This is about the Focal Utopia TN51 tweeter....
It is hard to imagine not much I like this tweeter, in fact there is something insanely beautiful in this tweeter and from a certain perspective (narrow-certain) I like it even more then the HF of my Macondo.
I first was introduced to this tweeter in 1997 I believe. At that time I was driving Acura TL with horrible audio system and I decided to do something about it (it was my first and last parley in car audio). I got a hybrid amplifier from and bought Focal Utopia 165W set. The local guys put it all in and I have to tell you – it was quite good sound.
The lease on that Acura TL was over; I put the Focal Utopia set in a box and dump it to my storage. I decided do not modify audio on my next leased cars. In ten year, playing with different solution for MiniMe I stumbled up the box with the Focal Utopia tweeter. I just for fun stick into the tweeter into my monitor and I was VERY surprised how wonderful it was. In fact for a couple month listening I almost dally pay attention that the tweeter does very interesting job and server it purpose superbly.
What attracts me in this tweeter? There are two factors.
First is dynamic. It is VERY surprising. The driver is 94dB sensitivity – sort of nothing special. However, I with my 109 sensitive Macondo feel absolutely no dynamic deficiency at HF when I listen the MiniMe with the Focal Utopia tweeter. There is only one know to me speaker that has low efficiency abut subjectively it does not impact me as a dynamic-restricted – it is Wilson Grand Slam/Alexandria. I have written before that dynamically the “biggest” Wilsons are sort of mystery of audio as they define the common rule of 94dB/sensitivity vs. the 94dB/auditable. Surprise, surprise but the “biggest” Wilsons use the same tweeter. I do not know if it is the absolutely the same model (visually they are the same) but they are certainly from the “same barrel”. The result is VERY attractive: the 93dB sensitive MiniMe sit next to the 109dB sensitive Macondo and I feel no Macondo advantage at HF in trim of dymick superiority. There are many aspects in HF that MiniMe can’t handle compare to Macondo but in the realms of subjective HF dymick the MiniMe with Focal Utopia tweeter hold its own VERY dignifying.
The second is the character of HF. Knowing well the sound of Wilsons Grand Slam and Alexandria I have to tell you that 75% of what I like in there is something that I today attribute to the Focal Utopia tweeter. The bigger Wilsons and MiniMe has that very special effect of “graining” sound. It is like you put a very fine artificial texture over the sound and this “texture” kind of increase the sharpness of the sonic presentation. It does not sound good, right? Right, but the key is HOW it done. Any artificial “super texture” shall be bad but the way in which the Focal Utopia tweeter doe it does not strike me as negative, quite in opposite.
Interesting that Focal uses that same tweeter in this Utopia and Grand Utopia like but in there the tweeter doe not sound as good as in the Wilsons or in MiniMe. I have no knowledge why, or a desire to investigate this subject.
The tweeter itself is in was ridicules and it is not something there I would expect an interesting sound might come from. It is a textured titanium inverted dome 49mm. It has neodymium ring magnet and the 20mm voice coil is dumped by ferrofluid. It has typical power handling of 15W with 150W of maximum. The dome is very interestingly suspended – in very long foam. I think this VERY long foam suspension and very interesting textured ripples on the dome were something that makes the tweeter to sound different.
Mind you: the sound of the Focal Utopia TN51 tweeter is not something that I would call “neutral” as it has no adaptable qualities. It has own character but that is VERY impressive character – for what I consider the Focal Utopia TN51 tweeter as a very much an exceptional driver.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