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Focal Utopia General 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

    23.6%
  2. No

    64.8%
  3. I prefer not to answer

    11.6%
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  1. Allanmarcus

    STOP


    Please read this post first, before you post! This post is being updated with new information and summaries of various conversations. Some of the conversations, like warranty and price, have been beaten to death.

    The utopia is $4000 MSRP (significantly less from friendly, authorized dealers);
    Interesting.
    Picture from Woo Audio

    utopia-wa5-s-full.jpg

    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.

    ====================
    Warranty info for North America from an extremely reputable dealer @TSAVJason:

    Buy from an authorized Brick & Mortar it’s a 5 year warranty
    Buy from an authorized online only store it’s 2 years warranty
    Buy from a non-authorized store NO WARRANTY
    Warranty applies to the 1st owner and is not transferable to the next owner.
    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)
    • Non-transferable warranty (yes, this is a stupid policy, but it is what it is, and Focal ain't gonna change it)
    • 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.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  2. deafdoorknob
    http://audio-head.com/focal-elear-headphone-review/

    http://audio-head.com/focal-utopia-headphone-review/
     
  3. Allanmarcus

    Thanks for the post!
     
     
    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?
     
  4. Vigrith
  5. Allanmarcus
    Guess I missed this thread:
     
    http://www.head-fi.org/t/811270/focal-elear-and-utopia-launch-with-impressions-head-fi-tv/
     
  6. jerg Contributor
    Well these probably deserve a thread in this sub-forum too.
     
  7. Allanmarcus
    Elear review:
    https://www.audioholics.com/headphone-reviews/focal-elear-headphone-review
     
  8. Dexon
    I'll never put half a kilo on my head no matter the sound.
     
    HoloSpice likes this.
  9. Music Alchemist
    http://www.cnet.com/news/could-this-be-the-worlds-best-headphone
     
    HoloSpice likes this.
  10. Allanmarcus
    Might just be me, but I don't have a lot of respect for Gutenberg. He loves everything.
     
  11. Music Alchemist
     
    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
     
    HoloSpice likes this.
  12. coletrain104
    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
     
    HoloSpice likes this.
  13. Music Alchemist
     
    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
     
    HoloSpice likes this.
  14. up late
    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.
     
    swspiers and Allanmarcus like this.
  15. coletrain104
    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
     
    HoloSpice likes this.
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