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Focal Utopia headphones...with Beryllium driver


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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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10 hours ago, purk said:

Check out the ECP amps and report back and you will understand why.   I completely agree about the HD800 vs. HD800S though.  TMoney should share his thought.  His DSHA-3 is an excellent match to the HD800 as well.

well that's not gonna happen without me buying one first

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19 hours ago, Voltron said:

Let's be clear, Todd. Doug doesn't make "lowly" amps. Some are more costly to make than others but none are lowly. :dotu:

:)

Oh, agreed, hence my quotes.....  I still remember Doug schooling Frank I. from one of the headphone review sites, when he thought the GSX-MK II was much more powerful than the ECP Black Diamond because it was bigger.... :P  I got that BD amp, still love it to this day.

Edited by skullguise
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So I picked up a Focal Clear and prefer it by a long shot over the Mrspeakers Aeon Open.  They are both running through Raffy's Extreme.  I am selling the Aeon on HF and have a chance to pick up an ECP BD for the Aeon plus some cash.  From what I am reading, the BD should be a good match for the Clear.  Any thoughts?

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On 5.12.2017 at 2:48 AM, Audiojunkie said:

I've got a DAVE here (along with one of Justin's amp) and while I hold the HD800 in high regard, there is no comparison to the Utopia.

I like Utopias more as well, that goes without saying, we're on the same page here. Though my point was that not many people have heard HD 800 at its finest. 

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1 hour ago, tyrion said:

So I picked up a Focal Clear and prefer it by a long shot over the Mrspeakers Aeon Open.  They are both running through Raffy's Extreme.  I am selling the Aeon on HF and have a chance to pick up an ECP BD for the Aeon plus some cash.  From what I am reading, the BD should be a good match for the Clear.  Any thoughts?

Too much hype on the Aeon Open I think.  I have it too and thought it was a bit too warm for my taste and somewhat bassy with the stock cable.  I'm also ready to sell mine.  You can always check with Doug before proceeding with the BD purchase.  For instance, my old DSHA-2 prototype is a better match to the Utopia because the Utopia's driver work better on an amplifier with very low output impedance rating.  I'm not sure about the Clear.

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53 minutes ago, Hopstretch said:

I think you're a damn handsome man.

I cannot argue with that.

2 minutes ago, purk said:

Too much hype on the Aeon Open I think.  I have it too and thought it was a bit too warm for my taste and somewhat bassy with the stock cable.  I'm also ready to sell mine.  You can always check with Doug before proceeding with the BD purchase.  For instance, my old DSHA-2 prototype is a better match to the Utopia because the Utopia's driver work better on an amplifier with very low output impedance rating.  I'm not sure about the Clear.

Purk, agree as to the Aeon Open.  Bloated bass is my description and the inserts are silly.  I think I should probably wait for Jp to sell either the Balancing Act or Supra and continue to use the Extreme.

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2 hours ago, purk said:

I get what you are saying.  Having an ability to do a tuberolling is fun and the Supra/SDS are great for that.  How about getting the DSHA-3 from Doug and be happily ever after?

Happily ever after?  I know I am not around a lot but you know who you are dealing with. Having said that, I will give the DSHA-3 consideration.

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6 hours ago, tyrion said:

Problem is that I'm now wondering if I should give the Utopia's a try. 

I love the Utopia and they demand very little in term of amplification compared to other highend headphones.  I get *excellent* results out of my Sony NW-ZX300 Balanced output.

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7 hours ago, Sherwood said:

Is Doug still selling a Torpedo on here?

The Torpedo 3 has been retired. It is being replaced by the T4 soon (probably January, and no longer torpedo shaped). We'll also have an upgraded version, the T5, available soon after.

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1 hour ago, dsavitsk said:

The Torpedo 3 has been retired. It is being replaced by the T4 soon (probably January, and no longer torpedo shaped). We'll also have an upgraded version, the T5, available soon after.

Really?!!!!   REALLY???!!!!!  Why do you keep doing this to me?!  :D

Seriously, now I need to consider replacing the Black Diamond with one of these.....I loved the T3, just basically flipped a proverbial coin and kept the BD over that.....

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The T4 will basically incorporate the design changes that were shoehorned into the T3 with better heat dissipation, a lower noise floor, a better power supply, and a bit more output power. And a nicer case. It is a nice evolution but not a huge change. The T5 is a different animal, but it will also be considerably more expensive.

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  • 2 months later...

I've been putting in a lot of hours with the Focal Clear on my L2 -- reasonably good match on low output impedance, very poor match on high impedance.  I can't remember hearing another headphone so sensitive to high output impedance before, but it screws the bass all up.

Understanding now why you make a DSHA-3F version, Doug.

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  • 1 month later...

Trying the Elear earpads on the Utopias. It's like getting two! two! headphones for the price of one extraordinarily expensive one.

Tyll measured the FR difference between the pads and on paper it looks like a minor difference. On my head, it's as if they're different headphones. Instead of maybe too cool with maybe a bright spot, you get maybe too warm and bass that's maybe (likely) too big.  Dynamics in the lower mids are nicer. 

I'm wondering a little how they would sound with silver cables, which would be the last thing I would consider with the Utopia pads.

For me, the Elear pads are more comfortable. They are a sort of rough-ish chamois-like leather instead of the shiny glove leather of the Utopia ones. More like velour, which is usually my preference.

The big question is which is better, emotional-connection-with-the-music wise. At this point, I think I'm leaning toward the Utopia pads.Tyll wrote that he preferred the Elear pads.

We'll see. Or hear.

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