Focal Aria 936 Floorstanding Speakers
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A Classy Solution For Medium To Larger Listening Spaces
Aluminium/Magnesium Alloy Inverted Dome Tweeter
Flax Glass Fibre Sandwich Midrange & Bass Drivers
Powerflow Multiple Port Technology For Dynamic Bass
About Focal Aria 936 Floorstanding Speakers
The Focal Aria 936 speaker is the middle floorstanding design in the Aria range and is a keen choice for medium to larger rooms such. The flax sandwich cones bring a natural timbre to sounds which is quite enticing and this Aria 936 combines the subtlety of the flax drivers with the sort of dynamics only a multi-driver speaker can bring to all types of music.
The Aria 936, like all the 900 series speakers, is a fairly traditional looking speaker that will fit into pretty much any type of interior. It’s kind of like the Rolex Explorer of speakers, suitable for any occasion. Which does not mean it doesn’t have some beautiful design touches. Available in either a High Gloss Black or Noyer finish (Walnut in French), the front baffle is covered in a leather look material & the top of the speaker in glass. There is also what Focal refer to as Powerflow multiple port technology to allow the bass to be as dynamic and uncompressed as possible. These speakers almost disappear with the full length magnetic grille on but come alive with the wonderful look of the flax drivers when the grilles are removed.
A Closer Look At The 936's
What Focal has cleverly aimed to do with the Aria 900 series is create a range of "Affordable High-End" speakers. There really are no compromises in design, construction and sound which makes the quality to price ratio sky high. The Aria 900 paves the way for radical technology changes and brings a new design combining stylish classicism with modernity. This approach befits new consumer thinking, now turned towards refined, long-lasting products. It represents a significant design shift away from earlier Focal speakers with their very strong design identity towards a more timeless, sober statement combining the mineral and the organic. The Aria 900 range comprises four sets of speakers and this 936 is the middle floorstander of the bunch and very possibly the best value of the lot. The Aria 936 gives very little away to its bigger brother, the 948, with specs that are very, very close for considerably less money. This is a dynamic sounding speaker incorporating three 6.5” (165 mm) bass drivers and is designed for rooms measuring from 25 square metres and up.
The "F" Cone, A Focal Patented Innovation: Some 18 years after Focal introduced its high-end "W" sandwich cones (glass-glass sandwich) to massive critical acclaim, it is launching its "F" (for Flax) sandwich cones, the result of more than five years' work towards achieving more affordable sandwich structures.
"W" cones are still the optimum solution in the search for the ultimate drive unit. The ideal cone should meet several opposing criteria: it should be very low in mass and be very stiff; sound should be able to travel through it very quickly, with no resonance. No single- material solution provides the answer - sandwich construction is the right way to go. "W" cones have just one disadvantage: they can only be made by hand and are, consequently, expensive. This precludes their use on all but the most expensive loudspeaker systems.
The use of an "eco-textile" like flax, together with composite technologies, brings an innovative solution to sandwich construction: a piece of very high quality flax is placed between two very thin glass fibre sheets. And of no little importance, the manufacturing process can be mechanised and automated, in response to the requirement for more affordable loudspeakers.
Even More Technology Behind The Aria 936: Of course, a good cone is just one part of a good loudspeaker unit. That is why the Aria 936’s transducers incorporate a new injected Zamak basket providing maximum rear decompression and Klippel optimised motor systems providing them with ideal magnetic field distribution to ensure linearity, acceleration and control.
The new TNF tweeter has an aluminium/magnesium alloy inverted dome, for low mass, stiffness and ideal propagation speed. This gives it outstanding acceleration over a wide bandwidth with low colouration. The lightweight dome is supported on Poron suspension (for linearity) developed from the Utopia tweeter. The tweeter has a front plate waveguide to ensure ideal horizontal directivity with low diffraction.
Perfectionists' Cabinet-Work: Great drivers mounted in poorly designed enclosures will, sadly, sound like poor drivers. That is why the Aria 936’s cabinet is constructed from a combination of 18 and 24 mm controlled density HDF (High Density Fiberboard) with non-parallel sides and bracing at strategic points. The floorstanding cabinet comes complete with a cast aluminium plinth both to improve the floor coupling and to optimise the air flow from the downward firing vent. And the 936 incorporates three vents, in fact, (two horizontal and one vertical) in PowerFlow configuration for a 50% air movement speed reduction in the vents, reducing turbulence and noise leading to zero dynamic compression. Finally, the midrange and treble sections have their own sealed enclosures with non-parallel walls to minimise internal standing waves.
The Aria 936 is available in Walnut (Noyer) or Black High Gloss. The cabinet has a glass top and leather finished front highlighted with brushed gunmetal trim rings. They exude style and quality and will fit perfectly with both traditional and contemporary decors.
The Search For Excellence: The Aria 936 crossover is carefully designed using an expert combination of science and art. Given today's measurement and design tools, it is easy to produce a good loudspeaker (if one has the capacity to design them and build them consistently, of course). So, if one is content with the merely "good", the job is done and small corrections can be left to the crossovers. But for Focal, only the best will do and for the best, problems have to be resolved at source with exceptional loudspeakers that limit the role of the crossover to that of a frequency "signalman". Great loudspeakers take significantly longer to design and require marrying the art of listening with that of subtly modifying the crossover to give that extra something that makes a good loudspeaker great. These small "somethings" are what bring music to life, what make it so expressive.
Made In France: Focal designs and manufactures all its loudspeakers in France in its 17,400m2 R&D and manufacturing facility in Saint-Etienne. Having total control over design and manufacture brings huge advantages in terms of optimising designs: every loudspeaker in any particular range can have its own specific drive unit optimised for that specific enclosure. This also brings considerable advantages in the areas of innovation, quality and consistency of build. And that is why, in 2002, Focal relocated all its loudspeakers production to its manufacturing facility in Saint-Etienne, making it unique in the industry.
Focal Aria In The News
"A big, spacious sound, tonally neutral, with impressive dynamics, and powerful bass for the size of the speaker. That was my capsule description of the sound of Focal's Chorus 826W 30th Anniversary, and it also describes the Aria 936, which is all of those things—and more. As befits its somewhat larger size and additional woofer, the Aria 936 reaches further down into the bass, without the bass sounding boomy or bloated. No longer having samples of the Chorus 826W on hand for comparison, and thus having to rely on my memory and listening notes, I may be on thin ice here, but I'm comfortable saying that the sound of the Aria 936 is more detailed and more transparent, and its highs are particularly clear and extended without sounding in any way forward or clinical. Soundstages are bigger, and aural images within those soundstages are more precisely defined.
The word voice has long been associated with the reproduction of music, going back to His Master's Voice, Electro-Voice, and Altec's Voice of the Theater. It is thus most appropriate that Focal has named their newest line of speakers Aria, a term that refers to vocal music. With the right source and suitable partnering electronics, the Aria 936 sings with a beautiful voice.” Stereophile
Main Features & Specifications
- Design: 5-driver, 3-way floorstanding speaker
- 1" (25mm) Aluminium/Magnesium TNF inverted dome tweeter
- 6.5" (165mm) Flax midrange
- 3 x 6.5" (165mm) Flax bass drivers
- Sensitivity: 92dB (2.83V/1m)
- Frequency Response: 39Hz - 28kHz (+/-3dB)
- Low Frequency Point: 32Hz (-6dB)
- Nominal Impedance: 8 Ohms
- Minimum Impedance: 2.8 Ohms
- Recommended Amplifier Power: 40 - 300W
- Crossover Frequency: 260 Hz & 3,100Hz
- Finish: High Gloss Black, Noyer
- Dimensions (WxHxD) 294 x 1,150 x 371mm
- Weight: 29kg each
- Manufacturer's Warranty: 5 Years (Covers faulty workmanship and materials, but not abuse)
Note: Features & Specifications Subject To Change Without Notice. E&OE