Focal E 30 KX
12-inch Subwoofer Review
In this review we are going to take a look at one of the newest Focal subwoofers. The Focal E 30 KX is a 12-inch dual voice coil woofer designed to appeal to the customer looking for a higher-end high-output sub. And from the looks of it, the high-end appeal target scores a bullseye.
Built on a custom designed, rugged cast aluminum basket and nicely finished in gray powdercoat, the E 30 KX is an impressive woofer to un-box. The woofer is beefy, weighing in at just over 24 pounds, due in no small part to the massive 170-mm doublestacked magnet assembly.
Making full use of all that magnetic energy is a four-layer copper-clad aluminum voice coil, wound on a stiff fiberglass former. The dual coil layout measures 65 mm in diameter, or roughly 2.5 inches. Keeping the coil centered in the magnetic gap, and providing compliance to the suspension, is the duty of a progressive-type 190-mm poly-cotton spider.
All of this technology connects to a hand-made conical cone, built onsite at the Focal factory. The cone is formed by hand-stretching the Focal K2 fiber cloth on the front side of a foam core, followed by a fiberglass layer on the back. The result is a very well damped and stiff cone that will not create distortion and unwanted resonances. A convex injection-molded poly-dustcap finishes the cone, and carries the famous Focal logo. To connect the outer edge of the yellow cone to the cast basket, a full hemispherical rubber surround, measuring 29 mm in width is employed.
To aid in reliability, the voice coil is kept cool via the spider pumping air through six 6-mm holes in the former, to directly cool the voice coil. In addition, there are vent holes in the top and back plates, as well as the center pole. When it's all said and done, there is enough cooling available to allow a power rating of 800 watts for the E 30 KX.
After a break-in period* to normalize the driver's suspension, I installed the E 30 KX in a 1.3-cubicfoot sealed enclosure. After getting it connected to my reference system, I began dialing in the cross- over and gain settings. I found that this woofer had significantly more high frequency output than many competitive woofers, and because of this, I preferred to use a steeper -24 dB crossover slope. I should note here that this is largely a matter of personal taste, and others may prefer the additional higher frequency output, and choose a -12 dB crossover. Bear in mind though that the higher the frequency you permit a woofer to reproduce, the easier it will be to locate where the woofer is placed in the vehicle. This makes it hard to get the “bass in the windshield” image that so many listeners prefer.
(You don't need to break-in the woofer when you buy it, a few days of listening to it will do the same thing. I simply break-in all loudspeakers before doing critical listening or measurements, just for consistency and accuracy in the information) ~Garry
Once everything was set, it didn't take much more than the first track or two to thoroughly be impressed with the sound quality and overall excellent tonality the woofer provides. The very bottom