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Focal Twin 6 or ProAc 100 Studio Monitors
Old 8th April 2008
  #1
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trustyjim's Avatar
 

Focal Twin 6 or ProAc 100

I am ready to upgrade my current monitors (Blue Sky ProDesk 2.1) to something more high end. Originally I was going to get Barefoot MM27s, but recently I saw them in person and I had not realized how big and heavy they are. I guess they're not really that big compared to other similar monitors, but at 70lbs each I cannot put them on my desk flyover and I have no room for the even larger sound anchor stands. So, I have narrowed the candidates down to:

Focal Twin 6
ProAc 100 with Bryston 4B amp

Most of my music is guitar oriented classic rock, or retro sounding stuff.

Some candidates that I have researched seriously but do not plan on trying:

Adam S3A - Supposedly a good mixing speaker, but I have been told they have a significant rise in freq response due to the crossover around 2.5k, which causes guitars to drop in level when you go onto other speaker systems. This would be a big no-no for me.

K & H O300 - I have been told they are loved by film guys (because they get the dialog just right), but they aren't well liked by music people.

Barefoot MM27 - I have heard them in person, and I really like them, but they can't fit into my space because they are too heavy and large (with the sound anchor stands) for my studio.

Genelecs and Dynaudios - I have read that they are not up to par with current offerings from other companies in the same price range.


I guess I'm curious if people feel like both the ProAcs and Focals are worth demoing. I personally lean towards trying the Focals, they seem to get a lot of love here. I can't find as much forum info on ProAcs but I've heard that a lot of big names are using them (Rick Rubin, Ryan Hewitt, Michael Brower). The ProAcs are also about $1500 more than the Focals.

Just curious to hear opinions from anyone who has used both and has a preference. Also if you think I should reconsider any speakers on my "black list" let me know.
Old 8th April 2008
  #2
Gear Nut
 
starfightstudio's Avatar
 

FOCALS!!!

I couldn't really say anything on the ProAc 100's side, due to I have not had a chance to give em a run through, but what I can chime in on is....I ADORE MY FOCAL TWINS...at least in my room, they work well....
Old 8th April 2008
  #3
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by trustyjim View Post
I am ready to upgrade my current monitors (Blue Sky ProDesk 2.1) to something more high end. Originally I was going to get Barefoot MM27s, but recently I saw them in person and I had not realized how big and heavy they are. I guess they're not really that big compared to other similar monitors, but at 70lbs each I cannot put them on my desk flyover and I have no room for the even larger sound anchor stands. So, I have narrowed the candidates down to:

Focal Twin 6
ProAc 100 with Bryston 4B amp

Most of my music is guitar oriented classic rock, or retro sounding stuff.

Some candidates that I have researched seriously but do not plan on trying:

Adam S3A - Supposedly a good mixing speaker, but I have been told they have a significant rise in freq response due to the crossover around 2.5k, which causes guitars to drop in level when you go onto other speaker systems. This would be a big no-no for me.

K & H O300 - I have been told they are loved by film guys (because they get the dialog just right), but they aren't well liked by music people.

Barefoot MM27 - I have heard them in person, and I really like them, but they can't fit into my space because they are too heavy and large (with the sound anchor stands) for my studio.

Genelecs and Dynaudios - I have read that they are not up to par with current offerings from other companies in the same price range.


I guess I'm curious if people feel like both the ProAcs and Focals are worth demoing. I personally lean towards trying the Focals, they seem to get a lot of love here. I can't find as much forum info on ProAcs but I've heard that a lot of big names are using them (Rick Rubin, Ryan Hewitt, Michael Brower). The ProAcs are also about $1500 more than the Focals.

Just curious to hear opinions from anyone who has used both and has a preference. Also if you think I should reconsider any speakers on my "black list" let me know.
The s3a's cross-over is at 1.8khz, adam's have a small mid bump and has incredible detail. This is just one example how you can be misleaded by listening people instead of monitors. You should really go listen to these monitors you listed. Don't pass the genelec 8000 series or a passive Dyn. monitor. The k&h 0300 also has good respect from the mastering engineers here.
Old 8th April 2008
  #4
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

every time i'm in the room with proacs i feel like the high end is tearing my face off, so they're not my cup of tea.

what you've heard about the s3a's is completely bogus; i can't think of a more trustworthy speaker when it comes to mid-heavy, guitar driven rock.

love the twins, too; just make sure you burn them in for 2-3 days before judging them. they're raspy out of the box, but mellow out quickly and by 2 months are pure butter.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 8th April 2008
  #5
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barefoot's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by trustyjim View Post
Originally I was going to get Barefoot MM27s, but recently I saw them in person and I had not realized how big and heavy they are. I guess they're not really that big compared to other similar monitors, but at 70lbs each I cannot put them on my desk flyover and I have no room for the even larger sound anchor stands.
Hi Trustyjim,

If you're interested, you could post or send me a picture of your desk. We might be able to come up with a compact solution to the weight issue.

All the best,
Thomas
Old 8th April 2008
  #6
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trustyjim's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by barefoot View Post
Hi Trustyjim,

If you're interested, you could post or send me a picture of your desk. We might be able to come up with a compact solution to the weight issue.

All the best,
Thomas
Now that is service! Here is an older picture of my desk:



There are big bass traps in the corners now (not pictured), and the desk rack is filling up with gear. The current monitors weigh 24 lbs each. In their current position they make an equal triangle with my head. I don't think the desk can take 70lbs each in that spot!

If I were to put sound anchor stands next to the desk, they could not be positioned in close enough to make an equilateral triangle. The sweet spot would be about 2 feet behind my head.

I have thought about buttressing up the flyover with some 2x4's. In the end I decided that would be too much trouble, so that is why I am considering other alternatives. I'm also worried about bass buildup because the desk is close to the wall. I figured the barefoots might exacerbate the problem (compared to other speakers) because the side firing subs would only be inches away from the rear wall.
(I can't really move the desk out more than 6 inches or so because then I get outside of my reflection-free zone due to a side window).

Any thoughts?
Old 8th April 2008
  #7
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by trustyjim View Post
Now that is service! Here is an older picture of my desk:



There are big bass traps in the corners now (not pictured), and the desk rack is filling up with gear. The current monitors weigh 24 lbs each. In their current position they make an equal triangle with my head. I don't think the desk can take 70lbs each in that spot!

If I were to put sound anchor stands next to the desk, they could not be positioned in close enough to make an equilateral triangle. The sweet spot would be about 2 feet behind my head.

I have thought about buttressing up the flyover with some 2x4's. In the end I decided that would be too much trouble, so that is why I am considering other alternatives. I'm also worried about bass buildup because the desk is close to the wall. I figured the barefoots might exacerbate the problem (compared to other speakers) because the side firing subs would only be inches away from the rear wall.
(I can't really move the desk out more than 6 inches or so because then I get outside of my reflection-free zone due to a side window).

Any thoughts?
I don't know much about acustics but did you think of the possibilty that that desk might shake couse of bass? I don't know what its called but why don't you buy that robot arm like thing and mount them to your wall, wouldn't that be easyer?
Old 9th April 2008
  #8
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barefoot's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by trustyjim View Post
Any thoughts?
The simplest thing that comes to mind is reinforcing the top tier with heavy duty shelving brackets anchored into the wall, like the attached picture. Preferably you'd screw them into the wall studs. But if you can't find any studs in the right locations, expanding drive style anchors are also pretty strong. You wouldn't necessarily need to screw the brackets to the desk tier, giving you some flexibility in moving the desk if need be. One (or even two) bracket(s) on each side, along with the inherent strength of the desk itself, should be more than strong enough.

We do have customers using the MM27 pretty close to the wall with very good results. In fact, my business partner has his MM27s just a few inches from the wall.... what, with his small studio so crammed with an 8058, Arp, MemoryMoog, Prophet V, CS-80, Pultec's, Fairchild's, 176's, etc., etc. Bastard! .... heh Whether it will work in your room, you'll probably just have to test it for yourself.

Hope this helps!
Thomas
Attached Thumbnails
Focal Twin 6 or ProAc 100-trustyjim-1.jpg  
Old 9th April 2008
  #9
Here for the gear
 

If between the Barefoots and Focal 6 twins, I would go with the Barefoots if you can manage it. I have the Focal 6 twins (an upgrade from Focal Solo 6 Be which were an upgrade form Events 8 which were an upgrade from M-Audio Dx4's). I am very happy with the Focal 6 twins. In my small lab, the Barefoots would not have been happy. They deserve a well designed room with some well thought out effort put into damping (proper acoustic work) and proper placement, for which I couldn't/can't do at this time.

What I like about the Focal's is their front firing ports. In my small lab, this was important. They are situated in an environment where side or rear firing woofers/ports would be lost. They give me exactly what I want in clean, uncluttered reproduction. In my humble opinion, I got what I paid for. I am very happy with them. Period.

I believe, Barefoots might be destined for a future purchase but until then, the Focal 6 Twins are everything I need to accomplish my work. For me, thats what's important at this time in my work flow. I primarily work on acoustical guitar and vocal. Repeat paying business says it all.

Jim
Old 9th April 2008
  #10
Lives for gear
 
studio1117's Avatar
 

K+H are awesome for music. If you want detail in the midrange. They aren't really heavy rock monitors, but they work well for pop, country etc. They really excell on acoustic music and Jazz for me.
Old 7th May 2008
  #11
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thermos's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
every time i'm in the room with proacs i feel like the high end is tearing my face off, so they're not my cup of tea.

what you've heard about the s3a's is completely bogus; i can't think of a more trustworthy speaker when it comes to mid-heavy, guitar driven rock.

love the twins, too; just make sure you burn them in for 2-3 days before judging them. they're raspy out of the box, but mellow out quickly and by 2 months are pure butter.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Have to say, you wouldn't feel that way about the Proacs if you heard them with the right amp (I suspect Bryson to be the worst possible choice). Joe Gastwirt uses them for mastering, and I always really enjoy listening to them, not to mention his masters translate really well (and sound better than anyones).
Old 8th May 2008
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
Have to say, you wouldn't feel that way about the Proacs if you heard them with the right amp (I suspect Bryson to be the worst possible choice). Joe Gastwirt uses them for mastering, and I always really enjoy listening to them, not to mention his masters translate really well (and sound better than anyones).
What do you think is a good amp for the proacs?
Old 8th May 2008
  #13
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rarseman's Avatar
+1 on the twins

Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
Have to say, you wouldn't feel that way about the Proacs if you heard them with the right amp (I suspect Bryson to be the worst possible choice). Joe Gastwirt uses them for mastering, and I always really enjoy listening to them, not to mention his masters translate really well (and sound better than anyones).
Old 8th May 2008
  #14
Gear Addict
 
rjacobsen's Avatar
 

I have a pair of used ProAcs I got back in January and love them. I use an old B&K dual mono amp with them, sounds great. They are very natural sounding. The guy I bought them from used an old Macintosh MC2105 solid state amp with them. He was originally from the LA area and that's what many of the guys out there used with their ProAcs. I totally agree with thermos about the amp choice with the ProAcs, you get the right amp for them and they are wonderful sounding, very accurate. IMO, Bryston amps are over priced and there are much better alternatives out there. For instance, an older Rotel is a great value amp. The ProAcs have a very good and tight bottom end. I'm sure the Focals will have bigger bottom end, beings they have 2 mid/bass speakers. I believe if you go with a solid state amp, get one that is a mosfet. They seem to be more warm and musical like a tube amp. Hope this helps!
rjacobsen
Old 8th May 2008
  #15
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DSD_Mastering's Avatar
+2 for the Twins....

I wouldn't have anything else..

Regards,
Bruce
Old 9th May 2008
  #16
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Silvertone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by morebutter View Post
What do you think is a good amp for the proacs?
Audio Research is what many pro's use with them.... I've heard a few systems with this combo and they just sound fantastic. I recommend them to clients all the time.
Old 9th May 2008
  #17
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six_wax's Avatar
 

The same qualities that make the 4B a great amp for NS10s make them perhaps a bit harsh with ProAcs, I'm discovering. That said, I quite like my ProAcs, which are my primary monitors at present.

I worked for a year or so on S3As at a studio I was on staff at. Loved those too.

So many good choices these days! It's likely that any of the current contenders will serve you well...
Old 9th May 2008
  #18
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Tube World's Avatar
George Martin uses the Adams SA3's to mix the Beatles Love CD. What else is there to say? The K&H though are killer monitors as well according to everyone on these forums.
Old 9th May 2008
  #19
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kgdrum_nyc's Avatar
 

twins
Old 9th May 2008
  #20
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tube World View Post
George Martin uses the Adams SA3's to mix the Beatles Love CD. What else is there to say?
All that really means is that George Martin (and his son Giles) like those monitors.
Old 9th May 2008
  #21
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Tube World's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
All that really means is that George Martin (and his son Giles) like those monitors.
Yes and no. Yes they like them but who are they? George is one of the most famous producers in the world, not only did he work with the Beatles but many other artist as well. I am sure he has used numerous monitors over the years and if one of the best producers choose a certain monitor that has weight behind it that it's one of the best.

If you like another brand better that's fine. Monitors at this level are subjective to a certain point anyway. George may love the tweeter in the Adams and you may not. There are like 6 Focal fans on the gearslutz forum and I am sure they are great too. One review stated the tweeters were a little forward sounding but a hell of a monitor to mix with. That's why it's best to ask what character monitors have, not which is better. Because on the high end, it is very difficult to say what's best. The Tannoy 10 Ellipse IDP are up there too, but you may not like the look of them, or just like the character of a particular monitor.
Old 9th May 2008
  #22
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jchadstopherhuez's Avatar
 

you just have to try them both and decide for yourself.

i tried em both. i chose the proacs.

they are lovely speakers.

to me.

mixes translate great. no fatigue.

they just work for ME. in MY room.

you are just simply NOT going to know by getting everyone's opinions.

really.

figure out a way to check them both out.

then you can end up with the speakers YOU need.

all the best,

jchristopherhughes
Old 9th May 2008
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

I use the proacs with an old-ish adcom gfa-555, and i cant imagine under what conditions these speakers would ever sound harsh. they make my ns-10's sound like tin cans.

rob
Old 10th May 2008
  #24
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ChuckG's Avatar
 

Proac's are nice but I would go with the Focals. You will thank yourself in the end.
Old 10th May 2008
  #25
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rarseman's Avatar
Me too on Barefoot but the wife said twins coz she need the rest to by tons of shoes

"I believe, Barefoots might be destined for a future purchase but until then, the Focal 6 Twins are everything I need to accomplish my work."
Old 10th May 2008
  #26
Gear Head
 
PKatis's Avatar
 

The ProAcs are also about $1500 more than the Focals.

Hmmmm? Last time I checked ProAc Studio 100s are about $1500 more than a $100 pair of speakers.

FWIW, I'm a huge fan of B&W Nautilus 805s(nearfields) for tracking and mixing. I'm surprised these speakers don't get more attention around here...
Old 10th May 2008
  #27
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Silvertone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PKatis View Post
The ProAcs are also about $1500 more than the Focals.

Hmmmm? Last time I checked ProAc Studio 100s are about $1500 more than a $100 pair of speakers.

FWIW, I'm a huge fan of B&W Nautilus 805s(nearfields) for tracking and mixing. I'm surprised these speakers don't get more attention around here...
ProAc's go for 2K for a pair (less used). Now you just need 3K of power amps behind them to make them really sing. But you are rewarded big time for the sound. They are great but then again so are the Focals. I heard a mix or two on them and have been very impressed (even at the mastering stage with mixes done on them).

I'm pretty sure the Focals cost more than the ProAc's.

All that said in my B room with my old Edyne board I have a pair of B&W 805's (802's in my mastering room). I love these little beggers for mixing. A few guys out their use them for tracking and mixing, Albini being one of them. Again they really want gobs of power behind them...

But as mixman499 said you really have to get them and try them in YOUR room with YOUR ears, it is truly the only way to tell.

Best of luck!
Attached Thumbnails
Focal Twin 6 or ProAc 100-edyne-batman-shot.jpg  
Old 10th May 2008
  #28
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Silvertone's Avatar
Oh and with all that said in the above post... I've been consulting on a new studio build and guess what I ordered for the room???

Barefoot MM27's!!! I bought these off close friends recommendations and only after having heard them one time. Very impressive.

I tried contacting Thomas directly but don't bother trying I never got a reply from an email and phone calls just refer you to Vintage King. So I called Mike and ordered a pair anyway. No pro discount!!!... this is a first for me in a long time.

Thomas if you are reading this you should consider contacting potential buyers when they try to get a hold of you. The ONLY reason I almost passed on them was because I didn't HEAR from you and couldn't get a hold of you. It was several colleagues that convinced me to really give them a shot, 7k is nothing to sneeze at and I just hope service after the purchase is better.
Old 10th May 2008
  #29
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Make the Barefoots work..you won't regret it

I had Adam S3a's w/ horrortones and Ns10s.
Got the Barefoots in here.
the Adams literally sounded F'd up.,but they weren't
It was not a subtle difference.


.. the Ns10's live in the closet now.

Also I have a small room ..got the anchor stands and they were too big.not enough room behind the console.
Determined to keep em..turned them sideways placed some 3/4 inch fabric covered wood planks on the cradles[in horizontal mode] and the speakers sitting on the planks..rock solidthumbsup

Never been happier with a set of studio monitors..Zero Fatigue and a pure joy to track & mix on.
Another note:
Producer/Engineer Mark Linnet[Brian Wilson,Chili Peppers] went from his Pro Acs and Tannoy golds to Barefoots[He got one of the first pair] and never looked back


..
Old 10th May 2008
  #30
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barefoot's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertone View Post
Oh and with all that said in the above post... I've been consulting on a new studio build and guess what I ordered for the room???

Barefoot MM27's!!! I bought these off close friends recommendations and only after having heard them one time. Very impressive.

I tried contacting Thomas directly but don't bother trying I never got a reply from an email and phone calls just refer you to Vintage King. So I called Mike and ordered a pair anyway. No pro discount!!!... this is a first for me in a long time.

Thomas if you are reading this you should consider contacting potential buyers when they try to get a hold of you. The ONLY reason I almost passed on them was because I didn't HEAR from you and couldn't get a hold of you. It was several colleagues that convinced me to really give them a shot, 7k is nothing to sneeze at and I just hope service after the purchase is better.
Hi Larry,

I just searched through my inbox and indeed I had read but neglected to reply to your email sent back in February. Although, unfortunately, I didn't get a message that you called. Please accept my apologies for this. As you might imagine, we are very busy filling orders. And we really put everything aside to respond to service requests. I'm sure the few customers who've had experience in this regard will testify to our commitment. But with all this, my time is vastly overstretched. I have been known to drop the ball on important, but less pressing matters. So, again I apologize for that.

Regarding the pro discount, Mike probably told you that we are literally giving everyone a pro discount already. The 24% discount posted on our VK page is no bulls**t. Since you have experience with the MM27, you'll probably agree that the performance and build quality are comparable to monitors who's street price exceeds our suggested retail price by 2 or 3 thousand dollars. So, I think $9300 list is still more than fair. And given the demand we could easily ask for it. But $7k really seems to be the break point under which they are still accessible to most pro studios. The performance and value of the MM27 is self evident at first listen. So I'm not concerned about trying to maintain some boutique cachet or milking our success. I guess I'm either conceited or foolish enough to think the MM27 represents such an important step forward in monitoring that it should be in as many hands as possible. And we are bending over backwards to make that happen by holding the price as low a possible, while remaining financially sound. And fortunately VK shares our belief in the MM27. So they're really helping is this effort as well.

Anyhow, thanks so much for specifying the MM27s on your consulting job!

All the best,
Thomas
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