Focal -JM Lab Nova Utopia Be VS. B&W 801D

IMO both produce incredible full range sound in a proper system. Which do you like better and why regardless of the price difference?
>>I have on display in my showrooms the new JL Audio Fathoms and they improve all the speakers I play them with.<<

Never ever ever miss a chance to sell something do you?
Tight bass is not French? That sure is a first! Perhaps compared to Avalons but I wouldn't generalize. After hearing Mulidine, Apertura, Triangle, Mosquito, Vulcain, and PE Leon speakers, I can tell you French speakers have tight bass overall.

If you expect a 13 inch woofer to sound tight, then it might be your expectations that are loose! lol. They make other models too you know, like the Diva with twin 8 inchers and a very slim baffle to favor focused imaging.

Choosing the right speaker isn't a one-size-has-to-fit-all approach. You first have to determine what style of sound you like, what room you have, and then choose the speaker accordingly. If you want focus above all else, the Nova would be the wrong choice in the first place. Simple as that. Otherwise, Focal would only make 1 Utopia model instead of 7 different ones.

I never stated the Nova's had "loose" bass!I said I felt they were "not accurate".Many speakers sound just fine,but in reality are not accurate in bass response.People like overemphasis in this area.I do too,but have really toned down my set-up over the years for a more accurate presentation.I have heard the BIG(GIGANTIC) NOLA set-up,with ASR driving it.The bass towers DEFINITELY are NOT accurate,and stood out,clearly!Yet they went DEEP,and I guess some would love it.NOT for me,though.Just my taste.
I have heard the Nvas/orig Utopias on many,many occassions.With a vast array of stuff.Tubes and solid state.
I LOVE the potential these speakers have,but I believe it is the room that will dictate ultimate sucess,so long as componentry is up to task!
The speakers seem to like a long wall set-up,though Singer uses a deep wide room to generate "that" sound.Yes,to me the Zanden amp drove them to almost perfection,on the day I heard them.Using familiar discs.I was quite surprised,as I have also heard the "tweets" tweeting too much!Not this time.The bass was certainly not a problem here.If it was,then I just did not care,at the time.
The EBA french solid state amps,on a long wall set-up,was a stunning experience to me(probably the best I have heard on these speakers),with the original Utopia(very warm,with slam,and good harmonics).Bass was the best,and tightest I have heard here.The two occassions I heard the speakers sound good(to me)were good enough to not worry about actual bass accuracy.It was JUST SO good,that sometimes one "lets go a bit" with fanaticism.These two times were the REAL DEAL,for me.
I believe the speaker is NOT TOO overpriced.I get the impression JM Labs is trying to hold price a bit,though it did go up.Just an opinion.
This speaker throws a HUGE stage,and one I cannot believe my Ascent can touch,in a large room.I still don't believe Scull,when he claimed the Ascents he owned,before the Utopias,could fill his huge listening space,but what do I know?
I bulit my dedicated room specifically for my Ascents,with the input of Avalon(at the time,yes CH designed them).One reason why they sound SO good,but under 35-40 hz they need help,for the last amount of depth,and impact.Then,PERFECTION, in this amount of square footage.
If I were to move to a bigger room,I would not consider anything less than the NOVA's though.I don't think my Ascent/Rel combo could handle that amount of square footage.My friends think I am nuts,but it's my call.
I am probably moving in a couple of years(kids are older,and going on their own)so will consider the new room very carefully.Hence,my non stop "analysis" of stuff,for future.How much fun is this hobby,sometimes??
Not to thoroughly hijack this thread, but simply for the sake of discussion, I note that I heard the original Grand Utopias in the same room at Singer back in 2000 driven by big Krell and supported with Krell's big subwoofer ("Master Reference"). Of course it went loud as hell and shook the foundation, but it sounded, overall, totally unconvincing -- it was as far away from the actual sound of unamplified instruments in its own way as a clock radio. We then went into the much smaller adjoining room ("we" -- Cincy Bob was in town and along for the ride that day as well) where a pair of Meadowlark Herons driven by a VAC 30/30 did everything right that the JM Labs / Krell set-up did wrong -- we shook our heads in amazement at how much better the Meadowlark / VAC combo was at emulating the sound of unamplified musical instruments.

PS - I would bet the ranch that Audiooracle, whose talents I know well, almost certainly put together the Meadowlark / VAC set-up, and that he had nothing to do with that dreadful Grand Utopia / Krell set-up !!
Racquel,since I try to hear almost ANY Utopia type set-up I can squeeze in,at a reasonable distance from my home turf,I heard that set-up too.I definitely agree.My original point of this "type" of speaker needing a specific set-up for "UTOPIA" in listening remains intact.They are quite finicky to get just right.Sorry,but Mr. Scull(a very nice guy,btw)did not have the "magic" when I was at his listening room.In the "ribbon chair"!
Like some other products I have come into contact with over the years,these baby's have that "something" which continues to intrigue me!
Also,Singer demoes, at shows, have remained a huge disappointment.