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Focal Alpha 65 EVO Review (Studio Monitor)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 10 3.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 39 13.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 188 66.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 48 16.8%

  • Total voters
    285

xaviescacs

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ive created this chart to show the difference between some similarly sized studio monitors


the Alpha Evo 65 impressively wins in frequency response, and almost in price, this probably contributes to the speaker having lower SPL along with the slightly lower powered class D amps
And the score? :)

The Alphas are not in the lower tier as far as hiss, medium or low-medium. I haven't heard the Genelecs but from people's comments I doubt the level of hiss is comparable. IMHO the Alphas have too much hiss for desktop listening, but I'm quite sensitive to it. I think a minimum of 0.75 m - 1 m is advisable.
 

3125b

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The Alphas are not in the lower tier as far as hiss
1st gen Alpha are kind of noisy indeed, but the Alpha Evo are massively improved in that regard and some of the quietest active monitors I've heard.
 

xaviescacs

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1st gen Alpha are kind of noisy indeed, but the Alpha Evo are massively improved in that regard and some of the quietest active monitors I've heard.
Mine are quite noisy... perhaps they are picking something of the mains.. bevcause it's the same if I unplug the signal. You are the second person, aside from amir, that describes them as having low hiss. I will definitely try to plug them in another place of the house to try this out.
 

Grur

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Mine are quite noisy... perhaps they are picking something of the mains.. bevcause it's the same if I unplug the signal. You are the second person, aside from amir, that describes them as having low hiss. I will definitely try to plug them in another place of the house to try this out.
Make that the third person. I couldn't hear hiss after about 10-15cms from the tweeter.
 

3125b

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In my setup they are dead quiet at ~80cm with no content playing. To hear a faint hiss I have to get to about 30cm from the teweeter in these quiet evening hours, and I would describe myself as fairly good of hearing. I was actually surprised since I knew the first gen Alpha before and feared that the second gen might be noisy as well since S&R measured only 0.9dB difference. In practice there is a huge difference with both models tested side by side, at least in my home. The input sensitivity is high (on my RME even in the lowest gain setting I have to stay at -20 to -35dB for normal listening) making the lack of self-noise even more impressive.
Both my 65 Evo have about the same low level of hiss, but knowing Focal I wouldn't be surprised if there was quite a bit of variation within the series.
 

Querkle

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Mine are quite noisy... perhaps they are picking something of the mains.. bevcause it's the same if I unplug the signal. You are the second person, aside from amir, that describes them as having low hiss. I will definitely try to plug them in another place of the house to try this out.
Make that the third person. I couldn't hear hiss after about 10-15cms from the tweeter.
In my setup they are dead quiet at ~80cm with no content playing. To hear a faint hiss I have to get to about 30cm from the teweeter in these quiet evening hours, and I would describe myself as fairly good of hearing. I was actually surprised since I knew the first gen Alpha before and feared that the second gen might be noisy as well since S&R measured only 0.9dB difference. In practice there is a huge difference with both models tested side by side, at least in my home. The input sensitivity is high (on my RME even in the lowest gain setting I have to stay at -20 to -35dB for normal listening) making the lack of self-noise even more impressive.
Both my 65 Evo have about the same low level of hiss, but knowing Focal I wouldn't be surprised if there was quite a bit of variation within the series.

thanks, i have not heard these in person so my low hiss note was added based on Amir's comments, a proper measurement at 10cm distance would be ideal. as you can see i have inputted that data for the A7X and KH120A from the hiss list chart

the IN-5, SC207, 8030C, BM5 MKIII, A7, and Shape 65 are also only based on the comments on hiss i could find online, by simply googling each model + the word hiss and reading what people have to say.
 

ROOSKIE

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Pretty doubtful re: the Twin, that's the same jank-ass MTM design that has so many issues in center channels.

The 80 could be cool.
Howdy, not correct.
Look it up 1st.
The TWIN Alpha is not an MTM.
it is a WTM.
A 2.5way speaker like the Focal Twin BE.

There may be some compromises specific to a horizontal 2.5way, that said it is not reasonable to compare them with horizontal multiple woofer 2 ways.
Very different design.
You can even chose which woofer is the dedicated bass driver via a switch. Very nice.

 
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hidehide

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Will the 65 be too big for a 1.8m x 4m room using as a computer speaker? Will I be better with the 50? I’m leaning more towards the 65 as it should better produce low end bass and more punch.
And how does this stack up with Edifier Airpulse A100?
 

audiomaestro

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The upper mids on the Focal Alpha sounded bad to me. It reminds me of that hollow gritty sound I encountered with the Presonus Eris E5, but still not as bad as the Eris. The ATC reference monitor in that A/B comparison had virtually perfect tonality. I wonder if the cheaper passive (home & pro) ATC speakers have that same perfect tonality?
 

mightycicadalord

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The upper mids on the Focal Alpha sounded bad to me. It reminds me of that hollow gritty sound I encountered with the Presonus Eris E5, but still not as bad as the Eris. The ATC reference monitor in that A/B comparison had virtually perfect tonality. I wonder if the cheaper passive (home & pro) ATC speakers have that same perfect tonality?

Idk, but I was really surprised by how the ATC sounded. Would love a pair of the big boys with the mid range, shout out to ATC for not selling drivers anymore, sick move there :rolleyes:

edit

Apparently the ATC is DRC'd and the Focals aren't, this is a very dishonest comparison.

double edit

The makers of the video have replied stating they are not DRC'ing their ATC's with trinnov, what you hear is the raw ATC. If this is the case as they claim, impressive.
 
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audiomaestro

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Idk, but I was really surprised by how the ATC sounded. Would love a pair of the big boys with the mid range, shout out to ATC for not selling drivers anymore, sick move there :rolleyes:
I did some reading and just learned that Eric Johnson uses an ATC 3 way in his studio. If anyone doesn't know about him, he's one of the most obsessive musicians in the world when it comes to achieving perfect tonality. The guy has golden ears. I think I'm going to put ATC at the top on my list after reading up on them, but will still consider the Neumann KH 310 if its in the same ballpark tone-wise.

The Focal Alpha's sounded rather bad in their tonality, if that video is an accurate representation, and yet they're on the recommended list. :confused: I guess I need to better understand or reevaluate the significance of the measurements. Maybe I just expect too much from entry levels monitors, or maybe the market is too complacent in putting up with cheap sound.

Anyone compare the Alpha to the Solo 6 Be?

Edit: Looks like I just found the answer to my own question in the discussion on that same comparison video.
It appears that same bad upper mid tonality of the Alpha also exist in the Trio 11 BE, and therefore most likely exist in the Solo 6 BE.

Looks like its Neumann or ATC for me... Probably Neumann as the ATC are too pricey.

ATC vs Focal.jpg
 
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ernestcarl

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The Focal Alpha's sounded rather bad in their tonality, if that video is an accurate representation, and yet they're on the recommended list. :confused: I guess I need to better understand or reevaluate the significance of the measurements. Maybe I just expect too much from entry levels monitors, or maybe the market is too complacent in putting up with cheap sound.

While I do not doubt their experienced subjective evaluation, you have to be aware that their methodology is highly questionable. The ATC they use are also professionally DSP corrected and calibrated via Trinnov -- if I remember correctly... no, their main monitors also aren't "neutral" out-of-box! o_O There isn't a clear complete documentation of their "comparison tests" which often vary method-wise from video to video. Take these kind of YT reviews with a grain of salt -- to me this belongs more in the audio entertainment genre.
 

mightycicadalord

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While I do not doubt their experienced subjective evaluation, you have to be aware that their methodology is highly questionable. The ATC they use are also professionally DSP corrected and calibrated via Trinnov -- if I remember correctly... no, their main monitors also aren't "neutral" out-of-box! o_O There isn't a clear complete documentation of their "comparison tests" which often vary method-wise from video to video. Take these kind of YT reviews with a grain of salt -- to me this belongs more in the audio entertainment genre.

I'm usually skeptical of video comparisons but if they really are comparing a DSP corrected system to one that isn't, they need to let people know because that is super misleading. I will comment on the video about it.

I think focals problem with their tweeters are the inverted domes.
 

audiomaestro

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While I do not doubt their experienced subjective evaluation, you have to be aware that their methodology is highly questionable. The ATC they use are also professionally DSP corrected and calibrated via Trinnov -- if I remember correctly... no, their main monitors also aren't "neutral" out-of-box! o_O There isn't a clear complete documentation of their "comparison tests" which often vary method-wise from video to video. Take these kind of YT reviews with a grain of salt -- to me this belongs more in the audio entertainment genre.
I concur about YT comparisons, but the discussion in the comment section seems to coincide with the reviewers subjective evaluation. A cheaper ATC model (SCM50 instead of SCM200) having "better" tonality vs the higher-end Focal Trio (over the Alpha) at the dealer and also in his living room. He referred to it as "that upper mid-range thingy" which may be a Focal house sound? It may be great for some things, but it sounded rather bad for guitar tracks.
 

hidehide

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I concur about YT comparisons, but the discussion in the comment section seems to coincide with the reviewers subjective evaluation. A cheaper ATC model (SCM50 instead of SCM200) having "better" tonality vs the higher-end Focal Trio (over the Alpha) at the dealer and also in his living room. He referred to it as "that upper mid-range thingy" which may be a Focal house sound? It may be great for some things, but it sounded rather bad for guitar tracks.
I’m confused. Is the Focal a nearfield monitor? Why are they comparing it with midfield monitor? And comparing a gbp600 speaker with a gbp32,000 speaker just doesn’t make any sense. Would like to know if there any better option within the same price point.
 
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