Blade 2, Sopra 2 or 3 or Scala Evo?


Having had my NAD C370/Canton Ergo RC-L for two decades, im now up for a very exciting and an serious upgrade. The Ergo is true full range, but a bit sharp in the treble, the combination gives a warm, intimate sound (a bit small soundscape, midrange with drawn, details ok), and by the way my Audeze LCD-2.2 with Burson Conductor Virtuoso sounds amazing to me.

Have spent quite some time auditioning speakers in different sizes, price ranges, brands, both here in Stockholm and last few years i was living in Singapore (Adelphi is a 6 story shopping mall with audio and high end only stores - go there if you get the chance!! ), ive made the following shortlist.

I've narrowed down to these options (for the moment)
- Focal Sopra no 2 or 3
- Focal Scala Utopia Evo (very different from V2)
- Kef Blade 2

i listen to Drum´n´Bass, EDM, Compressed Pop, Contemporary and classical jazz, some blues, opera and classical and modern and old fart rock. No LPs or CDs, only FLAC and lossless streaming.

Music and how the artform and the artists having created the music (-art piece) - moves me, affects me emotionally either by the fun and joy it creates or just being touched. I want the system to communicate feelings rather than presenting facts. Music and musicians play for me in the room, things should feel they happen in the room (in contrast to feeling transported into the recording, to another place) Slight warmth and very slight forgiving preferred to perfect neutrality.
Electronics? my NAD M51 and the Mac Mini + Amarra will stick for a few years but i intend to buy Moon, Pass Labs, MBL, Boulder, Burmester, Bryston, Plinius (also preferably demo or preowned) depending on which speaker i choose.

Live in Stockholm and will buy in europe, either new, demo or pre owned (thus the huge price range from PMC fact 12 to Scala Utopia 2 for example).
havent had the chance to try any of them in my 6,6x4.2 room (32sqm) with 2.8m ceiling.

Have listened to in different rooms, with different electronics (often weeks or months apart .... )


The presentation between the Focals and the KEF is quite different, Focals (That is sopra and the latest scala EVO) being more airy and have higher resolution and KEF more precise in soundstage etc, But I'm not sure which is most natural and gives the most "singer in the room" feeling.

I wonder if the Sopra 3 and the Scala EVO will give my room to much of the bass (I'll be able to position the quite freely, but they need to be along the long wall) or they will be to lose to the back wall or the listener cramping the soundstage, some reviewers note they need space any experience?


thanks in advance, any comments, suggestions or feedback apreciated !

/Pontus
pontusj
Since you are in Europe, if you go KEF Blade 2, you should also look at Electrocompaniet Nemo amps.  KEF uses them to demo the Blade in their factory museum.  I am using them with my KEF Reference 5s and they are outstanding.
Thanks Greg. i first heard them with Electrocompaniet AW 400, the grip, the slam and the details in the bass was something i never heard before. ill revisit that thought of Electrocompaniet definitely!
Between the Focals, it's not even close, the Scala EVO (the price differential reflects that). 

That room is pretty big, 4.2m depth should be fine as long as you set the bass jumpers to the low setting (one of the best things about the Focals besides the performance is the flexibility).  On my Maestros, putting the jumper in the low position transformed bass in my room - took the bass from being a little heavy to whip quick and extremely articulated - I was pretty shocked at the difference.
Scala EVO will work perfectly in your room, due to the fact that it has many adjustments as @bar81 pointed out.

I'd take it all day over the Sopra 3.  Not only due to the Sopra not having the ability to fine tune the sound, but also due to the fact that it's a far better speaker, as the price suggests.
Thanks for all the responses!

Any comments comparing Focal Sopra 3 and KEF Blade 2 for a room size like this? since they are in the same price range etc.

I would find it surprising you can't find a dealer with both brands in Europe.

We are a Kef dealer in the States and have the Blades, they are amazing setup with the right gear. Electrocompaniet and Kef is fantastic.

The Blades have a huge and well focused soundstage, due to the dual concerntric and semi horn loading.

The Blades also have a great bass punch and definition.

The new Sopras have a bit more air in the treble and a slightly richer midrange, the Sopras are the best imaging Focal designs but they still don't have the image specficity of the Kef. we also find them a bit more colored sounding. 

So it will depend on what you value if you are lookng for a very panoramic sound with a great floating center image, a very tight deep bass the Kefs would be better they also play very loud without any strain and are very punchy.

If you crave a slighty richer midrange, a slightly airy top end and punchy but a tad looser bass and a wide but less focused image then the Focals are better for you. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Thanks Troy! I appreciate your detailed response!
I've only found dealers who can audition Reference 5 and sopra 2 but not the bigger ones in the same store.
Have heard blade 2 with AW400, Hegel 360 and expensive Moon. Hegel would bey least preference overall (have heard the in many setups, great but there are better options imho).
Any experience with Pass labs x250.8 or other A/B from Pass together with Blade 2?
The Hegel is clean but dry sounding Electocompaniet a bit warmer perfect match especially in Europe where Electros gear should be less expensive then Pass.

Blades are way better then Ref 5.

Only the Blades have the higher end midrage driver with the lithium stiffening ring

We have both series. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
So I made the decision, after some 7-8 years casually trying out and reading about gear and the last year ramping up getting more serious in the upgrade. 

A pair of Focal Scala Utopia Evo and a Pass Labs INT 250 with wireworld cables to be delivered next week to my house.

I'm thrilled, this will be an upgrade from my current Canton Ergo Rc-l and NAD C370 to some serious high-end. 10x the price 😬😬😬 or so..

Didn't get the chance to audition Sopra 3 thoroughly (heard them once two years ago), but Scala Evo (much more balanced, coherent and natural than Scala v2) knocked out sopra 2 in every aspect (which one would hope since it's almost 3x the price).

Blade 2 is more focused, a bit more drama, holographic, soundstage size separation and precision incredible but resolution, details, natutralness especially in the treble and midrange the Focal Scala Evo is a clear winner (also costlier than blade 2).

Also listened to Sonus faber Amati Tradition in the same room with same electronics as Sopra 2 and Scala EVO, both Focals were arier and instruments were more detached from the speakers than with Sonus, sonus had more potent bass and more focus in the soundstage. Focal more natural to my ears. Treble is more pleasing to your ear regardless of material with this new generation of Focal!!!

Funny thing is while deciding between Scala and Blade I found the scala to be a little soft in bass slam and edges of guitars  very detailed without grain but lacking attack. Changed speaker cable from harmonix hs101 to wireworld eclipse 7 and what I found missing was there!!(though harmonix sounds more natural, but costs twice as much).

Dealer gave me a great package price so the choice in the end fell on Focal/Pass for many reasons.

And my kids won't be able to shoulder these 85kg beasts either ;)
Congrats on your choice!  Enjoy!
Your experience sort of sums up the reality of trying to find the best component for your preferences. Comprises! No perfect speaker exist, so we have to make trade-offs to find the best balance to our ears. Good luck and I have you enjoy your new system. 
I hope you enjoy your new system! 
Good choice on the EVO. It's not only significantly better than anything else on your list, they're one of the best speakers ever made at any price. Easy top 10 of all time.