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Focal Utopia headphones...with Beryllium driver


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2 hours ago, spritzer said:

From what I understand Focal got very angry about this and there has been a sudden shift from "best evah" to "maybe not" in attitude about them.  Might also just be the regular FOTM thing. 

Despite the Katz sample and the new sample being nearly the same, I suspect most purchasers will be of the view that they have the "Tyll version", especially when it comes time to sell.

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Katz said the Utopia was the one with the channel imbalance, which he even "corrected" for, and apparently none of the listeners heard an imbalance on the LCD-4 despite it being up to 3dB different in the most sensitive audio region so after seeing the measurements I don't trust his/their hearing at all. That said, I wonder which version of Utopia I heard at Canjam as it was definitely bright in the upper mid to lower treble and a bit bass light.

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I have a hard time giving the review much credit when different amps were used for different headphones during the review. This "trust me they sound the same because I believe so and told you so" thing is beyond me. 

Edited by mwl168
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22 hours ago, cclragnarok said:

......

The new Utopias are way brighter than the pair Tyll reviewed....

Somebody (kais in the comment section) pointed out that headphone positioning makes a huge difference for the Utopia.  You can see this in the raw frequency response plots of Tyll's original Utopia measurements.  The effect is so big, it might(?) even explain the difference between the old and new measurements.  :blink:

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6 hours ago, cclragnarok said:

Somebody (kais in the comment section) pointed out that headphone positioning makes a huge difference for the Utopia.  You can see this in the raw frequency response plots of Tyll's original Utopia measurements.  The effect is so big, it might(?) even explain the difference between the old and new measurements.  :blink:

It very well might explain why I had such a negative reaction; I tend to really prefer headphones that aren't picky about positioning, which may be due to my head or ear shape.  I did play around with fit.

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BTW; everybody who gave me shit on my opinion of the Utopias can look forward to a Llama eating their favorite sweater, because I paid for a hex from one of the witches in Macbeth.  Note that I didn't give a time table; given enough time, a Llama eating your favorite sweater is a given.

Edited by EdipisReks1
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Well, Tyll posted earlier today the results of measuring seven pairs of Utopia headphones, and it turns out that they all measure pretty close - except for his review pair, which was about 5 dB lower from about 2.5-10 kHz.

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/seven-focal-utopias-measured#PYM2m50L5BvTDLGH.97

I listened briefly to a pair driven by a HeadAmp Gilmore Lite at a meet in Albuquerque, and it sounded tonally closer to a SR009 than an SR007 MkII.

 

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I had the opportunity to try a Utopia this past weekend, running out of my Susy Dynalo and Dynahi, and I agree with @Jim L. I didn't try to compare it with the 009 side-by-side, but, from memory, they sounded similar. I also found the Utopia surprisingly uncomfortable, putting a lot of pressure on one thin band on the top of my head. Made me lose interest fairly quickly.

As far as the sound of bright-leaning headphones goes, I'd be curious to compare the SR-009, the Utopia, and the HD800 with and without the SDR mod. 

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13 hours ago, JimL said:

Well, Tyll posted earlier today the results of measuring seven pairs of Utopia headphones, and it turns out that they all measure pretty close - except for his review pair, which was about 5 dB lower from about 2.5-10 kHz.

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/seven-focal-utopias-measured#PYM2m50L5BvTDLGH.97

I listened briefly to a pair driven by a HeadAmp Gilmore Lite at a meet in Albuquerque, and it sounded tonally closer to a SR009 than an SR007 MkII.

 

That sound as though these Focal guys had the production Utopias, then the review pair matching the reviewer's taste. Clever but not very honest me thinks.

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12 minutes ago, Torpedo said:

That sound as though these Focal guys had the production Utopias, then the review pair matching the reviewer's taste. Clever but not very honest me thinks.

Actually, Tyll addresses that in his post, he thinks it was just lucky or unlucky that he got that pair, as it was in a group that got sent out to different reviewers.  Personally, I'll go with that unless/until there is more evidence to the contrary.  As the late William F. Buckley used to say with regard to the John Birch conspiracy types, never underestimate the power of stupidity.

 

But to raise another issue, on SBAF they discussed Focal's warranty policy, and apparently Focal do not carry over warranties to a second buyer.  That could/should impact on the resale value for those who try to sell off after reading Tyll's post.

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Did Tyll measure other reviewers' units? Maybe not "the" reviewer unit but a batch of reviewers units are warmer sounding. Quite unlikely unless they have some sort of marketing study proving that high-end consumers prefer bright sounding gear while the professional reviewers favour the warmer, musical sounding stuff ;D

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Well, Heinlein's version is definitely before Buckley, but I believe Buckley said it before Hanlon, as he was referring to the John Birch Society and that ilk, back in the 60s.  Not sure I can find a citation for Buckley, though.

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Watched it a few months back. I was pretty young when the debates happened, but I remember the hub bub. Mostly I remember my Dad using the word "faggot", and feeling very awkward and hurt, but of course I just did what most gay boys did back then, and receded inward. 

Watching them recently was a whole new experience. Much more prideful. 

Spending time with my Oldest Brother recently, and laughing at gay things, with absolutely no malice, reinforces how far we've all come.

Gore was a first role model for me, as even my Dad respected his insight and wit. Dad did come around eventually. :)

The City and the Pillar was the first gay novel I ever read, and that started a change inside me that started the revelation that I was not alone.

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