Focal and PMC

I was just wondering if I could get some thoughts from the group on the Focal and PMC ranges. Specifically the comparable models within their existing ranges.

I’m currently running some PMC 20.26s however I very much like the aesthetic of the Focal Kanta No. 3. Both also appear to work well close to a back wall which would be useful in my music room ( 13*17=221 sq ft, 10ft ceiling height).

Are there any thoughts how these two compare sonically and perhaps good pairings with Naim amps.

I have wide musical interest but mainly listen to indi, post punk, art rock, alternative rock electronica, experimental and modern Jaz. My set up: Nap500, Nac552, NDX2 and PMC 20.26, no fancy looms.


I haven’t heard the Focals, but I would expect them to sound very different, the PMCs having transmission line bass.

If you like the PMCs and want to upgrade From the 26s, there is the Fact 12, remarkably good for a small (ish) speaker, the IB2, and the truly excellent MB2, or at lower budget the secondhand-only EB1.


So I guess the question is "what are your 20.26’s not giving you?
They are more than capable of delivering clear, low bass. Along with great mids and highs.
But, they do demand an amp to grab hold of them.
I have similar tastes to yours and drive my 20.26s with a MF nuvista 300 power. No need to upgrade here!

I have heard the Focal Kanta 3 sound very good with ndx2/sn2. But i own pmc 25.26 so that would be my choice. The Utopias, i have heard several times, not a speaker i could listen to.



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Fact 12.
I run them with my 500dr / 552dr and they sound fantastic with the rossini or P10

Maybe get your 500 DRed, if its not already, as this is certainly a different beast, but i wouldn’t see the 500 a problem driving them, but then the difference between the 300dr and 500dr on the fact 12’s was very noticeable as the pmc’s aren’t the easiest to drive

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I guess I’ve still got some of the designer left in me from art college, I find the Focal Kanta No. 3 very visually acceptable. :star_struck:

Nothing wrong with visuals. I bet a lot of speakers are sold on looks. My MF nuvista 300 power would not have its place on my rack without its (90’s?) looks. And it matches the pre!
I found that my PMCs ( I had 20.23s before) really work with a decent amp. Especially in the low bass area. Poor amp, poor/ little bass.

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I have not heard the Kanta but I have heard a few of the other ones including the Utopias… and have not been that impressed. To my ears the pmc’s have a good balance between clarity and balance… the Focals are on the sterile side of neutral…and leave me cold…

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I have owned three sets of PMC speakers as I have worked through various upgrades. I find them a great match with Naim gear and my ears. I started with a set of Twenty24s, then went to Twenty26s, and finally to Fact 12s. My NAP 300 DR drives the Fact 12s just fine, although others on the forum like their performance with the NAP500 DR even more.
PMC speakers provide clarity at the high end, combined with detail, and good bass. The Fact 12s are not fussy over placement and their sound stage is well defined. They are wonderfully musical and I listen to them for hours with no fatigue. Try and demo a set to see if they’re your next logical step up.


Agree. I can’t stand the flabby bass that seems to distinguish all Focals I’ve heard to varying degrees.

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I am very sensitive to speakers with twin bass drive units … they tend to blur certain frequencies I can hear it every time…I think the drive units behaviour is slightly different due to tolerances…and their proximity.

By this do you mean the ability of the speakers to create real omph in the music like when an orchestra gets together in certain part of the music. Listening now to

Blown over! The speed and drive of even a non DR 500 is something to beholden.


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Many years ago, I wandered past a local hifi shop and saw a pair of Ruark Sabres, bought them on the spot.
Unheard, the man who ran the shop probably thought I was mad.
Ran them with Arcam Delta and they sounded superb.
It was actually one of my best ever hifi decisions .

One look at the rich casework and I just knew there would be a rich sound to go with it.

In the end I gave them away when up-gradeitis took control. The person I gave them to, blew them up . For years it has been a sound I wanted to get back to .

Local girl, very sad for such a disease at such a young age .

The Elgar is often a test piece for me.


No I am referring to low sustained notes …its a personal thing…once you tune into it …it becomes very obvious…you get a blurring effect… I prefer single bass drivers in each cabinet…the pmc lines seem pretty good…

No, sadly, I mean the slowness, the lack of slam, the overhang and lack of detail and articulacy.

Love Du Pre, though :slight_smile:

Michael, your slam = my omph. Speed and precision are needed to give omph.

I think Focal speakers are too neutral, meaning you hear what the boxes are giving. Of course rooms come into it also. We choose the speakers we buy because they strongly influence what we hear.

I have no problem with my Sopra 2s - they have not yet been a limiting factor. I have not tired of listening to the music they produce. It’s a personal thing.


Heft in bass does not equal precision and articulacy but of course it’s a personal thing and also depends on system and room as well. It’s not a competition :slight_smile:

Who said anything about hefty bass - I like classical music - just didn’t know what you meant by flabby. Let call it a day.

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