The Aria 948 symbolises the return of the “true” acoustic loudspeaker. A new type of 3-way loudspeaker with 81/4” (21cm) speaker drivers effortlessly providing intense and controlled bass. The intention was a return to the very essence of acoustics for those who are passionate about music.
Focal brand’s signature product, the inverted dome tweeter has been continually developed ever since it was created. It bears repeating that its main advantage, apart from its very low directivity, lies in its use of a coil of small diameter (hence very light and better accelerating) directly fixed to the rigid dome.
Just as with the cones of its bass and midrange speaker drivers, what makes Focal unique is working directly on the sound output and, therefore, on the mechanical characteristics of materials. When Focal introduced the pure Beryllium inverted dome tweeter ten or so years ago, it demonstrated the decisive advantage of this exclusive technology.
Flax Sandwich Cone
Made in France but affordable, Flax cones are oriented towards acoustic performance, high-tech and give an original design to the brand’s speaker drivers! The result of more than five years of research and development, F cones are characterised by their natural sound, with low colouration, their richness of reproduction in the midrange register and their tighter bass.
The Unique Qualities of Flax
F cones are made of high-quality flax fibres core enclosed by two thin layers of glass fibre. They satisfy the key criteria of a high-performance diaphragm: high internal damping, high velocity of sound and high flexural rigidity.
All these criteria cannot be met by a mono-material cone. Sandwich technology greatly influences the neutrality of the sound produced by the cone, something, which has always been Focal’s hallmark. The expertise gained from the sandwich technology of the Utopia and K2 Power ranges enabled Focal to develop a revolutionary flax-fibre cone conciliating the 3 criteria.
Flax is twice as light as fibreglass because the fibre is hollow. It also has a very low elasticity which makes it ideal to increase the flexural rigidity of a sandwich structure. Moreover, it can be obtained in non-woven bundles of considerable diameter and it can, therefore, produce the thickness required for a sandwich.
Composite materials have properties suitable for applications where both rigidity and low mass are required. However, their disadvantage is that they lack damping, which leads to very poor control of vibrations. Recent developments in this field combining composites and natural fibres have brought unexpected opportunities. Flax fibre has excellent internal damping of the same order of magnitude as the glass or Kevlar fibres or aluminium.