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They might be Kings: Focal Utopia, Sony MDR-Z1R, HiFiMan Susvara, HE1000 V2, MrSpeakers Ether Flow & Meze Empyrean

Discussion in 'Currawong' started by currawong, Mar 6, 2017.
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  1. murphythecat
    subbed
    going from utopia to hd800, I notice how much the mids are recessed and how detached from the music I am. couple of tracks and Ive readjusted myself to hd800!
     
  2. boomtube
    You have the same take as @Currawong? Utopia is supperior to HD800?
     
  3. canali
     
    and i guess that sort of makes sense, (and you'd hope so if you're an owner)
    given the Utopias are around 3x the price.
     
    to digress for a moment, it will be interesting to see if Senn steps up their game in the next yr or so to come out with a heavy hitter to 
    compete with the Sony Z1R, Audeze ldc4, Hifiman hekv2 and Focal Utopias...there's obviously a growing market
    for premium headfi.
     
  4. murphythecat

    I prefer Utopia to hd800. but I also prefer 650 to 800... so maybe im biased :)
     
  5. MacedonianHero Contributor
    Actually I would say that they are the exact same in terms of detail retrieval. The HD800 can give the appearance of "fake" details due to the 6kHz treble spike, but that is not on the recording. The only differences I found were the lack of this annoying hump at 6kHz and some more needed heft down low with the HD800S.
     
    I'm not surprised that Amos feels that way...I do too. Only my SR-009s can eek out a win here for detail retrieval over my Utopias.
     
    purk and MidFiMoney like this.
  6. Currawong Contributor
     
    I posted a HEK V2 review. Basically they fixed everything wrong with the V1 and now it is much better. The Utopias have better impact, where the HEK tends to be more light and airy. 
     

     
     
    They have a branch in Tokyo now.
     
     
    Are you sure it isn't just fake detail from brightness? I'd be interested to know what gear it was out of, because in my case, I didn't want to do a review of the HE1000 until I had the rig I do now, with the Yggdrasil as source. Otherwise you'd see me saying that they all had about the same level of detail retrieval, which is obviously not true now.
     
     
    Today I started with the HD800 (re-cabled and with non-slip matting installed for reflection damping) and Julia Fischer playing Sarasate on violin. This combination is best heard direct from a DAVE for its uncanny realism, but sadly I can't do that. I then went to the HE1000 V2 and the Utopia respectively.
     
    HD800: With the mods the space and imaging initially seem like they are between spot-on and a bit too in-your-head. They sound a bit more aggressive with the louder notes compared to the HE1000 V2.
    HE 1000 V2: A bit more cohesive with bass that, while not strong, even with low piano notes, seems to reach into you. Seems to have more emotional impact while showing a degree of delicacy and depth of space compared to the HD800.
    Utopias: Makes all the notes feel intense, from small to big. The HE1000 V2 seemed to only deliver layers of depth when things became more exciting and the HD800 listening afterwards seems not to have a sense of layering at all. The Utopias give everything layers of depth (distance from the mike) making the others seem as if most of the notes are coming from a wall. Whereas the the other deliver only the violin itself well, the Utopias deliver the feeling of the violin and the space around it, including the notes reflecting off the walls. You get the impression of the whole performance area.
     
    montanari, zolkis, x RELIC x and 2 others like this.
  7. czy6412
    Well transparency is not the same thing as detail retrieval, some cans miss detail but can be more transparent. For example LCD-4 is better in detail retrieval than LCD-3, but many think LCD-3 is more transparent.
     
    "Fake" detail on high frequency can definitely affect the transparency, which might be the case of GS2000e, but transparency itself is quite subjective to person so from my limited experience with GS2000e and Utopia, GS2000e is still a little bit more transparent than Utopia.
     
  8. MidFiMoney

    Ahh, I see...
     
  9. Currawong Contributor

    I think your idea of "transparent" is different from what most people intend it to mean.
     
    It'd be interesting to know what set-up and music you were listening with when you had those impressions.
     
  10. budx3385
    After >500 hrs my Utopia is far more enjoyable than my well-used HD800.
     
    But the comparison I really want hear about is the Ether Flow vs the Utopia. 
     
  11. canali
     
     
    thanks Currawong...please include the how the Sony Z1R handles this music comparatively, too
    mucho appreciated.
     
  12. sdwong
    Hi Currawong,

    Not sure if you still have the Woo WA8 with you. If so, please include how the Utopia sound compares to the Studio 6. I am using the WA8 driving the Utopia and is ready for a possible "upgrade ".

    Thank you
     
  13. Currawong Contributor

    I haven't tried with the Utopias, but with the other headphones the WA8 was incredibly enjoyable to listen with, but a bit behind on detail compared to my Yggy/S6 rig. If I was the kind of person who travelled for work a lot and listened for pleasure more than anything I would have bought the WA8. 
     
    @AnakChan has the WA8 though so if he hasn't already with any luck he'll chime in with his thoughts.
     
    I think one nice thing about the Utopias is how gracefully they scale down if the components used aren't TOTL. You only lose detail and the sound ends up, as other people have described, somewhat "in your head". You keep much of their coherency though.
     
    The Sony Z1R is a different beast. It's very coloured, but can be very entertaining if you want to rock-out where the Utopias are more pure/polite. 
     
  14. MacedonianHero Contributor
     
    I agree that the Utopias are more "pure" but I wouldn't call them polite due to their excellent dynamics. I find they make my HD800S seem laid back. Is this what you meant by polite Amos?
     
  15. doggiemom
    Ooooooh, please don't make me regret my recent Utopia purchase...... especially because the other half said "So I guess you won't be getting more headphones anytime soon, RIGHT?"  [​IMG]
     
    Great thread!  Subscribing.
     
    RCBinTN likes this.
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