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Hi guys

 

First post: hifirginity gone.

 

I'm looking at buying an amp to power my Focal Chorus 706 speakers. They're 8ohm rated at 50-125watts but I've read they like at least 50 watts. I'll be using the setup for audio only, not home theatre, and I'll be using the setup as additional reference for mixing tracks on Logic. So, I will be going iMac to Universal Audio Apollo interface to amp to my Focals. I had been looking into Denon, Marantz, and Rotel, and have read that Rotel is more focused on music, Denon on Home Theatre, and Marantz colours the audio a little too much for me. I was looking at the cheaper Rotel A10, but was worried that the 40watts aren't enough to get the best out of the Focals. But I'd also read that the A10 is more audio focused than the bigger A11 and A12 which are more feature rich. Anyone had any experience with Rotels and could give me their two cents? Or any other amp suggestions? I had looked at the Schiit Vigar power amp and then get a pre down the track, using my interface to control volume etc, but the good Schiit is probably a little out of my price range.

 

Cheers!

 

Heath

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Hi Heath, 

 

I don't know which Universal Audio Apollo interface you have, but they look like decent pro audio units so probably have a pre-amp/volume section as good as any integrated as this price point. 

 

So, never a straight answer on a forum, but here's some of my thinking based on what you've written:

1. Second hand on these forums, especially with amps, will get you a much better unit for the money than buying new. Amps also tend to last for years and years with little degradation, so don't be afraid to try something a little older that is a higher model. 

2. I had a Rotel A10 with some B&W 600 speakers many years ago. Sounded OK, and to be fair the weak link was probably the CD player I fed into it. But I later paired a Rotel RSX-1056 with the same speakers and they sounded twice as good. May have been the DAC in the RSX, don't know.

3. If you had to buy an integrated amp, I don't have anything bad to say about Rotel, but again, go second hand and step up a little. I've read that brands such as Musical Fidelity, Cambridge Audio, Roksan, Exposure, etc. make some great amps at good prices that probably sit above the entry level Rotels. 

4. Why not buy powered monitors? Unless you have a major emotional attachment to the Focal speakers, sell them and buy some second hand monitors. Pro audio will be the best value and they'll kill the Rotel/Focal combo, possibly for less money. Of course, don't spend less money, spend just a little more than you can afford and listen to wonderful tunes. 

5. If you're going to stick with your Focal speakers, spend your money on a power amp and use the UAA. For $1000 you'll get something pretty special.

 

Best of luck with it all. 

Cheers,

Corey

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Thanks for the tips, Corey! I ended up going the Rotel A10. I went in store and had a good listen and it did it for me. However, I took it home, hooked it up to my new speakers, the Focals, and they sounded amazing (after I left them running for about 30 hours as recommended)! They sound too good though! The Focals make everything sound great. They have power and space and and a lovely presence. I think I need a speaker that is more flat. So it looks as though I'll be putting the Focals for swap or sale. Damn! Thinking the Klipsch RP-600M or KEF LS50. Thoughts?

 

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On 18/05/2020 at 9:32 PM, lordnash said:

 They sound too good though!

 

The Focals make everything sound great. 

What am I missing here? Is there such a thing as TOO good?

 

Why is great sound a bad thing?

On 18/05/2020 at 9:32 PM, lordnash said:

I think I need a speaker that is more flat.

 

So if I'm not mistaken you'd prefer to be bored by your music?

 

I know I'm being a little facetious here but I genuinely don't understand your problem, why aren't you delighted?

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Hi @Grimmie, thanks for the reply. I should’ve been a little clearer: the hifi setup is intended for an additional reference for mixing. So I want the speaker to be more ‘life-like’. The Focals have too much colour, are too forward, and aren’t suitable for use as a reference monitor. I want a more natural, authentic speaker. I traded the Focals for an Arcam FMJ A19, and returned my Rotel and exchanged it for a pair of KEF Q350 speakers, and the combination is what I was looking for. Cheers!

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