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Focal Solo6 Be: Spinorama and measurements

napilopez

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Knocking off my backlog of speaker measurements. Next up is the Focal Solo 6 Be:

Solo6 Be Spin.png


Imo, it's disappointing. The on-axis is jagged, but that's at least mostly within +/-2dB. The off-axis is a mess.

Some of you know I really like almost all focal stuff, and I still appreciate the wider than usual horizontal directivity here. That alone gives it a 'different' sound that stands out compared to neumann and genelec. But it seems to me like if your goal is to mix with these, you're likely to end up with a boosted upper mids. do to the recession that is there even on-axis, but especially off-axis. These would definitely benefit from a treated room.

It's worth noting that some of the squiggles in the lower mids may be from my setup. For some reason the impulse response looked 'messier than normal,' and I still have some growing pains from my new measurement setup (I'm increasingly convinced your choice of stand does have a measurable effect on the frequency response).

Still, it matches Sound and Recording's measurement pretty closely (behind a paywall so not sharing that one here).

Luckily, horizontal directivity is still pretty solid:
Solo6 Be Directivity (hor).jpg


Normalized:
Solo6 Be Directivity normalized (hor).jpg


There's still a bunch of bunching around 6kHz though.

Horizontal early reflections:
Solo6 Hor.png

Vertical ER:
Solo6 Ver.png


While the Solo6 Be is the cheapest way to get Focal's highest-quality driver materials (beryllium and the W sandwich cone), it's a relatively old design now and it seems to me the speaker is due for a redesign. I wouldn't be surprised if the just-released Alpha 65 evo ends up measuring better. It at least has a little waveguide.

As it stands, unless you have a highly treated room, I think you're better off picking up a Focal Chora or Aria for less than $1000 and using that for your mixes if you like the wide directivity sound. Those have been measured by Amir and me and perform well. And if wide directivity isn't a priority, there are of course better options from neumann and genelec in the realms of FR and directivity that we prioritize here. The Solo6 Be does sound good, but I think we should expect more too.
 

dfuller

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Yeah... That's pretty disappointing. I'm seriously hoping to see some update from Focal on the SM6 line - they need it, badly. Wouldn't hurt if they switched to class D plate amps either.
 

Blumlein 88

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That is dissappointing.
 

Senior NEET Engineer

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Have you considered posting on Gearspace forum? I'm amazed that this can be considered a studio monitor.
 

pierre

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Score is 4.5 and goes to 5.6 with an EQ.

I have a pair they are not that bad nearfield with Dirac or similar. It is an old design. I also have Focal shape and the difference in quality is marginal (but they are 40% of the price). I also have the Focal trio6 which are a serious improvement.

filters0.png


filters1.png


filters2.png



I would keep the first 4 PEQs only:

Code:
EQ for Focal Solo6 Be computed from Misc data
Generated from http://github.com/pierreaubert/spinorama/generate_peqs.py v0.8
Dated: 2021-05-18-11:54:42

Preamp: -2.9 dB

Filter  1: ON PK Fc   559 Hz Gain +1.90 dB Q 5.47
Filter  2: ON PK Fc  1652 Hz Gain +2.59 dB Q 2.33
Filter  3: ON PK Fc  4870 Hz Gain -1.47 dB Q 2.65
Filter  4: ON PK Fc  8764 Hz Gain +1.54 dB Q 7.87
Filter  5: ON PK Fc  6131 Hz Gain -1.15 dB Q 12.00
Filter  6: ON PK Fc  6959 Hz Gain +1.20 dB Q 12.00
Filter  7: ON PK Fc   945 Hz Gain -1.02 dB Q 12.00
Filter  8: ON PK Fc   822 Hz Gain +0.89 dB Q 12.00
Filter  9: ON PK Fc  1416 Hz Gain +1.12 dB Q 12.00
Filter 10: ON PK Fc 14814 Hz Gain +1.97 dB Q 2.17
Filter 11: ON PK Fc 10328 Hz Gain -1.34 dB Q 12.00
Filter 12: ON PK Fc  8000 Hz Gain -0.64 dB Q 12.00
Filter 13: ON PK Fc  1558 Hz Gain -0.83 dB Q 12.00
Filter 14: ON PK Fc  1864 Hz Gain +0.66 dB Q 12.00
Filter 15: ON PK Fc   626 Hz Gain -0.50 dB Q 11.64
Filter 16: ON PK Fc   353 Hz Gain -0.30 dB Q 6.50
Filter 17: ON PK Fc  1261 Hz Gain -0.36 dB Q 12.00
Filter 18: ON PK Fc  1122 Hz Gain +0.42 dB Q 12.00
Filter 19: ON PK Fc  4822 Hz Gain +0.56 dB Q 12.00
Filter 20: ON PK Fc   491 Hz Gain -0.29 dB Q 12.00
 
Last edited:

Maiky76

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Knocking off my backlog of speaker measurements. Next up is the Focal Solo 6 Be:

View attachment 130353

Imo, it's disappointing. The on-axis is jagged, but that's at least mostly within +/-2dB. The off-axis is a mess.

Some of you know I really like almost all focal stuff, and I still appreciate the wider than usual horizontal directivity here. That alone gives it a 'different' sound that stands out compared to neumann and genelec. But it seems to me like if your goal is to mix with these, you're likely to end up with a boosted upper mids. do to the recession that is there even on-axis, but especially off-axis. These would definitely benefit from a treated room.

It's worth noting that some of the squiggles in the lower mids may be from my setup. For some reason the impulse response looked 'messier than normal,' and I still have some growing pains from my new measurement setup (I'm increasingly convinced your choice of stand does have a measurable effect on the frequency response).

Still, it matches Sound and Recording's measurement pretty closely (behind a paywall so not sharing that one here).

Luckily, horizontal directivity is still pretty solid:
View attachment 130356

Normalized:
View attachment 130355

There's still a bunch of bunching around 6kHz though.

Horizontal early reflections:
View attachment 130359
Vertical ER:
View attachment 130360

While the Solo6 Be is the cheapest way to get Focal's highest-quality driver materials (beryllium and the W sandwich cone), it's a relatively old design now and it seems to me the speaker is due for a redesign. I wouldn't be surprised if the just-released Alpha 65 evo ends up measuring better. It at least has a little waveguide.

As it stands, unless you have a highly treated room, I think you're better off picking up a Focal Chora or Aria for less than $1000 and using that for your mixes if you like the wide directivity sound. Those have been measured by Amir and me and perform well. And if wide directivity isn't a priority, there are of course better options from neumann and genelec in the realms of FR and directivity that we prioritize here. The Solo6 Be does sound good, but I think we should expect more too.

Hi,

Here is my take on the EQ.

The raw data with corrected ER and PIR:

Score no EQ: 4.7
With Sub: 6.8

Spinorama with no EQ:
  • Not Flat
  • No waveguide = Poor directivity
Focal Solo6 Be No EQ spinorama.png


EQ design:

I have generated two EQs. The APO config files are attached.
  • The first one, labelled, LW is targeted at making the LW flat
  • The second, labelled Score, starts with the first one and adds the score as an optimization variable.
  • The EQs are designed in the context of regular stereo use i.e. domestic environment, no warranty is provided for a near field use in a studio environment although the LW might be better suited for this purpose.
Score EQ LW: 4.7 -> only in a treated (damped) room!
with sub: 7.0

Score EQ Score: 5.8
with sub: 8.0

Code:
Focal Solo6 Be APO EQ LW 96000Hz
May212021-151323

Preamp: -3.9 dB

Filter 2: ON PK Fc 1713 Hz Gain 3 dB Q 1.2
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 8263 Hz Gain 2.35 dB Q 2.58
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 8926 Hz Gain -0.72 dB Q 0.92
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 15107 Hz Gain 4 dB Q 1.51

Focal Solo6 Be APO EQ Score 96000Hz
May212021-150701

Preamp: -2.5 dB

Filter 1: ON PK Fc 1763 Hz Gain 2.73 dB Q 1.77
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 5570 Hz Gain -2.33 dB Q 1
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 8727 Hz Gain 1.83 dB Q 6.75
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 15107 Hz Gain 2.74 dB Q 2.31

Focal Solo6 Be EQ design.png


Spinorama EQ LW
Focal Solo6 Be LW EQ spinorama.png


Spinorama EQ Score
Focal Solo6 Be Score EQ spinorama.png


Zoom PIR-LW-ON
Focal Solo6 Be Zoom.png


Regression - Tonal
Focal Solo6 Be Tonal - Regression.png


Radar no EQ vs EQ score
Nice improvements but plenty of better Monitors out there...
Focal Solo6 Be Radar.png
 

Attachments

  • Focal Solo6 Be APO EQ LW 96000Hz.txt
    251 bytes · Views: 35
  • Focal Solo6 Be APO EQ Score 96000Hz.txt
    258 bytes · Views: 27
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