I was looking to upgrade to my second set of monitors; smallish room, audiophobic
neighbour with a face like a sick whippet - a scenario familiar to many in the home studio
world. I relied on reviews (particularly SOS!) and Gearslutz for advice; I considered
Adams, Genelecs, KRK, having ruled out PMC's, ATC's and K+H, as too costly (for now). The
Focal CMS 40's saved the day; good representation at low-to-mid levels, small footprint,
Although they are perfect for the
small room there are two drawbacks: first, there's little of the bottom octave (fine for
most acoustic/folk/etc. - not so good for checking deep bass) and second, the lack of bass
is problematic when adding a sub. My concern about adding a sub is based on the recent SOS
review where it's noted that the 40's struggle slightly to keep up with the sub (whereas
the 50's and 65's should synchronise with ease). These are not LOUD monitors although they
are loud enough to annoy the neighbour if pushed.
In everyday use the lack of
bass isn't too much of an issue - I can check on an old 2.1 system and headphones...also
many listeners will have similar-sized speakers so there's an incentive to make the bass
sound as good as possible within the bandwidth. That said, the bass response is remarkable
for a monitor of it's size. The inverted dome tweeters provide a great focus and are never
fatiguing even after hours of listening.
response, soundstage, musicality and lack of listening fatigue mark these as quality
monitors; also the design and build quality stand out. If you're looking for a
stepping-stone to high-quality monitoring and listen at low-to-moderate levels then the
CMS 40's are definitely worth checking out.
Professional studio monitor loudspeakers technologiesProduct Review - Focal CMS40