Focal 1028Be? With Uniti Star for instance?

I am now the lucky owner of a Uniti Star.
My 30yr old Linn Keilidhs are faring well, but I have been listening to the Focal Aria 926’s and have been hugely impressed by their match with the Naim Uniti range.
I have not heard any 1028’s, but I have the opportunity to acquire some at £2k. Dilemma is therefore, new Arias or second hand 1028’s. I’d appreciate some considered views please.
Thanks in anticipation,

I ran 1028BE’s on a 282/250DR system for several years until about a year ago. They are quite sensitive and I suspect the Uniti Star will be fine driving them.

Some find them too bright but to my ears they were just fine, with good bass and very revealing. They do need some space around them. If you have to place them near a rear wall you can tone them down (Bass) with the foam bung, provided with the speakers, inserted into the rear port. However this does seem to suck some of the life out of the sound.

I only changed them because the Beryllium Tweeters were just too accessible for young and inquisitive grand-children. Their only protection is a small grill that attaches to the cabinet via magnetism - easily removed/dislodged. My understanding is that the tweeter is thinner than an eggshell and is easily broken if care is not taken.
Focal provide plastic bags with the speakers for use if a tweeter is broken. It is important to get all the fragments into the bag and return to Focal for safe disposal or recycling.

I now run Kudos Titan 606’s. If I were to try to characterise the difference in presentation, the Focals were like being up on stage, whereas the 606’s are more like listening from the audience.

As always you should try to hear them at home in your system before parting with any hard earned.

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Thank you Alan. Sage words, I’m still getting used to the fact that my ancient Linns seem to have been brought to life again! I’ve ordered some Mark Grant cables so that will probably improve things further.
It’s not so easy to find dealers who can demonstrate a wide range of speakers. I’ve never heard any Kudos before, the search begins this evening.


Co-incidently before the 1028Be’s I had Linn Kabers.
Lovely speakers.

Good luck with your search, Doug. I too am experiencing a new lease of life with my Doublets since I got my Star.

Kabers, now that’s a thought. Thanks Alan. If only the rest of the family liked the renaissance as much as me!

Thanks Geoff, what speakers are you using?

Royd Doublets, Doug.

Hi Doug,

That is a good price for the 1028be!

My son lives in Amsterdam and has 1027BEs driven by a Unitilite - in a 500sqft room and they sound great.

I imagine the uniti Star would drive the 1028br just as well. The berillium tweeter has great clarity and midrange is exceptional. The overall sound is more warm than speakers further up the focal range.

Thanks Richard. I am so tempted.

I have the 1028s, but not the Uniti Star. Only based on the specs of the Star, as I understand it’s based on the 5si integrated, my first thought is that it’s not enough to properly drive the 1028s.
When I first got the 1028s I had a Supernait (1), and it wasn’t up for the task. The bass was thin and uncontrolled, the overall presentation was rather fatiguing. When I moved to the 250DR there was a clear and immediate improvement on all fronts. And at that moment I used the Supernait as a pre for a while, so it’s the amp part itself that wasn’t up for the challenge.
I don’t think you’ll be getting enough of what the 1028 can do, unless of course you intend to step up the amp as well sometime in the future.

The Uniti Star is rated at 70W into 8ohms I believe, so that’s within the recommended range (40W-300W) of the 1028Be.
For sure a more powerful amp will get a better grip of them … a 250DR (80W) for example. A 300DR would be even better.

The OP is happy with the sound from the Aria 926’s, which have identical sensitivity and similar range requirement for power amp. So he may well be happy with the 1028Be as well… and they have plenty of scope for future amplifier upgrades.

As always the OP should listen to them at home with the Uniti Star before purchase.

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I’m all of a tizzy. So much great advice and challenging choices to make. Thank you, all of you.
I have now found a pair of the 1027Be’s for £1750 and this afternoon I auditioned Spendor A4’s and PMC twenty5 23i’s, £2.4K and £3.1k respectively (the latter being ex demo).
The PMC’s were impressive. I need to hear the Focals and I’m still considering the 926’s.
Having said all of that……my Martin Grant speaker cables and jumpers arrived today and have made my old Linns sound better than ever, worth every penny.
I’m having a scotch and trying to think of something else!
Have a great weekend,

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I thought you were talking about what you were wearing!

I have 1028 with 272/XPSDR/250.2/naca5. I think that’s the minimum for them… otherwise they will be underexploited and the sound may not be good. the tweeter is aggressive if they are not powering enough, with my system the sound is soft and dynamic at once.

Similar topic here, but about Nova, so one level up from Star:

Thank you all for your guidance.
I have tested six sets of speakers at home now, Audio T in Pompey being very helpful indeed.
Really liking ATC SMC40 now. Doesn’t have the warmth I’ve been used to, but the sound stage, clarity and command is overwhelming.
I even tried Majik 140’s just in case the ‘new’ Linn would be like the old Linn, but it wasn’t anything like it.
My only hesitance is that I haven’t heard any Neat’s. Hard to come by apparently.
It’s a good dilemma to have!

“It’s a good dilemma to have”; pretty much echos my thoughts from another thread where I ponder about different speakers.

Glad you’re finding a system that works for your desires.

All part of the fun…… enjoy.

Now here’s a thing. What a weekend that was.
Linn Majik 104’s pleasant but nothing over or above my old Keilidhs.
ATC SMC 40 hugely impressive detail, bass and soundstage, but so unforgiving of piano and much of the jazz I like listening to. A dilemma then.
Any advice as to what I can do to temper the ATC’s would be greatly appreciated .
Incidentally. Has anyone noticed the updates to Apple TV with regard to sound quality and streaming? A marked improvement.