Focal SM9 Studio Monitors
The Focal SM9 Studio Monitors establishes themselves as the flagship reference of the Focal Professional line thanks to the precision of the stereo image, its capacity to reproduce each of the micro details of the audio signal, as well as unconditional respect of the original dynamics. The SM9 monitors have been designed to offer superior imaging, outstanding precision and extended frequency range, suitable for near field and mid field monitoring.
One of the major SM9 innovations lies in the fact of switching between 2 different monitoring speaker configurations in only one and unique cabinet. The SM9 is thus composed of 2 monitor configurations:
3-way monitor (Beryllium tweeter + 6.5" “W” woofer + 8" “W” subwoofer + 11" passive radiator)
This monitor offers a frequency response from 30Hz to 40kHz for total control of the audio signal permitting extremely precise work.
2-way monitor (Beryllium tweeter + 6.5” “W” woofer)
This monitor offers a frequency response from 90Hz to 40kHz, permitting to check the mix transfer quality on systems with limited frequency response in the bass frequencies for example TV sets, computers, cars, iPod docks or any multimedia system. This monitor also permits to check the midrange register, very hard to equalize and balance in terms of sound level compared to the other information contained in the audio signal. The activation of this monitor is made by setting off the FOCUS mode on the side panel.
The FOCUS Mode switch changes monitor modes from either 2 or 3-way mode. The activation of the FOCUS mode (2-way mode) enables to deactivate the subwoofer and consequently the passive radiator. Only the tweeter and the woofer can work. The frequency response of the 2-way monitor is 90Hz-20kHz (+/- 3dB). The FOCUS mode is very useful to check the mix transfer on equipment with limited bass frequencies (TV, multimedia systems, Docking station, …). Deactivate the FOCUS mode permits to activate the 3-way mode of the monitor. All the transducers can work now and the monitor frequency response is 30Hz – 40kHz (+/- 3dB).
This permits you to deactivate the settings situated on the back panel, except for the high-pass filter. The activation of this selector permits to transfer directly the audio signal from the input stage to the filtering stage.
The SM9 are designed for near field and mid field monitoring and should be placed at a distance between 1 and 4 metres from the listener, pointing towards the listening position. They can be positioned on the console top or placed on appropriate stands (we recommend VERY heavy duty stands as these monitors weigh 77lbs each!). In any way it is recommended that the tweeter is at a height from the floor approximately equivalent to that of the listener’s ears.
Here are some of the exclusive acoustic technologies which Focal has integrated into this wholly unique studio monitoring system:
Focal SM9 Studio Monitor Features
- Pure Beryllium inverted dome tweeter: The inverted dome tweeter is a hallmark of Focal. Introduced more than twenty years ago, this tweeter produces a high output, but without requiring high energy input and without increasing directivity. The introduction of the pure Beryllium dome, capable of covering 5 full octaves from 1,000 to 40,000Hz constitutes a new decisive advance regarding new audio formats. This tweeter capacity to reproduce high frequencies with unmatched speed and transparency. This tweeter allows an unprecedented price/performance ratio. To finish with, the new TB872 tweeter delivers outstanding dynamics thanks to its amazing magnet field (2.1 teslas).
- The “W” cone: Focal has been developing the technologies of composite sandwich cones for more than 15 years. The "W" process (Glass/Foam/Glass) provides a true optimization of the frequency response by fine tuning of mass, rigidity and damping parameters. The balance between these 3 fundamental and often contradictory parameters is at the basis of the outstanding sound neutrality of Focal's speakers.
- Passive radiator: In order to reproduce the lowest frequency range within a very small volume without any air flow noises, the SM9 is equipped with a no compromise, custom designed “W” passive radiator.
- High performance tailor-made amplification: The SM9 uses low distortion class AB power stages for low (400W), mid (100W) and high frequency (100W) channels, entirely respecting the dynamics of the low level audio signal and ensuring total transparency.
- The SM9 monitors are made of 3 internal amplifiers:
- 1 x 400W for the 8” subwoofer
- 1 x 100W for the 6.5” woofer
- 1 x 100W for the tweeter
- The SM9 monitors are equipped with:
- 1 x 11” passive radiator with W composite sandwich cone
- 1 x 8” subwoofer with W composite sandwich cone
- 1 x 6.5” woofer with W composite sandwich cone
- 1 x pure Beryllium inverted dome tweeter
- Rear Panel Controls:
- HI-PASS FILTER: This potentiometer corresponds to the high-pass filter. It permits to limit or not the frequency response in the bass frequencies of the SM9 monitors. The “FULL RANGE” position has the effect of disabling the high-pass filter (the monitor functions on the whole bandwidth from 30Hz to 40kHz in three-way mode / 90Hz – 20kHz in two-way mode). The filtering slope for the three other positions (45Hz-60Hz-90Hz) is 12dB/octave.
- LF SHELVING: This potentiometer permits a linear adjustment of the frequency levels between 30Hz and 250Hz of +/-3dB.
- LF EQ: This potentiometer permits to adjust the bass level. The central frequency is 50Hz and the Q factor is 2. Corrections are made on a +/-3dB slot.
- LMF EQ: This potentiometer permits to adjust the level of the midbass frequencies. The central frequency is 160Hz and the Q factor is 1. Corrections are made on a +/-3dB slot. This correction is very useful if the SM9 monitor is installed on a mixing desk. The activation of this setting will have the effect to lower the reflection produced by the mixing desk.
- MF EQ: This potentiometer permits to adjust the level of the midrange frequencies. The central frequency is 1kHz and the Q factor is 0.6. Corrections are made on a +/-3dB slot.
- HF SHELVING: This potentiometer permits a linear adjustment of the frequency levels between 4.5kHz and 40kHz of +/- 3dB.
- XLR plug: This plug is dedicated to receive the low-level audio signal from the mixing desk, the sound card or any other material providing a low-level signal, line type. You may have to adjust the input sensitivity of the monitor according to the connected source (symmetrical or asymmetrical output source).
- INPUT SENSITIVITY: This switch permits to adapt the input sensitivity of the monitor according to the source (mixing desk, sound card, …) If the connected source transmits the audio signal via an unbalanced output, you will have to set the input sensitivity of the monitor on -10dBV. If the audio signal is transmitted via a balanced output, you will have to set the input sensitivity of the monitor on +4dBu.
Focal SM9 Studio Monitor Specifications
- Frequency response:
- 3-way mode:
- 30Hz - 40kHz (+/- 3dB)
- 40Hz - 20kHz (+/- 1dB)
- 2-way mode (Focus):
- Maximum SPL:
- 3-way mode: 116dB SPL (peak @ 1m)
- 2-way mode (Focus): 106dB SPL (peak @ 1m)
- Electronic section
- Input Type / Impedance: Electronically balanced / 10 kOhms
- Connector: XLR
- Sensitivity: Adjustable, +4dBu or -10dBV
- Bass: 400W, class AB
- Midrange: 100W, class AB
- Treble: 100W, class AB
- Power supply
- Local supply:
- 230V (T 3.15A L fuse)
- 115V (T 6.3A L fuse)
- Connection: IEC inlet and detachable power cord
- User controls and indicators
- Rear panel:
- Input sensitivity selector (+4dBu / -10dBV)
- High-pass crossover (full range, 45, 60, 90Hz @ -6dB)
- Low frequency shelving (+/- 3dB from 30 to 250Hz)
- High frequency shelving (+/- 3dB from 4.5 to 40kHz)
- Low frequency EQ (+/- 3dB @ 50Hz, Q factor = 2)
- Low-mid frequency EQ (+/- 3dB @ 160Hz, Q factor = 1)
- Mid frequency EQ (+/- 3dB @ 1kHz, Q factor = 0.6)
- Side panel:
- Stand By / On switch
- Direct switch
- Focus switch
- Light indicator: Power On, clipping and default on front panel LED
- Passive radiator: 11WPP52, 11” (27cm) Focal “W” composite sandwich cone piston, extra wide inverted surround radiator
- Subwoofer: 8W7571, 8” (20cm) Focal “W” composite sandwich cone driver
- Midrange: 6W0452, 6.5” (16.5cm) Focal “W” composite sandwich cone driver
- Tweeter: TB872, 1” pure Beryllium inverted dome tweeter
- Construction: 0.88”(22mm) and 1.2” (30mm) panels with internal braces
- Finish: Black natural veneering top and bottom panels, black body
- Dimensions (HxLxD): 12.8” x 19.6” x 15.6” (320mm x 490mm x 390mm)
- Weight: 77lb (35kg)
Focal SM9 Studio Monitor Includes
- 2 x SM9 Studio Monitor (Pair)
- 2 x IEC power cable
- 2 x User Guide / Owners Manual
- 2 x Warranty / guarantee card
- 2 x Protection grille for the Beryllium tweeter (you are advised to remove it before listening to the speakers)
- 2 x Plastic bag containing an information note “Beryllium inverted dome tweeter”, and some adhesive tape to affix on the tweeter in the unlikely event of the dome being damaged
Focal SM9 Studio Monitor Downloads
What We Think
The Focal SM9 is a beast of a studio monitoring system. Consisting of both a Right and Left mirror image pair of monitors, Focal pioneered their unique 3-Way / 2-Way FOCUS mode system here, which can now be found in the newer
Trio6 Be monitors. So, the SM9 is essentially both the SM9 with a hidden Solo6 Be integrated into the design, which can be used on it's own when the FOCUS mode is engaged. Not a bad "smaller reference monitor" at all.
Weighing in at an uber-heavy 77lbs each (!!!) the SM9 is really going to demand some heavy-duty studio monitor stands (see our recommendations in the "You May Also Need..." section below), or at least a console meter-bridge with a weight bearing capacity of over 200lbs... you know, just to be on the safe side.
With an integrated 8-inch subwoofer powered by a dedicated 400 Watt amplifier, all of that air that's being moved needs to have somewhere to expand. As a result, Focal employed a passive radiator on the top of the unit which allows for the cabinet to "breathe" without resorting to a ported cabinet design. The result is a much tighter and clearer low frequency picture. And just as a note of sideshow curiosity, the Sub6 features a 350 Watt amplifier and 11" driver versus the SM9 system's TWO 400 Watt amplifiers pushing a pair of 8-inch subwoofers... Yeah. You're starting to see just how powerful these monitors really are.
Bottom line is that the Focal SM9 monitoring system is flat out bananas. It's a system which delivers "Mains" performance in a near/mid-field monitor footprint.
Give us a call to help assemble a truly unobstructed high-resolution monitoring chain package! 888-228-4530
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