Focal Utopia Review (collective stream of consciousness)

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by purr1n, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. 9suns

    9suns [insert unearned title here]

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    Not 100% sure, but "new Focal dealer", "trade in" and someone called "Ming" with a french hotmail sounds like a scam to me, treble boost and 3rd order distortion included.
     
  2. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Accounts get hacked a lot of times. I recently tried buying an item at a super low price. So low I was willing to risk losing the money to see if it was any good. They had solid feedback as well so it didn't seem like it was a scam. After making the purchase ebay informed us that the listing was invalid and the account was hacked. Luckily I was refunded.
     
  3. Rthomas

    Rthomas Friend

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    I was never going to send the money by wire transfer but he even sent me a photo of the Utopia box with his name and address clearly mentioned. The photo did not look like a photoshopped job. I've dealt with scammers before and received obviously fake photos and requests to make payments to shipping companies etc....

    Anyway thanks for the feedback.
     
  4. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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  5. jowls

    jowls Never shitposts (please) - Friend

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    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  6. Galm

    Galm Still looking for Little Red Riding Hood

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    It's annoying when you find review pages like this: https://feedback.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBay...=25&iid=-1&de=off&which=positive&interval=365

    This isn't immediately obvious that it's fake or legit... The messages are generic but not like super generic... If real people leaving reviews could include more specific information like the product they ordered or something it would make things like this so much easier to evaluate.

    Still seems pretty sketch.
     
  7. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

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    I see bank transfer only no Paypal and run the other way. Wasn't this the same issue with @Luckbad and @Mr.Sneis?
     
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  8. 9suns

    9suns [insert unearned title here]

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    You can also ask Focal if he's an official dealer.
    Regarding the pictures, even if he sends not photoshop looking pics with his name, be careful, there was a scam reported on Head-Case with a SR-007 and SRM-717 amp, and the scammer also sent real pictures and even talked nice on the phone
    https://www.head-case.org/forums/topic/786-the-headcase-stax-thread/?page=431

    Not including Paypal is shady, personally, I wouldn't trust that seller.
     
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  9. Luckbad

    Luckbad Traded in a unicorn for a Corolla

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    I'll never do a bank transfer again for someone I don't know in person.
     
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  10. Hola

    Hola Epeen Swinger, Ph.D

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    Gproof of delivery does not mean much. Look up “zip code scam” and you’ll find out what it is.
     
  11. wormcycle

    wormcycle Almost "Made"

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    I had an interesting opportunity to buy Utopia and HEKv2 for a very close price app $1800 US for Hifiman, almost new, and $2100 for Utopia.
    I have a to admit that I really liked HE500 and therefore I was biased towards HEKv2, except for the looks.
    I had to check Utopias first and brought my HD800S to the audition.
    Utopias were doing all things described in this thread, detailed, fast, it is a really nice headphone to listen to. But I was only going to buy it had a wow effect on me comparing to HD800S. But it didn't, and listening to classical music it appeared to be a similar kind of headphone as HD800S doing some things better but not a sound stage or instrument separation. Then I had my turn with HEKv2. I listened to the Adagio from Beethoven 8th string quartet, the piece I can only enjoy in my top listening
    form. With Utopias and HD800S it was like the same listening experience, following all the slowly developing melodic lines with some strain, not really getting into it.

    With HEKv2 12 minutes passed very quickly, I did not have to put any effort into hearing all those winding melodies, they were just there. I still do not know how to explain it but the details were presented in entirely different way, I think it may be that HEKv2 is clearly better than Utopia and HD800S in microdynamics at least to my ears, that's why they sound more natural to me and complex music is so easy to follow.
    So yes I own HEKv2 now and spending with them at least couple of hours I do not have any second thoughts, at least not yet
     
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  12. TonyNewman

    TonyNewman Validated by Tyll removing Utopia from WOF

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    +1. PayPal has come through me once when the vendor did a disappearing act. $1,200 USD refunded. A bank transfer would have been 1200 bucks down the shitter.
     
  13. murphythecat

    murphythecat Friend

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    bank transfer on ebay? fraud alert!
     
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  14. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    Run and don't look back. No need to check more. Ebay offer with no PayPal is a big "NO" in my book.
     
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  15. Forza AudioWorks

    Forza AudioWorks MOT: Forza AudioWorks

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    In mine as well.
     
  16. Rthomas

    Rthomas Friend

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    Hi Guys,

    I’ve spent over a year waiting for Utopia prices to drop and finally it’s at a level where I’m ok buying.

    The one thing that stops me from pulling the trigger is Solderdude saying that the HD800 + Kameleon hardware eq is as good if not better that Utopia.

    Does anyone here have experience with the Kameleon filter and HD800?

    I had a loaner Utopia at home and liked it. I hate the stock HD800 but I can get it for under $800 and the Kameleon is another $200 so it’s a cheap solution compared to Utopia.


    Thanks!
     
  17. TomNC

    TomNC Facebook Friend

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    Utopia and Hd800 are quite different phones. Utopia exceeds in resolution and speed. Mods and EQ might alter the tonality of the HD800 but won't improve resolution and speed. I prefer my modded HD800 to the Utopia in tonality and the non-fatiguing factor but am well aware of the technical advantages of the latter. Overall, Utopia is closer to be a Hifi-sounding device than the HD800. I have an eye on a future Utopia model with an improved frequency response profile.
     
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  18. purr1n

    purr1n Possibly psycho

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    What is your current chain?

    The HD800's problems with frequency response issues are largely in the time domain. The location of the driver and the internal ribs cause the 6kHz peak - no doubt from standing waves from reflections. The driver by itself doesn't do this (see HD800 breakdown post on Changstar). So with EQ, you are only going to get varying levels of success. I believe there was an article on how Tyll and Bob Katz could never quite get an EQ profile that really worked well with it. I am not against EQ, but I too feel that the HD800 is too hard to EQ. This is why I feel physical mods to the HD800 are superior.

    As for the "what is your current chain" question, the Kameleon is an analog EQ based on opamps. Why would you want to do this and ruin a quality chain (assuming such if you are using an HD800) with the craptasically mediocre sound of opamps / active EQ circuits / under low / mostly unity gain between your source and amp? At this point, you are just better off getting a Philips Fidelio X2.

    Finally, do you trust the EQ of the Kameleon for the HD800 (and the measurements of which it was based on)?
    [​IMG]

    My opinion is the Kameleon adds too much bass. The HD800 doesn't need anymore bass above 50Hz.

    if you've heard the sound of the Utopia and prefer it, then by all means get it over the HD800. The HD800 with SBAF and/or SDR mods is better than stock, but unless you are willing to rip your HD800 totally apart and do the unreversible Darth Vader version like me, you will still find the HD800 too wonky if you were in the "can't stand it / hate it" camp to begin with on stock HD800s.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  19. Rthomas

    Rthomas Friend

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    Hi Marv,

    Thanks maybe the Utopia is the better get it and forget about tweaks option. It even sounded pretty damn good straight out of my phone whereas I'm stuck to my main rig with the 800.

    my current chain is Laptop>Mimby>Dynalo Mk2>HD650.
     
  20. murphythecat

    murphythecat Friend

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    I have both
    I used to use sonarworks with the hd800, but since I added the SDR mod and the SBAF liner mod (imo the SBAF mod is even more critical/important), i dont feel the need to eq the hd800 anymore. I find the hd800 with both mods almost as good as the utopia, almost the utopia have faster bass with better impact, but with my ifi amp, I use the Xbass settings which use analog bass boost and I find the hd800 bass almost more nuanced. the mids of the hd800 are more relaxed and it might be my preference, but the utopia offer more resolution in the mids, slightly. the treble of utopia is all round better though.

    once modified, the hd800 are indeed almost as good and I use both pair pretty evenly.
     
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