How a number of the world’s fanciest audio system are made


Excessive-end audio is about precision. Recreating reside music in your house is among the wonders of expertise, requiring audio system correct sufficient to create a convincing fascimile of the recorded soundfield. Have a look by way of any of my latest speaker critiques up to now yr, and also you’ll discover them filled with measurements attempting to puzzle out the intricacies of a speaker‘s sound.

So when French audio large Focal invited to see how its audio system had been made final yr, I knew to count on the flowery equipment, anechoic chambers, and meeting traces. What I didn’t count on was how a lot of a human contact is a part of the method. At almost each step there was some extent of workmanship concerned, from cupboards hand-made in France‘s southern countryside, to high-end woofers which might be pressed into form with sinew quite than metal. The corporate takes its ‘Made in France‘ tagline significantly.

Disclaimer: Focal flew me out to France to take a look at its amenities for its 40th anniversary final yr. Regardless of this, Focal had no say within the textual content of this text and it’s my intention to maintain it as goal as potential. This text is supposed as extra of a glance into Focal‘s design course of than a judgement of its audio system. Observe that most of the photographs on this article had been supplied by Focal, as we weren’t allowed to take photographs throughout many elements of the tour on account of unreleased merchandise and proprietary manufacturing processes.

Focal has been within the audio enterprise since 1979, producing studio displays, automotive audio system, headphones, encompass methods, and naturally, hi-fi audio system. Regardless of the sprawling portfolio, the corporate’s factories had extra of an intimate vibe than you’d count on from such an enormous operation. Over time, Focal‘s manufacturing has settled on two major amenities: its important headquarters in St-Etienne, an hour outdoors of Lyon, and its cupboard manufacturing unit in Bourbon-Lancy, a small rural commune over two hours away.