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Focal Shape 50 Studio Monitor Pair

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$1,498.00
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Quick Overview

The Reference Of The Line

THE REFERENCE OF THE LINE

Shape 65 is the reference of the Shape line. Although it’s dedicated to nearfield monitoring, this monitor enables extraordinary monitoring quality, in the lowest to the highest frequencies. Simply a must, this monitor will express its full potential from a listening distance of three feet away (1 metre).

The three monitors are all made in France and integrate five innovations to maximise acoustic transparency. Designed to meet the needs of nearfield monitoring, Shape monitors combine an ingenuous design and numerous settings optimised for the acoustics of small listening rooms.
These innovations provide remarkable acoustic transparency. These new work tools distinguish themselves through the wide and extremely precise stereo image. The bass register is articulated and controlled. The lower mid-range and mid-range benefit from extreme neutrality, and without any masking effects, making equalisation of these essential registers much easier. Finally, the new tweeter is what’s at the source of the very high definition. It efficiently reveals any hissing, and it’s also very precise in the very high end.

 

FLAX SANDWICH CONE

Made in France but affordable, Flax cones are oriented towards acoustic performance, high-tech and give an original design to the brand’s speaker drivers!

After more than five years of research and development, engineers at Focal reveal in 2013 a new cone made of high-quality flax fibers. F cone are characterised by their natural sound, with low coloration, their richness of reproduction in the midrange register and their tighter bass.

THE UNIQUE QUALITIES OF FLAX

F cones are made of high-quality flax fibers core enclosed by two thin layers of glass fiber. They satisfy the key criteria of a high performance diaphragm : high internal damping, high velocity of sound and high flexural rigidity.

Rigidity

All these criteria cannot be met by a mono-material cone. Sandwich technology greatly influences the neutrality of the sound produced by the cone, something, which has always been Focal’s hallmark. The expertise gained from the sandwich technology of the Utopia and K2 Power ranges enabled Focal to develop a revolutionary flax-fiber cone conciliating the 3 criteria.

Lightness

Flax is twice as light as fiberglass, because the fiber is hollow. It also has very low elasticity which makes it ideal to increase the flexural rigidity of a sandwich structure. Moreover, it can be obtained in non-woven bundles of considerable diameter and it can therefore produce the thickness required for a sandwich.

Internal damping

Composite materials have properties suitable for applications where both rigidity and low mass are required. However, their disadvantage is that they lack damping, which leads to very poor control of vibrations. Recent developments in this field combining composites and natural fibers have brought unexpected opportunities. Flax fiber has an excellent internal damping of the same order of magnitude
as the glass or Kevlar fibers or aluminum.

MADE IN FRANCE AND AFFORDABLE

Flax cones are designed and manufactured in France, from french flax fiber.  France is the main cultivator in Europe of fiber flax, principally in Flanders, Picardy, Normandy and the Pas-de-Calais region. French flax is considered the best in the world.

Synthetic fibers or foams originating from petrochemical resources are subject to inflation linked to the sharp rise in crude oil prices. Organic or ecological textiles, like flax, are thus becoming more and more pricecompetitive.

Because the “W” or "K2" sandwich have to be manufactured by hand, their range of application remains limited for reasons of cost. The industrial process developed to manufacture the "F" cones bring it within reach of very pricecompetitive product ranges

 

NIC - NEUTRAL INDUCTANCE

The precision and detail of audio reproduction depend on the stability of the magnetic field.

STABILISING THE MAGNETIC FIELD

After having pushed back the limits in electromagnetic technology, our teams discovered the fact that beyond the magnetic field intensity and its homogeneity within the gap, there was a dynamic aspect we had no control over.

The magnetic field is not stable because it is modulated by three factors:

the movement of the voice coil (Lenz's law),
the current passing through it (Foucault current),
the frequency.

Consequently, the voice coil, and all the moving part including the cone, is in the magnetic field which becomes too variable, and this leads to loss of precision.

NEUTRAL INDUCTANCE CIRCUIT TECHNOLOGY

After three years of research and the development of simulation software which makes it possible to visualise these complex interactions, Focal engineers created an incredibly stable magnetic circuit for the Sopra line..

The solution, NIC technology, lies in a Faraday ring whose dimensions, materials and positioning were optimised to make the magnetic field no longer affected by the position of the voice coil, by the amperage or the frequency of the current passing through it.

This is a sign of very high definition.

LA TECHNOLOGIE NIC - NEUTRAL INDUCTANCE CIRCUIT (visuel)

VISUAL ANALOGY OF MAGNETIC DISTURBANCE

Without a Faraday ring

Without a Faraday ring

The variations related to the position of the voice coil and to the current passing through it in a conventional circuit results in blurring.

With a conventional Faraday ring

With a conventional Faraday ring

The variations related to the position of the voice coil and to the current passing through it in a conventional circuit results in blurring.

With Focal’s Faraday ring

With Focal’s Faraday ring

Our new simulation software enables us to combine the best of both worlds: very high definition and dynamics/contrast.

 

MEASUREMENT AND ANALYSIS

Mesure pour un medium de 6" (visuel)

Measurements made using a Klippel Analyzer on a 6-inch midrange driver: with the new "NIC" magnetic circuit (blue trace) and a 6-inch midrange unit with a conventional ferrite motor (red trace).  Left: Inductance variation as a function of the current through the voice coil, which is signal-dependent. Total stability with "NIC". Right: Inductance variation as a function of the position of the voice coil in the magnet gap. The “NIC” improvement is spectacular..

Mesure pour un medium de 8" (visuel)

Analyzer on an 8-inch woofer: without a Faraday ring (red trace) and with a Faraday ring optimized through our simulation tool (blue trace). Left: Inductance variation as a function of the current through the voice coil, which is signal-dependent. Total stability. Right: Inductance variation as a function of the position of the voice coil in the magnet gap. The improvement here is spectacular, especially as the coil moves into the driver..

Réponse en fréquence (visuel)

Frequency response of our latest-generation midrange driver (blue trace) compared to the previous-generation W midrange (red trace). The extension of the frequency range, resulting from all the improvements but particularly the exponential cone profile, is important as it promises improved transient response. NB: The dip at 3kHz in the blue trace is due to the tested driver not being fitted with a dust cap.

Analyse de la distorsion "multitone" (visuel)

Distortion analysis using the Klippel multi-tone test signal which gives an overview of nonlinear distortion performance (harmonic and intermodulation). The lowering of distortion by about 10dB is a reduction of almost 70%.

 

TMD - TUNED MASS DAMPER

THE OBSESSION WITH THE MIDRANGE

The midrange register is no doubt the most complicated to control in a sound system. On one hand, there must be a smooth transition with the bass. On the other hand, it must be tuned to the tweeter in terms of dispersion and acceleration. This determines the homogeneity of the timbre and spatialisation.

For the past 20 years, we have been working on mastering the "break up" (the frequency at which the cone becomes deformed, leading to distortion) of our 3rd generation "W" cones and on drastically reducing the resonance of the tweeter with the IAL 2. Today, thanks to the power of finite element analysis, our teams have developed simulation software to visualise the dynamic behaviour of the suspension which connects the cone to the basket, thus revealing the performance issues requiring attention.

TUNED MASS DAMPER

Following the discovering of these issues, we had to conceive the equipment to solve them. The solutions already known for increasing the damping properties of the suspension all result in an increase of the mass which consequently alters definition. The answer came from a technology used in earthquake-resistant skyscrapers and which is also used for the suspension on racing cars! This technology is called a "Tuned Mass Damper": an additional mass oscillate in opposition to the resonance frequency to control it.

Applied to the speaker driver, the solution consists in simply two tubular rings on the suspension whose dimensions and position have been judiciously determined. They form our Tuned Mass Damper (TMD) and they stabilise the dynamic behaviour of the surround according to resonance, thus avoiding deformation of the cone without afflicting the dynamics. This innovation is patented.

L'amortisseur harmonique TMD (visuel)

VISUAL ANALOGY OF THE SURROUNDS

 

Our Tuned Mass Damper (TMD) consists of two tubular rings moulded onto the surround. On the left the default suspension, on the right, the TMD suspension. This simple solution, perfected thanks to our new software, stabilises the dynamic behaviour of the surround according to resonance, thus avoiding deformation of the cone without afflicting the dynamics.

PRINCIPLE OF THE TUNED MASS DAMPER

Le principe de l’amortisseur harmonique "TMD" (visuel)

The principle of the tuned harmonic damper (TMD): The graph on the left demonstrates the principle of the tuned mass damper. In red, an m1/k1 system with very pronounced resonance. By adding a mass/spring system m2/k2 (upper section of the diagram), there will be two resonance peaks, as represented by the blue curve. The drop or anti-resonance being previously based on the resonance of the main system, we get the green curve. Finally, by judiciously adding a damper, we obtain the purple curve. The resonance has almost disappeared! 

With Sopra hi-fi speakers, we opted for exponentially shaped cones in order to increase frequency response, and consequently impulse response. Another reason for increasing definition.

MEASUREMENT AND ANALYSIS

TMD - Frequency response comparison : Electra 1038 / Sopra (visuel)

Improved response linearity between 1 and 2kHz and the frequency extension provided by the exponential cone profile.. 
Frequency response of our latest midrange driver (blue trace) compared to the previous-generation W-cone midrange, representing prior state-of-the art performance (red trace). Improvements to the magnetic circuit also contribute (see next section). NB: The dip at 3kHz in the blue trace is due to the tested driver not being fitted with a dust cap.

TMD - Fundamental + Harmonic distortion (visuel)

Effect of the harmonic damper on linearizing the frequency response between 1.5 and 2kHz (blue trace with TMD, red trace without).

TMD - Harmonic distortion (visuel)

Effect of the harmonic damper on nonlinear distortion, which is halved between 1.5 and 2kHz (blue trace with TMD, red trace without).

 

KEY FEATURES


Tweeter with very low directivity for a flexible listening position
 
Designed without a port, but with a double passive radiator, allowing it to be placed near a wall.
 
Numerous settings for optimal integration
 
Accurate control, even in the very high end
 
Flax sandwich cone: controlled and articulated bass, natural and detailed lower mid-range and upper mid-range registers.
 
Mounting mechanisms present on the back and underneath the loudspeaker: for installing on a table stand, a microphone stand, the ceiling or a wall (Mounting accessories not supplied).
 

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