Int. Amplifier with Focal 807W Speakers

Looking for the Integrated Amplifier that would have good synergy with the Focal 807W Speakers. My preference is smooth jazz.

So far I've tried with Simaudio NEO 250i - No details, just the bass. Arcam A19 - Slightly better details but the highs
were muffled. NAD C356 - Great sound, the only problem was
the volume gain. I barely could move the Volume knob from the
minimum and it would be too loud.

I would really appreciate your opinions.
YBA is a good match for JM Jabs
a nice tube amp running el34?

Hi Topten,
Your Focal 807W are around tested 88db efficiency, about normal. The worst tested impedance is 4ohm between 100hz and 200hz, while this is not too nasty a load by itself for a good 4ohm say 50-100w tube amp. You have to add to that, it is tested also to have a negative phase angle of -45 degrees at 100hz also, that would give with 4ohm impedance load a combined EPDR (equivalent peak dissipation resistance) of around 2ohms.

While a tube amp will drive this and sound ok'ish, that bass region around 100hz will sound much more punchier and tighter driven by an amp with good current drive, 100w-8ohm solid state that can almost double to 200w-4ohm.

Cheers George
If you only have 1 source, you could try a passive pre/volume control. The external amp/preamp connections on the back of your nad allows you to bypass the preamp completely.

Good pickup ZD, and good on NAD for doing a poweramp input, they (integrateds) should all have this feature, and yes a passive VC into the poweramp section will cure your too much gain problem.

Cheers George
Check out a Musical Fidelity M6 500i. Loads of detail, volume control with .5 db steps, and bass that reproduces an upright bass in a very realistic presentation. Not in the component of the month club. At 500 watts it would grab ahold of your Focals and show you what the are and are not capable of.
About a month ago my new Focal Sopra No2's arrived! I am smitten!
My journey to select these speakers took me about six months, and I was careful to make sure my electronics were not at all shrill sounding, as I found the Focal line to be "musical", but the tweeters were not very "forgiving".
During my search I auditioned 1038BE's and the Sopra's driven by both tube and solid state electronics. In every case I found the tube equipment to sound "dull" and "restrained", to me not great qualities for these speakers.
The best electronics I heard driving these speakers was the McIntosh C50/MC452. I was fortunate enough to snag a lightly used pair for a reasonable amount. Before that, I had the McIntosh MAC6700 receiver (essentially a 200 wpc integrated, with a tuner module). I find the McIntosh equipment to sound really "smooth" and "musical". It's not everyone's "cup of tea", but I find I can listen to these Sopra's for a long time at a sitting without fatigue.

"Sopra's driven by both tube and solid state electronics. In every case I found the tube equipment to sound "dull" and "restrained", to me not great qualities for these speakers."

This would effect the mid bass with amps that can't give good current at this frequency. (doesn't account for the dullness your heard with tube.)
I read in reviews that the Sopra's have a 3.1ohm impedance at 210hz this is not tube friendly. And that's not taking in to account what the - negative phase angle might be at that frequency added to the 3.1ohm, it could go even lower in EPDR impedance. (Equivalent Peak Dissipation Resistance)

Cheers George

Thank's for the advices.
I am trying to stay away from the tubes.

How about the NAD C165/C275 separates with good
Cardas interconnects. In this case I would be able to
reduce gain either on the Amp.or the Preamp.

EJR1953, On the Focal Sopra's, I just found graphs for you impedance and phase, the - phase angle is not too bad, but the real measured impedance is quite tough, from 80hz to 120hz it's 2-3ohms, so a good 4ohm solid state with good current ability is a good idea for these to get good controlled dynamic bass.

Last two graphs in this link.

Cheers George
A 4 Ohm amp will blow sooner ot later with a 2-3 ohm load .
IMHO never buy an amp not stable to 2 ohm.
You haven't mentioned a budget but I would recommend a PASS INT-30A.


I could stretch up to $3000.00, but that would be maximum.

Topten, my first post gives you your best type of intergrated amp to drive your speakers top to bottom without compromise, as I've pointed out in detail, for 2k to 2.5k.

Cheers George
At $3K you are a bit short but they do pop up on this site every now and then and you can always make an offer; all they can say is no.

I had one driving a pair of Focal 1007Be's and it did a very nice job. Very open and transparent jazz vocals were outstanding.

Good Luck in your search.