Focal Elear and Utopia

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by SingSing, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Too much posting, not enough reading

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    I lugged my utopia all over RMAF for three days in a cloth MrSpeakers bag in my day pack. In the suitcase, it was in the bag, then in a $7 sentey gs1401 case, which fits perfectly. Unfortunately, I think the case is discontinued. Not robust protection, but good enough for a suitcase.

    [​IMG]

    I cannot imagine buying a $150 case for it. But that's just me.
     

  2. Darren G

    Darren G Almost "Made"

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    There you go. $7 for a case if really needed. I bought an AudioQuest PERCH headphone stand for my Utopia; just no way I was going to pay $250 for a thing to hang the headphones on (yes it has a Focal logo, but I just don't care, nor does anyone else). Nothing wrong with those who do either, but I learned to take responsibility for what I choose to buy and not grumble, cry, and moan 'life isn't fair' :p
     
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  3. Drifterxny

    Drifterxny Friend

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    lol, I've been using a $10 banana stand for the Utopia, been working great for the past yr.
     
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  4. dubharmonic

    dubharmonic Rando

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    There’s always money in the banana stand.
     
  5. Vtory

    Vtory Almost "Made"

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    @Tyll Hertsens uploaded Clear measurement to IF: https://www.innerfidelity.com/images/FocalClearsnA1BRQE000007.pdf

    Overlapped this on the utopia measurement (not Tyll's review unit, but more representative "brighter" one): https://www.innerfidelity.com/images/FocalUtopiasnA1BEHG003253.pdf

    [​IMG]
    (red and blue lines: utopia sn 3253, inverted colors: clear)

    I don't think clear can replace utopia (particularly in terms of technicalities due to better magnets/material), but it seems that focal is trying to reproduce utopia's tonal balance with elear material. Of course my speculation though.

    P.S. isolation measurement looks very strange. Open back headphones cannot have such isolation pattern for 30-300hz IMO.
     
  6. Wolfgang

    Wolfgang Rando

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    6k and 9~10k spikes are not good for ears in the long run (tinnitus!). I'll pass on these.
     
  7. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Too much posting, not enough reading

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    I had my Utopia measured at RMAF. Here's the file.
     

    Attached Files:

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  8. dubharmonic

    dubharmonic Rando

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    I think you're completely right here, as I tried the Utopia with a Magni 2 and heard a surprisingly different sound signature. Cleaner, more sparkle, more electrostatic razor-like separation than when using it with the MHA150. I don't think one pairing is necessarily better than the other, but they sure are different.

    This now has me wondering just how much untapped potential a Utopia has when paired with a Magni 2. Anyone have experience with the Utopia and the entire Schiit line-up?
     
  9. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Too much posting, not enough reading

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    lots. Jot, too harsh. MJ2 with good tubes, nice. DAC matters too, but too a lesser extent (assuming a good DAC).

    The impedance setting on the MHA150 might also matter.
     
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  10. dubharmonic

    dubharmonic Rando

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    The MHA150 is set at 40Ω - 150Ω and all DSP is turned off, so I don't think there should be any issues with settings. The DAC is a Yggdrasil over balanced cables. The Magni 2 looks slightly ridiculous sitting on top of it. :)

    Maybe I'll have the chance to try the Utopia with a Mjolnir 2 at a local meet sometime in the future. Thanks for the tip. Is the Magni 3 also too harsh? I might be a closet Grado enthusiast, so I'm still curious about the Jotunheim!
     
  11. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Too much posting, not enough reading

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    Just curious. Can you use the McIntosh as stand alone DAC? May you should try a different headphone amp and compare the DAC in the Mc with the Yggy. The yggy is very revealing, and isn't what many would call a warm DAC. Many prefer the Utopia with warm amp/DAC combo, and you might get that with a more neutral amp and a warmer DAC.

    Note, I wasn't saying the Jot is harsh Amp, I just think the combo of the jot and the utopia might be a cold combination.
     
  12. barelyincollege

    barelyincollege Friend

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    Here's Focal's official response on repairs, if anyone's interested:

     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017 at 12:53 AM
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  13. BenjaminBore

    BenjaminBore Friend

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    This reminded me of something my dealer said about warranty repairs. Rather than have faulty headphones sent back to France to be fixed and returned to the dealer Focal have asked them to just cut the headphones in half at the headband and send them a photo. That’s with the UK only being across the pond from France.

    Maybe there’s a black market for Utopia-halves or Utopia cut-n-shuts we don’t know about.. :p
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017 at 2:14 AM
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  14. cskippy

    cskippy Friend

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    Gorilla glue fixes pretty much anything...
     
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  15. Dino

    Dino Friend

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    That doesn't specifically address what occurs when the person having a problem bought their's second-hand. I wonder if that is up to the local distributor.
     
  16. dubharmonic

    dubharmonic Rando

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    The MHA150 DAC unfortunately uses a Sabre chip. After spending some time with it, the digital glare became impossible to unhear, and I've only used the Yggy with all amps for a while now. Schiit's multibit DACs have ruined many other DACs for me.

    I'm curious about the term 'warm' here, especially in comparison to 'dark.' Does warmth imply a solid bass foundation while still letting treble presence shine through?
     
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  17. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Too much posting, not enough reading

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    To me "warm" means significant rolled off treble. Like when you have tone controls, and your turn the treble down.

    The idea is to pair the Utopia, which may produce a little more treble and resolution up top than desired paired with an amp/DAC that balanced that.
     

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