Grande Utopia

The entire Focal Utopia line has been extensively re-engineered into its third generation. The flagship Grande Utopia EM ($180,000/pr) is shown. It's the first commercial loudspeaker system in decades (to our knowledge) and possibly ever (at least in the hi-fi era), to use an electromagnet in its woofer design. Electromagnets were common in the Paleolithic era, but were all but abandoned in the middle of the last century for the simplicity of the permanent magnet. But the electromagnet has undeniable advantages, including adjustability, and in this case can be used to tailor the characteristics of the speaker's bass to suite the music, the listener, and the room.

All the models in the Utopia line have segmented cabinets that can be adjusted to position the drivers in a semi-circular array, for equal distance to the listener. More on this below. I'm still trying to figure out how they might do this for a center-channel speaker (none was shown)--or indeed if it would make much difference with multiple listeners spread across a wide horizontal seating area. But it does make sense (though in complex, expensive way) in the vertical.