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Focal CMS 65 - unbelievable speakers
Old 29th July 2009
  #1
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Jantex's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Focal CMS 65 - unbelievable speakers

Here's the story. 3 days ago I borrowed Focal CMS 65 that I heard in a friend's shop and really really liked them. Took them home, pluged them in, turned them on, put desktop 150 Hz notch to -2 and without getting to know them with the reference material, started mixing a song for comercial.

I have to tell you I am amazed. It turned out much better than on K&H's O300, CMS's gave me more information I needed but were equaly pleasent to listen to. Today I made my third mix with them (7 to go) and all three of them translated perfectly without a single correction needed. I am still shocked. Decided to keep them and for the first time I feel confident with these speakers. They share some softhess with the O300's, but on the other hand they are little brighter and more punchy and more mid forward. They share a little bit of honkyness with NS10's combined with the nature of O300s. Although they have less low end extension (O300s enter into the sub region also) I can hear the kicks, bass guitar and snares much easier with them and also instruments seperation and imaging are very comparable. They more easily tell me when the guitars are too edgy. They are little more colored than O300's and jazz and classical records doesn't sound as authentic with them as with O300s. But on the other hand they make me make better decisions and are more mercyless with the rock and hip hop music. Alot of records sound like shit through them, but really good records shine with them. Today I had them side by side with Focal 6Be and I liked CMS 65 more. I don't claim they are better, but I like their presentation more. So if you are on a monitor quest, definately give em a try. For me and my place they obviously are THE monitors. I definitely haven't come accross anything that would come close to their performance in their price range and much above. FOR ME they are what I've been looking for.

Amen.
Old 29th July 2009
  #2
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Doc Mixwell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jantex ➑️
Here's the story. 3 days ago I borrowed Focal CMS 65 that I heard in a friend's shop and really really liked them. Took them home, pluged them in, turned them on, put desktop 150 Hz notch to -2 and without getting to know them with the reference material, started mixing a song for comercial.

I have to tell you I am amazed. It turned out much better than on K&H's O300, CMS's gave me more information I needed but were equaly pleasent to listen to. Today I made my third mix with them (7 to go) and all three of them translated perfectly without a single correction needed. I am still shocked. Decided to keep them and for the first time I feel confident with these speakers. They share some softhess with the O300's, but on the other hand they are little brighter and more punchy and more mid forward. They share a little bit of honkyness with NS10's combined with the nature of O300s. Although they have less low end extension (O300s enter into the sub region also) I can hear the kicks, bass guitar and snares much easier with them and also instruments seperation and imaging are very comparable. They more easily tell me when the guitars are too edgy. They are little more colored than O300's and jazz and classical records doesn't sound as authentic with them as with O300s. But on the other hand they make me make better decisions and are more mercyless with the rock and hip hop music. Alot of records sound like shit through them, but really good records shine with them. Today I had them side by side with Focal 6Be and I liked CMS 65 more. I don't claim they are better, but I like their presentation more. So if you are on a monitor quest, definately give em a try. For me and my place they obviously are THE monitors. I definitely haven't come accross anything that would come close to their performance in their price range and much above. FOR ME they are what I've been looking for.

Amen.
Congrats on the Upgrade! The CMS 65's are awesome!!!
Old 8th August 2009
  #3
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
What is the size of room you have them in?

I'm looking for new speakers to my relative small room, 12' x 11' x 8.5' and this pair caught my eye ..just wondering if it would be an overkill.

Glad you like those.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jantex ➑️
Here's the story. 3 days ago I borrowed Focal CMS 65 that I heard in a friend's shop and really really liked them. Took them home, pluged them in, turned them on, put desktop 150 Hz notch to -2 and without getting to know them with the reference material, started mixing a song for comercial.

I have to tell you I am amazed. It turned out much better than on K&H's O300, CMS's gave me more information I needed but were equaly pleasent to listen to. Today I made my third mix with them (7 to go) and all three of them translated perfectly without a single correction needed. I am still shocked. Decided to keep them and for the first time I feel confident with these speakers. They share some softhess with the O300's, but on the other hand they are little brighter and more punchy and more mid forward. They share a little bit of honkyness with NS10's combined with the nature of O300s. Although they have less low end extension (O300s enter into the sub region also) I can hear the kicks, bass guitar and snares much easier with them and also instruments seperation and imaging are very comparable. They more easily tell me when the guitars are too edgy. They are little more colored than O300's and jazz and classical records doesn't sound as authentic with them as with O300s. But on the other hand they make me make better decisions and are more mercyless with the rock and hip hop music. Alot of records sound like shit through them, but really good records shine with them. Today I had them side by side with Focal 6Be and I liked CMS 65 more. I don't claim they are better, but I like their presentation more. So if you are on a monitor quest, definately give em a try. For me and my place they obviously are THE monitors. I definitely haven't come accross anything that would come close to their performance in their price range and much above. FOR ME they are what I've been looking for.

Amen.
Old 8th August 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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Jantex's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hi, my room is 4m x 6m
Old 12th August 2009 | Show parent
  #5
666
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666's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I bought some CMS 65s a few months ago after A/Bing them against Adam A7s, Genelecs, Dynaudios and a few others.

Got them home, and loved them straight away, now i'm working on a record for a band with them and I don't know how I lived without them for so long. Granted, they're my first ever 'real' monitors, but that's just because I wanted to wait for the right ones.

They present everything I need to hear, whilst being nice to listen to, which the Adams didn't do for me. A7s seemed kind of fatiguing to me.

Anyway, glad to hear someone else as stoked on them as me. Also, their build quality is astounding, solid as a rock.

Does anyone run them on their side? I have to as my XLR input plug is too long, but they just sounded better for me running them like that.
Old 12th August 2009
  #6
666
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666's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jantex ➑️
HAlot of records sound like shit through them, but really good records shine with them.
Yeah, and they show a shit mp3 how shit it really is, that's for sure!
Old 1st September 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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1 Review written
🎧 15 years
+1 to Jantax. I think the word is spreading and Focals are the new Adams.

I went with the CM50s because they have the family sound as the 65s , it's just smaller. Not as satisfying, I guess, but these are monitors after all, not speakers. I think they're a better choice for smaller rooms with some, but less than ideal bass treatment.

Anyway, the focals beat the Adam A7s IMO (their main competition at this price, again IMO). Of course the highs and mids were more present (fatiguing?) and though I bought that, the lows were too unfocused and unworkable. Guys apparently run them with a sub, making treatment necessary. Subs generally make matters complicated.
Old 26th September 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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Speeddemon's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaolin ➑️
+1 to Jantax. I think the word is spreading and Focals are the new Adams.

I went with the CM50s because they have the family sound as the 65s , it's just smaller. Not as satisfying, I guess, but these are monitors after all, not speakers. I think they're a better choice for smaller rooms with some, but less than ideal bass treatment.

Anyway, the focals beat the Adam A7s IMO (their main competition at this price, again IMO). Of course the highs and mids were more present (fatiguing?) and though I bought that, the lows were too unfocused and unworkable. Guys apparently run them with a sub, making treatment necessary. Subs generally make matters complicated.
You mean the ADAM A7's had the more present highs and mids, and the unfocused low-end?
Compared to the CMS50's or CMS65's?

Im contemplating getting a pair of A7's (heard them a few times, liked them) maybe with a Sub 8 to go with it. Or for the same price (A7's+Sub 8) get the Focal CMS65's... NEver heard them yet, only read great things about them...
Old 27th September 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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clivek's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
These are so goooood !!

Lately, i've had a number of clients who didn't want any revisions to there mixes !!

Have to admit, did treat my rooms acoustics at the same time when getting my cms65!!!!!!!!!

Still these are great monitors !!
Old 28th September 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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Speeddemon's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'm REAAAAAALLY close to buy the CMS65's or the ADAM A7's.

Any more comments from those who have used/tested both?
I know there's a price difference, but it would be my first set of serious monitors. Also, my room is still untreated (aside from carpet and some foam here and there on the side-walls and behind my current speakers (old hifi B&W Vision speakers). Will the CMS65's low-end be overkill in a 12' (4m) x 14' (4,5m) room (attic, so 2 walls are / \ )?
Old 28th September 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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Jantex's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
It definitely won't be overkill if your room is properly treated. IMHO there is no contest between A7 and CMS 65. CMS have much bigger sound with lots more low end. I had A7, they translated well but they were no you to listen to. Focals translate in my case even better and they are very nice to listen to.
Old 29th September 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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Speeddemon's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jantex ➑️
It definitely won't be overkill if your room is properly treated. IMHO there is no contest between A7 and CMS 65. CMS have much bigger sound with lots more low end. I had A7, they translated well but they were no you to listen to. Focals translate in my case even better and they are very nice to listen to.
I damn sure hope you're right, because I bought a pair...unheard!

I'm excited and slightly afraid at the same time. Well...everyone that heard both, said the same thing:
-more neutral sound than A7's
-bigger and better bass response than A7's
-less colored than A7's (and IMO the A7's were pretty darn nice to begin with, although I was aware of their midforwardness)

and given that the Adam A7+Sub 8 option cost as much as a pair of CMS65's, I'd rather lose the 25-45Hz region, than to cope with phase and placement problems of the added sub... plus, I don't do hiphop, dnb, subbass-heavy kinda stuff anyway. Old skool rawk and metal here.

how would you say stereo imaging and depth are on the CMS's? I read one review of the Solo Be's that complained about a slight lack of depth...
Old 30th September 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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🎧 15 years
To be extremely honest they are comparable to my Klein Hummel O300's image-wise. Plus for Focals is that guitars and drums have better transients than K&H, seperation is good, low mids and high bass are slightly emphasized, which helps you hear kicks and bass lines really well as opposed to A7. They are also more on the bright side (IMHO brighter than Solo 6Be), but despite their brightness I left the controls in the end completely flat. Without learning curve they translated my mixes perfectly, the mixex came out balanced as they should. As I already said my mixes made on Focals sound better than my mixes made on K&Hs.

But still, they sound less natural than K&Hs and they print their own sound to the source (although less than ADAMs IMHO), while K&Hs sound really transparent. Similar music style will sound more similar with Focals while on K&Hs you'll hear dramatic difference from record to record. But they still don't hide bad mixes. K&H's for example reveal 5 shades of good and 5 shades of bad mixes. While on Focals you'll only have good and bad.
But bad will steal scream bad so nothing will be hidden

Focals have lots of vibe and character and if you'll connect with their character, than you'll be a very happy user.
Old 30th September 2009 | Show parent
  #14
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🎧 10 years
Jantex, by using the 160Hz notch to -2 or -4dB, would you be able to make the 'boomyness' go away a bit?
And regarding the bright high-end; isn't that just a matter of setting the 4.5kHz switch to -2dB as well?

Also, I think the comparison with 0300's isn't really fair;
CMS65's=1200 euro's per pair
O300=3800 euro's per pair. Over triple the price!
Old 1st October 2009 | Show parent
  #15
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🎧 15 years
Actually I set desktop notch to -2, yes, and it felt great after that although the speakers aren't placed on a desk or a console but on stands.

After I attenuated the higs I felt something was missing so I put them back to flat. CMSs are brighter than O300s and Focal Solos but I have never had any translation problems with because of that.

I wanted to express that they are not that far away from O300's as the price suggests. If I could have just one pair of speakers I'd choose CMSs because they really work for me as a tool.
Old 20th October 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Waiting Patiently

I just purchased the CMS 65's after many days of demoing and obsessing. I liked them better than the A7's. I get them in tomorrow, so I will post and let you guys know.
Old 3rd December 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by typek ➑️
I just purchased the CMS 65's after many days of demoing and obsessing. I liked them better than the A7's. I get them in tomorrow, so I will post and let you guys know.
So? How do you like them? thumbsup
I am just about to purchase them but am erring towards the 50's because the 65's I listened to had that boominess. Does the Desktop attenuation take that away?

Posted 6/12/09

Went to the shop and listened with desktop attenuation.Surprised at the result. Bought the CMS65's and they sound great in my space. I can't wait until they are broken in. Compared to my NS10's, I just can't believe the difference. They have all the bass I need to make proper decisions about where it should sit and they do this sweetly.
Old 3rd December 2009 | Show parent
  #18
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Kris's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 20 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 666 ➑️
Also, their build quality is astounding, solid as a rock.
I can agree with this. I was moving my monitor stand by its base and apparently tipped it just enough to allow the focal to drop right on my head. Hurt like hell, and felt solid as a rock for sure! Speaker was fine. Somehow I caught it on my shoulder after it put the smack down on my head!
Old 5th December 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
would you say they're better than opals?! odd question, but that seems to be a bit of a benchmark at the moment (pun intended!).
Old 5th December 2009 | Show parent
  #20
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick-the-sax ➑️
would you say they're better than opals?! odd question, but that seems to be a bit of a benchmark at the moment (pun intended!).
I believe not, but Opals are bigger, more powerful and really need a proper place to shine, so if you have a proper place, proper treatment and enough place the Opals might be great midfield speakers.
Old 5th December 2009 | Show parent
  #21
666
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris ➑️
I can agree with this. I was moving my monitor stand by its base and apparently tipped it just enough to allow the focal to drop right on my head. Hurt like hell, and felt solid as a rock for sure! Speaker was fine. Somehow I caught it on my shoulder after it put the smack down on my head!
Shit, there's no way i'd want these bad boys to drop on ANYTHING. It's like they're cast from stone or something.
Old 13th December 2009 | Show parent
  #22
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fantomen's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I got my CMS65 a couple of days ago... they are indeed superb!

I plugged again some old sessions and very naturally I identified some small EQ tweaks that made the mix sound better.
Old 23rd March 2010 | Show parent
  #23
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
CMS 65s - Street Price

Can you guys tell me what you ended up paying for these monitors?
Old 24th March 2010 | Show parent
  #24
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The CMS65 are so good that it always makes me wonder if people consider these Focal's "entry level" speaker or something...because they sure don't sound like it and they really are heavy duty in build (and sound). They get far louder and reach deeper than just about anything in their size range too (seems the limiter threshold on the CMS series is pretty high and allows the amps to crank).

War
Old 24th March 2010 | Show parent
  #25
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1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ander ➑️
Can you guys tell me what you ended up paying for these monitors?
50's are $1200

65's are $1800
Old 24th March 2010 | Show parent
  #26
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell ➑️
50's are $1200

65's are $1800
Damn that is expencive!
Here in Europe you pay around 1100euro / 1400dollars or less for a PAIR 65's.
Old 25th March 2010 | Show parent
  #27
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1 Review written
🎧 20 years
Today, 1,800.00 USD = 1,350.41 EUR
Old 25th March 2010 | Show parent
  #28
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
I'm due for some new monitors real soon. The CMS 50's are more in my price range and I'm just wondering if they'll be powerful enough for my home studio. Dimensions are 12ft W x 16ft L 8ft H.

I have 4 bass traps behind my mix postion each 2x4 6 inches deep, a 3 inch 6x6 mix cloud, a 3 inch insulated false wall behind my mix desk along with 6" thick corner traps from floor to ceiling in the 2 corners behind the desk. In other words, the room is treated pretty well & I'm wondering if the 50's will be powerful enough. My current monitors are basic consumer Alesis MKIIs so I don't really need anything super-powerful but I'm hoping that this would be a big step up for me. Any thoughts & opinions are highly appreciated. Thanks!
Old 26th March 2010 | Show parent
  #29
Registered User
 
🎧 15 years
I have the 65s in my studio untill tomorrow,

Damn nice!

I had the cheek of demoing them against the twins in the shop and Stupid move cos from hearing the twins and swithcing back to the 65s i felt they sounded a lil boxy.

But to be honest my room is too small for the twins and the 65s price is right especially for the sound.

to stir things up i've just seen the solo 6 2nd hand for a couple hundred pounds cheaper than the 65s but i've never heard em.
Old 26th March 2010 | Show parent
  #30
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by El-Roy ➑️
I'm due for some new monitors real soon. The CMS 50's are more in my price range and I'm just wondering if they'll be powerful enough for my home studio. Dimensions are 12ft W x 16ft L 8ft H.

I have 4 bass traps behind my mix postion each 2x4 6 inches deep, a 3 inch 6x6 mix cloud, a 3 inch insulated false wall behind my mix desk along with 6" thick corner traps from floor to ceiling in the 2 corners behind the desk. In other words, the room is treated pretty well & I'm wondering if the 50's will be powerful enough. My current monitors are basic consumer Alesis MKIIs so I don't really need anything super-powerful but I'm hoping that this would be a big step up for me. Any thoughts & opinions are highly appreciated. Thanks!
I would have no problem recommending the 50's for that room.

War
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