JM Labs, Focal Diablo Utopia VS. Micro Utopia BE

Im curious to see if the Diablo Utopia Is really that much better than the Micro Utopia BE (8K vs 14K) or if it is mostly because of the declining value of the dollar and the higher cost to ship items these days?
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also to ask another question, While the price of labor is less expensive in Asia, at what point does it become more cost effective to buy American VS Foreign

I personally am building a system based on
Conrad Johnson, Parasound, and am thinking of a Modified PS Audio DAC, and a velodyne HGS 18

Mainly because I live in California and parasound and velodyne are less than 2 hours away and the DAC is modified in Southen California somewhere. CJ is of course CJ (cant go wrong). Thanks for your time and look forward to hearing some heated arguments along the way toward either side.
I have not heard them but I had an older Mini Utopia that was an excellent speaker and they are often available at a very good price. I only sold mine due to a preference for soft domes over metal ones.
I used the Mini Utopia with cj amps for many years and and found it very musical. FWIW, the Jm Lab distributor in the US told me that the Diablo offers a more benign impedance for tube amps than the Be.
There are two pairs of JM Labs Mezzo Utopia speakers listed, one at $4000 and the other at $4700. The tweeter they use is the one Wilson uses in the Sasha and other models. If they are not too big for your room or too difficult a load for your chosen amp I would give them a close look, considering the inflation of the past decade I estimate that they would retail for around $30000 today and they are new enough to concede little or nothing to todays models.
There are a couple of reviews (Tone Audio being one and the other HiFi+ I think) comparing the two. Personally, I think the Diablo which I own (selling to upgrade to Scala) is much better than the Micro Be. Before I purchased the Dynaudio C1 a few years ago, I also auditioned that Micro BE and the high frequency hurt my ears. Hope this help.
Lucky_boy, have you ever heard the Diablo with a tube amp? If so, what did you think.
I was recently lucky enough to be in a studio with the VTL Seigfrieds running the new Grande Utopia running a original reel to reel tapes from the tape project. The most awesome thing I have seen in audio or most music, Music wasnt really my cup of tea but hearing Vocal that sounded almost like I was 10 feet out in the concert and the singer was singing to me
Also I am very curious about my earlier question is should note the original Mini Utopias retailed for 8K during a time of in which we had Pre 9/11 relationship with france along with oil being near half what it was at the time IE: 1999. The micro Utopia BE came out if memory serves late 2000 or 2001 when oil had a lower cost and the dollar was worth much more. They retailed for the same price but the micro utopia offered you a larger cabinet and a dual angled woofer design. Now I know they spent all the money on the new Berrilium Tweeter but lets be honest they spent a ton of money on there old tweeter its why Wilson used it. This is more of a curiosity about just at what point you no longer save money by buying foreign or when your dollar is stretched further by either getting a better product with better customer service or when an american company has made a distintively better product for a price to to either the slipping of the dollar, International freight, or they just offer you so much you cant say no.

Thanks again Toby
Oh I should give a better Review it deserves that.

The vocals seemed more than lifelike and aimed right at me with the most seamless form of integration i have ever experienced. It truly had reached a point where the system was no longer there and I was at the show with a far better PA than they have at any show ive ever been to. It really made me feel like if I had about a million or 2 to throw into a building built that well and who even knows how much $$$$ in equipment 180K for speakers, the Seigfrieds were 40K. Finally I have been shown that there is a point you can go beyond it sounding great and being there. it would be far worth it as oppose to always saying I will never put more than 15K Into it.

Very few things in life are ever done that well and to witness such a thing is a true joy that we should all be lucky enough to witness throughout life (Ideally seeing more good things happen for people in need than absolutely amzing circuitry) But I can say it was one of the most eye opening jaw dropping moments in audio for me. Not since in my fathers system A conrad Johnson Premier 11A replaced a MV52 have i been that shocked. His system has gone far far better now, but still to this day it is the biggest audio "Upgrade" I have ever been witness to.

By the way the room was set up by Bob Hodus and the tapes were provided by The Tape Project. Just to give credit to the awesome folks who put that together.
I don’t know what the Focal stands sold for back when the Micro Utopia BE’s came out, but according to the Tone Audio write-up, the MSRP for the Diablo stands is $2,000. That might be a contributing factor why the Diablo’s cost is so much greater than the Micro Utopia’s. My Micro Utopia BE’s are on Sound Anchors that sell for a third of the price of the Focal stands. I’m in the market for Diablo’s nix the stands.
In regards to the excess of building costs, I live in northern CA. where the permits up here are literally as or even as much as occasionaly 180% of the job Literally, I also was over exaggerating in figures of building prices.

But wow was that one the most awesome non-sexual experiences I have ever had. It was awesome and I dont want to sound like an audio nerd on this one but it was just simply jawdropping how well the music flowed through, I can only imagine what it would have done for music I like (Im not that into "Audiophile music")
Systembuilder, Taking nothing away from JM Lab and VTL, I wouldn't underestimate how much of your experience might be due to the contribution of the Tape Project. I haven't heard these tapes myself, but others have shared experiences similar to what you expressed while listening to less expensive systems and a Tape project source.
I agree completely, I also have to give them credit as all hell in sake that the higher you go up the tougher it is to properly integrate. I feel like it couldve come through a bose wave radio and sounded awesome LOL ok maybe a bit of an exaggeration but maybe not, id be willing to bet a system put together for 3K plus RTR would smoke most SACD and Vinyl based system going into the 50K range, Its MHO but wow was that awesome

Much respect to the tape project
"Much respect to the tape project"

Absolutely. Too bad the tapes are so expensive and the selection so meager.
I was there and the amount of time they put into it and the considerable cost (I cant fathom it) not to mention the fact that How many people go out and buy a reel to reel? I dont own a record player, I want one but after losing and loaning all my favorite cd's I gave up and moved to ripping them in AIFF. I swore Id never do that. But look at MFSL I just did as I was starting to get motivated and $60+ an album 100+ for CD's. Im happy playing back good old crappy CD Digital as best I can as I cant really afford the gear I have but I kind of manage it, not really I sold my CJ Premier 11A and my Mcintosh MVP871, My pathos integrated (My girlfriend liked it, she really wanted me to buy the 3 watt shanling IPOD Player, I compromised Darn WAF) and am actually kind of stoked at getting to rebuild my system from the bottom up. Anyway I got off subject but I respect them as I dont think there killing it but hopefully they make a new niche and bring down the price over time as the market goes up. I know Id kill to get a ton of "Live" Zepellen but as I said I cant afford which is why theres very few non classical/jazz SACDS
Hello ,has anybody compared the micro utopia to the dynaudio c1? How does the bass performance compare?
Volvo Sound

I have the Diablo Utopia and the Dyanudio C1 at my store and I get to listen to them all I want! :)

Just had a guy come to my store today and listen to the C1 Signature (It's a MkII with HG Mocha Finish). To the Diablo.

He preferred the Diablo

But The C1 has only about 150hrs on it. It usually takes about 300ish to get to it's prime. The Diablo is well broken in at somewhere around 800hrs

But the old Micro utopia is compared to the C1? (The older one) I always thought the C1 had a fuller body. The tweeter was beat out by the Micro, but then the Diablo it's a not even a race, the Diablo was significantly cleaner and well rounded player. Especially in a medium to small room. The C1 puts up a fight in a large room with a larger amp. But in the end the Focal may sound clean, detailed, and disappear. But I love the C1's! They are more affordable, can play louder with out breaking up and play I'd say another octave lower than the Diablo. Much like a tower speaker would provide.

Has anyone else compared them?
I have compared Diablo vs Dynaudio 1.3MK2 Special edition the price diferencies is almost double, but Dynaudio had MUCH lower bass downt to 36-40Hz. also dynaudio could be played louder without strain to ears. in some music abscence of lowest octaves may make Diablo sound less convincing- they tries sound big and then just cut bass sharply. but once well arranged subwoofer conected to cover 20-50hz range those speakers beats most speakers hands down. a strain dissapers(i have noticed this with other "fast" speakers like wilson audio watt puppies adding sub subjectively somehow smooth mid and upper frequencies) as well as speakers then.
Volvonsound, I have just wrote a review of Focal Utopia Micro Be vs. Confidence C1 (mk1). You can find it here:

The MicroBes have enough bass but nowhere near as much as the C1s. However, it is easier to integrate the MicroBes with a subwoofer.
dynaudio will never sound clean like focal,just because dynaudio using diffrent material for membrane.Esotar tweeter sounds clean and soft,but it doesn't help to reach clean midrange and bass like focal
i think the focal diablo is much better then the micro be. i had it before buying the diablo for a small system i have. the diablo is more open and clear sound.
the whole new focal is improvment on the prior line.

Extravaganza, indeed the Dyns do not sound as clean as the Focals, but the Focals also do not sound as natural as the Dyns. When listening live to good musicians one is never struck by the amount of details that can be heard. The music as a whole is important. If one wants to hear details in a live concert most often that is possible. One just need to concentrate a bit. From this perspective the Dyns are much more natural than the Focals as they present music more life-like.

Focalfan, MicroBes was already a very transparent and quick speaker (more so than most other speakers). The Diablos are of the same ilk as the MicroBes but even more quicker and transparent. Thus, in light of what I have wrote above to Extravaganza, my opinion is that the improvements in the new Utopia line of Focal are not necessary in the right direction.

nvp,some focal "afficianedos" do not like the new focal direction. i like it very much. ihad focals for the last 10+ years. i know them well. they made them better and better everytime.anyway, enjoy!