You are here

Focal Shape Twin/Shape 65 vs Neumann KH120?

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Re: Focal Shape Twin/Shape 65 vs Neumann KH120?

Postby IvanSC » Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:33 am

If you liked the AE22s try the The Rocks. Same characteristics but more refined and with an amazing low end response for a sealed box.

Had mine for several years and I would bet you can pick up a pair even if they are used well within your budget. I paid about £1800 for mine new.
User avatar
IvanSC
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3023
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 1:00 am
Location: UK France & USA depending on the time of year.
Let me share my recipe for Wabbit stew with you!

Re: Focal Shape Twin/Shape 65 vs Neumann KH120?

Postby dickiefunk » Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:05 pm

Yes the Rocks would be high on my list but didn't like the v1's. The soundstage sounded pretty narrow. They also cost around £2250 new! There's also the new Mini Rocks, Rock mkIII DSP and Super Rocks but they're more expensive again!
The Mini Rocks look like a good option but these are not available at the moment there's no spec on these yet!

The Eve TS108 Sub has just arrived so I'm going to try this out with the KH120's and see how I get on.
User avatar
dickiefunk
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1785
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 12:00 am
Location: Cornwall, UK
http://www.richardpenrose.com

Re: Focal Shape Twin/Shape 65 vs Neumann KH120?

Postby dickiefunk » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:34 am

I’ve been trying the TS108 out very briefly. I haven’t experimented with positioning or done any sweeps etc yet but initial impressions are good.
I will be using this sub for mixing a wide range of acoustic music - Jazz, Classical, Gospel, Rock/Pop etc and the TS108 is sounding very nice during my brief tests. I don’t have them turned up very high in my current small mixing room as it’s unnecessary but you can still feel the punch of the bass and the TS108 goes pretty low.
I’ve tried a sub in my small room before as I was given an Acoustic Energy dual 10” Pro Sub. This was a good sub but was complete overkill for my room and I found it hard to integrate with my satellite speakers. So far, the Eve TS108 seems to integrate with the KH120’s much better despite not calibrating the system yet!

However, in the next few months I’m going to be moving to a space almost twice as big as my current mixing room. Whilst the TS108 seems like it will integrate with the KH120’s really well for my small space I am partly wondering if I should go with the larger TS110 (though these are almost double the price of what I paid for the TS108).

I’m not sure it will be a good idea getting the bigger TS110 because of the problems even lower frequencies can cause in a room? I’m also wondering if it will be necessary for the styles of music I’ll be mixing?

I’m going to get some measurements for the new mix room over the next couple days and will report back
User avatar
dickiefunk
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1785
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 12:00 am
Location: Cornwall, UK
http://www.richardpenrose.com

Re: Focal Shape Twin/Shape 65 vs Neumann KH120?

Postby Zukan » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:16 am

Dickie, sleep with someone and get the 310s.
User avatar
Zukan
Moderator
Posts: 7865
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Focal Shape Twin/Shape 65 vs Neumann KH120?

Postby dickiefunk » Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:03 am

I’ve measured the room that I will be moving to and it’s not quite as big as I thought. The room measures 5.6 x 4.4 x 2.2m.
User avatar
dickiefunk
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1785
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 12:00 am
Location: Cornwall, UK
http://www.richardpenrose.com

Re: Focal Shape Twin/Shape 65 vs Neumann KH120?

Postby Forum Admin » Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:23 am

FYI, Phil Ward has reviewed the Focal Shape Twin monitors in SOS September 2018 issue and this article will become available (to subscribers) around 10:30am Thursday 23 August 2018. There's a 10% teaser for everyone, and a single PDF (or Full Issue PDF) of the review can be purchased from that page for non-subscribers who can't wait 5 months for it to be unlocked.

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/focal-shape-twin
User avatar
Forum Admin
Moderator
Posts: 3065
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: A studio deep in the fenlands of Cambridgeshire, UK
SEARCH SOS 10,717 articles: www.soundonsound.com/search
Get FREE Full Issue PDF sample Digital Mag: https://sosm.ag/FreePDF

Re: Focal Shape Twin/Shape 65 vs Neumann KH120?

Postby dickiefunk » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:17 pm

Thanks. I'll check out the review of the Focal Shape Twins on Thursday :thumbup:

Saying that I'm really enjoying using the Eve TS108 so far. The remote control feature works brilliantly as well!

The only small negative I've found so far is the increase of hiss coming through the KH120's when you turn the System Volume on the TS108's above 50%. I'm not noticing any increase in hiss when I turn up the Sub Volume it only happens when I turn the whole System Volume up beyond 50%. I'm guessing this is due to adding another analogue device (TS108) into the audio chain?

My mixing room has very little ambient noise and my computer is pretty much silent as it uses SSD's and ultra quiet fans so any hiss can be pretty noticeable!
At the moment I have my monitoring chain turned down quite a lot. The KH120's output setting has been turned down from the 114dB setting to 100dB and the output on my audio interface is never really turned up beyond 50%! This means I have a lot of headroom left!
User avatar
dickiefunk
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1785
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 12:00 am
Location: Cornwall, UK
http://www.richardpenrose.com

Re: Focal Shape Twin/Shape 65 vs Neumann KH120?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:50 pm

dickiefunk wrote: This means I have a lot of headroom left!

This means your gain structure might not be correctly optimised! :lol:
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 24053
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Focal Shape Twin/Shape 65 vs Neumann KH120?

Postby dickiefunk » Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:20 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
dickiefunk wrote: This means I have a lot of headroom left!

This means your gain structure might not be correctly optimised! :lol:

Could you offer any advice if this is the case?
User avatar
dickiefunk
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1785
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 12:00 am
Location: Cornwall, UK
http://www.richardpenrose.com

Re: Focal Shape Twin/Shape 65 vs Neumann KH120?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:02 am

Your reference level position for the monitor volume control should be about 2-o'clock, rather than under 12-o'clock. That will optimise the signal levels through the monitor controller, minimise stereo tracking issues, and avoid having too much headroom in the speakers to deafen you if something goes wrong and you get full level noise!

Reduce the input sensitivity of the Neumanns to the 94dB setting if necessary to maintain a sensible reference acoustic level in the room.

It sounds like the hiss is coming from your subwoofer, and I presume that is applying high-pass filtering for your Neumanns. If so, you may need to optimise the signal levels through the sub to maximise the signal-noise ratio.

Alternatively -- and this would be my preference -- feed the monitors directly from your monitor controller with a full-range signal and split the output to feed the sub directly. Then adjust the sub's low-pass filter to bring it in under the Neumanns and balance the level as necessary.

H
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 24053
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Focal Shape Twin/Shape 65 vs Neumann KH120?

Postby dickiefunk » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:40 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Your reference level position for the monitor volume control should be about 2-o'clock, rather than under 12-o'clock. That will optimise the signal levels through the monitor controller, minimise stereo tracking issues, and avoid having too much headroom in the speakers to deafen you if something goes wrong and you get full level noise!

Reduce the input sensitivity of the Neumanns to the 94dB setting if necessary to maintain a sensible reference acoustic level in the room.

H

Hi Hugh,

Thanks for the info, very helpful :thumbup: Yes I would have the reference level of my interface set at around 2 o'clock and have the Neumanns set to 94dB if I was purely using them for myself to mix on. However, I sometimes have bass players and drummers in who like it louder and want to be able to feel the sound more hence having them set to 100dB with the ability to turn them up more when needed.

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
It sounds like the hiss is coming from your subwoofer, and I presume that is applying high-pass filtering for your Neumanns. If so, you may need to optimise the signal levels through the sub to maximise the signal-noise ratio.

H

I've been in communication with Eve Audio and they have been very helpful with prompt replies. They have tested and measured the TS108 with the KH120's themselves and have said turning up the System Volume on the TS108 does not add any hiss to the KH120's but what the Focusrite does is out of their knowledge.
However, when I turn the System Volume up past 50% on the TS108 there is a noticeble increase in hiss through the KH120's
I'm not sure how the Focusrite Saffire Pro 24DSP could be responsible??

Any thoughts?
User avatar
dickiefunk
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1785
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 12:00 am
Location: Cornwall, UK
http://www.richardpenrose.com

Re: Focal Shape Twin/Shape 65 vs Neumann KH120?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:49 pm

Regarding your bassist and drummer... Why compromise your everyday performance? Set the monitor gain structure correctly for your normal use, and then flick the sensitivity switches up a notch or two when your chums come over! :-)

As for the focusrite, if you are running the outputs with some digital attenuation you are compromising the signal-to-noise ratio of the output converters, and that could possibly be your source or audible noise....

I'm not clear from wha you've said whether the noise is coming from the sub, or from the interface and being made more audible when you turn the sub up.

If you hard bypass the sub, is the noise level the same?

H
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 24053
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Focal Shape Twin/Shape 65 vs Neumann KH120?

Postby dickiefunk » Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:01 pm

Thanks Hugh. I've been busy trying your suggestions and have also been speaking to both Eve Audio and Focusrite tech support (who have both been extremely helpful :clap: ).

1/ When I bypass the sub and plug the Focusrite Saffire directly into the KH120's I'm getting roughly 50% more output with no increase in hiss. However, when I turn the Saffire's master volume up beyond 50% I get an increase in hiss (like when turning the System Volume up on the EVE TS108 sub beyond 50%).

2/ If I plug into the EVE TS108 before the KH120's and have both the Focusrite master volume set to 50% and System Volume of the EVE set at 50% I get no increase in hiss but the overall volume is 50% lower. However, now if I increase the Focusrite's master volume to 100% I'm not getting an increase in hiss this time and am getting the same output level as when plugging the Focusrite (master volume set at 50%) directly into the KH120's :thumbup:

There doesn't seem to be a fault just the gain staging has changed :?:
User avatar
dickiefunk
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1785
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 12:00 am
Location: Cornwall, UK
http://www.richardpenrose.com

Re: Focal Shape Twin/Shape 65 vs Neumann KH120?

Postby dickiefunk » Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:31 pm

I also bought SOS yesterday and read the Focal Shape Twin's review and it does look very good and was a very interesting read. However, I'm not sure it's really going to be much if any of an upgrade over my KH120/Eve TS108 setup?

Really I'd love something like the Unity Audio Super Rock's, Rock mkIIIDSP or Neumann KH310 but those cost more than my current monitoring setup!
User avatar
dickiefunk
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1785
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 12:00 am
Location: Cornwall, UK
http://www.richardpenrose.com

Re: Focal Shape Twin/Shape 65 vs Neumann KH120?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:29 pm

dickiefunk wrote:When I bypass the sub and plug the Focusrite Saffire directly into the KH120's I'm getting roughly 50% more output with no increase in hiss.

This suggests that the sub is attenuating the signal (obviously) and is the main source of hiss...

However, when I turn the Saffire's master volume up beyond 50% I get an increase in hiss

If you raise the gain of the whole system you will be more aware of the quiescent background hiss -- what's important is the signal-to-noise ratio... and to ascertain that you need to work with a constant acoustic output level. The test you've described is not that helpful and quite misleading I fear.

2/ If I plug into the EVE TS108 before the KH120's and have both the Focusrite master volume set to 50% and System Volume of the EVE set at 50% I get no increase in hiss but the overall volume is 50% lower. However, now if I increase the Focusrite's master volume to 100% I'm not getting an increase in hiss this time and am getting the same output level as when plugging the Focusrite (master volume set at 50%) directly into the KH120's :thumbup:

There doesn't seem to be a fault just the gain staging has changed :?:

As I said earlier, optimising the gain staging is key....

H
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 24053
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Jack Ruston, Tim Gillett