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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

ernestcarl

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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.

I have now re-watched the video review of the Trinnov unit and it was after all only on-loan -- I thought they decided to purchase a new unit after the review. Thank you for bringing that up.

With regards to the "problem" with Focal's tweeters... well, we have to realize that what's is a problem to us may not be a problem to the people who choose Focal monitors over the dearth of speakers out there -- could be that is exactly why they find the brand attractive. Yes, there is a distinct sound shared more by some of model designs due to having similar directivity and probably tweeter dome characteristic breakup behavior in the upper range.
 

JamesPDP

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Hi everyone! James from PresentDayProduction here - I thought I’d check out the comments as a few people have mentioned the whole confusion with the Trinnov setup being discussed on this website.

The Trinnov was, as Ernestcarl above has mentioned, only on loan for a period of three or four weeks for the purpose of a video review back at the start of the year - it was (sadly) returned at the start of March 2022.

The ATC SCM200 you hear is our system running as cleanly and naturally as you’d get them straight out of the box. No DSP - just audio straight from the interface, through an analogue monitor controller and into the amplifiers. All analogue signal path!

I’d just like to point out that we always try to stay transparent and honest in all our videos and reviews, so if there was anything like a DSP correction on one system and not another, that would be mentioned, for sure.

Finally, I’d like to remind everyone that this particular point of the video wasn’t a speaker-quality-comparison by any means (as was stated directly afterwards in the video!). It’s simply that the sound coming from our ATC SCM200’s is flat and neutral sounding, so was a good baseline reference to compare the heightened treble response of the Focals. No actual comparison of speaker quality between the ATC and Focal - it would be kind of pointless! There have been a few people pointing out that a £600 vs £32,000 speaker comparison isn’t fair, but again, I’d just like to remind you it’s not a direct comparison as to “which is better”, but just to hear the tonality differences.

Have a great evening everyone, thanks for watching.
 
Last edited:

ubik3000

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Hello,
My very short (biased) review of Focal Alpha 80 EVO.

Bought them to replace Tannoy Reveal 802.
- Bass was a little bit accentuated and did not go deeper than 802s
- Trebles were louder than 802s, but details were (forever) lost. Harsh highs...
- Midrange was a mess, distorsion kicked in even at low volumes, much worse than 802s. Voices were not clear, especially female voices. Elvis's voice was very nasal, a true disappointment....

Now, obviously 802s are not extraordinary. I have comparison term for them.
- Bass is good, but my Cantons GLE 496 fed by Audiolab 8300A + Q Acoustics 3060s sub is a little bit better ( + Argon Audio Solo streamer + Emotiva XDA-2)
- Midrange is very good in Cantons.... Way better than Reveal 802... Clear, strong, dynamic.
- Cantons have very good trebles, detailed, neutral and dynamic. WAY BETTER than Focal Alpha 80 Evo.

So, the midrange reproduction in Focals was a deal breaker for me, as such, I returned Focals and kept my Tannoys....

I listen to a lot of electronic music, and a lot of reviewers kept repeating that Alpha Evo line is perfect for electronic music composers. That's bullshit, with those crappy highs and mids.

P.S.: I listened to metal dome tweeters (normal or inverted) from Monitor Audio Bronze, KEF (Q350 and R7), and Focal Alpha Evo. All to me sounded harsh, with no real details translated to the listening experience. Up until now, I am a fan of soft dome tweeters.

P.P.S.: I wondered numerous times if somehow my Focal Alpha EVOs were defective....

Regards,
Cristian
 

ubik3000

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Hello,
My very short (biased) review of Focal Alpha 80 EVO.

Bought them to replace Tannoy Reveal 802.
- Bass was a little bit accentuated and did not go deeper than 802s
- Trebles were louder than 802s, but details were (forever) lost. Harsh highs...
- Midrange was a mess, distorsion kicked in even at low volumes, much worse than 802s. Voices were not clear, especially female voices. Elvis's voice was very nasal, a true disappointment....

Now, obviously 802s are not extraordinary. I have comparison term for them.
- Bass is good, but my Cantons GLE 496 fed by Audiolab 8300A + Q Acoustics 3060s sub is a little bit better ( + Argon Audio Solo streamer + Emotiva XDA-2)
- Midrange is very good in Cantons.... Way better than Reveal 802... Clear, strong, dynamic.
- Cantons have very good trebles, detailed, neutral and dynamic. WAY BETTER than Focal Alpha 80 Evo.

So, the midrange reproduction in Focals was a deal breaker for me, as such, I returned Focals and kept my Tannoys....

I listen to a lot of electronic music, and a lot of reviewers kept repeating that Alpha Evo line is perfect for electronic music composers. That's bullshit, with those crappy highs and mids.

P.S.: I listened to metal dome tweeters (normal or inverted) from Monitor Audio Bronze, KEF (Q350 and R7), and Focal Alpha Evo. All to me sounded harsh, with no real details translated to the listening experience. Up until now, I am a fan of soft dome tweeters.

P.P.S.: I wondered numerous times if somehow my Focal Alpha EVOs were defective....

Regards,
Cristian
Forgot to add...
1. The EVOs plastic lateral panels are crap, if you press them gently with the fingers they will emit a loud crack noise.. That's not acceptable for an audio monitor... By comparison, 802s are way better put together.
2. One plus for EVOs: quiet monitors in the highs, dead silent in lows, however the faint noise emitted by the tweeters was more annoying in the nature than the noise present in 802s...
 

xaviescacs

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with those crappy highs and mids.
I listen to almost exclusively classical with my Alpha 50 (same tweeter) and I find their sound to be quite natural... they were the best I've had as far as timbric capabilities before yesterday that I've received my 8030, but that's another story... I've had a passive audiovectors in the past and the clarity in mids and highs is much better with these focals, no contest.

Are you sure those electronically generated tones aren't crappy? Perhaps the speaker is revealing something it has always been there, waiting for a good speaker... ;)
 
Last edited:

YARE

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Feb 4, 2021
Messages
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Hello,
My very short (biased) review of Focal Alpha 80 EVO.

Bought them to replace Tannoy Reveal 802.
- Bass was a little bit accentuated and did not go deeper than 802s
- Trebles were louder than 802s, but details were (forever) lost. Harsh highs...
- Midrange was a mess, distorsion kicked in even at low volumes, much worse than 802s. Voices were not clear, especially female voices. Elvis's voice was very nasal, a true disappointment....

Now, obviously 802s are not extraordinary. I have comparison term for them.
- Bass is good, but my Cantons GLE 496 fed by Audiolab 8300A + Q Acoustics 3060s sub is a little bit better ( + Argon Audio Solo streamer + Emotiva XDA-2)
- Midrange is very good in Cantons.... Way better than Reveal 802... Clear, strong, dynamic.
- Cantons have very good trebles, detailed, neutral and dynamic. WAY BETTER than Focal Alpha 80 Evo.

So, the midrange reproduction in Focals was a deal breaker for me, as such, I returned Focals and kept my Tannoys....

I listen to a lot of electronic music, and a lot of reviewers kept repeating that Alpha Evo line is perfect for electronic music composers. That's bullshit, with those crappy highs and mids.

P.S.: I listened to metal dome tweeters (normal or inverted) from Monitor Audio Bronze, KEF (Q350 and R7), and Focal Alpha Evo. All to me sounded harsh, with no real details translated to the listening experience. Up until now, I am a fan of soft dome tweeters.

P.P.S.: I wondered numerous times if somehow my Focal Alpha EVOs were defective....

Regards,
Cristian
That's not really objective. All I can say is that Frequency Response is something that you need to adapt and get used to (as I can say about my multiple system where I mixed and mastered through). You can tune down the tweeter or use DSP (SonarWorks) to flatten that curve. Also the in room response is a key factor while choosing Monitors.
 

xaviescacs

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Now I remembered they sounded a bit harsh, but perhaps due to the room floor, which is stoneware, so I set the HF to -1 and voilà.
 

Lilith

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I heard the Evo 50 and Evo 65 and there are more clinical than warm sounding in the highs. What I missed was more mid range.
 

Pearljam5000

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I heard the Evo 50 and Evo 65 and there are more clinical than warm sounding in the highs. What I missed was more mid range.
I would suggest you save for Solo6 instead
They're from a different planet than the Alphas
 

xaviescacs

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I heard the Evo 50 and Evo 65 and there are more clinical than warm sounding in the highs. What I missed was more mid range.
You know... I believe that lowering a bit the highs phelps with that midrange, but I agree they are a touch "dry". But it's all about EQ really.
 

xaviescacs

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My ears helped me think otherwise ;)
Perhaps with some EQ the Alphas can come very close to the Solos .. an EQ worth 2k... The mentioned kh120 for instance cost less than half the price and except for a bit less bass extension, they measure better than the Solos. I don't believe the Solo6 is twice as better as the KH120, that's above diminishing returns law. Overpriced! :p;)
 

ubik3000

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I listen to almost exclusively classical with my Alpha 50 (same tweeter) and I find their sound to be quite natural... they were the best I've had as far as timbric capabilities before yesterday that I've received my 8030, but that's another story... I've had a passive audiovectors in the past and the clarity in mids and highs is much better with these focals, no contest.

Are you sure those electronically generated tones aren't crappy? Perhaps the speaker is revealing something it has always been there, waiting for a good speaker... ;)
You wrongfully assume that I have listened to and tested EVOs only with electronic music, which definitely is not the case. I did say that Elvis's voice did not came through natural. I also listened to REM - Leave (Alternate Version), Spring by Vivaldi, Evanescence, RATM, Bjork, Dead Can Dance, Ofir Atar, London Grammar (worst experience on EVOs with vocals on Hey Now), Fleetwood Mac and many others.
 

Pearljam5000

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You wrongfully assume that I have listened to and tested EVOs only with electronic music, which definitely is not the case. I did say that Elvis's voice did not came through natural. I also listened to REM - Leave (Alternate Version), Spring by Vivaldi, Evanescence, RATM, Bjork, Dead Can Dance, Ofir Atar, London Grammar (worst experience on EVOs with vocals on Hey Now), Fleetwood Mac and many others.
I never heard one "budget" monitor that nailed tonality and vocals
 

Pearljam5000

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I listen to almost exclusively classical with my Alpha 50 (same tweeter) and I find their sound to be quite natural... they were the best I've had as far as timbric capabilities before yesterday that I've received my 8030, but that's another story... I've had a passive audiovectors in the past and the clarity in mids and highs is much better with these focals, no contest.

Are you sure those electronically generated tones aren't crappy? Perhaps the speaker is revealing something it has always been there, waiting for a good speaker... ;)
Can you compare them? thanks
 

xaviescacs

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You wrongfully assume that I have listened to and tested EVOs only with electronic music, which definitely is not the case. I did say that Elvis's voice did not came through natural. I also listened to REM - Leave (Alternate Version), Spring by Vivaldi, Evanescence, RATM, Bjork, Dead Can Dance, Ofir Atar, London Grammar (worst experience on EVOs with vocals on Hey Now), Fleetwood Mac and many others.
OK, fair enough. This is not my experience, they sound quite good to me.
I never heard one "budget" monitor that nailed tonality and vocals
Perhaps they don't nail voices, not sure really, but the highs aren't crappy either, IMHO.
 
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