Amp / Preamp for Focal 1007 BE Speakers?

Hello all - I would like some amp/preamp or integrated amp suggestions from fellow Focal 1007BE owners.

Here's my current setup -

Transporter (wireless) with all files Apple Lossless format
Jolida 502B integrated
Acoustic Zen Hologram II speaker cables
Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Interconnects

I like the sound from my setup but the bass is too thin for my liking. I am a bass player, so naturally like a little more oomph than most. I mostly listen to acoustic and acoustic rock music - Dave Mattews, Howie Day, Damien Rice but also like some more upbeat rock every once in awhile.

I figured that the Jolida at 60 watts wasn't supplying enough power, so demo'd a DK VS-1 MkII integrated (160 watts) over the weekend. I was not impressed at all - the sound was very sterile and the bass levels actually dropped from the Joilda. I guess that I'm a tube guy!

Here's what I have been thinking - whatever direction I go, I think it's critical that the pre or integrated have some sort of tone controls so that I can get the bass level where I'm happy. With that said, does anyone have any good ideas on pre / amp or integrated? I would be buying used and can spend up to about 4K.

The McIntosh MA6900 seems like it might be a sweet match as it has a 5-band equalizer. I have not heard the Macs but hear they lean towards warm sounding, so a solid state Mac might not be problematic.

Any thoughts / advice would be greatly appreciated.

I've auditioned the Focals with the MC275 and the bass was satisfying. I follow percussion very closely on a lot of my music so the drum kit and percussionist are important. But I do understand you want a bit more bass.

Instead of looking at new pre/power amps one option should follow replacing all tubes in Jolida and buying a sub or two.

Replace the 6550/KT88 tubes with NOS or new production Genalex Gold Lion KT88 ($200 to 600 a quad) for more power. Next replace the four 12type tubes ($60) with Mullard or Telefunken (as suggestions) for clarity and warmth in the midrange. This should improve the bass and details and more warmth on your Jolida.

Then decide if you have room for one REL B2 sub ($2195) or two REL R-205 ($1395) for deep and tight bass.

Changing fuses using HiFi Tuning ($29) in the Jolida is also a nice tweak for clarity in the bass.
Upfront... I have not owned the 1037 Be's . But I have owned the 1036's with SS amplification and , like you , I was always looking for more bass .

I tried adding a sub but could not get it to integrate well . There is just so much bass that will come out of those little 7 something inch woofers ! The tube rolling suggestion is a good one . It should help but it may not get you where you want to be .

In the end , you may have to change your speakers .

Good luck .
I've never heard of 1036 speakers before. Anyway...

Hi Ken - I was very impressed with the 1007. You made a great choice. First of all, what size is your room? Bass quality is directly related to the size of the room. You will not be able to get sufficient bass from 1007s alone if your room is larger than say 250sqft. If it is larger, you need a subwoofer - not a bigger amp.

If your room is about that size or less, then the MA6900 WILL get you exactly what you want. Here's a little story: A friend of mine had some Mini Utopias and was using a 100W tube amp with them. He then bought a sub to get enough bass. A few years later, he gets an MA6900 on loan and is blown away by the bass performance - so much so that he disconnected his subwoofer! This is what 200 McIntosh Watts can do.

Also the 6900 is not sterile sounding at all. Quite the opposite. Its only downside (for some people) is that it doesn't have a very prominent treble - but this means it will compliment the 1007s perfectly. I think it will be a superb match and would have been my first suggestion for you had you not already mentioned it.

But it won't work miracles. Those are little speakers and in a big room, they can only do so much. That is the laws of physics and they are not to be disregarded if you want to avoid disappointment.

Hey guys - thank you for your responses. My room is about 240 square feet, so the 1007's should work perfectly. I actually ran an experiment with my old Harmon Kardon AVR receiver since it has a bass & treble knob. Although the overall sound was not pleasing, the speakers are capable of plenty of bass - I just need to find an audiophile amp to do it. With that, a couple more questions -

Lapierre, you mentioned possibly adding a sub with the Jolida 502B. I was wondering how you could do this - it does not have a line out nor (2) sets of speaker output. Do the newer Jolida's have the line out?

Arthur, I'm happy to hear that you have heard the MA6900 + 1007 combination. Yes, if the treble's the MA6900 weak spot, the 1007's natural accuracy will probably even things nicely.

If I purchased the MA6900 new, what do they go for? How much "wiggle room" do the retailers have on the sticker price? For example, if suggested retail is $4,000 - what's the "real" price? If purchased used, what are they going for?

Is there much risk in buying a used Mac? Do they have a pretty clean track record - no frequent repairs or lemons?

Thanks again everybody!
Sorry , meant 906's and 926's.
Old age can be a "B" !

Mac's have a stellar reputation and thus hold their resale quite well . Is the 6900 still in production ?
Hi. I own the 1027Be with Simaudio I-7 and SuperNova CD player. I find the combo highly satisfying. Unfortunately, the Simaudio does not have base/treble controls so I'm not necessarily suggesting that. Be careful with the McIntosh though and the Hi-Fi tuning fuses. I have auditioned the McIntosh, but found the sound to be confused and messy (simply the opposite of a relaxed, focused, and articulate sound), although the bass was quite good. I also tried the Hi-Fi Tuning fuse, which I found to improve the music in some respects but the music lost a sense of flow and calmness. It sounded uptight. I switched in the IsoClean fuse (about the same price as Hi-Fi Tuning) which had similar benefits but no drawbacks. Good luck.
Ken: with 4K to spend, I would try some other speakers. The 1007 BE just don't have it in them imo. If you like monitors, try the Usher BE-718 or the WLM Diva, the latter sounds great with tubes as well. You'll get much better (and more) bass with these speakers than with the Focals.
if you get a rel subwoofer, the best way to hook it up is straight from your amp speaker posts. rel recommends that you drive your main speakers full range and you just tap off the amps posts to the sub. i used the rel strata III with my totem model 1's and the crossover on the rel is excellent.
Well, I spent a little more than my 4K budget but ended up with a great system - I just picked up a used McIntosh MA7000. It really compliments the Focals and I have been smiling since its arrival.

The sound is rich and my favorite - adjustable with the 5-band EQ. I will end up adding a Rel subwoofer down the road as I really like the deep bass (I'm a bass player) but need to accumulate some capital first!

Thanks to all that responded!

I am no subwoofer expert by any means, but if I had the need and money for a sub I would not buy a REL. Some time ago I heard what a Velodyne sub from the DD series can do. I don't think there is any REL that can do the same. Maybe 2 DD10's would be nice.
i disagree about the velodyne. the rel has a much more sophisticated crossover network to finely tune the sub to the main speakers. also, you can hook up an audio connection as well as a lfe connection to the rel with different setting for each. also, the rels go down hz for the smaller size speakers than the velodyne. imo, rels are more favorable in audio environments.