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Focal Alpha 65 EVO Review (Studio Monitor)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 10 3.6%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 39 13.9%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 186 66.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 46 16.4%

  • Total voters
    281

Spkrdctr

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Thank you for reviewing these! I'm a Focal fan-boy based purely on aesthetics and my new-found love of things French. These look like a really credible entry in this market slice.

I don't want to jinx myself, but I'm booked to ski Chamonix in February (first time in Europe in > 30 years). Guided day on the Vallee Blanche, four days of free skiing (probably Brevent and Grand Montets) and another guided day of off-piste. Totally psyched!

My imaginary French girlfriend is similarly stoked.
Nothing beats imaginary girlfriends!
 

YSC

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actually it would be a killer if focal decide to pair it with a low cost active sub like the Sub6, that will make it competitive to the Adam TXV series or the Kali/JBL
 

KaiDeus

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My impression is the much less expensive JBL LSR 308II is a better deal. It has a higher preference score and similar amplifier power. Thank you @amirm
And it sounds worse from my own experience, no contest in terms of treble performance, the JBL sounds harsh in comparison with the focal. Did you have the chance to listen to one of them?
 

Ron Texas

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And it sounds worse from my own experience, no contest in terms of treble performance, the JBL sounds harsh in comparison with the focal. Did you have the chance to listen to one of them?
I had a pair of LSR 306P II in my home for several months and they did not sound harsh at all. Same HF unit, slightly smaller wave guide. The preference score for the JBL is 5.6, Focal 4.1 and the speakers have similar amplifier power. You need to come up with more than "did I listen to the Focals" to convince anyone around here where measurements count heavily.
 

KaiDeus

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Woah hold horses. In my experience the focal sounds way better than the JBL that is all I'm saying. Regardless of any preference score, why would Amir bother with a listening test at all, if measurements cover absolutely everything? There is a middle ground between measurements and listening. It is not either or.
 

Funky-kun

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Chiming in, I had a sighted comparison between JBL 308 (mk1) and Focal Alpha 80 (so very similar tweeter with some more wattage in the amp and probably worse crossover performance; also listened to Yamaha HS8) and in a large space when choosing my monitors upgrade. I walked into this expecting to buy the JBL 308, so if anything I was biased against the other speakers.

My subjective experience was also that the Focals sounded better than the JBLs in the tweeter region, in fact the JBLs were the first speaker I eliminated from my shootout. Harsh would also be the word I use to describe them. And that's coming from a big fan of the JBL 305s. Of course, this is only in the context of a comparison, otherwise I would probably be happy with JBL 308 at home.

We should not forget the preference score is not intended for nearfield monitors. Also, Amir's subjective impressions were positive (in both cases in fact).
 

YARE

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Some people aren't listening to sound, they are listening rather to measurements that they clearly lack to read. The preference score is not intended for nearfield listening and also everybody got their own preference (curve). As much as I love audio science at the end the preference is rather subjective, so don't pick a speaker purely on data that you aren't really familiar with.
 

pseudoid

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As much as I love audio science at the end the preference is rather subjective, so don't pick a speaker purely on data that you aren't really familiar with.
This suggestion seems a bit flawed, as the picker could have to rely on 'trained ears" (not even "golden"), which I don't think is readily available at the corner 7-11.
It can't be and should NOT be solely per subjective evaluation and that is the reason why we try to keep @amirm on staff. :D
 

YARE

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This suggestion seems a bit flawed, as the picker could have to rely on 'trained ears" (not even "golden"), which I don't think is readily available at the corner 7-11.
It can't be and should NOT be solely per subjective evaluation and that is the reason why we try to keep @amirm on staff. :D
You are the receiving end, you don't work like a Klippel. I have never said anything against the things that you've written and listed. Personal Prefrence is subjective so you decide where you set your importance in measurements (directivity, distortion, frequency response, ..) and through personal experience.
 
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heflys20

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These are decent, I guess. Especially on sale. I would love to see a review of the revised Presonus R65 that was just released. They went from Class D to A/B and put in a toroidal transformer; apparently to combat hiss.
 

YSC

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You are the receiving end, you don't work like a Klippel. I have never said anything against the things that you've written and listed. Personal Prefrence is subjective so you decide where you set your importance in measurements (directivity, distortion, frequency response, ..) and through personal experience.
to me it's a yes and no, for preference in your special room and to decide which is the absolute best in the use case (with or without EQ available, do you want in monitor built in compensation modes etc.) and the room configuration all make a difference in the final performance to the speaker among the well measured ones.

Measurements to me is a key parameter to make sure I don't got a dud on blind purchase reading magazines which praise everything. once arriving a certain good performance, I would say buy to your brand preference or even look preference.

e.g. for myself which need to use a speaker with only 1m space between me and front wall, my chair back is basically on the door of the drawer. in this case no measurement or special tuning can champ Neumann or Genelec which is slim enough to sit close to front wall and create the ~75cm for my ears to speaker distance, if say I got a Adam T5V or KEF, I can't tilt them for the equilateral triangle and not super close to my ears, that alone makes a big difference in imaging, and the close in environment makes the bass boost very strong for normal speakers, which genelec helped my on that will the dip switches, thus the purchase and I didn't regret
 

GimeDsp

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I was going to get these but I couldn't get over 2 things.

1. The little slits/slots for the removable grill to go into

2. What I believe to the unique sound squarish speakers have. Not sure what it is.
 

GimeDsp

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These are decent, I guess. Especially on sale. I would love to see a review of the revised Presonus R65 that was just released. They went from Class D to A/B and put in a toroidal transformer; apparently to combat hiss.
I believe the original have the the "glass woofer" and class A/B.

The evo has a different woofer and class D now.
 

anphex

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Out of curiosity, what are those wiggles before the impulse?

1639145748509.png
 
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