Focal Utopia (& a little Elear) impressions and discussion

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by Allanmarcus, Jun 14, 2016.

Has your utopia needed repair from your dealer or Focal, either under warranty or not?

  1. Yes

  2. No

  3. I prefer not to answer

  1. TSAVJason
    Focal isn’t the fastest at updating their website but if you like I’ll give you the FocalNA phone number to confirm.
    The Source AV TSAVJason Stay updated on The Source AV at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.

  2. DivaFonda
    Audeze and Apple support(within reason) what would be called "unauthorized" purchases by others. Apparently any purchase is valid with them. You have their product, you're a valid owner. Go figure.
    joseph69 likes this.
  3. paul30d
    I just did a quick 30 minute check of what's been offered for sale here in Australia in the last 6-8 months on a popular hifi classifieds site vs current retail Australian prices:
    Utopia - 2 for sale - average price 70% of retail
    Clear - 1 for sale - average price 77% of retail
    Elear - 2 for sale - average price 78% of retail
    LCD4 - 1 for sale - average price 69% of retail
    LCD3 - 2 for sale - average price 63% of retail
    LCD2 - 6 for sale - average price 66% of retail
    LCDX - 1 for sale - average price 71% of retail
    HE1000 v2 - 1 for sale - average price 69% of retail​
    Admittedly small sample size and not very scientific, but surprisingly consistent between brands and models. No evidence that the Utopia loses it's value any more than any other hi-end brand. The really high end stuff (Utopia, LCD4 and Hifiman HE1000) are all selling second hand for about 70% of retail price. Could be different in other countries?
    up late, bidn and Svatopluk like this.
  4. lonerboy13
    No worries, people seem to be getting riled up with the talks about warranty again and its always best to be clear otherwise its never gonna stop.

    Cheers. :beerchug:
  5. wldcohso
    I see resale of Utopia put up for around 70% msrp but final sales be around 55%-60%. They nearly always get lowered from my research. 4K new - used 2300-2500 resale Audeze hover around 2800k-3300 resale.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
    DivaFonda likes this.
  6. DivaFonda

    What people list items for and what they end up accepting if these items don't sell can be very different. Seen this over and over with used sales. If your item is hot and highly wanted, then you get asking price. If it sits, it's not as hot as you thought and you need to lower the price to gain interest.
    wldcohso likes this.
  7. Svatopluk
    Must be the chrome and wood.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  8. Tassie Devil
    With technology changing/improving(?) so rapidly todays "must have" soon becomes yesterdays "old hat". Thoughts of audio gear ever being an "investment" are fantasy. One is lucky to get back 50% of the original price even on a recently released product. Anything too much older becomes virtually unsalable as can be witnessed by the DACs and amps lying around this place. Bottom line my "investment" in the used Focal Utopias is evolving into one of my worst ever purchases and will end up far more expensive than if I had purchaed a new pair here in Australia at full retail price.

    Easy to be so wise after the event. At the time of purchase I had no inkling the Focals were so much less reliable than the heaps of other headphones owned but I guess the talk of the innovative use of Berillium should have been a warning flag.
  9. DivaFonda
    Audio gear isn't an investment in the traditional sense, unless you get a limited edition that becomes highly prized. But buying with the hopes it'll last a long time, yes I'd call that an investment of sorts.

    Too bad it didn't work out with your pair. Did you get a refusal to repair from Focal? Eventually I want to at least try the Utopia, but I do currently have trouble with it being the same new price as a potential car down payment. I think I'm going for Moon Audio's open-box deal if it's still available when I get the money. That'll avoid the "unauthorized" purchase issue.
  10. Tassie Devil
    No, repair was not refused, but I did have a challenge to find the Australian agent responsible for the headphones. He is newly (that was 3 months ago) appoionted and a different agency to the one handling other Focal gear. All odd and a bit frustrating.
  11. DivaFonda
    So they're still demanding you go through the dealers for repair? Focal certainly believes in making people jump through hoops, that's for sure.
  12. dontfeedphils
    This is exactly why I ponied up the $4k and bought them brand new from a reputable dealer. Could I have snagged them for closer to $2,500? Maybe, but the peace of mind that comes with that extra money is completely worth it, especially since I plan on owning them for a very long time. It might seem stupid to others, but I see $2,500 and possible warranty issues or for only $1,500 (I say only as a relative term) more I get complete peace of mind.

    Ya gotta pay to play, and in most cases ya gotta pay more to play safe.
  13. Tassie Devil
    No, no one made that demand. My problem 3 months ago was finding the channels through which I could get them repaired. I do not criticise Focal about this - they were not "making me jump through hoops". The situation was of my making. I purchased them used from the USA and they needed repair. The problem was finding the agent. I never approached a dealer or was directed by anyone to do this.

    There appears to be excitement here about no transferrable guarantee. But any guarantee does not cover all situations so, if as I once thought, my visiting friend had drove them too hard, could I expect them to be covered by a guarantee? Focal could reasonably say they were abused and used beyond expectations so could not be covered under gurantee. Maybe if bought new through a dealer more sympathy would be shown, but maybe not. It is rather pointless arguing about hypotheticals.

    Drawing parallels can be misleading, but purchase of any used item nerver comes with a guarantee covering all circumstances. And buying from an individual rather than through a dealership generally gives no guarantee to items so I'm uncomfortable with some of the fury thrown at Focal for their policy. Many other products have the same approach - buy at full price via the dealer and you can expect service from them, Buy used and you could be on your own, even if the item, (and I'm not just referring to audio) is purchased through a dealer.

    Apologies for again bringing up the vexed guarantee issue. Hopefully what I've said above can put it to rest so we can move on and discuss issuies of more immediate relevance.
  14. Tobes
    Since you've experienced complete driver failure, I doubt it has much to do with the Beryllium material itself. That would be pretty robust.
    More likely due to the very long throw allowed by the driver surround design (demonstrated in Jude's original interview) causing breakage in the wiring to the voice coil. Or a flaw in the VC/wiring itself. Possibly exacerbated by excessive LF transients/levels.
    In any case, i guess you don't expect this sort of fragility in a product at this price point.
    I suppose it's fair to say, as the 3rd owner, that you don't know what your headphones have been subjected to - and whether it constitutes reasonable use.
    up late likes this.
  15. wldcohso

    Definitely not one to judge but when he knew he would be the 3rd owner without a doubt he shouldn’t have purchased them, unless of course he got them for 1k but anything higher after being 3rd owner i wouldn’t even contemplate getting them. I mean I think it’s common sense but everyone doesn’t have common sense..

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