Focal Utopia General Discussion
Dec 20, 2018 at 1:42 PM Post #9,271 of 16,240

Dan Lee

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Since I haven't destroyed my Utopias yet, I can't completely answer your question. I can state that I've driven them HARD and LOUD and they just sit on my head doing what they should do, sound awesome. I would try to give them, and every headphone or speaker you have, very clean sound driven by an amplifier with sufficient power. Its the clipping coming into the transducer that is the most dangerous.

Yeah I definitely always run them as clean as possible I have a Schiit Gungnir Multibit and Mjolnir 2 both plugged into a Furman power conditioner and an Ifi Ican Pro as well. Stream everthing in Tidal HiFi. Dunno if that means something is wrong with my cans or not but it is annoying that others don't have this issue and I do. I bought them new but from a fellow headfier so I am not original purchaser and therefore I assume no warranty is transferred either which is kinda makin me wish I had just spent a little extra money and got them through a dealer.

Any input or recommendations are much appreciated. thanks guys
 
Dec 20, 2018 at 3:47 PM Post #9,272 of 16,240

ra990

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I don't think I was driving them to hard but if they are screwed up Im kinda screwed cause I bought them from another headfier in an unopened box.
As far as Ether 2s go they are by far the most comfortable headphone I have thus far used. However compared to the Utopias they are not quite as good. They are very good headphones but its definitely a warmer sound signature. With certain tracks they are just unreal in how beautiful they can present it. Overall I would say Utopias would get most of my attention but if I just wanna chill and let the music play soothingly while doing something else then ethers or lcds get that task.

So do you think my Utopias are bad? Is there anyway to test these kind of things? thanks my friend

Thanks for the Ether 2 impressions. Both my primary headphones are pretty aggressive and not warm and I was looking into finding something more laid back, so I might need to give the Ether 2 a try for that.

If I had your issue, I would definitely be suspicious of my Utopias. Does the issue present itself only when you boost the bass? Is there any way you can get a hold of another pair, try them out and see if you get the same issue? That's the only way to figure out if it's the headphones or what you're feeding them.
 
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Dec 20, 2018 at 7:37 PM Post #9,273 of 16,240

Dan Lee

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Thanks for the Ether 2 impressions. Both my primary headphones are pretty aggressive and not warm and I was looking into finding something more laid back, so I might need to give the Ether 2 a try for that.

If I had your issue, I would definitely be suspicious of my Utopias. Does the issue present itself only when you boost the bass? Is there any way you can get a hold of another pair, try them out and see if you get the same issue? That's the only way to figure out if it's the headphones or what you're feeding them.
Yeah man if you are looking for a laid back headphone I cant think of a better pair then the Ether 2 if you take all its advantages into consideration. When I compare it to my LCD-X the two cans have very similar sounds and both are incredible in the way the present music with a bit of a lush and elegant sound while still being detailed all be it not as detailed or perfect as the Utopia but then again thats not what they were designed for. I love my Xs but my god you simply can not beat the comfort of the Ethers. I just cant believe they can sound this good and be this damn light. You barely feel them on your head and as a result the clamping force is such that it isnt uncomfortable and you can move your head around without fear they will just fall off unlike the Xs.

As far as being able to audition any other pairs of Utopias I happen to live in the audiophile desert where no retailers of hi end audio can be found. I mean best buy is as good as it gets here and we all no they aint good in that area when beats and bose are their idea of godly headphones. I may just have to find an online retailer willing to let me tryout a pair or someone with a great return policy. But thanks again for your help my friend.
 
Dec 20, 2018 at 9:18 PM Post #9,274 of 16,240

doggiemom

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Vinyl engine is you friend. They make the math easy and have just about every arm and cart on file.
Thanks for the tip. I actually stumbled upon that site when Google-ing "how to remove dog hair from records." :triportsad:

Utopias paired with good vinyl are fantastic; I really enjoyed this a LOT more than my Yggdrasil (original version). To be fair the vinyl setup I was using for that comparison cost a good bit more than the Yggy itself - but a lot closer I guess if you include the iMac and Audiophilleo source with the Yggy DAC. You'll have to navigate the nebulous issue of reissue sound quality - some are great; lots are bad - really insulting is the ones on "premium" "audiophile" vinyl with a large price tag that suck in sound. I've had lots of bummers buying re-issues I was hopeful towards until that needle drop - the industry needs a fix for this. But there's tons of great sounding vintage vinyl, and I also think many new music releases on vinyl are great.
I stopped by a big record store near where I was working today and picked up a few albums, new and used. I think your warning was spot on and going forward I need to do some research before making a purchase: I'm kinda disappointed in a "special edition" of The National's "Boxer", which is a great album........ the vocals sound incredible, but some of the instruments sound fuzzy. It was $40. Steely Dan's Greatest Hits (they are pretty cheesy but hey, it was $8 for a double LP!) sounds much better, though the Utopias are incredibly revealing of all those clicks and pops. :smile_phones:
 
Dec 21, 2018 at 5:20 AM Post #9,275 of 16,240

echineko

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Yeah I definitely always run them as clean as possible I have a Schiit Gungnir Multibit and Mjolnir 2 both plugged into a Furman power conditioner and an Ifi Ican Pro as well. Stream everthing in Tidal HiFi. Dunno if that means something is wrong with my cans or not but it is annoying that others don't have this issue and I do. I bought them new but from a fellow headfier so I am not original purchaser and therefore I assume no warranty is transferred either which is kinda makin me wish I had just spent a little extra money and got them through a dealer.

Any input or recommendations are much appreciated. thanks guys
My pair just died on me sitting in their box while I was busy overseas with work. So technically they weren't even being driven at all. Worked fine when I put them away, 1 month later I get back and try them, the left channel was dead.

I certainly was glad for the extended warranty on that occasion.
 
Dec 21, 2018 at 7:52 AM Post #9,277 of 16,240

Svatopluk

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My pair just died on me sitting in their box while I was busy overseas with work. So technically they weren't even being driven at all. Worked fine when I put them away, 1 month later I get back and try them, the left channel was dead.

I certainly was glad for the extended warranty on that occasion.
Just wondering, are they early or later production?
 
Dec 21, 2018 at 8:23 AM Post #9,279 of 16,240

echineko

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Just wondering, are they early or later production?
In my case it was certainly purchased within the first year of them being released. But I've heard of similar issues with more recent buyers too (anecdotal). I can personally confirm another friend who also purchased them around the same time as me had the same thing happen.

So there's at least 2 confirmed failures I know of where how they were used wasn't a factor.
 
Dec 21, 2018 at 9:57 AM Post #9,281 of 16,240

youurayy

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Hey guys I apologize in advance if this has been answered in depth already but I couldnt find much info in my searches. I recently purchased the Utopias and believe they are by far the best headphones I own and have ever heard. This being said how much sound abuse can these things take before being damaged. I have pretty much primarily listened to planars before this and they tend to take louder volumes and boosts to bass very well without sounding as though they are gonna explode. I put the volume up a good bit on the utopias shortly after I got them and a pretty substantial bass note hit and it made a sound like the driver was just gonna come out all together or something. Since then I have tried to calm down on the volume level and find they sound better that way anyhow as you dont need as much volume with the utopias to try and pick up details. I also recently purchased an IFI ICAN PRO where I was previously using the Schiit Mjolnir 2. The iFi seems to just be way more refined in its ability to present audio with great clarity which makes the Utopias sound even better. I tried to add a little bit of the bass boost effect and again that crazy pop noise happened. Should I be worried about these things just giving out on me? Are they just not made to handle bass boost? Or is this just something that dynamic drivers are more prone too?

Thanks for any insight you all can offer. I really love these things and want to get years and years of use out of them but I dont wanna freak out everytime I put them on my head that it might be the last time they work right or something.

I also drive them from Pro iDSD, used to use bass boost, quite loud during movies etc., never any artefacts, I'd think you have a fault.

p.s. for music they aren't strictly better than my PMx2 planars ($1.5k), Utopia the dynamics is somewhat overblown, but nice on Jazz etc.
 
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Dec 21, 2018 at 12:11 PM Post #9,282 of 16,240

Svatopluk

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In my case it was certainly purchased within the first year of them being released. But I've heard of similar issues with more recent buyers too (anecdotal). I can personally confirm another friend who also purchased them around the same time as me had the same thing happen.

So there's at least 2 confirmed failures I know of where how they were used wasn't a factor.
I had two early production pair fail the same way after setting ideal for some time, no abuse involved. I've still not found any documented evadance of later production units having an issue with voce coil failures. Sure hope Focal fixed the problem, really don't see any reason why they would not.
 
Dec 21, 2018 at 1:31 PM Post #9,283 of 16,240

montanari

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This look like a silly question but at this point maybe it isn't
Tomorrow I ll go to retire a pair of focal utopia
The shop is in a big city around a couple of hours driving from my town
If I leave the headphone in the box in the car, during the afternoon to go for a walk with my girlfriend, and outside around 0 to 5degree do I risk To come back home in the evening and the headphone doesn't work ??
Because I already told to my gf that I go by myself and then come back straight home and she got very upset ..
 
Dec 21, 2018 at 2:55 PM Post #9,284 of 16,240

Dan Lee

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thanks for the help and input guys you have all been awesome.
 
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Dec 21, 2018 at 6:23 PM Post #9,285 of 16,240

up late

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This look like a silly question but at this point maybe it isn't
Tomorrow I ll go to retire a pair of focal utopia
The shop is in a big city around a couple of hours driving from my town
If I leave the headphone in the box in the car, during the afternoon to go for a walk with my girlfriend, and outside around 0 to 5degree do I risk To come back home in the evening and the headphone doesn't work ??
Because I already told to my gf that I go by myself and then come back straight home and she got very upset ..
who knows? i'd be more concerned about car theft.
 

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