What amplification is best for JMLab Mini Utopias

Hello, dear members. I've finally decided to ask for help, which I feel I should have done looong ago...I have been in this hobby for over a decade and have grown frustrated to the point of giving up. Simply put, I cannot achieve long term satisfaction with my system's overall sound, and need help how to do better as I feel I've done my share of one-time-more-expensive-component-upgrading(as much as my funds allow me) instead of simply putting a record/cd on and be surrounded by musical pleasure for hours.
My question is whether I should try one more time to find an amp/preamp/integrated amp for my JMLab Minis/Utopia Sub/Townshend ribbon supper tweeters, or find different speakers to go along with rest of system. Amps tried- Dynaco ST 70 new rebuilt, Dynaco MKIIIs, N.E.W. DCA-33, CJ Sonograph, Audio Note P2SE(current amp). All of those sound(ed) fine for a while only. Last one also lacks power. Or should I further go down in power, and get a single driver(with added tweeters)speaker-based system? I just recently pulled out from attic a Philips receiver from probably late 60s with 7watts of solid state output power hooked up to a tabletop Telefunken single, crossoverless paper driver speaker and am being astounded with the clarity, immediacy, speed and toe-tapping factor on all kinds of music just listening to FM in mono to the point where I don't want to go back to my main set up. I find the latter uninvolving, slightly mechanical, edgy, dark,much less expressive, and lacking in any excitement. I have also thought of getting AN speakers and build an AN system( I already have the M2 preamp) but used ones don't come often on audiogon, and I haven't had any luck selling or trading mine towards a pair so far... I don't have the luxury of attending audio fests or comparing full set ups at dealers in my area to make things easy. My sources are a Sony SCD-777ES(thinking of adding an AN DAC), VPI MKIV with TNT platter, VPI arm, Revox A-77 half track high speed(15ips) open reel deck, Pioneer tuner, TEAC C-3 cassette deck(recordings from live FM broadcasts on metal tapes rock IMHO. Cables are Kimber Selects. I cannot thank you enough for your shared experience, thoughts, and wisdom. Good listening to all!!
In answer to the posted question, JM Labs often demo'd these speakers with YBA electronics, they are a good match with plenty of power. I have heard the combination at a dealer's and thought it sounded excellent, very involving musically to me. Whether it will get you where you want, though, is beyond me, as you seem to be at wit's end about what step to take next. Your equipment is top notch, and perhaps the Audio Note amp into an Audio Note speaker would give you the results you want (the AN equipment is very good, I suspect a mismatch with your speakers and the amp), but I wouldn't give up on the JM Labs speakers quite yet.
I am currently using the Mini Utopias with 2 REL Stadium subs. I have used several amps, mostly a Musical Fidelity M3 NuVista. Right now I am using a Magic hybrid tube preamp with Meridian 605s. Sources a VPI Aries ex. with all upgrades and 12.7 arm. Also Meridian CD transports with Musical Fidelity and Audio Synthesis decoders. Cardas speaker cables and VDH ICs. I have by no means finished tuning them but I am happy with the sound I am getting. Very detailed and up front, on the boundary of too much so compared to the Spendor SP-1s I usually use. They are sweeter in the high end and ,while detailed , present a less up front perspective. They are available quite reasonably, try a used pair as a supplement to your present ones. If you like them better you can sell your Utopias or alternate them. If you don't like them you will take little loss reselling them.
The JM Labs have always been tube-Friendly...

They seem to need a little power though. I recommend something that can make 100 watts or so.
Atmasphere is completely right about the Mini Utopias being tube friendly. I have owned Mini's for about 4 years now and have used with a variety of integrated amps, both tube and solid state. I wrote a review here on Audigon of four integrated amps I used with the Mini Utopias you may want to check out. Keep in mind that my comments were based on the Mini Utopias without any type of added subwoofer or super tweeter. I will say my battle cry for the last few years has been simpler is better.


With all the different amps and integrated amps I have used with these speakers, for me, tubes are the clear winner (again, see my review for explanation why). If you want to stick with solid state I also agree you should have 100 watts or higher. With tubes, in particular the Mystere ia21 integrated I'm currently using, I have found its 50 watts to be more than adequate with the vast majority of my music with only a few exceptions.
I owned the minis for about 2 years..I tired both tube and solid state..Low powered tube amps didnt cut it for me..I suggest a Jadis defy7 if tubes are your calling..100watts ..but I found the Pass labs X150.5 did everything just right at a more affordable price..I did run Rel subs though..In the end I did move away from the mini utopias,much better speakers out there at the 3 grand price point,IMO
Get some Naim and get off the merry go round.
Most importantly....find a dealer. Find one that will let you borrow at least 2 options both in integrated and seperates. If you start to have a reccuring dislike with what you are hearing from the Focals then....I think you know what to do.

Seriously. The Naim brings back to the table everything you are describing you like in the simple little system you found in your attic. Pace, musicality, immediacy in spades.
Thank you all for your useful feedback. I think I will let fortune decide for me this time. If speakers sell, then I will try other speakers to go along with my current Audio Note preamp/amp. If they don't, then I will have to find a new amp(to start with).... If this happens, I just wonder if anyone would comment on a Mac MC-252 for a possible match with the Minis? On paper, it provides outstanding tech. specs, plus owners praise its tube-like musicality, laid-back character yet full with control, detail and sparkle. Thank you again.
Ive never run a MC252 with the minis but have run a 402 into them..didnt like it at all..Mac is too slow and bloated for the Focals IMO..I suggest a X.5 Pass labs amp.
I owned the JMLab Mini-Utopias for five years. Ultimately they sounded best with Krell EVO 402 and BAT 52se preamp. I think they need more power than many of the amps mentioned above. I also agree that they benefit greatly from a subwoofer or two. I used a single sub, a JM Lab Sub-Utopia and the system acquired a much wider and deeper sound stage, and was much more musical.

I have to say however that the top end of the MIni-Utopias did not have the extension of the more modern speakers of late with the Beryllium tweeters or diamond tweeters. Ultimately the speakers are not as open as some of the newer speakers. Just my two cents.
I second the Krell recommendation. I'm using Micro-Utopias with a Krell 400xi integrated.

As all the other posts have stated, the speakers require lots of power. I compared the 400xi against Luxman, Arcam, BAT, and a few others I don't remember. The Krell integrated had more control over the speakers that the other amps lacked, except the BAT.

Of course, the BAT integrated is about double the price of a 400xi. It's tubed too and sounded great.

Basically, give them power, tubed or ss.