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Focal Utopia headphones...with Beryllium driver


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55 minutes ago, mypasswordis said:

I believe what you're asking can be explained by the Cone of Confusion. (...) You can gain some info in real life based on spectral cues and simply tilting your head to change the ILD and ITD, but with headphones those don't really help. 

How one can differentiate a source always at 45 azimuth but varying from -90 to +90 degree in elevation?
I was imagining an algorithm changing the ILD and ITD with a head tracking camera or device input.
So I need to rephrase my question. 
Do you believe binaural stereo recordings with dynamic convolution and no crosstalk playback has the same performance of 16 channel with dynamic convolution playback? 
My criterion would be the number of errors a listener has comparing the the elevation he believes a source is and the true/original n elevation positions the source was recorded.
Premises are HRTF captured at zero reverberation room and head tracking.
For instance the 16 channel can be the decoded output of a third order ambisonics.

 

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not going to create a new thread... figured i'd drop some simple thoughts on the Focal Elex that arrived last week. i decided to grab these after reading ample comparisons to Sennheiser and the notion

I could have said that just as easily as you did, and suspect that many other people feel the same way about it. It's like any hobby, I guess. There is that initial phase when you're all into it an

I'd suggest trying them on a Cmoy to see if a superior amplifier might help. 

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I don't know about cones of confusion or the like -- to me, they just sound pretty damn good. Better, best, or bestest evar? Ehh, I really don't know. Too soon to make those types of assessments or wax philosophical about them. Just having fun listening for now...

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19 hours ago, mypasswordis said:

 ......ear. It's a little different for everyone based on the dimensions of the cavities and whatnot,

Understatement of the ... well, quite a while, anyway.

BTW, apropos of not nothing in particular, I have lately been enjoying the DSP crossfeed feature that Roon put in v1.3. I was never much into that sort of thing. But in the digital domain it doesn't sound all fuzzy to me. Interesting.

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The few times I've worn and listened to the Focall (I'm going to spell it that way if they insist on pronouncing it like that) Utopia, it didn't really stand out that much.   Seemed like a decent higher end headphone.  But when I heard the price, I couldn't stop openly laughing.  

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I had a listen today to the Focal Utopias in quite room along with the HD800s for comparison using an unfamiliar Simaudio Moon 430HAD. The Utopias are amazingly good, very impressed, I dug them a fair amount more than the HD800 in that particular set-up. 

I’m going to shuffle a bit of gear and pick up one in the next week or so.

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Bob Katz of Innerfidelity does a comparo of Focal Utopias and LCD-4 as compared to his Dynaudio speaker setup.

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/katz’s-corner-episode-13-big-shootout-audeze-lcd-4-vs-focal-utopia#tY1ZFzlqLxxkfdz8.97

 

You could say that the Katz's out of the bag........     B)

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A lot of suspect stuff in that review... first the whole Amb amp and Audeze amp sounding exactly the same and then the Utopia drivers 1dB off without stating which frequencies they are 1dB off. If you can clearly hear the stereo image shifted to one side, get a different pair of headphones or at least run a frequency sweep of both channels..... Also opens with stating as a fact that his speaker setup is the best in the world in a perfectly treated room and then mentions EQ. WAT

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3 hours ago, wink said:

Bob Katz of Innerfidelity does a comparo of Focal Utopias and LCD-4 as compared to his Dynaudio speaker setup.

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/katz’s-corner-episode-13-big-shootout-audeze-lcd-4-vs-focal-utopia#tY1ZFzlqLxxkfdz8.97

 

You could say that the Katz's out of the bag........     B)

Katz is an idiot....plain and simple.

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4 minutes ago, spritzer said:

I don't think many would agree on that... 

I'm definitely inclined to agree with you, but on top of all that other stuff I just read that he calls the 6-10kHz range "low treble." That implies 10-20kHz is mid treble and 20-40kHz is upper treble. That, or he doesn't quite understand logarithms. Hopefully he just got his intern to write this whole blog for him while he did some substantial mastering work.

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Katz has a good track record, good enough to get the benefit of the doubt from me, but this flies in the face of most of what reasonable people have told me.  Basically, something is amiss.

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55 minutes ago, mypasswordis said:

A lot of suspect stuff in that review... first the whole Amb amp and Audeze amp sounding exactly the same and then the Utopia drivers 1dB off without stating which frequencies they are 1dB off. If you can clearly hear the stereo image shifted to one side, get a different pair of headphones or at least run a frequency sweep of both channels..... Also opens with stating as a fact that his speaker setup is the best in the world in a perfectly treated room and then mentions EQ. WAT

Oh, I dunno.  It seems to me he goes into detail about how he and his intern listened to both the Amb and Audeze with both headphones and couldn't distinguish between them, so that seems to be a fair characterization, at least as far as the headphones under test are concerned.  In any case, even if someone else could distinguish between them, it would seem that the differences between the amps is significantly smaller than the differences between headphones.  

 

In terms of the 1 dB difference, he specifically states that the whole stereo image was shifted, so presumably one driver was less sensitive than the other.  Since he borrowed the Utopias in the first place, it wouldn't be likely that he could just request a replacement, as opposed to the owner, who could.  Also, I don't know that Bob has measuring equipment for headphones.  After all, reviewing headphones really isn't his job, so I take it for what it's worth, a subjective review by an experienced listener.

 

Although the introduction does seem to claim that his speaker system is the best, he also clearly states a bit later on that "This is the most natural-sounding and accurate loudspeaker system/room I have constructed in 46 years of audiophile and professional life."  That seems to be reasonable.

 

Finally, in terms of EQ, if you've read his stuff you will find that he is a fan of EQ in moderation, and has ear-tested his EQ equipment to determine that it is transparent, to his satisfaction.  Also, he has stated in the past that some of his best mastering work has required some degree of EQ to sound its best, and that in his considerable experience, most recordings have had some degree of EQ (determined by ear), and as he is both a successful mastering engineer and has written a textbook on the subject, he probably has a point.
 

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I like him. He seems very thorough and presents enough thoughtful arguments to earn being taken seriously. And I like his no-bullshit, concrete take on audio perception. If you're not sure whether or not you're just imagining things, just leave the space blank. 

That being said, his reference system is after all tuned by ear if I'm not mistaken, so I wouldn't look at it as more than a well respected person's subjective take - which he himself states it is - and not worry too much about the specifics. I really appreciate the effort he's putting into it though. Will be nice to see the upcoming group debate. 

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29 minutes ago, Sherwood said:

Katz has a good track record, good enough to get the benefit of the doubt from me, but this flies in the face of most of what reasonable people have told me.  Basically, something is amiss.

I don't think my subjective impressions of gear have ever matched his.

I'm not sure that either one of us is wrong. Maybe people just hear things differently.

In any case, I admire his effort even if I disagree with basically every conclusion he has had.

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I just hope there is no page in his book in which he states 6-10kHz is low treble.

In terms of the 1 dB difference, he specifically states that the whole stereo image was shifted, so presumably one driver was less sensitive than the other. 

......... but at what frequencies? There's no such thing as a perfectly matched two channel setup, and one that is perfectly matched 1dB apart at every frequency is also very unlikely. Clearly something poorly matched slipped through the cracks at Focal QC. He should have nixed the review when he found the poor driver matching. Would you be happy if someone did a review of the SR-X Plus in which he definitively stated his opinions, when the build in question or tubes were faulty? 

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