Which Amp/Pre-Amp combo with the Focal 826ws?

Hello All,

I'm transitioning from car audio to home audio and still have much to learn. I've been reading your forum for the last couple hours though, and wow, what a resource. This is my first post, so please bare with me.

I have a few questions and would love some feedback.

1. What amp/pre-amp set up would you recommend given my speaker choice (Focal 826w)? I really like the Parasound JC 1 and JC 2 set up? Anyone have experience with the Focal 826Ws and great amp pairing?

2. A secondary function for these speakers will be to watch movies. Anything special I should consider?

3. I'd like to link all my lossless/flac music on my computer hard drive seamlessly into my set up. Suggestions?

4. What are folks thoughts on Sonos? I know the quality source for music is not great, but i like the idea of being able to find the most obscure music instantly, especially for entertaining and syncing different rooms.


1. Money- Would like to keep it in the 10k-12k range, minus the 3k cost for Focal 826Ws, so 7k-9k for amp/pre-amp, etc.

2. Room Dimensions-
Here is a link that gives an idea for room dimensions (http://www.visitfrontview40.com/PDF/Frontview40_FP_flats-4.pdf) Speakers will be located the the wide side of the rectangle, and the living/dining room is wood floored. The ceilings are of good size but not sure the exact height.

3. Music taste- huge fan of acoustic, live music, classic, jazz, and blues.

4. Speakers-

I've fallen in love w/Focal, and think that the 826W's are of particularly good value, so I'm leaning towards those. I was actually amazed at how good the focal chorus line sounded with a Denon receiver, and I can't wait to get a solid amp/pre-amp plugged in. Other suggestions would be considered.

Thank you so much for your help!

It looks like you have set your heart on some reasonably efficient speakers, so a tube amp is a natural. You might as well find out if you are a tube guy, because if you are, it will be very hard to do as well otherwise.

If you can play loud enough with less than 10 watts, you can look at the Decware line. If you need more (you probably will), the Van Alstine Ultimate 70 has gorgeous yet solid sound. Both options offer money-back guarantees, but as long as your setup is loud enough, you should not have to use it.
Hi Trebejo,

Thanks for the response.

What are the differences between solid state and tube amps? Any recommendations for how I should go about making my decision? Does it matter that my source is digital?


i just heard the focal 826Ws auditioned with a denon pma a100 integrated ($2500/80w/ch). i was wholly (and unexpectedly) impressed. altho only rated down to 45hz, the focals sounded plenty deep and tight; high end was extremely trasparent and detailed and driver integration was first rate--they sounded awful big for a little floorstander. the same dealer had the much pricier profile and electra floorstanders, which went lower but didn't necessarily sound more engaging--for the $2,700 price tag the 826Ws were tough to beat. as for the amp, i wouldn't normally choose denon, but this combo sounded great--it seems like these focals are unfussy about the front end and you may not need to spend a ton or throw a zillion watts at 'em to get good results.
Historically JM Labs have been very synergistic with YBA gear (this is solid state).

Some years ago, I heard the JM Labs Electra line amplified with a YBA Passion Integre, and it was heavenly. I couldn't afford those pieces, and went with JM Labs' budget line.

If you could find a Passion 300 Intégré to met with your 826s, I think you'd never look back.
Hello all,

So I've finally pulled the trigger and ordered the white 826ws from Audio Unlimited in Denver, CO. I could not be more happy with the service I've received there. Top notch and great price on the speakers. Also ordering them in white is an additional perk.

I've decided I'm going to demo a couple different options, mostly integrateds and I will update you as I make more decisions.

Thus far on my trial list are.
Parasound A 21 halo series
Arcam A38

I'm also open to opinions on DACs. I intend to make my system completely digital and may even opt for a MAC mini NAS set-up.

At any rate, feel free to make other suggestions and I'll check back with responses and updates.