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Focal Alpha 50 vs. Adam T5V/T7V

pinkish

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Hey, guys! I come to you again for advice, after having successfully purchased an iFi ZEN DAC that was recommended in another thread on this forum.

I need to upgrade my speakers and I'm looking for active speakers.

After a lot of reading, I've narrowed my options down to:

Adam T5V / Adam T7V vs. Focal Alpha 50

45-25000Hz / 39-25000Hz vs. 45-22000 Hz
70W / 70W vs. 55W
5" / 7" vs. 5" woofer
145 euro / 175 euro vs. 215 euro - per piece

And the Focals seem to have an annoying "feature": they go into standby mode after 30 min of silence.

I should mention I'm not a musician, just a regular Joe living in a small apartment, looking for good active speakers.

Which would you guys recommend?
 
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pinkish

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I'm looking for personal opinions from owners, rather than technical measurements. Thanks!
 
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dfuller

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Focal's low end F3 is generally pretty optimistic - I used to own a pair of Shape 65s which according to them are -3dB at 40hz, but are (according to Sound And Recording DE's measurements) actually -6dB around 45hz - which is a pretty massive difference in terms of bass response!

Anyway, I had Alpha 65s a few years back, they were pretty good sounding speakers overall. I'd probably go for the Alpha 50 Evo over the original, though - the design has in general been improved with a newer design of woofer and a better tweeter waveguide.

As far as the sound, I personally prefer the Focal sound to the Adam sound overall.
 
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mononoaware

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That “annoying” auto-standby feature is by-passable using a switch with the new Focal Alpha Evo models.
 

Trell

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That “annoying” auto-standby feature is by-passable using a switch with the new Focal Alpha Evo models.

A non-defeatable auto-standby seems like a bad design decision now rectified by Focal. I do use auto-standby on my desktop monitors, though, as it's quite handy to not have to turn the monitors on/off manually. Downside is that it takes a few seconds for the monitors to startup and playing when a signal is received.
 

mononoaware

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A non-defeatable auto-standby seems like a bad design decision now rectified by Focal. I do use auto-standby on my desktop monitors, though, as it's quite handy to not have to turn the monitors on/off manually. Downside is that it takes a few seconds for the monitors to startup and playing when a signal is received.

I have not used the Focal Alpha with auto-standby myself, but I would hazard a guess that those who find it “annoying” are using too much gain on the Monitors and not enough input signal level.

This would result in the “annoying” behaviour some say where the monitors “go to sleep” during low SPL listening, and “do not wake up” properly with regular use.
I even recall some feedback stating simply switching from unbalanced to balanced connection solved the problem.

The slight delay from sleep to wake up is expected, a few seconds sounds normal.
 

Trell

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I have not used the Focal Alpha with auto-standby myself, but I would hazard a guess that those who find it “annoying” are using too much gain on the Monitors and not enough input signal level.

This would result in the “annoying” behaviour some say where the monitors “go to sleep” during low SPL listening, and “do not wake up” properly with regular use.
I even recall some feedback stating simply switching from unbalanced to balanced connection solved the problem.

The slight delay from sleep to wake up is expected, a few seconds sounds normal.

When I bought new SVS subwoofers for my HT I made sure that this time they had trigger inputs as signal sensing did not work so well for my listening levels, but then subwoofers has a much different content played to them than monitors.
 
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pinkish

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From what I gathered, everyone's opinion is toward Focal Alpha 50 Evo. They are 270 euros each, but I can stretch my budget to get the better option. What I also like about the Focals is the frontal bass-reflex port which allows for placement closer to the wall.
 

VintageFlanker

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Trell

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From what I gathered, everyone's opinion is toward Focal Alpha 50 Evo. They are 270 euros each, but I can stretch my budget to get the better option. What I also like about the Focals is the frontal bass-reflex port which allows for placement closer to the wall.

You are concerned about the undefeatable auto-standby of the original Focal Alpha 50 so that is at least one user preference for the new revision. If you've a good return policy you could try them out to see if the undefeatable auto-standby proves to be an issue for you.
 

Pearljam5000

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I like how the new Alphas look, but i have no idea how they sound.
I had the Alpha 80 and didn't like the highs at all but maybe the new waveguide improved things.
alpha65_evo_34_face (1).jpg
 

mononoaware

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When I bought new SVS subwoofers for my HT I made sure that this time they had trigger inputs as signal sensing did not work so well for my listening levels, but then subwoofers has a much different content played to them than monitors.

I have heard some feedback regarding frequency content affecting subwoofer "auto-on/wake" levels.
Feedback was specific to the KEF KC62 Subwoofer, user had a hard time getting the subwoofer to wake up unless they sent LFE signal or set the cross-over (low-pass) to 90hz or 100hz+.
 

sandymc

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I've owned both Focal speakers and headphones. For what it's worth, I agree with the poster above in preferring the Focal sound to the Adam sound. But I have not had the best experience with the reliability of Focal products. Failed headphones, and I found the active speakers to be temperamental at best - issues with noise conducted over the powerline from nearby equipment for one thing.
 
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pinkish

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I found the active speakers to be temperamental at best - issues with noise conducted over the powerline from nearby equipment for one thing.
After leaning the Focal way, your comment really hit hard :) My problem is that I don't have enough funds to not care if I have problems with the speakers. It's not like I'm gonna buy another pair in the next 5-10 years.
Would you have a suggestion outside the Focal/Adam discussion? Looking for active speakers only. Thanks.
 

sandymc

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After leaning the Focal way, your comment really hit hard :) My problem is that I don't have enough funds to not care if I have problems with the speakers. It's not like I'm gonna buy another pair in the next 5-10 years.
Would you have a suggestion outside the Focal/Adam discussion? Looking for active speakers only. Thanks.

I've had good results with the KRK V-series. But specifically the V-series, not the Rokits. But not everyone likes the KRK sound signature - I'd suggest listening to them first.
 

dfuller

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What do you prefer about them?
Adams to me sound rather like a cheap "hi-fi" system (think the super-cheap Teac stuff you could buy at like Costco) - scoop, treble tizz, boomy bass. Focals, while certainly not the paragon of flatness, sound more "true-to-life" as it were.

As far as reliability, the most flakey ones are the expensive SM6 line which use BASH plate amps. The cheaper ones based on cheaper chip amp based plate amps are not a problem generally.
 
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