Improving Bass response NAP250-DR, NAC-N272, Focal Electra 1038BE, NAC-A5


I am struggling to get a better bass response in my system. It lacks bass for my feeling. I used AQ rocket 44 instead of the NAC-A5, but the NAC-A5 does a better job for bass, so I keep the NAC-A5 (for now). How could the bass response be improved? Any suggestions?

I am looking to add a sub, but it is connected to my AV-processor for movies. I don’t know if it is possible to connect the sub to the AV-processor AND the NAC-N272? It’s a B&W ASW10CM S2, it has 2 line in connections. I use the NAC-N272 in fixed volume mode when watching movie


It will help if you give your room size, small rooms don’t have big bass & the sub might be the only way.

A sub can certainly improve bass, but only if it’s well integrated into the system and the room, which is not always easy.
I would also consider adding a PSU upgrade to your 272. That will improve the bass…and the treble…and the midrange.


Hi Mike-B,

My room is 4 m wide, 5 m long and 3 m high.

Could just be your speakers lack what you want. Focal isn’t really known for bass.

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Hi ChrisSU,

How much of improvement would give it? Or is this difficult to tell?
Maybe making some room corrections like a carpet, wall curtain. Does that help?

What HiFi said "
Impressive detail resolution
Impressive dynamics and bass
Good timing
Fine build and finish

Need a large room to shine"

“These are big speakers with a trio of dedicated bass drivers, and it’s no surprise that they deliver a huge amount of bass. You’re going to need a large room to get these to work properly and avoid that bass from dominating things.”

I presume you demmed them and they sounded perfect ?

Hi Guinnless,

I am not sure what you mean by ‘demmed’?

Demonstration at a dealer.

Ah, yes I did, but that was with SN2 and NDX. Later I switched to 250DR/272.

And it was all so good you bought them? At one point did it go wrong?

For me, an XPS transforms the 272, and I would not want to run it without one. Of course, you should listen for yourself, but that is my experience.
Room corrections are always worth trying, and of course, they can be very cheap, or free. If you have a real problem with bass, you may find that improvements are difficult unless you add bulky bass traps. Measuring the room acoustics can be worthwhile - there is some good free software called REW that can help with this.

Let me think. I started tweaking with AQ rocket 44 and NAC-A5 like a year ago. Playing for several months and then switched to NAC-A5 and thought it was better. Then switched back to AQ until I got tired of it and went back to NAC-A5. Now I am listening more again and started noticing that I do miss some extra bass.
I have dedicated power for the 250DR/NAC-N272 combination although connected naim mainsblock (6-way High-quality Mains Block, with 2 metres cable).

So about 1 year ago. I can’t remember when I added the switch to the system Netgear GS105.

Just a thought… I have their little brother speakers (1028be) which have a foam bung that can be inserted into a port at the rear… specifically to tone down the bass when positioned close to walls. Im assuming the 1038be is similar… is the bung inserted ?

As others have said these speakers require a large room and don’t want to be too close to the walls which can make the bass overwhelming.

PS. Not trying to teach you to suck eggs

No, the 1038BE does not have this. It has a flowport ‘firing’ to the floor. I am trying to get more bass. The floor is all tiles, so maybe move them closer to the wall.

I’ve still not heard a 272 and probably never will but with the dedicated pre amps the power supply has a marked effect on bass. I was quite surprised when I heard what a supercap could do for a 282 compared to a hicap, I’d have expected to need a power amp upgrade to firm the bass up like that. A 555ps or even an XPS might be worth a trial if you can get a loan of one.
On a slightly cheaper note, I found that a speaker set up technique called “masterset” developed by the US Sumiko importer can be quite effective if I’m struggling. It costs nothing to try except time. Do a search for it.

I’d be looking at trying different speaker positions first, otherwise adding the power supply.

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@rikbast, I also have the NAC-N 272/ NAP 250 DR. However, my speakers are Neat Momentum SX5i’s, which produce lots of powerful, tuneful bass. I had to tone down the bass by lifting them off a suspended timber floor onto granite plinths.

The amount of bass increased and it’s tunefulness improved twice since I bought my N 272/ 250 DR. First when I updated the software in the NAC-N 272 from V4.4 to V4.6. Second when I added a 555PS DR power supply to the 272. When I upgraded my system with the 555PS DR, I had to move my speakers another 50mm away from the wall.

So, you have 3 options to improve the bass response of your system: Make sure the software in your 272 is V4.6.
Upgrade your 272’s power supply to a 555PS DR.
Upgrade your speakers.

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If you are ever passing Emsworth on your way to or from France let me know!!

I listened to multiple Focals this past weekend at my dealer and they all great bass. With amps spanning the naim range.