Thinking of changing from focal 2

Hi all
Im thinking of changing my Focal Kanta 2 speakers and Like the look of the sonus Faber olippica nova 2 had a at home demo albeit a long time ago and the question in my head keeps returning ! any thoughts would be appreciated ? my system is a naim nova with added Dr250 cables feet and interconnects already in play.
apart from the obvious separates recommendations am I likely to be happy with the change ?

Very content with mine. They sound as good as they look. The midrange inparticular is stunning. I did demo a few options, including the Focals. The SFs are not in anyway ‘clinical’. They are also quite forgiving of positioning.

Sorry, but how can we possibly answer that!

You had a home demo and that should provide an answer as to the worthyness of spending even more money on the back end of your system rather the the front end that is feeding it?

A year ago you were happy with your new speakers, what are the Kanta 2’s not doing right now?

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The answer is in my post - they can probably do what you want but it’s what is connected to them that is important.

Look at @Kipstryker profile to see what he is using with his SF’s, which is why he is happy with them.

NOTE I see you have deleted your first reply!

Its all about improving my existing front end simply with adding speakers if I could get a 1 box system that would offer me an improvement over the nova that would also be a solution however I believe naim aint in a rush to do that so speakers is maybe the only way left to improve things for me . Thank you for your knowledge

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Does this mean you have a NAP 250DR working with your NOVA as streamer and PreAmp?

No just the dr250 added to the nova not the most cost effective way to get a lift but it seems to work as it offers a slight improvement on the nova as stand alone … don’t shoot me :slight_smile:

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Thank you for your reply, and if you haven’t noticed I’m using a 250DR with a HiCapDR and a Supernait2 as a preamplifier - albeit with a different front end to yours! In my case there was a big improvement over using the Supernait2 on its own.

ah but that’s multi box isn’t it ? Im reading a sub might be a step up what do you think ?
I wouldn’t choose to upgrade if it involved loads of remotes and potential complications just maybe adding a sub would offer an upgrade without the need off selling my K2’s to replace with sf/2’s IF the sf 2’s are actually an upgrade that brings me back to my original question … oh the HIFI can of worms

In this price range and optimal box reduction, you have a DCS Bartok into ATC active speakers ( 19 or 40 ).
The most important in the chain is the source and preamp, then speakers/ amp.
In your case, if you want absolutely the Sonus Faber Olympica Nova, the balanced system would be Ndx2/ Xpsdr/ 282/ hicap/ 250 dr, so 5 boxes.

Linn or DCS into active ATC would be a good option in your case.

No way would I go down the multi box route tried it and decided life 2 short .
But the Barok system I think is a 1 box so maybe that’s what I should pursue .will Google it now thanks

Oh how things change ! looks like im about to buy the All New Classic 200 series … never say never as they say


@Kipstryker does have a sub with his SF’s but my point was he has better amplification than your nova can offer, to balance out his system, and to get more from his speakers.

Personally, as much as I know that subs can improve the overall sound of a system - I don’t think that is the best approach for you. Also in my view having one (or two) more extra boxes on a shelf is far more visually appealing than a big sub on the floor.

Additionally, @frenchrooster is correct in his analysis of an appropriate system for the Sonus Faber’s.

By the way, I have my multibox system to the right of my listening position, well away from my speakers and out of my field of vision. Also it has only one remote.

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The SFs would offer a different presentation. Whether they are an upgrade depends on whether you prefer the difference. And of course your room has a say in this.
I had mine from Nova through 282/250 to 252/300. And of course they have sounded better at each change.
The Kantas would too.
I am a big fan of the impact a good sub has. I have mine set so you only really notice it if you turn it off. If your room can handle the low frequency energy I would say definitely give it a try on demo. But you need a decent one that goes low and is agile with music.

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Speakers are such a personal thing, given that they influence the overall sound character of a system more than any other component.

The background as described makes me wonder if there is a parallel situation with my own recent experience, which I describe below in case it helps:

Back in 2016 having inherited some money I decided it was an opportunity to change my ~45 year old speakers for something better - not because the old ones were bad (far from it), but because it was conceivably possible to improve, with speakers to see out the end of my days (which I hope means another 3 decades or more). I did a mamoth road trip (detailed elsewhere on this forum), taking along my old speakers as reference, together with my amp, and auditioning PMC speakers Twenty-26, EB1i, Fact 12 and MB2SE. I am a transmission line addict, but ai also listened to the B&W 802D2, which was similar price to the MB2 because I was curious about them and were about the same price as MB2. I wasn’t over keen on the B&W, and the Twenty-26 were nowhere near as good as my existing speakers. EB1i was very good, and an improvement on mine in some ways, Fact 12 very good but somehow seemed constrained. MB2 were best, the best speakers I had ever heard.

I then reflected. It was a choice between EB1 and MB2. The MB2 was clearly the better speaker, but whilst both are large heavy speakers (~42kg), the EB1 is floorstanding speaker whereas the MB2 sits on a stand, which given the weight to lift on and off (with no handles) is considerably more difficult to move. And the EB1, secondhand, was £4k, while the MB2, ex-dem, and after negotiation, was £10K. My head ruled - manageability and cost - and I bought the EB1s. I then set about improving them using the ATC dome midrange unit I had from an uncompleted DIY project, and set up active driving, and I was very content, so much so that made no changes at all to the system, not even a simple tweak, for several years.

But there was subconscious niggle: the MB2 was there in the back of my head. In this forum I have since cited not buying them as my one and only regret in my 50+ year hifi journey to date. Then, just 5 weeks ago, I saw a pair of secondhand MB2s for sale at a remarkably good price (considerably less than the £10k ex dem pair 6 years ago), and I bought them that very day. Now the niggle is satisfied. I realise that the manageability issue is not, as I can set up in a position not needing moving, and when/if I need to move them but have become too old and weak, I’m sure my sons will come and oblige.

End of tale - and I think end of speaker path for me forever. it does leave me with questions over amplification, having gone back to passive, but that is a matter for consideration in due course.

BTW, I do not subscribe to the source first dogma - what matters is that you like what you have. As mentioned above, speakers make the signle biggest contribution to sound character, and in my experience that is a key to satisfaction. Of course the source must be good enough to not be a serious limitation, and the amp has to be sufficiently capable to control the speakers (to your satisfaction) and not let the, wallow about, as poor amplification can particularly with challenging speaker loads. Garbage in garbage out is not a valid argument for source first, because although true, the limiting factor in terms of detail and quality will always be whatever component is the weakest link in the chain.

Changing speakers isn’t going to help when the bottleneck in your system is the nova. The Naim classics improve on this. In the current range that’s a significant investment to replace a nova with ndx2/282/hicap.
The Kanta 2s are brilliant speakers and can take serious front end upgrades.
I suggest you hang fire and wait to see what streamer/preamp one box solution is coming, one that would replace your nova and match perfectly with a 250.


Yes good point I think I will have to wait and see in the hope that a better one box solution .

Thanks all for the abundance of help and advise.

Another choice, that some here have taken, is the Auralic streamer/ preamp into 250 . 2 boxes working apparently very fine too.

Looks like the equivalent of a modern 272!

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There is another route to a 1 box system: streaming preamp + active speakers. Apart from the Atom HE, Naim seem to have vacated the streaming-pre space for now, but Auralic, dCS, Linn and several others have offerings at all price levels. And, who knows, perhaps the 272.2 might put in an appearance next year.


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