Focal Utopia General Discussion
Feb 11, 2019 at 7:39 PM Post #9,932 of 20,644
I am interested in the DAC/Amp
Focal is not an electronics company however they are owned by the same investment group as my favorite two channel system - Naim Audio. The Utopia development took place using Naim gear. All of us on the Naim forum have been asking for years for updates to the Naim Headline amplifier and the original Naim DAC.

I wonder if this was developed (and possibly will be built) by Naim.
If so then Chord - WATCH OUT
 
Feb 11, 2019 at 7:46 PM Post #9,933 of 20,644
I am interested in the DAC/Amp
Focal is not an electronics company however they are owned by the same investment group as my favorite two channel system - Naim Audio. The Utopia development took place using Naim gear. All of us on the Naim forum have been asking for years for updates to the Naim Headline amplifier and the original Naim DAC.

I wonder if this was developed (and possibly will be built) by Naim.
If so then Chord - WATCH OUT
Who knows how good/bad this thing is.
 
Feb 11, 2019 at 7:48 PM Post #9,934 of 20,644
If so then Chord - WATCH OUT

If it uses off-the-shelf DAC chips I don't think so, lol. But hey, it'll probably sound nice anyway with the Focal headphones.
 
Feb 11, 2019 at 8:00 PM Post #9,935 of 20,644
If it uses off-the-shelf DAC chips I don't think so, lol. But hey, it'll probably sound nice anyway with the Focal headphones.

Have you ever heard Naim's range of digital streamers or CD players? They range from $5k-$25k.
Their statement products (CD555 and the new digital ND555) are considered at the Pinnacle of playback.
Naim, Linn Klimax DS, DCS - these are Statement products that are all playing in a different league than Chord.

Two channel performance is a bit different than that from the headphone companies - I'll leave it there
 
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Feb 11, 2019 at 8:10 PM Post #9,936 of 20,644
Have you ever heard Naim's range of digital streamers or CD players? They range from $5k-$25k.
Their statement products (CD555 and the new digital ND555) are considered at the Pinnacle of playback.
Naim, Linn Klimax DS, DCS - these are Statement products that are all playing in a different league than Chord

Exactly, they are playing in a different league, with Chord not using off-the-shelf chips and I happen to like their approach. I also find it funny when, ironically, unconfirmed brand and specs already 'beat' Chord. Like I said, I have no doubt that the current Naim gear sounds good. It's just different. Personally I find the gear you mentioned waaay overpriced for what they offer and the hardware used, but I'll never debate if someone else likes them.

My comment was more about why everything is a battle. Choose your flavor and run with it, and pay the cost of ownership along the way. Have fun.
 
Feb 11, 2019 at 8:26 PM Post #9,937 of 20,644
Carefully read the post
"IF"
nobody is making any concrete statements - simply wondering

When it comes to performance there is a lot more that goes into building two channel (or Headphone) digital players then simply what chip is used. Hell - just the casework on some of those mentioned costs more than a Chord Hugo2.
(and believe me casework is something else which factors into performance).

There are so many things which factor into sound and performance than just the DAC chip.
(and most of these guys are writing additional proprietary coding for these "off the shelf" chips).

Back in the CD days everyone used the same drive/mechanisms (as only a few electronic companies made them). It's what they did to these stock drive mechanisms afterward which determined the level of playback achieved.

Building this stuff is a lot more complicated than it outwardly seems.

Last I looked both Porsche and Subaru use a BOXER engine. Wonder which one is better
 
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Feb 11, 2019 at 8:36 PM Post #9,938 of 20,644
Gotta put this out there ahead-of-time... If this new Focal closed-back is anywhere near as good as the Denon D9200 (which costs half the price but still quite expensive for what it is), I'll be very impressed. Which is to say, not impressed enough by half.
 
Feb 11, 2019 at 8:38 PM Post #9,939 of 20,644
Carefully read the post
"IF"
nobody is making any concrete statements - simply wondering

When it comes to performance there is a lot more that goes into building two channel (or Headphone) digital players then simply what chip is used. Hell - just the casework on some of those mentioned costs more than a Chord Hugo2.
(and believe me casework is something else which factors into performance).

There are so many things which factor into sound and performance than just the DAC chip.
(and most of these guys are writing additional proprietary coding for these "off the shelf" chips).

Back in the CD days everyone used the same drive/mechanisms (as only a few electronic companies made them). It's what they did to these stock drive mechanisms afterward which determined the level of playback achieved.

Building this stuff is a lot more complicated than it outwardly seems.

Last I looked both Porsche and Subaru use a BOXER engine. Wonder which one is better

All I read initially was simply along the lines of "hey! A new DAC! Watch out Chord". I found that funny because it's a comment based on nothing, zero, zilch.

Yes, your statement products put a lot of attention in to implementation and assembly. There's no doubt there. Of course I know there's more than just what chips are used, I mean really, c'mon. Actually understanding and appreciating what Rob has done with his DACs, and the measured performance, and the sound quality (to MY ears) is why I like his designs. Please, there's no need to convince me otherwise, as I am not trying to convince you of anything. I'll readily admit the gear you mentioned obviously doesn't sound bad.

We have a difference of opinion on value and what 'beats' something else, and that's all that I did was share my opinion along with you. Let's leave it at that. However, jumping in and making unsubstantiated guesses made me laugh. Thanks for that.
 
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Feb 11, 2019 at 8:54 PM Post #9,940 of 20,644
Carefully read the post
"IF"
nobody is making any concrete statements - simply wondering

When it comes to performance there is a lot more that goes into building two channel (or Headphone) digital players then simply what chip is used. Hell - just the casework on some of those mentioned costs more than a Chord Hugo2.
(and believe me casework is something else which factors into performance).

There are so many things which factor into sound and performance than just the DAC chip.
(and most of these guys are writing additional proprietary coding for these "off the shelf" chips).

Back in the CD days everyone used the same drive/mechanisms (as only a few electronic companies made them). It's what they did to these stock drive mechanisms afterward which determined the level of playback achieved.

Building this stuff is a lot more complicated than it outwardly seems.

Last I looked both Porsche and Subaru use a BOXER engine. Wonder which one is better

That one is easy. I own a Subaru Legacy. Sooooo...
 
Feb 11, 2019 at 9:39 PM Post #9,942 of 20,644
Looks much nicer here. FB_IMG_1549938595824.jpg
 
Feb 11, 2019 at 9:47 PM Post #9,943 of 20,644
Two channel performance is a bit different than that from the headphone companies - I'll leave it there

Are you under the impression Chord is a headphone company? They have a range of some of the best amplifiers, preamplifiers, monoblocks, etc. that money can buy.

I would also challenge the fact that the Naim statement series is somehow far beyond what Chord is doing. Chord is no slouch in two channel audio and a big part of the Naim statement series is the outrageous design and associated price tag. In a similar way, is the HE1 the best headphone you can possibly buy just (partially because it's extremely expensive)? Some people think so, but that is VERY debatable.
 
Feb 11, 2019 at 9:51 PM Post #9,944 of 20,644
All Naim users know the Statement series was made for Arab Sheiks. Look at the 500 series and then we can talk.

Chord / yes they make two channel equipment / I'll leave it at that in terms of market recognition and penetration
 

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