Focal quality control?!
I recently got a pair of Focal Utopia headphones. As someone who has probably owned more than a dozen high-end headphones in the past, the Utopia was supposed to be the end-all headphone for me. Unfortunately, it has started to have problems that I believe are unacceptable at this price point.
It intermittently distorts with my amazing solid-state Class A amplifiers that are made in Japan. It does the same thing with my other headphone amp and DAC. Sometimes it will play properly for a minute or two, then go back to distorting. The lemo cables are plugged in properly; and I bought an aftermarket cable to test them with. Same problem. The distortion is in bass frequencies and the lower midrange in particular. I find the problem occurs most often with tracks that have powerful bass or forward midrange. It's like the Utopia driver crumbles when these frequencies are presented. I have never experienced this problem with any headphone I owned, borrowed, or listened to at a store. And....that's a lot of headphones over the years!
I read quite a bit about Focal's quality control (problems?) on Head-Fi and am now worried...should I buy their speakers or more of their headphones after this experience? I believe I can now send them in to be checked/serviced. However...I also read about some negative experiences where the problem wasn't solved completely. The last thing I want is to be accused of damaging them... If they suspect this, I will be forced to pay for the repair. I have always handled them with care, so this shouldn't be a problem.
I got excited because they're made in France. And a lot of nice stuff comes from France - Vodka, Givenchy etc.
I guess an accurate statement would be: "It's not where they're made, but how well they are put together that matters in the end!"
Thoughts? Suggestions? etc. all feedback is welcome. I would love to gain some insight from fellow audio enthusiasts and audiophiles. Although I am experienced in audio, I will admit to knowing very little about Focal as a company. If you think you know something I don't, please feel free to share. I appreciate all responses and thanks in advance.