New Focal Grande Utopia EM

I just auditioned the long-awaited Focal Grande Utopia EM at Digital Ear in Tustin. This is in Southern California and I believe they are the first in the country to have these beauties. These speakers perform like nothing else I have ever heard and have officially out-classed everything else in the top speaker category. This setup was being actually broken in on a Mcintosh C2300/MC1.2kW/Esteric P-03+D-03 setup. Again, I am wondering if anyone else out there have heard these and their thoughts.
What is the retail of the Grande & Nova if you know?
the new Grand Utopia EM lists for $180,000. they haven't released the replacement for the Nova yet.
180K!!!!!!!!! shit. They look absolutely wonderful, however until I win the lottery I'll pass.
Does that mean the Nova equivalent will be $90,000?
Well, there are two Nova "equivalents". The one with the EM woofer will clock in around that ballpark.
It is a tempting speaker, but not that tempting. Smart move though, they are going after the extreme top end. I will wait for it to come up used in 5 years. By then with inflation 90K will be chump change. I just hope my pay increase to compensate.
PKANCEL, aren't you the one that owns Digital Ear in Tustin? Of course you will say it sounds good. How is this a smart move, producing a $180,000 speaker in this economy? Sorry even the guys that normally have that kind of money are not going to spending it anytime soon.
Hi There!

I belive the guys in France did not calculate with this economical situation. I write from Europe, I heard that the previous Utopia line was very popular in the States.

As a thechnical phenomena, I really like the sound of Focal. I use a pair of Electra 906 plus the SW900 sub. I think probably this new gear, is very good. Personally I will listen it if I have a chance. A few years later I would like to have the previous Nova BE.

Thomas Gojdar
Stricken, I wish!!! Oh, I wish so much I was the owner to play with all of these toys!! I am unfortunately a hobbyist and am regularly contracted by Broadcom and have shopped for systems there over the years. As far as the economy and products and the timing, I guess it is a world problem. Nobody in the world has control over anything right now. It seems like the world is running scared and I think it is funny. People are either over-optomistic and spend all of their money or they get absorbed by fear and hide every penny. Neither method is the right one.
Heard it at Rocky Mountain. It has potential but did not sound special in any regard. They were using Boulder Amplification & Digital. No one was very impressed. Maybe it needed break in, better recordings. I will give it one more go.
Dgad, what did you hear that you did like in that category?
I personally think the system at RMAF sounded great. Well, it better at that price... :-)
I spoke to a group of enthusiasts that visited RMAF and they consistently loved the setup. i was starting to question my own ears before i spoke to these guys. They mentioned that the "Wilson-ites" frown on anything not produced from Wilson and i hope that is not the case with luke-warm feedback listed above.
I'm not a Wilson hugger and slid out of the 20-minute Utopia demo about 5-minutes in. The set up was way off. Neither of the vocals in the Warnes/Wasserman cut or the Knoffler cut sounded right. With such huge speakers the setup has to be absolutely right and the level properly set. I think that neither happened in this case.

If I were considering these I'd seek out a qualified dealer and try to audition in a room where the set up has been optimized over a few weeks.

I'm just back from RMAF and heard those Grade Utopie EM. It one of my favorite sounds of the show. Admittedly I was sitting right in the sweet spot. Also, I was not familiar with the music, so I was not able to judge vs. what I believed to be the 'ideal' or neutral sound of a familiar recording. Still, what I heard was quite breathtaking.

There were at least two other systems at the show that had more expensive speakers (Acapella Trillion Excaliber, and Marten Designs) and they were no comparison to these Focal speakers, IMHO. But, I'm sure room-specifics and set up present less than ideal venue for effective comparison.

All I can say is that the sound had essentially all of the characteristics I could want. The bass in particular was breathtaking.
How much do these cost! close to $200K never mind how much money in electronics and cables further up the line to actually run these?

Don't you think that you should be left in awe saying to yourself and others this is just unbelievable?

This is absolutely crazy amounts of money we are talking about here which most people can not even fathom.

Looks remind me of a "SAUSAGE" with cuts in it that I get from a street vendor outside at show events. Hopefully it looks better in person.
This is the Utopia III catalogue if anyone is interested.
I just want to clarify a few things about the sound of the Utopia EMs. I have heard the original Grande Utopia BE years ago w. VTL tube electronics and I thought it very good. This time it wasn't. It was the 1st day of the show and certainly rooms sounded much much better on Sunday then on Friday. This is one thing experienced show goers do know. I did list caveats on my impressions above. Since I own Wilson Speakers I guess I must not like the spitting sound of BE tweeters that several rooms had on display (but not all). In that regard, I did find several much better rooms than the Utopia EM. I was also sitting in the center spot but towards the back.

I felt the Symposium Speakers were incredible. The Bass needed to be improved & I am not sure of the limits of the bass. The Utopia EM must have incredible bass. I also felt the speed of the YG acoustics room was faster and more lifelike in speed. And finally for looks there was nothing as beautiful as Scaena w. a custom paint job. If anyone has a place to upload all pictures from the show for everyone to look at I will gladly do so. I have high resolution photos from the 1st 2 days, and I used a compact the final day.