The Mighty Utopia: Focal Utopia Revisited

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by purr1n, Aug 13, 2020.

  1. neo_the_one

    neo_the_one Facebook Friend

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    One more thing I might add (and could be controversial) - cables. If you have finalized your chain with Utopia and wish to tune just about 1%-2% final adjustments, cables can do it. I won't recommend any particular cable, you can audition some if you have the chance to see which you like.
    For me after spending close to 18 months assembling my system for Utopia, the final slight tuning I wanted came via cable change.

    I have Utopia, HE1K and LCD-4z. Only Utopia was the one which had the final slight bit of refinement I was looking for with my cable change in my system. The other two headphones always sound like they do, cable change was not audible to be using the other two.
     
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  2. Josh Schor

    Josh Schor Friend

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    Asking if there is a member who would be willing to send me there Utopias so I could audition them before saving to buy a set. I of course would pay all shipping and insurance costs. I am a new member and an old friend of Marv's in Michigan.
    best,
    Josh
     
  3. Rob the Comic

    Rob the Comic banned from ASR

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    Agree. I picked up the OCC XLR cables from LQI for my Utopias and LCD’s and had them shipped here to Sydney. Great bang for buck and an improvement over the stock cables IMHO.
     
  4. Erroneous

    Erroneous Friend

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    So if I've tuned my Utopia system around the stock cables, is there a cable that will open up even more details without $1k magically leaving my pocket? DIY cabling is especially encouraged.
     
  5. Rob the Comic

    Rob the Comic banned from ASR

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    Check the above. LQI sells on eBay but find their website; 10% cheaper. Well made braided cables with wooden splitters. Plenty of options and less than $200 USD IIRC.
     
  6. Claud

    Claud Living the ORFAS dream

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    You have spent a lot on your Utopias. Why not get a good cable for it. Get a Norne cable. Go to website and Email Trevor to find out which cables he recommends for Utopia, then order. Next wait for Trevor to make and ship your cable. Two months is about right. After all, its made to order. Less than $1000 unless you want extra long.
     
  7. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    When I had my Utopia loaner, it had a Wywires Platinum cable that seemed to open them up nicely.
     
  8. Maven86

    Maven86 Almost "Made"

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    I'm using a silver\palladium cable that works really well IMO. It was also relatively inexpensive (by Utopia standards). PM for details.
     
  9. Josh Schor

    Josh Schor Friend

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    I just bought the Utopias I have never heard them just the Elex, I also have hd600 being turned into jar600 in Korea. Does the jar600 play in the same league as the Utopias?
     
  10. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    Based on what I heard, absolutely not. As far as I know it used the same 600 driver, and that driver has limitations, unless they are doing something I'm not aware of. Utopia is king of the hill for dynamics.
     
  11. MellowVelo

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    What’s the going rate for a new Focal Utopia these days? I know that the list price is $4500, but how much are dealers actually selling it for? While I hate the price of new, I’m skittish to buy used because of the history of driver issues. I know that the warranty is transferable, but still…
     
  12. Josh Schor

    Josh Schor Friend

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    What I have been told is the first year 2016 there were some with problems. $4,400 is for the 2020 which comes with extras they charge for. The phones are still $3,900 an open stock pair maybe 10% off. They are back ordered due to supply chain problems and I was told the distributor is out of Utopias and waiting for product.
     
  13. MellowVelo

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    Thanks. How much have people paid after negotiating with dealers? Consumers rarely pay MSRP for audio products (or at least they shouldn’t).
     
  14. cityshlacker

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    Yesterday, while doing my far too infrequent pad cleaning, I noticed that there was some glue-like gunk on the underside of the pads after detaching them.
    I tried to wipe it off slightly but the goop was extremely resilient on both headphone and pad side (I actually thought it was actual glue coming off) - so I went in for a little bit of a scratch with my nail (not too much) and I noticed that it's actually the plastic on the underside of the pad disintegrating.
    I've owned them since February of 2017 and have cleaned them fairly regularly in the beginning.
    This time I waited almost a year to do it though - they weren't really dirty, something just came over me.

    Long story short: replacement pads are on the way and I'd recommend for everyone to check theirs or live in blissful ignorance I suppose.
    I saw that someone on another forum experienced a similar issue.
    This is a bit of a shocker to me given their price range, but it might just be that my sweat is super corrosive (I even make an effort to not wear them when I do sweat and when it's too warm, which only rarely happens here in the UK to be honest).

    They still sound great though and are the only headphones I want to use for music. :)
     
  15. Mystic

    Mystic Mystique's Spiritual Advisor

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    Used to be able to get them open box around $2.4k a couple years ago. Prices have creeped up though.
     
  16. murphythecat

    murphythecat GRU-powered uniformed trumpkin

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    I remember vaguely someone suggesting to put in front of the Utopia drivers the same thin foam that is in front of hd650 drivers.

    Is there measurements available to know the overall effects it has on the response?

    I just installed the hd650 foam in front of the Utopia and to my surprise it doesnt sound wrong at all, it mighty actually sound better....
     
  17. AdvanTech

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    No measurements, but I also found the same.
     
  18. murphythecat

    murphythecat GRU-powered uniformed trumpkin

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    with the clears?
     
  19. AdvanTech

    AdvanTech Friend

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    No, the Utopias I had for a while before I downgraded to Clears to fund my 2-channel adventures.
     
  20. Empyah

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    I have read pretty much everything there is about the Utopia on the webs, even the 1000+ pages over at Head-Fi.
    The drivers issues seem to stem from earlier revisions solder issues on the internal cabling, which resulted in the connections loosening in transport.
    I believe the consensus seems to be that you are golden with any unit beyond 2018.
    But ask the dealer before you buy, even when second hand.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2021

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