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Old 21st January 2004, 07:15 PM   #1
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Default What IS the Focal 5W4252

I've seen the 5W4252 (Focal 5" midbass with W-cone) included in a few kits, but for some reason, it's nowhere to be found on Focal's website. Is this a modified version of the 4211/3211b?? Thanks!

Derrick
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Old 21st January 2004, 08:32 PM   #2
tomcat9 is offline tomcat9  United States
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I am not familiar with this driver either, but was looking at the Ego kit from Dillon Acoustics. I did find a pdf file on:

http://www.zalytron.com./focal.html

Go to the very bottom on page.
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Old 23rd January 2004, 03:30 AM   #3
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Thanks. I did see that...but I was just curious is this version of the 5" w-cone driver is better or worse than the widely available 4211/3211b's. Also, the data sheet apparently doesn't include off-axis response curves, which is what i'm particularly interested in.

Derrick
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Old 24th January 2004, 01:57 PM   #4
jholtz is offline jholtz  United States
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Default Focal 5W drivers...

The 5W4252 is from Focal's Utopia line up. They're available at Zalytron. Spec wise they look, and I'm told measure, idendical to the 5W4211. I've used the 5W4252 and it is an exceptionally nice sounding driver. I would highly recommend it.

Don't be fooled by the published frequency response graphs from Focal. It's somewhat difficult to tame. I'd suggest you use one of the various professional designs that are available unless you have measuring equipment and crossover software skills.

HTH

Jim
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Old 24th January 2004, 06:59 PM   #5
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Hi, Jim. thanks for your help. I was thinking about the 4252 with an active 2nd-order low-pass at 4kHz. Do you think this is a good idea?...you mentioned something about "difficult to tame."

BTW, when you say it's from the Utopia line, does this mean it's the same driver JM Labs uses in its Utopia bookshelf speakers?

ThankS!

Derrick
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Old 24th January 2004, 11:50 PM   #6
jholtz is offline jholtz  United States
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Derrick,

Any of the Focal drivers will be problematic with an active crossover unless you have measuring equipment and a Berringer 2496, for example, that can be programmed to address the lumps and bumps that occur in most hard cone drivers. 4K is also too high for a 5" driver.

The 5W4252 does cross quite nicely with a 2nd order filter at 2.7K. It'll start beaming, as all 5" drivers do, at a little over 3K. A nice sounding driver that is less expensive and is very smooth is the Seas CA18. I've heard it in a Besl design with an active crossover and it was extremely nice.

Yes, the Utopia series drivers are modeled after the JM Labs Utopia line however there doesn't seem to be any functional difference between it and the 5W4211.

HTH

Jim


(Derrick) Hi, Jim. thanks for your help. I was thinking about the 4252 with an active 2nd-order low-pass at 4kHz. Do you think this is a good idea?...you mentioned something about "difficult to tame."

BTW, when you say it's from the Utopia line, does this mean it's the same driver JM Labs uses in its Utopia bookshelf speakers?
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Old 25th January 2004, 01:04 AM   #7
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Hi Jim,

I've seen the term beaming a lot, and have assumed it means the point when the driver becomes directional (ie like a beam of light) rather than radiating equaly all directions. Is this correct or does it mean something completely different?

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Old 25th January 2004, 01:16 AM   #8
dooper is offline dooper  Canada
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You got it. From the LDC:

"As frequency increases, and the wavelength of sound becomes the same size or smaller than the diameter of the driver, the radiation pattern narrows."

The floodlight / spotlight analogy is a good one.

dooper
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Old 25th January 2004, 03:01 AM   #9
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Any of the Focal drivers will be problematic with an active crossover unless you have measuring equipment and a Berringer 2496, for example, that can be programmed to address the lumps and bumps that occur in most hard cone drivers. 4K is also too high for a 5" driver.

Interesting. When I look at the FR curves for the 5W's, there don't appear to be any "lumps and bumps" that look like they need filtering (vs. the Seas Excel's which clearly do). I've also seen a few kits with 5W's that do fine with 3rd and 4th order passive filters, although they do cross over a bit lower. Can you elaborate on how I can find out more about these "lumps and bumps?"

The 5W4252 does cross quite nicely with a 2nd order filter at 2.7K. It'll start beaming, as all 5" drivers do, at a little over 3K. A nice sounding driver that is less expensive and is very smooth is the Seas CA18. I've heard it in a Besl design with an active crossover and it was extremely nice.

I don't get it - if a 2nd order passive filter works at 2.7k, what's wrong with a 2nd-order active filter? Also, I understand that in theory, 5" drivers tend to start beaming around 3k, although there will be some variation based on the actual cone area...the (30 deg?) off-axis response of the 3211b is only about -3dB, or so, at 4kHz, which means beaming doesn't sound like it'll make a substantial difference at that point. Right?

I appreciate your assistance!

Derrick
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Old 25th January 2004, 03:31 AM   #10
jholtz is offline jholtz  United States
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Derrick,

The Focal FR graghs are excessively smoothed and don't tell the real story. They are simply not accurate. There is a peak at 1.5K and at 2.4K that are very difficult to control. Now, I should clarify that I'm not a crossover guru but I have folks that are help me. Dennis Murphy and Rick Craig have both done 5W4252 designs for me. The problems I'm pointing out are them talking rather than me. :-)

Active crossovers don't have the smoothing ability of a correctly designed passive unless it also has equalization capability. Even then, you'd need measuring equipment to correcly address the issues. That applies to most hard cone drivers. You might get decent results with a poly or a very well behaved paper cone driver using an active crossover but even then, I prefer the accuracy of a passive crossover. BTW, Seas publishes very accurate measurements and FR curves unlike most of the other driver manufacturers.

Every design is a compromise and if you want to live with the decreased dispersion by crossing very high then that will be your choice. The Focal 5W drivers are exceptionally transparent and detailed and are by all means worth the effort. It will give much better results crossing low rather than high. I believe that Geoffrey Dillion in the Ego design crossed at 2.3K to a Hiquphon OWII. Lower is better with this driver.

Jim



(Derrick)

"Any of the Focal drivers will be problematic with an active crossover unless you have measuring equipment and a Berringer 2496, for example, that can be programmed to address the lumps and bumps that occur in most hard cone drivers. 4K is also too high for a 5" driver. "

Interesting. When I look at the FR curves for the 5W's, there don't appear to be any "lumps and bumps" that look like they need filtering (vs. the Seas Excel's which clearly do). I've also seen a few kits with 5W's that do fine with 3rd and 4th order passive filters, although they do cross over a bit lower. Can you elaborate on how I can find out more about these "lumps and bumps?"

"The 5W4252 does cross quite nicely with a 2nd order filter at 2.7K. It'll start beaming, as all 5" drivers do, at a little over 3K. A nice sounding driver that is less expensive and is very smooth is the Seas CA18. I've heard it in a Besl design with an active crossover and it was extremely nice."

I don't get it - if a 2nd order passive filter works at 2.7k, what's wrong with a 2nd-order active filter? Also, I understand that in theory, 5" drivers tend to start beaming around 3k, although there will be some variation based on the actual cone area...the (30 deg?) off-axis response of the 3211b is only about -3dB, or so, at 4kHz, which means beaming doesn't sound like it'll make a substantial difference at that point. Right?
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