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Setting up new Focal Shape 65's advice please

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Setting up new Focal Shape 65's advice please

Postby banterbanter » Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:21 pm

Hi,
Can I please ask a few quick questions thanks:

1. The 1m recommended distance between the speakers - is that measured from the middle of the tweeters or the closest sides of the speaker cabinets?

2. Spikes or Auralex foam pads?

3. The eq settings - can I just set them so my reference tracks sound 'nice' to me and that's it?

Cheers
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Re: Setting up new Focal Shape 65's advice please

Postby Ian Shaw » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:36 pm

How strange,

I've literally just got home with my new Shape 65s & was wondering the same thing.

I would go for 1m from the tweeters myself but I guess it doesn't have to be that accurate.

Mine are straight on my wooden desk using the spikes so they tilt upwards atm

A major step up from my 15 year old Mackie 624s without any fiddling!

Hope you are enjoying them as much as I am. End don't forget the running in time! Seems to be a big thing.

Best

Ian
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Re: Setting up new Focal Shape 65's advice please

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:42 pm

banterbanter wrote:1. The 1m recommended distance between the speakers - is that measured from the middle of the tweeters or the closest sides of the speaker cabinets?

I'm intrigued! Where did this 'recommended spacing come from? I had a quick scan of the manual and couldn't find it, just the normal recommendation to arrange the speakers and listening position at the corners of an equalateral triangle.

To be fair, they are intended as near fields, so the spacing is likely to be no more than maybe 2-2.5 metres at most, but 1m is pretty narrow and wouldn't allow for much of a desk desk in front of them.

But to answer the question, it's measured between the centres of the front baffles -- normally between the tweeters.

2. Spikes or Auralex foam pads?

Depends what your mounting surface is and whether it's likely to resonate. I'd try spikes on solid stands etc, and foam (or any other type of absorbing suspension) on flexible shelves etc.

3. The eq settings - can I just set them so my reference tracks sound 'nice' to me and that's it?

Yes... Although I'd replace 'nice' with 'revealing and balanced' -- these are mix monitors, after all, not hifi speakers.

I'd start with the settings flat. Use the bass EQ to compensate for the natural bass boost caused by placement close to the walls (or corners). Use the treble EQ to correct for the amount of HF absorption in your room. The lower-mid EQ can be useful in helping with rear-wall and desk reflection notches or build-ups -- but use with great care!

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Re: Setting up new Focal Shape 65's advice please

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:46 pm

Ian Shaw wrote: And don't forget the running in time! Seems to be a big thing.

Oh, no! You've only gone and said it out loud! Take cover.... :lol:
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Re: Setting up new Focal Shape 65's advice please

Postby Ian Shaw » Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:08 pm

Hi Hugh,

It says on the website:https://www.focal.com/en/pro-audio/monitoring-speakers/shape/monitoring-speakers/shape-65#documentation

Also there is a big label on the top when you open the box about 10 hours of running in time.

To me, they sound bloody amazing out of the box. Just listening to some of my fave tracks & I'm hearing stuff I've never heard before.

just worried they are going to show up all my terrible recording over the years :oops:
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Re: Setting up new Focal Shape 65's advice please

Postby banterbanter » Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:11 pm

Thanks so much for all the replies!

The 1m distance thing I read in the soundonsound review - it's not in the manual

Re eq - I meant revealing not hifi

https://photos.app.goo.gl/iFY3PMsXUmYZT3Xm9

That's my set up - foam better option from what you suggested?

Thanks again
Gav
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Re: Setting up new Focal Shape 65's advice please

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:12 pm

Ian Shaw wrote:It says on the website...

Ah, okay. Thanks.

just worried they are going to show up all my terrible recording over the years :oops:

That would be a good thing, though. The sign of a good monitor, helping you to hear the details (and flaws) of a mix, rather than obscuring them.

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Re: Setting up new Focal Shape 65's advice please

Postby Ian Shaw » Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:13 pm

From the blurb:

"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)."
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Re: Setting up new Focal Shape 65's advice please

Postby Wonks » Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:18 pm

The 1m is the recommended minimum distance away from you, not between the speakers. This is the space required to allow the sound from the tweeter and woofer to combine properly so you hear the sound they were designed to provide. Too near and you can get too much treble or bass or interference artefacts from around the crossover frequency.
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Re: Setting up new Focal Shape 65's advice please

Postby Ian Shaw » Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:18 pm

banterbanter wrote:Thanks so much for all the replies!

The 1m distance thing I read in the soundonsound review - it's not in the manual

Re eq - I meant revealing not hifi

https://photos.app.goo.gl/iFY3PMsXUmYZT3Xm9

That's my set up - foam better option from what you suggested?

Thanks again
Gav


ah, yes, that's where I read it originally
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Re: Setting up new Focal Shape 65's advice please

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:18 pm

banterbanter wrote:The 1m distance thing I read in the soundonsound review - it's not in the manual

Ah! You mean Bob's comment about the minimum listening distance. I thought the discussion was about the speaker base-line separation! The manual does list the minimum listening distance range as between 0.4 and 2 metres -- which is therefore also the recommended speaker separation range (as all sides of an equalateral triangle are the same length).

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Re: Setting up new Focal Shape 65's advice please

Postby Wonks » Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:25 pm

Looking at the photo, you probably need to cut down the amount of the Auralex foam under the speakers. The foam needs to be partially squashed to do its isolation properly, and the standard size wedges provided are only really useful for big, heavy speakers.

There's no proper guide as to how much foam is enough, but I'd guess that you probably don't need more than a 3cm strip on either side of each speaker, maybe less.

And the words 'room treatment' spring to mind. You are probably only hearing a small fraction of what the speakers are capable of providing without adding a fair bit of acoustic treatment in the room.
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Re: Setting up new Focal Shape 65's advice please

Postby banterbanter » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:08 pm

Thanks Wonks

The foam isn't as deep as it looks - the front is like a thick wedge to hold speakes but the foam under the speakers is actually only 2-3cm.

Hugh - Bob said 1m listening distance is the 'optimal' distance, not minimal - hence I'd presumed 1m between speakers as equilateral triangle etc.

As for acoustic treatment I hear you - but I don't know where so start haha - though it's a great room with with quirky wall angles and it sounds pretty good so far.

I need a soundonsound visit from Hugh and Paul!
Come to Edinburgh- it's a great city break.

Thanks
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Re: Setting up new Focal Shape 65's advice please

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:13 pm

banterbanter wrote:As for acoustic treatment I hear you - but I don't know where so start haha...

The Studio SOS book will help

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Studio-SOS-Book-Solutions-Techniques/dp/0415823862
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Re: Setting up new Focal Shape 65's advice please

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:29 am

Acoustic treatment os a complex subject but, in a nutshell, "mirror points".

Looking at your pic, some attention to symmetry would probably help too. :thumbup:
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Re: Setting up new Focal Shape 65's advice please

Postby banterbanter » Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:46 am

Thanks again everyone,

Ok, so having read all the soundonsound articles on acoustic treatment and having watched a couple of hours of youtube on acoustic treatment, I clearly need bass traps and some reflection points absorbers on the walls for starters.
Any recommended ones to buy?

Symmetry of the desk in the dormer window is a problem as my nine year old daugher's wardrobe is sitting right next to me as her room is too small to have it!

I'm not actually in a room, it's a dormer window at the top of a staircase, so behind me there is no wall as such, just stairs going down.

It's the weirdest acoustic space ever! If you don't mind, I'll post some pics later.

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Re: Setting up new Focal Shape 65's advice please

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:17 am

Ah, ok. But a weird acoustic space could be working in your favour to some extent at least. Regular shaped small rooms are the worst for bass control, a cube being worst of all.

Gik Acoustics make reasonably priced and nice looking acoustic panels, as few as two or three should make a noticeable difference.

Also, if you don't have any, a decent pair of open backed headphones are usually considered a good solution to a dodgy room (in addition to or even instead of monitor speakers).

https://www.gikacoustics.com/product-category/acoustic-panels/
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Re: Setting up new Focal Shape 65's advice please

Postby blinddrew » Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:32 pm

EQ Acoustics have also been recently recommended on another thread (https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/view ... 16#p584916) by a very respected member of this parish...
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Re: Setting up new Focal Shape 65's advice please

Postby banterbanter » Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:33 pm

Hi again,

Will check that company thanks.
I have HD650's calibrated by sonarworks also.

Here's a video of the layout. Excuse screaming kids in background (playdate). I'll probably buy a couple of foam child traps as well.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/cbCvpdyvctQEfdpcA

I think some bass traps for sure.
But the sides - on my left the wall is 3 metres away and on my right the wardrobe is right next to me! Hardly symmetrical..

The highs sounds good to me to be honest.
The low end a bit wooly.

Thanks again,
Gav
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Re: Setting up new Focal Shape 65's advice please

Postby Ian Shaw » Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:04 pm

That's a lot of flat surfaces you got there which probably isn't good. Over to the experts on that...

Bass is fabulous here so maybe there are a lot of frequencies bouncing around. I've got a small 10' x 8' room with some bass traps in the corners behind my monitors & some rockwool acoustic panels I made myself around the walls. It's not perfect but it works well enough.

I guess in your case it's where to put the treatments as there are a lot of doors.

Good luck with it. Keep us informed on how it goes

Ian
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