Stereophile review: http://www.stereophile.com/content/focal-maestro-utopia-iii-loudspeaker-page-3
How many people can afford a speaker at over 50K, not to mention the space dimensions as well as the weight at +250lbs.
Maybe these are more popular in Europe as opposed to the US based Vandersteens and Wilsons.
Wilson - is also a status symbol...for some of the rich to say - they have Wilsons. That is not a knock on their performance at all. All the times I have heard them - in context the system as a whole it was great sound.
Sometimes it is easy to overestimate how many units of upper market components are actually sold. I have been a small audio dealer for years in smaller markets and never see some of these items. I have sold things to a few people with the kind of money to buy such items but they chose not to. Outside of NYC and LA and possibly Chicago the market is very tight. I would guess that there have been components reviewed by major magazines which haven't sold 10 units here; I remember this being alleged in the past.
Thanks for responses, well I mean not positive but ANY feedback including negative.There is quite a few negatives(same mentioned Wilsons or B&W) but nothing about Maestro. I understand top Models (from Focal that would be Grande EM and Stella EM) but Maestro is still afordable (or at least priced in common sense), and to my ears it more complex to integrate in small European house and probbaly they would love bigger, slight damped rooms. I am not Focal dealer or salesman bu I helped to setup two pairs of Maestro- they needs to be position very carefuly to get 3D and avoid "boxy" and overly warm sound. they replaced Marten Coltrane and Kharma 3.2.2(?) after setup they just fine-smooth ,powerfull, and homogenic. but not so "interesting" comparing to both Marten and Kharma. I just leaved after that but I came few times back after while and the more i listened the more enjoyment i get from them. At one point owner reverted back to Marten with same Bryston amps and we could hardly believe how forward, analytical and harsh they soundd with less than perfect records and how individual intruments just "jumped in and out" during orchestra performance distracting from music. before that instaltion i tried to look on the net what amps, sources people uses on Maestro and couldnt find ANY. So reason for starting this thread. To my ears they sound very good(frightning dynamic and yet calm, smooth) with set of bryston 28"s. Any (practical) findings to how they would sound with accuphase m6000? or maybe someone uses some other amps and find perfect match?
Hi Elviukai - Sorry I do not agree - 50K is not affordable by an stretch or even common sense for the average audiophile and downright laughable for the above average income person who is shopping for a good sounding audio system. It is a luxury component that is not providing transportation or a nest egg to put Amber through 4 year college.
I don't meant this to sound harsh or argumentative.
Audio Mags have reviewed many Focal products that are more pricier then the Focal Meastro you are mentioning - they also have a large lineup (and had a larger lineup in the past) of speakers so in comparison to Vandersteen and Wison, there are more to review.
I believe that Focal sells a lot of speakers in the lower price ranges as well - not long ago they were a staple in the Sound Advice chain before they went under. I have a dealer locally who sells Focal and the lower price models were there bread and butter for years.
Do a search on audioasylum there may be some
I understand perfectly what you are saying. and I particulary agree, but just particulary. The product is common sense priced until
1) there is some usual to us coreleation between manufacture cost vs selling price. up in the chain this coleration increases in most manufacturers( small demand requires more profit to absorb R&D and so on)
2)they are real selling product.
there is many nonsense speakers to my ears and to my pocket as well.
my question however was diferent. there is more 50K range speakers and they have been discused many. even old Focal Nova utopia Be (I believe priced similar) had tons of feedback. Tidal speakers are priced more than focal- how ever this does not prevent frm discusions about them. Another example- there is lot of opera singers, better then Ana Netrebko, but no one talks about them as much as of Ana. there is lot of pop singers better than Mis Ga Ga but mostly people talk about this singer -OK you got the point. I wonder its marketing or just some speaker sonic/ esthetic have some "kharma" charming others and wanting to talk about it. I am almost sure its not the pricetag but maybe sonic- maybe how they provide music to listener?
i think the focal marketing in europe and america is very polite, not so aggressive.many audiophiles like"exotic","snobbish" brands like tidal, marten,raidho, kaiser.the new focal speakers are much better then before,more musical more presence and more transaprent. very high technology with muiscal tastes.
but some peoeple want "status" speakers not real speakers.
Extravaganza(whoever you are)-no problem at all, life is good and gentle to me, thanks God. However this topic is about Focal particular- "humble" model.
Focalfan- thanks, I have never thought about this one. They are "technical" company (more like ATC) and so does introduce their product line. Maestro is even recomended as midfield studio monitor.That makes some sense to me now.
elviukai, i owned 3 pairs of the g.u, and presently own the g.u em in silver finish. i also visited the factory in france 2 years ago. this trip made me admire this company more and more.
what focal achieved with the new em line is really remarkable. the technology and design are world-class.
for example, the new stellaem won the grand prix 2010 award in japan!before, the g.uem won it.maybe the maestro is next? but many audiophiles don't think focal is high-end, only entry level, cheap speakers.
if focla make the marketing more 'highend', it will be better for audiophiles to know what these speakers can do!
Well I wouldnt consider them as pretty, there a lot more prettier speakers around IMHO, but just matter of taste I belive. As for sonic its very good speakers- I found all virtues of focal school and basicaly none of flaws. They sound a bit muddy before burn-in (when i get back after few month speaker sit at the same position, same gear- but sounded much more trasparent)- unlike right pout the box Diablo -which sounds edgy on bigger clasical works and Scala, which sounds sibilant at vocals.
Ok I can describe my impressions if you want. I didnt lived with speaker, just had some listening and tuning sessions (aprox 40hours total)
I always missed bass from Utopia II- Diva, Alto Be, (and when first heard Scala)- same feeling- tight , and natural bass but no real palpable punch. some other speakers are opozite -have very punchy bass but its always same "one note" sound- sounds good on electronic but large orchestras just lack feeling of power and majesty(if no bass) or have unnatural "pumping air" efect (if one note sound) when bass notes a coloured, slow and blur(thought it sound simpressive on moovie track for example) Maestro bass is good for both - its have enought weight and authority on bass but have that fast , and also not boring one note bass.
I alaways noticed how critical Focals are for vocals records, for ex. intolerance to sibilance. they just did not like bad vocal records( be it it pop vocal like diana krall or opera) and spilling that junk to ears. Sonus fabers for example even if have excessive high frequencies in general(at least models i have listen) but its just listenable with same records , I have one female voice test track called "summer samba" its an audiophile record enginiered very "hot" tendency to sound bright and dry. and its not the only record unfortunately in the recording industry. speakers which plays good clasical (strings) never produce good sound on this record its just to much exited, with lot of sibilance. and vice verca- speakers which produce natural sound with that track lack definition and higher halftones/upper tones to strings. I noticed that with Scala- good on small clasical works, but need lot of atention(both gear and listening room) to not sound sibilant on vocals. to my surpsise Maestro did both- voice was chesty weighty as it sounds in real, there still was some brigtheness but it was already tolerable. and sound was quite natural (considering recording material) I heard that record for many time on variuos speakers and understand that neutral speaker reproducing this record with just small hint of brigtness( I there were peak consult speaker with sounded almost perfect on this, but i didnt liked them on ordinary quality records) overal coherence of Maestro is top- never hear big 3 or 4 way speaker which sound like single point source. even from the 2 meters speaker sound slike single driver.
and sound is which i consider balanced- its more laidback "and not in your face" than most focals and especialy wilson puppies which "bark" at some records - closer to sonus faber camp , but it doesnt lack palpability and imediacy. neither with vocals or clasical music it discracted from music- nothing screams, nothing stood out and nothing missed. and I have hard time to analyzing it, my ears wanted just listen to that record. its rare case as I always listening a "quality" on Diablo rather than record itself (that was reason why I leaved them from my bedroom system)
there is a dificulties as well with Maestro, at least I encountered it-
1)positioning- they sound basicaly well focuced from the first moments, but i have real problem to get balanced upper bass(on some records speakers sounded "boxy" and "too big" ) and lacked 3D. i started to moove them around and at some point took from back wall more than 5feet, but lastly ended unusualy close to back wall( I expected too much midbass but it wasnt) and only 2.3m between speakers. boxiness is gone then and after toing out and spiking them speakers "disapeared" but it tooked much more time than i expected to get 3d layered soundstage. I even brought my Diablos which behaviuor I know - I shouldnt done that- it was strange- after Maestro Diablo sounded like tiny matchbox- and scream at most record which Maestro "eated" smoothly.
on the next audiotion I noticed that owner remooved part of absorbitve panels he was used with previuos speakers - we both agree taht 3D improoved further to point where I already enjoying listening session on low lights very much.I quess they should work good in plain undamped and reflective room. so my own impressions so far , hope this helps. if anybody have theese speakers could they advice better amp than brystons(excluding class a solid state), VTL maybe?
Focalfan, thanks for info, I will try to arrange accuphase m6000 for audition throught local dealer, but VTL is a real problem as there is no VTL dealer. BTW even if Focal is high sensitivity I felt they like power very much.
lets wait for new Utopia IV system, I know that focal working on elecgromagnetic midrange drivers (but not in focal-home section) - that would be awesome to have Grande EM featuring subwoofer, midwoofer and midrange drivers with EM technology.
thats very interesting system! probbaly first on Audiogon with Maestro. I will be some kind of translator here- could you please share your expierence with setup and maching equipment for this speaker? owner wants to know anything that may help to get max out of them, but does not speak english. thanks in advance.
what does the rest of your set-up consist of.
I read your speakers are G.U. EM's and you have 4 VTL Sigfrieds driving them.
What size of room do you have.
There is another poster who has the G.U. EM's also.
When I was looking for a speaker to replace my Avalon Isis a few years back I looked into Focal and listened to their BE series and with all the hype floating around I was exspecting allot more but in the end was disappointed specicially when we take into the cost factor at approx. $90K + depending on which would finish you got at that time.
Two local freinds bought their speakers but this did not last very long before replacing them, Nova BE and Grand U BE. My one friend spent over a $100K for his had problems even unloading his G.U., took almost a year and only got $28K and they were in MINT condition, that was really sad.
Are the new E.M.'s over all sound that much different? can you describe anything that really stands out because reading your prior postings it appears you also owned the G.U. BE's prior to getting your E.M.'s which cost close to a whopping $200K here and possibly even more depending on the finish one chooses.
dev, i also use dcs scartti, but changed now to emm xds1. better, i think. cables-vdh and echole mix.sold my tt 2 monthes ago.my room is 12mlong,7 mwide, and almost 4mhigh.
sorry for your friends losing money. h/e audio not for making money, but for making music sound good.only the dealers make money. the em line, from what iknow, is totally different (better) then the be line.to me it sounds much better ,more musical, more real and accurate.
they have now more models to fit in different rooms.try it!