Are Focal speakers the obvious match for Naim amplification

It’s been sometime since Naim & Focal joined forces and I would be very interested in the views/ observations from users past and present on their compatibility and sound with Naim amplification. It might be just me but I do not detect a lot of love for Focal on the forum.

ATB Graham.

When I bought my uniti atom I assumed they were since a lot of hifi stores bundle focal speakers with uniti products. I can say I enjoy my aria 906’s with my atom and hope to enjoy them even more with my nd5xs2/sn3 combo coming tomorrow (it feels like Christmas eve lol).

I’ve heard people on this forum speak well of the kanta’s. I now realise speaker cables can make a bigger difference than I expected the ks1’s have added more top and bottom end to my music so I think that could effect how well they mesh along with the room.

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I have a Nova with Focal Chora 816 floor-standers. They are on Isoacoustics Gaia feet. I seriously doubt I’d find this quality sound for the money with any other speakers. I love my Naim and Focal.

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It will all be down to personal preferences.
I have Focal Cobalt 816 speakers (about 17 years old from new) and they are doing a stunning job with my CD and Nait 5si’s.
If I get enough money to consider speakers they would have to go some to improve the sound. Mind you I don’t get the chance to listen to any other systems to compare…

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I demo’d Focal Kanta 2, ATC SCM40, PMC and Dynaudio Evoke speakers with a Supernait 3. I could happily have lived with any of them - apart from the Focals, which sounded really disconnected and strange to me. I wanted to like them as I appreciate the way they look, and I could have bought the demo pair at a discount, but I immediately, instinctively and strongly disliked the sound. Possibly a mismatch with the amp?

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I had the exact opposite experience. I bought a Nova and tried ATC SCM 40, Dynaudio Contour, a Sonus Faber pair I don’t recall, and Focal Kantas. I thought the most engaging partners were the Kanta 2 and 3, but due to room size considerations (3.5m x 4m) went with the Kanta 2. Isoacoustics Gaia II and NAC A5 rounded out the purchase. I love them. I recently added a Powerline, which smoothed out the highs and solidified the low bass a bit. I look to add a pair of REL subs, likely S510s, which I heard with my rig at my dealer’s, and some room treatment. I think Kantas are a great pairing with the Nova, at least, but like everything else I am sure a lot depends on the room, the overall setup, and your ears.

Edit: I also tried several bookshelf speakers, but quickly gravitated toward the bigger boys. I liked the ATCs, but not as much as the Focals.

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JV’s must first of all above all else work commercially - a business fit has to exist or the project is doomed. This brand pairing-first approach flies in the face of Naim’s single minded approach to SQ, it would be surprising if the most suitable speaker company to join forces with Naim happened to manufacture the speakers offering greatest synergy with naim sources and amps- which if we are honest we allknow is PMC! This goes some way to explain why the Anniversary System is rebeliously painted “cement””- a forgetful paint colour also known as “Depreciation Grey”

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:popcorn:

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But how do you really feel? :grinning:

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For some people they are, for others, they are not. Listen to them and a few others and choose the ones that sound best to your ears.

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Speakers are the most variable part of the hobby and where personal choice rules.
I can’t comment specifically on the question as I have never listened to the Focal combination.
Still running 1999 Dynaudio Audience 50’s, while my system has evolved around them.

I had exactly the same experience with Kanta 3 and Sopra 3 fronted by 252/300. I also wanted to like them because of the looks, and “strangely disconnected” were the words I used as well. This was in a Focal-Naim shop in treated room. They were not fully run in, but it was so strange that I didn’t consider them further.

Others like them, so the best recommendation is to listen for oneself and compare with other speakers.

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Before Focal bought Naim, there were not many with Naim electronics and J.M. Lab speakers.

For all I know, perhaps the combination is supreme?

Invariably the answer is match your speakers with your room not your electronics per se.

Having moved house I can tell that great speakers can sound great in one room and shocking in another….

Do the demo, narrow it down to a couple of your favourites and then do a home demo - extended if you build the right relationship with a dealer.

Of course you can just buy before you try but it can be a lottery.

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My friend have the floorstander … Focal Chora 826 or 816(?), running even with a small UnitiQute.

All I have to say is that while listening to a song, my mind was surprisingly excited to think of what’s the next song will be because I knew it would keep me wanting another one, and so on.

As for the standard list of the usual 157 ishh aspects to be considered : Room size, room acoustics, music style, speakers position, wires, personal listening test, etc, etc, etc.
I’ll leave it to our forum friends. :wink:

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You’re slacking Nigel !

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It’s worth remembering that back when Naim made their own speakers, many on the forum felt that Naim speakers were an abomination and that Naim electronics were best when matched with {fill-in the name of you’re own favourite speaker brand here}.

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I always loved Naim in the mid-nineties when matched up with Mission’s 751/2/3 series speakers. My dealer hated Mission at the time, almost marching me out the door by the scruff of the neck for even mentioning them. Moral of the story is i ended up buying a pair of Credos. Great times :rofl:

Well I’d take your “abomination” SL2’s over the two Focal speaker models that I’ve heard ( one was with full Statement) and my Kudos 808’s (within the context of my system) over SL2’s. So I’m not a fan of the Focal presentation. The questions begs would Naim recommend Focal speakers if they weren’t aligned with them? I think most of us know the answer to that.

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The question is moot - for the last decade they have been brands under the same umbrella. That some may still not like the speakers is perhaps nothing new. Speakers will always divide opinion like nothing else. We will like what we like, and dislike…

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