i recently heard both the ($50k) focal utopia maestro and the ($45k) dynaudio temptation at my local highend dealer outside chicago. surprisingly, i was unmoved by the focal--it sounded huge, and had that magnificent tweeter, but had a really bloated, thumpy low end and just didn't sound well balanced--poor integration between drivers. (the smaller, cheaper utopia stella sounded much better to my ears--not as deep or dynamic, but bass was much better controlled and tighter). coulda been the setup, but these guys were running it with top flight electronics and know what they're doing. the dynaudio had no such flaws; it sounded seamless and balanced throughout the spectrum. treble end was a hair less transparent on the dynaudio than the focal, and the focal had more slam, but the dynaudio was overall much more listenable; a great speaker. my one proviso is that i've also heard the $3500 dynaudio focus, which is also pretty damn good--narrower soundstage and less immersive than the temptation, but alot of the same sound character for less than 1/10th the price.
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