Focal Utopia General Discussion
Jun 14, 2016 at 9:33 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15,412

Allanmarcus

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STOP


Please read this post first, before you post! While I no longer read this thread, I will update the first post if you let me know.

The utopia is $4000 MSRP (significantly less from friendly, authorized dealers)

Let's keep this civil, and focused on the Focal Utopia

Thanks
  1. Elear Impressions thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/811961/focal-elear-impressions-thread
  2. Head-fi preview thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/811270/focal-elear-and-utopia-review-preview-with-measurements-head-fi-tv
  3. InnerFidelity YouTube review
  4. World's Best Headphone: The Focal Utopia (InnerFidelity)
  5. Headphone.com review
  6. Headphone.Guru review
  7. HomeTheaterReview.com review
  8. Focal link: http://www.focal.com/headphones/

Music to show off the Utopia recommendations:

  1. Fleetwood Mac: Rumors - thanks @Allanmarcus)
  2. "Holst--The Planets" (London Philharmonic, Boult 24/96 HD FLAC file) - thanks hometheaterreview.com
  3. "Alone" from Don Ellis' album Electric Bath - thanks hometheaterreview.com
  4. "Be-Bop-A-Lula" by Gene Vincent from the Rockabilly Rules compilation
  5. "Moving Picture" (Rush) - thanks headphone.guru
  6. Mahler’s 5th Symphony - thanks headphone.guru
  7. Rebecca Pidgeon’s “The Raven” in a high resolution 192kps - thanks headphone.guru
  8. Dianna Krall's "Popsicle Toes" - thanks InnerFidelity.com
  9. Lorde's "Royals" (from 2:20 - 2:45) - thanks @talkingmuffin
  10. Led Zeppelin "Physical Grafiti" (remastered edition) - thanks @phaeton70
This thread has a particularly high noise to signal ratio, but it still can be useful if you are considering a Utopia.

====================
It appears the warranty is five years from original date of purchase
Warranty is transferable to the next owner with invoice from authorized dealer
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/focal-utopia-general-discussion.811273/post-14843479
Non-warranted product can and will be repaired if requested but of course there is a repair cost charged.

====================
Cases that work with the Utopia:
======================
Here's an open invitation to any other MOT that wants to come onto this thread and announce a new product that specifically relates to the Utopia. You are welcome with arms wide. The pretty much limits the invitation to cables or other stuff specifically designed for the utopia. Cases that the Utopia will fit in area also welcome.

Discussion of the product as it relates to the Utopia is also welcome.
======================
Cables. Running list (in no particular order) of third party cable providers. Most of these folks will make you a custom cable to spec if you contact them.
=======================
Alternate Pads. Alternate pads are highly likely to change the way the headphones sound, and often not for the better
  • Elear pads - Not recommended
  • Clear Pads - Some like these
  • Dekoni Audio - no known reviews
=======================
Synopsis of common threads. Please don't start up a discussion in these areas as what's been said is all there is to say. Thanks @LCMusicLover and @PHIL007 for starting this list.
  • Stock cable (yes, it's too long and un-wieldy, and possibly not that great, although opinions vary)
  • Price (yes, they are wildly expensive, and there's no way to tell whether the price is justified by production costs, but it is what it is...). Note, your authorized Focal dealer can provide quite a discount on price. Don't pay $4000.
  • Tyll's (from InnerFidelity) review(s) (We'll never know whether Tyll's first pair was broken, modified or intentionally tuned to Tyll's preferences, or just an out-lier)
  • No transport case. Yes, the cheaper Clear comes with one, and the Utopia doesn't. Sucks. Talk to your dealer and I'll bet you get a great discount on a case if you buy with the Utopia.
  • Extra pads. Doesn't come with extra pads. Sucks. We know.
Sound sig: Some listeners hear Utopia as ‘bright’ or ‘demanding’ or ‘too analytical’ or something similar, while others hear them as ‘well-balanced’ or ‘neutral’ or ‘resolving’ or ‘detailed’ or something similar. Some who hear ‘bright’ claim it can be ‘fixed’ with cable swaps or changes to the source chain, while others say it can’t be ‘fixed’ and (of course) still others say no ‘fixing’ is needed.
 
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Jun 14, 2016 at 11:21 AM Post #3 of 15,412

Allanmarcus

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Thanks for the post!
 
Focal’s new flagship is easily the best dynamic headphone ever made to date and carries all the weight, panache and accolades that entails

 
That's a weighty statement. For $4000 it better be the best. My guess is that it's good, and designed to be sold (or given away free) when a dealer sells the Utopia speakers. Status headphones?
 
Jun 14, 2016 at 12:19 PM Post #5 of 15,412

Allanmarcus

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Guess I missed this thread:
 
http://www.head-fi.org/t/811270/focal-elear-and-utopia-launch-with-impressions-head-fi-tv/
 
Jun 20, 2016 at 1:50 AM Post #11 of 15,412

Music Alchemist

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Might just be me, but I don't have a lot of respect for Gutenberg. He loves everything.

 
Yeah, I only linked it 'cause it's still technically a new review.
 
I like (read: don't like) how he contradicts himself by first implying that the Utopia is the new world's best headphone, but then later saying the Abyss is still better. XD
 
Jun 20, 2016 at 4:54 PM Post #12 of 15,412

coletrain104

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Might just be me, but I don't have a lot of respect for Gutenberg. He loves everything.

I agree, I feel that he only gives impressions based on price. Very rare (if its happened at all) in audiophile headphones for him to say he prefers the less expensive headphone. notice how he prefers the ABYSS to the utopia to the HE-1000 to the LCD3 to the LCDX. 100% price matchup
 
Jun 20, 2016 at 5:52 PM Post #13 of 15,412

Music Alchemist

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  I agree, I feel that he only gives impressions based on price. Very rare (if its happened at all) in audiophile headphones for him to say he prefers the less expensive headphone. notice how he prefers the ABYSS to the utopia to the HE-1000 to the LCD3 to the LCDX. 100% price matchup

 
He did also mention in the past that he prefers the LCD-3 to the SR-009, as an example. My main gripe with his "reviews" is that he barely goes into any detail and comes off as too generic. Not much better than the typical mainstream reviews that read like a press release.
 
Here are some good impressions from my buddy "Noodles" (nickname I gave him):
 
http://www.head-fi.org/t/811270/focal-elear-and-utopia-launch-with-impressions-head-fi-tv/450#post_12662362
 
Jun 21, 2016 at 8:15 PM Post #14 of 15,412

up late

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any chance of making this a utopia impressions and discussion thread? there is already a thread for the launch of the utopia and elear which is very active, and a new separate thread for the elear in the full-sized headphones forum. it might be useful to have a thread dedicated to focal's flagship can in the high-end forum - just saying.
 
Jun 22, 2016 at 1:05 PM Post #15 of 15,412

coletrain104

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He did also mention in the past that he prefers the LCD-3 to the SR-009, as an example. My main gripe with his "reviews" is that he barely goes into any detail and comes off as too generic. Not much better than the typical mainstream reviews that read like a press release.
 
Here are some good impressions from my buddy "Noodles" (nickname I gave him):
 
http://www.head-fi.org/t/811270/focal-elear-and-utopia-launch-with-impressions-head-fi-tv/450#post_12662362

True. I guess his style of reviewing works because, even though he identifies as an audiophile, most of his readers don't. To them, the new best, biggest, most expensive headphones would probably be the best things they ever heard. If he got critical of them, his readers would probably think "why the hell would I buy this super expensive headphone that has these issues when I can buy a cheap headphone that probably isn't much worse" etc. They'd probably not find his reviews worthwhile
 

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