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Old 10th October 2008
Lives for gear
mdjice's Avatar

My review of the Focal twin 6 (2008)

I know, another review well I'll just tell it like it is and you can read if you are interested in these speakers and you can pass on if you are not.

First of all. I've been mixing quite a few records for many majors this year alone and I have more scheduled as I write so changing speakers is not something that can be done easily as you have to "learn" them.
I have a pair of NS-10, a pair of event 20/20 bas, a genelec sub in my studio. I have also mixed in the past few months on a pair of adams s3, adams A7 and genelec. 1031A.
I have been quite happy wth my NS 10 for many years for mixing vocals but mixing the low end has always been a problem, even with a sub.
The event are doing a good all around job but they sound "scoopy" good low end, good highs but no definition in the mediums.
The S3 to me sound plain harsh. I couldn't stand the sound for more then a hour. mixing on them was a real pain and I felt like all these speakers can do good are the Mids. that's all (IMO) the s7 were pretty good all around for the price but I found them to translate some frequencies off what they really are.(yes I'm picky)

The Focals.....
first thing when I open the box I couldn't help but to be amazed at the look and how well built these speakers are. They look like expensive consumer speakers (in a good way) you could use these in your living room and nobody would point them out as studio speakers (try that with a pair of KRK). They look classy elegant and the finish is extremely meticulous. They look like a million bucks!! clients are always complimenting on them which is a rare thing for speakers (normally they don't care).

now the sound.....
when I first plugged them I created a playlist with a mix of classical music and southern hip hop with lot's of 808 to break in the speakers.) after a couple of days of continuous play I tried mixing on them.

first impressions were ok they sound good, great bass response great mids but harsh highs (I said I'll tell it like it is!!!)
I tried to do a mix but the tweeter was just killing my ears. I called Simon at Focal and aside from being very helpful he was very knowledgable about their speakers. He told me the Highs will get smoother with time...."yeah right" I said I heard that I kept on using them producing recording etc...and he was right! after another 2 weeks (yes they do take quite some time to break in and settle) the highs were just perfect.
Working on a mix I tought the tweeter was still a bit harsh...took the mix to my car and guess what? the mix was harsh!! I was so used to compensates high freqs with other monitors that I did the same thing with the Focal the difference is that the Twins will tell you the mix like it is.
To me it's a great thing!!! too much highs in the studio AND on other systems? great they translate perfectly.

The Mids are incredible. these speakers are great for mixing vocals. I found that I don't have to switch between 3 pairs of speakers to mix anymore. I can get the bass, mids and highs from the same monitors. that's a great plus for me.
The bass sound great and punchy. However I found that using a sub was necessary to mix sub freq. in Hip Hop music (808 subsine etc..) which is normal anyways. I only plug in the sub towards the end of the mix to check on the extra low freq. I don't need the sub to mix music with a "normal" amount of low end (Rock/ pop/ etc..)
the speakers do not fatigue my ears I just did 2 mixes in 1 day (from 10 am to 2 am) and I was more tired from hearing my clients whine about their record label then from the speakersheh

I just bought sound anchors monitor stands (again thanks to Simon for the advice). These things are Heavy!!! but they work great with the twins. I might be looking into getting some recoil but it might be overkill (I have mopads now)
in the end these are great speakers, look and sound awsome. It does take a while for them to properly break in but once they do, you will not need any other monitors to check your mixes on.
My NS 10 are now unplugged and my events are only used for clients when producing (If they blow the speakers I won't care).
the twins get a big +1 for me!

here are the focals in the studio (before the Sound anchors)