Focal SPIRIT PROFESSIONAL Impressions thread
Aug 14, 2015 at 2:56 PM Post #1,591 of 1,765

396629

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Be careful what you wish for open doesn't automatically mean better.

There must be a reason other than sound isolation why Hifi & speaker companies like B&W, B&O, PSB, Kef. Musical Fidelity, Macintosh, Pro-Ject, Furutech, Martin Logan, Oppo, Onkyo, Final Audio & Focal all make only closed phones?


EDIT plus the the current and past flagships of companies such as Sony, Fostex, Audio Technica and Denon are all closed when they don't necessarily have to be. Just a thought.
 
Aug 17, 2015 at 5:02 AM Post #1,592 of 1,765

Rune1221

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The Classic (compared to the Pro) is warmer, has a little sparkle but no sibilance and a sweet tone that gives voices a little detached print that I like. The Pro has more bass in comparison. The differences are subtle and I don't think someone should buy the FSClassic if they already have the Pro (or vice-versa), as I did, because the variations aren't big and it would be overkill; but certainly give a listen to the Classic if you are in the market for a Focal.
 
 
Jeez, isn't this headphone hobby complicated?! I wish I had gone for gardening or shoplifting or something; would be less controversial and cheaper too. This discrepancy could be over the sources. My gear tends to neutrality (I guess) and probably the L2 (which I still believe is a great can) would shine in a warmer system. 
 
Cheers. 

 
Just saw this post and was like WHAAT? Pros have more bass than classic? I have two on my table and classic have so much more bass, that's what I don't like about them, only can use them out of my galaxy. Every review out there, comparing both is saying that pros have less bass. You can take a look at goldenears graphs, I feel exactly the same.
 
Aug 18, 2015 at 7:02 AM Post #1,593 of 1,765

Blinxat

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Got these today, quite snappy and crisp. Good staging considering the size. More refined and more balanced than a M50X with no treble harshness. The focal resolves better.
 
I think this headphone has less drop off starting at 2khz to 6khz than other headphones where other headphones go into a deeper valley. So it can get a little shouty imo at high volumes, but no where near as the very slightly crude (in comparison) M50X.
 
I think it does good with all genres, it is not dark or bright. But still interesting and engaging for you to enjoy the music.
 
Aug 18, 2015 at 11:46 AM Post #1,594 of 1,765

Music Alchemist

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  Got these today, quite snappy and crisp. Good staging considering the size. More refined and more balanced than a M50X with no treble harshness. The focal resolves better.
 
I think this headphone has less drop off starting at 2khz to 6khz than other headphones where other headphones go into a deeper valley. So it can get a little shouty imo at high volumes, but no where near as the very slightly crude (in comparison) M50X.
 
I think it does good with all genres, it is not dark or bright. But still interesting and engaging for you to enjoy the music.

 
Its valley is deeper than most headphones; just happens slightly after the area you mentioned. The entire frequency range from 300 Hz to 9 kHz is recessed, except at 4 kHz. You may realize how dark it is in time. (Link to measurements.) But yeah, it's way better than the M50x, which is a basshead headphone marketed as a studio monitor. (Just look at that extreme bass.)
 
Aug 18, 2015 at 12:05 PM Post #1,596 of 1,765

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Hmm maybe it is that slight 4khz thing I am hearing. Or placebo since I saw the graph before

 
Yeah, there's plenty of content in music at 4 kHz, so it is noticeable. Fortunately, cymbals that can become problematic if overemphasized tend to be in the 5 or 6 kHz range, and even at 4 kHz, there isn't actually any overemphasis (just meeting the compensation curves), so the FSP's cymbals sound fine.
 
Hey. Do something for me, since no one else has. It won't cost you anything.
 
Sonarworks has an FSP preset in their Reference 3 Headphone calibration software. I would like to know how it sounds compared to the stock tuning, so if you can try it out for us, it would be very helpful.
 
All you need to do is:
 
  Download and install the free trial of Sonarworks Reference 3 Headphone calibration software.
 
Download and install this VST adapter in foobar2000.
 
Go to Components, VST plugins and add the Sonarworks plugin.
 
Go to Playback, DSP Manager and activate the Sonarworks plugin. Then click Configure Selected.

 
I can give you more specific info if you need help.
 
Aug 18, 2015 at 12:55 PM Post #1,597 of 1,765

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Done but can you tell me with which preset? There is flat, -4db minus bass, and predefined and then simulate various other cans.
 
All of the settings lower the volume and make it sound like dog ****. The flat preset lacks detail and has no bass impact whatsoever.
 
Aug 18, 2015 at 1:41 PM Post #1,598 of 1,765

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  Done but can you tell me with which preset? There is flat, -4db minus bass, and predefined and then simulate various other cans.
 
All of the settings lower the volume and make it sound like dog ****. The flat preset lacks detail and has no bass impact whatsoever.

 
Thanks. I was curious about the flat preset, as long as it's the FSP one. Uncheck the setting that prevents clipping -- that will let you increase the volume. If you have an amp, you should be able to get plenty of volume either way. Anyway, please share more impressions of the flat preset. Does it sound darker or brighter? They use their own proprietary compensation curve.
 
Aug 18, 2015 at 4:29 PM Post #1,599 of 1,765

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Thanks. I was curious about the flat preset, as long as it's the FSP one. Uncheck the setting that prevents clipping -- that will let you increase the volume. If you have an amp, you should be able to get plenty of volume either way. Anyway, please share more impressions of the flat preset. Does it sound darker or brighter? They use their own proprietary compensation curve.


I will dive into it again. However I mostly use online streaming for my music so my local music collection is very limited to use with it in foobar.
 
Aug 18, 2015 at 5:06 PM Post #1,600 of 1,765

Blinxat

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 Does it sound darker or brighter?

 
Brighter and thinner. There is less body to the sound. If you listen to the flat preset over a couple of songs and then bypass back to stock the sound appears cavernous, as if the bass hovers above and around, the vocals get more detail, fuller and are more upfront in stock. With the flat correction it sounds n shaped and rather busy.
 
I don't know what the goal of this is but if it is to represent studio monitors I think stock is better than with the flat correction applied. I don't have access to a studio or monitor studio speakers but I would assume that they have more body thann the flat correction on FSP.
 
I think you would end up EQ'ing a mix a few db more on the flat preset to make it exciting than stock. OR under-doing it with stock. But I really have zero music production knowledge so I wouldn't know how you would end up with the spirit Pro. But I think that most consumer speaker systems and headphones do add bass so maybe the stock sounds makes sense for mixing since you wouldn't overdo it.
 
With the flat setting it sounds sort of confused like it is trying to do everything at once, maybe beneficial if you want to take out some frequencies for a more rounded sound.
 
those are my first impressions anyway, subject to changes :p
 
(DAC of the Mainboard is ALC 1150 in a dedicated zone with a front amp chip, not high end but one of the better implementations for onboard audio.)
 
Aug 27, 2015 at 9:59 AM Post #1,601 of 1,765

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This conversation is reminding me of the Compton Soundtrack by Dre - it got good reviews so I figured I'd check it out (I was there for the golden years of 1990s rap).
 
By Far the Worst, and Strangest production I've ever heard. Everything is overpumped - the bass is jacked up and a little too punchy, the vocals are sibilant and the treble sizzles hard through pretty much every single track. Maybe Dre "prefers" that sort of over-juiced production or maybe this is what happens when you produce with Beats gear lol.
 
Another great album lost to what seems to be pretty crappy production - unless I am listening on my absolute best headphones (the real disaster is my car which already has a fairly hot response in the mid and upper midrange). And that's the other thing - my best recordings always sound good no matter if I am listening to a crappy radio or $400 dollar headphones. Wish more audio engineers would take heed, and try their mix on less expensive equipment too - I swear it can "mask" rather than reveal sometimes. Play it at home, play it in the car, play it on headphones etc. Or do they already?
 
Aug 29, 2015 at 7:45 AM Post #1,602 of 1,765

chailee80

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This conversation is reminding me of the Compton Soundtrack by Dre - it got good reviews so I figured I'd check it out (I was there for the golden years of 1990s rap).

By Far the Worst, and Strangest production I've ever heard. Everything is overpumped - the bass is jacked up and a little too punchy, the vocals are sibilant and the treble sizzles hard through pretty much every single track. Maybe Dre "prefers" that sort of over-juiced production or maybe this is what happens when you produce with Beats gear lol.

Another great album lost to what seems to be pretty crappy production - unless I am listening on my absolute best headphones (the real disaster is my car which already has a fairly hot response in the mid and upper midrange). And that's the other thing - my best recordings always sound good no matter if I am listening to a crappy radio or $400 dollar headphones. Wish more audio engineers would take heed, and try their mix on less expensive equipment too - I swear it can "mask" rather than reveal sometimes. Play it at home, play it in the car, play it on headphones etc. Or do they already?

I noticed that too, I thought the bass was done ok for my tastes but the vocals seem rough and the treble very harsh. Not that noticeable when played on my loud speakers but the moment I played it through my headphones it's very noticeable. i don't know if it's Dre himself who engineers it all but whoever it is either has bad hearing or some bad headphones.
 
Aug 29, 2015 at 10:21 AM Post #1,603 of 1,765

MrMateoHead

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I noticed that too, I thought the bass was done ok for my tastes but the vocals seem rough and the treble very harsh. Not that noticeable when played on my loud speakers but the moment I played it through my headphones it's very noticeable. i don't know if it's Dre himself who engineers it all but whoever it is either has bad hearing or some bad headphones.


Not to get TOO off topic, but I was asking myself why the first track's bass line literally sounded like one or two woofers at the limit of excursion. It reminded me of my brother's first "system" - a badly, badly underpowered 15 inch sub crammed into the truck of his civic, powered with what little juice his 80 bazooka tube could spare. It sounded EXACTLY like dat crappy bass lol. It brings back some funny memories but honestly the trend of hearing engineers using "woofer distorting" bass lines is annoying - if it wasn't I wouldn't have dropped hundreds on better amps and speakers!
 
Sep 28, 2015 at 12:56 PM Post #1,605 of 1,765

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Brighter and thinner. There is less body to the sound. If you listen to the flat preset over a couple of songs and then bypass back to stock the sound appears cavernous, as if the bass hovers above and around, the vocals get more detail, fuller and are more upfront in stock. With the flat correction it sounds n shaped and rather busy.
 
I don't know what the goal of this is but if it is to represent studio monitors I think stock is better than with the flat correction applied. I don't have access to a studio or monitor studio speakers but I would assume that they have more body thann the flat correction on FSP.
 
I think you would end up EQ'ing a mix a few db more on the flat preset to make it exciting than stock. OR under-doing it with stock. But I really have zero music production knowledge so I wouldn't know how you would end up with the spirit Pro. But I think that most consumer speaker systems and headphones do add bass so maybe the stock sounds makes sense for mixing since you wouldn't overdo it.
 
With the flat setting it sounds sort of confused like it is trying to do everything at once, maybe beneficial if you want to take out some frequencies for a more rounded sound.
 
those are my first impressions anyway, subject to changes :p
 
(DAC of the Mainboard is ALC 1150 in a dedicated zone with a front amp chip, not high end but one of the better implementations for onboard audio.)

I actually produce with the fsp and the sonarworks sometimes, when not working on my monitors. The translation is amazing, even the bass comes out nicely (which is the hardest to get right in headphones). It's much easier to find the right tonal balance due to the better bass extension, the soundstage that appears more upfront and the overall more coherent sound compared to the stock.
 
Reading this someone might think that the fsp is not a headphone suited for music production, but it is. It's just a matter of knowing your headphone, their flaws and how they translate. Sonarworks just makes it easier. 
biggrin.gif

 
FSP with Sonarworks translates better than the HD600 or Beyer DT880PRO for sure, I used them both and they get the job done but there is a lot of tweaking involved to get the translation spot on. 
 

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