Focal Aria 906 Upgrade

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mkrawcz

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Focal Aria 906 Upgrade
« on: 28 May 2022, 02:45 pm »
I saw that Danny had created a Focal Aria 906 kit and I happened to have a pair of them from before I got into DIY. So, I figured "why not?". Here is a pic of the new crossover boards. The large board is the woofer circuit and the small is the Tweeter. You can see the old crossovers laying around at the top of the picture for comparison. I mounted the woofer circuit on the back up above the binding post cup and the tweeter circuit on the bottom. The sound improvement on these speakers is extraordinary. The clarity and detail I'm hearing is close to what I hear from the NX-Studios. The soundstage is not quite as good, but still these speakers sound excellent with this upgrade. Not sure why Focal is ripping the US off charging $2200 for these speakers now. I got mine for $1299 3 years ago. With this upgrade, IMO, the Arias easily compete with the Sopra line of Focal speakers in sound quality.



Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: Focal Aria 906 Upgrade
« Reply #1 on: 28 May 2022, 03:55 pm »
I saw that Danny had created a Focal Aria 906 kit and I happened to have a pair of them from before I got into DIY. So, I figured "why not?". Here is a pic of the new crossover boards. The large board is the woofer circuit and the small is the Tweeter. You can see the old crossovers laying around at the top of the picture for comparison. I mounted the woofer circuit on the back up above the binding post cup and the tweeter circuit on the bottom. The sound improvement on these speakers is extraordinary. The clarity and detail I'm hearing is close to what I hear from the NX-Studios. The soundstage is not quite as good, but still these speakers sound excellent with this upgrade. Not sure why Focal is ripping the US off charging $2200 for these speakers now. I got mine for $1299 3 years ago. With this upgrade, IMO, the Arias easily compete with the Sopra line of Focal speakers in sound quality.



Those look great!
Glad it's made them a much better performing speaker out of the gate. I'll probably save this post in case anyone needs some help getting the layout correct.

If I, were to guess with the price difference, the change in price is likely caused by inflation, ongoing supply-chain issues & a massive increase in global shipping costs.
It's hard to find products that haven't gotten at least 20-30% more expensive since 2019, or stayed roughly the same price, while their replacement models only got more expensive..

Bob2

Re: Focal Aria 906 Upgrade
« Reply #2 on: 28 May 2022, 04:37 pm »
Is there a kit for the Focal Aria 948?

Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: Focal Aria 906 Upgrade
« Reply #3 on: 28 May 2022, 04:53 pm »
Is there a kit for the Focal Aria 948?

Not currently. One will need to be sent in for evaluation

Audiosaurusrex

Re: Focal Aria 906 Upgrade
« Reply #4 on: 31 May 2022, 02:49 pm »
So I have a pair of the 906's and was interested in doing this upgrade. How difficult is this to do? What is required in terms of tools or additional parts? I do have a soldering iron but never got into DIY. Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks,

mkrawcz

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Re: Focal Aria 906 Upgrade
« Reply #5 on: 31 May 2022, 05:31 pm »
So I have a pair of the 906's and was interested in doing this upgrade. How difficult is this to do? What is required in terms of tools or additional parts? I do have a soldering iron but never got into DIY. Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks,
You will need some sheets of 1/4in thick wood to cut out the crossover boards. I used sheets of Basswood that I got at Hobbylobby. I made the woofer boards wide enough to fit through the woofer hole and also mount to back wall clearing the edge supports. I think I made them 5.5in x 7.5in which covers the area above the binding post cup all the way to the top. You will need some screws to mount the boards with, i used 3/4in long screws. Also a flexible drill bit extender so you can get in there to drill some pilot holes. Also zip ties. Everything else comes with the kit. One thing to be careful with is removing the ring around the woofer. I used a butter knife to carefully pry it up without damaging the leather on the front of the speaker. Once I got it started, I used a plastic prying tool to remove it the rest of the way carefully without bending it.

Audiosaurusrex

Re: Focal Aria 906 Upgrade
« Reply #6 on: 2 Jun 2022, 12:42 am »
You will need some sheets of 1/4in thick wood to cut out the crossover boards. I used sheets of Basswood that I got at Hobbylobby. I made the woofer boards wide enough to fit through the woofer hole and also mount to back wall clearing the edge supports. I think I made them 5.5in x 7.5in which covers the area above the binding post cup all the way to the top. You will need some screws to mount the boards with, i used 3/4in long screws. Also a flexible drill bit extender so you can get in there to drill some pilot holes. Also zip ties. Everything else comes with the kit. One thing to be careful with is removing the ring around the woofer. I used a butter knife to carefully pry it up without damaging the leather on the front of the speaker. Once I got it started, I used a plastic prying tool to remove it the rest of the way carefully without bending it.
Thank you this is very helpful along with your pictures I’m hoping I can figure this out. Since I’ve never had to read schematics and never attempted this before I’m a little apprehensive as I would hate to ruin a good pair of speakers. Did you remove the tweeter too? Danny’s video mentioned “no-rez” where does that go?
Sorry to bother you with this.

mkrawcz

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Re: Focal Aria 906 Upgrade
« Reply #7 on: 2 Jun 2022, 12:57 am »
Yes, you will need to remove the tweeter to directly solder the new wire to the terminals. The tweeter also has a wave guide stuck on with double sided tape that you will need to pry off. The No-Rez needs to be cut and go on the side walls and the top leaving about an inch of clearance away from the woofer. I cut up some of the poly fill that was in the speaker to cover over the crossover. I recommend watching Danny’s video about building crossovers, it will help a lot.

Pwhyt530

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Re: Focal Aria 906 Upgrade
« Reply #8 on: 11 Jan 2023, 10:17 pm »
Thank you for this! the upgrade kit just arrived and I plan on putting it in this weekend.
I got my 906's a 2-3 years ago, when Focal was phasing out the Dark Walnut wrap. $1,000 shipped. I did pay the $350 for the focal stands.

mkrawcz

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Re: Focal Aria 906 Upgrade
« Reply #9 on: 11 Jan 2023, 11:51 pm »
Thank you for this! the upgrade kit just arrived and I plan on putting it in this weekend.
I got my 906's a 2-3 years ago, when Focal was phasing out the Dark Walnut wrap. $1,000 shipped. I did pay the $350 for the focal stands.
No problem! You will really like what you hear with this upgrade.

Mindless Drone

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Re: Focal Aria 906 Upgrade
« Reply #10 on: 19 Jan 2023, 02:39 am »
I am a huge Focal fan, but recently I switched to an NAD m12 and M23 and my Focals (Mini Utopia) hurt my head to listen to, to long so I am curious how you feel the characteristic highs that come with Focal's sound after the mod.

mkrawcz

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Re: Focal Aria 906 Upgrade
« Reply #11 on: 19 Jan 2023, 10:54 am »
I am a huge Focal fan, but recently I switched to an NAD m12 and M23 and my Focals (Mini Utopia) hurt my head to listen to, to long so I am curious how you feel the characteristic highs that come with Focal's sound after the mod.
I’m generally used to listening to the NX Studios and NX Oticas most of the time. Going back to the upgraded Aria, they are generally pretty well behaved. If the music has some heavy treble spots in it, there may still be some regions where that tweeter will get a little uneasy but not too bad. It may not be a fair comparison though vs the Utopias which have different drivers and a different cabinet. The Utopias are an earlier development and Focal drivers may be a lot different since then.