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DenizPiri
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Integrated amp with HT bypass for Focal Electra 1008 Be

Hi!

This is my first post here, so,, hello everyone ! :D

I recently acquired a pair of Focal Electra 1008 be bookshelf speakers. These are going to be used as Fronts of a 5.1 surround setup. I currently have them hooked up to a NAD 326bee. NAD's power amp input is connected to Denon X3400H AVR's pre outputs. AVR is driving the center and surround channels, sub is active (Dali IKON sub MK2). This setup is not very optimal, since I cannot take AVR out of equation, and I really don't trust AVR's DAC or pre amp section very much. I want to be able to use my home theater via AVR easily, while being able to use the Focal Electras for a good stereo music experience.

I read about integrated amps or preamps with HT Bypass feature, I believe one of those would fit my requirements very well. Current models I have in mind are:

1- Hegel H360, H300 or H160
2- Parasound Halo Integrated
3- Atoll IN300 or Atoll IN200SE
4- Cambridge Audio 851A or 840A
5- Marantz PM8005 or PM14S1

Cheapest items in that list are Marantz PM8005 and Atoll IN200SE. I was wondering if one of those would just work for me, or if I should go for Hegel H360? Any opinions of these amplifiers and how they would match with Focal Electra line, especially given that it has the beryllium tweeter units, would be highly appreciated! :D

I was initially quite excited about the Atoll IN200SE, since it has a true dual mono architecture. However, then I got to know that only way to shut it down is to flip the on/off switch on it's back. Turns out when device is on stand by, it is still using around 19 watts of power.

Parasound's sub management features are quite attractive as well. I guess I can have the same with others integrated amps that have pre out (my sub has separate LFE and L/R inputs).

Any suggestions or thoughts would be highly appreciated!

commsysman
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AMPLIFIERS

[quote=DenizPiri]Hi!

I would suggest either the Hegel amp, or a Musical Fidelity amplifier.

The others you mentioned are not as good-sounding.

bierfeldt
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That BE tweeter

The beryllium tweeter is ultra revealing and you want as quiet and nuanced an amp as you can find.

I agree with commsysman, Hegel or MF would be great. I also like the Ayre Acoustic Ax-7e as you don’t need a huge amount of power to drive them well and Ayre makes an amazing power amp.

caphill
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Integrated amps choices

For your Focal Electra 1008 speakers, I would highly consider the following integrated amps :
* Hegel H360, H300 or H160 as you mentioned above (ranging from around $3500 to around $5500 or $5700.
* Classe Sigma 2200i integrated ($5500).
* McIntosh MA7900 or MA6900 or MA5900 ranging from around $6k to $7kish.
* Musical Fidelity M6i ($3k) and M5i ($2k).
* Rotel RA-1592 ($2500).
* Parasound Halo Integrated as you mentioned above ($2500).
* Ayre Ax-7e.
* Audio Research Foundation series integrated amp. I think it's around $9k if I'm not mistaken. The Foundation series is a newer and entry level series offerings from Audio Research.
* Rogue Audio Pharaoh integrated ($3500).
* Rogue Audio Sphinx integrated ($1400).
* Simaudio Evolution integrated amps.

Give a listen to as many integrated amps as possible on your speakers.

caphill
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I would to add

I would like to add to your lists some other good or rather great integrated amps esp for the money :
* Roksan Black Integrated and K3 integrated. But not sure if these have HT bypass or not.
* Rega Elicit-R. Again not sure if this has HT bypass or not.
* Krell Vanguard integrated amp. I think this one might have HT bypass.
I would also look into Exposure integrated units.

Leatherneck
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Integrated Amplifiers with HT Bypass

Here is a list of Integrated Amps with HT Bypass. It was very helpful for me when shopping for mine.

http://audiophile.no/en/articles-tests-reviews/item/426-amplifiers-with-processor-input

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