Deliriously sublime

hi, it’s an odd room because it is a combination living/dining room and it is open on the right to an walkway. The listening area (not counting the hallway and going back four feet behind the listening area is about 14 x 18. What are your concerns?

My concern is the room
May be too small. I’m building a room around 21ft long, 13/14ft wide and 8ft high. Current room is open concept with living room, kitchen off to side and a long open hallway leads to the entranceway. Very curious about how they will sound with the BHK amp and pre set up.

I’m assuming you mean the room is too small for the speakers. Some people are concerned that the speakers are too small for a room.

Either way, all I can tell you is that my room extends to 22 feet and if I could I’d use it all for the listening room. Unfortunately, I need a space to eat as well :slight_smile:

The 1038s have a huge soundstage. They quite easily come up to normal listening levels with the BHK and do not break a sweat reaching concert levels.

I would not hesitate to acquire them on the basis of a potential room mismatch if you like their sound, which I think is exceptional driven by the BHK. I do not share a wall with neighbors and for me concert levels is pretty loud, without distortion.

Yes. Room too small. thank you for that info. I think I am picking them up this afternoon. I tend to listen at concert levels if I am in the yard, usually not directly in front of the speakers. I like the idea of a low-mid level without losing much. It is something I have read many folks experience with this speaker.

Good luck. I hope they meet your expectations. They certainly met mine. I had a pair of Martin Logan Expression 13A and sold them to get the Focals. I’ve always had planars or electrostatics but these 1038s sounded so musical… I think they are very special. I hope you do too. Best.

Oh, give them plenty of time to break in if they are new. When those drivers loosen up the magic begins.

These are previously owned, so they should Be broken in, hopefully not just broken.

Still working on the positioning.


You got quite a job there with all the pieces that surround them.

the space is a temp for a couple months. Sounds very good even with the tight area

Hello Sir,

I’m in the market for a STEREO or DUAL-MONO amp to drive my Focal Chora 826 tower speakers!

I was wondering if you could offer me your 2 cents… especially because you are familiar with Odyssey Audio and Audio by Val Alstine

Current Setup (3.2)-

  1. Focal Chora Front LR & Center + dual SVS PB-1000 subwoofers

2.Onkyo TX-RZ 820 AV receiver

  1. receiver preouts to a pair of vintage Marantz monoblock amplifiers (MA6100) - driving the Focal Chora 826 towers

  2. receiver preouts to a Parasound Zamp v.3 in bridged-mono - driving the Focal Chora center channel

Thoughts -

They Marantz monoblocks have age-related shortcomings and I don’t think it’s worth it to spend the money on getting the monoblocks reconditioned.

I was hoping that a stereo or dual-mono amp could replace the pair of Marantz MA6100 monoblocks.

The usage is 70:30 (home-theater : music).

The top contenders are:

  1. Odyssey Khartago Stereo Extreme with some special customizations by Klaus

Some other (more mainstream) amps I’m considering -

  1. Anthem MCA 225 Gen 2
  2. Parasound A 23+
  3. Roksan K3

Also, I’m trying to stay around a budget of $2000

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts !!

Thank you again!

P.S. I’m exclusively looking for new amps with warranty because I haven’t had the best luck with used electronics…

warranty = peace of mind & no blown tweeters

1 Like

Hey Darth…

Consider this…

PS Audio make excellent gear…

Here is a link to Parasound…both the A23+ and the Stellar are in the same price range

The A23 $1699…the PS Audio s300 $1649…

Music Direct offers a 60 day free home trial
and also offers the Parasound line.

Either would be under your $2000 budget limit

Currently I have the Focal Aria 948s driven by Parasound JC5 amp
and could not be happier…

Better move quickly given parts shortages and inflation.

Happy audio journey Darth

Best wishes

Thank you, sir!

you’re the second person who has suggested the PS Audio S300 in the past one day… so I’m definitely considering it!

any opinion on Van Alstine’s VISION SET 400?


Your top two choices are both excellent amps with surprisingly similar sound profiles. I have in the past owned the Khartago, Stratos, Stratos Mono’s, and a Kismet over a 20+ year period. I consider Klaus a friend and have been doing business with him since 1999. Though I don’t own one now I’m sure I will again in the future. Both companies have excellent service and both owners are readily available just by picking up the phone. Having owned 4 Odyssey amps and never a Van Alstine amp I decided to just give the SET 400 a try and have not been disappointed as it have been a near perfect match with the Don Sachs preamp. If I were you I would not hesitate to buy from either company. What it may come down to is what your time frame for having the amp in your hands. While Frank has a small waiting time of a couple of weeks the last I heard it was months in the case of Odyssey as unless things have changed it is just Klaus, Alex and Irina there full time while Frank has a slightly larger staff. While Klaus’ warranty like Bryston is great I would not let it be a deciding factor as neither amp is likely to ever have an issue as long as you own it. If I were you based on my experience I would stick with these your two top choices as the others wouldn’t be on my list. The S300 does not even belong in the same discussion. There has been an awful lot of theorizing going on here lately about how things sound from people who haven’t heard them. I have owned both of your two top choices and have had three different amps though my house with those generations of ICE modules and not the same. You can help them out with different input buffers but in the end they are what they are.

Dear Sir,

Thanks a lot for chiming in! I really appreciate your time.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a dedicated preamp…

I just use the preouts on my Onkyo TX-RZ 820 AV receiver and connect it to my power amps (Marantz monoblocks, the ones I’m replacing)

My Focal Chora 826 speakers have a sensitive of 91 dB (so I suppose they’re easy to drive?)…

I just talked to Frank earlier today and he suggested the SET 120 CONTROL AMPLIFIER after realizing that my Focals have a sensitivity of 91 dB.

My only concern is that I currently drive the Focals using a 125 WPC Class A/B monoblock…

also, Frank told me that he doesn’t like to watch movies using a surround system, and that he prefers 2.0.

He told me to hook up the SET 120 CONTROL AMPLIFIE R directly to the TV headphone jack, and use 2.0 for all purposed.

I am a big proponent of surround sound, especially my Focal center channel and the dual SVS subwoofers were true game changers for movie soundtracks!

So, I was wondering if I should go with the Vision SET 400 Amplifier and hook it up to my AV receiver preouts (instead of getting the SET 120 like Frank suggested)…

I apologize if my question is dumb, I am still learning…

Also, Klaus told me that the wait time is 6 weeks but I heard from a few of his customers (who are in queue) that he hasn’t fulfilled their amp orders even after 6-7 months have passed. So that is a bit concerning… I am not planning to wait more than a month or so.

In your situation I don’t agree with Frank but then again he is strictly a 2:1 movie sound guy. Based on what you now know and what I know about Klaus’ delivery estimates I would buy the SET 400 and call it a day. You won’t be disappointed. When you have the time to wait in the future I would certainly try an Odyssey amp even if you do a saved search on HiFi Shark and get one used as the warranty is transferrable.

Thanks again for sharing your $0.02 !! I’m moving SET 400 to the top of my list!!

Would the lack of a preamp (in between the AVR and power amp) hurt me?

An avs forum veteran gave me this suggestion -

"Forgive me for insisting. You are looking at $2-3K high end power amps to be controlled by a mid range AVR. In my opinion you have to rethink the whole thing, as you are not going to get a lot from an expensive sophisticated power amp.

Same thing with a tube power amp, driven by a solid state AVR is a waste. Also, 100wpc could be plenty of power to drive these speakers. I much rather have quality 100W than a 500W noise generator.

As for the Parasound preamp, it has HT bypass, meaning you can connect it to the AVR in a way that you can still use the AVR for TV and movies, and plug in your music sources to the preamp for 2 channel audio."

I was wondering if it might be a good call to get an integrated amp (Parasound Hint 6 for instance)?

P.S. I always try to be judicious about spending money, and I was just hoping to find the perfect replacement for the excellent vintage Marantz monoblocks that are being retired…

Is what you’re proposing optimal no but you’ve got to start somewhere. Later down the line you can either buy a dedicated stereo preamp with HT bypass for movies or buy a better HT preamp like the Anthem STR and remove the AVR. If you do it in measured steps you will know what you are really looking for in the next piece and not just be guessing.

that makes a lot of sense!

I could get the VISION SET 400 and call it a day (for now)

and down the line, maybe after 2 years or so, I could replace the Onkyo AVR with a stellar AV processor from Anthem (or something similar)…

I was hoping I could run one more option by you? (especially since you brought up Anthem)

A local dealer is doing a 20% off (trade-in) deal for Anthem products.

Would an MCA 225 Gen 2 be a comparable option?

If you were in my shoes, would you prefer the Anthem MCA 225 Gen 2 or the VISION SET 400?

Both of them have the same WPC (225 WPC) and seem to be built like fortresses!

(Anthem will save me about $300)

In terms of published specs it certainly appears to be comparable. I have never heard an Anthem amp so I don’t know anything about it’s current voicing. If the dealer will let you try it you have nothing to lose. Even if you can’t the owner reviews seem very good. I couldn’t find any professional reviews yet though.