Professional Monitors

I have been exploring the idea of getting new speakers. I will use them in a multichannel application, but my primary concern is two channel playback. Surfing around the other day I found the Focal/JM Lab Solo6 monitors. I love their Electra BE line, but they are to pricey for my budget.

My main question is do any of you have experience with these specific speakers? What are the positives vs. the negatives?

I know that they are nearfield monitors. I have never listened to a nearfield speaker. My seating currently is about 10 feet from my speakers. I can afford to go closer if need be. The 1007be run 4k a pair with no amplification, where these are 2k a pair with built in amps and identical drivers??

Thanks for any input in advance!
I have no personal experience with them -- didn't even know Focal had a pro line.

Are they a sealed box? I didn't see a vent anywhere.

Thanks for posting.
They are ported. It is a rectangular port below the mid/bass driver.

Seems like they would have some advantages with the tweeter and bass adjustments as far as flexibility within the room and personal preference. They suggest 1-3 meters from the listening position. I wonder if there is an optimal distance within that range?
Ah, yes, I see it now. I use M&K monitors -- considered by them to be midfield. I sit about 8 feet away. The Solo looks like a heck of a bargain.
Have you experimented with a seating distance further away from the monitors? I am assuming that 8 feet gives you optimal performance? Bum deal about them going out of business. I never had the opportunity to experience of their models, which is a shame since they seem to have a great reputation.

The Solo's do look like a great deal. I just wonder if it is too good to be true. I'm curious about how they would perform off axis. I just bought a home last fall and have 3 seats in the room right now. The width won't allow more so I will probably tier a couple more behind what I have. I know that Focal recommends that the tweeter be at ear level. From the experience I have had with the Electra BE line, this is an issue. I will always be in the "sweet spot" so it's really not a huge concern for me, but I just don't want it to be horrible for those off axis.

I sent an email to a Focal Professional rep. to see if there is anywhere remotely near me that I could possibly go have a listen. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Unfortunately, my seating distance is determined by furniture layout.

Don't manufacturers, especially ones as large as Focal, measure horizontal and vertical dispersion as a routine part of the design process? It'd be nice if the pro dealers had access to such information.

You might give NHT's pro monitors a look. Or the XD multichannel system.

They do look like a bargain. However, this reflex port design in a very small box speaker (6.5" woofer) will be unlikely to give you accurate bass. (i.e. you can't have your cake and eat it....great value will come at a little compromise)

I haven't seen measurements of the Solo6, however the bass design appears reminiscent of the Chorus 706, except Solo6 is an active design.

If I was buying the Chorus 706 then I would be concerned about the THD+N from 50 to 250 Hz from this small woofer and reflex design. (in percentage terms the THD+N distortion is around 20% in the bass up into the lower mid range)

The Solo6 may be a different animal (much better perhaps?), however, as they say, if it looks to good to be true...

I'd definitely investigate these first.
You make a point about distortion. I have not seen any graphs concerning their distortion, so I can't say one way or the other. I would think that given the intended use of the product that distortion would be low over their capable range. Doesn't make sense to me that a monitor designed to aide in professional music recording that had high distortion would be accepted. Especially in a range an instrument would play. I could see it if it was below 50 or even 40 Hz because there are not a whole lot of instruments that play that low.

Again these are all assumptions on my part, so please don't feel that I'm trying to discredit your post. I have contacted a gentleman that works with the company that handles the North American distribution for Focal. I will try to see if he could possibly give some insight to this question. I will let you know if I get some answers.
Shadorne, can you explain the dip in the distortion graph centered at 80Hz?

Also, can you point to any other minimonitor with a 6.5" woofer that has substantially less distortion? I'm asking because I thought those levels were typical, thus high-passing them when adding a subwoofer.

Shadorne, after reading the explanation of the THD+Noise graph, it looks like the distortion isn't all that bad.

For example, at 100Hz the dB difference between the THD curve and the FR curve is about 25dB, which falls between 3% and 10%. At 50Hz, the dB difference is about 15dB, which falls between 10% and 31%.

There's even a comment that the distortion levels were so good that they ran them again at 95dB.

I suspect the dip occurs at resonance of box and driver system (see the impedance curve). The port looks like it is tuned around 40 HZ (low impedance point) to get better bass extension - this will introduce phase delays around that frequency and affect the transient response.

You are right that a small speaker and a separate sub tends to get better results (like the NHT XD). There are also some monitors that are small without reflex ports that will sound more accurate in the bass and lower mid (but at a risk of sounding a bit bass shy). Alternatively a bigger box speaker is the way to go.

However, I felt that the JM Lab Chorus 706 distortion extended too far up into the lower mid range for comfort (but you can't be too picky with a $450 price tag which makes it a real bargain).

I just suggested to investigate the Solo6 based on its superficial similarity to the Chorus 706. The "pro" monikor and active design suggests it should be better...
Thanks Shadorne. I was guessing the distortion dip was related to the tuning frequency of the port, but it doesn't match up with the impedance curve.

I've recently been looking around for sealed box monitors and there doesn't seem to be that many choices. Do you know of any sealed box designs that are meant to be used with an active crossover and external amps?

BTW, thanks for the link. It's quite interesting to compare the measurements of several speakers so easily.
Gb ksu,go to and search for Solo6 or Twin6.The site is a forum for many recording and mastering studio engeneers.Many positive impressions on these monitors.Im trying to build 2ch. system around my Arcam C-30 preamp,which has balanced outputs.I have checked Event monitors ASP8 which are more of a midfield monitors, but the Solo6 have picked my interest.Good luck. Many positive impressions on Solo6 and Twin6 studio monitors.
I'm toying with the idea of using pro active monitors for a 7.1 HT. Have been surfing and in addition to the Solo6, the JBL LSR4326P has piqued my interest. Take a look at their site:

If you click through to the "spec sheet" for the lsr4326 you'll see that they provide alot more detail and measurements than does Focal. Among the comments on the site, "The exact geometry of the waveguide,
the interaction of the woofer and tweeter,
and the network are designed to provide an accurate
listening window of ± 30 degree horizontal,
± 15 degree vertical", and one of the lines on the FR graph is of the average across the listening window.

The reviews seem good. But there is less commentary on the LSR on, and no direct A/B comparisons that I've seen.

I am months away from trying to audition anything (the room isn't even designed, much less built). I'll be interested to hear what you and others here have to say after hearing the Solo6 and the LSR. I understand that some pro dealers allow returns of equipment after a home trial. (For instance, for Focal pro.)