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Focal Alpha 65 distortion
Old 17th November 2014
  #1
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camarao's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Focal Alpha 65 distortion

Hi

I love my new Focal Alpha 65 bought a month ago from Thomann.
I was very disappointed to find that they seem to distort with certain mid frequencies. I've tried the headphones and there is no distortion so the problem is with the monitors.
I'm not listening loud. The strange thing is that when I move around my (untreated) room, some times the distortion goes away. This is very strange.
It seems the distortion comes from the woofer and is a bit louder on one of them but present in both.
What's going on?
Can someone you help me?
Thank you!
Old 18th November 2014
  #2
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camarao's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by camarao ➑️
Hi

I love my new Focal Alpha 65 bought a month ago from Thomann.
I was very disappointed to find that they seem to distort with certain mid frequencies. I've tried the headphones and there is no distortion so the problem is with the monitors.
I'm not listening loud. The strange thing is that when I move around my (untreated) room, some times the distortion goes away. This is very strange.
It seems the distortion comes from the woofer and is a bit louder on one of them but present in both.
What's going on?
Can someone you help me?
Thank you!
Is it possible that there is some resonance with my room?
What kind of test should I do?
Old 18th November 2014
  #3
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🎧 15 years
Have you tried moving the speakers?
Old 18th November 2014 | Show parent
  #4
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camarao's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by explorer ➑️
Have you tried moving the speakers?
I'll try that...
Old 19th November 2014
  #5
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🎧 15 years
If the sound changes depending on your position in the room then it probably is the acoustics. You should think about getting some acoustic treatment. You can DIY it quite cheaply or get some from a place like GIK acoustics. One of the best improvements I've ever made to my studio.
Old 19th November 2014
  #6
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jimmydeluxe's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
maybe the speakers are revealing something that is sweetened/hidden by the headphones? what headphones are you using?

if you hear the same thing a/bing with commercial cd audio then it makes sense that there is a flaw or the speakers aren't meant for that volume level (or something with the room). if it's only your mixes the speakers are doing their job
Old 19th November 2014 | Show parent
  #7
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camarao's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmydeluxe ➑️
maybe the speakers are revealing something that is sweetened/hidden by the headphones? what headphones are you using?

if you hear the same thing a/bing with commercial cd audio then it makes sense that there is a flaw or the speakers aren't meant for that volume level (or something with the room). if it's only your mixes the speakers are doing their job
i'm using sennheiser hd265.
i'm just doing a chord with some mid frequencies sines waves...
When I put my hear 2cm from the speakers, I can't hear the distortion.
Is it the room? Are the speakers so great that they can reveal a flaw with my 01V mixer outputs?
Old 19th November 2014
  #8
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MixingWizard's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Not exactly "pro" advice, but here's what I'd do: first try getting a bit of rockwool (or a pillow or something), use one speaker and move the rockwool around at the reflection points. You're probably better off moving the actual speaker but I realise that can be a pain in the backside :D

It could also be a problem with the 01V, if you have a dedicated headphone amp (or even an old hi-fi amp with a headphone output) try using the same output you've been using for the speakers into the headphone amp.

Also make sure you haven't got any processing on the outputs! (graphic etc) Everyone does it at some point :p
Old 20th November 2014
  #9
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🎧 5 years
I'd be interested in the outcome of this. I'm after some new monitors and the Alpha 65s are on my list.
Old 20th November 2014 | Show parent
  #10
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camarao's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollieneedham ➑️
I'd be interested in the outcome of this. I'm after some new monitors and the Alpha 65s are on my list.
The Alpha 65s are great, very good, in fact. Maybe this is only resonance from my (very, very) untreated room.
When I'm 2cm distance from them I canΒ΄t hear the distortion coming from them, so it's very likely to be some material doing the resonance. And it's with a very, very specific chord with (kind of) sine waves. 99% there is no distortion.

I think I will forget this little distortion and treat my room properly.
Old 20th November 2014
  #11
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🎧 5 years
That's good to know - thanks.
Old 21st November 2014 | Show parent
  #12
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MixingWizard's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by camarao ➑️
The Alpha 65s are great, very good, in fact. Maybe this is only resonance from my (very, very) untreated room.
When I'm 2cm distance from them I canΒ΄t hear the distortion coming from them, so it's very likely to be some material doing the resonance. And it's with a very, very specific chord with (kind of) sine waves. 99% there is no distortion.

I think I will forget this little distortion and treat my room properly.
It's not just a rattle somewhere is it?
Old 21st November 2014 | Show parent
  #13
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camarao's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MixingWizard ➑️
It's not just a rattle somewhere is it?
The truth is I'm note sure.
I didn't had the time to check it neither the knowledge...
Do you have any advice?

When I try a single sine wave oscillator sweeping thru all frequencies, I don't detect any distortion.
Only with some specific chords.
Old 22nd November 2014 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MixingWizard ➑️
It's not just a rattle somewhere is it?
Actually, that's what I would have suspected, too. I bought a pair of 65s in the summer and have been very happy with them. No problems here. Hope you get yours sorted out soon!
Old 22nd November 2014 | Show parent
  #15
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MixingWizard's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by camarao ➑️
The truth is I'm note sure.
I didn't had the time to check it neither the knowledge...
Do you have any advice?

When I try a single sine wave oscillator sweeping thru all frequencies, I don't detect any distortion.
Only with some specific chords.
I meant a rattle in the room - blast some music (or leave your chord playing) and hunt around the room for rattling objects!

Although, if it's not doing it with a sine sweep, it might be worth trying another softsynth - the simpler the better. Synth1 maybe? (it's free) Some synths have analogue modelling which could include some harmonic distortion.

I can understand that you're worried about your speakers being defective, but if you cant work it out I wouldn't worry - sound reproduction is such a strange science - for some reason my main monitors don't do anything at 300hz - I get literally no sound with a 300Hz sine wave, and a normal level at 299/301!
Old 24th November 2014 | Show parent
  #16
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camarao's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MixingWizard ➑️
I meant a rattle in the room - blast some music (or leave your chord playing) and hunt around the room for rattling objects!

Although, if it's not doing it with a sine sweep, it might be worth trying another softsynth - the simpler the better. Synth1 maybe? (it's free) Some synths have analogue modelling which could include some harmonic distortion.

I can understand that you're worried about your speakers being defective, but if you cant work it out I wouldn't worry - sound reproduction is such a strange science - for some reason my main monitors don't do anything at 300hz - I get literally no sound with a 300Hz sine wave, and a normal level at 299/301!
Moved them around and i'm still listening to that distortion.
it's very strange because it definitely comes from the monitors. when I'm 20 cm from them I can listen and it seems it's from the woofer. when I'm 2cm I canΒ΄t listen! it's more prominent with one of them, but it happens with both monitors.
it happens when I play a dissonant chord like c4 plus d5.
made it with pure sine waves and then when eq ed to cut the 500mhz frequencies the distortion disappeared!

Are they distorting in those frequencies?

Focal customer service didn't answer until now...
It's kind of disappointing...
Old 3rd December 2014
  #17
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camarao's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
regarding my initial post and this thread:

no distortion at all!

it was just my untreated room and a special chord made with pure sine waves that caused the illusion of distortion.
don't worry. they're excellent. buy them!
Old 3rd December 2014 | Show parent
  #18
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camarao's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by camarao ➑️
regarding my initial post and this thread:

no distortion at all!

it was just my untreated room and a special chord made with pure sine waves that caused the illusion of distortion.
don't worry. they're excellent. buy them!
regarding the Focal support:
they did contacted me one week ago and they were excellent providing me all kinds of tests. they even offered to pick up my Focal's and examine them careffully at no costs (including the shipping cost!).
The surpassed all my expectations, so Focal support is great too!
Old 3rd December 2014
  #19
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🎧 5 years
I bought them, really pleased with them! Glad you got your issue sorted.
Old 3rd December 2014
  #20
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
x
Old 3rd December 2014 | Show parent
  #21
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camarao's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by EatSleepRave ➑️
I looking for 6-7 inch studio monitors i think about yamaha hs7 or focal alpha 65 what you think guys?
stay focused on your goals!...
Old 3rd December 2014
  #22
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
x
Old 4th December 2014 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by camarao ➑️
regarding my initial post and this thread:

no distortion at all!

it was just my untreated room and a special chord made with pure sine waves that caused the illusion of distortion.
don't worry. they're excellent. buy them!
Glad you got it sorted out. Happy listening!
Old 5th December 2014 | Show parent
  #24
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haysonics's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MixingWizard ➑️
... for some reason my main monitors don't do anything at 300hz - I get literally no sound with a 300Hz sine wave, and a normal level at 299/301!
300Hz may be the crossover frequency between low and mid on your monitors if they have 2 woofers. Does each speaker have 2 woofers + 1 tweeter ?
Old 5th December 2014 | Show parent
  #25
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MixingWizard's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by haysonics ➑️
300Hz may be the crossover frequency between low and mid on your monitors if they have 2 woofers. Does each speaker have 2 woofers + 1 tweeter ?
They have 4 drivers in each monitor and it's nowhere near any if the crossover points - very weird!
Old 6th January 2015 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by camarao ➑️
regarding the Focal support:
they did contacted me one week ago and they were excellent providing me all kinds of tests. they even offered to pick up my Focal's and examine them careffully at no costs (including the shipping cost!).
The surpassed all my expectations, so Focal support is great too!
Would you use them for mastering ?
Old 7th January 2015 | Show parent
  #27
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camarao's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ampar ➑️
Would you use them for mastering ?
never tried. maybe...
Old 18th May 2015
  #28
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roughgear's Avatar
Hi, I just got my Focal Alpha 65 and I experience distortion when listening to classical or piano music. For sure it's not my room.
I was listening to rock music on them and it sounded great (distorted guitars, etc..), but now that I have them at home I hear distortion coming from both speakers especially when playing piano. My Neumann 120 and my Audio Technica don't distort with the same source. (Logic - RME UFX - XLR Out +4 into Focal at 0db)
Anyone who has them could you please check on your system listening to some HQ piano music? For me it's very audible... Maybe it's just my two speakers - but two at once broken? Would highly appreciate some comments. Thanks!
Old 18th May 2015 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by roughgear ➑️
Hi, I just got my Focal Alpha 65 and I experience distortion when listening to classical or piano music. For sure it's not my room.
I was listening to rock music on them and it sounded great (distorted guitars, etc..), but now that I have them at home I hear distortion coming from both speakers especially when playing piano. My Neumann 120 and my Audio Technica don't distort with the same source. (Logic - RME UFX - XLR Out +4 into Focal at 0db)
Anyone who has them could you please check on your system listening to some HQ piano music? For me it's very audible... Maybe it's just my two speakers - but two at once broken? Would highly appreciate some comments. Thanks!
Do they distort all the time, or just certain notes/chords?

I've noticed my right monitor 'distorts' on certain piano and guitar chords. Turns out it's the port section at the bottom rattling slightly. Try pushing the plastic port section up/sidewards/down whilst the distortion is happening and see if that is the issue.

Mine happens so rarely that I've done nothing about it.
Old 18th May 2015
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
roughgear's Avatar
They do distort on some notes - especially when two notes are played together (it happens quite often with first and third note for example...)
As it happens with every piano tune (also coming from different pianos / recordings) I can't really work with them at the moment... Thanks for the tip with moving the plastic - I'll give it a try when I'm back and report...
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