Focal Grade Utiopia III vs Others (Now...) :)

staxguy -- Tue, 08/07/2012 - 12:19

I finally heard the large Focals on a variety of music, along with the Scala Utopia's, in a smaller room.
Powered by Devaliet, the smaller Scala Utopia III's, played life-like percussion as if it was back over twenty years ago, in a high school band portable. Live tympani, etc. Powered by Devaliet, it was a comparable experience to driving in the country on a weekend, a comfortable car.  Playing Justin Bieber, latest album, there was no meaningful playback ability - zero bass response - less than Stax headphones - so they were not for me. I liked that they (the Scala III') were movable in a home setting, like furniture, and seemed like a well-designed and roughly well made (with some cost cutting) product. The partnering Devaliet amp seemed truly well done.
The large, Focal Grand Utopia III's, powered by Bryston 28BSST2's with an upstream Bryston Pre, DAC and Marantz CD player in chain, were the most revealing, not quite detailed, and yet musically enjoyable speakers I've seen - in a cavernous noisy room, I was transported to a New York jazz club of the 1920's with big band jazz on the player. I heard tenor saxophone and trumpet seperately sound as live as real, like the percussion on the small Scala's - you would swear that it was as the real thing. There was a sense of relaxation, listening to these speakers. A brief check on Bieber, revealed they could do bass, and electronic textures too.

What is are the other speakers available that can realistically repoduce acoustic music? By that I mean the sound of real musical instruments that you have played, and are intimately familiar with the sound? 

I'm planning on visiting New York in October. Since the Grand Utopia IIIs are too large for my listening room, I'm thinking of seeing the Stellas, and since the Scala's didn't do Bieber, the Mezzo's. 

Can the Magico line also do acoustic music? ;)

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