The French manufacturer Focal is well-renowned for making splendid drivers. Those with a "W" membrane deserve special attention. These handmade high-end drivers
perform well, inside and outside the testing lab. In our listening studio, the six-incher 6W4359 demonstrated its capabilities. It's not often that we experience such a
spacious and three-dimensional sound. The music appears to be simply detached from the loudspeakers, hovering in space. Our lab measurements confirm our listening impressions. The waterfall plot and the distortion spectra are faultless. The frequency response proved linear to an extraordinary degree.
The Benue is a small floor-stander at barely one meter height. This speaker comes with high-value components, providing for a very good price to performance ratio.
The combination of the Focal "W" driver and an air motion transformer by Audaphon turned out to be an excellent symbiosis with a beautiful sense of musicality, good
rendering of space and splendid resolution of details.
The "W" membrane of the Focal 6W4359 consists of a hard foam stabilized by several layers of glass fibre. This driver puts out a remarkable deep bass in a bass
reflex enclosure of only 26 litres. But the special treat of the Focal driver is its detailed reproduction of the mids, combined with the exemplary deep bass output. Its
sensitivity of 88 dB with a response down do 37 Hz (at -8 dB) are very good for a loudspeaker of this size.
The Benue has a quite straightforward crossover. Its Audaphon AMT air motion transformer is running via a third-order filter and the Focal driver yields best results at a second-order filter.
The illustration shows the frequency response plots of the Audaphon AMT driven directly (the black curve) and via its crossover (the blue curve). The 3rd order filter is implemented with just three components. The two capacitors of 3,9 µF and 10 µF, connected in series, should be selected as high quality ones, staying tightly within
their specification values.
This diagram shows the Focal driver with the 2nd order filter without the LC attenuation circuit (in black) and with the LC attenuation circuit (in blue). Three components parallel to the driver reduce the bulge at 1,500 Hz by 4 dB. By means of this attenuation circuit, any kind of music will sound balanced and coherent through the
Benue loudspeakers. All instruments are located in the right place. With live recordings, listeners of the Benue may feel like being back at the venue.
The Benue comes with another peculiarity of construction. Before the AMT tweeter, a third capacitor is wired in series. This capacitor causes a 3 dB rise in the treble
from 15,000 Hz onwards, improving especially the off-axis response. In particular the measurement at 30 degrees off-axis proves how even the directionality of the
Benue is. And the capacitor improves the resolution of fine detail as well. The diagram displays the Benue's frequency response without the tweeter capacitor (in black)
and with it (in blue).
The Benue excels at playing music in a fleshed-out and spacious way. Only on a few occasions do we listen to loudspeakers in our studio that display the positions of single instruments in an orchestra so precisely. We are just thrilled by such a vivid sound, and it comes with details and splendid image localization, too.
If you're looking for a speaker with a modest footprint that provides the sound of a grown-up floorstander, you may have found it in the Benue. For a long time we had
not heard such layers of detail and such a precise localization of sounds. Besides, the benue is also an excellent choice for tube amp lovers.
Kit without cabinet, price per speaker
- not available
Kit with high-end crossover without cabinet, price per speaker
- not available
If you want to use a valve amplifier with this speaker an impedance correction should be employed. In this case the component quality is less important; therefore, we offer only one kit (upon request higher quality components are available).