I too am curious.
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Wonderful speaker. One of the best you can buy in that price bracket from everything I heard, and I heard a lot. I would say it works best in a small or medium room so it is possible some might be looking for the next model up for increased bottom end for a very large room. It seems way too early for a new model, but I guess that is possible. The Scala is superior to its predecessors by a wide margin.
A few months ago I was very surprised to see a fellow audiogoner who moved from Focal Utopia Scala to a pair Elac speaker (costing about half the price of the Scalas) which in his opinion were better than the Scalas. Mike60 was also involved in that discussion. You can find it here:
However, this is not the reason I have started this thread. I visit regularly the www.audiomarkt.de site, and this year I have seen two-three dealers offering the Scalas still wrapped and with warranty at prices between 11.5-13.5 euros when the retail prices in Europe are between 20-25k euros. Also, in the Netherlands, I know a dealer who advertised two pairs of Scala at 15k euros/pair.
This is why I was wondering whether it is something wrong with them.
I do not think Focal will discontinue the Scala soon. Certainly not. More likely is the case of a few grey market models and/or a few dealers who have dropped the Focal line and now clear their stocks.
I am just curious to hear opinions from people who have compared the Scalas with other speakers similarly priced.
The bass on the Scala is very clean and tight but not overwhelmingly powerful. Perfect for a medium size room. The bass is also selectable high-med-low. The only way I can imagine a muddy bass is an underpowered amp trying to drive them in a large room at high volume and possibly set to high bass. I really did a lot of listening and research and this speaker is very special in its price bracket. Nvp, I did listen to a nice high end Elac model but forget the model. The only brand I would have liked to hear more than I did was Dynaudio. Heard most of the other 'usual suspects' and the Scala was a stand-out to me. If these are genuine offerings at those prices and you have a suitable amp and room, you have a high end bargain!
Nvp, reading that link to our previous conversation, I pick you up on one point. You say the Scala is too expensive, and also too big for your room. Only point I make is that if you have a decent powerful amp to control the bass driver, and set the bass on Scala to low, I think you will be amazed at how well it integrates into a small room. If you meant aesthetics of that big animal dominating the living room, then that is a whole other story :)
Dave, it seems to me you like having bass knobs (on your speaker, on your pre-amp). Maybe you should change your moniker to bass_knob. I hope you do not take this the wrong way. I am just joking. :)
Mike60, thanks for the suggestion. At 12k euros Scala is certainly a bargain,
but they still are too large for my room and my listening habits. First, my ears are approximately 8 feet away from the tweeters; this may not permit a perfect driver integration. I really have no intentions to change the layout of may room again. (I did it 4 times in order to get the flattest bass response). Second, most often I listen at low levels (65-70 dB); my experience is that large floor standers need to be cracked up a bit in order to open up.
Focal Utopia Scala sounded phenomenal in the Bob Hodas/Tape Project room at the California Audio Show this last weekend. Quite a small room.
Preamp and power amps from Luke Manley (MB 450 Series III) with Tara Labs cables. The source was first class - Otari tape deck with custom Bottlehead electronics and The Tape Project material.
The Utopias were on custom Sound Anchor stands that raised them quite a bit.
I was entranced by the Rimsky-Korsakov and blown away by the Patricia Barber cut. One of the 2 best rooms, for me.