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Focal Solo6 Be 6.5 Inches Powered Studio Monitor
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- 2-way Powered Studio Monit with 6.5" Woofer
- 40Hz-40kHz Frequency Response (each)
- 1" Beryllium Inverted-dome Tweeter
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|Sold By||K&M Camera Since 1976||Amazon.com||Adorama||Liquid Audio Inc||Amazon.com|
|Item Dimensions||9.45 x 11.42 x 12.99 inches||6.40 x 5.60 x 8.30 inches||13.40 x 9.90 x 19.70 inches||16.50 x 11.10 x 14.30 inches||14.00 x 16.00 x 21.00 inches|
|Item Weight||30.86 lbs||6.83 lbs||44.00 lbs||17.50 lbs||23.59 lbs|
Whether you're recording, mixing, or mastering, the Solo6 Be is just the kind of no-nonsense, cutting-edge reference monitor you're going to want in your studio. True, the Solo6 Be has an amazing bass response for its size (down to 40Hz), not to mention an impressive upper-frequency response that reaches beyond human hearing to 40kHz — but this monitor's still much more than just its numbers. It's full. It's clear. It's articulate. And, just like its 3-way big brother, the Twin6 Be, the Solo6 Be is all about ensuring your tracks translate.
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In the world of studio monitors, frequency response is key. The numbers reflected from the low end of the sound spectrum to the high end represent the "image" that the speaker will be able to reproduce. While human hearing is considered to be limited from roughtly 20hz-20Khz, there's something to be said about the range outside that. Particularly the range above 20kHz. While we can't technically hear above that range, in the recording world, that's the range where reverb tails and subtle high end details live and are more felt than heard. And trust me, when you have a monitor that can reproduce those frequencies, you notice.
First reason: High frequency response. The beryllium tweeter can reproduce sound all the way up to a stratospheric 40kHz. Reverb tails seem to go on forever now. Recordings sound even more three dimensional than before. Hi-hats, snares and vocal "S's" are all crystal clear and jump out into the air. Details have emerged in recordings that I've been listening to for years and have never heard before I played them through my Solo6's.
Second Reason: uncolored sound. Solo6's are touted as having a very flat or neutral response and I agree. That means they don't "color" the sound in any way. Consumer speakers (Bose, for example) typically color sound to give the impression that the speaker sounds better than it's drivers capability for recreating sound. In a studio monitor you want the truth and nothing more. These set a benchmark for neutrality.
Third reasons: low frequency / port location design. These reproduce sound all the way down to 40hz. While the mid/low driver can not reproduce exceptionally low tones, it's more common these days for consumers to listen to compressed mp3 files on crummy earbuds/headphones or some other low quality iPod dock sound system and they'll never know the difference anyway. If necessary Focal does make a sub. But I see no reason to have it, other than to impress potential clients. Additionally, these monitors are ported in the front instead of the back. This allows the speaker itself to be located closer to a wall while creating fewer standing waves. It's always best though to place your monitors in the middle of your room.
Fourth reason: Low SPL reproduction. You can work on these monitors at a very low SPL (sound pressure level, a.k.a., volume) and all the clarity, punch and fullness of the music remains. And if you've ever spent hours producing or mixing a track, you'll know that high SPL equates to fatigued ear drums that no longer function as well. That results in taking more breaks and overall, more time in finishing work. So since the Solo6's are so clear, even at a very quiet level, you can work and work without the need for a break.
Final reasons: Mastering & Price. I studied mastering in school. It's something I seriously thought about pursuing and still may one day after I tire of producing. I learned everything I could about the tools of an ME (mastering engineer). From AD/DA conversion to monitoring as well. And guess what? The Solo6's have actually been used to master a multi-platinum recording (ME David Kutch mastered Alecia Keys "As I am" record only using the Solo6's). Mastering is considered the final stage in finishing a recording and requires the most attention to detail as well as the highest quality hardware. The monitors ME's use can sometimes cost $15,000-25,000 or more a pair. Look into Bowers and Wilkins 800 Diamond Series, for example.
Back to the Solo 6's, and now their price. They may seem expensive to someone just beginning to look into studio monitors, but in the grand scheme, for what they're capable of doing, they are very competitively priced. And if you haven't been paying attention to the monitor market the Solo 6's keep going up in price. Since I purchased mine they've gone up in retail price by almost 10% each! I have had zero regrets buying them.
Are they the be-all, end-all of professional monitoring? In this price class they are. But when it comes to monitoring it really is about personal preference. To me, these make sense to my ears (and my bank balance). So listen to as many manufacturers and their respected lines within them as possible. Or use my experience from a year of research and just get these.
TLDR version: Put these on your shortlist if you're a working musician and do a lot of mixing. They're awesome.
I spent 8 months deciding on what monitors to purchase. My monitoring setup for the past 5 years has been listening mainly to AKG240s and KRK Rokit 8s with the 10s sub, and then checking my mix in the car. This worked, but it was sort of time consuming, but not time consuming enough yet to warrant a change.
At the studios I worked at for 4 years they used Quested H108s and a Genelec sub, and the other studio used high end Genelecs with a Genelec sub. I loved the H108s because they sounded natural with a slight flavor, and also sounded great for most genres of music.
I went to Vintage King and listened to Genelec 8020s, oldstyle Genelecs, Neumanns, Focal CMS50, Focal CMS65, and others in that price range. None of those really vibed with me so I knew I had to really invest in a higher end model. At this time I had also discovered that a lot of musicians and producers that I felt were amazing at mixing were using high end Focals. I loved the sound of the Twin6bes but wasn't ready to jump to those yet, so I knew that the Solo6s would be a great choice for me.
These monitors make bad mixes sound poor and good mixes sound quality, but where they really shine is they make GREAT mixes sound AMAZING. They are extremely flat, yet have that magic that can be inspiring while listening to music. Also, you can hear what is going on in the mix even at an extremely low volume, which is INVALUABLE if you are a working musician.
I would highly recommend these to anyone who is mixing and composing every single day. I also would HIGHLY recommend these to anyone who is a composer coming from both a classical and rock/production background. If you're looking for a huge low end, these are not the monitors you are looking for, but if you're looking for an honest low end, these are great.
Aesthetically, these monitors look very cool in my opinion as well, so that's definitely an added bonus.
I cannot speak highly of these monitors enough. Go demo a pair when you have the time. They have already saved me a lot of mixing time over the past few days, and I truly believe that these are going to be a huge time saver for me on future projects.