Shape Studio Monitors from Focal

The Shape 40, Shape 50, and Shape 65 all feature dual passive radiators, a 1" aluminum/magnesium inverted dome tweeter, and Flax sandwich cone woofers, which are made from a combination of glass fibers and flax fibers. The combination of glass, flax, and glass is sandwiched together to provide excellent damping characteristics, while remaining extremely lightweight. This new technology has proven to be a considerable improvement over the Polyglass cone in terms of weight, rigidity, and damping. The M-shaped aluminum/magnesium inverted dome tweeter has the advantage of very high rigidity from the aluminum, with excellent damping qualities from the magnesium. Other benefits from the “M” shape include a wider dispersion and lower distortion. The Poron suspension provides a more linear frequency response below 6 kHz, which improves the crossover between the tweeter and woofer.

The Shape 40 is powered by two 25W Class AB amplifiers, which power the 4" woofer and 1" tweeter for a frequency response of 60 Hz to 35 kHz, with a peak SPL of 102 dB. The enclosure is sealed, which allows the speaker to be placed near a wall or boundary without any adverse effects, while the dual 4" passive radiators help extend the low end and reduce distortion for deep, clear bass.

The larger Shape 50 is powered by a 60W Class AB amplifier for the 5" woofer and a 25W Class AB amplifier for the 1" tweeter, which combine to provide a frequency response of 50 Hz to 35 kHz with a peak SPL of 106 dB. Like the Shape 40, the enclosure is sealed, which allows the speaker to be placed near a wall or boundary without any adverse effects, while the dual 5" passive radiators help extend the low end and reduce distortion for deep, clear bass.

Shape 65 is the reference of the Shape line. Although it’s dedicated to nearfield monitoring, this monitor enables extraordinary monitoring quality, in the lowest to the highest frequencies. Simply a must, this monitor will express its full potential from a listening distance of three feet away (1 metre). The three monitors are all made in France and integrate five innovations to maximise acoustic transparency. Designed to meet the needs of nearfield monitoring, Shape monitors combine an ingenuous design and numerous settings optimised 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

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.

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.

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.

Lightness

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.

Internal damping

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.

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