Focal Utopia Review (collective stream of consciousness)

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

  1. No_One411

    No_One411 Fired by Jude

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    My moment of weakness :( This'll satisfy my epeen needs for the week.

    They're stock Shuguangs. I had 2 bad pairs of EML mesh, so decided against pursuing that further.

    I have a tested pair of KR 2A3s coming on Thursday. We'll see how that goes.
     
  2. brencho

    brencho Friend

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    well if @No_One411 did it, here is my egregious picture. no smurfs were harmed in the creation of my ECP TIII :)

    IMG_3685.JPG
     
  3. brencho

    brencho Friend

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    No Big Boi Leagues for me until i get a headphone stand though... Currently accepting used stands :)
     
  4. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    Yeeessssss! Thursday night can't come soon enough! My ears can't wait to be groped and fondled by your Utopias.

    Try this out:

    Dave Mathews Band
    The Song That Jane Likes (Acoustic Version)
    [Album: Under the Table and Dreaming (Expanded Edition)]

    Gungnir Multibit-T3-Utopia (volume at a good "meet" level)

    With the dynamics and clarity of the modded T3/Utopia combo, if that opening guitar chord doesn't pop your eyeballs, I'll be surprised. :D Groovy tune from there on out too. The man's got more talent in his pinky than I'll ever have.
     
  5. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Yeah... please post your UPS or FedEx tracking information on your Utopias if you haven't received them yet.
     
  6. brencho

    brencho Friend

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    A few stream of consciousness thoughts as I listen to these... very brief because, well, I'd like to listen more and write less. Others can confirm/deny...

    Spot on f'ing tonal balance, as Marv said earlier. Your love for these grows and creeps up on you, they have a propensity to sort of melt away and disappear. Maybe this is because they seem to do nothing wrong... And not in a jack-of-all-trades way rife with compromises. Extremely real and engaging. Probably this is due in part to how dynamic they sound. Soundstage isn't as blown up huge yo mama's so fat way as HD800 but is still extremely layered and holographic. Hearing details and sounds I hadn't yet heard even with the HD800. Closest I've come to the feeling of "being there" on headphones. More later maybe!
     
  7. Out Of Your Head

    Out Of Your Head Friend

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    It's going to be a long night...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Just throw the other three away. Make life simple.
     
  9. mrweirdude

    mrweirdude Asshole lowballer - acquaintance

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    Gsus load of rich doods here, care to spare a dollar for us plebs (Utopia/Amp/Dac fund)?
     
  10. Out Of Your Head

    Out Of Your Head Friend

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    Well, if it wasn't all a tax write off AND I had to pay full price for everything, I wouldn't own any of these headphones either. :D
     
  11. Artasia

    Artasia Friend

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    Marvey: "The retail price makes no sense. The post I made about used gear prices (which also addressed new gear prices) still applies. I will say no more."
     
  12. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Day 6+ Update:

    Wow, didn't think I'd still be up this late. Inspired by Darin, I plugged the Utopia into the Sony ZX2 (out of desperation because I don't have a bedside amp anymore). The ZX2 powers it fine, with the volume just limited by gain, but this is not an issue for nighttime listening. I was hoping I'd doze off, but instead I ended up revisiting some old favorite albums that had dropped off my regular rotation years ago. Seriously, the Utopia is so terribly good that one easily ignores any shortcomings it might have. Throw the measurements away. Explosiveness and liveliness remind me of high efficiency large woofers mated with horn loaded compression drivers. Yet still, there this understated character. The HD800 screams "hear the plankton". The Utopia says "listen to music". It's become obvious. Throw everything else away. Throw away the HD800. Throw away the HE1000. Throw away the HE6. Throw away the LCD3. Throw away the SR-009 even. All that stuff is garbage. The Utopia is the one headphone that rules them all.
     
  13. imac2much

    imac2much Friend

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    Haha, I didn't know Woo Audio was considered Chi-Fi... I thought that dreaded label was reserved for the likes of HFM and Fiio (and knockoffs like Gustard or whatever). I actually think Woo has good build quality, but I wasn't impressed with the one Woo unit I ever auditioned (WA7 Fireflies or something). The problem with the ZX2 is that I would prefer something that could interface with PC, since most of my listening is done at the computer and I'd like to use the Elear and Utopia for movies and games as well. Any thoughts for that? I know some people have recommended Mojo but I just can't get over the dog squeezetoy aesthetics and annoying lights that won't turn off.
     
  14. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    This reminds me of a post several years ago back in the Chang days when you called 445 the God amp... hype level over 9999!!!!

    Given its tonal signature, I wonder which TOTL amp (e.g. Rag/Joti/BW/ZDS/445/Stratus/...) has a specific synergy with Utopia. I recently got rid of my HD800S in favor of HD800 with SuperBAF and SuperDupont mods, and now I'm wondering if I should float my HD800 down the LA... I mean Han River.

    I thought so too, but come to think about it I suppose it also has something to do with the ethnicity (not just the nationality) of the founder/owner. No offense to Marv or Bill or any fellow East Asians... hey, I'm Asian too.
     
  15. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    I basically moved from 445 to Uber 445. Only differences are the transformers and glowey power supply.
     
  16. Muse Wanderer

    Muse Wanderer Friend

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    The Utopia was the elephant in the room at London Canjam. It was the only headphone that made me listen to music instead of evaluating sound. It felt weird cause I went to central London, on my day off away from the kids, to evaluate headphones to replace my H800S and find a suitable DAP for the Andros.

    At the end I was the only person still sitting down listening to good old Stravinsky on the Utopia whilst the rest of the attendees circled around for the lame prize lottery.

    Now my dilemma... splash out my entire budget on Salk Song 3 speakers, new Sony DAP or the Utopia?! o_O
     
  17. Gravity

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    If only it didn't cost $4000.
     
  18. philipmorgan

    philipmorgan Member of the month

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    What are the chances you'll be able to buy one for a price that starts with the number 2 within a year? Pretty high I'd bet.
     
  19. Tyll Hertsens

    Tyll Hertsens Grandpappy of the hobby - Special Friend

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    You know, when I wrote my review I knew I was walking out on to the plank with ridiculously bold statements like "World's Best Headphone," and dropping the HD 800 S off the WoF. It's not a comfortable feeling.

    Thanks for taking me back aboard, Marv.
     
  20. Gravity

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    What makes you say that? New?
     

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