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seangoesbonk 23rd June 2002 09:50 PM

Focal Audiom Drivers
What do you think about a 2-way with:

one 6.5" Focal Audiom 6 WM ($155usd)
and one Focal TC120 TD5 ($75usd)?

The Audiom TD5 tweeter is $505usd... yeah, right!

Does this sound like a good combo?
What type/order of crossover?
Crossover frequency?

Also, for a pair of stereo subs, would the Adire Shiva a good match? Or should I go with something a little more high-end?

Thanks for all your help... :)

griff 23rd June 2002 10:31 PM

I wouldn't use a Shiva with this combo, its a little out of this league. Try something like the Audio 13", hehe, its only around $500USD

For the best results, that 6.5 would need to be used in a sub/sat or a 3 way due to its limited bass capabilities. If you do match it with a sub, ensure that the sub has the same sort of resolution, otherwise your whole system will be sounding a little flat.

CHRIS8 24th June 2002 06:00 PM

The 6w4411 that you specify will require a fair amount of efffort to tame with the crossover. If you don't have experience with such things, or know someone that will assist you in a design model with the driver then I would avoid using this speaker. This is true for most of the W cone drivers. If you are set on Focal W, their is the 6w4311 with will be easier to work with than the unit you referenced above. A K cone driver that has managalbe response with a relatively simple crossover is the 6k4311. It can be used up to almost 3khz with superb on and off axis characteristics also. You could probably get away with 2nd order electrical slopes. The tweeter is a very good dynamic driver. However, I would pair the 6k4311 with a raven r1, or at least a Bohlender Graebener Neo8, but I am biased. I don't like dome tweeters especially. The Neo8 is low priced, and very flexible. You can cross it low enough to pretty much null the problems with the 6k4311 completely so that is one advantage.

As for a subwoofer, that may be a problem if your making a completely passive 3 way. Crossing even around 150hz min. will result in massive value components. Crossing lower is not possible because of the resultant impedance problems that will occur near crossover points of the woofer/mid. I don't know of any relative high capacity output subwoofers with suitable response at 150 hz, period. You will need to use a woofer, with adequate behaviour. Examples would be avaialble from scan-speak, focal, etc. If you are using an active crossover for the mid/woofer then you can cross around 100hz with a steep slope and use just about any decent subwoofer you wish. I would recommend at least Peerless XLS, Dayton MKII or even better a BluePrint 03 series driver as cost effective solutions. If budget is large, then i would use something a little more exotic, like the big Focal subs or TC Sound drivers, such as avaialble from

A well designed configuration of the 6w or 6k and BG8 or R1 could result in ESL-like resolution. Be certain you are prepared for that level of detail, you may or may not appreciate it. Some people prefer a 'softer' sound.


JonMarsh 24th June 2002 07:22 PM

I think Chris's comments are wise to consider.

A few other suggestions I would make- I've had some good results with the TC120dx2 series, and the TD5 version should work well also, but minimum crossover frequency with a steep network will be around 2 - 2.2 kHz, given its Fs of nominally 1150 Hz.

The Audiom driver you mention is a high efficiency midrange- it's ideal range, though, is 150Hz to about 1kHz. The first low level cone modes start about 1.5 kHz, and you'd want to be suppressing the output before then. It's low end roll off is problematic to use with a sub, because there should be an octave of overlap between a sub and main speaker so that the acoustical transfer function of even a high order active crossover can work properly. For this driver, you need a xover around 175 Hz or so, such as I used in my X1 Klones.

Another driver with excellent midrange transparency, but also requiring some crossover skills, is the SEAS Excel 7" W18. No cone modes until almost 5 kHz; it's free from bell modes below the primary upper resonant peak. A two way with the TC120dx2 and a high order 1.75 kHz network (acoustic transfer function 8th order L-R) works well even in an MTM, if you keep the midwoofer centers close together.

The Neo8 in "small numbers" (like two) has a substantial peak at 13-14 kHz (by my measurements), but reportedly in longer line arrays comb filtering smooths it out- I can't personally verify that yet. One interesting possiblity is a line array two way with multiple Neo8's and 6-1/2" or 7" woofers. There's a carbon fiber 6-1/2 which is promising for this kind of application, (from MCM Electronics), and fairly inexpensive- in the $25 range.

Chris's comments about transparent speakers should be observed carefully- any of the systems discussed would benefit from high quality tube electronics, or good non loop feedback solid state, like Ayre or Theta. :cool:

Pairing them with a typical reciever, or even many solid state seperates might not be all that pleasant! ;)

My home system uses a NLFB DAC, passive preamp, and Ayre V-5 power amp. It's a good combo for "transparent" speakers that border on "analytical" on more conventional electronics (commercial examples would be speakers from Avalon Acoustics, for example).



CHRIS8 24th June 2002 08:23 PM

"It's low end roll off is problematic to use with a sub, because there should be an octave of overlap between a sub and main speaker so that the acoustical transfer function of even a high order active crossover can work properly"

While I definately agree that a minimum 175 or higher fc for the Audiom model is required due purely to mechanical limations--- I have subjectively found running a capable midbass down to at least 100hz provides for a more natural response. The additonal slight minimum phase anamolies that are present when doing this into the subwoofer band, seem to be of lesser consequence than crossing at a higher frequency. Either way you have min. phase error on either side of fc. but also consider in the latter that combined with the acoustical rolloff, the error into the sub bandpass is minimal. Also, their is no reason a mixed order active crossover can not be implemented to match ideal target slopes except for reduced power handling, in the case you use a shallower electricl slope on the midbass.

Of course, this is PURELY a subjective viewpoint. I just thought it would be worth considering. :)


capslock 23rd September 2002 06:18 PM


you seem to consider the Neo 8 lower quality than the R1. I have just seen a report in Hobby Hifi that had both in the test, and just going by the measurements for distortion, waterfall and step response, the Neo might be even superior (see my thread from yesterday).

Frequency response might be difficult, not the 12 kHz peak which can be killed with a filter, but the slow rise from 400 Hz to 10 kHz. Any experience there?



CHRIS8 23rd September 2002 08:28 PM

"you seem to consider the Neo 8 lower quality than the R1. "

Quality would not be the appropriate word. For my applications, the R1 exhibits the appropriate paramaters, as where the NEO8 does not. The measurments that y ou have presented demonstrate what I have already been aware of: Poor linear power response. Notice that the dispersion is very limieted above 10khz. This ignores one of my philisophies: Maintane as linear power response as possible. Now, their are some designs, especially those that focus on TP perfect topologies that do not concern themselves with off axis behaviours. However, I have concluded that this does not satisfy me preferences. WHether or not the NEO8 is appropriate for your purposes is exclusively dependant on your requirments, not mine.

"not the 12 kHz peak which can be killed with a filter, but the slow rise from 400 Hz to 10 kHz"

You have several options.

1. Use jus the narrow notch filter to remove teh peak, and attempt to integrate the driver with low frequency reduction in amplitude response with the midwoofer. With appropriate levels of LPAD attenuation this will be effective with 1st order electrical networks since the driver interaction will be signficant. You can get away wiht a 2nd order network if you cross high(3.5-4khz).

2. Use the narrow notch filter. In addition, increase teh value of the series resistor in the LPAD, if you are using such an attenuation circuit. This will cause a decreasing high frequency response. If you are not using an LPAD, simply add an RC contour circuit. Considering the exisitng off axis response, this would not be a good option!

3. IMplement a very broad parallel trap to deal with the 3.5-13khz overall bump, ignoring the 12khz peak and living with it. Honestly, since the peak is only present in the on axis response, and only covers approx. 1/4 octave with significant gain, you would really not have ANY signficant issue if the speakers are used 7 degrees or more off axis from the apex of your listening position(as most speakers are) . MOst of the power response will be free from this peak, thus it may not be easily percieved. I would probably implement this, however I could not actually know if this was satisfactory until I listened to this topology in your intended applilcaiton.

4. Some other topology. These are just initial ideas!

Good luck.


thylantyr 23rd September 2002 09:41 PM

If you insist on using Focal drivers, I vote for K series
midrange over W series. We just didn't like the sound of the
6WM, the 7K2 sounded better (in which case is now replaced by the newer model number). Those 6WM require major
babysitting to make it work correctly, if you are up
to that task, then go for it. The K series is more user
friendly soundwise - lol

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