Amp for Focal Scala Utopia

Hi all,

I have just acquired some Focal Scala Utopia speakers. I am going to need new amps to drive them as my mcintosh c2300 and mc275 will not cut the mustard I think.

Anyway - I was considering being a bit radical and trading everything in for a devialet. Any suggestions would be welcome.

I prefer a sound with lots of resolution but retaining musicality. I would like a faster sound than the mac and more detail. I really like a deep soundstage too.

Thanks in advance. I have 2 sources - a vpi classic with all the bits and a Benz lps. Digital is akurate ds.

Thank you
Have you tried the Mc equipment? I added another Mc275 when I got the Dunlavys and couldn't be happier!
Bryston 28bsst2 monos with a Placette Active Preamp. Will shame anything else on the planet.
The MC275 is one of the best amp's I've ever owned. I'd upgrade your preamp first, then if you feel you need more power, add a second MC 275. Also, upgrade your tubes in your amp if you have not already done so.
Second that from Pdreher...another MC275 run in mono with upgraded tubes. Also, change fuse and power cord as adding a level of detail.
C2300mc275, I wouldn't be doing anything until I got the speakers and experimented.

I have heard twice now this devialet paired up with your speakers and the Stella's and did not have me convinced but then I heard it with some Tanoy's sounded better but the sound stange appeared compressed specially when it came to the height of performers. The same Tanoy set-up heard a Jadis and was marvelous, nice stage height etc. and prefered such.

I heard your speaker paired up with ARC gear and sounded marvelous.

Best of luck and enjoy!
Hi guys,

Thanks so much for your replies!

Jimateo - I have not got my speakers yet so not tried the Mc with them as yet- they might be great, although I do worry about the 3.1ohm dip causing a little difficulty for the mc275.

Jaxwired - the Bryston sound is a little too clinical for me - I used to be a Bryston owner and left the brand for more musicality, which I found with the mac. I did miss the extreme resolution of the Bryston tho.

Pdreher - I am running gold lion kt88s and 12ax7s as I found these to be the best tube sound for my taste. I thought the c2300 was meant to be pretty darn good? I mean many of the guys on audio afficionado are running the c2300 as their pre with 601s for example.

Lapierre - I am using Nordost Vishnu power cords. What does the fuse do and what brand?

Dev - appreciate the warning. The devialet is off the agenda now as my dealer is offering such pathetic exchange prices!

I have considered the 2 mc275 route also bud wife not too keen about floor space. Lol.

Thanks and please keep your suggestions coming!
IMO I have to agree with your thoughts about the 275 being too slow and not detailed enough for your speakers,that was my reasons for moving on with that amp when I owned one a few years ago.I think thats one of the down sides of McIntosh.I also dont think an additional 275 would solve your issues really.Although I havent heard the new MC452,its touted as being faster with better detail than what Mac has done in the past.Might be worth a listen
Hi Missioncoonery - yep the mc452 is on the audition list for sure.

This might sound mad, but a dealer suggested the bel canto ref1000m mk2 also. Any thoughts from you guys on this? Would the c2300 and bel canto monos work I wonder?
Replacing the cheap 25 cent fuse will not produce a measured improvement but IMO improves the overall smoothness and little details heard from the likes of percussion and some voices. I use both manufactures in my system:

HiFi Tuning Fuses $39
IsoClean Fuses $29

Gold or Sliver are available.

Vishnu power cords delivers greater bass depth and weight, so you should be set with the MC275. If your using Golden Lion KT88 you should be getting close to 90 watts power and extended headroom.

Insight...most of my music experience is listening to fast instrumental jazz and latin and with emphasis on percussion and drums. Obviously I don't think the MC275 is slow IMO based on my music selection.
If the cost is not an object, I suggest to you to give a listen to the power amp Burmester 911 MK3 and preamp Burmester 088.
Lapierre ..Nice system I like your setup,try borrowing a SS amp like Pass labs,Boulder etc etc on those ribbons and then tell us what your thoughts are on the 275..just a suggestion.
Hi HR1 - I wish cost was no option. Unfortunately the Burmester gear is out of my budget! It does sound lovely though - heard it a couple of times.
When I had Focal utopias I ran Pass Labs,sounded amazing!You may have to rethink your pre amp as well.

I have found getting any new speaker means trying different combinations, it's the joys of this never ending hobby of ours. I would suggest first to start with trying to find other owners of the same product if possible speaker and see what road they have gone down. If all possible see if you can go for a listen, in the end it really is going to come down to what you flavour.

Enjoy and best of luck!
My favorite amps are Ayre and Audio Research
Hi Dev,

I suppose the flavour I am after is as follows: really clean sounding with masses of resolution, deep soundstage yet smooth and musical. Not analytical.

Anything else I should audition?
Hi stringreen - I like the ayre sound but the mxr and kxr are expensive over here in uk - they charge the same amount you guys pay in dollars in uk sterling, which is a rip off really.

Audio research kit I have never really heard at length other than the new class d stuff that I did not care for.
focal speakers are very good with power tubes. try vtl amps,maybe audioresearch.burmester also good.
I own the focal maestro, and I am fine with the amplifier vitus audio
SS101 .... seems like a good synergy.
Hi Guys,

Thanks for your help. My speakers arrive this Monday! Yippee.

I am going to run them with the Mc stuff 1st to see how I get on. I have a dealer bringing me over the Devialet for a home dem for a week, which will be great.

I am looking into Vitus - heard great reports from their gear.

I will also try VTL, but again the mark up in UK is a lot. The MB450 monos look a good match but are again $ for £, which is crazy.

It might sound mad to some of you living in the U.S but the monstrous integrated - ASR Emitter II (top specced one) is very affordable over here so that might be an option although the wife might not like the sheer room space taken up!

Hi all,

Okay - my speakers arrived and I am extremely pleased. I have settled with the Devialet for my amp - what a wonderful sound. I am like the cat that got the cream here at the moment. I have resolution beyond anything I have heard before, speed, dynamic swings which have blown me away mentally and physically, whilst remaining extremely musical. One of the true revelations for me in this system is being able to really hear the room - I know people write about this and I thought my old system did it a bit, but this is a whole new ball game. You might ask - so what? Hearing that resolution just brings you ever nearer the live event and that is what it is all about for me. The clarity in human voices is wonderful - I have been listening to a lot of opera arias where this is apparent.

Anyway, I'll probably go on and onand bore you but suffice it to say that I am one satisfied listener.
Now you're gonna have to change your name :-)
Hey C2300mc275,

I've just bought a pair of scalas. Are you still happy with the devialet?

Is the sound fatiguing or too bright? I'm considering betw accuphase & devialet.

i've heard the scala utopias driven by Air Tight ATM-3's (110w monoblocks) and the sound was fantastic.