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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

    24.1%
  2. No

    60.9%
  3. I prefer not to answer

    15.1%
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  1. kevnin
    I went up to The Source yesterday and compared the Utopia to my modded HD800, and briefly to the HE1000. I was using a WA5 with a QP1R as source/dac. 
     
    It is a smoother/lusher sound than HD800, but I thought it was better than HE1000 in this regard, which I view as too soft/smooth/polite. The macrodynamics were impressive - it gives the music a large sense of scale. The bass was a little higher in quantity and more extended than HD800, but also softer. Again not as soft as HE1000.
     
    My biggest problems were with the midrange and instrument separation. I felt it was lacking in midrange clarity compared to HD800 and instruments are more smeared together. So its not going to unseat HD800 for me.
     
    It's not quite as comfortable as HD800, but I found it plenty comfortable enough. I didn't notice the weight as an issue. Build quality is good - it feels solid.
     
    Thank you to @TSAVJason for arranging the audition and William for hosting us. The Source has an impressive collection of high-end headphones - anyone in the area should check them out.
     
    Edit: After hearing the Utopia in my home setup the midrange clarity issues I was hearing at first are gone, and I found the Utopia to actually be more resolving than HD800. HD800 still wins at soundstage and separation, but it is not by a lot, and Utopia wins at dynamics, bass, resolution and overall tonality. Based on this I have to reverse what I said earlier and declare Utopia the overall better headphone. Well done Focal!
     
  2. Music Alchemist
     
    This was helpful! Thanks. Gave me a little better perspective on things. That's exactly how I describe the HE1000 as well. Good all-rounder, but not convincingly realistic for me. I find it surprising that the Utopia wasn't able to exceed the HD 800 in instrument separation (and I'm assuming soundstage along with it), because in that video where someone from Focal talks about the design, he mentions how one of their goals was to make it closer to a loudspeaker experience than other headphones. I guess there's only so much you can do there. Soundstage isn't much of an issue for me, though, since even the cheapest speakers are more expansive than any headphone.
     
  3. Allanmarcus
    I'm gonna go out on a limb here and postulate that all the $4000 headphones are very good, if not excellent. I'm also gonna suggest that they all may sound a little different, especially with different equipment, and thus which is "best" will be left to the listener. 
     
    It is interesting to see a well established high end player like Focal getting involved. We also saw a headphone amp from Manly, entries from McIntosh, Moon, Cypher Labs, and Meridian. As Jason suggested, person audio is possibly heading into a boom time for high end gear. I wonder how long until we see $5000/m headphone cables as thick as a garden hose :)
     
    BTW, I heard the Moon 430HA with the McIntosh headphones, and wow, really really bright. Not a good combination. My one and only local audio store (ListenUp, Alb) doesn't have the Utopia's yet, so I will probably have to wait until RMAF, unless Source AV wants to loan me one for the AZ and CO meets this summer :)
     
    HoloSpice likes this.
  4. TSAVJason
    Hahaha I won't take offense to the AV Source mistake. Last I checked AV Source is kind of a low end cheesy online only store.

    SMH, yeah the 430HAd would not be a good match with the MHP1000. lol ....just a tad on the (very) bright side

    Don't worry by September all the FocalNA selected dealers can get the Utopia, Elear & Listen. The Listen Up boys are good friends. It's a good store to buy from.
     
    The Source AV TSAVJason Stay updated on The Source AV at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    https://www.facebook.com./pages/The-Source-AV-Design-Group/153623164648713 http://www.twitter.com/TheSourceAV http://www.instagram.com/Thesourceavdesign http://thesourceav.com/ Products@TheSourceAV.com
    Allanmarcus likes this.
  5. Music Alchemist
     
    Looks like a few Focal dealers are an hour or two away from me. Perhaps the Utopia will be available for audition before then.
     
    HoloSpice likes this.
  6. TSAVJason
    There are lots of Focal dealers. Not all Focal dealers are FocalNA dealers and not all FocalNA dealers are authorized to sell the Utopia & Elear. What dealers are near you and I'll let you know if they are or will be authorized for this headphone group.
     
    The Source AV TSAVJason Stay updated on The Source AV at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    https://www.facebook.com./pages/The-Source-AV-Design-Group/153623164648713 http://www.twitter.com/TheSourceAV http://www.instagram.com/Thesourceavdesign http://thesourceav.com/ Products@TheSourceAV.com
  7. Music Alchemist
     
    Sweet. Okay, here are some:
     
    Car Tunes Stereo
    Civic Audio
    Extreme Car Audio
    The Sound Advantage
    Watt's Audio & Cycle Works
     
  8. TSAVJason
    Sorry those are car stereo stores. That falls under Focal America. Tell me what state you're in and I'll give you the closest dealer.
     
    The Source AV TSAVJason Stay updated on The Source AV at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    https://www.facebook.com./pages/The-Source-AV-Design-Group/153623164648713 http://www.twitter.com/TheSourceAV http://www.instagram.com/Thesourceavdesign http://thesourceav.com/ Products@TheSourceAV.com
  9. Music Alchemist
     
    Oh, wait. I did use that Focal America site. I assumed it would list all the Focal dealers.
     
    As you can see in my listed location, I am in Michigan. Jackson at the moment. It's near Ann Arbor, where Overture Audio is.
     
  10. TSAVJason
    Overture is not a dealer yet for the headphones. I believe they are talking with FocalNA but that in and of itself means it will be a good long while before they get any if they get any. I'll look at my schedule tomorrow and let you know the next closest that is already signed up to be authorized to sell the Utopia & Elear.
     
    The Source AV TSAVJason Stay updated on The Source AV at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    https://www.facebook.com./pages/The-Source-AV-Design-Group/153623164648713 http://www.twitter.com/TheSourceAV http://www.instagram.com/Thesourceavdesign http://thesourceav.com/ Products@TheSourceAV.com
    Music Alchemist likes this.
  11. cladane
    Like @Music Alchemist, surprised by the comment on instrument separation. Something to do with music genre or the highs on the HD800 a bit crystal clear ?
    Still not listened to the UTOPIA.
     
  12. Cosmin Stanescu
    Any new comparisons between utopia and lcd 4 ?
     
  13. manpowre
    seems to me TSAVJason has completely hijacked this thread being a distributor. Unsubscribing this thread now. I will be reviewing the Utopia and Elear in a few days hopefully once my local distributor gets them in!
     
    mulveling and lukeap69 like this.
  14. georgep

    Yeah, to anyone with half a brain, his posts should only serve to make people more guarded and suspicious of this product.
     
    mulveling, Jones Bob and lukeap69 like this.
  15. Allanmarcus
    I've watched TSAVJason on the other thread and closely on this thread, since I started this thread. I've PMed him privately about his posts on the other thread. As far as I'm concerned, he is posting his personal impressions on this thread. I don't think he's gone too far here (yet), and I will step in with PMs if he does. 
     
    There are very few of these headphones out there in the wild yet. So far Tyll is less than impressed, but he has yet to dive in yet. For now, we will just have to trust the few (like Jason) that have actually heard them and spent serious time with them. Jason sounds like he is a very experienced headphone enthusiast, as well as a dealer. Seems like he may have found his dream job. I'm taking his impressions with a grain of salt, but I also realize he has heard the cans and I have not. Ultimately I need to hear them for myself, which I hopefully can do at RMAF. 
     
    For now, I'll just thank Jason for his impressions, and ask people and Jason to take any logistical question off-line (into PM space), and use this thread for actual impressions. 
     
    Thanks,

    Allan
     
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