Masterpieces of world column design: studio transformer with variable number of lanes

    Sometimes they write to me in the comments that sound acoustics were supposedly made only many years ago, and now they save on everything and only stupid handicrafts remarkable for only a low production cost reach the market. In other words, the degree of greenness in the grass falls over the years. It is impossible not to note the desire of modern manufacturers to increase the manufacturability of their products, but this does not always affect the quality. Such estimates are often fueled by interested parties, for example, shops of vintage electronics and collectors who trade in such equipment.

    One of the products of the French company Focal directly demonstrates that the world column construction has more gunpowder in the old pot box and berries where it is known. This is one of the most interesting, in my opinion, studio monitors created in the last 10 years - the Focal Trio6 Be. I can not say that I have special feelings for the manufacturer of these monitors. My skepticism about Focal is mainly caused by astronomical pricing for everything that is produced by these French. However, in this case we are talking about a situation where the device is definitely worth its money. It is hard for me to imagine a more original serial solution for such a conservative product. Under the cut more about the unique (without exaggeration), the brainchild of French engineers.

    Concept and design

    According to my not comprehensive information, the Focal Trio6 Be is the world's first active studio monitor with the ability to change modes of operation and installation options. The creation of this acoustics was not a pure experiment, the market demanded a cross between Twin6 Be and SM9, as well as classic dual-band near-field monitors. Thus, in the design tried to realize the advantages of both one and the other.

    The implementation of this task looked complicated from the point of view of architecture speakers and electroacoustics. The experience of creating Trio6 Be showed that there is nothing impossible. The speaker is built as a three-lane monitor, where each of the speakers is located in a separate camera. LF and MF sections are equipped with 8 and 5 inch speakers, respectively, each of them has its own bass reflex port.

    In addition, for each speaker system has its own amplifier. When using the Focus mode switching function (first used with SM9 monitors), only the midrange speaker and tweeter are used. In this case, the AU begins to work with the limitation of the frequency range in the range from 90 Hz to 20 kHz, which allows you to simulate the capabilities of speakers with limited playback capabilities.

    In the AU there are two options for placement, vertical and horizontal. The transformation function is carried out using a circular movable front panel (rotates in 90 ° steps), on which the MF and HF sections are located.

    On the one hand, this is done to simplify the placement of acoustics in studios, which are often located in fairly cramped rooms and simply filled with the mass of equipment. On the other hand, horizontal or vertical placement can be features to which the engineer has become accustomed.

    Key decisions

    There are several important design and technological solutions that allow us to call this acoustics a masterpiece. In the first place - it is amplifiers. Class G amplifiers (Class AB with several sets of power rails) and Class AB amplifier for a tweeter are used for the MF and LF sections. Such an approach made it possible to combine minimal distortion and a relatively high efficiency, which is practically not inferior to the D-class.

    The use of a beryllium one-inch high-frequency transducer with a concave diffuser ensures high fidelity and high dispersion. The upper limit of the frequency range goes far beyond the borders of the audible spectrum and is 40 kHz. This feature is not useless, as it allows to improve the transition characteristics in the audible range.

    Another feature is the placement of the phase-inverter ports on the front panel, which allows you to conveniently place the speakers close to the wall. This in turn saves free space, sometimes so necessary in the studio.

    To minimize the distortions and reduce to zero the probability of the appearance of parasitic resonances, composite woofers and midrange speakers were created specifically for this acoustics.

    It is possible to quickly integrate speakers in a minimally acoustically prepared room using the built-in three-band equalizer.

    Fast switching between modes is possible using a special pedal, which by the way, is not included in the package.


    In short, the characteristics of the model are redundant for the vast majority of studios, especially if we talk about power and sound pressure. It should be borne in mind that the Focal Trio6 Be is the rare case when universality does not spoil, but makes it a masterpiece.
    • frequency range in 3-band mode: 35 Hz - 40 kHz (± 3 dB);
    • frequency range in 2-band mode: 90 Hz - 20 kHz (± 3 dB);
    • non-linear distortion factor not specified by the manufacturer;
    • maximum sound pressure level in 3-band mode: 115 dB;
    • maximum sound pressure level in 2-way mode: 105 dB;
    • XLR input sensitivity: +4 dBu or -10 dBV (switchable);
    • total output power: 450 W (LF - 200 W, MF - 150 W, HF - 100 W);
    • dimensions: 520 × 278 × 360 mm;
    • monitor weight: 20 kg.
    Particularly noteworthy are the frequency response graphics in each of the modes of operation;


    way mode; two-way mode; focus

    Little about subjective impressions

    Due to the fact that the manufacturer does not give data about distortions, a subjective test acquires a special meaning. In order to satisfy the strict criteria of some of my readers, I used the subjective test to play a CD-recording of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Requiem in D minor K.626 (edited by Mondera) reconstruction Moscow State. classical chapel conducted by E. Almazov, recorded in the Polotsk Sofia Cathedral, 1995.

    It should be noted that the phonogram is very complex and its realistic reproduction requires excellent dynamic characteristics and low distortion. The recording contains parts of female chorus treble and unique natural reverberation, which made it possible to determine that intermodulation and harmonic distortions are almost imperceptible to the ear, at least to my ears. In general, the work, despite the peculiarities of the recording, sounded very realistic. KIZ was located extremely precisely in three and in two-way modes, despite the abundance of instruments and voices in the mix.

    The illusion of wide space was revealed to the extent that it was incorporated in the recording, the stereo (scene) was voluminous, deep and realistic. Despite the rather large declared unevenness of the frequency response, the sound was subjectively very smooth, accurate and neutral, without coloration and frequency accents.


    If I had the choice of which monitor for the studio to recognize as the best for the last decade, I would prefer Focal Trio6 Be. As usual, the cost of the device became a fly in the ointment. A pair of such monitors cost an average of $ 5,500 to $ 6,500. Not every studio is ready to go for such expenses. Perhaps for this reason, the acoustics did not receive mass recognition.

    We sell speakers , in our assortment there are studio monitors created by Focal and other manufacturers.

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