Flagship of French Hifi, Focal is as renowned for its audiophile speakers as for its pro models. No revolution today, since the Solo6 and Twin6, two well-known names (having changed little for 15 years), will evolve into a new version. As such, these new Solo6 and Twin6 fit into the very recent ST6 range, the continuation of the SM6 range. This series includes the two speakers mentioned, as well as the SUB12 subwoofer.
We change little a form that works, but we change it all the same
On the design side, it is difficult to draw a line under what makes up a large part of the DNA of the old SM6 range. For its part, the Solo6 retains this almost cubic format, endearing although it is not necessarily elegant, marked by the iconic red cheeks (or available in black) in natural veneer and the characteristic front laminar vent. This speaker measures 33.4 x 24.6 x 29.5 cm and weighs 13 kg (each). Of course, inserts for wall mounting are provided at the back.
Same story for the Twin6, which takes up the lines of its predecessor. It thus remains camped on a parallelepipedic format a little thicker than the average and uses two frontal laminar vents. Everything remains sandwiched by the iconic side panels, available in black and red. A little bulkier, the Twin6 measures 25.8 x 51.4 x 34.4 cm and weighs 22 kg each.
However, this apparent stagnation hides slightly revisited chassis. Designed in 22 mm thick MDF, these offer more rigidity and damping than before, which therefore limits vibration phenomena and distortions.
All the connections and settings for the two speakers are of course placed at the back, namely:
- 1 x 3-pin XLR input,
- 1 input and 1 output for triggering (via pedal) Focus mode,
- 1 switch for enabling/disabling auto standby mode,
- 1 input sensitivity adjustment switch: -10 dBV and +4 dBU,
- high pass filter setting: off, 45Hz, 60Hz, 90Hz,
- low frequency and high frequency adjustments via shelf filter (from -3 to +3 dB, respectively at 250 Hz and 4.5 kHz). Parametric filter at 160 Hz (+-3 dB).
The art of two-in-one and Beryllium finesse
On a technical level, without reaching the ambition of the Trio11 Be and Trio6 Be, these two new models should perpetuate the quality of the old Solo6 and Twin6.
Both are based on a two-way topology, using a 38 mm beryllium inverted dome tweeter, mounted on an “optimized” acoustic baffle (compared to the previous version). The rest of the frequencies are entrusted to a 16.5 cm W-shaped composite sandwich membrane speaker (structural foam body wedged between two layers of fiberglass), again a specialty of the brand. The Solo6 speaker incorporates one of these woofers, the Twin6 has two.
Both the woofer and the tweeter are equipped with TMD (Tuned Mass Damper) technology, which optimizes the damping of the loudspeakers via a mobile mass system.
Still in the sound part, a great specialty of Focal returns here, namely the Focus mode, mode that we had already presented with the Trio6 Be. This consists of deactivating the tweeter and the low-pass filter of the woofer (woofers in the case of the Twin6), in order to transform the enclosure into a broadband model. In this configuration, the speaker stops at only 10 kHz in the high frequencies and is cut off in the low frequencies. The interest? Check that the mix is suitable for very simple and low dynamic sound systems. The majority of the public does not listen to their music on Hifi devices.
The Solo6 is powered by an 80W amplifier for the woofer and a 50W amplifier for the tweeter. Its advertised frequency response is 45 Hz – 40 kHz (110 Hz – 10 kHz in Focus mode). This speaker is already on sale, for a price of €1,400 the unit.
The Twin6 incorporates two 70 W amplifiers for the woofers and still a 50 W amplifier for the treble. Its frequency response is also announced at 45 Hz – 40 kHz (110 Hz – 10 kHz in Focus mode). This model is sold at the price of €2,000 the unit.
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