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Focal Grande Utopia EM - Page 2

post #16 of 32
I have a pair sitting in front of me as I type this. They are clad with red side panels and driven by a full MBL stack, cabled with TARA Labs Zero and Omega, power conditioner is the mighty Running Springs Dmitri.

I am happy to answer any questions as I have come here to get my headphone questions answered.

I have owned every speaker that you can imagine including ribbons, stats, radials, etc, the Grande EM flattens them all. I have also owned 3 other pairs of Focal Utopias and the EM flattens all of those to. So much so that it is almost hard to believe that the Grande, and the Grande EM are built by the same company.

The adjustable "focus array" and crossover come in very handy with setup options an is not fluff.

The MDF cabinet is the way to go and Wilson Alexandria X2 S2 (noted for having the best bass and dynamics around), doesn't come close.

They are efficient at 94db but I am feeding them 800WPC and I have used it as these are current hungry and will effortlessly break the sound barrier so it is tempting to do so on occasion.

They like a big room. I am in a 38 X 24 X 21 which allows the bass to open up and they really do reach to 16Hz and shake the foundation.

Also, the EM woofer is amazing. You can click the bass level up or down a notch to compensate for issues in the recording. As you are changing only the magnetic field on a driver that operates from 50Hz down, there is NO change in integration when doing this. It is amazing and nothing like changing the level on a sub.

The $180K is steep, as is the other $250K for the rest of the rig but they will trump anything that I have hear. Including the mighty MBL 101X at $250K.
post #17 of 32
Just WOW... Alas I will never have such things.
post #18 of 32
I showed my girlfriend the Grande Utopia EM website last night. I told her "look, I'm not that bad, there is a guy on head-fi that owns these! aren't you glad I'm not him?"

Now she wants me to buy these speakers for her.... in the next five years....
post #19 of 32
Beautiful speakers and the video was amazing to watch. Back in the days when I actually made decent money, I put together a very nice $16,000 car stereo. For my component speakers I decided on Dynaudio instead of Focal. The Focal speakers were excellent but I preferred the Dynaudio and felt they had a smoother and more refined sound. But this was back in 2000/2001. I'm sure a lot has improved since then.

I would never have another high-end car stereo system again. The road noise interfered too much with the fine details, even with Dynamat. My custom alternator (built by the guy who did all the Sony and Alpine show cars) had to have the diodes replaced almost yearly. The electrical system failed one too many times. It just drew too much power. I had the tweeters amped separately from the woofers and had a custom attenuator panel built for adjusting the tweeter levels.
post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post
Beautiful speakers and the video was amazing to watch. Back in the days when I actually made decent money, I put together a very nice $16,000 car stereo. For my component speakers I decided on Dynaudio instead of Focal. The Focal speakers were excellent but I preferred the Dynaudio and felt they had a smoother and more refined sound. But this was back in 2000/2001. I'm sure a lot has improved since then.
I would agree and used to prefer Dynaudio car speakers but Focal has since slaughtered Dynaudio in car audio. They even offer Utopia for the car but I am perfectly happy with the Polyglass range and their Solid 4 amp with an Alpine Burr Brown based head unit and a very healthy sub. Modest compared to the good old days of car audio but very enjoyable!
post #21 of 32

So, someone got them?

post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post

Beautiful speakers and the video was amazing to watch. Back in the days when I actually made decent money, I put together a very nice $16,000 car stereo. For my component speakers I decided on Dynaudio instead of Focal. The Focal speakers were excellent but I preferred the Dynaudio and felt they had a smoother and more refined sound. But this was back in 2000/2001. I'm sure a lot has improved since then.

I would never have another high-end car stereo system again. The road noise interfered too much with the fine details, even with Dynamat. My custom alternator (built by the guy who did all the Sony and Alpine show cars) had to have the diodes replaced almost yearly. The electrical system failed one too many times. It just drew too much power. I had the tweeters amped separately from the woofers and had a custom attenuator panel built for adjusting the tweeter levels.

 

I have Focal speakers as part of my car audio set up. I could only dream to have a home rig with the EM system.
 

 


Edited by MrQ - 6/15/11 at 9:33am
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogdoaden View Post

So, someone got them?


I got to hear those Grande Utopia EM at Dinan's house (a long term loan from his job) and they sounded much better than the rig I heard with them at RMAF.  His rig had very good synergy with the speakers and I was very impressed with them; however, at RMAF I was not impressed and they sounded bass heavy and dark in the demo room.  They really should have focused more on the room treatments.

 

I got to hear a much smaller set of Focal speakers in the Amarra demo room at RMAF, and really liked those too. With Amarra software running they had very good imaging and transparency, and at a fraction of the cost (not sure which model they were), but they were a good bit smaller floorstanders.

post #24 of 32

I'm not a big fan of their other lines, but the utopias are different. There use to be a store here that had a pair in their demo room. Those at the time were 40,000.00, but that was the best sound I've ever listened to by any speaker. And yes I've listened to many speakers 15,000.00 and above. They all sounded good, but I always came away with the impression that they weren't worth the money. I honestly thought the utopias were underpriced. If there was a such thing as perfect they would have been it. Those were older versions of course.

post #25 of 32

I went to a friend's house whose dad turns out to be an audiophile with A LOT of disposable income lol and he had recently bought the focal grande utopia em. I was actually kinda disappointed at its audio quality. I mean it is impressive but for that much money is it really worth it?

post #26 of 32

I much prefer the b&w nautilus over these.. for top of the range speakers 180k is nothing honestly.. Ofcos its not for the average joe...if you can afford a lambo as a weekend car then this is for you.

 

I have a friend who dad had a $1 million home stereo, but he bought it with his companys money to entertain his clients.  

The rig is one thing but having a proper room for it to perform in is another thing.

post #27 of 32

Yeah, it depends on whose house sound you prefer. I really like the b&w's, but the utopias are still the best speakers I've listened to. Now if you want to talk about over-rated/priced, the for me it would be the legacy whispers. I've listened to speakers at less than 1/4 of the price that sounded better to me.

post #28 of 32

My father now has both the nautilus and the utopia. I must say the Nautilus is even better....

post #29 of 32

They've gone crazy in price for a big flagship to keep up with the others.  And they certainly are way overpriced, less refined than many speakers out there.  But, a big bass cabinet, big woofers, and you pay big time for big bass.  Get a couple of JL subwoofer to go with many more pure and refined smaller speakers and you would have a system that puts Goofy Utopia Grande Utopia to shame.     

post #30 of 32
Goofy utopia lol
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