today i got my new Focal Electra 1038BE ,help

oday i got my brand new Focal Electra 1038BE , need some help for the rest of the system

later i will add the Electra center and rear
sub , i don't know if to buy the electra also or something else


Multi channel amp and pre processor

until now i connect my computer with optic cable to the receiver with motherboard sound card

i'm new to the high end sound
until now i connect my computer with optic cable to the receiver with motherboard sound card
i don't even now what is DAC and how to get good sources

because i want to use the system for HT and also for stereo music
i need Multi channel amp and pre processor , right?

Classe' SSP-800 , what are their price? i think they are too expensive
i need to invest more money on the rest of the Electra system

red that the 1038 BE
are very clear and pure sound
need very good amp

can you recommend amp that match?

i have tech question:
usually i hear full detail when i listen in high volume
but i don't have dedicate isolated sound room that i can listen without interrupt to other people around.

there is a way to enjoy music without high volume?
maybe specific Amp better then other for that
or my big speakers can't do that anyway?

(hope you understand my poor english)

this model can be good enough for pre ?
Congratulations on the new speakers. Before anyone can help you we need to understand your budget and goals.

To answer your question "there is a way to enjoy music without high volume?" - yes, there is.

This is often determined by your equipment choices.

To answer your other question about the Outlaw.. it's not something "I" would pair with the speakers you just purchased. But again it comes down to goals and budget.
Please answer these three questions first:

1. What is your budget? (How much money do you have to spend on everything)?
2. What size is your room? (Measure in feet: length / width / height)
3. How soon do you want to buy everything? (1 week / 6 months / 1 year)?
4. What country do you live in?

The only thing I can recommend, before you state your budget, is power cables: once you figure out how many sources and amps you will buy, get the LessLoss DFPC Signature power cords—you will be so glad you did.

To figure out how many, why, and what lengths, email Louis Motek at; Tell him you're building a home theater and a 2-channel hi-fi, and that you need help with cabling. Ask anything else you like. He's the boss and he's very fast to answer questions. Doing this will save you a lot of time and money.

Whatever you buy for sources (home theater and 2-channel music listening), if you use the LessLoss cables, your system will sound like you have much better equipment—guaranteed! Everything will sound more real because the DFPC Signatures remove so much noise from the audio.

And please, don't forget to answer those 4 questions. It will help everyone else give you relevant advice.

All the best,

Hi, If these speakers are brand new I would wait until they are "broken in" first before I did anything with my other equipment. The break in process might take at least 100 hrs or more and the sound should just keep getting better. Good luck.
i want to buy also the rest of the Electra system to enjoy also HT .

room is around 400 sqft
budget 5-8K
used /mint condition also an option for me

i'm from Houston , TX

what i need to buy? (maybe it's must for me to starch my budget in order to really drive my system property )

processor for HT , what model?
stereo or multi?
i red that Pass Labs , Parasound Halo , Musical fidality , Simaudio , Classe , NAD M3 ,
specially Class A , are perfect math for them.

i like the idea of using only one items to drive the speaker and save a lot of space in my living room
do you think it's a good idea to use it?

if i'm buying processor , i need also DAC ?


i watch most of my movies from my computer , also music
should i buy sound card?

i'm totally confused!
i got offer for PASS LABS , brand new for $6500
slightly over my budget
i'm sure this is an amazing AMP

any other AMP that cheaper and also can be consider?
It's easier to set up for HT than finding good synergy gears for music, esp. for 1038 Be with its berillyum tweeter. These are very very good speakers and good speakers demand good gears.

For HT, getting a multi-channel AV receiver such as Anthem MRX (up to $2k) or Integra DTR (up to $2.5k) will do the job. But these AVRs and mediocre source (optical out from your PC) won't be able to do justice for music. But getting a good AVR is a good start as your system isn't dedicated for music only. AVR will allow you to watch movie and play music in one box.

Once you get your AVR and if/when you want more for music, your next step is getting a good amp. Pass has good synergy with Electra. If you have a small/ medium size room, you can start off with either Pass XA30.5 (used $3.5k) or X150.5. 1038 Be are 8ohm 93db efficiency speakers which means you don't need monster of an amp.

After that improve your source. Get a good universal player such as Oppo 95 ($1k) or 105 ($1.2k). You can do this before getting an amp too, AVR will work with CD player.

Next major step would be to get a pre-amp with HT bypass.

I know this is a lot of info in a very short amount of time. My suggestion to you is go to an audio store to seek help, explain your situation. And not just your around the corner Best Buy, you seriously need to talk to someone who knows these speakers well. (Someone who suggested these to you???) One thing I'm really curious though is how you even bought 1038 Be in the first place without experience and necessary equipments. Again these are top notch audiophile speakers and very careful system matching is needed.
Don't blow all your budget on an amp. As far as I can tell from what you told us, you need a lot of equipments to make these speakers sing well. Seriously share with us, how you came about to buying these speakers? It sounded to me that you wanted a multi channel HT set up / 2 channel music all-in-one system but you pretty much spent more than half of your budget on 2 speakers.
With your budget, and the fact that you are still missing 3.1 of your home theater, I think you are going to run out of budget quickly if you are going to match the Focal BE's.

If so you may have no other choice than to go with a receiver or lower end processor/amp combo such as Marantz.

The electronics you are looking at will eat up your budget with one or two components, not to mention cables, etc.

If you want to focus on 2-channel then I think you will have more options, but if this is a HT rig then I think you are going to have to consider more budget friendly product lines.

With that said I'm a big fan of Parasound Halo and use JC-1s in my 2-channel system which are fantastic.
this how i bought the Focal:
i started to find good speakers for around $2-3K
i red a lot of reviews online
then i remember that i had Focal sound in my car a few years ago and i loved them very much.
so i started to read review for focal.
i deiced i want 1028 BE and started to seek for good deal for them , then i was telling myself "why not to buy a speaker that i will do not replace for many years? even if i will move to a bigger house? then found 1038 BE brand new in sealed box for only $7100 (overseas , and i import them)

now i have a dream speakers in my living room that i never even listen to this model (or 1028)
maybe i'm so stupid , but i believe somehow that i chose the right speakers.
now i just need to dream to buy the Focal utopia someday.

now i think i need to focus on stereo and save money for HT

what do you think about integrated?
ModWright KWI 200 Integrated
or other brands

about DAC:
Wyred 4 Sound DAC-2 for example also can be use as PRE
second thing: if i will buy AV processor i still need PRE/DAC
i'm confusing about that also

for AMP i red that those can be good match with Focal:
Parasound Halo , Simaudio , Pass Lab , ModWright 100/150 , NAD M3 , Accuphase , Musical Fidelity Ams

there is more?
Also Audio research

i red that the focal is very bright and clear and need warm AMP
they working great with Tube AMP and class A
the budget i wrote it's only for electronics
not for HT and not for the rest of Electra speakers for HT
Thanks for the explanation. Don't get me wrong 1038 Be is a good buy especially at that price. I was just real curious because your situation seems very unusual.

Here's the list of basic components that I think you'd need.
1) Transport - CD player, PC or Mac, Sonos, etc (Oppo 95/105)
2) DAC - digital to analog converter (you only need this if your transport is PC or Mac. Devices like Oppo already has internal DAC)
3) Pre-amp - line stage, volume control (pre-amp is a lot more than just this, but this is for simplicity) A pre-amp with HT bypass is what you need
4) AVR or pre/processor - they are for multi channel HT, but they can be used as a pre-amp for music (but most AVR or processor aren't up to par unless you want to go up to Anthem D2v or Avm50. They are pricy) My recommendation is a simple AVR for HT and a quality pre-amp (with HT bypass) for music. HT by pass allow you to connect your AVR to your pre-amp as one input. (AVR = processor + amp)
5) Amp - each speaker in your system needs an amp. Most amps you talked about are stereo (2 channel only). AVR usually have multichannel amp and brands like Anthem, Integra, Arcam have decent AVR.
Kzhtoo , thank you very much for the info

now i think i need to focus on the stereo because i already have the speakers
or maybe to buy also the Electra center and sub for 3.1

do you have a recommend for electronics for that?
i can get almost any brand for around 30% off the MSRP

if i understand you right
i need now AMP , DAC , Pre Amp with HT bypass
what brand and models?

also Cables:
there is so many models
what should i choose?
Ok Pelo,
If I were you, this is what I'd do with $8k budget for electronics (opinions may vary).

I'd start off with a 2.0 HT/music all-in-one system first (then down the road, add center, surround, sub for 5.1 HT, but again my priority would be 2 channel music)

Amp - Pass + Focal Electra is a match made in heaven, especially XA.5 series. If you do not have a big room, XA30.5 ($3.5k used) should be enough for 1038 Be. I've heard nothing but good things about Parasound but I'm not familiar with them. What I do know is they run a few initial watts in class A and many people swear by Parasound.

Pre-amp - I'd love to recommend Pass XP-10 ($3.5-4k used) but this would blow your budget. Only consider this if you get a Pass amp. You could consider Parasound pre. It always makes sense to get same brand amp/pre-amp combo - easier to achieve tonal balance. Just make sure you get a HT by-pass with your pre for your HT duty.

AVR - Anthem MRX 500/700 or Arcam AVR (give or take $1.2-1.5k used) (I would not consider lesser AVR to pair with 1038 Be. But remember this is only for HT duty. I personally do not like playing music off AVR with Electra Be) Another reason I'd opt for AVR over processor is when you add center/surround, you can make use of AVR's internal amps and you probably won't need to buy additional amps.

Processor - I do not have much experience. But used Anthem Avm20 or Avm50 might be within your budget. Of course you only need either an AVR or a processor. Not both. With a processor, every time you add a new speaker, you'll need an amp.

DAC - $1-2k range would do the job. At the price point you have a lot you can consider. Most bang for the buck IMO is Metrum Octave NOS. Others - W4S DAC2, NAD M51.

Reclocker - I assume you're running music off PC through optical output. I'd like to recommend Empirical Audio Synchro-mesh reclocker ($600). You will place this between your PC and DAC. What this does is cleaning up your digital clock jitter. I personally use this and highly recommend this product.

I think the safer route for you is to go with Parasound amp/pre-amp combo. Talk to a Parasound dealer and I'm sure they'll have a matching combo for your budget (I just can't stop recommending Pass but they come with a hefty price tag). After that an Anthem AVR, a DAC, a reclocker and you're good to go. Good luck.

Oh wait, cables. Don't go buy expensive cables just yet. You can start off with cheaper models (anti-cables, morrow audio, etc). Getting right with the speaker/amp/pre-amp combo is the key. Then you can try out different cables for your preference. Cable co. is a good place to start after you get the amp/pre-amp/dac.
Just to make sure Pelo, you're running music off from your PC via optical output? Did I mistaken you with someone else?
Kzhtoo ,thanks so much! i don't know what i will do without your help!
i went to few store , they don't know anything about Focal.

i have around 25% discount directly from Pass
i can buy the X250.5 for $6.5

i think it's better to get enough power so when i will move to a bigger house i will not need to buy another Amp ,

or should i choose only Class A Amp but with more power?

what about integrated amp , you think it's not good idea?

i red that those are great:
Modwright KWI 200
Musical fidelity
If your budget allows X250.5 will be a good choice (I personally prefer XA.5 series). Try contacting Reno Hifi, they usually have very well priced demo units.

Integrated could also work very well for you. Again the key is, just because your system is HT/stereo combo, getting an integrated with HT by-pass.

Again, my recommendation is don't blow all your budget on the amp alone (i.e., spending $6-7k on the amp for $8k budget). In order for a hifi system to sound good, every piece of equipment in the signal chain has to play well with others (on par with others). You can get the "best" speakers and amps, but if your other components aren't up to par, it will not sound good.

As a side note, if you're still planning to play music off your pc optical out, getting a reclocker is a must IMO.

If you play CDs a lot, getting a good transport cdp is a must. Oppo-105 that coming out is a good start. After the speakers, I find the transport gives 2nd most performance per dollar.
Again, 1038 Be is fairly efficient speakers...meaning you don't need monster of an amp. With your budget and your needs (pretty much everything except speakers), I find Parasound Halo series is quite fitting.
Aaronknock: The DFPC signatature power cords may very well be excellent cables but they are $1149.00 for a two meter cord. IMO power cords would typically be the last thing I would concentrate my efforts towards, Keep it simple for the time being and then experiment at later time

yes i'm playing from my computer with optic cable

Parasound Halo are great , my only concern is:
only few Watts using Class A
is that ok?

there is a AMP that using more class A watts?

Modwright 150 (stereo amp) or KWI 200 integrated
Pass Labs X250.5 , XA60.5
Nad M3

i can try to find used in mint condition
or seek for good deal on new model , usually around 20-25% less then MSRP price

Class A only AMP like XA60.5
how does it works? 60W per channel can drive the speakers for high level like 250W (X250.5)?
X250.5 output 190W more per channel

here some Amp i found:
Hi Pelo,
Parasound Halo A21 (250wpc into 8ohm) has plenty of power for 1038 Be. Unless you listen to music at ear-bleeding level, the amp will stay in class A most of the time. Besides, it doesn't necessarily mean going out of class A and into class A/B is bad. Far from it.

XA60.5 is mono block, which means you will need 2 of them to drive each of your 1038 Be. IMHO XA30.5 (stereo, not mono) is plenty good enough for 1038 Be. Don't be fooled by it's 30 watts class A rating. Stereophile measurement shows it can go up to 130wpc into 8ohm in class A/B before clipping (THD > 0.1%). Besides, watts power rating is only half the story of an amp's ability. Many people has experience XA30.5 driving difficult loads due to its current output. Your 1038 Be is definitely NOT considered difficult load at all.

Again, like I said, X250.5 should be a great choice as well if your budget allows it. You only said $8k budget for ALL of your electronics. In that case, I would not go with X250.5, only because it'd only leave you with $2k for the rest of your needs (preamp + dac + transport + cables + reclocker).

I'm not familiar with Modwright or NAD. But Modwright seems to be a good company with quality products. You probably cannot go wrong with it. Only thing is just to make sure you get HT by-pass (to integrate either AVR or processor for your HT) with the integrated amp you purchase.

From your list, either of MBL, Modwright or Luxman could work. MBl7006 is their entry-level integrated. But I do not know if they have HT by-pass. I personally would not go for Simaudio, I heard their amp/cdp before and not my cup of tea.

I strongly suggest you talk to a Parasound dealer if you want to stay within $8k budget for your whole system. Do not underestimate amp/pre-amp matching. If you aren't experienced, it is better to get same brand for amp and preamp.
Hi, Metman.
In my experience, cleaning up the power supply can make just as much of a difference as switching from a $4k amp to a $12k amp. So, although $1149 for a power cable might seem like a lot, in this case, I'm suggesting that depending on the budget, a power cord investment of the nature I recommended is very likely to put one far ahead of the standard model of choosing, namely (and most generally): picking the best components one can manage with the budget and then addressing the power cables later on.

In this case, Pelo 911 says he has $5k-8k for electronics (not including home theater). Depending on what he means by "electronics" I might only suggest one Signature for whatever source he chooses. (That's where, in my experience, the power cables appear to make the most difference).
You said you have $5k-8k for electronics, and that this does not include money for home theater. What did you mean by "electronics"? Does that mean $5k-8k for amp and DAC? Or, does that $5k-8k also include other things like loudspeaker cables and interconnects?
Hi Pelo,

I would go with Class A Pass Labs or Class A Accuphase.

Good luck!

Take care,

Kzhtoo and Aaronknock

budget can be strach in order to get compete and satisfide system.

XA60.5 , i know it's Mono , i got good deal for pair of them
i thought about XA60.5 only because i'm afraid the XA30.5 will to weak (30w only)

a lot of 1038 BE owner love the Simaudio integrated 600i and 700i , this is the model you heared and didn't liked?

i have stupid quastion:
if i'm buying DAC that come also with PRE , why i need to buy also seperate PRE ?

what model do you recommend to buy?
i like the NAD DAC (only the design)

speakers and interconct:
what brand to buy?
Hi Pelo,
If you have the budget, then go for XA60.5 (but I'm pretty sure XA30.5 is enough for your 93db 8ohm speakers). You cannot go wrong with Pass XA.5 series.

No, if you have a DAC with volume control, you don't need a pre (using a pre is YMMV. I personally prefer with a pre). But you should look for a DAC with analog volume control instead of a digital one.

NAD M51 DAC ($2k) is a good choice.

If $$ not a concern, this is what I'd like for your system.
1038 Be speakers
Pass XA60.5 amp
Pass XP-10 pre
Audio Research DAC8 (or NAD M51)
Empirical Audio Off-ramp USB to coaxial converter (reclocker/ de-jitterer)
Mac Mini with flash drive and power supply upgrade (Amarra or Pure Music software)
Grover Huffman ICs, digital cable, speaker cables and power cords
Hi Pelo,

The XA60.5 is a great amp. Go for it.

Go for Neotech speaker cable and interconnect.
Sounds good, Kzhtoo. However, I would go with the Audio Research over the NAD.

sound great!
i didn't thought about Mac mini , small and powerful
how can i upgrade the power supply?

didn't understand:
if the DAC have PRE built in , why i need to buy also PRE?

i spoke with 1038 owner , he tried many options
he like PRE with Tube and power Amp
but finally he bought Simaudio 700i (maybe to save space on the living room , not sure why)
what do you think ?

because i'm new to the HI-FI world , maybe i need to start small and later to sell and upgrade?
what will be the best AMP for lower value?
if i will get 90% from the lower value amp instead of 100% from XA60.5 it will be ok with me

for DAC
what are my options?
Audio Research or NAD M51 , are the best or should i consider more models?

Hi Pelo,
Mac mini can wait. I was just laying out what I think is an incredible set of gears to bring out the true potential of 1038 Be. If you already have a PC with optical out, I'd rather buy a reclocker first to clean up the jitter first (as mentioned in a previous thread, $600 Empirical Audio Synchro-mesh reclocker will make it very worthwhile).

Most DAC don't have a built-in pre, what they have is volume control, mostly digital. Benchmark dac1 pre may be what you are seeking, DAC + an analog volume control (I prefer analog volume control than digital one).

You could try out Simaudio integrated but not my cup of tea. This is what fascinating about this hobby. Not being my taste should have no bearing on what you'd like. Try it if the price is within your comfortable range, you might like it and think "what the hack kzhtoo is talking about".

This is exactly what I've been saying. You are need to go overboard on the amp. Pass XA30.5 is more than enough for your efficient 93db 1038 Be. Used price is around $3.5k here on A'gon. And there's always Parasound, you can get A21, a well reviewed performer, for under $2k, excellent starting point!

$1.2k Metrum Octave will give you 90% of NAD M51. Your money your decision. If you're looking for under $1k, there are plenty to choose from. If you want a volume control with your DAC, go with Benchmark.

Also, may be a good idea to re-read this entire thread. What you thought a couple of weeks ago might not be what you think right now. I'm sure you have been researching and gained some knowledge.
what about this integrated amp?
Plinius SA-103 , 1.5 year old

do you recommend it?
i can't find Pass Labs X250.5 used
finally i bought PASS LABS X350.5 , 40W Class A

can someone recommend on cables? DAC? Pre ?

pelo911 go here and contact someone from the houston audio society.
thanks , i will try

now i'm focus on PRE and Cables

TUBE pre it's a good idea?
what is the cost to replace lamps?
how often ?
2-3 models you recommend? then i will look for them

interconnect and speakers cable:
on the Pass labs user manual i got they recommend to get thick and short , silver or copper cable
2-3 models you recommend? then i will look for them

and something that confused me:
DAC with pre build in will work for me or i should must to buy dedicate Pre?