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Frustrating auto standby in Focal Trio monitors
Old 12th July 2016
  #1
Frustrating auto standby in Focal Trio monitors

Focal Trio 6be have an automatic standby that kicks in after 15 minutes of no audio coming in. I have already enquired Focal directly. They replied they couldn't tell me how to disable the feature which is required to be always on by EU law.

So now I'm asking fellow gearslutz if anyone knows whether it's possible to make a modification in the electronics of the Trio to disable the feature or at least change the time to 1 hour.

It is so frustrating to switch between two pairs of monitors when one is constantly in standby mode and it takes a few seconds for the monitors to come back on.

I know Focal officially couldn't support disabling the feature, but maybe, I mean maybe, there is someone who works at Focal and could unofficially post a solution here?
Old 14th July 2016
  #2
Is this standby mode in all models of focal trio6 be or are the us/ Europe trio6's different? What a weird design implementation, I hope you receive the workaround/ fix you need. Those monitors are very costly and one shouldn't have to implement a workaround. Hope you get things sorted
Old 14th July 2016
  #3
Gear Addict
I have them and it does come on .... It is kinda annoying but it only happens after a few minutes on mine. Would be great to turn it off. Other than that they are fantastic speakers.
Old 14th July 2016
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacko View Post
They replied they couldn't tell me how to disable the feature which is required to be always on by EU law.
Which EU law is this? I know there are power conserving laws in place (hard drive spindown, for one, which is really annoying if you have any traditional hard drives) that are required but UK speaker manufacturers (ATC/PMC) haven't put this in place and they're still part of the EU for the moment.

If you are in the US, I'd avoid Focal's main base and see if you can contact one of their approved service centers here. They'll be most familiar with the amps and this will take a physical change that will most likely void your warranty (at least on the amps) to bypass a circuit like this.
Old 14th July 2016
  #5
Gear Addict
This is from the manual:
TRIO6 Be monitors feature a “Standby” mode. After 15 minutes without an audio signal, the monitors automatically go into “Standby”. When the “Standby” mode is activated, power consumption is inferior to 0.5W.
If your monitors go off before that 15 min period id bring them back. Hope This helps
Old 14th July 2016
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaseUTB View Post
Is this standby mode in all models of focal trio6 be or are the us/ Europe trio6's different? What a weird design implementation, I hope you receive the workaround/ fix you need. Those monitors are very costly and one shouldn't have to implement a workaround. Hope you get things sorted
"No, it’s not possible because the new European legislation requires the auto standby system for all new audio product without access to threshold or setup ( or by pass)."
Old 14th July 2016
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rsantana View Post
This is from the manual:
TRIO6 Be monitors feature a “Standby” mode. After 15 minutes without an audio signal, the monitors automatically go into “Standby”. When the “Standby” mode is activated, power consumption is inferior to 0.5W.
If your monitors go off before that 15 min period id bring them back. Hope This helps
There are multiple times during the day when there is no audio signal coming in to my Trios for periods longer than 15 minutes. I want them to be ready to play instantly. 15 minutes is not enough. Read my opening post. I want the feature off or at least changed to one hour idle time.
Old 14th July 2016
  #8
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Motoxxx's Avatar
 

I am all for conserving energy, mostly to keep my own electric bills down, but when the State is mandating crap like these sort of features it is just too much. When you vote for the nanny state, this is the kind of garbage that you get.

My guess is that there may be some sort of a work around that is probably no that difficult to implement. Does Focal provide any schematics for them Trios?
Old 14th July 2016
  #9
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this rule can't apply to professional products, that would be just too stupid.
Old 14th July 2016
  #10
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
That is total bulls**t. I'd vote to leave the EU if they did that to my monitors, too.
Old 18th July 2016
  #11
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Motoxxx's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kafka View Post
That is total bulls**t. I'd vote to leave the EU if they did that to my monitors, too.
LOL....Is there any new info on this feature or a work around? I cannot imagine how aggravating that would be. I own the Twins which do not have this feature (thank God!) but was considering the Trios as an upgrade. This would be a deal breaker for me for sure.
Old 18th July 2016
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Motoxxx View Post
LOL....Is there any new info on this feature or a work around? I cannot imagine how aggravating that would be. I own the Twins which do not have this feature (thank God!) but was considering the Trios as an upgrade. This would be a deal breaker for me for sure.
One day I will simply open one monitor and I will take voltage measurements to identify the auto-standby part of the circuit. Unless someone does it first and they post a solution here
Old 24th July 2016
  #13
Here for the gear
Wow what a bummer! I've been looking at these pretty seriously. I'm trying to imagine how often this would get in my way during my workflow.. I rarely stop running audio through my monitors unless I take a break.. How long do they take to warm up?
Old 2nd August 2016
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
Lander's Avatar
 

Exactly one second then half a second to fade in to full volume.

It bothered me when I first got them because I wasn't used to it. I'm used to it now and it doesn't bother me.
Old 2nd September 2016
  #15
Here for the gear
 

Indeed, the powering down is an annoying option, but I've more or less learned to live with it. What really bothers me however is that the signal you have to pass into them to wake them up really has to be of a considerate level. They are connected to the main outputs of my rme fireface and in the interface mixer the outputs are set to -4dB. The signal then has to be at least -40dB or they won't wake up at all. When playing really soft material I can't wake them up unless I turn up the levels to at least -18dB. I really don't understand why they did make the wakeup call so insensitive. They should be able to do much better than -40dB!

These are expensive beasts (at least for my budget) so you don't really want to 'mod' them...
Old 2nd September 2016
  #16
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
You guys need to make an in-line beeper that you can just press to warm them up first. I'd make them and sell them to you, but, you know, EU regulations on whether a beeper is audio gear vs a musical instrument, regulations on the duration and pitch of the tone, animal testing, proving that it has less than .1% GMO content, etc. It's just not worth it.
Old 7th January 2017
  #17
It is truly annoying to have to repeatedly nudge these monitors back to life after they've gone into standby. In a day of mixing, I end up doing this probably a dozen times. Really. Terrible. Experience. There should obviously be a "standby disable" switch on these things.

But what is much, much more annoying about these things is that they do NOT just go into standby when there is zero audio input. They also go into standby if there is LOW audio input, too. So if you're just listening to quiet music in your studio while working on something else, then, yep, these bad boys shut themselves down after 15 minutes. W.T.F??? That's just an incompetent design.

It's a shame because, other than this utterly ridiculous, self-inflicted flaw, these monitors are god-like. Sigh. There's always something...

Please, someone, post directions on how to implement the standby disable switch!
Old 26th July 2017
  #18
Here for the gear
 

Modifying the detector threshold itself is next to impossible, as the relevant SMT circuit is covered in goo. I found two solutions:


The Easy Mod

The easy mod was to lower the power amp gain, which let me use higher levels to the Focal input, effectively reducing the required wake-up volume. This was made by adding 6k8 resistors parallel to the feedback circuit (pins 2&14 on the power amp elements), which lowered the output for about 11dB. I used the +6/0dB Sensitivity switch for 0dB/-11dB. This mod helps a lot, but is not a definitive solution.

I actually lowered the tweeter gain 12dB (additional 39k parallel to the 6k8) to closer match my sound preferences.


Opening up the Focal Alpha

After removing the 12 screws the back panel can be pulled out a bit. First pull out the front panel led cable at the front left edge of the main board. Then reach for and pull out the cables at the speaker elements.


Bypassing the Standby completely

DISCLAIMER: I'm just a hobbyist, and while I've checked the resulting voltages and currents of the mod being safe, I'm sure there are better ways of doing this. I just don't know any better. Component values are based on what I already had.

The Standby in Alphas is a three step process:
1) Standby function of the TDA7296 power amp element
2) Mute function of the TDA7296 power amp element
3) Relay for full power mains

Keeping the control voltages up on the amp solves 1) and 2), and tricking the relay circuit in the same manner solves 3). However, the Alpha power-on and power-off require a timed sequence in order to prevent popping. This is where I had to learn something new.

Timed Control Voltages
By using two TLC555 IC's the additional control voltages can be timed preventing pops at power-on, and using the mains rectifier as a source for a relay, the mod switches off and the amps get muted before the power-off sequence is complete.

Viewing from the rear of the speaker, a gray cable goes from the rear left edge of the main board to the power relay board, which carries ground and two control conductors, each carrying 0, 3.5 or 5VDC depending on the power state. Joining the white and red conductors through a 1k5 resistor tricks the mains relay to be always on. Using the 5VDC from the white conductor we can feed the amps' Standby and Mute circuits to keep them alive as well. The Mute circuit lowers the output audibly at 4V, but I think it's safer to separate the circuits with 560Ω (or smaller) resistors. This still keeps them at 4.7V. The Standby is fine with anything over 3.5V.

Installing the mod
The layout is made to be soldered under the main board, straight to the gray cable's soldering points. The space is limited, so it's best to tilt the capacitors down to the board.

First solder the cables to the rectifier solder joints under the main board. They are located at the left of the main board, next to the transformer power cables.

The 15-pin TDA7296 power amp elements are located under the main board, near the front edge. Their solder points are accessible from the top. (Pin 1 is on the left, even numbers have their own row.) Tilting the last 2mm of the mod's output cable resistors' legs gives more contact area. I like to lean the resistors to nearby elements, and use silicon glue to secure them in place.
Attached Thumbnails
Frustrating auto standby in Focal Trio monitors-disable-auto-standby-dlx-layout.jpg  
Old 11th December 2017
  #19
I've just found out Focal Shape monitors have internal switch on the board: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/12766628-post26.html
Perhaps Trio will have such a switch as well?
Other than this auto standby thing they are really good and I've been working on them for two years now!
Old 11th December 2017
  #20
I had my Trio's for 3 months and the auto standby thing drove me mad!
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacko View Post
I've just found out Focal Shape monitors have internal switch on the board: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/12766628-post26.html
Perhaps Trio will have such a switch as well?
Other than this auto standby thing they are really good and I've been working on them for two years now!
Old 16th February 2018
  #21
Here for the gear
 

I have a wonderful pair of Shape 65 monitors and similarly, dislike the auto-shutdown function. I'll be working through my vendor initially to see what may be worked out. I'm not afraid of electronics but I don't favor the idea of possibly voiding the warranty were I to do this myself. Here I provide, for reference, a shot I found of the Shape 65 power supply indicating the location of the disable switch for the power-down function on this model.
Attached Thumbnails
Frustrating auto standby in Focal Trio monitors-focal-shape-65-amp-screen-shot.png  
Old 21st February 2018
  #22
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacko View Post
I've just found out Focal Shape monitors have internal switch on the board: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/12766628-post26.html
I just had to open my Alpha65 up to check if I somehow could’ve missed a switch. But no, Alphas don’t have the switch. Thank goodness they added it for the Shape series!
Old 7th December 2018
  #23
Gear Maniac
Has anyone learned anything new in regard to Focal offering up a solution to disabling the auto sleep function?

I have had Trio 6 Be monitors for a couple of weeks and I am going insane with this so called feature. They even shut off when playing if not at high levels.

If there isn't a solution available, they are going back to the dealer next week.

Last edited by SpiritShooter; 8th December 2018 at 05:14 PM..
Old 7th December 2018
  #24
hmm, this is a deal breaker, i was going to buy these, are all new monitors like this now in the eu? damn, I don't know what ill upgrade too, maybe 2nd hand market.
Old 7th December 2018
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsmith View Post
hmm, this is a deal breaker, i was going to buy these, are all new monitors like this now in the eu?
no.
Old 11th December 2018
  #26
Gear Maniac
I was told that Focal USA will modify the Trio 6 Be backplates to disable the power saving feature. You have to pay shipping there and they will ship them back.

The biggest issue I have with the Trio 6's is:

Once they go into sleep mode, the come on at different times, not always simultaneously. This really sucks as I have to re-start the track.

When playing or mixing a track that has a very wide level range they will not turn on until the level reaches -8db or so.
Old 16th January 2019
  #27
Here for the gear
 

disable Trio6 auto st-by

Hi,

To disable trio6 auto st-by: see below

1) remove amplifier from the Trio6

There is many connectors take care don't make mistake

2) locate the 7 pin connector from Feature board to power supply
3)connect a 1K resistor between the wire of pin1 and pin7: then the unit will start immediately and never enter in st-by mode.

It's your responsibility to apply this modification.
Old 17th May 2019
  #28
Gear Addict
 
barbital's Avatar
 

Yeah...nah...I wouldn't **** with an ~$8k pair of monitors, destroy any warranties and risk wrecking them if you so much as carelessly slip or dribble on the circuit boards. Dangerous **** guys, don't even try. Just don't.
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