The recent AES show saw the announcement of a new set of monitors from Focal — which is actually, according to the company, “two independent monitors in one.” The approach with the new SM9 Monitoring System was to create the most dynamic, sonically transparent and accurate monitoring system ever built, with the flexibility to monitor from two different types of speakers without moving or changing the listening situation.
The big innovation is that there are two monitor systems in each cabinet; first up is a 3-way system with an 8″ bass driver, 6.5″ midrange driver, and 1″ pure beryllium inverted dome tweeter. The same cabinet houses a 2-way monitor using the same inverted dome tweeter and 6.5″ mid-bass driver. A “FOCUS” switch on the side panel of speaker engages different the crossover circuits and switches from 3-way to 2-way operation. There is also a “Direct” switch, which removes the rear-panel EQ and shaping electronics from the circuit for the purest sound possible. Direct mode also makes the SM9 more compatible with the external equalizers used by some acousticians for tuning rooms. 600 watts of built-in amplification round things out.