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  »  New  The jump-start of loudspeaker economy..  Yep, you are right: the Grande Utopia...  Audio News Forum     17  117937  03-19-2008
09-15-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 1438
Reply to: 1438
Focal-Jmlab – the Utopia of the Utopias

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When two years ago JMLab introduced a new flagman of their home loudsapeks – the Grande Utopia Beryllium the Worlds was shocked to its foundation.  Our reporters rushed to interview Jacques Mahul, the JMLab’s CEO and designer, and let him to present the new JMLab’s beauty, but Jacques suggested that his new speakers need 2 years to break-in. We were eagerly awaiting and eventually recently we had a chance to let Mr. Mahul to tell us everything about the new “International reference standard”.

The JMLab’s CEO:

“The previous models of largest JMLabs had many limitations but compare to the rest bass-reflex mastodons with the steel tweeters our spacers were somehow comparable. The Wilson really pushed out market share and we, in the begging of the millenniums, were sating at the edge of a marketing cliff. With the introduction of the Berylliumed Utopia we made a large step forward and now, the new “Grande” is earning the harts of the audio-literature creators around the world.

In the sound of our new Grand Utopia we decided to incorporate the most precious tones for the ears of the modern listener. For instance “security” recently became an issue. So, our engineers made and recorded thousands of shots from Colt 45 Magnum into the best bulletproof vests. We know how wonderful a person should feels when a Magnum bullet hits and stopped by the hybrid of Fiberglass and Kevlar and we decided to delivery to our customers the very same level of sonic satisfaction. As the result, out new Grand Utopia sounds in midrange absolutely identical with the taping of body armor made by the “Second Chance” or like a polar bear is knocking a kayak of an Alaskans Eskimos.

However, the biggest pride we have about our new Beryllium tweeters. We agree that the old inverted titanium domes were unlistenable. The new Beryllium tweeters are not only listenable but we even extended the variety of animals that might listen our new tweeters. Beside our ordinary target - the audiophiles, or the people who love to listen and to recognize the individual sounds, our new Grand Utopia might be “comprehended” by dolphins, also by bats, by the killer whales and few others….

You probably heard some allegations that exposed to sound of JMLabs Berylliumed Utopia some customers experienced abnormal adverse events: their home cactuses begun shriveling, their wifes begun to experience panic attacks, some listeners begin to adore the Fifth Symphony of Philip Glass and the escapee from New Orleans during the listing sessions suddenly demanded to submerge them back under water. However, recently the US’s Federal Communications Commission approved our Berylliumed Utopia for an unlimited FM broadcast and even the FDA permitted to prescribe a listening session with JMLabs Grande Utopia as a “morning afterpill”.

We are very optimistic about our future and the success of our new flagman loudspeaker.”


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
10-12-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 2
Post ID: 8492
Reply to: 1438
The bent over grand Utopia EM

In the linked thread (at the top of the page) I was pointed out that GM Lab introduced their new Focal Utopia EM loudspeaker. Yesterday the Seattle’s Moron “mikel” posted a picture at AA with the new Utopia EM presented at RMAF 2008.

I saw the picture and I was laughing. How idiotic those people who design sell the Utopias! I am sure that the bent over Utopia’s design with curved axis’s makes a good photogenic appearance for the yeas of barbarians but in term of sound what and how Utopia is mad is just simply reticules. This location of different drivers in the curve combining with high order filters shell make a listener to listen the speakers  from a spot no larger than 1mm. Literally. You shell be able to get OK sound from this speaker at the distance let say 3m 44.3cm, but at 3m 44.5cm the sound shall be quite destroyed. Who the hell would be interested in such acoustic system?

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
10-13-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
serenechaos
lost alamos
Posts 86
Joined on 12-01-2007

Post #: 3
Post ID: 8494
Reply to: 8492
Bent over sound
hmmmm...
Well, if you say so, I'll go as far as to say maybe. you can get OK sound @ some distance. 
I sure didn't notice any distance to get even OK sound from. 
I didn't spend much time in the room, I just wanted to check out the clearview turntable, (everything was turned off, two people were trying to figure out how to operate turntable when I went in), but the sound was SO bad I left within two minutes. 
That was yesterday, and at dinner tonight, my wife was still talking about how bad sound was in that room, and in Audio Federations "Coltrane Supreme worse than Kharma" room. 
Maybe I missed the "magic tape measure" option? 
Robert
10-13-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 8496
Reply to: 8494
The ‘magic tape measure’ option

Robert, actually in case of Grand Utopia you was remarkably close mentining the ‘magic tape measure’ option. You see, they demoed Utopia in looks like a large room and they band the Utopia’s axis’s only for demonstration purposes. In this configuration it is immensely difficult to make the speaker to sound right, but if they do it then it is possible in insultingly small space (I was not kilning what I told about a fraction of inch). Even if we presume that Grand Utopia is capable for any more civilized sound under best condition then at the audio show a few thighs was working against it.

1)    Amplification. It looks like that Grand Utopia was driver by Boulder amplifiers. I know those amps very well and heard them with many speakers. They are not juts bad amps but they are the ultimate nightmare of amplification.

2)    Personal. I do not know who presented the speakers at the show – manufactures or resellers. Even if there were manufactures then they were hardly intelligent people but rather some kind of marketing pimps. So, those sales people have notoriously horrible ability to understand how to set up playback and how to get sound out of audio. In addition most of the vendors hate shows, hate the visiting people, indifferent to “better sound” and do not give a damn how the room sounds. So, going from room to room we, the visitors, experience the result of expressed hate and misery multiplied by disability to deter then juts “as is”.

3)    Experience of listeners. Your, and anybody ease luck of ability to detect the “OK sound” in the Utopia derived from the fact that you did not know HOW to listen them. You need to have absolutely clear room (with not chairs). Then you need to stand at the further side of the room and begin VERY slowly move toward to the speaker. The speaker shall play the right music (with some experience you might use a pink noise) and you need to know what to listen. At a very specific distance the sound will focus, it will be very very very small spot – very easy to miss it. You need to put a dentist chair right there and fixate you head with precession of a few mm. outside of this “sweat spot” the speaker shell sound like shit. I do not say that inside of the “sweat spot” Grand Utopia sounds wonderful – it will sound as it will but any conversation about Utopia sound shell be ONLY if the listener is inside the insultingly narrow “sweat spot”. BTW, with certain curvature of the Utopia’s bending the “sweat spot” not even available.

Anyhow, it is shame that GM Lab sell this engendering idiocy for 150K. The speaker has “1458 possible adjustment combinations” (!!!)

(http://www.GoodSoundClub.com/TreeItem.aspx?PostID=8110)

I wish to the new Grand Utopia owner good luck…

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
10-13-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
serenechaos
lost alamos
Posts 86
Joined on 12-01-2007

Post #: 5
Post ID: 8500
Reply to: 8496
Ben Dover, the Utopia reseller

Yes, Utopia was demoed in a large room.  However:

1) Amplification: and yes, Boulder amplifiers were used.  Good observation, but I don't understand why you think they would be a bad choice.  I thought they quite complemented the Grand Utopia for showing off industrial cranes and forklifts needed to place the big heavy things, shiny boxes, and packaging for the marketing people. 

2) Personal: resellers.  You've covered that one very well...

3) Experience of listeners.  I honestly didn't give them a chance.  The large room was full of chairs and people wandering around, talking, etc.  My wife and I went in to see the turntable, and cartridges.  Just a few bars into the loud pop music booming through the Utopias and I felt it was time to go. 
I have listened enough, to enough systems, to usually be able to tell if something is worth critically evaluating within a pretty short time anyway.  But I usually need to find a "sweet spot" and music I am famaliar with, so I'm not blaming the speakers or amps for the recording, etc.  e.g. at the Avantgarde exhibit, I could tell by a piano run that an integration problem was around 300Hz. (Unos sounded terrible in that small room).   I ask if that was near where the woofer crossed in, and was told it crossed in at 280Hz. 

Anyway, yes, good luck to new owners. 
Maybe GM Lab publishes numbers, and resellers will come out with "magic tape measure" and bend the customer, I mean speaker, over 1458 different ways!
Robert

10-14-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 6
Post ID: 8501
Reply to: 8500
There is a ‘sweet spot’ and there is a ‘sweet spot’

…and I do not know how to describe the difference about it. A sweet spot of acoustic system is a location where Sound of speaker in a room are “focused” together. The sweet spot with Grand Utopia is a very specific distance at wish the problems with Grand Utopia drivers integrations are more or less resolved. The Utopia’s sweet spot is not related to anything else and most likely would violate the needs of the room.

BTW, Robert is you heard in Denver any interesting sound then mention it somewhere.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
10-15-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
CO
Posts 37
Joined on 11-18-2005

Post #: 7
Post ID: 8516
Reply to: 8501
Curved array
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But Romy, you also have the different channels in a curved array ? Whats the difference
I know your's are time aligned but the Utopias must be as well.

Collin
10-15-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
CO
Posts 37
Joined on 11-18-2005

Post #: 8
Post ID: 8517
Reply to: 8516
Ahh, Utopias drivers are angled
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Looking at the picture again i see the Utopias drivers are angled. Thats the difference. Yes i agree that must not be good for coherence outside of the sweet spot.
10-15-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 9
Post ID: 8519
Reply to: 8517
Macondo vs Utopia
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 CO wrote:
But Romy, you also have the different channels in a curved array ? Whats the difference I know your's are time aligned but the Utopias must be as well.

Collin, you are correct the Macondo and Utopia implement the same curved line alignment. BTW, I do not know if Utopia is time-align. I see no seasons why it shell not be but is the people who design it were stupid enough to make the speaker with bendable axis’ then it is not see it why they needed to pursue the  time-alignment (an angling of single axis offset time-alignment)

However, despite that Macondo and Utopia implement the “same” curved line alignment but it only looks like this as the Macondo and Utopia use different idea.  The picture describes this fact.

Macondo_vs_Utopia.JPG

Now, how to interpret it. A loudspeaker driver is not a geometrical dot in space but it has a dimensions. Then time-differences for sounds arrival from center cone and the side of the cone is responsible for attenuation off the driver axis or for the directory of the driver.  So in ideal world the all surfaces of all drivers shell radiant sound that would arrive to a listening spot at the very same time. Now look at the image and tell me which configuration assures the perfect arrival to the sweet spot from any single point of the driver cones? It looks like what Utopia does shell be way superior solution, right. Well, not necessary.

The Utopia-aliment is absolutely perfect a single point of the distance. This pint is astonishingly small and any deviation from this point throws the alignment in complete disarray, any steeping out from the “magic” point create avalanche-like worsening of alignment. Then look what Macondo does. The alignment is not perfect to begin with and the center cone and the sides have time differences (I call them angular errors) BUT those differences are virtually constant with distance. It means that at 10 feet the angular errors would be slimly different then from and 5 feet but this different would develop very gradually. In Macondo-type alignment the angular errors rise when the sweat spot go into extreme nearfiled. From mid-filed to far-filed the angular errors become negligible. In Utopia-aliment there is no leeway for any angular errors – it is of in focus (this about optical lance) or completely out of focus.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-14-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 10
Post ID: 10773
Reply to: 1438
The truth about the beryllium?
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http://www.goodsoundclub.com/Docs/Truth_beryllium_diaphragms.doc

The Cat




"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-29-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 11
Post ID: 10941
Reply to: 8492
Audio Utopia - a good voyage?
fiogf49gjkf0d

What do you know; I bought yesterday an Absolute Sound at newsstand!

In the issue there was big article about the new Grand Utopia EM. I read it and I was not pleased what I read as the review was in many ways mistaken. In facts the review was so much mistaken, mistaken in its general intend, that if those people work for me than I would very much consider the inanity expressed in the review as a fireable offence.

I will not criticizing the review in details – it is not my objective. but I would bring up the main point of this post – the responsibility of the adult and experienced people for what they state publicly in official reviews. The golden times when manufactures took reviewers in court and made them to shut up their blabbing are gone and now audio reviewering skunks are roaming the prairies of audio idiocy unreprimandably and unpunishbly.

So, what upset me the most in the Grand Utopia’s review? It was the facts that the major flaw of the new Grand Utopia was not struck by the reviewers, furthermore the major flaw was sold to public as some kind of accomplishment and very beneficial feature. It would be similar as if a sales-person of the Bristol-Myers Squibb would try to convince his audiences that those cancer metastases are very nice “feature” in a body…

Now, back in the Koetsu thread, in analog forum, a few days back I have expressed my view that professional reviewing, besides anything else shall be a first line of consumer defense, sort of initial Quality Control, the way how it work in many other industries. At the same thread I made clear that in my view the bad quality of many audio products is a direct responsibility of negligence, ignorance or in many cases the criminal intent of the reviewers, as the Quality Control people of audio. The problem is that in very many cases the manufactures are clueless what they produce. I do not want to say that manufactures are fools, some of them not, but in many cases they very much are. It is the job of the Quality Control -reviewers to filter out the wrong moves and strike the erroneous directions…

Ok, take a look how all of it applies to Grand Utopia EM. I will leave aside all those bogus claims about the electromagnetism and the rest pure meaningless talking points were stressed in the review. My primary concern is that one of the most idiotic features of the new Grand Utopia – the bendable axis – was not only left without criticism but rather was “sold” as some kind of discovery of audio Ark of Covenant.  The ability of the new Grand Utopia to extend the channels along the axis is wonderful and all glory for this shall be given to Grand Utopia. I would personally question the ability of the ordinary people on the fields to properly time-align the drivers but I would let it pass. The “along the axis” alignment is a very-very positive and welcoming functionality in my book. However, I have no idea what was in the sick mind of that Moron who decided that Grand Utopia shall allow changing the angle of the axis. The bendable axis is not only horrible decision but I am afraid that with the  idioticly-positive acceptance it got from the reviewers the “feature” might be filtered in into many other speakers, the speakers that the industry will introduce in the coming years. The bendable axis made good picture and it about it. Unfortunately the Quality Control resources – the pack of reviewers -  do not care about anything else…

I was trying to educate the fools years back

http://db.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.mpl?forum=hug&n=6349

but to call to the reviewing senses “of hearing” if similar to  making an attempt to house-train an alligator….

Anyhow, the Grand Utopia EM is deployed to swim in the ocean of audio idiocy, nicely oiled-up with the professional expertise of the industry Quality Assurance.  In the days when the foolish films like the “Transformers’ Revenge” beat up the sales records and the popcorn is considered as the most discriminative food the Grand Utopia’s sales-drift might be a considered as a “good voyage”…

Rgs, Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
07-13-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 12
Post ID: 11052
Reply to: 10773
The saga of the poor anti-Beryllium guy.
fiogf49gjkf0d

I have no idea who Steve Mowry is but is at very early stage of losing his virginity on the subject.

http://www.s-m-audio.com/what.pdf

When Steve Mowry  get a little bit more maturity, experiences and know more underlining facts then he might discover that it would be much more rational, ethical and cogent juts do not argue with that industry dirt but figuratively slaughter them with extreme prejudges, declaring east still-breathing industry son of the bitch as a slinky dead corps.

Romy The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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  »  New  The jump-start of loudspeaker economy..  Yep, you are right: the Grande Utopia...  Audio News Forum     17  117937  03-19-2008
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