The end of Focal based speakers like Wilson Audio?

Focal issued the following statement:

"Starting September 1st 2004, separate Focal Hi-Fi drivers intended for the public and loudspeaker manfacturers will not be available for sale anymore. This catalogue is desappearing for good and has been removed from our web site.

That decision enters the Focal-JMlab growth strategy and will allow to focus human and technical resources on high end home and car loudspeaker manufacturing and developement."

So it seems thet Focal drive units will not be available anymore to any speaker manufacturer on OEM basis.

The similar move has been made by Dynaudio a few years back.

Are we gonna see a Scan-Speak based Wilson WATT ?
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The huge markup between the cost of the OEM drivers and the final product price reflects crossover design & parts plus enclosure costs. Oh, and there is of course a legacy goodwill factor (read: premium-for-the-brand-name-and-good-reviews). Focal and Dynaudio realize they have been feeding their competitors.

I suppose discontinuation of the OEM catalog can result in a short term surge in orders as the OEM customers stuff their inventories. I don't know how many WATTs are sold per year, but it can't be a huge number at that price point, so perhaps an extra shipment or two could last a while.

As the OEMs run out of inventory, I would expect them to roll out new speaker models with drivers sourced elsewhere. Maybe a WATT/Puppy 8 with drivers from China. After all, they believe the high art is all in the crossover and enclosure (and marketing). "It's gonna be even BETTA!!!" You bet.
Focal has been ramping back their OEM driver supply for some time now. I remember it mentioned in Stereophile at least a year ago.

Just buy JM Lab speakers! lol.
Buy a Focal-based design from the likes of Zalytron before their supply of OEM drivers runs out.

I recently built monitors using the Audiom TD-5 tweeter (the ones used in the Grand Utopias before the Beryllium driver). The Zalytron cabinets are veneered 1.5" MDF and rock-solid, with precision baffle cutouts for the drivers. Though I don't have cash for the cabinets/crossovers quite yet, I just bought a pair of Focal 10W6452 woofers for the bass units out of concern these great drivers will soon become extinct in the OEM world...

With only the most basic soldering skills, Minwax stain, a glue gun and screwdrivers you can have a truly high end Focal system at a fraction of retail.
The number 8 is very important in Asia... wilson may go this route and really pour it on for the large market they are tapping

look for the new 8's to be a massively big Asian seller!
That can be a whole lot of money to spend on a product solely based on its model number. I sure hope people anywhere, Asia or elsewhere, buy such a product based on it performance and not the number.
Uh oh!

I have 28 Focal drivers in my house. I sure hope I never blow any of them. Sounds like it will be very tough to replace soon. I have truely enjoyed the Focal line. The only two drivers in my house that are not Focal are Raven R2's. Now also obsolete. Looks like Aurum Cantus would be a good replacement for the R2's.
Correct me if I am wrong, but the only part of the Wilson WATT/Puppy loudspeakers that use a Focal driver are the tweeters. And, at least to my ears, it's the achilles heel of the speaker.

Don't worry, they'll still be able to source a more lively tweeter, from the likes of Accuton or the ScanSpeak Ring Revelator. And, if they want to back things off a bit, the ScanSpeak Revelator is an option. I definitely cannot see them using the Dynaudio Esotar, its laid back presentation would be a complete 180 turn about.
The Wilson Watt Puppy only uses the Focal tweeter.
They use a Scanspeak mid and Dynaudio woofers.
Wilson can easily use a Scanspeak or Vifa tweeter to replace the Focal.
Didn't I just say that???
I used WATT as an example. The X1, MAXX, XS use not only the tweeter, but also Focal woofers.
Is there any consensus on perceptions of which is the better set of speakers beteween the Watt Puppy 7's (about $23,700) and the Focal.JMLabs Utopia Beryllium speakers (ABOUT $18,500)?
If the bigger Wilsons are using Focal mids and woofers, they'll need to get cracking. But, there are a lot of drivers in the world, though I really like the Focals for their speed and highish sensitivity. I would more worry about the excellent smaller companies, such as Osborn, who use these Focal drivers exclusively as opposed to the very low volume Wilson lines.

Jhp, the JMlabs and the Wilsons sound VERY different, and it comes down to a question of your preferences. The Wilsons are much more forward and dynamic, where the JMlabs are more relaxed and easy to listen to. Many like each brand's sound as witnessed by the success of each company.