And your post clearly illustrates why speakers are so subjective and why one must hear them rather than ask for recommendations. Which is a question so often asked in forums.
I thought the Sopra 2's were the best speaker I heard at AXPONA in their price range. And I own Dynaudios! Of course you had the advantage of being able to audition in your home and that is even better. Glad you found the speakers that are right for you.
You said it, Paraneer. This type of thing happens, Hinde, you're definitely not alone. When I bought my Wilson Benesch Arcs pre-owned, they sounded absolutely awful in the living room of the guy selling them. If you didn't know what they were, you wouldn't have paid $200 for them. For whatever reason...room, location, positioning, equipment, whatever, that system was a FAIL. I bought them anyway because I'd heard them previously at a dealer and I knew they should sound better. And they do - I listened to the Beach Boys 1964 Sessions album last night, and it was like I was in the studio with them. Just wonderful in my space. Point being, there are just too many variables in play - a pair of speakers that sound glorious in one room and system can sound completely disappointing in another. It's not an indictment of your ears, your room, or the speakers...it just happens that way sometimes.
in my limited exposure to Wilson speakers I much prefer them with tube gear over ss
my two cents
I've heard very expensive speakers totally fall apart in a bad room.
Everything in audio seems to be co-dependent.
I auditioned the Sopras at Apex in Denver. I was very disappointed in their sound. I found them very bright and not enjoyable with a broad range of music. Initially they were played with SS Aestethix gear. I complained about the brightness and Carl switched them over to VAC. It helped quite a bit, but I still didn't like the sound. It literally hurt my ears at volume on the high notes.
These speakers, Focal/JM Labs, can be bright if not gear-matched properly. I have auditioned several older models of each brand. I have not had an opportunity to demo the Sopra models.
I listened to the Sopra 2's last fall. I expected from all I read to be blown away. Didn't care for them one bit. Utterly disappointed. I liked the Sopra 1's, Wilson Sabrina, and Revel Studio 2's.
Bought the Revels. I could have been happy with the Sopra 1's and Sabrina's too.
I think it is important in which sequence you are listening speakers.People who listen first dynaudio then sopra,might be impressed by sopras clear sound and disapointed by dynaudio bland sound:)
And people who auditioned a lot of speakers and got tired of sounds can find dynaudio sound relaxing.
In the end you can keep both speakers for diffrent situation and mood swings
In my case , sometimes after listening dyn c1 or s1.4 switched to harbeth SHL5 and found that scale of music was bigger and sound was cleaner .Other way round switching I found that harbeth does not have punch and nice sweet rythmic highs of dyns
I am one of the people who has been smitten with their Sopra No2's. I auditioned a lot of excellent speakers before selecting them, nothing "wrong" with the other's, just not my preference.
When I first auditioned the Sopra's, it was in a smallish room, driven by a "bright" sounding amplifier; the salesman let me know that you needed a much "smoother" sounding amp to match well with that tweeter.
The other brands I reviewed were the Wilson's, Harbeth's, Magico's, Sonus Faber's, ATC's, Raidho's, Devore's, B&W's and Dynaudio's, all great speakers in their own right, but for my tastes and hearing, once I got the Sopra's "dialed in" to my "man cave", they put a smile on my face.
Good luck to everyone and enjoy whatever speakers you find most pleasing!
Speakers, what an interesting learning process. I currently have 3 sets, DALI Ikon 2, Mark 2, Joseph Audio RM25XL Mark 2, and the Sopra No.2.
Have tried each speaker set up with Hegel H300 or Hegel H160, in 3 different rooms in my home.
The Sopra's are best in the big Family room, I enjoy them less in the smaller listening room, but still sound very good. Sound great with either Hegel.
The JA's sound best in my smaller private listening room (10X12) with the H160, less push than the H300, they prefer handling less power and sound best to me with the H160. Also the room just seems to be the right size for the speakers.
Surprising the DALI stand mounts sound best in a room size between the Family room and the small private listening room. Sounds great with either Hegel.
I have each system dialed in now based on the room and electronics. my point is it all makes a difference and each system sounds (Amp and Speakers) best in different settings.
At the end of the day some may just not like the Sopra sound. Each system I have sounds great to me now and they all do sound different as one would expect. Kind of like blondes (I prefer), brunettes and redheads. All very pleasing. The best system from many listeners opinions is the H300 with the Sopra's. As many have said after a few select tracks, just like being there.
As ejr1953 stated, find what sounds best to you and enjoy.
After hearing them three times I wonder if rake/tilt is a real thing for their setup. Each time to me they were disjointed; I was cognizant of the drivers and the cabinet. The sound changed oddly with listening distance. Not so with the utopias or the Sopra1, although 1’s house-type sound was turn off for me. At RMAF there was major gulf between the lines despite the price difference. I have to think my experience was at least partly positioning problems.
Thanks for the responses. I'm sure that the Sopra's work well with the right electronics and in the right room. I'm also sure that some will listen to them and love their sound. Personal taste is probably the most important variable. And so I won't rise to extravaganza's the bland bait.
I guess I was surprised by several things. The first being that I've never been a Dynaudio fan never expected to own them. The second being that the Sopra's have been so well reviewed that I fully expected to love them and buy them. To the extent that I made excuses for them. And third, I was stunned to realize that my opinion of the Sopra's was only fully formed and clear after listening to the Dynaudios.
This experience has been an eye opener.
I'm new to the forum so I hope this is the right place to post. I just received my new Sopra #2 on Thursday evening, I traded in a pair of Focal 948's. I really like the Focal sound and the Sopras were amazing when I heard them at the dealers, however they sound really flat with no low end in my room. I know they need a little time to break in, but I'm super stressed that they won't improve. They are in the same position as my 948s with all the same equipment mac 2500 pre/ 452amp and VPI prime turntable. Should I be concerned with their sound at this point?
Focal likes to de-tune their speakers with < 4 Ohm impedances in the critical bass slam region, around 70-150 Hz.
The only real fix is a really beefy amp.
If you ever take a look inside, I'd love a pic of their crossover.
Erik seems to be spot on in regards to the Sopra 2 being demanding for power right around 80-100hz. It goes below 4 Ohm and and includes pretty demanding phase angle as well. The NRC measurements published by Soundstage has both plots.
It wouldn't surprise if the bookshelf design had taken into account a less beefy amp and adjusted accordingly. Sounds like your situation was a system mismatch.
Well, the Mac 452 is very powerful, so how could that be the issue?
Before I purchased my Sopra no2's, I auditioned them at Overture in DE using a Hegal then a Macintosh Integrated amplifier. They were in 2 different rooms, each well damped and setup properly. I wasn't impressed with them in the smaller room using the Hegal. Later I decided to give them another listen in a larger room with a big Macintosh Integrated. There was no comparison. I purchased a pair on the spot. These speakers need room to breathe.
I often see pictures of owners listening rooms with Sopra2's pushed up against the wall, next to a large TV. UGH! I guess the WAF won and the speakers lost.
My setup also has a Plasma between my Sopra's but the speakers are around 5' from the wall behind the TV. My room is 28' wide so sidewall reflections are pretty much not a factor. That gives them room to bloom and couple to the room.
They are also sensitive to crappy electronics. I'm using a Simaudio 700i which is very smooth and powerful and it's a great match.
Also, my speakers took forever to break-in. I lost track of the hours but they are currently 1 year old and have finally settled in.
Nice speakers......I plan to hold on to mine for quite some time which I've never done with speakers before.
Dwhite, I assume your speakers are new and the dealers speakers had many hours on them?
I have had mine 8 months and they continue to improve. I have about 250 hours on them. After the 1st month they started to sound like the pair I auditioned at the dealer (well over 400 hours on the demo pair). They need time to break in and they do like to breath. I also have the Simaudio 700I now, a perfect match.
I expect my Sopra's to improve with more hours, up to 400 hours I have read.
Don't be concerned, give them some time to settle in.
dwhite11, if you haven't, connect the Focals to the 4ohm taps. If that doesn't help, go with the 2ohm taps of your amp. If that doesn't work, you may want to consider something like the DSpeaker anti-mode. It will give you the ability to boost the bass. Although it is anathema to many, I like having tone controls for just this sort of situation.
Guys thanks for the advice, my speakers are brand new so I should give them a little time to break in before I panic. Crouse99 the nominal impedance is 8ohm, but I'll try the 4ohm tap and let you know if it changes the sound.
Not being familiar with Mac gear, it appears to be a very hefty amplifier with some design specs that are somewhat uncommon.
First it appears to produce 450w of power no matter the load 8,4, or 2 Ohm. We more commonly see increases (and sometimes decreases) as impedance drops. The other is the three sets of taps which are rated for 8,4, or 2 Ohm. This again a fairly unique element for their amps.
While I doubt the 2 Ohm taps are necessary, maybe some experimentation between 4 and 8 ohms would be worth while test. This model does stay fairly low going from the baser to the mids and then goes up a good but as it moves up.
I would kill for a picture of the Sopra's crossover. If they did the same trickery as they did int he Profiles, this is fixable.
Dwhite, just checking in to see how you are enjoying the Sopra's, I assume they have started to open up for you. The low end should be very good. Mine shake the house when listening to some good B3 jazz. Those bass pedal tones are deep.