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Focal Trio11 Be

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Mike Verta, Sep 19, 2020.

  1. Back in the day, I noticed that some great engineers could do fantastic mixes on Yamaha NS-10's, while others couldn't mix on them for shit. Every human being's perception of sound is unique, and ultimately what we're searching for is speakers which compliment how we hear. However quantitatively or objectively good a speaker might be, that alone doesn't guarantee great mixes. It's amazing how many parallels there are for this in other aspects of production, as well.

    On a trusted recommendation I just picked up a pair of the Focal Trio11 Be's having never heard them, and found myself excited about a tech purchase for the first time in a VERY long time. Whatever they are, my brain loves them; I immediately heard new things in mixes I know intimately, including my own; the accuracy in spatial imaging was so precise I felt like I could reach out and touch the source. I'm not going to fill this up with superlatives, but my one-word review would be: YES.

    There are price-tiers for gear, which we sort of assume equals quality, such that more expensive is better. And yeah, that's often true. $9k for a pair of Trio11 Be speakers means they're probably for pros or really-into-it hobbyists, but nowhere near the high-end for monitors, which can be north of $30k. I've heard lots of those types of monitors and they've been great, but "3x-6x the price" great...? I mean....

    Anyway, add my voice to chorus of voices that love these things.
  2. Glad you got some monitors that you really like Mike! What do you attribute the better sound to? The 3-way design, or just larger better, higher-quality everything? I've always wondered how important the 3-way design is as my current 2-ways sound quite good to me (custom Sony proto-types).

    I recall once you said you monitor on B&Ws but maybe you meant in the studio? Do the Focals give you the same satisfaction as the B&Ws? I wonder how the Focal Trio11 Be's sound compared to comparably priced alternatives such as the Neumann 420 ($9800) or the ATC SCM25? Did you get a chance to compare these with any other similar speakers?

    For those of us that live far away from VintageKing and other such stores that stock these pricey items, its very hard to know which are right without being able to compare. I've had my eye on the lower-priced Neumann 310s with a sub though they might be too small for my studio (26 x 17 x 9 ft). Speakers are so difficult to choose.
  3. Some nice stuff there, Mike. They look gorgeous I have to say.

  4. I have, and do monitor on a lot of things... Shawn Murphy turned me on to B&W 800's, which are insanely great, at $30k/pair. But oddly enough, my best personal mixes were on nothing more than JBL LSR32's with White EQ's, in the room built for my facility by Studio 440. So you just never know. I was putting together a second rig for my home in Florida, and bought these having never heard or demo'd them. They are definitely near/mid monitors - you've GOT to be in the sweet spot, and then the focus is just crazy. The low/sub frequencies are super tight and accurate, but again, you gotta be in the right place. I haven't heard the Neumann 420s or ATC, but personally, I've learned one thing about myself in 30 years of monitoring: I don't grow to "like" speakers. I get used to them in different ways, but it's basically pass/fail. I've never had monitors I loved and then grew to mistrust. When I first broke out my Adam A7X's I knew instantly they were my last set. I learned to get by on them; never grew to like them. Would I like other speakers better? I mean... I don't know, maybe? I would love to just have a set of BW 800's around, but I just can't justify it. Then again, mixing isn't my bread and butter. What I do know is that from decibel 1 my brain instantly clicked with these, and they'll be with me a long time. Incidentally, the first track through them was Gabriel's "Growing Up," which is a great, great mix. I'm looking forward to their post-break-in period. They're running hours and hours a day now on just every kind of material. Incidentally, they're louder than you can stand.

  5. I really hope the second song you tested was from Knife Party. ;) ;):D

  6. +1 to the chorus of voices. I went for the trio 6be and its easily the most important and useful piece of gear I've ever purchased. The frequency separation and high end clarity without being harsh is really something you don't realize is lacking till you try a speaker like this. They've made mixing fun again and much less fatiguing. I can trust my decisions much more and therefor if I spend all night working on a cue, coming back at it in the morning doesn't make me go WTF, this isn't what I remember! Take a listen to some of your cues through them if you get a chance. I heard a ton of shit that I didnt even realize was wrong on my Adams & Genelecs, and it made me immediately buy Focals.
  7. Do you think its the Focal brand that makes the difference you hear or the 3-way design?
  8. Any 3 way speaker will help out your mid / low range clarity coming from 2 way. But Focals have this really awesome proprietary tweeter design using beryllium and a different shape. That tweeter design creates a bigger sweet spot and substantially more top end clarity. Sounds really pleasant and revealing as well. Unlike my old Adams which had a bright harshness that made it very hard to mix reverb and strings on.
  9. Personally, I don't use monitors. Last week I bought a pair of Focal Clear headphones and Arches DAC.

    So far big thumbs up from me.

    I think what I realize is it's not so much a big "wow" in an instant, but how it performs over long durations.
    I feel like my listening stamina is improved by these things. It's such a joy to listen thru that hour 3 or 4 feels like hour 1.
    Alexander Schiborr likes this.

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