Kharma v Focal v Avalon

Hi all, would love to hear your thoughts on the following similarly priced (at least in Europe) though quite different 2 way speakers.

The Kharma 3.2, Focal Diablo and Avalon Ascendant. My system runs Emm Labs cdp & Muse amp in a 14x19x8ft room. Speakers would be placed toward the front wall listening position along the back wall.

Look forward to hearing comments.
I have only heard the Focal Diablo out of the speakers on the list, but I loved the way it sounded when hooked to a Krell amplifier, but wasn't as blown away with an Asthetix amplifier. In general I prefer the Diablo in combination with a JL Audio subwoofer to the Grande EM connected to the same system. The Diablo is probably my favorite speaker out of the ones that I have heard, but my list of high end speakers is very limited.
I owned the Kharma 3.2 for a few years. It might sound too thin in your room of 14' x 19'.
I would not buy the 3.2s w/o hearing them. They are not a set-it-and-forget-it speaker.
I have heard the 3.2 and the Ascendant. If you have SET or low power tubes then you should probably lean to the 3.2 though expect a rear hall, very refined presentation. I was not blown away by what I heard.

The Ascendants get my nod but I think they want SS. Very lively and resolving, while maintain seamless balance and integration, and that famous Avalon holographic sound stage. However be warned they need to sit at least 5" out into the room, and more can often be better. If you are limited in that way do not lean to any Avalon speaker.
Thanks very much, really interesting responses.

Alectiong if not the 3.2 do you have any thoughts on the 2.3ce?
However be warned they need to sit at least 5" out into the room, and more can often be better. If you are limited in that way do not lean to any Avalon speaker.
Mmike84 (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

I'm sorry I meant to say 5' as in 5 ft!
I own the Kharma .I have been having it for the past few years.What It does best:


2}Dissapearing almost like an open baffle and electrostatic speakers.

BUT,The speaker is so unforgiving to inferior electronics,cablings ,resonance control Etc...

If you set it up properly ,you would be in Audio Nirvana,very few speakers could come close ,let alone bettered it.

Focal Diablo is what I call a "nice" speaker.It Does ALL things right ,BUT The "goosebums' factors are not there.

The Avalons I have heard are limited to hearing them During HiFi shows,I think they have a certain Characteristics-the Avalon sound.The Lesser models are not very impressive.

If you decide to go with the Kharma,you need to change the amp.If you need to keep things as it is ,you probably would be safer with the Focal...

The other thing with the Kharma is that it is unforgiving of a recording, especially a tipped-up one, and there is not much you can do to fix that. It can sound as good as it gets or unlisteneble depending on the CD I used.
As Culture Club said, Kharma Chameleon.
Having taken in the great advice here and spoken to a fair few others with direct experience of them and my system I think its going to be the Kharma's for me though 2.3ce rather than the 3.2's. We'll see come the weekend.

Thanks again for the comments.
If you do go with the Kharma 2.3ce, you will happier with the bass reproduction than with the 3.2ce. While I have not listened to the Focal or Avalon, I have lived with the Kharma 2.2ce in a 16.5 x 23 ft room for a number of years and am quite happy.
If you listen to Hard Rock, Electronic, Metal etc I would go for the 2.3, if you listen mostly to jazz, classical go for the 3.2!

Off to see some Kharma 2.3s. All going well should be up and running with them by the end of the weekend.
Kharma 2.3s are now in place and rocking away nicely. They're substantial speakers but just disappear. Solid images, cavernous soundstage, tonally pretty good. Not as transparent as I've heard (at much greater cost) but they don't over do the treble in the way many really high rez systems I've heard do. Very pleased, I can see them staying for a while.
Good. Previously you had described a sound, and charactaristics that make-up hifi. While soundstage and tonality are perhaps pre-requesites, they really need to be components to get to the emotional enjoyment. Many stereos make very interesting sounds. Fewer systems go to the next level of musicality.
Very true Rtn. I've heard some very hi-rez systems recently Hansen King etc and while those systems had great strengths I couldn't have lived with any of them myself the way they were set up.