Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Round 3: Focal K2P Series 27KX Subwoofer

Originally did not want a subwoofer as I was very concerned with the additional weight which would only hinder the N16's already anaemic power to weight ratio and not to mention worsen the fuel consumption. Unfortunately ICE has proven to be extremely lethal and poisonous especially after an audition with a simple JL Audio W2 sub. The sub practically added to every frequency of the sonic soundscape making each note more rounded. Vocals were especially much better meshed out. Kick drums really had the kick and likewise piano notes! I was just expecting an improvement on the lower registers only and not this much!

So I set about looking for a decent sub. Dynamics, speed, precision and impact is what I'm looking for in a sub rather than just super low bass. And I absolutely hate bass bloom. This would mean a sub with dry bass characteristics. My other main concerns were a smaller volume sub box as I wanted to maintain the N16's excellent boot space and of course as little weight as possible while maintaining the sound quality. This means a sub that works optimally with sealed boxes. The Focal range of subs would be the best bet per advice from David. I initially wanted the Focal Utopia-BE 21WX 8" sub as this sub had the sound quality I was looking for plus the smaller size would mean a smaller box volume and less weight. However Uncle D's advice is that this sub is probably too small for a car the size of an N16 and wouldn't generate sufficient sound volume. If I wanted the 21WX it would be advisable that I use TWO subs which is a No No given the compromises involved and not to mention the cost. One 21WX costs RM3K mind you. The earlier Utopia (Non-BE) series sub the 27WX is another excellent choice but requires a ported sub box of much larger volume than a sealed box. So I settled for the K2P series 11" 27WX sub after some simulation with Uncle's software. This would provide excellent matching as I already had the K2P speakers. And not forgetting the lower costs involved. The 27KX costs around RM2.2K. The sub would also work well with a 1 cubic feet sub box. Believe me you do not want to go larger than 1 cubic ft if you love your boot/trunk space.

The sub promptly arrived 1 week later. Pix below of box. The K2P series is made in France. Lower end Focals are made in China.

Pix of the sub itself. The yellow woofer looks bling :P The 27KX is a single voice coil (SVC) sub. Focal strangely works in odd diameters for the smaller subs. The next bigger sub is the 33KX at 13" diameter followed 40KX which is 16". This is directly opposite popular sub sizes which are 10", 12" and 15".
Side view. The red magnets are huge! Finish and build quality is top notch. Weight is a quite considerable 7.2kg. Not the heaviest (when compared to JL W6/7 monsters or the Adire Audio Brahma) but not too light either. Full specs are avail in Focal's web page

Nominal power handling is a quite considerable 300 Watts. This means that my 4-channel Steg amp would just about cope (hopefully). Planning to bridge 2 channels to drive the sub and see how it goes as not sure if the amp would be up to the task of driving both the mids and the sub. The K2P series is famously power hungry. Luckily the 27KX fits in 10" holed sub boxes so Uncle loaned me a 1 cubic feet sub box for testing purposes. Pix below of sub and box in trunk. The rear fill stock speakers were junked at this point. SQ wise the 27KX proved to be everything Uncle's software simulation showed. The bass proved to be very tight, fast and dynamic. Would still love more punch though.

I would say the Steg QmosII 105.4x coped pretty well and only struggled during the highest of volumes on complex and dynamic tracks but given how poisoned I was at this point I had already made up my mind to get another amp specifically for the sub. Stay tuned for Round 4!


Shafiq said...

hey buddy can you please tell me any detail on these subs that I should look out for when buying them? there is this guy who is selling them for cheap but I dont want to be scammed with cheap made in china ones. So can you tell me if there is anything on these subs that are only carved in the real ones? that way if i dont see them then i would know they are not real.
thanks you can email me at

Andrew Saw said...

My 27KX is for sale if your interested. Pls email me @ for details.