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Focal CMS 65 or Focal solo Be
Old 21st September 2012
  #1
Lives for gear
Focal CMS 65 or Focal solo Be

I'm just recording at home mainly my own drumming and do mixes for various artists. My room's isn't great yet it's treated to an extent with plans for more treatment. Maybe in 4-5 years time I'll have my own man cave studio for mixing and recording with people I'm working with. And maybe I'll upgrade then. I've heard but also need to go in a shop and compare them side by side.

Do you think I'll be fine with the cms65 for now and wait until I get a proper place and get "better"more "pro" pricier monitors or should I just get the solo's. I just don't want to spend more money just because they're better. I have all the gear I want now except speakers and a good room. What would you guys do?
Old 21st September 2012
  #2
Gear Nut
 
Digital Black's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
There's nothing not "pro" about the CMS65's. Great monitors. Love mine.
Old 21st September 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I just got a pair of the Twins recently. For years I used mostly JBL LSR32s which are quite large.

All I can say is that I now realize that monitors (and a decent/treated room) are probably more important than most of the slutty gear we lust after. Within a few days I was doing some mixes that were light years ahead of anything I had ever done on the big JBLs, especially in terms of how they translated.

I'd go for the Solos if I was in your position. Never underestimate the importance of accurate monitors !




Quote:
Originally Posted by Sim ➑️
I'm just recording at home mainly my own drumming and do mixes for various artists. My room's isn't great yet it's treated to an extent with plans for more treatment. Maybe in 4-5 years time I'll have my own man cave studio for mixing and recording with people I'm working with. And maybe I'll upgrade then. I've heard but also need to go in a shop and compare them side by side.

Do you think I'll be fine with the cms65 for now and wait until I get a proper place and get "better"more "pro" pricier monitors or should I just get the solo's. I just don't want to spend more money just because they're better. I have all the gear I want now except speakers and a good room. What would you guys do?
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Black ➑️
There's nothing not "pro" about the CMS65's. Great monitors. Love mine.
Have you heard the solos to they are a step up from the cms65's.

I don't want to grow out of the cms65's in 5 years time when I've moved into a studio to then relise I've got to get something else. But if they are worthy then I'll get them if not I'll get the Solos.

But still leaning towards the cms65's just because of the savings.
Old 21st September 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
old ghost's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Sim,

I'll throw in my two cents, for what it's worth. I was in the market for monitors about 4 or 5 months ago. I met up with the owner of the studio I go to whom I've worked with on and off for about 5 years. This guy does amazing work and admittedly he has much more experienced ears than I do, so I asked him to come along with me to the pro audio shop and demo some monitors.

The comparison was between the neumann kh120's, the focal cms 65s and the sEelectronic munro egg 150's.

I listened blindly to many different records at matched levels, and blindly I picked the neumann's as the sound that made the most "sense" to my ears as far as how my brain heard the separation of the frequencies. This is all personal opinion, though I certainly didn't mind that considering they were the cheapest of the bunch.

In the studio he runs the Solo6BE's, which are amazing. When I asked him about the 65's, he said they sounded excellent as well and he was actually torn on whether to spend the extra money on the Solos.

He said what made his mind up was that he felt the mid-range of the 65's actually sounded a little too good, and he felt that in this all important range the Solo's would make him work a bit harder to get his mixes to sound right the first time. He noted the same opinion of the difference between the 65's and the Neumann's, and as I was already very fond of them I decided to go with them.

I couldn't be happier. What sage said about proper monitors is absolutely true. All of the sudden my mixes were just... better. And done much faster. It made me wish I had all of the time and discs I've wasted in car test after car test, always being in the dark with the KRK's I had before.

ANYWAY, the CMS line is excellent. I'm sure you'd be happy no matter what.

I was in the same boat you are, and I read something that really helped after agonizing over monitors for a couple months. A guy said "Get the best monitors you can *actually* afford without going into a bunch of debt. Learn them, enjoy them and get to mixing."

If you can afford the Solo's, get them. If you can afford the CMS range, pick those up... but I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about what you will or won't have going on in 5 years, cause that is a long time and things can change a lot in that period. No matter what, it is likely the 65's will hold their value very well and if you do need to offload them once you have more $$$ to get something better, you could do so without too much of a loss.
Old 21st September 2012
  #6
70% Coffee, 30% Beer
 
Doc Mixwell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Solo's are a step up from the 65's, in my experience. It is worth the extra dough, just as it would be worth the extra dough to step up to the Twins or SM9's, should the control room acoustics and integration call for it.

As others have mentioned, the CMS line is truly excellent for what they are. I bought a pair of CMS50's for my studio and really love them for small speakers, and find they translate excellently to the real world, and also sound inspiring to use and produce with.

Everyone gets along differently with speakers, so its best to try them out, if you can. I think the Solo's present a deeper picture, as well as go louder, throw more too. They have higher power BASH amplifiers, and with the use of the BE Beryllium Tweeter, and their "W" Cone - Glass Woven Mid Bass Driver, the difference between these speakers is certainly worthwhile, to my ear.
Old 21st September 2012
  #7
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The Solo6 really are a step up in quite a significant way, if you can go for it I would just skip the CMS65 and rock out with the Solo.

War
Old 21st September 2012
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
In this price range ... seriously ?? Neuman KH120... very very impressive amount of information for the price.... if you are focusing on MIXING ENGINEERING... IMO this is the choice.

Cms and Solo tend to make everything sound nice , instead of forcing you to work hard to get stunning mixes that translate nicely to the world.... but they are good for producers because of the smooth relaxed sound.

Go and listen for yourself, don't let you taken away by the speaker brand hype.... I fell in that trap once myself
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by alecsribet ➑️
In this price range ... seriously ?? Neuman KH120... very very impressive amount of information for the price.... if you are focusing on MIXING ENGINEERING... IMO this is the choice.

Cms and Solo tend to make everything sound nice , instead of forcing you to work hard to get stunning mixes that translate nicely to the world.... but they are good for producers because of the smooth relaxed sound.

Go and listen for yourself, don't let you taken away by the speaker brand hype.... I fell in that trap once myself
I did my "shoot-outs" didn't like the neumans they sound a bit compressed or less open. I can imagine I would get fatigued with those. I get fatigue easy so the focals are doing it for me at the mo.

Ok now I'm leaning toward solo's. I'm gonna have to go and do a side by side test next week I think. I can't get any to loan.
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691 ➑️
I was doing some mixes that were light years ahead of anything I had ever done on the big JBLs
Quote:
Originally Posted by old ghost ➑️
All of the sudden my mixes were just... better.
I should hope so I had Alesis Monitor Ones they suck really bad, so I sold them and have been using some akg k240's they suck to. Some how I managed to mix on them for a year but it's been exhausting nothing ever sounds the same on another system so you have to guess. This is gonna be a game changer for me.
Old 22nd September 2012
  #11
Lives for gear
Do you think people rave about the cms65's because there cheap a lot of people seem to have them. I wonder if it's just because of their bang for buck they get good words. Where as less people have the solo6be's so there's not so much talk about them. Sure seems that way

Swinging towards the solo's today
Old 22nd September 2012
  #12
70% Coffee, 30% Beer
 
Doc Mixwell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
you just gotta try em out, in your room to see what they offer you as an engineer
Old 22nd September 2012 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Mixwell ➑️
you just gotta try em out, in your room to see what they offer you as an engineer
Yep I don't know anywhere that will let me use them in my room. I'll find a shop that has both and listen.
Old 22nd September 2012
  #14
Lives for gear
 
old ghost's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sim ➑️
I should hope so I had Alesis Monitor Ones they suck really bad, so I sold them and have been using some akg k240's they suck to. Some how I managed to mix on them for a year but it's been exhausting nothing ever sounds the same on another system so you have to guess. This is gonna be a game changer for me.
It will be. Please let us know what you go with and how it suits you!

Sent from my GT-P3113
Old 22nd September 2012 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
SoZo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead ➑️
The Solo6 really are a step up in quite a significant way, if you can go for it I would just skip the CMS65 and rock out with the Solo.

War
This is what I did.... I LOVE my Solo's I got off Zen Pro... thanks again!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Old 23rd September 2012
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Daedalus77's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Consider what you can afford and your room (or else you won't be able to hear the differences between these choices). Try a pair buy, buy a pair, and learn them. (Extra emphasis on the last bit.) For what it's worth, I've been using a pair of Solo 6s for over four years and love them.
Old 23rd September 2012 | Show parent
  #17
D K
Lives for gear
 
D K's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by alecsribet ➑️
In this price range ... seriously ?? Neuman KH120... very very impressive amount of information for the price.... if you are focusing on MIXING ENGINEERING... IMO this is the choice.

Cms and Solo tend to make everything sound nice , instead of forcing you to work hard to get stunning mixes that translate nicely to the world.... but they are good for producers because of the smooth relaxed sound.

Go and listen for yourself, don't let you taken away by the speaker brand hype.... I fell in that trap once myself
Interesting..and another reason why with Monitors, as has been said a million times..are possibly the most personal of choices one can make regarding their rig... because in my room which while "treated" is far, far from ideal.. directly the opposite of your findings.. the Solos were significantly more detailed and unforgiving than the KH120s. I was frankly quite surprised as I thought their smaller size and adjustments would make them much better suited to a room like mine.. (of course, alot of wishful thinking that went along with that as I could have gotten them far cheaper)

Got to get em in the room... they are all great monitors and will do the job for you...now and 5 years from now
Old 23rd September 2012
  #18
Lives for gear
I'm going to pop into KMR audio at some point after work. They're just 10 mins on the bus. They have a huge selection to so maybe I'll check some other stuff out.
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