Which Amplifier for Sonus Faber Olympica 3 Speaker

I own a pair of SF Olympica 3 speakers and have narrowed my choices to 2 amplifiers. My tastes lean toward the warmer richer side of the fence. The Hegel 300 or 1 of the LFD amplifiers. On 1 hand the LFD is lower power but quite balanced. The Hegel is approximately the same price but has 250 wats of power plus a built-in DAC. My speakers rquire some power at 90DB efficient but its a 4 ohm load. I have heard the Hegel but with Magico speakers. It sounded good with nice detail and never tipped over the edge. The LFD is playing on my speakers now but drawing comparisons is difficult given different speakers. Any thoughts re these 2 amplifiers is most welcome.
I can't find impedance/ phase graphs on yours but:
Typically the Sonus Fabers I've seen the impedance and phase graphs of have been very difficult in the bottom end to drive, even though they are efficient.
They have needed amps that can do good current delivery, that is almost double their watts each halving of impedance from 8ohms to 4ohms to 2ohms 100w 200w 400w you get the idea.
Here linked are just 2 Sonus Fabers read the first few parragraphs and look at the first graph.



Quickly looking at the two amps you mentioned neither are going to do your speakers justice, the Hegel 300 is probably the better proposition, as it has bi-polar output devices which will try to do the doubling trick.
But even it looks a little light on if your Sonus Fabers are anything like the others to drive.

Cheers George

George - the older SF were, as you say, notoriously hard to drive due to impedence and phase angle issues. However, the newer designs are typically much less taxing. The Futura graphs look more like the old designs, which may simply mean that they kept some of the old design. Stereophile did review the Venere 2.5 and found it much easier to drive than older, higher end models. That is not surprising since it is meant to be a more entry level offering. I believe part of the design criteria for the Cremona M was to make it easier to drive than the original Cremona. I believe they probably carried over that philosophy to the Olympica design. Since Stereophile has not measured the Olympica 3 it is hard to know how easy or hard it is to drive. But my guess is that it will much easier to drive than the Cremona or Amati Futura that you reference.

Venere 2.5 Measurements
My local SF dealer demos the speakers with both Audio Research (reference series) and Rowland SS amps with excellent results.
For what it is worth, I enjoy my Concerto Grand Piano speakers paired with an Anthem 225 Integrated.

May not be in the same league with other gear mentioned, just an opinion. The GP's have sounded lackluster with some of my gear /cable combos.

The Anthem brought out the best as did Morrow SP4 cable.

My apologies if my comments were off topic.

Kind regards
DTC this may be true for the cheaper SF's but doing some more searches reveals the opposite, that the Olypia 3 are really a 3ohm design and has 2.6ohm dip at 103hz.
And at 81hz it has an EPDR of just 1.7ohm load to the amp.

Sorry but this model is a b***h to drive and needs big amp/s with good current delivery that can nearly double the wattage all the way to 2ohms, "if" you want to hear the best out of these speakers. .

Just look at the lab report from Miller Audio Research Labs in the link

Cheers George
George - the review is useful. Thanks. What has typically made SF hard to drive is not just the impedance but also the phase angle. The Miller report does comment that the phase angle is well controlled, so the speaker may not be as hard to drive as the impedance along would indicate. This would be consistent with the fact that the Cremona M is much easier to drive than the Cremona. And the Olympica is the follow on to the Cremona M.

I agree that I would be careful with a lower power amp, but the Miller comments seem to indicate that a monster amp may not be needed to drive the speakers.

Unfortunately, I do not know enough about the amps the OP is considering. The Hegel 300 is 250 watts at 8 ohm and 430 at 4 ohm. Does not double down but it may well have high enough current to drive the Olympica. I would not dismiss it, especially given the Miller comments.
That's what I said, out of the two the Hegel is the better option, but now that the test state the speaker is really a 3ohm design and has is a 2.6ohm load for the bass(100hz) and an amp sapping EPDR of 1.7ohms at 81hz
Then even this amp though it will sound fine, will most probably not get the best out of this SF Olympica speaker.

It sounds like the OP is into intergrateds, these two from a quick look I did would be better options for these speakers, and I dare say there will be many others.

Simaudio Moon Evolution 700i

Krell FBI integrated

Cheers George
I use the Luxman 590ax for my
SF Olympica 2 speakers. They sound excellent with this class A 30wpc integrated amp.
Although the Olympica II looks similar the lack of another bass driver could make it an easier load in the bass compared to the Olympica III.

The Lux 590 class A intergrated is a nice amp and it looks like it can push current as well, as from what I've seen it can do 30w into 8ohms and double to 60w into 4ohm and maybe double again into 2ohm.
This is the kind of amp that is great for bad loads, like the Olympica III and should sound great up to a given volume level because of it's low wattage.
See it's not really about the watts, it the ability to double those watts for each halving of impedance.

I think I said it before one of the best amps for doing this is the old 25w (yes only 25w) Mark Leveinson ML2 monoblocks, they can give out big current, as they double watts to 1ohm (200w)


Cheers George
Given the balance of the speakers and their impedance characteristics, look into the Music Reference RM200 tube amp.
I have a Simaudio Moon 700i integrated amplifier. I intend buying a pair of O3s in the near future and it was reassuring to see Georgelofi's post confirming my thought that they should work well. In fact they do, as I managed to get to hear the two together at a dealer.
Old post, but fwiw, I just paired my SF O3's with a Pass Labs X150.8 stereo amp.  This amp elicits more out of the speakers top to bottom than any other amps I've tried.  Excellent match.  Sorry for being a bit sideways of the specific question above.  

What is your budget for the amp?
I'm now in the same position as the OP, having just purchased a pair of new Olympica 3's, on a great, year end deal from a dealer that badly needed to move some product. So now I need an amp too. 

markmendenhall, can you describe a bit more about the sound you got from the X150.08 with your O3's? My understanding is that the Pass 08 series is more dynamic and  palpable than the Pass 05 Series, but lacks the richness and fluidity of the 05 series midrange.

This is my first Pass amp so I can't compare the .5 vs the .8 series.  Mark at Reno HiFi is a good source to consult with.  I find nothing lacking in my .8 amp.  Better bass than the A21 or Bel Canto REF 1000M monos.  SET like mids, huge soundstage, delicate and extended highs. I'm investing in additional power supplies for my pre amps at this time.  I think my amp cravings have been satisfied with the Pass X150.8.