Focal SM9
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papi1970 05/06/2014

Focal SM9 : papi1970's user review

«  High musicality and versatility »
5

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My opinion on the Focal is somewhat atypical because I use them in the context of stereo and multi-channel installation. Therefore upstream of these speakers there is a stereo preamp (McIntosh C2200) and another section dedicated to homecinema (Yamaha Z11), with the respective sources.

In short and in parallel with the stereo field, found on each SM9 mono block 600w, crossover, equalizer and a closed chamber.

SOUNDS

Active speakers sometimes have the reputation of being hyper right, not really musical and cold. This is the case for some of them but certainly not the dreaded SM9. Highlights include the expanded spectrum, good density on the midrange, tweeter Be very powerful, never aggressive and very detailed.
Although my listening room is not a recording studio, I can say that SM9 are easy going, the equalizer is rather well thought out.
Pleasant surprise, listening to low level is already very intelligible, despite what I've read on this point. Of course, as soon as you push the volume is gaining momentum but no particular frustration in a more moderate use.
Listening just be very fine, these speakers do justice to the excellent recordings and do not show too discriminating as other more questionable on their qualities, after all also depend on what there is upstream electronic side but the quality is implementation for such speakers.

OVERALL OPINION

It's been a little over a year since I started my investigations on the choice of active speakers, despite the difficulties on the possibilities of tapping, I discovered the Adam S3xh, S5xv the KH310a, Dynaudio Air25 PSI A25m and A21M. All these speakers are obviously of high quality with a reference to the Dynaudio and amazing small Neumann, but Focal gave me what I wanted, a full, balanced and detailed to perfection with a stereo listening particularly accurate even if my local does not allow the full exploitation of these speakers.
Focal makes a great product, very well built and designed and quality / very good value, especially when you start to compare the price / performance ratio to the stereo.

I rediscovered my CD just a recent example of a well-known album JJ Goldman "between light gray and dark gray," we read in the booklet that three engineers participated separately in this album. Yet I know very well this CD (or so I thought), and although the SM9 have made me aware of the different job titles according to these 3 engineers. Needless to intellectualize anything, the evidence is all in keeping this "High Musicality" clean these SM9, that's hard!
These speakers are very comfortable with electronic sounds, everything goes beautifully, all my albums Vangelis are rendered with elegance!
Same when multichannel session is airy, detailed, dynamic and musical passage all wins.
Utopia on hifi products manufacturer I had some reservations about the behavior of the tweeter be the SM9 have reconciled me, never lower hardness, all is fair and I rediscovered a lot of things on many albums, it's great !
The implementation is not too complicated, these speakers deserve the interconnect cables and power cables are cared for, pregnant is released. For my part I am equipped Vovox Sonorus and Zavfino Majestic for the sector.
The concept is top, a speaker that not depend on an internal DAC, rather it is a plus because you can work this independently. I had the choice between PSI and A25m/A21m SM9, compared to my listening kind Focal seemed obvious to me, that does not detract from superb PSI, but I saw real tools laboratory, probably top studio, less obvious in stereo and "listening pleasure", where Focal SM9 mark a big point!
These speakers are obviously a French card in a lot of studio, including abroad, and special music lovers will find their account!