BRISTOL SHOW 2012: Focal launches UK-only Special Edition Chorus speakers

New at the Sound and Vision 2012 show, which opens in Bristol tomorrow, February 24, is a special UK-only version of Focal's Chorus speaker range.

Using the French speaker company's W cone design, as seen in its high-end Utopia and Electra ranges, the Chorus 800V W Special Edition speakers are finished in high-gloss black, and start from £799/pr.

The W cone is so-called because it uses twin layers of woven glass ('verre' in French, and of course V+V = W or 'double-V') sandwiching a layer of structural foam. By altering the thickness of the glass sheets and foam, it's possible for the Focal engineers to tune the performance characteristics of the cone.

It's used in the speakers' midrange and bass drivers – the company believes that performance should come from getting the drivers right, rather than trying to tune the sound using the crossover.

The main gains with the W-cones are said to be found in micro-dynamics and detail, and the cones are partnered with another Focal in-house design, the inverted TNV aluminium/magnesium dome tweeter, giving an extended response up to 28kHz.

The speakers are designed for high sensitivity to give amplifiers an easy time and boost dynamics and vitality, and use cabinets designed with 25mm MDF side walls for rigidity, and a non-parallel internal structure to reduce standing waves.

The range starts with the £799/pr 806V W bookshelf speaker, moving up through the 2.5-way 816V W floorstander at £1699/pr, and the 826V W and 836V W three-way floorstanders at £2099 and £2499 per pair respectively. The three floorstanding models have a cast aluminium base for greater stability, and to control the exit flow of the downward firing port.

Completing the line-up, which is available immediately, is the CC800V W centre channel speaker, at £549, and the SW800V W subwoofer, combining a 27cm drive unit with a 350W BASH amplifier to give bass extension down to 32Hz.

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Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.