Can a DIY speaker based on Focal drivers compete with B&W, Energy, etc?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Javier_Huerta, Aug 18, 2003.

  1. Javier_Huerta

    Javier_Huerta Supporting Actor

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    I'm thinking about getting a set of speakers made out of Focal drivers. The speaker has been pre-built. It's 1" MDF.

    I do not know exactly the model number of the drivers, though the midranges' surround is made of Nomex, and the cone out of carbon fiber. The tweeter is a Focal, too. They are MTM's. I heard them - they are absolutely stunning. But, not having the advantage of directly comparing them to other brands (like B&W, Energy, etc), I don't know what to expect.

    I have a "bring them back if you don't like them" warranty - since I'm buying them from an established company. Asking price is $950 (deeply discounted, since these are demo models).

    Can a semi-DIY speaker based on Focal drivers compete with, say, B&W's, Energy's, etc? Price-wise, they are similar.
     
  2. David Giesbrecht

    David Giesbrecht Second Unit

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    My guess is the Focal DIY's would sound alot better than the energy's, I've never heard any B&W's so I dont' know but the best way to find out is to audition some other speakers in your pricerange and hear for yourself.

    Good Luck
     
  3. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Exactly what Jack said, but replace his name with mine (or most any other name)[​IMG]
     
  4. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    Get specifics as to the size of the baffle/box, the topology of the XO design, and the specific drivers being used. With that info one could draw some conclusions about the speaker. Focal makes some very good drivers and some that are a bit lacking
     
  5. Matt`G

    Matt`G Agent

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    A friend of mine built a pair of DIY's out of Focal components about 8 months ago. As far as I know, they were from the Poly-Kevlar line of drivers (6.5") with the TN 45 tweeter. I've only heard them once, but they sounded excellent. I have the Focal Poly-kevlar 165 K-2 in my car currently, and when I get a new car I will be pulling these out to try the DIY with them!

    I don't know if he had to pay for them, but I know Focal sent my friend some very detailed information on box construction, crossover information, etc. I know you said you already have a box, but this info might help you as well. If you haven't already, make sure to poke around on www focal-america com (sorry for not linking, I'm new and still restricted!). Good luck to ya!
     
  6. Javier_Huerta

    Javier_Huerta Supporting Actor

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    Heh, thank you very much all for your input!

    I'll have the speakers later today, so as to listen to them for a while before committing.

    As far as I know, the crossover is a first-order network. The speaker is braced, using 1" MDF. I'll try to post more info when I get them.

    The web site where the speakers are shown (along with a couple other designs) is:

    http://www.margules.com.mx/index_margules.htm

    The speakers are the A3.2.

    BTW, it's nice to be back [​IMG]
     
  7. Scott Simonian

    Scott Simonian Screenwriter

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    I think Induction Dynamics uses Focal drivers in their loudspeakers. I just read a review on a system in Home Theater mag (bleh!). It got good reviews. Dont know about the crossover technology they put into their speakers though.
     
  8. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    Personally I'm not a fan of 1st order networks. They help keep the cost low, but IMO tend to overwork the extremes of each driver's passband.

    If you wait until the Sept issue of Audio-X-Press comes out, you'll see the first of a three part article written by our pal JonMarsh. It details a very high end ported 8" 2-way. It's one of the finest sounding dynamic driver systems I've ever heard. And it can be built by the average DIYer at a modest cost.
     
  9. Javier_Huerta

    Javier_Huerta Supporting Actor

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    Thomas, thanks a lot for your help.

    I listened to the speakers once again, and asked the pertinent questions to the system designer. He told me he was running the drivers well within their limits, and that he chose a 1 1/2" tweeter in order to use the 1st order network.

    I loved the sound. Drivers are *not* Focal - he got confused, since he changed his speaker line (and that's the reason I got the speakers at 50% off).

    After 4 1/2 hours of listening, I decided to get them. The money back guarantee extends for a full year - so if I ever get bored with them, I can always take them back, and get something else.

    The moral of this story is - there's nothing like a high end audio dealer who is willing to go the extra distance to please you. And it's even better when he is designing the stuff. [​IMG]
     
  10. Manuel Delaflor

    Manuel Delaflor Supporting Actor

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    Javier!

    You finally went to Margules! Nice surprise having a High End manufacturer right here, isn't? [​IMG]

    So far I have bought their QR1, ADE-24 and ACRH1, I want their Orpheus speakers, but they are a bit expensive for me, maybe if I wait for a couple of years I will be able to get a used pair... [​IMG]
     
  11. Javier_Huerta

    Javier_Huerta Supporting Actor

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    Manuel... have you called Margules? Check out his new Baby Orpheus...[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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