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Question Best integrated (as best as possible without overkill) matching Focal Aria 906

CaptVanTylip

Member
May 23, 2020
7
0
20
Hi! I've finally stopped on Focal Aria 906 (with my rack). What is (at least to your ears) the best matching integrated for it? What will be not an overkill yet? (as I've chosen a lower-end set of speakers because of placement now need to rethink about a truly outstanding amp for it to make it give me 100% of what it can do). I heard Rega matches well (ex-demo elicit-r?) Maybe Exposure? Edwards? Maybe even heed or unknown Serbian stuff like Dayens? maybe go hybrid and get a unison Research Unico something? NuPrime IDA? Croft? I'm open to anything. Phono input is preferred but not mandatory (can go with a separate right away if needed). I don't use streaming so better without streaming features. Just best sound possible for the arias(on a rack but with the possible isolation of course). Thanks!
 
Last edited:

millennia_one

Well-known member
Sep 1, 2014
378
150
11,070
Hi! I've finally stopped on Focal Aria 906 (with my rack). What is (at least to your ears) the best matching integrated for it? What will be not an overkill yet? (as I've chosen a lower-end set of speakers because of placement now need to rethink about a truly outstanding amp for it to make it give me 100% of what it can do). I heard Rega matches well (ex-demo elicit-r?) Maybe Exposure? Edwards? Maybe even heed or unknown Serbian stuff like Dayens? maybe go hybrid and get a unison Research Unico something? NuPrime IDA? Croft? I'm open to anything. Phono input is preferred but not mandatory (can go with a separate right away if needed). I don't use streaming so better without streaming features. Just best sound possible for the arias(on a rack but with the possible isolation of course). Thanks!
These were developed with naim so start there id say.

Seems like you have a healthy budget im guessing so maybe the new Naim supernait 3
 

CaptVanTylip

Member
May 23, 2020
7
0
20
Thanks for the responses! I will be buyin with 20% tax return so some of the budget will return soon :D That's why higher-end choices. Actually my top mark i'd say 2000 euros give or take before the return(IDA i meant 8 not 16). Supernait is out of it even ex-demo, only if heavily used and I can't predict it. I asked at another place and there the majority was about Regas, saying the Naim lacked something strangely. I thought about Naim at first too. I'd say XS3 if can find an ex-demo... the 5si maybe but the phono input is more preferred (I'll upgrade to a good separate later so don't want to buy 2 separates) Marantz... well, the KI is out of budget and 8006 don't know, maybe... But I feel there's better stuff out there. Just what in your experience is the best match? Without being an overkill. I was planning idelly to get a very good table with a simple cart, then an integrated with phono and arias. then next year get a decent cart and a separate phono to it.
 

Al ears

Moderator
I would look for Naim supernait 2 used but this may be outside your budget and also doesn't have a phono stage, unfortunately neither does my second suggestion of Roksan Caspian M2 but you might have enough budget left to get a separate phono stage if going down this route.
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
370
138
19,070
Imo the 906 are very versatile, so it boils down to what kind of sound you prefer. They sound pretty open, their highs are smoother than most other Focals (imo - but I just read a recent comment by someone that found them too bright, so there you go). I used to run mine with Arcam A19 and later with Naim Unitiqute 2, and after that with Nap 100 added and I preferred the Naim, but they sounded great with the Arcam too - it was just that I prefer the Naim presentation because of the boogie. So if you want rhythmic drive, do consider Naim (XS3 or used SN2), but the other suggestions are just as good - Roksan Caspian M2, for example. I would not partner them with overly bright electronics, though. Rega are also well worth considering, and Croft too, definitely, if you don't mind missing on a remote. I heard the Exposure 3010 s2d and thought it was too pronounced in the bass. It might have been a system mis-match, but I compared it to a Densen integrated, which I found much more balanced, which was confirmed by my home dem. Personally, I'd try finding a dealer that let me home demo, since your room matters so much (more than whatever gear you use). Another forum member just went through this (check the "amplifier for Wharfedale Linton" thread) and ended up with something he really enjoys. Which saves you money in the long run.
 

millennia_one

Well-known member
Sep 1, 2014
378
150
11,070
Thanks for the responses! I will be buyin with 20% tax return so some of the budget will return soon :D That's why higher-end choices. Actually my top mark i'd say 2000 euros give or take before the return(IDA i meant 8 not 16). Supernait is out of it even ex-demo, only if heavily used and I can't predict it. I asked at another place and there the majority was about Regas, saying the Naim lacked something strangely. I thought about Naim at first too. I'd say XS3 if can find an ex-demo... the 5si maybe but the phono input is more preferred (I'll upgrade to a good separate later so don't want to buy 2 separates) Marantz... well, the KI is out of budget and 8006 don't know, maybe... But I feel there's better stuff out there. Just what in your experience is the best match? Without being an overkill. I was planning idelly to get a very good table with a simple cart, then an integrated with phono and arias. then next year get a decent cart and a separate phono to it.

I'd look at the Niam nait xs3, has the phono stage you want and should be only a little over budget But the phono stage is meant to very usable so you might not need to upgrade.

Supernaits 1/2 crop up a fair bit but no phone stage making the above a better prospect even new.
but the Supernait 1 comes with a somewhat good DAC and really can drive what ever you throw at it. and will come in well under budget.

Im sure the regas are good too i just have no experience with them.
 

CaptVanTylip

Member
May 23, 2020
7
0
20
Thanks! What do you think would be an overkill though? I mean Arias are not the most advanced speakers and there must be a level where going up in amp won't bring audible improvements. Where do you think it is?
 

slavo86

Well-known member
Apr 18, 2014
7
1
10,525
A rega elicit r has a phonostage and it's meant to be a good one. I'd also consider a roksan blak which also has a phonostage.
 

millennia_one

Well-known member
Sep 1, 2014
378
150
11,070
Thanks! What do you think would be an overkill though? I mean Arias are not the most advanced speakers and there must be a level where going up in amp won't bring audible improvements. Where do you think it is?
How long is a piece of string, Past certain point speakers are so good, spending more, really your just paying for better craftsmanship and materials. Which don't get me wrong make for audible improvements as the cabinet becomes stiffer, woofers become stronger and so on.

But at the end of the day, a speaker is a few pistons in a box there's only so much you can do to improve upon it. This i why you see different shapes start to appear further up the price ranges.

1k speakers in my mind will easily be happy with up to 5k of amplification on them. (and you could go further). Well-driven speakers are always a better way to go. But it depends on the speakers! 99db efficient speakers require less wattage but good current. But the amp designs need to be more thoughtful due to the sensitive nature of the speakers, they can show up noise in the chain quite easily. But this can CAN make amps cheaper to find but harder also.

Peoples mistake is thinking "budget" speakers can't resolve higher-end kit and its quite the opposite, that's why I say don't spend too much on speakers, by all means, find some that fit and match the room (and that might come at a price). And spend if you want to but just be aware of what they really can do. And most people never take their speakers anywhere close to what they can do. And are never truly happy, because of this and always "upgrading".

Take the Kef ls50. They really need some power and control and its well documented, I've heard them on the end of a naim statement for a bit of fun, the dealer showing what they can do. And man I've never heard them sound so good. They certainly are capable of being end games speakers! But this is why you see so many on ebay, people not researching what it takes to really get them singing. Much the same with PMC and ATC

I've heard 90K worth of Audionote gear drive 1k 5 foot tall Snell speakers from the 80s listening near field, life-changing experience. In fact, this is the best setup I've ever heard and it was all of 5 watts. It ruins you if you every get the chance to listen to something like this politely turn them down! LOL!

The saying by the best speakers you can afford is completely flawed. But many will disagree and that's fine.
 

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