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

  2. No

  3. I prefer not to answer

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  1. up late
    happy new year!
  2. ubs28
    Same to you :p
  3. FLTWS
    There is nothing wrong with the sound of the stock cable, I just prefer the subtle tonal balance differences I hear (call them colorations if it makes one feel better) with the Dana, or that it imparts or allows to come through to the transducer from everything preceding it in the chain. It's about top to bottom balance for me and if I'm happy with the sound.

    Mechanically I didn't care for the stock cable. I got the 3 meter length but I just don't like rubberized / plasticized outer sheathings on any HP cabling. My experience is they "can" be more microphonic and don't slide as smoothly across my clothing and furniture (leather) as I shift my sitting position in my listening chair. The Dana's cloth-like outer sheath is very low in microphonics, and I've had no noise or other issues with cable movements, which seem odd as that texture would make me think it would act like velcro, but it doesn't.

    I've auditioned a few HP's where the cable was so noisy I had to sit perfectly still and breath shallow, definitely not conducive to making me want to listen. May not mean much with popular genres of music but with pianissimo passages in classical works it can be distracting, like someone sneezing on the back of your head during a live performance (that's right, happened to me once).
  4. up late
    i can understand your dislike for the stock cable "mechanically" speaking. if i were to change the stock cable it would be for a shorter, lighter and more supple one.
  5. soullinker20
    i had my stock cables reduced its length to 5ft
  6. up late
    that might do the trick. it's a bit of a pita currently.
  7. MTMECraig
    Happy New Years Y’all!

    I hope you do some late night listening to celebrate the new year!

    (Utopia listening especially :wink: )
    bidn likes this.
  8. bidn
    happy new year to you too, MTMECraig, appreciating your contributions.

    And happy new year to you all also!
  9. Lev10Prod
    Hi all. Loving my Utopias with Hugo 2. Had to EQ them to really get them sounding their best. I know many would disagree with doing that but in the recording biz there is a saying..."If it sounds good, it IS good". So I set up a parametric eq in Logic Pro and ran a sine wave sweep from 20-20k. Found some peaks and valleys that I eqed out. Then set that same filter up (Neutron 2) in JRiver. It sounds 100% better to my ears... have been a/b testing for a few days now.
    What Im hearing is they have really opened up in both width and depth. Im using a min phase parametric eq but would rather find a lin phase. Pushing 20hz up 12dB seemed a bit over the top but the bass extension sounds waaay better! I will be happy to publish my settings if anyone wants.
    Happy New Year!
    MTMECraig likes this.
  10. guerph
    Would love to see settings
  11. DMck2000
    Hey does anyone know of any balanced cables for the Utopias that would be good for $300-$400? Also would silver or copper sound better with the Utopias? i figured that silver would be better for my setup, though any other suggestions are welcome.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  12. ubs28
    Try the Silver Dragon from Moon audio. It should be in your price range.

    It already improves over the stock cable without going too crazy in terms of money spend.

    But best is to see if you can test alot of cables yourself.

    I believe you can also order an regular plug -> balanced adapter for the Silver Dragon cable if I remember correctly. So you can have a 2-in-1 cable for both single and balanced.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
    DMck2000 likes this.
  13. wldcohso
    My music sounds glorious with stock cable. Buy a better dac/amp or treat yourself to a nice trip before buying 1200 cable.
  14. Allanmarcus
    I made a silver cable for the utopia, and I didn't like it. I've never been able to hear the differences between cables, but the silver one for the utopia I could hear the difference, and not good. I re-terminated for my HD650, and it sound great with the 650. I would stick with copper.

    I did make a silver/copper hybrid cable that looks like a candy cane. Can I hear a difference between it, stock, or the copper cables I've made? Nope.

    I know a lot of folks here claim to hear the differences with cables, and they very well might. Personally, I don't. I guess I'm just luck that way. If you don't need the stock cable single ended, re-terminate it to balanced. even better, just snip off 8 inches of cable, and make a balanced to SE adapter.
    up late likes this.
  15. ubs28
    That's why I say you should test it out yourself. If you don't hear it, then you don't and you should stick with the heavy long stock cable. But from the Chord Dave and Hugo 2, it's a pretty substantial difference that I hear with my set of ears.

    But I wasn't motivated to buy a 3rd party cable for sound improvements. It was just that the stock Utopia cable was that long and heavy, that for the first time in my life I felt the need to buy a 3rd party cable. And I wasn't disappointed also in terms of sonic improvements.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
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