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Focal SM9 vs Trio6 vs Trio11
Old 24th May 2020
  #31
Gear Addict
 

I ordered Trio11's after reading the white papers.
Their bull**** whitepaper on Midrange improvements swayed me.

The only speakers that itch me however are Kii or Dutch&Dutch, but they're out of my price range at the moment.
Old 21st July 2020
  #32
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by plx View Post
I ordered Trio11's after reading the white papers.
Their bull**** whitepaper on Midrange improvements swayed me.

The only speakers that itch me however are Kii or Dutch&Dutch, but they're out of my price range at the moment.
How are you liking them after two months?
Old 21st July 2020
  #33
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parkhill View Post
How are you liking them after two months?
i absolutely love them. They're HUGE. I'll post some pics VS twins laters.


I had some issues with positioning at first. They absolutely don't work where twins were previously positioned. SBIRs were much more pronounced, and the minimal distance in the manual (1,5m from the listened, 1,4-2m apart) absolutely didn't work for me. They sounded shrill and weird compared to twins - and they lacked a mid-range around 160Hz SIGNIFICANTLY.

Then a friend suggested some unorthodox positions:
I had to rip out one of the two limp membrane corner absorbers, do a "soft soffit" (not yet finished so i won't post pics). I put them on top of the bottom absorbers (1m high) and push them against the boundary at the back. (the baffles are aligned with front absorbant wall)

Since the membrane absorbers are high, and this positioned the woofer exactly in the MIDDLE of ceiling/floor, I then turned them UPSIDE DOWN, with baffle rotated 180 degrees. (so bottom to top - mid-tweet-bass).
This put tweeters more inline with my ears (because tilting didn't really make that much difference), and pushed the woofer out from the center.

It looks ridiculous but it SOUNDS SO GOOD.
Aside a dip at 300hz (which is due to the fact that there's empty space around the speaker that i need to treat yet) i get a nice bass-boost from the room 30-80Hz (around 8dB) then a smooth rolloff to 100Hz with flat response to 20k.
Aside the bass boost which is pretty much a shelf (and i can counter it with a simple low-shelf on my RME and get +/-3dB across the spectrum), with speakers set to flat EQ at the back.

They're also 2,7m away from me now, around 2,7m apart. The sweetspot is enormous, and they sound absolutely amazing in this position, and the bass response is now even across the room - no SBIR dips and peaks. (Room is limp membranes 270 degrees - all except floor, heavily dampened).


they also have an extreme amount of headroom, they don't start distorting even when you're way over "comfortable loud" listening levels.

The port is very leniently tuned, as focals would have it. The mid-range port doesn't work at all since it's tuned to 90Hz for Focus mode.
The woofer port starts working at around 50Hz - the woofers are extremely fast down to 50Hz but from 50Hz-30Hz the inherent design limitation of port become apparent. It's not terrible at all - but they're not as fast as a sealed design at this range.
The port is inaudible tho, even at 108dB SPL (I haven't push them more than that).


I'm going to build two sealed 15" woofers to use for the 20-80Hz region to offload the port.
not because it's necessary, not because they'd need it, but i'm a sub-nut, so it's kind of a passion project.

The lowend is insanely punchy and well-pronounced. I haven't expected this from focals judging by previously owned solos and twins. They didn't compromise on the size and it shows. The 10" woofer judging by the dust cap also has a decent voice coil - to avoid power compression i reckon. They're very consistent.

They also don't heat up AT ALL at the back.

The midrange is crystal clear and up-front, imaging and front-to-back is incredible. I only have SM9s from memory - but SM9s are much more similar to twins, as in a bit mushy midrange and over all smoother response - these are not. they're faster, more clinical, and at first even come across as a little ANNOYING (unusual for focal).


Before passing the return period, i listened to Dynaudio Core59 and Dutch & Dutch. I could stretch (barely but i could) for the dutches, but i prefer Trios. Dutches are great, but they sound too small to me.


The cons:
I do have to say that focal are definitely pushing it by marketing them as "near/midfield". no matter how i positioned them i couldn't get them working optimally as a nearfield. Yeah they CAN work at 1,5m decently, but it's underwhelming and you don't have the feeling you're working with a big flagship speaker. Imo it's a waste of the speaker to use them in this positioned - i'd probably rather go with Twin6 or Solo6+ subs in that case.
When i just placed them in the previous Twin 6 positioned, i was a little disappointed

Also, Focal's support is absolute GARBAGE. They don't have a pro department in any sense of the word, for every question they direct you to "local focal distributor".
Compared to i.e. Hedd or Genelec or Dynaudio support, it's garbage...
It actually turned me SO MUCH off for a while so i was looking for alternatives primarily because of this garbage support.
Seriously, **** focal in this department. I don't have a single positive thing to say here.
Maybe if you're french its better, or if you have a decent local distributor. But with i.e. Hedds and Genelecs, you don't need one.
Old 22nd July 2020
  #34
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by plx View Post
i absolutely love them. They're HUGE. I'll post some pics VS twins laters.


I had some issues with positioning at first. They absolutely don't work where twins were previously positioned. SBIRs were much more pronounced, and the minimal distance in the manual (1,5m from the listened, 1,4-2m apart) absolutely didn't work for me. They sounded shrill and weird compared to twins - and they lacked a mid-range around 160Hz SIGNIFICANTLY.

Then a friend suggested some unorthodox positions:
I had to rip out one of the two limp membrane corner absorbers, do a "soft soffit" (not yet finished so i won't post pics). I put them on top of the bottom absorbers (1m high) and push them against the boundary at the back. (the baffles are aligned with front absorbant wall)

Since the membrane absorbers are high, and this positioned the woofer exactly in the MIDDLE of ceiling/floor, I then turned them UPSIDE DOWN, with baffle rotated 180 degrees. (so bottom to top - mid-tweet-bass).
This put tweeters more inline with my ears (because tilting didn't really make that much difference), and pushed the woofer out from the center.

It looks ridiculous but it SOUNDS SO GOOD.
Aside a dip at 300hz (which is due to the fact that there's empty space around the speaker that i need to treat yet) i get a nice bass-boost from the room 30-80Hz (around 8dB) then a smooth rolloff to 100Hz with flat response to 20k.
Aside the bass boost which is pretty much a shelf (and i can counter it with a simple low-shelf on my RME and get +/-3dB across the spectrum), with speakers set to flat EQ at the back.

They're also 2,7m away from me now, around 2,7m apart. The sweetspot is enormous, and they sound absolutely amazing in this position, and the bass response is now even across the room - no SBIR dips and peaks. (Room is limp membranes 270 degrees - all except floor, heavily dampened).


they also have an extreme amount of headroom, they don't start distorting even when you're way over "comfortable loud" listening levels.

The port is very leniently tuned, as focals would have it. The mid-range port doesn't work at all since it's tuned to 90Hz for Focus mode.
The woofer port starts working at around 50Hz - the woofers are extremely fast down to 50Hz but from 50Hz-30Hz the inherent design limitation of port become apparent. It's not terrible at all - but they're not as fast as a sealed design at this range.
The port is inaudible tho, even at 108dB SPL (I haven't push them more than that).


I'm going to build two sealed 15" woofers to use for the 20-80Hz region to offload the port.
not because it's necessary, not because they'd need it, but i'm a sub-nut, so it's kind of a passion project.

The lowend is insanely punchy and well-pronounced. I haven't expected this from focals judging by previously owned solos and twins. They didn't compromise on the size and it shows. The 10" woofer judging by the dust cap also has a decent voice coil - to avoid power compression i reckon. They're very consistent.

They also don't heat up AT ALL at the back.

The midrange is crystal clear and up-front, imaging and front-to-back is incredible. I only have SM9s from memory - but SM9s are much more similar to twins, as in a bit mushy midrange and over all smoother response - these are not. they're faster, more clinical, and at first even come across as a little ANNOYING (unusual for focal).


Before passing the return period, i listened to Dynaudio Core59 and Dutch & Dutch. I could stretch (barely but i could) for the dutches, but i prefer Trios. Dutches are great, but they sound too small to me.


The cons:
I do have to say that focal are definitely pushing it by marketing them as "near/midfield". no matter how i positioned them i couldn't get them working optimally as a nearfield. Yeah they CAN work at 1,5m decently, but it's underwhelming and you don't have the feeling you're working with a big flagship speaker. Imo it's a waste of the speaker to use them in this positioned - i'd probably rather go with Twin6 or Solo6+ subs in that case.
When i just placed them in the previous Twin 6 positioned, i was a little disappointed

Also, Focal's support is absolute GARBAGE. They don't have a pro department in any sense of the word, for every question they direct you to "local focal distributor".
Compared to i.e. Hedd or Genelec or Dynaudio support, it's garbage...
It actually turned me SO MUCH off for a while so i was looking for alternatives primarily because of this garbage support.
Seriously, **** focal in this department. I don't have a single positive thing to say here.
Maybe if you're french its better, or if you have a decent local distributor. But with i.e. Hedds and Genelecs, you don't need one.
Thanks for the detailed response. That sounds awesome. Maybe you already mentioned this but can I ask how big your room is? I'm in a 13.5x19 foot room (8.5 foot ceilings) and I'm trying to get a sense of if the speakers will work in that space. I can't demo them without traveling 450 miles unfortunately.
Old 22nd July 2020
  #35
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parkhill View Post
Thanks for the detailed response. That sounds awesome. Maybe you already mentioned this but can I ask how big your room is? I'm in a 13.5x19 foot room (8.5 foot ceilings) and I'm trying to get a sense of if the speakers will work in that space. I can't demo them without traveling 450 miles unfortunately.
your room is a bit larger than mine, mine is 11.3 x 17.7 with 8.5 ceiling - hard boundaries.
The acoustic treatment takes away 2ft from width/height and 2,6ft from length.
I ordered them from thomann - they have 30-day money back option.

PM if you want pics - it's still a little WIP so they're garbage i wont post them here
Old 22nd July 2020
  #36
Lives for gear
 
MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
surprised to hear of the poor support you have.
Here in US we have Focal-Naim and have had no issues....while less tech than Genelec....G's support has been first class.
As a dealer its important i help you keep your tools sharp.
.
30 or so years ago Phil Ramone was at Compass Point in the Bahamas and blew one of his Tannoy drivers...as T coudnt ship to Bahamas..they had him call me.
Little did i know i was goin under the bus...as the replacement driver was out of stock...i reveived a unpleasant call everyday for a week 'you have my speaker yet ?"
Old 22nd July 2020
  #37
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEHARRIS View Post
surprised to hear of the poor support you have.
Here in US we have Focal-Naim and have had no issues....while less tech than Genelec....G's support has been first class.
As a dealer its important i help you keep your tools sharp.
.
30 or so years ago Phil Ramone was at Compass Point in the Bahamas and blew one of his Tannoy drivers...as T coudnt ship to Bahamas..they had him call me.
Little did i know i was goin under the bus...as the replacement driver was out of stock...i reveived a unpleasant call everyday for a week 'you have my speaker yet ?"
problem is local distributor ( i know him ) is a very small company which covers a couple of manufacturers.
he's a nice guy, but there's only so much you can do as a small retailer from a 2nd class slavic country
while people i know who had to deal with Hedds and genelec, they got direct support from HQ
Old 2nd August 2020
  #38
Lives for gear
 
exwel's Avatar
Had Sm9 for years.
One speaker was broken and had the trio11 on loan.
After one day I had to sell
My sm9.
The trio11 is so much better then the sm9.
Check the trio11 in your studio.
Finally I can mix my mid freq much better. My mixes improved a lot. You hear everything much faster to correct something in the mix.
I get allmost the mid from ATC.
Old 2nd August 2020
  #39
Here for the gear
 

I read carefully all this thread because I'm evaluating TRIO6 for my home studio. No enough space on my desktop for TRIO11, so TRIO6 is the best option for me. My room is 5 x 4 meters (3 meters ceiling) not acoustically treated but acoustic is not bad into it.
I have a single possible positioning, near back wall on my desk. Do you think that bass sound stay good in this conditions? And what about filter knobs on the back of the speakers?
I do not want little monitors + sub, integration between them is too complicated.
What differences could occur between TRIO6 and TRIO11 in my conditions? No chance to listen now. Thanks.
Old 3rd August 2020
  #40
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superpiano View Post
I read carefully all this thread because I'm evaluating TRIO6 for my home studio. No enough space on my desktop for TRIO11, so TRIO6 is the best option for me. My room is 5 x 4 meters (3 meters ceiling) not acoustically treated but acoustic is not bad into it.
I have a single possible positioning, near back wall on my desk. Do you think that bass sound stay good in this conditions? And what about filter knobs on the back of the speakers?
I do not want little monitors + sub, integration between them is too complicated.
What differences could occur between TRIO6 and TRIO11 in my conditions? No chance to listen now. Thanks.
your room is a bit bigger than mine.
i have mine set up completely against the back wall, upside down, woofers high up

Here's a wild guess about 11 vs 6:
- midrange on the 11 is better (it has a different surround and less distortion). Further more, crossover are set differently (280/2400 for 11 vs 250/2500 for the 6), so the midrange on the top of being a bit better also sees less action.

- low end on the 11 is better. Not only it goes lower, but it's really big and the port doesn't really start working until 45-50Hz, so you get a very good a punchy bass right down to there. 50 to 30hz it becomes sloppier. I imagine Trio6 being smaller and tuned higher, this happens sooner.
- trio11 are louder and have more headroom before they start coloring/distorting

on the other hand, trio6 are easier to position because they're way smaller - you should need less listening distance for the 6's because the speakers are closer together.

i don't care about the back filter knobs, i have them flat. i juggled them across the room until i got a good response without EQ
Old 3rd August 2020
  #41
Here for the gear
 

Thanks PLX for your advice. As I said, I have no chance for the 11s, not enough room on my desk, so I must choose the 6s, but I believe it would be a very good choice. I listen at about 1.5 meters from my speakers, positioned near the back wall on my desktop. Hoping to purchase one pair of 6s next autumn. Thank you again.
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