Focal expands monitor range with Shape Twin

Focal expanded its Shape professional powered monitor series today at the Winter NAMM show with the introduction of the “Shape Twin.” This new standard bearer of the Focal Shape series features two passive radiators, woofers equipped with a new Flax cone, and the latest ‘M’-shaped Aluminum/Magnesium inverted dome tweeter. Shape Twin is made in France, just like Shape 40, 50 and 65. Designed to meet the needs of near-field monitoring, these monitors combine an ingenuous design and numerous settings optimized for the acoustics of small listening rooms. Shape Twin stands out through its excellent rendering over the whole audio spectrum, its broad frequency response in the low end, and its high SPL considering its size. The compact design makes it easy to integrate even into the most cramped of rooms. Finally, its 2.5-way design gives it a decisive advantage when it comes to controlling the bass and lower mid-range registers, which are the hardest to control in small rooms. The new Shape Twin monitors are expected to be available in April, 2018, US street price is $1099. each.

Like its predecessors, Shape Twin sets itself apart at first glance through its unique design. The front and top of the MDF cabinets are finished with an authentic, natural stained, walnut veneer. The curved shape of the top of each loudspeaker was calculated specifically for each monitor in order to ensure a linear frequency response in the high end. The natural wood finish recalls the finishes of Focal Twin6 Be studio monitors, and perfectly complements the new flax cones.

Developing speaker driver cone technologies is part of Focal’s core expertise. The Flax sandwich cones used for the woofers are composed of two materials: glass fibers and flax fibers. A layer of flax fibers is sandwiched between two layers of glass fibers. Glass fiber cones were also used on the “W” composite sandwich cone of the SM6 and SM9 series, and are revered for their high rigidity considering their light-weight. The sandwich cone needs to provide good damping while being as light as possible. Flax fibers are twice as light as glass fibers as they’re hollow. What’s more, they also have very low elasticity. This increases the speaker driver’s Young’s modulus when in excursion, an essential property to ensure a piston-like action even in the very low end. Finally, it is composed of 80% cellulose which gives it excellent damping properties. So, it was only natural for us to choose this material. This new technology has proven to be a considerable improvement over the Polyglass cone in terms of weight, rigidity and damping.

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