Focal Profile 918 Tower Speakers
Best In-Class Consistency and Effortless Performance: Handmade Speaker Anchored by Critically Acclaimed Aluminum/Magnesium Tweeter
Slim, Sleek, Curvaceous Design Fits Anywhere and Contributes to Speaker's Phenomenal Sound.
One look and you know these are special. The curved shape of the sides, obtained by a labor-intensive process of curving 6 panels of MDF, the absence of parallel partitions, and the continually changing cut of the speaker give it a visual identity all its own. But their beauty is much more than skin deep. This complex cabinet structure does away with interior standing waves. The second generation sandwich composite "W" speaker cones use glass film and varying densities of foam to provide optimum qualities of mass, rigidity, and damping. Building on the technology of the Berylium tweeter from the Utopia series, the Profiles aluminum/magnesium tweeter reached cleanly up to 30kHz without coloration.
Expressiveness, openness, clarity, smoothness, warmth, three-dimensionality: Six prime characteristics every music aficionado desires no matter their individual listening biases. The Focal Profile 918 loudspeaker delivers these hallmark audiophile qualities with unrivaled consistency and effortlessness in its price range. Sumptuously elegant in appearance and sound, the two-and-a-half-way bass-reflect floor stander delivers stunning depth of field, tonal articulation, and taut bass. Like that of a high-performance luxury sports car, its slim, sleek, and sexy design owes as much to functionality as looks.
Advanced Design Take another look at Profile's shape, this time looking down at the top of the speaker. Note the similarity in shape to an egg, Focal dubs this an Omega structure. Aesthetically pleasing as it is, the contours of the Omega cabinet offer tremendous rigidity; eliminating midrange coloration and parasitic resonance at lower frequencies. Another benefit is the lack of parallel walls, which minimizes a form of distortion called aliasing. In a flat box, the back-wave from the woofer rebounds off the rear panel and strikes the driver within 1ms, distorting the pistonic motion of the driver. In the Omega cabinet, energy expands into the cabinet, then bounces around on the various rear walls and internal braces, taking a much longer path and is effectively dispersed within the loudspeaker. This is what gives Profile such clear, rich and defined midrange presence, highly accurate imaging and unparalleled dynamic range.
Gorgeous Skin Designing a gorgeous shape is one thing, building it is another. There's more than meets the eye when it comes to Profile's curves. Traditional bending techniques require sequential deep cuts in the MDF board, allowing it to be bent along the voids. Unfortunately, this also creates nasty and unpredictable resonances throughout the structure. Focal bypassed this method and instead used six thin layers of MDF (3mm each) formed against a mold and epoxied together with resin. This “sandwich” of materials creates a lightweight and extremely rigid structure with the added benefit of built-in vibration control. Not coincidentally, this is the same principal used to create Focal's exceptional “W” cone drivers.
Customized Drivers Focal is one of only a handful of manufacturers who make their own drivers. Focal is the only manufacturer we're aware of that makes different woofers for every single model of their speakers. At last count, Focal had 192 different drivers across their range. Rather than use off-the-shelf generics, Focal customizes each midrange, bass and mid-bass driver for its specific application and cabinet. Since all drivers are built in-house, Focal has ultimate control over what goes in their speakers. Every parameter can be changed and modified; the voice coil, spider (suspension), magnet, surround, cone materials and shape, even the basket. Rather than being forced to make changes in cabinet size to accommodate a specific driver, Focal simply changes the driver to suit the cabinet. This is how Focal is able to deliver such incredible performance and startling low frequency extension from such slender designs as the Profile series; the drivers are literally optimized for the cabinet they're in. More importantly, from bookshelf to tower to center to surrounds, all Focal speakers in any given series have exactly the same tonal balance, so whether used for stereo or multichannel, consistent performance is a given.
Speakers are in very good condition, there is a noticeable scratch on the side of one speakers and a few less obvious ones. See photos. The grills are in really good condition with some edge wear, again not too noticeable. No boxes and this is a local pick up in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. Delivery is possible depending on your location. No spikes, they sound better without them and they are also more stable without them. I think the finish was called Drift Oak.
These were really well received by reviewers and were quite popular. The last list price was $5,000.00. Low cost entry to the high end.