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Focal Spirit Classic First Look - Head-Fi TV - Page 4

post #46 of 172

The Pro is very neutral.  Much like their studio monitors.  I have the Focal Twin 6 BE so I have an idea of what their monitors sound like. 

 

I'll see if my contact knows when the Classic will hit the streets in the U.S.

 


Edited by HiFiGuy528 - 10/23/13 at 10:33pm
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post #47 of 172
Thanks Mike, appreciate the info. I hope your trip home from Denver went well, I had a great time at CANJAM and enjoyed meeting everyone.

Jim
Edited by drgajet - 10/23/13 at 10:47pm
post #48 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathnnn View Post

@ starfly why nog give the spirit professional a listen aswell from the first impressions some people gave the spirit professional Sounded flatter VS the spirit classic a tad more bassier.

Maybe I'll give them a listen indeed :) I don't know if I want the response to be too flat though :) I still want things to sound a bit fun as well and about half of the music I listen to sounds better with a bit of bass. Either way, the Classic should already be a lot more neutral than say the Spirit One.

post #49 of 172

The spirit one, even is;nt that bad to my liking, I quite like the soundsignature maybe just a bit too much rolled off.

 

post #50 of 172

According to my contact, on or around Nov. 6th is when the new Classic will be available.  

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post #51 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by drgajet View Post

Thanks Mike, appreciate the info. I hope your trip home from Denver went well, I had a great time at CANJAM and enjoyed meeting everyone.

Jim

 

Thank you Jim.  No sure if you felt the same, CanJam was too short. :)

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post #52 of 172

Will post this in this thread as well:

 

So I just received the Focal Spirit Classic and immediately gave it a spin. I'm really hoping these will improve with a bit of burn in, otherwise I'd say Focal really failed with this headphone. The soundstage is not very expansive, it's missing detail in the highrange, the bass is lacking a bit, the bass doesn't go very deep and it overall sounds a bit veiled.

 

Now I was comparing these to the 7520 back to back, and the 7520 has so much more detail, sounds very clear, very neutral, has good presentation throughout the whole frequency range and also has a much wider soundstage than the Focal.

 

Als in terms of comfort, the earcups are terrible. I mean, it's nice leather lambskin-ish stuff, but they're just too small. 50mm?? Seriously? And this is marketed as a hifi listen-at-home headphone, and then they deliver it with such small earcups? What were they thinking at Focal? Were they testing these things only on the heads of babies? So either way, just because of the bad comfort alone I'll be returning these very quickly. Will give them a bit of burn in time though, because maybe the sound will improve a bit (it also did with the P7, although the first impression of the P7 was much better).

 

But so far, I'm quite disappointed in these Focals. YMMV

 

P.S. The do look very pretty and the build quality appears to be excellent. But yeah, who cares if it doesn't sound that great and isn't comfortable, right?

post #53 of 172
Concerning the comfort, I must agree with you FOCAL should have taken more time to investigate and take into acount the comfort of their headphones.

Personally I`m nog having to many issues with my FSO headphones just that after a time I do need to readjust them...
The earcups are even smaller then the FSC or FSP but my ears do fit in them, so they deffinitly wil fit in the FSP or FSC with no issues.

BUT clearly for Some People the larger cups on the two new Models arn`t large or comfortable enough.
I`ve been trying to understand why Focal chose to compromise on the size, a as clever company as Focal would never dismiss a group of potential customers without explainable reason. I only can speculate a about what that reason or those reasons might be...

Its possible that Focal cornered themselves with their design of the verry stiff Mylar-Titanium drivers they used in the spirit series this combined with the intended and acousticaly essential design/size of their earcups/pads. So It`s possible that due to these factors they were bound to release headphone designs that just were not comfy for people with slightly larger heads/ears.

Because I really Liked The FSO soundwise I wil be getting the Spirit Professional. And hopefully Focal has the cable That comes with the FSC separatly for sale, It really looks to be a verry handy quality cable of good lenghth.

I just might get the Sony 7520 aswell I`ve listened to the z1000 several times and the way you describe it it sounds as if the
7520 has what the z1000 misses.
Edited by Jonathnnn - 10/27/13 at 4:08am
post #54 of 172

Yeah, the 7520 certainly has what the Z1000 misses. Much better bass response, more quantity and it goes deeper. And the soundstage seems a bit wider too. And they're more comfortable as well, as the earpads have a bit more space vs. the Z1000 (at the trade off of isolation, but it's only a minor difference, the Z1000 isolates better as those pads are a bit thicker).

 

And otherwise the build quality is superb, I don't think I'll cringe if I accidentally drop them. And the headband is very flexible, I've been twisting it all sorts of ways. Oh, and they're very very efficient headphones, they are super easy to drive from my ipod. Although I still use an amp, as I think it cleans up the sound a bit.

 

I'll still try to give you guys a more elaborate impression of the SQ of the Focals. In spite of the discomfort I immediately experience when putting them on :)


Edited by starfly - 10/27/13 at 4:07am
post #55 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiGuy528 View Post
 

The Pro is very neutral.  Much like their studio monitors.  I have the Focal Twin 6 BE so I have an idea of what their monitors sound like. 

 

I'll see if my contact knows when the Classic will hit the streets in the U.S.

 

 

Mike, do you have serious comfort issues with your FSP?

post #56 of 172

So here are my more elaborate impressions of the FSC, comparing them to the Sony 7520 and from memory the B&W P7.

 

Overall the FSC has a slightly warm presentation, certainly not bright. I feel like a bit of burn in (it hasn't been much though, forgot to leave them overnight) has improved the sound a bit, almost like the drivers have loosened up a bit.

 

Anyway the bass is well controlled and present. In terms of quantity not nearly as much as the P7, in terms of quality it's quite good though. But not as good as the 7520, which is very tight and well controlled and I'd say has the perfect quantity of bass. On some songs the P7 overdid it a bit, in retrospect. The sub-bass of the FSC is actually quite nice, you can definitely hear and 'feel' it, perhaps not as much quantity as the P7, but certainly of similar quality. The 7520 also performs nicely on the sub-bass, but perhaps slightly less quantity than the FSC. The sub-bass is something I didn't hear on the first spin I gave the FSC, but now I do hear it so in that sense I'm somewhat relieved (my first reaction was: really? 300 bucks and no sub-bass? really?) :)

 

In terms of soundstage it can't beat the 7520 or the P7. The instrument separation is fairly good though, you can hear all the individual instruments and it doesn't seem to jumble them all together. Would have been nice if it had a little bit more highrange sparkle. But yeah, inspite of pretty good instrument separation, they are place much closer together than the 7520 and P7 do. And in that way I definitely prefer the 7520 and P7 over the FSC.

 

The midrange is slightly recessed, but otherwise well defined and smooth sounding. Vocals sound pretty good, but again a bit recessed against the rest of the spectrum, but still very smooth and good and you can hear most of the subtleties in the vocals. I guess this is a matter of personal preference. I guess I like it a bit less recessed than how it's presented on the FSC. I think the 7520 strikes a nice balance and the P7 is good enough. The KEF M500 was a bit too forward in that respect. Piano's and guitars are nicely rendered, although it's missing that last bit of detail to make it truly stand out.

 

The treble is quite present and so far hasn't gotten sibilant with vocals. A little bit more sparkle would have made it even nicer and would have improved the sense of detail. A song I use to test this is the song Cicadas by Cowboy Junkies. You hear all the cicadas in the background and in headphones that miss that last bit of sparkle you barely hear the cicadas. Well on the FSC you can hear them pretty good, but the 7520 does a better job of it (but from memory, the Philips L2 which I had for a short while performed superbly in this area). I'd say the treble is a bit better done than on the P7, which already was quite good. It just can't beat the 7520 which I'd say performs well throughout the whole frequency range.

 

In terms of detail, not as good as the 7520. And I suspect the P7 is not as good as the 7520 either in that respect. The 7520 is an extremely detailed headphone, but I guess it was designed that way since it's marketed as a professional studio headphone (it also can't be found on Sony's consumer website, only on their Pro website).

 

So overall, my conclusion is that it's a pretty good headphone. The sound is fairly balanced, although the mids are slightly recessed to my ears and compared to the other headphones I've heard. Overall it's a pretty fun headphone to listen to and the warmish balanced presentation will please a lot of ears I suspect. And the bass is certainly not overdone, but is there when the music calls for it and there is enough highrange sparkle to please most ears. Could a few things be better though? yup! And I think the P7 sounds better if I remember correctly, and I'm sure the 7520 does. It's a world of difference, no matter how you put it, the FSC sounds a bit veiled compared to the 7520 (but the 7520 is a very clear, open and detailed headphone so I suspect a lot of headphones will sound veiled by comparison. I think the P7 would also sound veiled compared to the 7520, but would need to an A/B to confirm).

 

Otherwise, did I already say I hate the comfort? Seriously, try these before you buy because I suspect they will be uncomfortable for many people. I have very average ears (they're 65mm long, and the average earsize for males is 64mm). These could have been headphones I could have ended up liking, but I can't bear listening to them for more than 5 minutes straight because of the extreme discomfort I experience. Switching back to the 7520 feels like heaven by comparison.

 

The build qualty is quite good and there is plenty of soft leather used in the construction. It feels very sturdy. The earcups also fold inwards, so they can be made significantly smaller for putting in your travelbag. Otherwise it's a combination of metal and plastic. So, that's that, now they're going back in the box and will ship 'm back tomorrow. Unless someone wants to buy them from me at full retail price (€ 299) :)

 

Now, here are some pictures :)

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by starfly - 10/27/13 at 5:31am
post #57 of 172

Starfly,

 

That is a long review. What was interesting that you used cicadas as one of your point of references since I can not stand listening to choir of them outside.

post #58 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by john57 View Post
 

Starfly,

 

That is a long review. What was interesting that you used cicadas as one of your point of references since I can not stand listening to choir of them outside.


Haha, only because I happen to like that song and the cicadas are a particular detail I only first noticed when I was demoing the Philips L2 and since then I figured it's a good track for testing out upper range detail :) It's in the background of the song, but you should still be able to hear it fairly clearly :)

 

In real life though, they can be quite annoying indeed :)

post #59 of 172
Quote:

Originally Posted by starfly View Post

 

Als in terms of comfort, the earcups are terrible. I mean, it's nice leather lambskin-ish stuff, but they're just too small. 50mm?? Seriously? And this is marketed as a hifi listen-at-home headphone, and then they deliver it with such small earcups? What were they thinking at Focal? Were they testing these things only on the heads of babies? So either way, just because of the bad comfort alone I'll be returning these very quickly.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by starfly View Post

 

Otherwise, did I already say I hate the comfort? Seriously, try these before you buy because I suspect they will be uncomfortable for many people. I have very average ears (they're 65mm long, and the average earsize for males is 64mm). These could have been headphones I could have ended up liking, but I can't bear listening to them for more than 5 minutes straight because of the extreme discomfort I experience. Switching back to the 7520 feels like heaven by comparison.

 

So is the FSC problematic in the same manner as the Momentum and the original Spirit One, where the ears do not fit into the pads?

post #60 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post
 

 

 

 

So is the FSC problematic in the same manner as the Momentum and the original Spirit One, where the ears do not fit into the pads?

Yes, for my head it's the exact same problem. 

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