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Focal Shape 50 vs. Neumann KH 120
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques  
Author Focal Shape 50 vs. Neumann KH 120
sellanraa
I've sort of narrowed it down to these two. Both will be a major upgrade, but curious if anyone cares to share their take.

I'm in a small carpeted room (150ish sq. ft.) and the monitors will be around a foot off the wall.

Anyone care to offer their take?

Thanks!
C
dubonaire
I haven't heard these Focals but the low end looks quite close on both. The Focal specs go a little bit lower (50Hz v 52Hz) and quite a bit higher (35kHz v 21kHz) because of the tweeter they use. SPL is close. Sometimes speaker specs can be dubious, I know the KH speaker specs are truthful. Personally, I've found other Focal tweeters tiring except at very low volume. I don't find the KH120 tiring at all. The Focals use a much smaller rated amp on the tweeter perhaps due to the tweeter material. Both speakers are designed so they can work ok close to a back wall. I don't know how the passive radiators would work if they are close to a side wall. Both have ability to tune the frequency response but take slightly different approaches.

I'm a very happy KH120 owner.
sellanraa
Thanks for the info dubonaire. smile

Out of curiosity, and because it helps me gauge suggestions since things are so dependent on room and material: What kind of room are you using the KS120s in and what kind of music are you usually working on (presumably electronic, but care to be more specific)?

I've noticed on other posts you're a firm supporter. They look great and love the compact nature, just really hoping to get the most clear and low bass which isn't probably productive in such a small room. For that reason, I really like that the Focals have a bit more tweekability in the back.

C
dubonaire
sellanraa wrote:
Thanks for the info dubonaire. smile

Out of curiosity, and because it helps me gauge suggestions since things are so dependent on room and material: What kind of room are you using the KS120s in and what kind of music are you usually working on (presumably electronic, but care to be more specific)?

I've noticed on other posts you're a firm supporter. They look great and love the compact nature, just really hoping to get the most clear and low bass which isn't probably productive in such a small room. For that reason, I really like that the Focals have a bit more tweekability in the back.

C


Well first let me say that I'm not a speaker reviewer so there may well be other speakers out there I would like better that I haven't heard. Nor am I some kind of expert. I can't say whether or not I would prefer these Focals. I just think if you want a small speaker you can't go wrong with the KH120s. They are also built like a tank.

My room is about 17sqm. It's not small. I have my speakers about 30cm from the rear wall and my listening distance is 1m.

As for clear and low bass, that's kind of the holy grail. Neither of these speakers go very low without sharp drop off in sound level. For low volume drop at very low frequencies you need to push more air or use long transmission lines and there is really no way around it. But low frequencies in small rooms are very difficult to get right due to comb filtering. You generally don't need to go as low as you think when producing. These speakers compensate for the small woofers by front firing ports in the case of the KH120 and passive radiators in the case of the Focals. The side firing passive radiators mean you can put the Focals closer to the back wall. Front firing ports also enable placement closer to the rear wall but can cause audible chuffing, but the KH120s overload before you can ear any chuffing, at least to my ears. (They have overload indicators which are very useful. I set my speaker volume and master channel so that the speakers overload just below 0db on the master fader on my mixer and DAW master channel.)

I make electronic music with and without kick drums and bass synth.

Once you get used to them, your ears adjust for the bass drop off. I always try the tunes on my big hifi system which is in a different room and goes down to 20Hz. I don't hear a lot of difference in bass frequencies, it's more of a volume thing.

Ideally if you can listen to them both you should do that.
sellanraa
Cool, thanks for the response. I definitely understand that this is all subjective and even 'professional reviews' don't ultimately mean any more than another review, that's why I was curious for more context, which you provided.

So, thank you. I wonder if anyone else will chime in. I hope not everyone is buying so many modules that they ignore listening environments and monitors smile
dubonaire
sellanraa wrote:
Cool, thanks for the response. I definitely understand that this is all subjective and even 'professional reviews' don't ultimately mean any more than another review, that's why I was curious for more context, which you provided.

So, thank you. I wonder if anyone else will chime in. I hope not everyone is buying so many modules that they ignore listening environments and monitors smile


You're welcome. I'm not the only one this forum that freaks out at the people who post pictures of $20k+ of modular going into low quality speakers set up in awkward positions.
sellanraa
Ha, I'm definitely not freaking out, just being silly and poking a bit of fun. I've been without proper monitors for a few years trying to get finances vaguely stabilized for a house purchase, but I feel like the time has come to finally return to the land of more solid speakers smile
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