To Hans Wetzel,
I’ve been reading your great reviews for a while now and see you have a pair of Focal Diablo Utopia Colour Evos in for review. I’ve had a pair [of the original Diablo Utopia] now for four years and am very intrigued to hear what you make of them, as every time I’ve auditioned double- or triple-the-price floorstanding speakers, I still find my Diablos are noticeably better -- so far, to me, they are giant killers. Are the Evos really that much better? I strongly urge you to find a Devialet Expert [integrated amplifier-DAC, which I own] to try with them -- you might be astounded.
I can’t go into too much detail about Focal’s Diablo Utopia Colour Evo since my review has yet to be published, but there are a couple things I can mention. The big one is this: The Diablo Utopia Colour Evo is functionally identical to your Diablo Utopia, with the “Colour Evo” upgrades being entirely cosmetic. So, the Colour Evo version should perform identically to the pair that you’ve enjoyed over the past several years.
A benefit of being one of the biggest names in audio is that Focal’s Utopia loudspeakers can remain untouched for a long period of time and still be competitive with newer competition. Revel has adopted a similar approach with their Ultima2 line, which includes the highly regarded Salon2 and Studio2 models. Performance-wise, I don’t think they’re outclassed or left in the dust by any speaker that I’ve heard in recent memory. Is the Focal a “giant killer,” and does it still represent the state of the art in loudspeaker design? You’ll have to read my review to find out.
By the way, having reviewed Devialet’s Expert 130 Pro, I don’t doubt that your Focal/Devialet tandem is flat-out fantastic. Despite being a few years old, I still believe that Devialet makes state-of-the-art amplifiers, and I’d probably own a pair of Devialet monoblocks if I were exiting the reviewing game today. If I were in your shoes, I would be in zero rush to upgrade either my speakers or my amps. . . . Hans Wetzel