Cuttin-Edge, On-the-Spot Reporting

RMAF 2017: Focal Launches Kanta Speaker Line

Focal kicked off the 2017 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver, Colorado, with what it said was the first worldwide product launch it has made in the United States. The new Kanta No2 speaker represents a simultaneously more modern but less expensive take on the company’s popular Sopra line. The No2 is the first speaker in the Kanta line -- others will follow. Kanta derives from the Spanish word for sing.

Kanta

Technologically, the most interesting aspect of the new speaker is that it’s the first to combine Focal’s beryllium tweeter (a feature found on its higher-end models) with its flax-composite woofer and midrange drivers (found on its less expensive Aria line). Beryllium tweeter diaphragms are prized for their light weight and stiffness; this tweeter has large chambers in its rear with separate damping for the backwave coming off the sides of the concave dome and the center of the dome. It also has a new metal grille to protect the fragile beryllium dome.

Kanta

The flax-composite woofer and midrange cones sandwich a layer of woven flax between layers of glass fiber in order to damp resonances. The surround on the midrange incorporates thin circular ribs, said to act as tuned mass dampers to minimize resonance in the surround. The woofers vent through separate front and back ports. This design is said to offer “best of both worlds” bass performance, with better impact from the front port and better deep bass output from the back port.

Kanta

Each speaker incorporates two 6.5" woofers at the bottom, a 1.06" tweeter in the middle, and a 6.5" midrange-woofer on top, and each has a metal base with spiked feet.

The front baffle of the Kanta No2 is molded from a high-density polymer, which Focal says is 70 percent denser and 15 percent stiffer than MDF; the company claims the new baffle is just as stiff as the much thicker ones on the Sopra speakers. A single piece of curved, molded plywood serves as the back and sides, and can be finished in gloss black or wood veneer.

The No2 is available in a variety of color schemes. The gloss black back can be paired with a blue, white, yellow, or gloss-black front baffle. The wood-veneer back can be paired with a blue, taupe, dark gray, or ivory baffle. All of these are stock finishes, requiring no special ordering.

Kanta

Interested audiophiles will not need to wait -- the Kanta No2 is slated to ship this month at a price of $9995 USD per pair.

Brent Butterworth
Senior Contributor, SoundStage!