Gold Sound FOCAL Page
NEW FOCAL 700 SPEAKERS
"Focal replaced the popular 700V Chorus speakers with entirely new versions with 5 models from the $549 bookshelf 705 to the $1899 floorstanding 726. Focal developed a new tweeter with a suspension system previously found exclusively in the Utopia series. The speaker parts are all made in France. We were big fans of the original Chorus series & expect great sound at affordable prices from the new models." ABSOLUTE SOUND
The new Focal speakers have higher efficiency, plus deeper bass than many competitors. Almost every Focal speaker has 90db or more efficiency. Some new B&W speakers are only 84db efficient. Most Focals are 4 to 5 times more efficient. The $1899 Focal 726 floorstanding speaker has 91.5db efficiency & bass response to 49hz within 3db. A similar-sized $2200 B&W has less than half the efficiency & only 69hz bass response. The Chorus have sleek, attractive styling with four finishes: black lacquer, walnut, rosewood & gloss white.
FOCAL ARIA SALE
All made in Europe, 5 year warranty; very limited quantities.
List price NOW
905 Bookshelf $1000 $699/pr
926 Tower $3300 $2499/pr
948 Tower $5000 $3799/pr
FOCAL ARIA SPEAKERS
The $1500 Focal 906 bookshelf has higher efficiency, 10hz deeper bass & is under half the height of a B&W for $400 more. The Focal 906 bookshelf speaker has 35 hz deeper bass response & is smaller than a Klipsch for $1,000 more.
ABSOLUTE SOUND praises the new Focal Aria 906 - "Terrific; it just gets music right & does so for a song."
At RMAF Gold Sound had the U.S premier of the new Focal 948. STEREOPHILE praised its natural sound. European magazines awarded the 926 & 948 "Product of the Year". We are the only Colorado dealer stocking Focal's new 906 bookshelf & 926 tower speakers & the 948. The 900 series has quickly become our most popular, quality speaker. The 906, $1500/pair, is called "Terrific" by ABSOLUTE SOUND. The 948, the largest & best Aria speaker, is $5000/pair. The 926, the smallest & most affordable Aria tower, is $3299/pair. We have limited quantities on sale; see above.
Customers tell us that the new Focal 948 for $5000/pair has far better imaging, bass response & dynamics than other stores' $10,000 speakers. People have traded in late model B&W, Paradigm & Klipsch towers for new Focal bookshelf speakers. All 900 Focal Aria line feature all new, better sounding drivers with flax-cone woofers & midranges, plus new aluminum-magnesium tweeters, reducing distortion by 50%. Arias are 8 ohms & about 92db efficiency, or four times as efficient as many competitors. You can use solid state amps or tube amps, like our 35W/ch Prima Luna amps. The Arias have sleek, attractive styling with black lacquer, walnut & gloss white finishes.
"Founded in 1979, Focal is one of audio's success stories. The company has expanded to over 250 workers & exports to 160+ countries. All Focal products are engineered in France; only a few lower priced multimedia models & headphones are assembled in the Far East." STEREOPHILE
NEW FOCAL 1000F Subwoofer
Here's the first Focal subwoofer with a Flax driver. This 12" features 24-200hz frequency response. The 1000 watt built-in amplifier is Focal's largest. The flax woofer cone provides superior speed & definition. Cost is $1499 each.
THE FOCAL COMPANY
Today most European speaker brands, including B&W, KEF, Mission & Tannoy, are made in China. Most U.S. brands, including JBL, Infinity, Boston Acoustics & Polk, are made in Asia. Focal is one of the few companies that still makes every part of their speakers, all in Europe.
Focals from $299/pair through $190,000 are highly recommended by ABSOLUTE SOUND & STEREOPHILE for excellent sound & superior imaging.
"Two of Europe's most successful high-end audio brands, Focal & Naim, are joining forces. With annual earnings of $82 million & more than 300 employees, Focal will automatically become a European hi-fi leader in terms of sales & resources." STEREOPHILE
Gold Sound is Colorado's only dealer displaying 5 Focal bookshelf models, 6 Focal tower models, plus Focal subwoofer & center channel speakers, including from the Chorus, Aria & Electra series. The Chorus are Focal's most affordable line. The Aria speakers feature flax W composite sandwich speaker cones. These cones excel in all three essential speaker cone qualities simultaneously:
1] Low mass, for quicker transient response.
2] High internal damping, to avoid sound coloration.
3] High rigidity, for better bass & less distortion.
Focal invented the W cones for their state of the art $190,000 Grand Utopia, often called the world's best speaker.
The following is from STEREOPHILE, "The ideal cone material is stiff so the cone acts as a piston over a wide frequency range. Piston behavior is especially important for low distortion bass. Low mass allows quick transient acceleration for the best fine detail reproduction. Internal damping quiets any cone ringing, which colors the sound. The W cones optimize the balance of stiffness, low mass & self-damping. W drivers are made largely by hand. Every production stage involves precise, exacting work. Today's top-of-the-line Focal tweeters are beryllium - one of the rarest & most expensive of metals. Beryllium is 7 times more rigid than titanium or aluminum. [This] tweeter [is] only a few molecules thick & weighs a mere 0.02 gram. Focal delivers real consumer benefits."
"Every Focal driver is measured & listened to. [By designing & building all their drivers] you can customize drivers for each particular model, adjusting cone thickness to achieve the desired frequency response without resorting to a complex crossover [which hurts phase response, efficiency, etc.] The result is cleaner, clearer sound & improved efficiency." Focal speakers efficiency is usually over 90db.
High efficiency gives you more volume & less distortion. Most other speakers are at least 3db less efficient. This 3db is double the power, or the difference between a 100W & 200W amp. A 90db efficient Focal speaker is twice as loud as a 87 db speaker & four times louder than an 84db speaker with the same wattage input. This efficiency saves you money. Less powerful amps can play as loud. Your current amp will sound cleaner, since it will run at a lower power level with less distortion.
"Since 1980, Focal has been a driving force in high-end speaker design, developing many driver technologies, earning 30 patents. Unlike [most] speakers who use drivers from one supplier & enclosures from another, Focal makes almost all its speaker components. For most of its 35 years, Focal's main business was supplying drivers to the world's great high-end speakers [including Wilson Audio, whose founder, Dave Wilson, praised Focal tweeters' sensitivity, dynamic contrast, transient attack & power handling.] ABSOLUTE SOUND
"On one tweeter production line, which can build 25,000 tweeters a month, aluminum-magnesium alloy specially formulated for Focal is cut into squares & impressed with the dome structure. The domes are trimmed to a round shape & mounted. A worker hand glues the voice coil to the dome. Another worker adds the motor assembly. This is high-precision work - the voice coil must be perfectly centered. The tweeter works correctly only with a precise amount of glue. Focal designed & built these precision machines. Every driver is individually tested by specialized software-controlled technology looking for tiny physical defects invisible to the naked eye. Focal has refined driver-building for over 30 years. The tweeter builders have 15 years of experience." ABSOLUTE SOUND "The R&D lab, housed in a separate building, features Europe's largest anechoic chamber. I'm always interested in the ratio of engineers to sales staff; it gives you an idea if a company is engineering driven or market-driven. In Focal, R&D was far larger than the sales department. Driver & cabinet factories are high quality. Every worker can stop the line & reject a part. Employees are rewarded for a low failure rate & have profit sharing. Most cabinet factory employees have been building speaker cabinets for most of their lives."
"Focal is immensely proud that they design & build speaker drivers, cabinets & complete systems in France. Many companies have lost touch with manufacturing due to outsourcing to inexpensive overseas production. They become little more than marketers. Focal stressed that its raison d'etre is innovation & high quality; without these values it could no longer differentiate itself from other manufacturers. Focal plans to be around at least another 30 years & from what l saw, its best days are ahead of it."
FOCAL on DISPLAY
CHORUS 705, 706
ARIA 905, 906
CHORUS 716, 726
ARIA 926, 948
HEADPHONES: Spirit One
705, Bookshelf, $549/pair, Similar to 706, below "with a little less bass extension & output," ABSOLUTE SOUND EDITOR'S CHOICE
706, Bookshelf, $749/pair, "Bass power & extension of many small floorstanding units. Very dynamic & visceral, it has a forward perspective that puts vocals right upfront. Shines on rock, blues & orchestral music. Highish sensitivity makes it an easy load for an amp - 50W is plenty in a moderately sized room. More bottom end than similar priced B&W." ABSOLUTE SOUND EDITOR'S CHOICE
905 Bookshelf, $999/pair "The midrange was rich & accurate. Music's tones characterized by richness & precision. Unbeatable ratio between musical sound quality & price." STEREO TIMES
906 Bookshelf, $1500/pair "Vivid, fast, vibrant & dynamically engaging. Imaging is well focused & the soundstage is broad & unbroken. Commanding prescence; bass was rich & extended ; ideal combination of warmth, articulation & harmonic bloom. The explosive textures & tonal colors were exhilirating. The Aria 906 just gets music right & does so for a song." ABSOLUTE SOUND
"The 906 is capable of resolving detail that other speakers simply cannot find & manages to do this without losing sight of the performance as a whole." AV FORUMS
926 Tower, now $3299, "Some of the most direct & communicative speakers I've encountered for a very long time. Huge fun to listen to. You just put some music on & you think that's how it should be. You turn it up & it's even more captivating. There's punchy bass here, both fast & well-extended; a seamless transition into the midband & a treble that's both sweetly controlled & capable of beautifully clean imaging & ambiance. I can't remember when I listened to so much music. Gloriously enjoyable. A serious success." Words & Music Andreweverard.com
936 Tower, $3999/pair, STEREOPHILE 4/15 RECOMMENDED, EXCEPTIONAL VALUE, rated in same class as $33,000 speakers,
"A big spacious sound, tonally neutral with impressive dynamics & powerful bass. The 936 is more detailed & transparent; highs are particularly clean & extended without sounding forward or clinical [compared to the discontinued 826W.] Soundstages are bigger & images within those soundstages are more precisely defined. The Aria 936 sings with a beautiful voice."
"Smooth. Very smooth. Bells, cymbal, etc., rang out freely with delicacy & without any harshness. The sound came surprisingly close to $33,000 speakers. Extended highs transparent [but] did not add significant brightness. The treble was clean & extended. The use of flax in the sandwich construction of the midrange & bass drivers & judicious internal cabinet bracing must have played major roles in allowing the Aria 936 to be so free of any charecteristic "speaker sound." The soundstage & the precision of the images were first-rate."
"Bass was extended; midrange & treble are extraordinarily smooth & even. Optimal crossover design; its measured performance [is like a far more] expensive speaker. At $3999/pair, it is an extraordinary value." STEREOPHILE
948 Tower, $5000/pair "Their strong bass foundation, along with the high fun factor; the dynamics & the rich timbre make the Aria 988 an audiophile treat. The 948 do it all." STEREOPLAY
"If you want something better, be prepared for a long search & a higher expenditure." STEREO
ELECTRA 1038BE, $12,495, HOME THEATER "I consider it a bargain. If it were my money & I was in search of high-end nirvana & my list included $20,000+ Wilson Sasha W/P or B&W 800 Series Diamond, I'd choose the 1038Be & pocket the difference. All are fantastic, true benchmarks. I was completely blown away by the Electra 1038Be. Unless your budget or desire to spend more allows you to consider cost no object stuff - definitely audition the Electra 1038Be before buying a more expensive speaker."
Bird, list $999, now $599/pr. Powered speakers with sub, "There's perhaps no finer (or more user friendly) starting point for high end audio than the compact, self-powered Focal Bird system. The genius of the system is that it looks disarmingly stylish, simple & small, yet offers an amazingly big, rich, room-filling, focused & three dimensional sound. Very sophisticated." ABSOLUTE SOUND HIGH END AUDIO BUYER'S GUIDE, MOST AFFORDABLE POWERED SPEAKERS with POWERED SUBWOOFER
Spirit One, list $280, now only $199 in red & white; 5 STARS Sound & Build Quality, TOP-RATED, "Sound is refined, subtle, expressive, dynamic, detailed & rewardingly communicative. They are transparent & revealing. They never approach sounding brittle, brash or unnaturally bright. It's a very clever design. Excelled in detail; instruments remained distinct & separate. Their finest part is the way it knitted all these elements & qualities together to imbue music with integrity, coherence & credibility. It presented a persuasive & exciting portrayal of music & one that fully engaged the listener. Another vital consideration is that one can enjoy these without the discomfort of hot, sweaty, ears. The Spirit One receives a definite no-hesitation recommendation." HIFI CHOICE
STEREOPHILE, "With products like the Spirit One headphones, Focal is making smart moves in the right direction."
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