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Focal Solo 6 Be - should I get the sub or Focal Twins. Studio Monitors
Old 20th July 2008
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Focal Solo 6 Be - should I get the sub or Focal Twins.

I'm in the market for a new set of monitors. Moving up from the Mackie HR 824s. I have a pair of Focal Solo 6 Be in the studio and it was a revelation.

I'm wondering if the Focal sub with the Solo 6 is the way to go or the Focal Twins? I'm inclined to just go ahead and buy the Focal Solo 6 pair and the sub. Instead of trying out the Focal Twins

Anyone have any opinions?
Old 20th July 2008
  #2
TSM
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TSM's Avatar
I moved from Mackie 824's straight to the twins. When they are burned in, I don't think you would need the Sub. What you will notice is the bass is not so Subey-in-yer-face bass.Focals are just so defined in the low end in comparison.Everyone comments on how good our mixes are now. I have not heard the Solo's.

Best.
Old 20th July 2008
  #3
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Andrew Kinsey's Avatar
 

Neither the Solo's or the Twin's go low enough for one to hear sub sonic frequencies. Infact as far as im aware both speakers only go down to about 40hz.

The Twins being a 3 way speaker just have a bit more sepearation between the lows & Mids and IMO are a little bit more revealing than the Solo's.

If you need to hear sub frequencies, both of these speakers will require the Sub 6.

Old 20th July 2008
  #4
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u b k's Avatar
 

imo the twins are simply in another league. if having the bottom octave rattle the desk is paramount, go with the solo/sub. but if detail, mid clarity, and a sound that is much closer to the truth are desired, it's the twins.

and since i believe they have more than enough low end on their own, the twins are kinda the no-brainer for me.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 20th July 2008
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Let me say that I didn't know what I was missing with the Mackies. WOW! Anyway, last mix I brought to the mastering engineer he criticized the mud on the low end. I want to avoid that.

Fletcher wrote recently that he got a better balance with the Solos than the Twins on a recent mix. That the guitars could have been louder in reference to the low end. Maybe the solos are more accurate for an overall balance?

I'm thinking I could have a switch and go back and forth between using the subs and not.

I might just set the Twins up and the sub, and see. Just more work. It's going to be either the Twins or the Solos with the Sub. I got a budget!
Old 20th July 2008
  #6
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tmcconnell's Avatar
 

Be careful

Proper sub integration is very difficult to acheive. A sub will get more thump in the control room, sure, but that may or may not make your mixes better. The issues are deep - phase match involving the room, the monitors (which will often be in conflict depending on the room), reflections, and the overall overlap issue in the crossover area. All these interact with each speaker and each reflection point creating a new dimension in phase chaos, which will cause you to make mistakes in the low end - where you were hoping to get your improvement. You'd have 3 sources and 6 or more primary reflection points all interacting differently at different frequencies - and then, btw - be sure to keep your head in the same position all the times because with that much going on, one foot will put your head in another node. I tell you, its hell. The client will hear something totally different than you are hearing and give you feedback, and you will respond. By the time you are done fighting this, you'll go back to headphones or shoot yourself, or perhaps the client, or your monitors, or all three. (Reminds me of Hunter Thompson executing his car).

Significant room treatment can help a lot by reducing the interaction of reflections - but 20-60 hz is very tough to tame as the absorbtion/inch of even great treatment materials is very low in that range.

The so called f3 - the 3db down point - is 40 hz (that's usually what is quoted), which means that a rolloff of 12 db/octave started above that (in a ported design) - and its likely to be down 12 by 30hz. (I could run a model). You will indeed move a lot more air down there with the twins - but Its difficult to tell how much more because the frequency spec does not speak to how much air is moving above the f3 - and what "flat" means is academic. I have run spectrum on my own twins, but I don't think the data would be helpful to you without a solo to compare. I had Mackie HR824's a long time ago (and many others since) and the twins are much closer to the amount (not quality) of the low end in the 824's than the solo. This stands to reason since an 8" driver moves roughly twice as much air as a 6 for the same excursion.

Last option is to get extensive room treatment designed for the task you will do, and then go with the sub and have the room certified. The room treatment is likely a good idea in any case.

If you are accustomed to big thump you will not get it from either the twins or the solo's or any 6" speaker. My advice is to get the twin's, and then get used to them. Initially your mixes will have too much low low if you make the twin try to sound like it would sound in a club. One simple approach is to have a second set of speakers (get some huge old JBL monitors), and switch occasionally . Then you will get used to it - and be able to dial in the low end better on the twins. This is common practice and one reason many studio's have big sofit mount speakers in addition to their near or mid field monitors.
Old 20th July 2008
  #7
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The answer to the solo vs. twin question depends on how your mixes are turning out in the 100hz to 350hz area.

If your "solo" mixes are lacking clarity in there - the "twins" do a better job of delivering in this area.

If 20hz to 60hz is the concern - a sub is needed for either model. (imho).

Until I bought Barefoots - I hated mixing with subs on. But towards the end of a mix, popping on a sub to check down there is a good thing. So if its the way low bottom that you are worried about - get the sub.
If its low to low mids that are your concern - I found the twins do this area very well and deliver this area better than the solo's.
Old 20th July 2008
  #8
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Tube World's Avatar
First question I have is...do you have bass traps in your studio? They make a big difference in getting more low end in your studio. I have been able to hear both monitors and think they are both great. In fact you would be able to mix just fine with the solo's by themselves. IF you get a sub with it, I think you would be very happy. Sound on Sound magazine has articles on how to place the sub in it's proper place. Less experienced people tend to make the sub too loud. It should be nicely balanced with the high's and mid's.
Old 20th July 2008
  #9
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stevetgn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
imo the twins are simply in another league. if having the bottom octave rattle the desk is paramount, go with the solo/sub. but if detail, mid clarity, and a sound that is much closer to the truth are desired, it's the twins.

and since i believe they have more than enough low end on their own, the twins are kinda the no-brainer for me.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Couldn't agree more
Old 21st July 2008
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks all.

I personally built the studio with the walls, ceiling and floor designed as bass traps and have extra bass traps installed in the room besides other treatment. It's a flat sounding room. I'm going to measure it soon and treat it accordingly, but the room is pretty flat. The Focal 6 doesn't have the big fat bass response of the Mackies, but it's very clear, tight and much more punchy.

The Solo 6 pair were a revelation to me. With the Mackie's I thought the difference between the Digidesign convertors and the Aurora Lynx convertors was negligible. I couldn't understand why posters exclaimed how different they sounded. When using the Focals the difference in the sound of the convertors was almost dramatic.

I'm going to try the twins.
Old 21st July 2008
  #11
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numrologst's Avatar
you'll like the twins. I've only heard them once, but they were impressive.

I have shyed away from subs in the last 2 years or so.

I believe much more in a monitor that can go down to 20-30hz... Also full range monitors that have bigger than 8" woofers.

Going with my new mentality, I never even think to reference low end
Old 21st July 2008
  #12
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u b k's Avatar
 

fwiw, if you get the focal branded sub, it has a footswitch which allows you to simultaneously bypass the sub and the high pass, so your twins (or solo's or whatever) become full range again.

if your m.e. said the problem is mud, that isn't what i typically think of as something a sub will help with, and quite possibly will exacerbate. cleaning up 100-400 is what focals do best, imo, and that's where all the mud lives.

the more you live with them, the more they teach you to hear all the masking that lesser monitors let you get away with because they don't have the detail.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 21st July 2008
  #13
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peeder's Avatar
 

Personally I couldn't see what the fuss was about Focal twin 6s. Heavily (MASSIVELY) scooped, wooly in the lows, hazy mids, harsh highs...

Of course they destroy the Mackies, but really...unless you insist on scooping everything (which these will stop you from doing), I don't know how one would work on these. I even preferred the tubby Dynaudio BM5A!

Old 21st July 2008
  #14
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lucey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by peeder View Post
Personally I couldn't see what the fuss was about Focal twin 6s. Heavily (MASSIVELY) scooped, wooly in the lows, hazy mids, harsh highs...

Of course they destroy the Mackies, but really...unless you insist on scooping everything (which these will stop you from doing), I don't know how one would work on these. I even preferred the tubby Dynaudio BM5A!

Again, it's about experience. These are a speaker that needs time. So how much time did you spend on them? I really hated the tweeter until 75+ hours of constant burn in ... the tweeter becomes very nice then, and the low end becomes very full and yet contained.
Old 21st July 2008
  #15
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peeder's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Again, it's about experience. These are a speaker that needs time. So how much time did you spend on them? I really hated the tweeter until 75+ hours of constant burn in ... the tweeter becomes very nice then, and the low end becomes very full and yet contained.
These were demo units that had seen plenty of run-in but no damage. Set flat. Compared with S3A's and O300's, yes set up properly staggered. The O300's were a bit distant above and a little muddy underneath but were much more workable to me. The S3As I'm still very glad I bought.
Old 21st July 2008
  #16
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lucey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by peeder View Post
The S3As I'm still very glad I bought.
There you go! That's all that matters.
Old 25th July 2008
  #17
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IntenseJim's Avatar
 

bump
Old 28th August 2009
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tube World View Post
Less experienced people tend to make the sub too loud. It should be nicely balanced with the high's and mid's.

Totally. Its there to extend the bass response, not hype it.
Old 10th January 2010
  #19
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JBVries's Avatar
 

OP,

What did you go with in the end?
Old 10th January 2010
  #20
Gear Nut
 

I bought the Focal Twins, I needed the extra bass extension over the Solos. I'm very happy with the sound of the Twins, the mix transfers very well, they're a pleasure to mix on. I bought a pair of Sennheiser HD650s to double check the lowest end.
Old 10th January 2010
  #21
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stevetgn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by peeder View Post
Personally I couldn't see what the fuss was about Focal twin 6s. Heavily (MASSIVELY) scooped, wooly in the lows, hazy mids, harsh highs...
Wooly in the lows, hazy mids... Did you take them out of the box?
Old 11th February 2010
  #22
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Animus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetgn View Post
Wooly in the lows, hazy mids... Did you take them out of the box?
what? his ears?

heh
Old 11th February 2010
  #23
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Marcocet's Avatar
ha

i have Solos and love the crap out of them. Haven't felt any need for a sub, though I do have a hifi type sub hooked up to my JBL 4412s that I only use for the people on the couch. I'll always try to check the bottom through them. But I mix on the Focals and I've been happy with my mixes.
Old 11th February 2010
  #24
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Daedalus77's Avatar
We've had the Solos for two years. Luv 'em to death. I've heard the Twins a number of times and they seemed to offer a bit more in clarity and—as others noted—more separation in the low mids.

I really think mixing with a sub is a bad idea unless you're really doing a club-specific mix.

Using one, especially in an incorrectly-treated or unfamiliar room, is often a quick way to screwing up the low end of pop/rock mix, me thinks.
Old 27th March 2010
  #25
mab
Here for the gear
 

I was skeptical with so much hype but I dropped the cash and took a chance on the twins. Although the weakest gear in my studio was HR824's (I actually had to eq them to get a decent mix to translate, and yes the room is treated correctly). I am now a focal fan. I won't be able to impress you with all the monitors I compared them to but I will say I like learning from you all and the recommendation to use the twins was solid advice. I have mixed a few tunes and mastered one using the twins. The final musical product is stunning and has helped me hear instrument separation and space so much better that the decisions I make are so different than what I did with the 824's. It could be I'm impressed by just moving up from 824's but I think for me this is the missing piece to creating solid music versus something that is almost there if you know what I mean. There is plenty of bass to make decisions and I can't imagine needing a sub. Peace dudes and thanks as I'm grateful you shared the truth about this product.
Old 28th March 2010
  #26
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mrkz1974's Avatar
 

I'm also in the market for a new set of monitors and was considering either the Twins or the Opals. Does anyone here with experience on both care to comment?
I heard the Opals were great, but that they did add their own flavor.
Old 28th March 2010
  #27
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Tarekith's Avatar
Ditto, right now I'm torn between the twins and the Opal's. Hard since no one near has the Opals to demo.
Old 28th March 2010
  #28
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dudge's Avatar
 

Me too.....
I'm looking to replace my BM6As with either the Focal twins or Event Opals.
Old 7th May 2011
  #29
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knucklehead1's Avatar
 

I'm gonna bump this, assuming everyone is still loving their twins?
Old 7th May 2011
  #30
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stevetgn's Avatar
After about 4yrs use I still can't see me every replacing my Twins. On a day to day basis I don't really think about them but mixes just seem to come out balanced. You listen, you hear and what ever you think needs doing IS what needs doing! (subject to your room of course). I trust the Twins. unlike other monitors I've used in the past.
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