To Jeff Fritz,
Do you have any experience matching Focal Utopia speakers with electronics? I have a pair of Maestro Utopias and I know that they are rather demanding about electronics matching. I am thinking Pass Labs or Boulder. I tried Electrocompaniet, but it was just too soft for my tastes. I know Vitus is splendid, but because of budgetary constraints and the need for more than 100Wpc, I think that is a non-starter. Any suggestions are much appreciated.
I do not have direct experience with Focal Utopia loudspeakers, but I have reviewed Pass Labs amplifiers and reviewed and owned Boulder electronics. Personally, I think either would match well with the large Focals, but I think I would lean toward Boulder if forced to choose because of its extremely quiet nature. The Boulder noise floor is so low and the amplifiers are so neutral that they make a surefire pairing with almost any high-performance loudspeaker.
I assume you are probably looking at a Boulder 1010 preamplifier and 1060 amplifier. It is a splendid combination. Regarding Pass Labs, I have no experience with their latest amplifiers and preamplifiers, but Nelson Pass is surely one of the great designers. I just don’t know enough about their newest products to offer an opinion. The older X600.5s were quite good, however. Still, Boulder is a hard one to beat. . . . Jeff Fritz