Versatility And Functionality
Shape 50 is the versatile monitoring loudspeaker par excellence. This monitor can be used from 30″ away (80cm), and it has very extended low end frequency response (50Hz) considering its compact design. Thanks to this design and to the numerous settings, this monitor is ideal for rooms measuring less than 130ft2 (12m2).
The three monitors are all made in France and integrate five innovations to maximize acoustic transparency. Designed to meet the needs of nearfield monitoring, Shape monitors combine an ingenuous design and numerous settings optimized for the acoustics of small listening rooms.
These innovations provide remarkable acoustic transparency. These new work tools distinguish themselves through the wide and extremely precise stereo image. The bass register is articulated and controlled. The lower mid-range and mid-range benefit from extreme neutrality, and without any masking effects, making equalisation of these essential registers much easier. Finally, the new tweeter is what’s at the source of the very high definition. It efficiently reveals any hissing, and it’s also very precise in the very high end.
Flax Sandwich Cone
Made in France but affordable, Flax cones are oriented towards acoustic performance, high-tech and give an original design to the brand’s speaker drivers!
After more than five years of research and development, engineers at Focal reveal in 2013 a new cone made of high-quality flax fibers. F cone are characterised by their natural sound, with low coloration, their richness of reproduction in the midrange register and their tighter bass.
The Unique Qualities Of Flax
F cones are made of high-quality flax fibers core enclosed by two thin layers of glass fiber. They satisfy the key criteria of a high performance diaphragm : high internal damping, high velocity of sound and high flexural rigidity.
All these criteria cannot be met by a mono-material cone. Sandwich technology greatly influences the neutrality of the sound produced by the cone, something, which has always been Focal’s hallmark. The expertise gained from the sandwich technology of the Utopia and K2 Power ranges enabled Focal to develop a revolutionary flax-fiber cone conciliating the 3 criteria.
Flax is twice as light as fiberglass, because the fiber is hollow. It also has very low elasticity which makes it ideal to increase the flexural rigidity of a sandwich structure. Moreover, it can be obtained in non-woven bundles of considerable diameter and it can therefore produce the thickness required for a sandwich.
Composite materials have properties suitable for applications where both rigidity and low mass are required. However, their disadvantage is that they lack damping, which leads to very poor control of vibrations. Recent developments in this field combining composites and natural fibers have brought unexpected opportunities. Flax fiber has an excellent internal damping of the same order of magnitude
as the glass or Kevlar fibers or aluminum.
Nic - Neutral Inductance
The precision and detail of audio reproduction depend on the stability of the magnetic field.
Stabilizing The Magnetic Field
After having pushed back the limits in electromagnetic technology, our teams discovered the fact that beyond the magnetic field intensity and its homogeneity within the gap, there was a dynamic aspect we had no control over.
The magnetic field is not stable because it is modulated by three factors:
Consequently, the voice coil, and all the moving part including the cone, is in the magnetic field which becomes too variable, and this leads to loss of precision.
Neutral Inductance Circuit Technology
After three years of research and the development of simulation software which makes it possible to visualise these complex interactions, Focal engineers created an incredibly stable magnetic circuit for the Sopra line..
The solution, NIC technology, lies in a Faraday ring whose dimensions, materials and positioning were optimised to make the magnetic field no longer affected by the position of the voice coil, by the amperage or the frequency of the current passing through it.
Tmd - tuned mass damper
The obsession with the midrange
The midrange register is no doubt the most complicated to control in a sound system. On one hand, there must be a smooth transition with the bass. On the other hand, it must be tuned to the tweeter in terms of dispersion and acceleration. This determines the homogeneity of the timbre and spatialisation.
For the past 20 years, we have been working on mastering the "break up" (the frequency at which the cone becomes deformed, leading to distortion) of our 3rd generation "W" cones and on drastically reducing the resonance of the tweeter with the IAL 2. Today, thanks to the power of finite element analysis, our teams have developed simulation software to visualise the dynamic behavior of the suspension which connects the cone to the basket, thus revealing the performance issues requiring attention.
Tuned Mass Damper
Following the discovering of these issues, we had to conceive the equipment to solve them. The solutions already known for increasing the damping properties of the suspension all result in an increase of the mass which consequently alters definition. The answer came from a technology used in earthquake-resistant skyscrapers and which is also used for the suspension on racing cars! This technology is called a "Tuned Mass Damper": an additional mass oscillate in opposition to the resonance frequency to control it.
Applied to the speaker driver, the solution consists of simply two tubular rings on the suspension whose dimensions and position have been judiciously determined. They form our Tuned Mass Damper (TMD) and they stabilise the dynamic behaviour of the surround according to resonance, thus avoiding deformation of the cone without afflicting the dynamics. This innovation is patented.