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Testing Focal cms 65 nearfields Studio Monitors
Old 17th September 2011
  #1
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Steve Honest's Avatar
 

Testing Focal cms 65 nearfields

hello
in our Neve control room , we have a pair o ATc 20s in the wall along with a sub bass , and i have been very happy with these as main speakers, ATC s are wonderful i have been a big fan or years.
I have been offered a pair of Focal65 cms and thought i could use em as nearfields, so we got em yesterday set them on stands and will spend the next week setting them up, on first start up yesterday, they had odd low mid, and were congested up in the mid his to his compared to the atc s, but this was just putting the on stands and turning them on, so i need a few days to mess about with the controls on the back and get them to set in our room a bit better , so that we can give a air comparison

steve
Old 17th September 2011
  #2
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Are they new or second hand?

If new they will need at least 20/30 hours burn in time.
Old 17th September 2011
  #3
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Hey joe

hiya
they have been used before, not sure how many hours as they are immaculate, but today im using em for 10 hours to go through and do a first pass at some songs or a client , that were recorded someplace else, and have come to me or mixing,
I adjusted the input level to +4 i dont mind them being quiet and i can make sure the desk dosnt clip them, i also used the desktop bass dip control to take a bit of that funny low hump out of them, this has made more usable, and im sure over the coming week i will try more tweeaks to sweeten em up
steve
Old 17th September 2011
  #4
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SPORT's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Honest View Post
I adjusted the input level to +4 i dont mind them being quiet and i can make sure the desk dosnt clip them,

I don't know why, but my cms65 go loud with input level to -10db.
Old 17th September 2011
  #5
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Read the Manual

So i did, i had a cuppa and flicked thru the manual, and then went of and removed the grills and fitted the tweeter phase caps, made a big and pleasing difference, I wonder if they guy i got them from used them with the grills and no tweeter phase caps the whole time he had them? cos i had to bust open the plastic bags they were in!!!

more as i grow to like em more
steve
Old 17th September 2011
  #6
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Loud and clipped?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SPORT View Post
I don't know why, but my cms65 go loud with input level to -10db.
PLease do correct me if i have got this wrong, but if you run them at -10 they are more sensitive at the input, and therefore louder, but are more likely to clip?
I set them at the less sensitive +4 so my desk output dosnt bully them,
or at least i think thats how it works

steve
Old 17th September 2011
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Honest View Post
I set them at the less sensitive +4 so my desk output dosnt bully them,
or at least i think thats how it works

steve

You're right.
Old 17th September 2011
  #8
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clivek's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Honest View Post
hello
in our Neve control room , we have a pair o ATc 20s in the wall along with a sub bass , and i have been very happy with these as main speakers, ATC s are wonderful i have been a big fan or years.
I have been offered a pair of Focal65 cms and thought i could use em as nearfields, so we got em yesterday set them on stands and will spend the next week setting them up, on first start up yesterday, they had odd low mid, and were congested up in the mid his to his compared to the atc s, but this was just putting the on stands and turning them on, so i need a few days to mess about with the controls on the back and get them to set in our room a bit better , so that we can give a air comparison

steve

Thought this sounded a bit odd when I read this earlier !!

Glad you found the info about the grill and tweeters LOL !!
Old 19th September 2011
  #9
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2nd day

Had a good day with these yesterday, worked on them almost all of the day, on 2 very different jobs.

I have decided not to compare them to the ATC s, i think they serve a different purpose, do a different job, and its ATC, not a fair fight at all.

the low end is better , not as boomey as day 1,the hi end and hi mids still sound a bit boxy and no where near as open as the ATCs, but they are detailed and crisp.

or todays work i am going to make the input a little more sensitive, changing them rom +4 to 0 db. as i think perhaps they might be better with a hint more push.
let you know how i got on, oh and perhaps i might do a bit o Pink noise and SA tomorrow and see i i cant get them a little closer.
but so far so good, i like that they are improving,

steve
Old 19th September 2011
  #10
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ionian's Avatar
Thanks for the constant updates. You're a good man, Steve!


Regards,
Frank
Old 19th September 2011
  #11
It took me about 80 hours of burn-in time and I did not mess with any of the back settings I just left everything set to default. I think that they punch way above their price tag.
Old 22nd September 2011
  #12
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Hmmm

HI chaps

so been mixin and tracking on these Focals, and im still having a difficult time liking them,
I have stopped comparing them to the ATC s and dealing with them in there own right.
what i am finding is they like volume, turn em up loud and they really come alive, but down low in volume which is where i would prefer to use them they seem a congested and dull, the low end is nice and present, but the mids and his while having detail has no air in it,
still ive em a few more days and more different positions , perhaps a couple of days on there sides?
steve
Old 22nd September 2011
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Honest View Post
they seem a congested and dull, the low end is nice and present, but the mids and his while having detail has no air in it,
steve
How I felt about them when I add them, to dull and no air / detail up high (well not as much as other monitors in this price region) made it harder to work with then other monitors.

You may need to give them a few more days though in different positions as you say and then see how you feel, could try them on their sides or even upside down, this can make them sound a bit different.
Old 22nd September 2011
  #14
I think that some guys found them to be a bit boxy but I don’t think so, they just need some more burn-in time. They actually help you take your mix out of the box instead of making it sound awesome in your room but than you’ll get surprised when it's played on other systems.
Old 1st October 2011
  #15
Swapped a pair of Mackie 824's for the Focals and don't miss the Mackies a bit. Solid low end. Great translation to the car stereo...
Old 4th October 2011
  #16
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Arksun's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Razik View Post
I think that some guys found them to be a bit boxy but I don’t think so, they just need some more burn-in time. They actually help you take your mix out of the box instead of making it sound awesome in your room but than you’ll get surprised when it's played on other systems.
The problem is nothing to do with burn in time imho and everything to do with him just being used to the sound of higher end monitors. Thats the interesting thing about jumping up to great speakers. Sometimes just how big an improvement doesn't really hit you until you then start listening back to the kind of monitors you were used to before and THEN suddenly their issues (like boxyness, power handling, detail etc) are more evident.

Steve, I think you just have to accept that if you get a pair of nearfields at the kind of price point of the CMS65 its just not gonna sound anywhere near as good in one way or another as you're used to with the ATC.

I also noticed the low mid-upper bass oddness with the Focal Solo's too. But hey each to their own
Old 4th October 2011
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arksun View Post
The problem is nothing to do with burn in time imho and everything to do with him just being used to the sound of higher end monitors. Thats the interesting thing about jumping up to great speakers. Sometimes just how big an improvement doesn't really hit you until you then start listening back to the kind of monitors you were used to before and THEN suddenly their issues (like boxyness, power handling, detail etc) are more evident.

Steve, I think you just have to accept that if you get a pair of nearfields at the kind of price point of the CMS65 its just not gonna sound anywhere near as good in one way or another as you're used to with the ATC.

I also noticed the low mid-upper bass oddness with the Focal Solo's too. But hey each to their own


I do agree with you but those ATC's are just way too expensive and not in the same league as the CMS. Steve, can you please let us know how your mixes translate on CMS compere to the ATC's. Thank you,
Old 4th October 2011
  #18
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Focals

hi CHaps
sorry for no updates recently but been flat out , planning a new and 3rd room to our complex,
I have to say im not getting on with these Focals, they are a good speaker, but they dont work the way i want them to, if i turn them up loud they have a bit more going for them, but i dont work loud as a rule and also i have the Atc s in the room for that task, i was looking for a small speaker to work at low volume, as a near field monitor, but with a more open sound then these,
I think what i will try next is with the SSL4000e we are putting in the new room and use them as mains till we figure out a set of big ATC s and see how i get along with them in that set up,
to be truthful they will probably end up going back. i cant say anything bad about them, they are just not my kind of speaker.
cheers
steve
Old 4th October 2011
  #19
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Arksun's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Razik View Post
I do agree with you but those ATC's are just way too expensive and not in the same league as the CMS.
That was exactly my point in the post Once your ears and brain get used to that higher league of speaker its hard to go back. There might be a short initial break in period sure, like in the first day, if the speakers been sitting in a box for long time after being initially Max SPL tested at the factory prior to shipping (which studio speakers will be, so the coils/springs etc will have already been stretched), but after that the components are settled. Any changes over weeks or months is just the listener getting used to their sound imho.
Old 4th October 2011
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arksun View Post
That was exactly my point in the post Any changes over weeks or months is just the listener getting used to their sound imho.
I can definitely tell how the low frequencies and the mid on the 65's sounded withing the first 40 hours when I first got them and now. I have also been switching back and fort between the 65 HS80 and KRK's V8. I got used to them indeed but I do still remember how they sounded out of the box.
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