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Focal Introduces “SM9” Powered Studio Monitors at AES

New Monitor is actually ‘Two Independent Monitors in One’ – Set for Q1 2011 Release

New Focal ‘SM9′ 3-Way Powered Monitor

AES – San Francisco, CANovember 5, 2010Focal Professional announced the worldwide launch of its new flagship powered monitor system at the San Francisco 2010 AES Convention. The “SM9 Monitoring System” is born from a simple idea: create the most dynamic, sonically transparent and accurate monitoring system ever built. One of the many innovations within the SM9 are the two independent monitoring systems housed within the same speaker cabinet: a 3-way monitor equipped with a 1″ pure Beryllium inverted dome tweeter, a 6.5″ midrange driver, 8″ bass driver and an 11″ passive radiator; and the same cabinet includes a 2-way monitor utilizing the same inverted dome tweeter and a 6.5″ midbass driver.

By engaging the “FOCUS” mode switch on the side panel of each speaker, the 3-way system becomes a 2-way monitor with different crossover electronics. The unique Focal SM9 studio monitor system is set for release in Q1 2011, independent left and right speakers are offered at a suggested retail price of $3995. US each, (estimated street price $3595. each).
Nicolas Debard, Focal Product Manager for the SM9 notes, “Focal decided to do something very different with the SM9 by offering both a full-range professional studio monitor and a 2-way basic monitor in the same cabinet, allowing engineers to verify mixes on a bass-limited speaker simulating televisions, computer systems, car audio, iPod speakers and other multimedia speakers. The SM9 is the result of over three years of R&D where every component and function was designed from scratch utilizing over 30-years of Focal design experience.”

“Listening with the SM9 in its native 3-way mode will strike listeners with unprecedented realism and transparency, startling tonal accuracy and dynamic range,” adds Debard. “The Focus 2-way mode of the SM9 will possibly save many mixes. While in Focus mode, the limited bass response will reveal imperfections on midrange and mid-bass level or EQ choices. We feel that engineers will quickly become addicted to using the Focus mode.”

Three buttons on the SM9 side panel offer direct access to the different modes of operations: Stand By, Direct, and Focus. ‘Focus’ mode (a Focal exclusive) activates the 2-way monitoring system, which engages a separate crossover and other circuitry creating a truly alternate 2-way speaker from the 3-way full-range monitor. The ‘Direct’ mode allows the engineer who is not using the rear EQ section, to entirely bypass it for an even cleaner and direct signal path. This feature is also perfect for acousticians willing to use an external room EQ. ‘Stand By’ simply mutes the monitor and puts it in a low-power mode.

The all-new, all-analog amplifiers developed specifically for the SM9 offer no compromise: 600 watts of class-AB amplification drives the SM9 on three separate channels, respectively 400 W (woofer), 100 W (midrange) and 100 W (tweeter). These new amplifiers have a bias current between class-A and class-AB.

The low-noise input stage is equipped with various adjustments allowing the engineer or acoustician to compensate for any room anomalies and optimize the monitor’s response in the studio. Six detented knobs on the back panel offer low and high shelving filters, variable EQ filters for bass and midbass, (which also serves as a desktop notch filter to tame unwanted console reflections), midrange EQ, and a flexible high-pass filter.

The SM9 studio monitor system is set for release in Q1 2011, independent left and right speakers are offered at a suggested retail price of $3995. US each, (estimated street price $3595. each). Each speaker weighs 77 pounds.
About Focal
Since its foundation, Focal has grown to become one of the world’s leading Hi-Fi and professional loudspeaker companies. Headquartered in Saint-Etienne, France, it is now internationally recognized as a world leader in the design and manufacture of drivers for Hi-Fi and professional loudspeakers. Focal is also a pre-eminent designer and manufacturer of for car-audio and pro-audio. The company’s key strength is its complete integration and quality control of the loudspeaker manufacturing process, from the design of speaker driver units, cabinets and crossovers, to the assembly of the finished product. Focal maintains an intense, continual research program and development in speaker driver technologies. Five patents have been registered to Focal since 2003. Please visit: and
About Audio Plus Services
Established in 1979, Audio Plus Services is a leading North American importer and distributor of premium consumer and professional electronics brands including Focal monitors. Based in Montreal with U.S facilities in Champlain, NY, Audio Plus has sales personnel located throughout the United States to professionally service their active roster of more than 300 specialty A/V dealers. Audio Plus specializes in products and services for the professional audio and performing musician markets, and the home theater and custom integration (CI) market – both residential and commercial – for North America. Visit the Audio Plus website at or call (800) 663-9352 for more information.

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