The Best Speaker in the World
Could be. I saved my visit to the Audio Unlimited room almost for last on Sunday afternoon at RMAF. There was the pair of Focal Grande Utopia EMs that apparently had NY retailer Andy Singer dancing at their launch in France last spring. driven by a pair of Boulder 2050 monoblocks. Front-end was either Boulder's new 1021 disc player/music server or the Clearaudio Statement turntable. Cabling was all Tara Labs, including Mikey Fremer's reference The Zero interconnects. Musical Surroundings' Garth Leerer played me just two LPs for me to become awed by the 580 lb Focals: the Gary Karr transcription for double bass and organ of the Albinoni Adagio, which showed how effortlessly the speakers handled not just the spl but also the scale of the organ's sound, and Iona Brown's performance of Vaughan Williams' A Lark Ascending, which showed how well the speakers did delicacy.
A hand crank on the speaker's rear adjusts the vertical toe-in angle of the drive-unit array, and multiple adjustments can be made to the crossover to match the speaker to the room in which it is used. But check out the small power supply to the speaker'sleftthis supplies current to the field coils of the woofer's magnet. Yes, the Grand Utopia EM's 16" woofer uses an electromagnet to achieve its 94dB sensitivity.
Oh, the price, you ask? $180,000, but you do get two speakers for that.