Amplifier for my new Focal Sopra no2


Have ordered a pair of Sopra 2 in white (interestingly, it is referred to as Stormtrooper by some users which l really agree) and a Esoteric N05.  Due to space limitation, thinking of an integrated amp to complete the system and the shortlisted are:
Simaudio Moon 600i
Naim Supernait 2
Hegel

Any Sopra 2 owners (or potential owners) have comment?

Need to shop cables too but would leave this later. 
syk

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.


Good luck.

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,
Nonoise
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. 

Thanks all. 
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).

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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.  


Hi all, interested as well as I recently took the plunge and aquired a pair of Sopra 3s. I currently have  hegel H30 dac and anzus carbon speaker cables. The system sounds powerful and dynamic and very listenable with smooth vocals. Moving stillpoints around under different gear (or repositioning) makes a noticable difference to the sound as well. In any case I'm curious what amplifier others have found pairs the best with the Sopra. Thanks!

Dave
Lyngdorf TDIA 2170. Best thing I’ve ever heard. Makes my old setup sound broken, although a lot of that is the room correction and my crappy room. Or if you need more power the 3400. 
Focal loves Devialet - if you've the budget the D400/D440 is the sweet spot.  You wont find better without spending $$$
Go with good cables - copper.  You'll want something full bodied without giving up the resolution.  Try the new Lessloss C-Marc speaker cables.

I was lucky enough to get a pair from one of the first shipments of Sopra No2's to the U.S., now enjoying them for over 2 1/2 years.

I drive them with a McIntosh tube preamp and McIntosh MC452 power amp.  I have them in a 24x26' room and when I'm really cranking it, the needles on the power amp dance around the 4.5 watt mark.

The Sopra's are quite efficient, so I'd chose a "warm sounding" amp, modest power output would likely be OK, unless you listen in a really large room, at high volumes.

I have heard the Sopra's driven by what I'd call a "fast sounding" amp, and didn't like them so much.

BTW, please be patient as you break these speakers in.  I found they really "settled in" in about six months.
Thanks, tonedaily.  Not surprised hearing Pass showed good performance.  It is a brand impressed me very much since I started enjoying the audio things thirty years ago.  

After runin and some tuning in position, my sopra has showed improvements.  Am satisfied with it very much.
drive it with Jadis JA30 . 
NAIM is great gear....goofy speaker cable connections...
i use Kimber with my NAIM amp running Vandersteens 

enjoy your system
@syk 

I've heard the Sopra 2 at the shop paired with Rega Osiris analog integrated amp with Rega Isis CD player served as digital source component. They sounded fabolous together highly musical. Rega makes very musical sounding gears and is very good at expressing musical emotions and feelings. 
Rega Osiris integrated is Rega's flagship integrated amp and currently retails for $10k. The Rega Isis CD player is also Rega's flagship CD player and currently retails for $10k. You should consider the Rega Osiris integrated amp for your Focal Sopra 2. 

Hi caphill, thank u for the suggestion.  As refer to my earlier post, have had bought the Naim 272 and 250 DR units.  Quite match the sopra and am happy with the set-up. Nevertheless, after 1yr+, I believe a better source and amplification can further boost the performance. Or in other words , the real performance of sopra has yet to be released, I believe.  
@syk

Great yeah I guessed I didn’t read through the whole thread didn’t realize that you have purchased the Naim gears. Sorry my bad. I love Naim gears and am myself a Naim owner. In my main two-channel setup in a dedicated well treated listening room I have the Naim Statement gears which consist of the Naim NAC S1 linestage preamp and the Naim NAP S1 monoblock power amps driving the Magico M6 speakers.

But I’m not using Naim digital front end source components. I have DCS Vivaldi full four stacks which consist of the Vivaldi master clock, Vivaldi upsampler, Vivaldi DAC, Vivaldi CD/SACD transport.
I also have turntable rigs with an ARC Reference 10 phonostage pre.
Do you have a turntable in your setup?

I’m also using the Naim Uniti Nova in my bedroom setup paired with the B&W 805 D3 stand-mount speakers. I’m very happy with this all one box solution Uniti Nova very musical sounding and makes it suitable for a bedroom or a small room setup paired with compact stand-mount speakers or compact floorstanders.
Hey caphill, you just get all the best gears in the world!  

My latest findings with regard to the weakest link of my system is the source.  Streaming, while convenient, of the 272 is not comparable to CD transport at all.  I fed the 272 via coaxial using it as a DAC only resulted in more punchy, rhythmic and special sound.  It’s just an Oppo universal player. 


Lot's of good options for you.  I'm running an Ayre AX5/20 with my Vandy Quatro's and love it.  Will be upgrading to Richard's new mono blocks I think, but if you can find a used AX5/20, it's a nice combo with your speakers.   I've heard this combo on a few occasions and felt it was a wonderful match.  So much speed and micro and macro detail.  The tone was still spot on and it threw a wonderful soundstage.  Never felt it was lacking in drive as it had plenty of power to run them.  JMHO
Need to study, do audition and start savings...

That’s where the fun is...
@syk 

Your Naim NAC N272 is upgradable with the addition of a Naim external power supply unit such as the XP5 XS, XPS or 555 power supply unit to achieve better sonic results. You should try that and will be rewarded with the results. 
Naim products can easily be upgraded by adding Naim's external PSU. 
Yes.  I have studied that as well and a friend, who is a big Naim fan, strongly suggests the upgrade of power supply.  His view is that sound would be more airy, rhythmic and musical.  


Yes indeed. Adding a Naim external PSU will significantly improve the sound quality and musicality.

Or alternatively there’s always room to upgrade to a higher end Naim standalone analog linestage preamp with external PSU and a separate Naim streamer + separate Naim DAC as well as upgrading to a higher end Naim power amp with external PSU, which will take the overall performance and musicality to a whole new level.


This upgrade path thing of Naim is both good and bad.  Audiophiles always want to try something different and new, and Naim limits them from connecting gears of other brands.  For instance, cannot connect with balance inputs/ outputs.  
the Sopra N2 were voiced with the NAP 300DR, I’ve owned the Sopra N2, N3 and now Scala V2's and all sets I used the N272/555PS with a 250DR, 300DR and now N272/555PS/500DR, the 300DR is a very nice setup with the N272/555PS and don’t waste your money on a XPS
@syk

My Naim Statement gears have regular XLR balanced, RCA single-ended as well as DIN connections. For example, my Naim NAC S1 linestage preamp has 2 XLR, 3 RCA & 3 DIN inputs and has XLR, RCA & DIN outputs. And my Naim NAP S1 monoblock amps each has 1 XLR balanced input on each amp.
So it tells you that you can connect and mix match from and to other brands.

I know that some Naim lower end gears (non Statement gears) have only DIN connections. However, I also own a Naim Uniti Nova in my bedroom setup and the Uniti Nova has regular XLR & RCA connections.

@atekelidis was right...the newer Focal speakers such as the Sopra no 3 and no 2 were voiced using Naim amplifications and electronics ever since the merger of the two.
JC1 monoblocks fed by PrimaLuna EVO 400 tube preamp here, fed by AURALiC G series digital.  Have had the Sopra N*2 for over a year (in Audi Blue), and just love these things.  The PrimaLuna puts a nice color on the sound, and the JC1s love some tube goodness at the preamp level.

Naim is awesome, but so many other options sound JUST as good or better (and many worse), so there is no "best pairing".  Stay open.

BTW, I think Moon amplification (400M) is a bit over rated.  I put up a pair of their monoblocks next to the JC1s and BHK 300s, not even close.  Just my opinion, of course.

Spoke to a buddy of mine who owns one of the Naim pre and amps.  He has Vandersteen's like Tomic does and loves the combo in a big way.  He has owned Focal's in the past and I know he's always been a Naim guy, so I assume he liked the combo.
Hi guys, I’m back After some serious upgrades:

Original gears:
Focal Supra no2
Naim 250 DR
Naim N272

New gears:
Naim super lumina speaker cables
Naim XPS DRNaim power cords 

Results:
Every aspects have improved!  Punchy, More musical, bigger sound stage and positions, power, vocal, highs and lows...  

I was not convinced with buying a power supply at that price (after all just transformer and capacitors?) but the outcomes prove the dollars worth
Guys, the power supplies will often make the largest difference.  I have the best server/DAC in the world (my thoughts as well as a well respected reviewer at TAS, The Memory Player by Laufer Technik).  They are going to break the whole power supplies out of the main box they JUST designed and will now isolate and clean the power in a way that can't be done in the same box.  It's what many top designers do and it's because it means that much.  I'd also look at installing a new Audioquest Hurricane or better power cord. I can promise you that it's about as good as it gets.  Makes a tremendous difference. 

I think Tomic has done something similar but I'm not sure.
Can’t agree More. Ample current and low noise are essential to all devices.