KJ West One - Connoisseurs of Sound - Est. 1965
KJ West One - Connoisseurs of Sound - Est. 1965

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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. This is the ultimate loudspeaker of the range for rooms measuring from 320ft 2 (30m2) and from a recommended listening distance of 12ft (3.5m).

Starting point for the Aria concept, the Aria 948 was designed to make the very most of our brand new "Flax" technology. In fact, it serves to some extent as a demonstration…
Starting by going back to fundamentals, with its two large-diameter 8" (21cm) bass cones even if it meant defying market trends. This is the only solution to having performance and dynamics whilst retaining good bass extension.
Profiting from more than twenty years’ experience in membranes, the woofers’ "Flax" sandwiches use a 250 g/m2 flax braid to maximise stiffness, while the midrange units use 125 g/m2 density for optimal lightness and damping.
The Aria 948 is, therefore, a "generous"
enclosure, with substantial dimensions. With its high 92.5 dB/W/m sensitivity it is easy to drive, even with modestly powered amplifiers. Keeping its componentry in mind, the objective given to the teams for finalising tonal balance was to move towards that of the Scala V2 Utopia, our range’s benchmark, if indeed it can be said that we have one! Of course, its definition is not as marked as that of the Scala V2 with its "W" sandwich membranes and its beryllium tweeter, but its overall sound signature comes astonishingly close, with the ease provided by its high dynamics, airy spatial characteristic and jubilant sense of rhythm.
The contribution made by "Flax" sandwich membranes is should be compared with products in a similar price range, formerly fitted with Polyglass cones. There is a very real gain here in terms of definition and presence in the midrange.
Aria 948 was clearly the prototype for definitive validation of "Flax" sandwich cones, like the Grande Utopia in 1995, developed as a concept product used to validate "W" sandwich cones. The results more than met our expectations. The "Flax" membrane is offering Focal very encouraging prospects, finding a place for itself among the true acoustic values that Focal holds so dear.

French flax fibre is one of the best in the world, thanks to the very
particular climatic conditions found in Flanders, Picardy and Normandy. Using this, and the multiple benefits of flax, as a starting point, we have developed a new technology,
the "Flax Cone". Flax fibre, a product known from antiquity, has superlative mechanical characteristics: low elasticity at 1.5%, which approaches that of carbon fibre, with rigidity close to Kevlar, at 60 GPa.
Sandwiched between two sheets of glass fibre, flax’s inelasticity works wonders, endowing the cone with remarkable stiffness.
Composed of 80% cellulose, flax fibre is hollow, making it ideal for combining neutrality and lightness. By adjusting the flax braid’s
density it is also possible to maximise stiffness, in a woofer for example, or lightness and damping in a midrange speaker.

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