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Apex Audio / Focal speakers - Crestone Peak conference room





The system equipment included:

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Specifications

The Focal Utopias use one 6.5" Power Flower midrange driver, one IAL2 pure Beryllium inverted dome tweeter, and one 11" woofer. They have a stated FR of 27 Hz - 40 kHz with a nominal impedance of 8 ohms and a sensitivity of 92db. They are 49 1/8" x 15 1/2" x 26 3/8" and weigh in at 187 lbs each.

Plants were used in the room for treatment.

Joe's Impressions

The design of the cabinet is somewhat interesting with a sort-of accordian-like appearance, and the black and silver finish does give them an elegant look.

Vocal imaging was right in the middle with a wide soundstage from the sweet spot, but it does degrade off axis as I moved one seat over and the soundstage collapsed a bit. Vocals sounded very good, but did not quite have the open, airy sound I personally prefer. Instrument clarity and separation was excellent - I especially like the horn sequences as the horns had a very powerful sound without sounding shrill. Low end had really good impact on the 1812 track, and the midrange had a very crisp punch.

Overall, the system sounded very good. But, at close to $300,000 (including cabling), there was no way it sounded ten times better than some of the other systems I heard over the weekend. In my opinion, this system was a great example of the expression 'more money does not necessarily mean it is better'.
 

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I'm sorry but $112,500 for cables?? That's more than a bit ridiculous. The $32,500 for the speakers alone is very expensive but almost understandable. The cables, most definitely not.
 

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I'm sorry but $112,500 for cables?? That's more than a bit ridiculous. The $32,500 for the speakers alone is very expensive but almost understandable. The cables, most definitely not.
I always do a double take when I see the prices on some of the cables. This one, I am pretty sure my jaw dropped when I saw the cables were almost 4 times what the speakers cost....
 

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I always do a double take when I see the prices on some of the cables. This one, I am pretty sure my jaw dropped when I saw the cables were almost 4 times what the speakers cost....
While I can't afford any of the gear on the list it all kind of "fits" price-wise in the grand scheme of the system, besides the cables. I would never spend that much on gear but that's just me, but to spend 2x + the national average ANNUAL SALARY on cables to connect your system ... I start to smell the venerable snake oil :D
 

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Sometimes as a manufacturer, you feel that if you want to be taken seriously by a considerable percentage of audiophiles that pay attention to cables, you have to wire your system with cables deemed "worthy" of your system. Whether you believe it makes a difference or not is not as relevant as whether your target audience believes it makes a difference.

Edit: That said, this system's cables are simply ludicrous.
 

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Sometimes as a manufacturer, you feel that if you want to be taken seriously by a considerable percentage of audiophiles that pay attention to cables, you have to wire your system with cables deemed "worthy" of your system. Whether you believe it makes a difference or not is not as relevant as whether your target audience believes it makes a difference. Edit: That said, this system's cables are simply ludicrous.
That's a very good point, hadn't thought about it that way.

Scott
 

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Sometimes as a manufacturer, you feel that if you want to be taken seriously by a considerable percentage of audiophiles that pay attention to cables, you have to wire your system with cables deemed "worthy" of your system. Whether you believe it makes a difference or not is not as relevant as whether your target audience believes it makes a difference.

Edit: That said, this system's cables are simply ludicrous.
An excellent point Bryan - and a really sad commentary about the listening population. After attending four of these shows and a number of GTGs, I have become a firm believer that you do not have to spend moo coo bucks to get high quality sound.
 

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I don't really know much about speakers so I had to do some research before posting...after having read the specifications on the Apex/Focal audio speakers, I think the frequency response is outstanding — as you would expect from a speaker with that big of a footprint. However, the entire system seems well qualified with lows reaching 27Hz and highs reaching well beyond what the human ear can hear at 40kHz.

Not speaker related, I would love to take my dad to this show as he loves everything about speakers and even used to make them and fix audio/visual equipment for a living. Unfortunately its too far away for us to go to so I really appreciate people posting the specs. I am sure it is nothing compared to actually hearing the speakers but after I introduced my dad to this site he had a great time reading through these threads.
 

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I don't really know much about speakers so I had to do some research before posting...after having read the specifications on the Apex/Focal audio speakers, I think the frequency response is outstanding — as you would expect from a speaker with that big of a footprint. However, the entire system seems well qualified with lows reaching 27Hz and highs reaching well beyond what the human ear can hear at 40kHz.

Not speaker related, I would love to take my dad to this show as he loves everything about speakers and even used to make them and fix audio/visual equipment for a living. Unfortunately its too far away for us to go to so I really appreciate people posting the specs. I am sure it is nothing compared to actually hearing the speakers but after I introduced my dad to this site he had a great time reading through these threads.
If you want, you could consider doing AXPONA - it is in Chicago in April. Last year was their first year, and they had an amazing turnout. I have been following their press releases, and it looks to be even bigger this year. I do have a show report for it as well - you can see it in my signature.
 

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I went to Axpona last year and will attend this year too! Some of the set ups were great utopia grande, legacy and B&W. Speakers that I would aspire too one day but I never thought to myself I need those speaker cables even though purchased signal cables for my for my Goldenears (slightly hypocritical). I think a lot of these high end amps and cables are more like after market rims on a car. They provide additional pride but not that much incremental sound improvement to justify the costs. That being said they are nice to look at.

Plus if you can spend 120k in cables your probably can afford to waste the money. Lol
 
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