How to Make Large Speakers Disappear in a Room
The finish is a good start
Focal's magnificent Dark Walnut finish would be at home even in Downton Abbey.
The Focal Scala Utopia EVO is the big speaker that knows how to dress well.
Large speakers can be imposing, especially if you've placed them correctly and are out in the room, not up against the walls.
Standing at four feet high and weighing in at 187 lb., the Focal Scala Utopia EVO should be an imposing speaker, but Focal's design is so on point (what did you expect from a French company?) that it sits lightly in a variety of rooms.
We currently have the perfect neutral color palette available in this great speaker, with choices that will fit in a modern steel and concrete home, as well as an older home with wood paneling and overstuffed armchairs.
Don't think that the Scala Utopia EVO wouldn't absolutely dominate a room sonically, though. It's a three-way bass-reflex with an 11" bass driver, a 6.5" midrange, and a 1" beryllium tweeter. The large cabinet, big cones, and massive magnets driving them, mean scale, authority, weight, presence... we could go on.
Visually, while the separate cabinets for each driver serve an important technical function, they also help to soften and break up the lines by letting you see through the speaker. The front panel rakes backward and forward, which serves an important time-domain function while giving the speaker a friendly face, almost like a little hug.
Kat Ourlian, our analog manager, recently visited the Focal factories in France, where she saw how the company makes custom drivers for every model. She loves the Scala Utopia EVO, saying, "No matter what you pump through them, they will be clean, they will handle the harshness, and keep it tight and transparent. They will give you everything you need from a speaker at low volumes and high."
Kat loves how they are not too revealing and not too dry. "They're just right."
Following is a rundown of the four finishes we have available right now. As always, call our sales team and see how getting into Focal's big league may be more manageable than you think.
The Tuxedo: Black High Gloss
This is the black-tie dressing of speaker finishes, speaking as it does of grand pianos, and your ability to keep everything dust- and fingerprint-free. So yes, this is the finish for homes without furry pets and tiny hands covered in peanut butter, but if you can carry it off, it's a true classic, a magnificent look that twinkles into oblivion when the lights are turned low.
The Dark Suit: Ash Grey
An unusual speaker finish that is way, way better in person than you'd ever expect. A neutral hue like this eases into contemporary decor and adds class without drawing attention to itself. Kevin liked this finish so much that he pushed Focal to create it for the Sopra No2, a limited run that quickly sold out.
Just as you can never go wrong with a dark suit, there's always a time and place for Ash Grey.
The Linen Suit: Natural Walnut
A rather rakish but oh-so-chic two-tone style in the manner that Focal executed to great effect in the Kanta series. This finish exudes style but not in the traditional, perhaps stuffy, manner of a piano black. This is the linen suit you allow to flap in the breeze as you stand dreamily on the bow at a yacht party, hoping someone notices your snazzy socks. Think you can carry it off? Hurry, we have only a couple of pairs of these left.
The Herringbone Suit: Dark Walnut
A truly handsome look, but with enough texture and interest to not be overly formal. This is the finish you admire between music tracks when the only sound in the room is the ice cube clinking in your glass of after-dinner Scotch.
Sale: Focal Aria Goes Deeper
Effective today, Focal Aria is 40% off!
Focal Aria remains one of our favorite speaker lines. Those flax cones and Al/Mg tweeter sing together with detail, weight, great attack, and just a hint of warmth in the mids and bass.
The Aria 948 is the top of the line. Just below are the Aria 936 and Aria 926 floorstanders, and you can't go wrong: Choose one depending on the size of your room, noting that the Aria 936 is the sweet spot of the range.
Also, do not miss a chance to grab the last of the Aria 906 standmounts in Piano Black Laquer for only $1,320 a pair, down from $2,198. Add the Aria CC 900 center speaker, and you can build a stunning home cinema that does music and movies with equal dexterity. We are down to the last CC 900, also in Piano Black Laquer, and it's a steal for $660.
Want something a little different? Check out the Aria 936 K2 with its characteristic yellow Kevlar drivers and warmer, more tape-like bass reproduction.
New Video with Kat Ourlian: Grado Timbre Sonata3 Phono Cartridge
Kat (figuratively) takes apart the Grado Timbre Sonata3 cartridge. Find out why it's so special and how to best set it up.
Top Sales and Deals
Here are the noteworthy sales and offers we have going right now. Note, there are further terms and conditions; this is just a summary. To get all the details, contact our sales crew on website chat, via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or call 909-931-9686.
Starting June 30: For Upscale Audio's 4th of July Sale, we take an additional 10% off all used, blemished, open-box, and refurbished products. The savings you find could be massive.
Until August 15: GoldenEar's 'Two Subs Are Better than One' offer. Buy a pair of subs at a big discount.
Until August 31: JBL L100 on sale.
Until September 4: JBL L82 on sale.
Until September 21: Arcam summer sale. 20% and more off the SA10, SA20, SA30, and PA410.
Until September 30: Balanced Audio Technology is offering a full original retail price trade-in on your old stereo electronics for any new BAT product.