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Fancy studio monitors with lots of space

Review: Solo6 BE 40th

Published 7:10 am on Saturday 25th July 2020 by Beat Magazine

Beryllium for More Highs

The Solo6 BE (get the product from Thomann) are near field active studio monitors; as such, the listening distance should ideally be between 1-3 meters. The bass-midrange power amplifier is based on BASH technology, which provides Class AB sound quality combined with the power of Class D amplifiers. Another special feature is the „W“ Cone diaphragm, which is a sandwich construction with an upper and lower cover layer of glass fibres; achieving particularly high rigidity, combined with good internal damping, thus ensuring a very neutral sound.

The highlight of the loudspeakers, however, is the beryllium tweeter. Usually titanium, aluminum or various other fabrics are used as diaphragm material, which should be both light and have the highest possible stiffness. With this material, however, the upper limit for a clean reproduction is usually reached at 20 kHz; above that, partial oscillation or material resonance causes interference. Beryllium, on the other hand, which is otherwise used almost exclusively in aerospace and military technology, has seven times the stiffness of titanium or aluminium for the same diaphragm mass and allows neutral reproduction up to 40,000 kHz. The processing of beryllium; however, is more complex and the safe use of the only 25 micrometers thin dome-shaped membrane has cost Focal a lot of development work.

Calibration

The audio signal is fed in via an XLR socket; the sensitivity is switchable between -10dBV and +4 dBu. Two controls allow you to adjust the high frequencies above 5 kHz by ±3dB and the low frequencies below 150Hz by ±6dB to compensate for bass waves, cancellation caused by unfavorable positioning, or lack of acoustic room optimization. However, we saw no reason to do this in the test as the speakers were already almost perfectly tuned in the neutral setting. We were less pleased with the background noise, which is independent of the incoming input signal and should not be present in this price range.

The Sound Image

In terms of sound, the small speakers show after some break-in time why the series enjoys such popularity. The sound is very natural, without any distorting or pretty overemphasis. Added to this is an excellent depth gradation. In comparison to cheaper speakers, where the sound sticks to the speakers (metaphorically speaking), the Solo6 BE gives you extra dimension. With your eyes closed, you can forget that you are listening to speakers and not to the singer or instrumentalist standing in front of you. The relatively wide sweetspot also forgives changes in listening position.

Poorly mixed recordings or noise such as overmodulation will still be heard. The bass is clean and tight. Of course, the loudspeakers can only produce a limited amount of low bass at this size; an additional subwoofer would have to be planned for this. The trebles are high-resolution and detailed; transients are displayed crisply and naturally. At higher volumes, the reproduction is quickly compressed and details are lost.

Verdict

The compact Focal Solo6 BE (For more informations visit the Thomann shop) are not only chic, but also offer a balanced and tame sound image with very good detail reproduction and excellent depth at moderate listening volumes. These studio monitors convey the feeling of great recordings where the musicians are playing directly in front of the listener. And with electronic music, you can hear all the subtleties that distinguish good synths and high-quality effects devices from less good ones. That‘s why these monitor speakers are not only recommended for professional users, but also greatly enhance every hobby studio - if the budget allows.


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