SYK, I have the Sopra 2's. Have had them a year now and they have really opened up from when I first bought them. It takes some time, don't get discouraged if they don't sound as open and warm as you expected at the onset.
My integrated amps are SA 700i, Hegel 300 and 160. I also had a 600i to demo for a day. The SA 600i beat the 2 Hegels on all levels, but the price point for the SA is much more than even the newer H360 which I have not tried. The Hegel's do sound nice with the Sopra's.
The 700i kills with the Sopra's. Same with the 600i but to a lesser degree. The 700i is a significant step up from the 600i, but you are rewarded with amazing soundstage, speed, depth, clarity, punch and very articulate on the smallest of detail. The 600 is about 80-85% of what the 700i does. Sim and Sopra are a great match.
The Naim isn't the right amp for your speakers. Of the other 2, the Sim is most likely the safest choice. I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with Hegel, but I don't like the fact that they seem to go out of their way to hide that their products are made in China.
Your choice in integrated amp will play a huge part in how your system sounds. If you're willing to consider other options, here's a few that are worth looking into. Ayre 5 Series, CJ CA150, BAT 300x, Primare. If you have a dealer, YBA is the most common match for JM Labs in Europe, but hard to find in the US.
The focal sopras are always paired with VAC at shows. Seems to have a great synergy. VAC makes a couple of integrated amp options.
Thanks for the advices!
Will update my list wrt your suggestions and start audition. I have lots of time for this because I would need to wait at least 1 to 2 months for the delivery (no white in stock).
Will share my findings later.
SYK I was at AXPONA recently and ran across a Speaker Cable Company, Audio Envy (FT. Collins Co)., I bought a 8 foot pair of cables, cost around $250.00 for the pair. They sound really good with My 700i and the Sopra's. I compare them to my Silnote Poseidons (cost $1500.00) and they are very close in performance. I have only had them a few days and with more break in time the Audio Envy's could be right there with Silnotes. A great value at $250.00 for the pair. Just thought you might consider as you look at speaker cables.
Wow. Great CP! This would be on my list of connection choices, which is my step 3 and seems that it is time to start compiling the list.
My steps are: Step 1:speaker. Step 2: amp. Step 3: connections.
If you are open to tube amplification,
and given that the Sopra n2 are said to be a relatively easy speaker to drive,
I'd strongly recommend a Raven Audio amp. Sound stage is just through the roof, vocals are sublime, and bass is deep and tight. Since you mentioned an integrated amp, The Raven Reflection MKII comes to mind. I have heard it driving big tower speakers, and the sound was fabulous. Not to mention, this thing is drop dead gorgeous! Unless you will be trying to play rock or rap at concert levels, the Reflection should have plenty of oomph. https://www.ravenaudio.com/Reflection-MK2-Integrated-Amplifier_p_12.html
I am not a Sopra No2 owner but would like to be a potential owner. I currently own a pair of Diva Utopia Be and I used to drive them with a Hegel H200 integrated. Sounded good but was a tad short on the very top and bottom end. My guess is that you probably need to go with H300 or H360 if you decide to go the Hegel route. If your budget allows, some more expensive integrates will likely to release the full potential of these speakers. At least that's my experience with my Focal's.
There's been a couple of audio shows at Axpona and in Europe where Focal paired the Sopras with the Micromega M100 to great acclaim. Might be worth checking out.
All the best,
I would strongly suggest checking out the new Anthem STR integrated. I had a lucky opportunity to hear it driving a pair of Sopra no1's and it was incredible.
The room correction on it can end up being a life saver for you too. I'd see if you can find a local dealer who could loan it to you. Very impressive piece.
I do agree that the moon and micro mega stuff works well. Micro mega not as much, but still very acceptable. Sopras always sound good, but the key is to unlock the absolute magic thaey have hidden in them via system synergy. The Anthem surprisingly was the best I've heard.
Briefly read the spec of the Anthem STR and was impressed, especially the 8 bipolar transistors per channel, very promising.
Price is really not those sky high brands.
A longer audition list every day.
Focal Sopra 2s are very easy to drive at 91 dB. Consider the Pass Integrated series amplifiers. I'd bet the Class A INT30 would be plenty of power and sound great.
I drive my less efficient Sopra 1s (89 dB) with both my SIT2 (10 watts) and XA30.8 and not only is there plenty of power (especially with the XA) but the Sopras sound marvelous with the Pass.
Toneranger58 is correct....they take time to break in. I've had my Sopras for 14 months. They sound incredible. I'm also using an ARC LS28.
Go with Micromega. I have it and run Focal Arias 936 with it -- very nice. Or, go for the Benchmark AHB2, the best amplifier on the planet, bar none!
I don't think that any of the three amplifiers on your list should qualify.
1. Simaudio Moon 600i seems to have adequate THD, but looks really ugly. Also, I found amplifiers without global feedback to be a fad.
2. Naim Supernait 2 ii -- unsatisfying noise floor (See the Stereophile review).
3. Hegel -- some of their amps have bad thermal management (again, see a review in the Stereophile).
I just took delivery on a pair of Paradigm Persona 9h speakers. The speaker is a hybrid design. The bass is driven by built in amplification (1,400 watts per speaker). The speakers a very efficient (96db). I have been waiting for the new Anthem STR Integrated Amplifier to come out. The specs appear superb and it has built in ARC (Anthem Room Correction. I have an Anthem AVM60 in my home theater. The Anthem Room Correction works splendidly. The amplifier is class AB at 200 WPC at 8 ohms, 400 WPC at 4 ohms, and 530 WPC at 2 ohms. You should definitely check it out. You can check out the specs on Anthem's website (www.anthemav.com)
. Good luck with your search. You have a great pair of speakers. Happy Listening!
I think in recent years various brands have spotted the demand of high quality integrated amp and therefore have launched a lot of good gear. Of course, there are also some products that are below par. Audition would take a long time.
Besides, proper match among the components is also of utmost important.
I’ve been driving my Sopra2’s with a Simaudio 700i for the past 2 years. It loafs along with around 5 Watts staying in Class A mode except for loud (90+dB) bass peaks in my 15’x24’ room with high ceilings. It has absolutely no problem playing at 100db if I care to listen that loud.
I haven’t experimented with cables yet. I’m using Discovery Essence and Essential cables and balanced interconnects which improved dynamics over using unbalanced. Highly recommend using balanced if your source permits.
I auditioned the Sopra’s with Hegel, Naim, and McIntosh integrated amps in addition to the 700i. The Simaudio is very synergistic with the Sopra’s and my choice. It’s magic !!!
Taking more than 2 months, my no2 has arrived. They are beautiful and perfectly fit my living room.
Finally I have Naim 272 and 250DR for their simplicity- 2 boxes only. I also have set up a NAS for the system. I know myself that I would seldom play discs when I have a steamer. So far this is proved correct.
Sound is is very good and has had met my expectations. Lovely high (slight too much) and lots of bass (a bit too much and I did some tuning to control it). Vocal is superb.
I then have the Naim speaker cables to replace my aged MF.
Currently doing other tuning like power cords and line filters.
Sim700 was on my top lists but advices about reselling value in my area stopped me.