but not fully closed. I listen to movies/ TV series (75 %) and music on vinyl (25 %). I have a Thorens TD 166, my AV receiver is a Yamaha RX-A1060 Adventage and my subwoofer is a Paradigm Monitor 7 (sub 8). As you can read, nothing very high end. After reading for months and dreaming about expensive wants, I have narrow it down to 3 brands that fits the budget. What are your thoughts on Dynaudio Evoke and Focal Aria ? If i go with Dynaudio, should I choose Evoke 10 and 30 OR 20 and 30 OR 20 and 50 ? If I go Focal Aria, for front speakers : 926 or 936 or 948 ? For back speakers, Aria 906 or SR 900 ? I also included Paradigm Prestige in the discussion because it is canadian built, but is it better than Focal or Dynaudio ? If you have other suggestions, i am open, but remember the size of my room and I live in Canada. Thanks a lot in advance.
Not sure where you live in Canada (I am in Toronto) but I own all 3 brands and each has a different house sound. Dynaudio is the most neutral, Focal has the best highs and Paradigm always seems to strike a good balance.  All 3 work with Yamaha. I also used to have a Thorens 166

If I was choosing for AV it is Paradigm all the way and the new Prestige series is pretty great value. My only concern would be the treble could be a bit forward in that room.  Not sure of cartridge on your 166 but if you are using a nice warm sounding Grado or Ortofon OM series, you should be ok.  

I would go listen first. Check out the lower Paradigm models as well since they might be more appropriate for that room.  Prestige is very resolving but might be too much for your small room. Have a listen to Premier series too.
Having owned a high end audio store and now working for Paradigm and Anthem as a Sales Manager in the US, I would recommend you seriously consider looking at better electronics before jumping into new speakers because I think the speakers you have can show better performance. 

Think about the speakers as being an instrument (like a guitar) which is really what speakers are.  You can have a six string Taylor, Gibson, Martin, Fender, etc. and they all have a different tone.  Hand one of the guitars to 4 different musicians playing the same song, the guitar will sound different based on how the musician plays it (the musician being the electronics). 

I would suggest trying to add one of our Anthem MCA Power Amps to your Receiver using it as a Pre/Pro and see what having a better musician playing your instruments sounds like.  You could even add a stereo amp just to run the front left and right to enhance that when you listen to music.  

After you experience that, then I would recommend beginning to look at the speakers.  And after you decide on speakers, then upgrade to a true Pre/Pro and trade/sell off your Yamaha or move it to another area of the house. 

Many people start with speakers, but if you like the tone of your current instruments, give the instruments to a better musician to play them.  Then, ultimately, give the musician a better instrument to play.   

Now if you'd like to upgrade speakers first, that's certainly not a wrong way to go - just understand that the better range of speakers you're considering to upgrade to will reveal more anomalies with your receiver and I truly believe you'll be wanting to upgrade from that receiver sooner than you think. 

Good luck in your search!  
Thanks Banerjba. I wish i was in Toronto for something like choosing and listening to speakers. But I'm in Moncton. Here the only dealer worth mentionning carries Paradigm or B&W. In Halifax, I can have different choices like Dynaudio or Focal. Or I can also go to Quebec City (eventually) at Audiolight. So, i'm kind of limited, but thank you for your input.

cbrents73, also thanks for your comments. Here is my train of thought. My Yamaha receiver is about 3 years old, but my speakers are 19 years old. 4 bookshelfs and a center from a company called Athena technologies which no longer exists. This is why I wanted to find better speakers first. Long overdue. In fact, i'm looking for 2 fronts and a center first and foremost. Here is my question to you. Why buy a Power Amps using it a pre/pro first and then upgrade to a true Pre/Pro ? Why not buy a better true Pre/Pro first and not bother with a Power Amp ? What would you suggest in the Anthem line-up ?
@bendogo, you sound a bit confused...  

You can use your current receiver as just the pre-amp (volume control) and the processor (surround sound) and buy a better amp(power) like the Anthem suggested. 
My advice would be to come to the darkside.  Scrap the receivers life and come to high end 2 channel audio.  Whatever you were planning on spending on 2 towers and a center channel, but 2 speakers and a nice, beefy 2 channel integrated amp.  With 2 properly set up speakers, you need no center channel.  
If your budget is $2500, you could get a really nice pair of used speakers and a nice 2 channel integrated amp.  Just a thought!  
Dynaudio, Paradigm and Focal are all great companies!  The descriptions given above of how they sound is accurate.

Being Canadian, Paradigm with Anthem might be cool!
Thanks b_limo. 

Food for thoughts. Before your reply, I went and read more or amp and pre-amp. Since i'm in Canada, I could add Totem in the mix to confuse poor me even more, lol.
Hey Bendogo,

My apologies, when i read your post, I interpreted it wrong and saw Monitor 7's and didn't realize you were referring to your Sub 8 and was thinking you had Monitor 7 speakers and why I went the direction I did, so again sorry if I got you off track.  

With your existing speakers, you're definitely due for those first and can ignore my amp update recommendation.  Any of our great dealer partners can show you how that will work and what to expect down the road. 

I'm certainly biased toward Prestige, and again, any of our good dealers can give you a compelling demo to show you how good those are. 

I always encourage anyone in here to reach out to our dealers who can inspire, work with, and and support you.

Again, I'm sorry I misinterpreted your original post and got sideways on this, but if I can be of any further help, please don't hesitate to message me here.


Thanks cbrents73,

Someone else on an another website said that the Prestige series was maybe too good for the size of my room and to look at the Premier series. But if I go Paradigm (I can't afford Persona), I would still rather buy better speakers, because in the next five years, I will get another house with a real HT room.

From reading about the Prestige, it seems a huge step up from even compare to Premier and of course SE. What are your thoughts about it ?
My opinion of the Prestige is that they are in deed nice!  I’ve had a ton of Paradigm Speakers.  The Paradigms are prettier than Totems, but I prefer the sound of Totem over Paradigm, unless we are taking Sig 8 V2, Tributes or Personas...

For $1500 you can get a pair of used Totem Hawks and for $2000-$2500 you can get a pair of Totem Mani’s.


I don’t know about "too good" for your room size, I say if you like the sound of the speakers better than others, the better one wins regardless of the environment. In regards to listening in a commercial space (being a dealer’s showroom), you should love them way more when you get them home. That’s about 99% the case because the home has so many more advantages sonically than in a store/retail space.

And yes, the Prestige is a significant improvement over the Premier. You get a beautiful furniture grade quality cabinet with a significantly better crossover network in the speaker that makes them more revealing of everything you put in front of them with the ability to adapt and work with higher performing electronics - great investment!

Hope that helps...? Happy listening!