Focal has added to its iconic Utopia III Evo line, with the new Grande Utopia EM Evo and Stella Utopia EM Evo loudspeakers launched officially at the High-End Trade Fair in Munich last week.
It was in 2017 that the maker introduced Utopia III Evo, at that point the latest edition in its flagship line. Now the brand has introduced the most emblematic high-fidelity loudspeakers of all its Collections: Grande Utopia EM Evo and Stella Utopia EM Evo.
Focal says the ultimate in acoustics has been deeply engrained in Utopia’s DNA since its creation in 1995. Focal’s leading loudspeaker has always embodied strived to deliver the very best the brand has to offer. Now the line has been revamped to reveal loudspeakers that aim to sit right on the cutting edge of innovation.
A speaker line like this is always going to be a statement of where the maker is at precisely in that moment, offering a focal (no pun intended) point for the engineers to peruse improvement without the limits of a more modestly priced speaker.
Here of course is no different and the maker points to a few specific areas where it feels particular improvements have been made.
Focal says innovation is clear to see in the speaker drivers, but also the crossover, the very structure of the loudspeaker and the finishes available. Focal says every detail has been developed yet further to push the limits of acoustic delicacy and transparency.
The line’s large loudspeakers now integrate all the research conducted since Utopia III was launched in 2008. They showcase the brand’s innovations, particularly in the midrange: the TMD (Tuned Mass Damping) suspension and the NIC (Neutral Inductance Circuit). The structure of the loudspeaker itself has also been strengthened by the new MRR (Machined Reinforcement Rings) system around the speaker drivers. The crossover has been redesigned, the components modified and meticulously selected for a more accurate sound quality.
Like the first models of this new edition of Utopia III Evo (Maestro Utopia Evo and Scala Utopia Evo), Grande Utopia EM Evo and Stella Utopia EM Evo are available in new finishes inspired by the automotive world. Diablo Utopia, Viva Utopia and the subs Utopia EM meanwhile, preserve the sound quality of the previous edition, while adding new external finishes. The whole line is therefore available in Metallic Blue, Ash Grey and British Racing Green, in addition to the Black Lacquer and Carrara White.
Delving into the design detail
The TMD suspension technology provides a linear frequency response curve between 1 and 4 kHz, while reducing distortion in this range. Focal says the result is a remarkable neutrality in the mid-range register. It also contributes to the precision of the overall stereo image.
NIC magnetic circuit: Stabilising the magnetic field is a challenge to be overcome in order to avoid harmonic and intermodulation distortion. Focal says research conducted by its engineers has enabled them to create an unbelievably stable magnetic circuit: NIC (Neutral Inductance Circuit) technology.
The new structure benefits from an increased rigidity thanks to the MRR (Machined Reinforcement Rings) system. This is composed of solid aluminium parts machined in the mass, positioned between the front speaker and the speaker driver basket. This sandwich technology is used in the form of rings for the 6in and 11in speaker drivers of the Stella Utopia EM Evo, and on the 6in speaker drivers of the Grande Utopia EM Evo. The 13in (Stella Utopia EM Evo) and 15in woofers (Grande Utopia EM Evo) also use segments of solid aluminium. The rigidity of the front speaker is thereby considerably increased in the array area (around the speaker drivers), while benefiting from the dampening of the very thick MDF woofer.
With the new speaker drivers, the crossover principle has been redesigned, in a measured and attentive way, to improve sound precision. The quality of components, essential for a very high-fidelity rendering, has also been upgraded. Each component has therefore been selected from among the major current brands. In particular, there is the loudspeaker’s internal cabling, manufactured in France, for an even more natural and transparent sound. Focal says that the bass register is immaculate, with a new acoustic wadding for an extremely restrained, controlled bass.
Finishing with a flourish
All the loudspeakers in the line are now offered with new automotive-inspired finishes: Metallic Blue, Ash Grey and British Racing Green, as well as the Black Lacquer and Carrara White.
The loudspeaker cabinet is fully lacquered, with the front and sides in one single colour. Black makes a comeback in the details, with the baskets and tweeter cabinet in Graphite Black. All these finish choices are designed to offer a more harmonious and understated coherence overall, which highlights the originality of the new colours. The silhouette of the Utopia Evo remains unchanged, in a very contemporary revamped style.
The Focal Grande Utopia EM Evo will have a SRP of €180,000 / £159,999 per pair and the Stella Utopia EM Evo €100,000 / £89,999 per pair.