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
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 floorstander 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.
Customized Aluminum/Magnesium Tweeter Provides Airy Extension
Handmade in the same French factory as Focal's reference-setting Utopia line, the Profile 918 boasts a pioneering aluminum/magnesium inverted-dome tweeter renowned for being one of the industry's best. Claiming greater efficiency and accuracy versus traditional designs, it yields an enviable combination of enhanced detail retrieval and fatigue-free composure no matter the volume level. As such, the Profile 918 welcomes long listening sessions and enraptures you with airy extension. Such are the benefits of a customized approach unavailable to a majority of Focal's competitors.
In-House-Made Drivers and a Different Woofer for Every Model
One of just a handful of manufacturers that makes its own drivers in-house, and the only manufacturer Music Direct knows that crafts different woofers for every single speaker model it produces, Focal instills the Profile 918 with a truly unique W-composite sandwich cone woofer expressly optimized for the 918. Since the drivers are altered to suit the cabinet, the low-frequency extension and tonal balance reach performance levels that belie the speaker's relatively low cost, curvaceous shape, and slender size.
Gorgeous Contours Eliminate Standing Waves and Immerses You in an Immense Soundstage
Speaking of the Profile 918's swimsuit-model-like contours: They, too, are present for practical purposes that enliven the musical experience. More alluring, distinctive, and modern than conventional big-box floorstanders, the shapes of these gorgeous French gems offer peak rigidity and natural attenuation of standing waves via successive reflection and deflection. In addition, the elliptical enclosure avoids the formation of resonance modes and produces a precise sound. This means you'll hear deeper into your recordings and be immersed within a soundstage that reveals full, realistic images and seemingly limitless spaciousness.
You Can Look—And Touch
Built to last several lifetimes, the Profile 918 is easy to drive and features 90dB sensitivity and an impedance of 8 Ohms. Its bended, tough, multi-fold MDF cabinet sports a Diamond Black Finish comprised of eco-friendly organic glass that's heat-formed and -plated to the cabinet. Absorbing and accommodating, it allows the speaker to double as a modern work of art and blend into the fanciest environs.
Sound, sophistication, looks, curves, unrivaled performance in its class: The Focal Profile 918 deserves your attention. Schedule your time with this technological and stylish beauty by calling Music Direct today!
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.
Aluminum Magnesium Tweeter (Al/Mg)
Focal is rightly proud of their Al/Mg alloy tweeter which combines the tensile strength of Aluminum with the feather weight of Magnesium. Magnesium damps the inherent high frequency resonance of Aluminum without adding significant mass, thus creating a design which is smooth and extended well past the range of human hearing. The tweeter is held rock-still by a massive and inert piece of formed Zamak (a Zinc, Aluminum, Magnesium and Copper alloy) inserted into the top of the cabinet. The Al/Mg tweeter doesn't sound like any metal tweeter you've ever heard, offering superb extension and resolution without harshness or brightness.
Optimum Phase Crossover
A crossover is a circuit within the speaker that splits frequencies amongst the drivers, ensuring bass doesn't go to the tweeter and treble doesn't get into a bass driver. Even though Focal builds every driver that goes in their speakers and can customize them however they want, there's no getting around the need for a crossover. However, Focal has so much control over the creative and manufacturing process that their crossovers are actually quite simple and very efficient. An efficient crossover allows more music to come through unimpeded and makes for more satisfying listening at all levels, soft or loud. Optimum Phase refers to how this crossover preserves phase across the entire range including the crossover point, an impressive feat.
Historically, when creating a new speaker, form follows function; the technical goal being to create a cabinet of sufficient proportions to properly suit the drivers. This seems to inevitably lead to the traditional boxy shape we associate with a conventional speaker. The Profile series offered Focal an opportunity to engineer speakers in reverse; create the ideal cabinet first, then build drivers to fit the enclosure. Focal's prodigious in-house manufacturing capabilities gave them the confidence to tackle this daunting task, something few (if any) other speaker companies would even dare attempt. Starting with the shape, Focal penned a rounded, sleek, slanting body. More than just a sumptuous design exercise, every aspect of the Profile cabinet has a function. There are virtually no parallel surfaces, the soft, curvy, ovoid shape has no internal corners minimizing distortion and the slanted front baffle improves time and phase coherence. Looking deeper, a massive backbone and rib structure provide outstanding rigidity and the six-layer thick HDF skin is stronger and less resonant than a single slab of MDF. More than just a pretty face, Profile's performance is by design.
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.
Born in 1995, the "W" cone is a signature element in all high-end Focal loudspeakers. Exceptionally light and rigid, the cone material is made of a sandwich of ultra-lightweight foam and molecules-thick coats of glass, front and back, up to three layers each. "W" cone material has almost 100 times the rigidity of aluminum but its weight is measured in grams, not ounces. By varying how thick the foam is and how many layers are on which side of the cone, each cone can be specifically tailored to its intended use, allowing near infinite customization. For example, a subwoofer's driver might require several coats of glass front and rear for high rigidity, whereas a dedicated midrange driver which doesn't move nearly as much might only receive one coat on the front and nothing on the rear for lightning-fast response and slight absorption of the back-wave.
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.
The most striking aspect of Focal's tweeters is that they are concave instead of convex. By inverting the dome, Focal is able to achieve two goals, greater efficiency and greater accuracy. In a traditional convex dome, the voice coil is placed on the outside edge of the driver, where almost 50% of the electrical impulse is lost to the damping action of the rubber surround. By inverting the dome, Focal is able to place a smaller voice coil right on the driver itself for excellent electrical efficiency and reduced moving mass. The result is an astonishing amount of retrieved detail which was once previously obscured and greater composure at any volume setting.
Diamond Black Finish
Far from a mere gloss lacquer, Diamond Black is absolutely gorgeous.
Made from rigid panels of eco-friendly organic glass, Diamond Black is
heat formed and plated to the cabinet. While ordinary piano finishes
simply reflect objects around them like a dark mirror; Diamond Black has
depth, absorbing color elements from its surroundings and drawing them
in, creating an inner glow and literally becoming part of its
surroundings. Never before has a black finish been so accommodating of
the colors around it, Diamond Black is truly extraordinary.