This week at the 2018 High-End Trade Fair in Munich Focal is launching the Grande Utopia EM Evo and Stella Utopia EM Evo loudspeakers. Redefining the Utopia III Evo unveiled in 2017, the newest models embody Focal’s investment in research and development for true audio innovation, according to the company.
Since its launch in 2008, the award-winning Utopia III has been evolving, as Focal’s acoustic engineers continue to redefine their research to expand the limits of sound. Known for using unique materials, Focal’s innovation is not only clear in the speaker drivers, but also the crossover, the structure of the loudspeaker, and variety of finishes available. Every detail has been developed to further push the limits of acoustic delicacy and transparency.
Grande Utopia EM Evo and Stella Utopia EM Evo now integrate all the research conducted since Utopia III was launched in 2008. They showcase the brand’s exclusive technologies, 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. More intimately, the crossover has been redesigned, the components modified and meticulously selected for a more accurate sound quality.
Like the first models in this line (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, like Metallic Blue, Ash Grey and British Racing Green. In addition to these colors, the whole line is also available Black Lacquer and Carrara White.
The TMD suspension provides a linear frequency response curve between 1 and 4kHz, while dramatically reducing distortion in this range, resulting in “neutrality” in the mid-range register, the company explains. It also contributes to more precision of the overall stereo image. Stabilizing the magnetic field is a challenge to be overcome to avoid harmonic and intermodulation distortion. Research conducted by Focal engineers enabled them to create a stable magnetic circuit, the NIC (Neutral Inductance Circuit) technology.
The structure of the speaker boasts an increased rigidity thanks to the MRR (Machined Reinforcement Rings) system. This is composed of solid aluminum 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 6- and 11-inch speaker drivers of the Stella Utopia EM Evo, and on the 6-inch speaker drivers of the Grande Utopia EM Evo. The 13-inch (Stella Utopia EM Evo) and 15-inch woofers (Grande Utopia EM Evo) also use segments of solid aluminum. The rigidity of the front speaker is also considerably increased in the array area around the speaker drivers, while benefiting from the excellent 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, also have been upgraded, with materials being selected from the most high end suppliers in the world. The bass register is immaculate, with a new acoustic wadding for an extremely restrained, controlled bass.
The loudspeaker cabinet is fully lacquered, with the front and sides in one single color. Black makes a comeback in the details, with the baskets and tweeter cabinet in Graphite Black. All these finish choices assure a more harmonious and understated coherence overall, which highlights the originality of the new colors. The silhouette of the Utopia III Evo remains unchanged, in a very contemporary style.
Grande Utopia EM Evo will retail for $120,000, Stella Utopia EM Evo for $65,000, Maestro Utopia Evo for $32,500 and Scala Utopia Evo for $20,000. They will be available for purchase in September.