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Focal Solo6 BE Distorted speaker
Old 9th December 2017
  #1
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Focal Solo6 BE Distorted speaker

Hey, I just bought a couple of 5yrs old Solo6 from a previous owner. Listening to them in her studio i was blown away by the sound and bought them instantly. Upon coming home and setting them up i could hear a sort of distorted sound emanating from one of the speakers upon soloing a bass-heavy kick. Upon investigating and a lot of cable switching and moving things around I could be sure it was coming from the beryllium tweeter. Playing a sinetone of 40 hz should in no way engage the tweeter but upon raising the volume I could hear a clear distorted sound when panning and comparing my two monitors. The other one sounds fantastic. I noticed the metal ring around the beryllium cone was situated just about 2 mm in front of the rest of the speaker, this is not the case of my other one. Upon feeling with my hand in front of the cones of the two monitors playing the sinetone I could feel that the faulty one was pushing quite an amount of air, this was also not the case with the working one. Investigating the backplate reveals that the power button is missing the I/0 markings that the "good" monitor has, the plot thickens... anyone have any thoughts as to if all of this could be a production fault? The thought have crossed my mind that it could be a fake unit... In other aspects the speakers are in perfect condition, and i see no signs of damage. If it's indeed a faulty unit from the start I could prove to the previous owner I didnt damage the speakers and hopefully return them and get my cash back. Thankful for any help or experiences of similar happenings!
Peace

Edit: ive got some pictures and recording of the distortion if that could help

Last edited by bamsehopp; 9th December 2017 at 04:15 PM.. Reason: Forgot to add
Old 10th December 2017
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
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There's a crossover in the amplifier in those speakers. If you're playing a 40 Hertz tone and you're getting distortion, it's either the woofer or the amplifier.

The first generation solo 6 monitors had an issue with the PCB board where a solder joint would sometimes open up and cause a problem like this. The sound you're describing could also be just a bad woofer.

I don't know what you paid for them, but you probably want to contact the seller immediately. I would. You can do some other checks though. A real easy one would be to swap the woofers from one speaker to the other and see if the sound moves to the other speaker. You can switch the amp as well, but that's a little bit more involved. Those things are made with such a tight tolerance that they can be a pain to pull out sometimes.

If you keep the speakers and you find that it is the woofer, you can order replacements from focal. I also have one here in my shop from when I used to own solo6 speakers. I always keep spare parts to ensure up time! :-)
Old 10th December 2017
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
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Oh, one other thing. I believe the later revisions of the amplifier Incorporated a limiter if I remember correctly. It's possible if you're pushing them too hard, you could hear some artifacts. If the two amps look different from each other, too they both have serial numbers on them? If one of the amps doesn't have a serial number, it could mean that it was replaced. If it's the newer amp that has a limiter built in, it could be causing that noise your hearing as well.

Lots of speculation. You'll figure it out. But contact the seller and ask for the history. Those are damn good speakers too by the way.
Old 21st December 2017
  #4
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Hi, thanks for the response! I know it should be the woofer, but the fact that the tweeter is pushing out air makes me wonder... How does one remove the woofer? by just unscrewing the front screws and taking it out? I did contact the seller immediately and she is of course oblivious to this error. It can't be that i'm pushing it too hard since the other speaker sounds wonderful.
Old 13th November 2018
  #5
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Hi,

I have a pair of Focal Solo 6 BE. One of the monitors have recently started to produce large pops when switched on and the Beryllium tweeter is pumping with insane amplitude and also creating a hum noise. The phenomenon may disappear after 5-10 minutes but the issue may turn up again intermittently. I'm sure this is related to the Amplifier module as there is no change if the monitor cable is removed and/or if the filter or dBa switches are changed.

I can provide a video snippet demonstrating the issue if anyone is interested.

There are several threads here at gearslutz where this issue has been discussed. It has been indicated by several people that it can be related to earlier revisions of the amplifier board and that Focal has made changes with later revisions. If so, it seems to be a faulty design which came with selected serial numbers.

Focal does not respond by email sent to them and the Swedish distributor has stated that they will not respond to any of my emails. I'm evidently not impressed by this obvious lack of communication. The distributor further states that there have been no problems with the Solo 6 BE, whereas it seems as this is contradicted by reports from several users facing the same problem. I'm offered a 20% discount to buy a new amplifier but if this issue is about a batch of faulty amplifier boards I think it is beyond a guarantee issue.

Don't get me all wrong. I love the sound quality but I'm reluctant to stay with Focal if this issue is duplicated by several other users. Would like to hear comments and reports from other Solo 6 BE users.

Cheers,
Andy
Old 15th November 2018
  #6
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The Swedish distributor has now made contact personally which is appreciated and acknowledged. We are about to find a solution which is acceptable concerning the faulty amplifier module. However, the lack of communication with Focal Corporate is still noted. This is year 2018 and I believe that a company like Focal needs to have a more transparent communication policy vs. their pro audio user base.
Old 15th November 2018
  #7
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Hi,

I have a similar issue with the twin6.

Please, try to press and hold the back panel near the eq contour while playing heavy bass sound at high level..

Ler me know

B. R.
Old 17th November 2018
  #8
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Hi mutemercy,

Interesting. I just tried what you referred to on my Solo 6 BE and the hum and tweeter amplitude issue went away when i added force by hand on the rear panel.

Will check this further.
Old 19th November 2018
  #9
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Hi again,

After having added pressure by hand on the rear panel, Solo 6 BE, the hum and tweeter amplitude issue seems to be gone. I have repeatedly switched on the monitor after having added pressure by hand and still do not recognize any issue.

Is this about poor mounting of the interior amplitude module or what?
Old 19th November 2018
  #10
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Further details: I've now examined the rear panel of the faulty Solo 6 BE and the 10 screws around the outer contour line which hold it in place. Several of them were loose and poorly mounted. I've added torque and re-mounted the screws. So far the problem has not returned.
Old 19th November 2018
  #11
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Hi Agronova, try it in different days. Could be related to umidity or an high temperature gap. Sure it's a project issue.
have a nice day and good music :-)
Old 23rd November 2018
  #12
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Hi mutemercy, I've now compared the Solo 6 monitor having initial issues with the one without symptoms. It was only the faulty one which was found to have loose mounting screws at the rear panel (i.e. the 10 screws at the outer edge of the rear panel plate). This is either due to inconsistent torque/momentum applied at the fabric during assembly or because the mounting arrangement may loose grip over time. My monitors have never been opened or re-assembled. Have you checked with your Twin6, having a similar setup of the rear panel? Temperature and humidity may be factors at play but so far the issue has not returned. Have a nice day and good music to you as well!
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