It looks like a variation of the Utopia driver. I’d guess the same Beryllium M-dome, surround/suspension, mounts etc. But for the published impedance, it has to have a different coil. And at 35-ohms, I would bet they’ve gone for the shorter depth coil winding like they did for the Elegia - something they can do due to the bass-reflex loading that a closed-back design permits (unless they’ve completely changed that up, but I doubt it).
As for the DAC/amp, the “Arche”, that’ll be interesting …
Dual mono, class A, with separate power-supplies for each channel, switchable drive modes, and presets (not sure if those are EQs or just drive mode/other configuration settings) for every Focal headphone model, fed from an AK 4490 DAC … which hits all the right check-points.
When I saw that in the leaked images, I had hoped it was a collaboration with NAIM and who’s gear is generally stellar (and also suitably expensive). Instead it looks like a partnership with Micromega.
The last Micromega product I heard (which I think is still current) was the MyDAC, and I thought it was thoroughly average at best (for 2012) - despite it garnering a smattering of awards. So hopefully that doesn’t let things down.
DAC/amps are an interesting space. All too often one side of the equation is weaker than the other. So it’s good to see that amp can take an external analog input (looks like singled-ended RCA only), and also that the DAC output can be accessed via RCA and XLR outputs.
Makes me wonder if using the analog inputs will disable access to the presets for Focal headphones - which will depend on what those actually do - I’d suspect if they’re EQ then it’s being done digitally, so either they’d not be available from an analog source, or the analog inputs would have to be run through and ADC, then the DSP, and finally back out via the DAC.
Guess we’ll learn more about that shortly!
Certainly intriguing though.