If you otherwise like the Focal house sound then this should be a great pairing. What you are describing is an extreme version of my dislike for the Focal house sound - which I find thin, bright and all about detail. Perhaps all that power from your Gryphon is accentuating these fatiguing aspects?
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Sounds like most Focal Speakers I have heard. So now you have a decision. Chase changes, modifications to your system to make them tolerable to you.
Or sell them to someone who loves the Focal Sound (and nothing wrong with that) and go find some speakers you love.
Otherwise... I'd be thinking Tube amp or pre-amp, or integrated.
Most of us here have had a speaker we just don't love. Many of us (me included) have chased system changes to tolerate them and try to love them. We post about the changes...
... but in the end most end up changing.
I had Sopra No 2 and experienced same;
Used relaxing yet detailed electronics to drive them; Luxman M900 amp/ C900 pre;
neutral cables;PS Audio DSD Dac;
damped room ( not bright);
They sounded awesome on about 3 songs; rest of time I was holding my ears;
Bass was like cardboard. I liked the sound of my former Aria 948 and 906 by a large margin;
I can’t imagine why they were so thin and bright; broken in all the other boxes checked... just could not figure them out.Good subs are mandatory; Dual Rel 812 at a minimum;
I’m sorry for your pain but I have been there.
That's the last thing a Gryphon's sound is. If anything it has a dark sound reputation. As I have heard with other Focal speakers.
You have other problems, suggest you try a simple cd player first and work from there.
Focals can certainly be bright if poorly paired I ran a pair of original Micro-Utopia's for years paired with a PP tube amp and never found them bright. I've only heard Gryphon in a show setting with their own speakers the sound was neutral but I can't even remember what model amp they were using.
Your cabling looks good too I have a Jorma digital cable and find it to be fantastic if I could afford their speaker cables I would have them. The sound is on the warm side of neutral.
I would say as others have suggested maybe mess around with speaker positioning also if the gear is new let it break in. But I'll also say don't kill yourself getting bright sounding speakers to sound not bright. Cut bait and move and certainly don't throw good money after bad.
Try toe-in /out. Room is fully room treatment (Gyk acoustics).
Use the intergreated Gryphon Diablo DAC. I think most of you are right. The Sopras are just to bright. But because they are new( 8-9months ) and difficult to sell from where I live,I wanted your opinions so maybe I could fix that problem somehow.
I think that this speaker uses a Beryllium tweeter. I have heard tweeters of this type sound good, but this is not a material I would favor and usually dont like tweeters of this type. Experiment with speaker placement and tame your first reflection points to see if this helps. An acoustically bright environment with this speaker could be your problem. Wish I knew more about your cable. I dont think the Gryphon is your problem although tubes would probably help this situation. As Erik suggested, dont toe the speakers in one bit.
For what it’s worth I attempted toe-in (and moving to other area of house to try in different acoustic environment) and nothing would shake the intensity in the upper midrange/ lower treble (aka "presence region");
I did not put thin cotton ring around the tweeter, though, a trick I have done before that works wonders for smoothing out response in this area;
In the end I sold them chalking it up to bad synergy and the fact that we all hear differently; I moved "back" to the smoothest sweetest most refined tweeter/ presence region i’ve ever heard: Dynaudio.
Good Luck to you sir!
I'm with dpac996. I have an older speaker presently in my system. Mirage M3Si. I have been building my new system for about 1 1/2 years and speakers are the last big category to replace. The Mirage uses a metal tweeter, made of titanium. Berylium is the common metal used now in place of titanium (like I said, mine are old speakers). I absolutely did not want to move into a Focal speaker due to them using a metal tweeter. I have always found Dynaudio speakers to sound just right in the midrange and the high frequencies. And thus, my decision was made and now have a pair on order for the new Dynaudio Contour 60i. They are due to arrive in the US during August. Well anyway, that's my story. The bottom line is that metal tweeters, especially if the room has a reflection issue, can be rather bright. However, you described a very well treated listening environment. I can only believe, therefore, that the metal tweeter is just not the right product for your listening taste. As others have stated, we have all made mistakes or error in judgement. We try, but ultimately move out of the product and make a change. The pursuit goes on. I wish you the best in finding and settling on what pleases you the most.
I had the exact same system you have. Diablo 300 with N10 and Sopra 3s. I did find it to be a bit edgy and intense with certain music but not like you are describing. I had wireworld eclipse 7 and never used silver cables.
I have EVO Scala’s with Octave gear now and absolutely love it.
I agree with others you may want to try tubes or class A amps. Maybe change up the DAC as well.
While I am not sure that I agree with d2girls that we necessarily want to strive for a flat sound signature, I do think he/she makes an excellent recommendation that you may want to buy an eq. In fact, the Schitt Loki is only $150 and users here give excellent reviews noting no degradation in sound from the unit.
D2girls; my confidence 30 and 50 measure very flat; Dynaudio designed these in their mega expensive Jupiter Lab; they are like a precision instrument that does not emphasize any particular frequency, so I’ll have to disagree with you; Some speakers are just voiced one way or another with actual program material however; Trust me; if the recording is live and well balanced the Dyns will portray that about as perfectly as possible. There is no roll off in the tweeter;
I would be willing to bet most folks prefer a sound that emotionally connects them to the music, which by definition is the embodiment of emotion; our ears are not microphones and our brains are not oscilloscopes; I think Nelson Pass said that and I happen to agree; Cheers all and enjoy the music!!
I had a similar experience with some lesser Focals (profile 918) a few years ago. I picked them in a shop demo room over everything else I heard that day and I’d even taken my own amp and CD player in for the demo. Got the Focals home on loan for a week and just couldn’t get them to sound anything less than excruciating in my room. I ended up with Thiel CS1.6 so it wasn’t too much detail that was the problem. I‘ve head other Focals since at shows, mostly with Naim amps (which I use), including some large Utopia models and never found them enjoyable despite the merger/takeover which presumably means Naim amps will be among those used for voicing the recent models.
I have Focal Sopra 3's, and have never heard them sounding 'bright' except in an untreated room with reflective walls.
In my 13'10" x 19' room, which has a wool rug on a wood floor over a concrete slab, absorbtion at sidewall reflection points plus 88 sq ft of bass traps, they sound very well balanced across the frequency range, coherent and detailed without ever being bright or harsh.
Driving them with a Linn LK280 (recapped) amplifier, Linn Kairn preamp, Bryston bda-2 DAC. Source is a Raspberry Pi 4 streamer running piCorePlayer, USB output to DAC.
As I said, don’t look at the amp for causing your problem, if anything it’s a touch on the dark side of neutral. It is one of the best integrated’s you can get.
Start with the speakers then the source to find your problem.
We have been giving your dilemma some thought and we think that there is a much simpler and less invasive solution than changing either the speakers or electronics which are both excellent. This solution would also offer additional tuning options and increased sound quality over what you are currently able to achieve with your server.
We recently did a shootout between your Aurrender N10 and the Innous Statement, and the Innous was definitely more liquid sounding and engaging, and simply swapping out the server will provide you with a huge upgrade in sound quality and give you a distinctly warmer sound. In addition most modern servers allow you to change the sampling rates and data from PCM to DSD and a lot of dacs will sound noticeably warmer when you are playing DSD files or higher bit rate PCM.
In fact we have found a new line of servers that are reported to be the best sounding server for the price, coming out of Europe. This server even has a special plugin that allows you to alter the pitch of the music which creates a more analog like and laid back presentation to a digital file. This impressive new line of servers is from a company called 432 EVO out of Belgium and is winning awards all over Europe. Check them out here: https://432evo.be/
We were so enamored with everything we have read about these servers: their sound quality, advanced design technology and techniques, huge range of hard drive options, and completely upgradable platform, as well as their unique 432 plugin which is discussed in the video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jAv1e42RK0
Pricing for these units looks to be right on par with the other high end servers that we have been promoting and selling at our store for years. When we read on European forums how the 432 EVO vastly outperformed our existing line of servers and had all these unique features we knew that we had to pursue and demo their products for ourselves.
We are deeply committed to always seeking out and finding the most innovative and best sounding audio products from all over the world and the 432 EVO server checks off all the boxes for what we want to accomplish. We have ordered representative samples of the entire line, which after our thorough evaluation will be available to purchase in the US from our new company Audio Intellect. Read more about us here: https://audiointellect.com/
In summary, the first thing you should try is a different server, which will actually shock you how much a digital server's sound quality will affect the sound of the overall system. The other thing we would recommend is possibly switching to an outboard dac vs the internal dac of the diablo. The last thing we would look at is possibly adding a power conditioner as well as different power cables, which should not be overlooked in terms of tuning the sound of the system.
Dave and Troy
All opinions are welcome.
I tried not to place the speakers so far apart from 3.5 m to 3,1 meter. With more critical listening.i think I have more boomy bass now. But still can’t find the mid bass ( this smooth mid bass). They are now 1.4 metres away from the front wall. I also don’t know about the opinion of audiotroy. It’s because he is like an Aurender “hunting killer” as I
I have read many of his posts in the forum that he criticize very strongly Aurender.
So a server, who’s primary job it to provide "bit-perfect" data to a DAC... is going to fix a bright speaker? (more accurately, a speaker that the OP finds fatiguing, most commonly known as bright).
Good news is that Covid should disappear any moment now.
If the server doesn't help, maybe throw a boat load of $$$ on cables and see what that does.
Or, you could sell/trade the speakers, take the money from the magic server and cables and buy a pair of kick ass speakers you love with your current gear. You have a killer Gryphon, and speakers that are regarded as quite good (you just don’t love them, and thats OK, someone else might, that is also OK)
I’m not saying run a commodore 64 and lap cord for your server and wires, but come on...
If you REALLY wanted to throw money at electronics... find a way to run some top end DSP/EQ in your system and see if you can tweak it.
But if you don’t LOVE your speakers, you won’t ever love your system.
The Focal is regarded as a good speaker, you just don't love it. It will sell, you will find something you like... If you dropped the cash on the Focals and the Gryphon the hobby is important to you. Enjoy it. Only live once. Go get some speakers you love.
Kinda ironic you think that. I have that exact same setup and it sounds exceptional. There are so many factors, inappropriately matched DAC, interconnects, speaker cables, CD player or transport, power cords. In my opinion, you may be looking at this all wrong? But if I can recommend some things I’d be more than happy to!
Best of luck!
I have to confess and update ...also in some Other forums witch I complain about the sopras. Reason : after almost 1 year!!! of trying speaker placement, (And believe me I move them 1000 times ..)even with an acoustic engineer (700 euro cost). the sopras sounded BAD. A few day’s ago I placed them (by accident)more apart from each other 3.5 meter and with a different angle The distance from my sitting place is 3.4meter but ...heaven is here. Even when the triangle is not “right”..everything is smooth now and center image is where it should be..the difference is unbelievable..totally different speaker.. Sopra is just fine now but placement of this speaker is unbelievable difficult ..I find the right place just by luck
I just ordered the Sopra2 and will be driving it with the diablo 300 as well. I am well aware of the comment of it being harsh or bright or whatever but I look at it as a challenge to see if I could overcome with proper placement etc. I have seen others using the exact same set up with good result, and yourself as well at later stage.
How much toe in are you having if you could share a little more update on the sound lately?
at the beginning the acoustic engineer put them in extreme toe-in posittion.After a lot of experimentation and luck I find that just a little toe-in sounds better in my room and a 3,4 meter between them.But i wand to share a new experience witch maybe not much try.I Found a big difference when changing from Tidal to Qobuz.
I (with friends and family ) make the A/B comparison with a lot of music, and my system sounds a lot smoother.Mqa is not worth it in a high end system in my oppinion.High-res does..Difference make me change my streaming service to QOBUZ even when is not supported in my country yet.so i open an account in germany with a german credit card etc..but the trouble is worth it believe me..hope to hear about your experience soon..