Focal Adds to the affordable Alpha Evo monitor line with two new entries

Focal Releases Two New “Alpha Evo” MonitorsNew affordable Focal monitors offer 5-inch and 6.5-inch drivers


Montreal, Canada — March 25, 2021 — Today Focal has announced that it is shipping the new Alpha Evo monitors, Alpha 50 Evo, and Alpha 65 Evo. These replace the current Focal Alpha 50 and 65 models in that range, while the current Alpha 80 are still available. The two new Focal Alpha Evo products are available at retailers in the US and Canada on March 25, 2021, and have suggested retail prices of Alpha 50 Evo $349. USD each, and Alpha 65 Evo $449. USD each. 

Alpha Evo 6.5

Focal evolves its Alpha range with the newly unveiled Alpha Evo. New features, new technologies, new design: The Alpha 50 Evo and Alpha 65 Evo studio monitors offer high performance at a price unrivaled in their market, providing ultra-powerful, professional tools to more people than ever. With these new products, the French brand showcases once again its sound expertise and its position as a global leader. 

Performance & Versatility
Dedicated to music creation and all reproduction, the Alpha 50 Evo and Alpha 65 Evo offer excellent sound coherence, no matter where a user is listening. For renewed performance, Focal has chosen an aluminum inverted dome tweeter to ensure vast sound dispersion, as well as the Slatefiber cone. This recycled carbon cone, produced exclusively by the French brand at its Saint-Étienne workshops, has been chosen for its neutrality and dynamics. Focal is constantly renewing its offerings, drawing on its acoustics expertise of over 40-years and its innovation capacity. This is demonstrated by the new large laminar port, which limits distortion noise. 

New Features: Evo for Evolution. 
The Alpha Evo monitors boast a new ?-inch (6.35mm) TRS input jack, in addition to the XLR and RCA analog inputs, an automatic standby mode that can now be switched off by the user, and inserts for wall and ceiling fastening. All these new features make Alpha Evo a truly versatile monitor range for Mixing, Mastering, DJs, and Broadcast. In terms of amplification, the monitors are each equipped with two class D amplifiers. The high current capacity of these amplifiers allows full control of the signal dynamics. They also allow high volumes to be reached without distortion. Each of the loudspeakers picks up the smallest details in the mix, across all musical styles. 

Design and Cabinet-Making 
The monitors feature a 5/8-inch (15mm)-thick MDF cabinet and incorporate internal braces to ensure it is highly robust, even at the highest levels of acoustic pressure. The bass-reflex design has been used to ensure easy acoustic integration in even the most cramped spaces. In terms of aesthetics, the traditional cube monitor shape makes way for rounded contours. The side panels create a sophisticated, robust, and modern design which contributes to excellent acoustics and a unique and harmonious signature style across the collections. 

Key features of Focal Alpha Evo monitors: 
* Excellent dynamics 
* Wide dispersion enabling the same sound to be maintained throughout the entire room 
* Slatefiber cone manufactured in France 
* Identical tonal balance at both low and high volume 
* Connect up to 3 audio sources 
* Inserts for wall fastening 
* Automatic standby mode can now be switched off by the user
* Protective grills included 

The new Focal Alpha Evo products are available at retailers in the US and Canada on March 25, 2021, and have suggested retail prices of Alpha 50 Evo $349. USD each, and Alpha 65 Evo $449. USD each. 

Discover Alpha Evohttps://www.focal.com/en/pro-audio/monitoring-speakers/alpha-evo

For more information on Focal Professionalhttps://www.focal.com/en/pro-audio

About Focal Naim America
Focal Naim America (formerly Audio Plus Services) is a leading North American importer and distributor of premium consumer and professional electronics brands including Focal Professional, SPL of Germany, IsoAcoustics, Zaor Studio Furniture, Vicoustic, and EarSonics. Based in Montreal with U.S. shipping facilities in Champlain, NY, the company has sales personnel located throughout the United States and Canada to professionally service their active roster of more than 350 specialty A/V and Pro Audio dealers. The company specializes in products and services for the professional audio and performing musician markets, as well as the home theater and custom integration (CI) market – both residential and commercial – for North America. 

For more information about Focal Naim America visit their website at https://www.focalnaimamerica.com or call (800) 663-9352.

All trademarks are the property of their respective holders.###
Many more Focal Alpha Evo photos available & high-resolution available, email: pauljdb@gmail.com

New Focal Alpha 50 Evo and Alpha 50 Evo: 

My thoughts on the SPL Marc One Monitor and Recording Controller

In a home studio setting there are a few things to consider when working on a mix, sound designing , or generally exploring sound that will be eventually played back in other listening environments. One of the major factors is of course how a mix will translate across different audio monitors.

Because of this necessity for mix translation, it is not uncommon to have more than one set of monitors in your set up. Often times this can pose an issue for home producers on how to accurately switch between monitors and gauge how a mix is translating between monitors.

I tend to handle a lot of preset design, and testing of gear pre and post release. This means I am often trying to evaluate sound for a variety of environments and use cases. Often I need to be critical of strange unexpected behavior in audio gear. Listening on more than one set of monitors and with a variety of options can be critical for this task.

This is where the SPL Marc One comes into play. The obvious actions are of course the ability to simply flip a switch and flick between two sets of monitors. This sounds trivial but there is more to it than that.

The first is that there are two sets of monitor inputs, one with a sub and one without, I tend not to use the sub output as my monitors sub has a built in cross over so the stereo out routes through the sub. Between the A/B monitor switch is the OFF position. This is a handy quick mute function to turn off both monitors.

The volume control is a large knob with analog control. This is important to me. It means monitoring at lower volumes will not reduce audio quality of playback as some digitally controlled devices may do. It also means that I always have direct hands on control of my audio level, no glitches or hang ups will prevent control.

The Marc One Front and back

Next to the volume is our Stereo controls. This allows us to quickly flip between mono, stereo and Flipped monitor configurations (flipping the left channel to come out the right speaker and visa versa.) I have to admit while I am used to using a mono control for mixing , the left right flip was a bit of an eye opener to me. Many people have a dominant ear and its been proven that we perceive music differently in one ear and speech in the other. I found myself using this switch more often than I expected and it really helped me trouble shoot some strange audio issues.

Next up are two small LED that indicate if the converters are being overloaded. This can not be understated. I have become very aware of the sound of modern day converters overloading and how they can alter your sound. in the modern age this can be slightly more complicated than in the past due to converters having soft clipping built right into them. Often times this soft clipping isn’t the harsh digital clipping we have grown accustomed to spotting so easily. Having a quick overload LED indicator is quite nice to just confirm that you are within the limits before any sort of distortion can occur.

Now before moving on lets just talk a bit about those converters. These days converter tech has really exploded and we have some fantastic chips out there. the SPL Marc One takes advantage of this by using the AK4490 converter chip for the USB audio which enables sampling frequencies up to 768kHz. Those numbers are rather astounding and delivering a 10Hz–200kHz frequency range, 121dBu of dynamic range, -99dBu of self-noise, and 0.002% total harmonic distortion. These are literally top shelf numbers.

These Analog audio inputs can be blended with USB digital audio inputs utilizing the convert mentioned above. there is a smooth control to blend between these inputs.

Next up with have the Headphone controls. Here you will notice a familiar volume control but then you are presented with a “Crossfeed” control. This is the Phonitor Matrix headphone controls. What this does is essentially allows your headphone output to have a bleed across left and right channels while also simulating speaker angle of 30 degrees and a center level of -1db. All controlled through one Crossfeed knob to adjust to taste and your headphones no longer sound like static left right cans on your head. They feel like speakers in a physical space. What I like about this is that it didn’t feel like an effect slapped onto a mix. listening to familiar material it simply made my headphones melt away and I felt like I had a pair of monitors at a proper listening positioning in front of me. There is still proper channel separation going on but it doesn’t feel hard line like headphones usually feel. I found my self enjoying music with headphones on and preferring the crossfeed turned up about 3/4 of the way up.

My Use case might be a tad different from others. One of the recommended methods of operation is of course to send your DAW output direct to the USB input on the Marc One. For me I was primarily using the Analog inputs and I would use an Ipad input into the Marc one for sound designing presets on the ipad. I like to work stand alone from my computer quite a bit and my audio interface often acts as a patch bay without forcing me to use a DAW. This method was seamless with the Marc one and VERY helpful. It essentially means you have the highest quality iOS audio output available… whats not to like?

So lets get to the cons… I had tho really think about this and honestly I think the only thing I would have liked to see included on this would be a way to disengage the sub on channel A with a footswitch while still sending audio out channel A (this is often a separate device though and understandable.) I also would have really liked a Dim as well.

Overall I really enjoy it. much of the design is over the top with quality. Thats something I can always get behind. Who do I think really benefits from a controller like this? I think especially people with audio interfaces that do not already have monitor controlling built in certainly. However I currently use a MOTU 828es as my main interface and it has monitor controlling built in already. Thing is the MOTU has a Mute and mono but it does not have the immediate analog volume control, the channel swap, the Crossfeed Phonitor headphone mix nor the ability to add in the USB audio of an external source without having to dive into my software.

SPL Marc One Monitor and Recording Controller Features:

  • Monitor and recording controller built with top-drawer components
  • Switchable outputs for 2 pairs of speakers
  • Subwoofer output switches on and off with speaker pair A
  • 2 analog stereo inputs and 1 digital input — enough to hear your mix and reference tracks
  • 3 monitoring modes: Stereo, Mono, and Channel Swap
  • AK4490 converter chip enables sampling frequencies up to 768kHz
  • Class AB output stage with ample power for a wide range of popular headphone models
  • Phonitor Matrix with Speaker Angle, Center Level, and Crossfeed parameters for a speaker-like monitoring experience
  • Supplied 12V plug-in power supply
  • Secondary internal power supply generates +/-17V for the analog audio sections for pro levels up to +22.5dB

Price $799 USD

If you don’t want the USB capabilities. you can opt for the SPL Control one which offers the same features minus the USB input and monitor blend for $599

Black lion audio releases affordable power conditioning

Black Lion Audio announces availability of affordable PG-XLM and PG-X as best-in-class power conditioning


CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, USA: boutique audio company Black Lion Audio is proud to announce availability of the PG-XLM Power Conditioner and PG-X Power Conditioner — providing best-in-class professional power conditioning as affordable 1U rack- mounting must-haves with PG-90 Filtering technology providing an average of 90% of noise filtering — as of December 28…
Anyone actively involved in professional music-making — onstage or otherwise — knows that it takes more than a few rack-mounted power outlets to inspire true confidence in a power conditioner. Clearly, acquiring a must-have piece of gear only to find it noisier than expected or missing high-frequency detail — or, worse still, having it fried by an unwanted power surge — are all far from ideal scenarios! Such sorry setbacks need not happen, however; Black Lion Audio is here to help, having long since been trusted to modify the best gear and make it even better, which is what it took to create the PG-XLM and PG-X — taking industry-standard designs, and improving them to the point of peak performance.
Power conditioning comes naturally to Black Lion Audio. After creating its original PG-1 (https://www.blacklionaudio.com/store/products/pg-1/) as a confidence- inspiring, rack-mountable power conditioner — also available as the PG-1 TYPE F (https://www.blacklionaudio.com/store/products/pg-1-type-f/) variant with 230V Europlug connections, the company collectively realised that there are a lot of professionals out there working with a smaller budget who felt left out since some of its features could conceivably be viewed as overkill when seeking something appropriate at a more affordable price point. It is with this in mind that Black Lion Audio has built both the PG-XLM and PG-X, while still providing best-in-class professional power conditioning!
Clearly not all power conditioners are created equal, yet Black Lion Audio acknowledges that everyone’s hard-earned equipment purchases deserve the best power possible, which is why it took great care in making sure that the PG-XLM and PG-X both deliver just that — thanks to that best-in-class PG-90 Filtering technology providing an average of 90% of noise filtering, as opposed to the typical average of 76% found in other power conditioners at the same price point.
Putting this into practice, the PG-XLM features a back-panel-sited bank of eight switched, filtered, and surge-protected power outlets. On the front panel, there is a single SWITCHED OUTLET, an LED (Light Emitting Diode) display-based real-time VOLTAGE MONITOR, two pull-out lamps, and a (5V1AUSB CHARGER for device charging. As implied by its shortened nomenclature, the PG-X drops the lamps and metering from that specification, yet far from falls short of the mark by duly delivering the same core functionality to also provide confidence-inspiring power as an affordable 1U rack-mounting must-have.

The PG-XLM Power Conditioner is available to purchase through Black Lion Audio’s growing global network of dealers/distributors (https://www.blacklionaudio.com/dealers) with a MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) of $199.00 USD and an SSP (Suggested Selling Price) of 199.00 EUR (excluding VAT). For more in-depth info, please visit its dedicated webpage here: https://www.blacklionaudio.com/store/products/pgxlm/

The PG-X Power Conditioner is available to purchase through Black Lion Audio’s growing global network of dealers/distributors (https://www.blacklionaudio.com/dealers) with a MAP of $119.00 USD and an SSP of 119.00 EUR (excluding VAT). For more in-depth information, please visit its dedicated webpage here: https://www.blacklionaudio.com/store/products/pgx/


KRK Rokit 8 G4 White Noise Trust or Bust?

FluxWithit takes a serious look at the Rokit brand monitors.

KRK Rokit 8 Gen4 White Noise Edition

KRK Rokits evoke emotion in home studio enthusiasts no doubt about it. I wanna start this article off by saying, I know. I know the history, I know the past. I was there. I was in those home studios where Krk Rokits really became as prolific in homes studios, as those white coned monitors did in the studios of the 80’s… But the yellow coned booming sound gained its massive home studio adoption for arguably opposite reasons. KRK Rokits of old just made things sound good where as those white coned units were known for being so bad that if your mix sounded good on them, it would translate all over. they were affordable, had a great low end extension for the money and they were noticeable with that bright yellow cone. sounding good however is not always what you want from a studio monitor. What you might be after is truth. Sometimes those little lies that make us happy, can hurt us down the road in a mix. There in lies the controversy with KRK Rokits. known for being entry level monitor that delivered great sound, but at the cost of covering up some of our mistakes.

So here we are today, many generations of updates later with KRK Rokits now on their 4th generation. Are these Rokits the same as the old Rokits? Well thats my goal to find out. I went into this review with an open mind and a curiosity. The first thing I noticed about these new generation of monitors is that in built DSP is standard on the Gen4 Rokits. There is a nice graphic display panel round back that has a very easy to use control knob which doubles as the volume control (ok volume in this case is actually monitor input sensitivity but I digress.). This screen indicates a pretty significant shift. Krk is giving you 25 eq setting to better suit the acoustic environment that your monitors are placed into.

The volume knob to the right can be pushed in to confirm selections and is very easy to use.

I was a bit skeptical about this at first, however there is a really cool feature of these monitors when setting them up… KRK includes an app (that is actually use for any brand monitors not just these KRK monitors!). The app KRK Audio Tools available for ios and android assists you in everything from aligning your monitors at the correct angle to your listening position, room equalization (for use with the onboard DSP eq.), Delay time alignment, phase alignment, a signal generator as well as a FFT spectrum analyzer all with simple to understand instructions. Once you have used the app to set up and test your monitors it will give you recommendations on EQ settings for the onboard DSP which you can then double check against your FFT in app.

KRK Audio Tool APP has a host of easy to use tools to set up your monitors.

This onboard DSP and APP functionality is a bigger deal than you might think. It points to acknowledgment from KRK that there is flexibility to these monitors. Yes we want flat mixing monitors but the truth is, when producing sometimes you want your mix to be enjoyable BEFORE you get to that mixing stage. With these Gen4 monitors you get the best of both worlds. you can have that loud punchy sound associated with Rokits that makes producing banging beats so fun… and then when you want that flat mix, you can enable the onboard DSP and flatten the mix out. It’s not even a hassle to switch between the settings. Thats pretty cool in my book.

Back to the point of clarity and a true mix. I have noticed that these monitors are far more defined than their predecessors. I used to get annoyed with Gen2 because I felt the mids just were not as clear as I would like. With the Gen 4 I am not having any of those feelings at all. mid range clarity seems to be on point. I don’t know if this is due to the upgraded materials on the cone and tweeter. Now a very visible Kevlar® weave. This trickles down from KRK’s high end monitors the V series. the new wave guide and single piece design is touted to be a low resonance enclosure. To that point I made sure to test a wide range of frequencies to try and get some rattle or resonant peaking out of these monitors yet they stayed remarkably accurate. While working on sound design for a new synthesizer I found my self often moving between monitoring solutions to double check clarity. I was cautious with trusting a new monitor set especially considering I am also in a newly built studio that I have yet to become fully accustomed to yet. the Gen4’s consistently were providing me with a translatable sound. The Bass is certainly not feeling over hyped. Quite the contrary I found myself actually increasing the low end eq to boost the bass a bit. The high end is extremely crisp again I do suspect this has to do with the Kevlar cone and new drivers. Side to side movement is less a strong point on these monitors from the JBL monitors as I do notice the sweet spot is a little more direct but not nearly as pronounced as previous generations, certainly acceptable. vertically I feel the range of sweet spot is very good giving a rather wide range (I tend to sit and stand often when working so this is pretty important to me.)

Loudness of KRK’s has long been a feature for many a beat maker. These new Gen4 are no slouch in that category. These deliver a max spl rating of 111db (3 db higher than the previous generation) So I don’t think you will need to worry about filling your room with sound. At higher sound pressures I did not notice any case vibrations or looseness that would cause any sort of rattle. This was something I was initially concerned about considering the front panel is actually magnetically held in place (more on that later.) I was quite relieved to hear no odd rattles.

The LCD is easy to read and navigate

The big front port on these monitors means that you can optimize space in your studio. Unlike rear ported monitors these are less susceptible to rear walls intruding on your sound clarity. This can help maximize your monitor placement in smaller rooms. I highly recommend you give the manual a read (WHAT WHO EVER RTFM?!?!) It is actually filled with a bunch of very useful info and explains in detail things like how the amp works, how the grills work and tips on monitor placement as well as a better understanding of how the monitor design functions as a whole.

The Front baffle is actually held on magnetically. you can pull it off to install the filter grille covers to prevent damage to the cones. the grilles do not effect frequency response.

Ok so What is my overall feeling on the Rokit 8 Gen4 white noise? Well I think there are some pretty obvious improvements over the previous generations. The not so obvious improvements really are the stand outs for me though. KRK is taking the affordable lower cost monitor market and adding a ton of value. Monitors that are now able to retain midrange clarity while also extending down to an earth shaking 36hz is no small feat. The ability to easily tailor your monitors to your environment by way of the APP as well as the on board EQ is something that previously would have cost a few hundred dollars more at the minimum. Couple that with the fact that it is laid out in a way that those not accustomed to making these sorts of adjustments can understand… thats a big deal. You don’t need to be an acoustician to understand that you should have a properly treated room. However even with a treated room you still need to align your monitors correctly and compensate for room modes etc. KRK holds your hand rather nicely through this process. IMHO that adds a lot of value. I have to say, those big yellow cones used to be a sign of producing rather than mixing. Now I can confidently say that these are at home in both the mixing environment as well as the production environment. I plan on using these monitors for another good 6 months or so and revisiting this review. My opinion is that the only real way to review a monitor is with a long term review. lets see how these Kevlar® cones stand up over time (I suspect they should quite well.) I am feeling quite optimistic about the future of this series.

Krk released limited white noise edition g4 monitors

KRK LIMITED EDITION ROKIT G4 “WHITE NOISE” MONITORS NOW AVAILABLEStylish White Finish Gives the Recently Launched ROKIT G4 Range a Whole New Look
NASHVILLE, DECEMBER 2, 2019 – KRK Systems, part of the Gibson family of brands, is adding a new family of studio monitors to its latest ROKIT Generation 4 (G4) range, the limited edition ROKIT G4 White Noise. Available in 5-, 7-, and 8-inch bi-amp models, these stylish limited-edition monitors offer the same impressive features as the newly released ROKIT G4s, but with an enticingly different aesthetic. Art and science come together with the new White Noise editions of these professional monitors, taking music and sound creativity to a whole new industry-level.  Providing wide, deep and dynamic listening, along with incredible imaging, KRK’s ROKIT G4 studio monitors have been scientifically re-engineered and re-designed from the ground up. They are ideally suited to the way modern artists work—in all genres and environments. The entire ROKIT G4 range features on-board DSP-driven Graphic EQ with 25 settings to help condition any acoustic environment while offering new levels of versatility in a studio monitor—making them the only monitors in their class with an LCD screen to display DSP-driven EQ settings. The flat setting is great for most environments, but low-, mid- and high-frequency presets can be adjusted to help compensate for common trouble spots in different sound environments. This on-board system works in conjunction with the KRK Audio Tools App, available for free on the Android and iOS stores. Additionally, all system elements of the ROKIT G4 monitors are cohesively designed and engineered to work perfectly with their advanced drivers made with Kevlar®, efficient Class D power amplifiers and front-firing port, which offers exceptional low-end extension, punch and flexible room-positioning. These features collectively extend accurate and tight bass reproduction and improve audio integrity while minimizing listening fatigue—offering an overall balanced listening experience.