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Focal Shape 65 review
Old 4th May 2019
  #1
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rkopald's Avatar
Focal Shape 65 review

Howdy, folks, been a looong time since I posted as I’ve largely been satisifed with my gear, but I have to post a review of my new Focal Shape 65 monitors. I was using Adam A7s which were to me excellent but one of them died and it was time for an upgrade. Warren Dent has been whispering in my ear for years about “the truth” of the Focals. i finally pulled the trigger.
I’m no expert but these gd things are OUTSTANDING. For the first time in my life I can hear a full frequency response even at very low volumes. I cannot get over how much more everything they are than the Adams, and those were excellent. These are on a whole other level. The dual passive radiators, I gotta say, seem like a much better design than a port. The Adams at certain frequencies would get snagged on a resonant frequency and exhibit a lot of port noise. That’s gone with these.
Also these have the widest sweet spot I’ve ever heard.
Full disclosure, one of them stopped working, but they were very quick to issue an RA and I expect it was a manufacturing or part issue, which happens. I’ve had lots of audio stuff that broke. So I’m not worried. They are honoring their warranty. If this changes I will post, but aside from this these are one the best pairs of monitors I’ve ever heard I haven’t been able to hear the Barefoots so I cannot speak to that. I wish I could.
One thing I love about the Focals: the cabinets have little whispy plant fibers that eventually fall off, but it gives them this almost “garden” like feel. I’m very happy with these and I think they’re damn near perfect nearfields. Oh an I have them pretty close to a wall and it hasn’t affected their frequency response as far as I can hear. Summary: love em.
Old 5th May 2019
  #2
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bcgood's Avatar
 

Good choice, those and the Focal Shape Twins are the best monitors you can get for the money.

Focal is a lot better than Barefoot. I've heard them side by side and the Focals are much better.

Top of the heap are Focal, ATC and Amphion in my opinion or at least what I have first hand experience with.
Old 5th May 2019
  #3
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chrischoir's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkopald View Post
Howdy, folks, been a looong time since I posted as I’ve largely been satisifed with my gear, but I have to post a review of my new Focal Shape 65 monitors. I was using Adam A7s which were to me excellent but one of them died and it was time for an upgrade. Warren Dent has been whispering in my ear for years about “the truth” of the Focals. i finally pulled the trigger.
The focals are definitely more revealing in the low mids compared to A7. I do feel like A7 are less harsh though, overall.
The focals should be better though, they cost 2x what Adams cost. In pro audio you get what you pay for.
Old 20th May 2019
  #4
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rkopald's Avatar
Hey Chris, the Adams to my ears had a smooth top end, but the Focals are just a little bit more. Sort of hard to verbalize. Adams are excellent. They're all excellent.
We are lucky. We live in a new golden age for monitors. There are so many great speakers these days.
Old 22nd May 2019
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrischoir View Post
The focals are definitely more revealing in the low mids compared to A7. I do feel like A7 are less harsh though, overall.
The focals should be better though, they cost 2x what Adams cost. In pro audio you get what you pay for.
Have to agree with a lot of what rkopald said, but I'm biassed because I have them too. I find them very accurate and easy to judge your mix balance and finer elements on.

But price wise they are in the same price bracket as the Adam A7X's, not twice as much. You might be thinking of the higher end ranges.... Solo B's etc.?
Old 23rd May 2019
  #6
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rkopald's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by blayz2002 View Post


Have to agree with a lot of what rkopald said, but I'm biassed(sic) because I have them too. I find them very accurate and easy to judge your mix balance and finer elements on.

But price wise they are in the same price bracket as the Adam A7X's, not twice as much. You might be thinking of the higher end ranges.... Solo B's etc.?
He most certainly means the original A7s, which is what I had, which were around I believe 900-ish for the pair, so the old, single port A7s were about half what the A7X's are. But yes, for the new A7X they are like 200 bucks within each other. But the Focals. Wow. I have a feeling a lot of the new gear is insane.
I still have an old pair of Grado SR325s, not "E", just 325s, and they beat out all my current cans, including AT, and Focals. The Focals are good but they keep breaking! But honestly, the Focals give the Grados a run for their money. I really want to hear the new Audio Technica open back deals. R70X, I believe. Open back cans are heaven, but if bleed is an issue they're non-starters. I've still used them to record and tried to stay far away enough from the mic that the bleed wasn't an issue. I've had to get very creative with my editing sometimes. But I don't care because they sound so good. We live in golden age of audio monitoring.
Old 23rd May 2019
  #7
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rkopald's Avatar
Oh and Michel at Focal honored their warranty, I have my speaker back, and everything is peachy again. There was no question about the return. Michel and Warren had me try a couple things, which didn't work, and the RA was issued within an hour. So kudos to Mssr. Rouseau and Focal for their excellent customer service.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
Here for the gear
 

Focal Shape 65 or Neumann KH 120 A

Dear Folks, I have been reading ur comments but instead of helping me make a decision I am even more confused. Could someone please help decide between the Neumann KH 120 A and Focal Shape 65. They are in the same price range I can afford [€500 to €700].
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonyJ View Post
Dear Folks, I have been reading ur comments but instead of helping me make a decision I am even more confused. Could someone please help decide between the Neumann KH 120 A and Focal Shape 65. They are in the same price range I can afford [€500 to €700].
They sound totally different. Try them both yourself. If you can't, the Neumanns have more pleasant, soft dome tweeters so avoid fatigue and get them. Also, if there is one thing Sennheiser/Neumann have, it's quality control!
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