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I am definitely keeping the Focal 1008Be's. Initially had them connected to NAD c326's power amp which was fed by AVR's pre outs. Did sound ok with Audyssey, sounded so thin and lifeless without. Yesterday connected to NAD to a DAC directly, and speakers came to life! :D As I understand Audyssey was literally fixing up deficiencies of the AVR's pre section.
Taking Hegel H360 home today for demo, will keep it until Saturday, then exchange it for either Atoll IN300 or Audio Engine Puccini Anniversary. However, H360 makes much sense to me. Will see how it sounds with Focal. Will report back more later!
Overall I love the Focal 1008be's sound though. Love them visually as well. Bass wise, it doesn't go super deep, but whichever frequency it goes down to, it goes down smooth and with authority then fades away without any strange boominess at certain frequencies. Trebles,, well, those berylium tweeters are magic, what can I say :D Reveals a bit too much in low quality recordings. However, with better tracks, it truly sounds magical. Not laid back by any means though, yet not harsh or disturbing to listen to. Mid range is quite fine, nothing super warm or sweet though.
Will see how it does with Hegel H360 and make up my mind about it until Saturday.
Hegel H360 is connected now. Been listening to it for last 4 hours. Going trough some Pink Floyd albums now. I threw many genres to it. So far only genre that doesn't sound so nice is Metal. Metal feels blurry sounding instead of sharp.
Hegel H360 made Focals sound very natural, yet they still have that sweet Berrylium highs, however now it doesn't strike out of nowhere. This is easy to hear with drums. Cymbals sound more right and lively, rather than 'cymbal slam on your face' sound. Exaggerating quite heavily of course :D
Tried Hegel's built in airplay feature for a while. It might be my wifi network, but it was cutting the sound every now and then, very disturbing. Now connected chrome cast with optical cable to Hegel's DAC, works flawlessly. Love Chromecast for it's price.
Another +1 for Hegel H360 is that it doesn't get hot by any means, barely gets warm.
So far, only thing I really dislike about Hegel is powering it on/off. It is done via a big switch under the unit. You slide your hand under it and push it upwards. Remotely turning it on/off doesn't seem to be possible. Then again, not sure if I should turn it on/off each time after use or put it to "eco" mode (didn't try it yet) after use. Oh and I wish I could dim the display permanently. Would be great.
Have been trying Hegel H360 with Focals for the 2 days. Listened to many genres of music at many different volume levels.
- So very musical sound.
- Musicalness is still there if not enhanced at lower volumes. I assume this has to do with the zero feedback designs and minimal distortion at low volumes. This is a huuuge benefit for me. I listen to music at night mostly and living in an apartment.
- Very full and rounded sound.
- More power than I will ever need.
- A little bit overly musical. Jazz sounds amazing. However with electronic music, that uplifting energic feeling gets blurred out somewhat. No music gives me chills, regardless of the volume. Thinking if this might be the room or the speaker cables.
- Not the best looking device by any means.
- Terrible location of on/off button (under the device). No remote on/off possibility.
Also it might be my imagination, but amp feels like it starts to sound better after 2-3 hours of being on and working. It feels as if it starts having less crossover distortion, allowing quieter passages to come out easier. Might be purely my imagination though. :D