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B&W Diamond Series Loudspeakers (diamond tweeter) - Page 2

post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrand1 View Post
The part of this new line that really shocked me was the price increase on the 805D. The now-discontinued 805S retailed for $2,200-2,500 per pair. Now the price is up to $2,500 per speaker!.
But if you see it in the other way that mean the "old" serie should become cheaper, at least i hope it.
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverCans View Post
Actually I believe that would be Accuton, Eton makes the bass drivers for Avalon. Accuton also makes a diamand 106mm mid
You are correct and I have edited my post. I have been recovering from hernia surgery in bed and taking too many pills so I typoed but did mean Accuton.

The Accuton diamond mid is exceptional.

Also, Avalon has used many of the Focal "Power Flower" bass drivers in there larger models like the Sentinel Diamond.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post
Now if only Focal could make a speaker that doesn't sound like a Polk Audio from Best Buy. Every JMLab/Focal I've ever heard, right up to the megabuck Grande Utopia Be, has been a complete and utter disappointment. I remember going to a dealer that had a dedicated room for the Utopias, and a dedicated room for the Dynaudio Confidence C4s right next to it. The C4s blew the Utopias to absolute smithereens, at about 1/5 of the price.

I'll take the Be-10 or the Be-20 over any Utopia, no matter what Usher is using for the tweeter. Frankly, I think both diamond and beryllium tweeters are a bit gimmicky, the very best speakers mostly use ring radiators.
There is no accounting for the value of a good demo and it sounds like you have been the victim of many bad ones. I would say that Focal Utopias are not very forgiving of supporting hardware or poor rooms.

I have Grande Utopia EM's (had Nova Be's before them) and my room is 24' X 38' with a 21' ceiling. That is a good room size for that speaker (ceiling height is not as big a factor as the other dimensions) and as few have one that size, they usually don't perform correctly. The Grande Utopia Be has rear firing ports on the upper bass driver which really complicates placement as proximity to the front wall becomes critical. I have a friend with these running in a 25 X 20 room with a 10.5' ceiling and setup was a difficult to get right as the room was too small. The moral of the story...statement speakers generally require statement rooms.

Granted that speakers are likely the most subjective thing in the audio chain but comparing a Focal Utopia to a Polk got a pretty good chuckle out of me. I am FAR from a Wilson Audio fan or a B&W fan but I would not venture to make a statement like that about their products. Even though I don't care for them at all, they are well engineered and have their strong points.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinan View Post
There is no accounting for the value of a good demo and it sounds like you have been the victim of many bad ones. I would say that Focal Utopias are not very forgiving of supporting hardware or poor rooms.

Granted that speakers are likely the most subjective thing in the audio chain but comparing a Focal Utopia to a Polk got a pretty good chuckle out of me. I am FAR from a Wilson Audio fan or a B&W fan but I would not venture to make a statement like that about their products. Even though I don't care for them at all, they are well engineered and have their strong points.
The supporting hardware definitely wasn't the issue in the case of the Grande Utopias. The amps and source equipment were all Audio Research Reference series. I suppose its possible that the room was simply too small, although I've heard the massive Dynaudio Evidence Master in that same room which sounded excellent. I just remember being absolutely floored that the $16K/pr Confidence C4 driven by relatively modest Levinson electronics sounded better on just about every level when compared to the Utopias, and all of the other JMLab demos I've done have been similar disappointments.

Heck, I remember hearing the old Genesis APM-1s which I think sold for around $10K originally, and I liked those better than the Utopias. I suppose it's always possible that in the right room with the right equipment I'll "see the light", but after everything I've experienced, given Utopia EM money to spend on speakers, the last place I would go is to JMLab.

My first instinct would probably be the Rockport Arrakis. My experiences with Rockport speakers have been the polar opposite of the JMLabs, they've all been absolutely spectacular. There are also several others that play in that $200K range that I would want to try like the MBL 101X, and the Marten Coltrane Supremes.
post #20 of 23
My friend with the Grande Utopia Be's went through every generation of the flagship Infinities and Genesis products before settling in on the Grandes and is loving the fact that the drivers don't deteriorate.

The Evidence is a fantastic speaker and despite being tall, it is VERY easy to place in a room compared to a Grande and will operate in a fraction of the space.

As to hardware, the Audio Research Ref is great stuff but simply not enough for Grandes (or Wilson Alexandrias). They love a kilowatt of power on tap so if you don't have 2000 Series Boulder, Reference MBL, Accuphase M8000's, or the big Soulution mono amps, forget it as they will never work right. A speaker at this level was never meant to be practical or easy to setup but when you really do get it right, it is mind boggling and makes the dollars spent fade to a distant memory. I will gladly extend an open invitation for a demo if you are ever in the area as I would be curious if it would change your mind.

Rockports are also deadly good and very easy to place and power by comparison but when the Grande EM's are set up correctly, the Rockports fall behind. Especially if you value the lower registers and a perfect full-scale presentation that can do complex orchestral without skipping a beat.

At this level, it is mostly all fantastic so we are just splitting hairs based on setup, environment, budget, and preference.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post
The supporting hardware definitely wasn't the issue in the case of the Grande Utopias. The amps and source equipment were all Audio Research Reference series. I suppose its possible that the room was simply too small, although I've heard the massive Dynaudio Evidence Master in that same room which sounded excellent. I just remember being absolutely floored that the $16K/pr Confidence C4 driven by relatively modest Levinson electronics sounded better on just about every level when compared to the Utopias, and all of the other JMLab demos I've done have been similar disappointments.

Heck, I remember hearing the old Genesis APM-1s which I think sold for around $10K originally, and I liked those better than the Utopias. I suppose it's always possible that in the right room with the right equipment I'll "see the light", but after everything I've experienced, given Utopia EM money to spend on speakers, the last place I would go is to JMLab.

My first instinct would probably be the Rockport Arrakis. My experiences with Rockport speakers have been the polar opposite of the JMLabs, they've all been absolutely spectacular. There are also several others that play in that $200K range that I would want to try like the MBL 101X, and the Marten Coltrane Supremes.
post #21 of 23



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinan View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post
Now if only Focal could make a speaker that doesn't sound like a Polk Audio from Best Buy. Every JMLab/Focal I've ever heard, right up to the megabuck Grande Utopia Be, has been a complete and utter disappointment. I remember going to a dealer that had a dedicated room for the Utopias, and a dedicated room for the Dynaudio Confidence C4s right next to it. The C4s blew the Utopias to absolute smithereens, at about 1/5 of the price.

I'll take the Be-10 or the Be-20 over any Utopia, no matter what Usher is using for the tweeter. Frankly, I think both diamond and beryllium tweeters are a bit gimmicky, the very best speakers mostly use ring radiators.
There is no accounting for the value of a good demo and it sounds like you have been the victim of many bad ones. I would say that Focal Utopias are not very forgiving of supporting hardware or poor rooms.

I have Grande Utopia EM's (had Nova Be's before them) and my room is 24' X 38' with a 21' ceiling. That is a good room size for that speaker (ceiling height is not as big a factor as the other dimensions) and as few have one that size, they usually don't perform correctly. The Grande Utopia Be has rear firing ports on the upper bass driver which really complicates placement as proximity to the front wall becomes critical. I have a friend with these running in a 25 X 20 room with a 10.5' ceiling and setup was a difficult to get right as the room was too small. The moral of the story...statement speakers generally require statement rooms.

Granted that speakers are likely the most subjective thing in the audio chain but comparing a Focal Utopia to a Polk got a pretty good chuckle out of me. I am FAR from a Wilson Audio fan or a B&W fan but I would not venture to make a statement like that about their products. Even though I don't care for them at all, they are well engineered and have their strong points.

 

 +1 on the chuckle. I know audio is very, very subjective, but to compare Focal UtopiaBe's to Polk,is well, funny as hell. I just sold my Alto Be's, and just ordered a pair of B&W 802 Diamonds. I was going to get the Focal Scala, but I got a great price on the 802D2, after I bought a Burmester 089 CDP/DAC/Pre. A close friend ordered the Grande Utopia EM, then changed his mind as went with the Stella's for his condo. Also all Burmester electronics. I believe it is so important to system match.It is not how much money you spend, but how much thought and research you put in. Happy listening.

 

post #22 of 23



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinan View Post

My friend with the Grande Utopia Be's went through every generation of the flagship Infinities and Genesis products before settling in on the Grandes and is loving the fact that the drivers don't deteriorate.

The Evidence is a fantastic speaker and despite being tall, it is VERY easy to place in a room compared to a Grande and will operate in a fraction of the space.

As to hardware, the Audio Research Ref is great stuff but simply not enough for Grandes (or Wilson Alexandrias). They love a kilowatt of power on tap so if you don't have 2000 Series Boulder, Reference MBL, Accuphase M8000's, or the big Soulution mono amps, forget it as they will never work right. A speaker at this level was never meant to be practical or easy to setup but when you really do get it right, it is mind boggling and makes the dollars spent fade to a distant memory. I will gladly extend an open invitation for a demo if you are ever in the area as I would be curious if it would change your mind.

Rockports are also deadly good and very easy to place and power by comparison but when the Grande EM's are set up correctly, the Rockports fall behind. Especially if you value the lower registers and a perfect full-scale presentation that can do complex orchestral without skipping a beat.

At this level, it is mostly all fantastic so we are just splitting hairs based on setup, environment, budget, and preference.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post
The supporting hardware definitely wasn't the issue in the case of the Grande Utopias. The amps and source equipment were all Audio Research Reference series. I suppose its possible that the room was simply too small, although I've heard the massive Dynaudio Evidence Master in that same room which sounded excellent. I just remember being absolutely floored that the $16K/pr Confidence C4 driven by relatively modest Levinson electronics sounded better on just about every level when compared to the Utopias, and all of the other JMLab demos I've done have been similar disappointments.

Heck, I remember hearing the old Genesis APM-1s which I think sold for around $10K originally, and I liked those better than the Utopias. I suppose it's always possible that in the right room with the right equipment I'll "see the light", but after everything I've experienced, given Utopia EM money to spend on speakers, the last place I would go is to JMLab.

My first instinct would probably be the Rockport Arrakis. My experiences with Rockport speakers have been the polar opposite of the JMLabs, they've all been absolutely spectacular. There are also several others that play in that $200K range that I would want to try like the MBL 101X, and the Marten Coltrane Supremes.

Well put, sir. If you ever get the chance, please try and audition Burmester Reference series with your EM's. If you are ever in the SF bay area and Marin, please stop by. I also am a big Dinan fan ( have a 700 hp Dinan5)

 

post #23 of 23

How does the cheaper B&W 805D sound in comparison to the Sennheiser HD800 or SR-009? 

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