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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 13.6%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 189 66.1%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 48 16.8%

  • Total voters
    286

AnalogSteph

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Here are the (similar) Sound & Recording measurements

No indications of our wacky treble distortion there, so my bets are on some kind of assembly issue with Amir's sample... maybe a loose wire or a badly mounted tweeter or something. Note how the problem extends noticeably below crossover.
 

oversky

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The manual does say it needs time for running-in.

NA2ZHKK.png
 

mightycicadalord

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I always found the Focal inverted dome tweeter to have a particuliar sound, sometimes sounding like a metal can ! Some older hifi speakers like the Chorus S were horrible to listen to.

My experience was a sort of fizzy graininess to the tweeter that got worse with level, other than that the speaker was fine. The woofer performance was quite excellent to my ears.
 

Pearljam5000

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I had the alpha 80
The tweeter sounded bad to me
Solo6 was so much better
 

sarumbear

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I found it far more shocking how many "Fine" and "Great" ratings this got based on very high distortion, versus how many beeched about a few center speakers having limited dispersion.

I guess objective measurements only matter some of the time.

Not sure why, but just feeling a bit of hypocrisy about how some over reacted about center speakers, but this just flies under the radar?
I think you need to educate yourself on what aspects of measurements matter for the use case.
 

dfuller

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Here are the (similar) Sound & Recording measurements


View attachment 171022View attachment 171016View attachment 171020View attachment 171017View attachment 171023View attachment 171018View attachment 171019View attachment 171015View attachment 171021

The Spinorama match well:

View attachment 171022
View attachment 171025

What I don't understand though is how an experienced company like Focal does not manage their new active to measure as good as their much older passive one:

View attachment 171025View attachment 171030

View attachment 171027View attachment 171026

Sure, the newer ASR measurement of the EVO has more points/less smoothing than the older one, but the weird tweeter behaviour is unacceptable and does not give trust in the engineering and long time quality of the monitors and unfortunately matches also reports with reliability problems with other of their active monitors and headphones.
The Aria 906 is a much higher end speaker - it's roughly equivalent to a passive version of a Shape 65, which is 2x the price of the speaker in test here.
 

ROOSKIE

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Personally, I wouldn't buy anything with this level of distortion. It's quite shocking they release a professional product with this figures.

I think there is a vibration or other anomolie, or a defect in that particular tweeter example. The dustortion is high in 4th and 5th orders like what one sees with cabinet resonaces and port noise issues. It also doesn't increase with increased volume which indicates to me that what ever might be loose or rubbing has a maximum vibrating level.
If it was just a cheap tweeter with high distortion it just seems it would behave differently.
I had a compression tweeter that measured like this and the distortion would come and go. It was strange but I never quite figured it out, another replacementof the same tweet did not have any issues.
 

sarumbear

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I think there is a vibration or other anomolie, or a defect in that particular tweeter example. The dustortion is high in 4th and 5th orders like what one sees with cabinet resonaces and port noise issues. It also doesn't increase with increased volume which indicates to me that what ever might be loose or rubbing has a maximum vibrating level.
If it was just a cheap tweeter with high distortion it just seems it would behave differently.
I had a compression tweeter that measured like this and the distortion would come and go. It was strange but I never quite figured it out, another replacementof the same tweet did not have any issues.
It took 68 messages for the obligatory, it is a broken device message to arrive. :)
 

dfuller

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It took 68 messages for the obligatory, it is a broken device message to arrive. :)
Yeah, but it's not "oh it's broken bc bad results" it's "the results don't track with normal transducer caused distortion results"
 

sarumbear

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Yeah, but it's not "oh it's broken bc bad results" it's "the results don't track with normal transducer caused distortion results"
As was said by @amirm in the review...
 

thewas

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The Aria 906 is a much higher end speaker - it's roughly equivalent to a passive version of a Shape 65, which is 2x the price of the speaker in test here.
Yes, I know, but in the end the Aria is almost a decade older, made in France with a more expensive looking cabinet and gets often sold for a cheaper street price than the 65 Evo, so where is the progress?
 

AudioSceptic

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Is it when a 3-way coaxial with 8" woofer Kali Audio IN-8 2nd Wave costs just 50€ more?

The list price of the Focal is actually even higher than the Kali one:


In the UK the Focal is £497/pair, the Kali is £333 *each*. I have to say that I find it annoying when it's not clear if we are talking about single speakers or pairs. For those of us "traditional" home listeners, it's unthinkable to buy speakers other than in pairs! Anyway, when you consider that speakers such as the LS3/5a "family" now cost well over £1k/pair, both the Focal and the Kali look like fantastic value. :)
 

thewas

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they still look diferent. where are the ones above 2kHz and around 5kHz. but the graphs are dificult to compare.
anyways my main point was about the max SPL @3% distorsion graph. that's a big discrepancy. unless I am understanding something wrong about how to get to that graph
You can see little traces of them with mid blue colour, although on a bit moved frequencies, maybe due to tweeter tolerances?
1638985917101.png


About the S&R max SPL distortion graph the problem is that even on Amirs example at 96 dB the tweeter distortion is lower than 3%, so it is not impossible that the test was started at a quite high level where the relative distortion was already below than 3%, although of course it can be also quite likely that the ASR example is out of tolerance, only the measurement of another example will shed light on this.

1638986008500.png
 

thewas

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In the UK the Focal is £497/pair, the Kali is £333 *each*. I have to say that I find it annoying when it's not clear if we are talking about single speakers or pairs. For those of us "traditional" home listeners, it's unthinkable to buy speakers other than in pairs! Anyway, when you consider that speakers such as the LS3/5a "family" now cost well over £1k/pair, both the Focal and the Kali look like fantastic value. :)
True, although studio monitors are usually sold as single units which is also practical when making a multichannel audio system. Just out of curiosity could you post a link with the UK shop that offers them at that very good price? :)
 

mightycicadalord

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True, although studio monitors are usually sold as single units which is also practical when making a multichannel audio system. Just out of curiosity could you post a link with the UK shop that offers them at that very good price? :)

Thomann has em for that
 

thewas

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KaiDeus

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I can second this review from listening experience with this speaker. The overall tonality is very very pleasant without any harshness, but with great detail. Only the bass performance is limited, not by quality, but by extension. That is the only drawback to this speaker. It also looks nice in person.
 
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