Focal Cobalt 816 crossover upgrades?

Michael0 Posts: 1
edited January 16 in DIY, Mods & Tweaks
I ended up with a pair of these because of the price and published sensitivity (needed speakers for a tube integrated/25rms per channel max). As others have stated, they are a bit bright, even with EL34s and the 6n1 signal tubes. I just replaced the caps in the tube integrated, and am thinking of redoing the Cobalt crossovers (caps, air cores). Has anyone attempted this (816 model)?



  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 24,485
    Air core inductors would make big differences, but also take up alot of real estate and get pricey
    - Not Tom

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro
  • drumminman
    drumminman Posts: 3,396
    Replacing the sand cast resistors would probably yield cleaner sound too.
    "Science is suppose to explain observations not dismiss them as impossible" - Norm on AA; 2.3TL's w/sonicaps/mills/jantzen inductors, Gimpod's boards, Lg Solen SDA inductors, RD-0198's, MW's dynamatted, Armaflex speaker gaskets, H-nuts, brass spikes, Cardas CCGR BP's, upgraded IC Cable, Black Hole Damping Sheet strips, interior of cabinets sealed with Loctite Power Grab, AI-1 interface with 1000VA A-L transformer
  • WLDock
    WLDock Posts: 2,878
    edited February 18
    Michael0 wrote: »
    Has anyone attempted this (816 model)?
    I have not.

    However, if these are still bright with tubes then.... could there be something with your room that is adding, not padding the brightness?

    You can get into modifying the crossover or even the tweeter. However, before you go down that path, "Are these the right speakers for you?"

    There are many that love the old focal yellow polykevlar cones, 'W' cone, the old inverter tweets, etc and many that don't. One guy stated thet the Colbalts were the brightest speaker he ever owned:
    You can take this with a grain of salt I owned them and they were the brightest speaker I've ever heard,no matter what I paired them with and i had a well treated room,I kept them for a month and a half I couldnt wait to get rid of them,and worst of all i traded in my Totem Arro's for them,the worst audio mistake i ever made was the 816 Cobalt S.

    The newer offerings seem to have a broader appeal as they have so many choices at so many price points. Myself, I like the Aria line with the flax cone and the aluminum/magnesium inverted dome tweeter with the waveguide.

    So, you have to first decide if the general character of the speaker is for you before you spend a bunch of money and time modifying it. There are TONS of other speakers out there that you might like better right out of the box.

    If you are serious about modding them, see if Danny Richie of GR-Research has ever done a set of Cobalts before.

    Post edited by WLDock on
  • skrol
    skrol Posts: 3,034
    Wow, a lot of good thought went into that XO, schematic wise and layout.

    Main 2ch:
    Polk LSi15 (DB840 upgrade), Parasound: P/LD-1100, HCA-1000A; Denon: DVD-2910, DRM-800A; Benchmark DAC1, Monster HTS3600-MKII, Grado SR-225i; Technics SL-J2, Parasound PPH-100.

    Marantz SR7010, Polk: RTA11TL (RDO198-1, XO and Damping Upgrades), S4, CS250, PSW110 , Marantz UD5005, Pioneer PL-530, Panasonic TC-P42S60

    Other stuff:
    Denon: DRA-835R, AVR-888, DCD-660, DRM-700A, DRR-780; Polk: S8, Monitor 5A, 5B, TSi100, RM7, PSW10 (DXi104 upgrade); Pioneer: CT-6R; Onkyo CP-1046F; Ortofon OM5E, Marantz: PM5004, CD5004, CDR-615; Parasound C/PT-600, HCA-800ii, Sony CDP-650ESD, Technics SA 5070, B&W DM601
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