Focal Utopia Review (collective stream of consciousness)

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

  1. nachocheese70

    nachocheese70 Almost "Made"

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    It sounds like you’re hearing the microdynamics that EC is famous for, and AF specifically strived for. And it’s definitely (if you follow @purr1n) a sonic characteristic.

    Check out this informative post:
    http://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/the-audio-101-thread.3214/page-2#post-96125

    EC (in my case 2A3 MK2) + Utopia is a very good pairing, both working together to deliver oodles of microdynamic and microdetail (plankton) across the frequency range.

    Not everyone cares/appreciates/heads this and there are no objective measurements for microdynamics (at least I’ve come accross), but for me this is so addictive I am willing to sacrifice other characteristics (such as bass quantity, even some quality) for this. IMHO the NOS RCA 2A3 tubes may be less warm and have more treble energy than new stock PSVane WE275 (haven’t tried others), but to me they have better microdynamics and plankton. I’d take that any day (and worst case slightly 1/2 dB EQ to take a little edge of treble).
     
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  2. BillOhio

    BillOhio Friend

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    Is there such a thing as Too Much plankton? Listening to Utopias reminded me a little of dating a chick who identifies as being hot, fun at first but lot of work in a hurry and expensive in the not so long run.
     
  3. nachocheese70

    nachocheese70 Almost "Made"

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    Haha this is true. On some passages I would almost say it maybe slightly too exaggerated (almost sounds like the violinist or celloist trying too hard to force extra emotions into the piece). Almost - I am addicted to the plankton/microdynamics.

    But I love your example! I’m sort of paying the price by having it out for maybe 1 month for repair, if not 2 (and since I only had them 2 months, it’s a steep time price).
     
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  4. ToonMechaMan

    ToonMechaMan Rando

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    Anyone try the Utopia with the Kenzie Encore?
     
  5. bclark8923

    bclark8923 Rando

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    Has anyone used the Little Dot Mk8 or 6 amp with these?
     
  6. Collusion

    Collusion Wow, I made it this far without being a friend?

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    Hi folks, I'm quite sure I'll be purchasing Focal Utopia's at the upcoming weekend. Which balanced cable should I get? Will those low-end cables sound any good? (~ $100 ish). I'll be running them out of an SPL Phonitor 2.
     
  7. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    Could just have the stock cable reterminated. @fraggler did a wonderful job on mine, and observed that the stock cable is likely white labeled Mogami 3106.
     
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  8. Forza AudioWorks

    Forza AudioWorks MOT: Forza AudioWorks

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    Could be. Off spool Mogami is quite popular where I live, not a surprise that some headphone manufacturers use it as a stock option.
     
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  9. Collusion

    Collusion Wow, I made it this far without being a friend?

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    Now seriously contemplating of making the cable myself. A couple of Lemo connectors ( FGG.0B.302.CLAD52 ), a three meter stub of Mogami 3106 and a 4 pin XRL female connector total well under 100 euros. I don't feel like 'ruining' the stock cable, might actually need it sometime in the future.
     
  10. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

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    The stock cable really weighs down the Utopia. Best upgrade was an aftermarket OCC copper cable for me. Impact Audio, BTG Audio, Norne and ZMF are all cables I’ve used in the past and enjoyed, and would all be upgrades in terms of ergonomics over the stock cable.
     
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  11. k1arg

    k1arg Almost "Made"

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    Agree 100% re excessive weight of the stock cable. FWIW I’ve been very happy with the flexibility, weight and sound of the copper cable @Forza AudioWorks made for me. It’s pretty too. ;-)
     
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  12. Zhanming057

    Zhanming057 Friend

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    If you're open to building it yourself, go with that option.

    The stock cable is hypothetically worth $1,000 (that's the quoted part cost from Focal, but of course available at a significant discount) and cutting it up might lose you some resale value down the road. Safer to build a separate cable specific to your need.
     
  13. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    Lol, there's nothing special with the stock cable, beside it being way too long and weighing 1kg ...
     
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  14. Zhanming057

    Zhanming057 Friend

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    I agree, but that's what focal is quoting for the part, and when I sold mine with a shortened cable I got lots of questions about why I did that and finding a replacement.
     
  15. Forza AudioWorks

    Forza AudioWorks MOT: Forza AudioWorks

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    Thanks! Much appreciated!
     

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