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Focal Utopia General Discussion

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by Allanmarcus, Jun 14, 2016.
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Has your utopia needed repair from your dealer or Focal, either under warranty or not?

  1. Yes

    24.5%
  2. No

    61.3%
  3. I prefer not to answer

    14.1%
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  1. Liu Junyuan
    Sorry for the aside Tobes: did you swap your Grace for the PSAudio/BHA-1 setup? What do you think of the chain driving the Utopia?

    Thanks!
     
  2. DMck2000
    Behold...Utopia (At night)!
    All photos were shot by me with a Sony A7S along with a Sigma 50mm Art Lens at f/1.4 and shot at 8000-25000 ISO
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
  3. Tobes
    @Liu Junyuan, not all at once.
    I added the BHA-1 first. It pretty obviously outclassed the HP amp in the Grace. Later I added a s/h Bryston BP26 to my system as a preamp for my F6 - so then I was using the Grace as a DAC only. It was probably inevitable that I'd move to a dedicated DAC again and the PSAudio was on sale at the time. I use the s/e outs on the dac to drive the BHA-1 (bal out used for my speaker setup). The BHA-1 does have high gain and this can be an issue with high output dacs and the sensitive Utopia. The lowish output of the PSAudio makes it a better match than some, but of course you can always attenuate in the digital domain.

    To answer your question I think the combo sounds great together - wonderfully revealing and engaging - but there was one last piece to the puzzle to make it really special. That was the Nordost Heimdall cable!
    To backtrack a bit, I discovered that my diy Kimber TCSS cable just didn't gel in the new setup. I re-inserted the the stock Focal cable and got much more coherent and nuanced sound. This was after I sold the Grace, so I couldn't go back and try to figure out why I preferred the diy cable in the Grace setup. In any case the diy cable sounded clumsy and forward with the PSAudio/BHA-1 - to be honest, I think the latter was just more revealing. I gained a new respect for the decent sound of the stock cable, but I was spoiled with the lighter weight (though heavier guage wire) of my diy cable and really didn't like the bulkiness and weight of the stock Focal.

    I scanned the cable recommendations for the Utopia and the Heimdall came up a quite a few times. This cable shocked me with its openness, neutrality and revealing nature - yet at the same time it sounds refined and musical. It has terrific focus and does a great job of instrumental location and spacial clues. Everything sounds more realistic and natural. It sounds like a cliche, but with this cable the music constantly surprises me and just draws me in. I just keep on listening - even with material I normally wouldn't!
    I say this is the cable, but I guess its just showing me what the other components can do - it just gets out of the way, that's what it sounds like. Maybe its just a case of serendipity?
     
    Liu Junyuan and bidn like this.
  4. csglinux
    Any chance you could share an image of your DIY cable and instructions for doing that 16-strand braid? I've made dozens of IEM cables and re-terminated enough full-sized HP cables, but the 16-strand braid sounds like a challenge I have to complete once in my lifetime... :wink:
     
  5. Allanmarcus
    Happy to. Click on the DIY Supplies link in my signature, then click on the My Stuff menu in the upper right on my web site.
     
    joseph69 likes this.
  6. csglinux
    Awesome resource - thanks! :)
     
  7. dontfeedphils
    Someone let me know I'm in the wrong place (there seem to be a couple threads for the Elear/Utopia and I haven't read all of this thread). Anyone hear order there Utopia through moon-audio's open box deal? I've had an Elear for about 5 months now and enjoyed my time with them very much, but now that I've had quality time with Utopia I decided to pull the trigger on the "open-box" deal.

    They're listed as on back-order with a 10-14 day lead time. Anyone one here have experience with the open box units from Moon? Lead times pretty accurate? Happy with the experience?

    I just placed my order yesterday, and as long as the wait time is <1 month I'll be a happy man.
     
  8. Allanmarcus
    I believe moon is actually authorized to sell open box utopias. So you should be OK and happy. They are a very reputable dealer.
     
    dontfeedphils likes this.
  9. dontfeedphils
    That's the impression of them I have too, just wanted to see if anyone has first hand experience.
     
  10. FLTWS
    I've purchased HP's and cables from Moon and had no issues, I'm happy with their service and wouldn't hesitate to use them again.
     
    dontfeedphils likes this.
  11. watchdog507
    I second the vote of confidence for Moon Audio and open box. They are authorized and all warranties would be in place. My experience with support and responsiveness at Moon Audio is good.
     
  12. dontfeedphils
    Awesome, good to hear the extra votes of confidence. Thanks guys!
     
  13. lcasadonte
    If you want balanced cables from moon place your order now. The connectors for the utopia were on backorder.
     
  14. wldcohso
    Is there a noticeable difference or is it really subtle?
     
  15. watchdog507
    I'm having a Utopia adapter made by Moon and Lemo connectors have been unavailable for almost three weeks now. So I would get it when the Lemo's are in stock. It seems that there is a shortage. When I ordered a set of Lavricables recently , they were caught short of the Lemo's too.
     
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