Originally Posted by shivaji
Buying speakers on the used market is a great path for stretching ones dollar. Congrats on the great score.
Originally Posted by mtrot
That is a dang nice looking set of speakers for $5500! I've been pining lately for a set of Focals along the lines of Sopra2, Kanta3, and Electra 938Be. But all of those would cost more than you paid. Maybe I'll have to check out some Alto Utopias! Please follow up with your impressions after you get them set up and listen for a while.
This is just my opinion, no proof, no experience, just my guessing.
I feel there are a lot of "fashion" sense in speakers, that people like the latest and greatest one. I tend to look at what's behind the technology. I know Be tweeter is an improvement from my 913.1 that use titanium reverse dome tweeter. But I have not heard of other improvements on the mid and bass drivers in the newer models like the Sopra2 or 3. To the best of my knowledge, it's still Be tweeters. I don't know of any stunning improvement on Mid and Bass drivers, so what left me to think is I would get the oldest ones with Be tweeters.
I do believe to buy the top models of Focal, Alto Utopia definitely is in the top series of JM Lab Focal, my guess it's going to be better than the next model down even if it is newer. Again, this is my wild guess.
I saw the Sopra 3 new is about $17K and used is $11K in Audiogon. Used ones are more expensive as it's newer model. Then I look at the MSRP of Alto was $18K in 2000s. So it's a more expensive model. I am superficial, I know more expensive doesn't imply higher quality. But high quality always more expensive...This is just me, I have no proof or anything.
I am born cheap, if there is a pair of same high quality speakers for 1/2 price just because it's made out of pine box, I would not think twice to get the pine box........although my big boss will have something to say about that!!! The newer Focals just look very fancy, I don't know how much money is spent on cosmetic and how much is on the quality of the sound..................
For the longest time, I had my eyes on a pair of Focal Diva Utopia, I even bought and backed out on a pair for $3400. Problem is I have to drive 600miles one way to pick it up. Also, the Divas are a low model of Utopia line, My 913.1 was one line below Utopia line at the time ( they don't have that many models in the 90s, just the 700s, 800s, 900s and Utopia, mine was the top of 900s). So it's not going to be a big jump.
Well, I talk too much for not
an expert on speakers, $5500 is all I am willing to spend. I am very very happy with my 913.1, I just want a better pair to use for my amp design and good to have a second pair to compare with. So I took the chance. I am biting my fingers waiting for it to come.