Focal Utopia General Discussion
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up late

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thanks for that op
 
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post-12671463
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HiFiGuy528

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Pics from Pepcom in NYC last week. Our very own Jack Wu and the Focal team.
 

 

 

 

 
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ddanois

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Reposting per member suggestion:
 
My Utopia now has about 70 hours on it and the real character of the headphone has become apparent. I can confirm much of the previous impressions such as the incredible resolution, smoothness across the tonal range and the excellent transparency. Comparing to my LCD-4, the Utopia has less "fullness of tone" but is still very satisfying in its presentation.

More to come...
 
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post-12678781
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AxelCloris

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

If he's like me he only does reviews for things he likes. I've been offered review units and turned down the review once I heard them. It takes a lot of work to do a review and there's hardly any motivation to do it when you think it's best kept in the rubbish bin.
 
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post-12678797
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Allanmarcus

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

If he's like me he only does reviews for things he likes. I've been offered review units and turned down the review once I heard them. It takes a lot of work to do a review and there's hardly any motivation to do it when you think it's best kept in the rubbish bin.

Interesting thought. As a reader, that methodology is hard to respect unless it's disclosed. I don't know if Steve has a profile somewhere, but assuming he doesn't review what he doesn't like, he needs a list of the items he didn't review. Lacking that list, it just looks like he likes everything. 
 
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post-12678845
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musiclvr

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Interesting thought. As a reader, that methodology is hard to respect unless it's disclosed. I don't know if Steve has a profile somewhere, but assuming he doesn't review what he doesn't like, he needs a list of the items he didn't review. Lacking that list, it just looks like he likes everything. 
There are plenty of reviewers from which to derive an opinion from. Just because Steve's reviews don't tickle your fancy doesn't mean that he is any less respectable as a reviewer (apart from your perspective of course). I have a list of favorite audio gear review sites from authors I have grown to appreciate after hearing gear they have reviewed too. I find that this approach has worked the best for me in choosing whom to listen to in earnest.
I am seriously considering working some overtime for the the gorgeous Utopia. I feel that as of now it checks a lot of boxes for me. The price is really hard to accept right now but maybe the coming reviews will make it easier for me to digest. I was previously looking at planar type headphones but like I said we'll see.
 
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Music Alchemist

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What if it doesn't feel like it weighs half that?
 
Yeah, the Abyss (for example) is super heavy to hold, but on my head, it doesn't feel that heavy at all!
 
By the way...I'm gonna quote your post from the other thread here:
 
I've spent several hours with the Utopia. It is without a doubt better in every way over the STAX 009. Allow me to be clear, I own the STAX SR009 and I'm definitely getting the Utopia when my stock allows.
 
It would be great if you could go into more detail on this, like descriptive comparisons in every category, ideally with all types of music.
 
I know you use the Woo WES. Have you used the 009 on other amps as well? (I ask since many feel certain other amps tap into more of its potential.)
 
  Reposting per member suggestion:
 
My Utopia now has about 70 hours on it and the real character of the headphone has become apparent. I can confirm much of the previous impressions such as the incredible resolution, smoothness across the tonal range and the excellent transparency. Comparing to my LCD-4, the Utopia has less "fullness of tone" but is still very satisfying in its presentation.

More to come...
 
I look forward to your (hopefully in-depth) updates!
 
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manpowre

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Definetely subscribed to this thread !
 
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Dillan

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Subscribing. I wish I could hear these in person!
 
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Yeah, the Abyss (for example) is super heavy to hold, but on my head, it doesn't feel that heavy at all!

By the way...I'm gonna quote your post from the other thread here:


It would be great if you could go into more detail on this, like descriptive comparisons in every category, ideally with all types of music.

I know you use the Woo WES. Have you used the 009 on other amps as well? (I ask since many feel certain other amps tap into more of its potential.)


I look forward to your (hopefully in-depth) updates!
I'll be happy to try to answer your questions that I know are directed at me. The music I used when I compared these wasn't a huge assortment. I used music that I felt was higher performing on the SR009's. Jazz, blues, classical, contemporary country, classic R&B. Lorde, Nickleback,AC/DC and Yello were the only material outside those genres. So I used the WES and the Headamp Blue Hawaii on the 009's and I used the Cavalli LW, LAu, the Questyle 4 piece Gold & 800, the Woo WA5 & WA22 all on the Utopia with the same material. So it really wasn't the best of comparisons but fair enough for my comment. My first reaction was that the 009 sounded dated like an older speaker that can't do what a new speaker can do. This was on the WES. On the Blue Hawaii I felt the 009 was just a bit better than it was on the Woo. But to compare the better of those against the Utopia is my next reference. The WES/BH on 009 v the Cavalli LAu/ Cavalli LW on the Utopia. I found a more present and lively even more musical midrange in the Utopia. The 009 was lacking in this. The Utopia was all Focal in its high frequency, smooth, Unexaggerated but very detailed, present, very musical and highly extended. In the 009 it was nice, airy, open but clinically flat. In lower frequencies I was impressed at how the Utopia defined its place as a speaker. The Utopia was fast, clean and real. For sure more, better and faster bass with more extension. I found the bass on the 009's sloppy and distant by comparison. In string bass in Jazz recordings it seemed that the 009 was not Interested in coming out to play. On Stevie Ray Vaughn Tin Pan Alley they both lit up and dance but the 009 still wasn't nearly as interested in making music. I fell out of love with the 009 at that point and can't get that love back. On Yello, most punishing the Utopia just hung with me at all levels, on the 009's once the level reached around 96db it just couldn't keep up but to be fair below 96db it was happy but it wasn't giving me the emotion I remember I loved about the 009. Of course these are my personal impressions and as a STAX lover I guess I've changed my opinion of them after hearing a dynamic outperform it with many positives the 009 doesn't have. I've been listening to the Utopia mostly on the Moon by SimAudio 430HAd and now that we're bringing in Chord I'll be listening to their DAC's too. I'm looking forward to using the DAVE and others on the Utopia. Brian Hunter, Dan Stillhart Browdy, WarrenpChi and I mostly agree on the utopia but not entirely. We've all now spent a lot of time in them. One thing we are beginning to notice is that with time they continue to get better.
 
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arnaud

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Sr009 clipping, highs clinical, flabby bass: time to have a hard look at your source and / or amp. The BHSE sounds somewhat cold with crappy tubes as well so I'd advise to look there too.
I am all for the love of the latest and greatest but the portray you're making of the SR009 just seems surreal.

Arnaud
 
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Sr009 clipping, highs clinical, flabby bass: time to have a hard look at your source and / or amp. The BHSE sounds somewhat cold with crappy tubes as well so I'd advise to look there too.
I am all for the love of the latest and greatest but the portray you're making of the SR009 just seems surreal.

Arnaud
Allow a supplement; source components were consistent. AK380 & QP1R. Mostly 24/192. The amps are nicely conditioned and outfitted. Cables were Axios & Heimdal 2 for the Utopia. I've haven't heard a bad BH so far. It and the WES have always been good amps on the 09's IMO. IMO my company sells nearly every great headphone, IEM & CIEMs available. We don't take sides other than our personal choice. I'm never going to say the 09 isn't a good estat. I will say the 09's have build quality issues that they shouldn't have at their price point. I also think the repair costs on those defects are out of line just in parts. If you are in the US and you have to get service from the US entity it's a nightmare. Cheesy things like yoke clip repair at a cost over $400 to repair and take weeks. From that perspective I warn my clients. Otherwise it's a individual taste.

I've been told there a specific glossary, I've not seen it. To that extent I apologize.

As always I've stated IMO. I was asked my option.
 
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x RELIC x

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I've been told there a specific glossary, I've not seen it. To that extent I apologize.

As always I've stated IMO. I was asked my option.

http://www.head-fi.org/a/describing-sound-a-glossary

:beerchug:
 
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