The Proverbial "best amp" for Focal Sopra No. 1


Salutations,

I recently acquired the Focal Sopra No.1. These are without a doubt the last bookshelves I will ever own. 
I'm seeking suggestions for my perfect match for those amazing speakers. I added additional constraint/hints for selecting the amp at the end.

My current setup is McIntosh C712 with McIntosh MC7100 (2 x 100w @8Ohm). It is a bit old, but it's the best combo I ever had. With the Focals, it is an amazing listening experience every time!  The only problem is, they are not mine. It's a lend, and the (sad) day will come where I'll have to give them back. So what do I get to replace this combo?

I like the sound of the McIntosh, so I'm looking obviously for the MA5300, the MA7200 and, MAC7200. Is it ok to make the following assumption: The amp/speaker synergy between the Focals and all of those McIntosh integrated will be similar to what I have today.

What else should I put on my shortlist to try before I buy? I have a really good feeling about the Hegel H190, but never heard it. Has anyone had the chance to hear this amp and the Focals?
What about Naim? Are they a good fit for those? Any other suggestions?

I will greet your suggestions with an open mind.

Thanks,

-Papyneau

P.S. More details to improve suggestions :

  • Room size is 9' x 11', but not really rectangular. It is what it is for now. But not forever.
  • Music is varied, but mainly strong female voices, piano, violon, acoustic blue and jazz. Very little of RbB, Hard Rock.
  • Budget is 4k-7k CAD, negotiable.
  • I only use one source: A Bluesound Node streaming Spotify andTidal.
papyneau

lejonklou boazu New $4.4k

Thank you @chorus for your answer. I didn't know this brand... yet another one.

Looking forward for others hints, although my spider senses tell me that, for reason I don't quite understand, the question does not generate the usual traction...

I any cases, I added the McIntosh MA8900 to my short list.

MA8900 is a solid choice. 
Add Pass Labs Int-250 to the list as well. Used it may be within your budget. 

I've enjoyed a pair of Sopra No2's driven by McIntosh with "autoformers", so I'd recommend the MA7200 or MAC7200.  The "warm" sound of those amps seem to pair really well with the Focal tweeters.

I was checking out the 5300 a few weeks ago....  nice unit , but if you can swing the 8900.....    "buy once, cry once" I always say.   Holds true for most everything but audio gear !

@ejr1953 - Thanks for this input, this is the hands-on experience I was looking for. The autoformers are also present on the MA8900 and it'S currenly my top. The 7200 is only availavble in it's MAC version in Canada -> It has a tuner and I don't want this, this is why I skip a model (but 7200 and 8900 is the same amp).

@oddiofyl - I'm all for the "cry once" strategy. This is why I when with the Focal even is there are other very good speakers at a significant lower price tag ;-)

@audphile1 The Int-250 has excellent review and I love the fact it is as simple as an amp can be but.... 25 wpc? Focal suggest an amp between 25 and 150 wpc @ 8 ohm. I fell this on is on the lower end of the spectrum. And It seems common knowledge that you can only hurt speakers when under powered, not over powered. Are the Pass Labs watt bigger/better that McIntosh?

 

 

@papyneau 

Int-250 that I recommended is 250w/ch into 8ohms. You must have checked out the specs on Int-25 by mistake.