Same time but two different rooms and different electronics. Think overall sopra no 3 is more full range which makes it sound bigger and also more nuanced in mid range. Hoping to test them both in same room with same electronics soon, I'm considering both and a few other alternatives as well.
If you have the room, get the 3. If your room isn't big, go with the 2 and you will be thrilled.
The 3 will sound considerably better than the 2 if the room is big enough, but the 3 will sound considerably worse than the 2 in a small-medium sized room.
my room is approx. 18' x 12' (I say approx. because there's a portion of my chimney in there and it's "L" shaped. I was surprised the 3's only went 1HZ lower than the 2's. I would think the 2 with a sub might be money better spent?
Friends and I went to two different dealers (1 in CT the other MA) listened to the Sopra 2 both places the sound was unlistenable! Were really hoping for something special.
I bought the 3s after listening to the 2s. The 3 are more full range and better balanced. Fuller midrange and really smooth going to the tweeter. My room is large but not the width. Even close to side walls the 3s disappear
Can you please elaborate "unlistenable". That is totally NOT what I found about Sopra when setup properly. I was in a properly treated room (Vicoustic) and the Sopras sounded pretty good with a nice bottom end. The front end was Simaudio and Hegel. Wiring was Nordost Valhalla 2.
@2bz this goes to prove how a speaker can sound so different in one setup Vs the other. Hence it is recommended that you try to audition yourself, rather than depending on users. Take our experience as a "guide", but not as "your experience".
I auditioned both speakers at a dealer. Both were very good, but the Sopra No. 3 was clearly superior. Everything the No. 2 did well, the No. 3 did better. The No. 3's had better resolution, better dynamics, better transparency, and created a larger, deeper soundstage. The No. 3 were exceptional at reproducing large scale symphonic music with authority and weight, whereas the No. 2 started to sound a bit compressed and congested in comparison. Both were auditioned with Audio Research electronics. I ended up buying the No. 3. It is a magnificent, stunningly musical speaker.
I auditioned the 2's and so wanted to like them. I didn't. I actually liked the Sopra 1's better as I thought they were better balanced. So did I buy the Sopra 1's? Well, no. I also listened to the Wilson Sabrina which I though were quite good. I wound up with a speaker I liked better than any if the ones I just mentioned- Revel Studio 2's. Never heard the Sopra 3's.
I will say that I gave also heard the Sonus Faber Olympica 3's, which I think are pretty terrific. The Olympica 2's sounded anemic to me.
I heard the Olympica 2’s with Audio Reaserch and I found then anemic too.
Too much silky and soft to my taste, overall I was disappointed from every Sonus Faber speakers I listened to.Overtime I learned to prefer speakers that have more professional/ studio approach( not the fancy looking ones) such as Proac, ATC,Bryston act.
I'm not up in the more rarified air of buying Sopras, but if I was for my 13.5'x18' room I'd definitely do No.2. I wouldn't consider the 3 without twice that space. This is basically the dilemma you find between the 936 and 948; ever so much deeper bass and the dispersion characteristics of the narrower baffle vs. the wider baffle. I think the only way to rightly compare them isn't in the same room, but rather rooms appropriate to their intended size. I feel I'm missing nothing with 936 as opposed to 948's and I suspect the same would be true with No.2's and No.3's if the room is more appropriate for the 2's.
Holy cow so well said and I absolutely agree.
It's interesting to see the contrast in opinion on the Sopras. I'm personally listening to the 2's right now and find them to be as close to suiting my tastes as I've heard from any speaker, regardless of price. I completely agree though that the room is an extremely critical component in any system. I find the Sopra 2's to be a bit dark and romantic in my system - which is intentional. They're being driven very successfully by a Pass XA 30.5 (which says something about their efficiency). The preamp is an Aikido Octal dual-mono 6SN7 which I put together and my source is streaming (mostly Tidal) through a Rega Saturn R. The Saturn does a great job of getting timing right and everything downstream - including the Sopras - follow suit very well. I think the tweeter adds a slight amount of energy up top which suits my system and preferences nicely. The slight added energy falls above the range (2-3K Hz to my ears) that can cause a system to sound bright or analytical and plays out as a little "air" on top. My system is cabled entirely with Audience's new (and very good) AU24SX cable.
For an extremely large room I wouldn't doubt that the 3's would be the better choice. But I find the 2's to work extremely well in a variety of more difficult environments. The bass is a bit more "manageable" and nimble to me. Where the 3's will just have too much in certain rooms, the 2's are easy to work with and very light on their feet while still maintaining a great deal of weight and impact. It you're interested in lower power (as I am), I think the 2 will play more nicely with tubes or in my case, 30WPC Class A SS. I listen relatively close to the 2's and they never punish me for that at all. I wouldn't say that they're the be-all-end-all in imaging and sound staging in my small room but I suspect they'd improve in a larger room and while I value those qualities, overall tonal balance and enjoyment is more important. I haven't spent a lot of time with the 1's but against say, the SF Olympica 3's, the Sopra's are far more forgiving of amplifier matching and room placement. While there were times I really loved the Olympica 3's, I think the Sopra 2's do more things better and, aesthetic preferences not withstanding, are an overall easier speaker to live with.
In full disclosure, I'm a dealer, though mostly CI and work with Focal, among other hifi products. I've spent time with Magico, B&W, Sonus Faber, Vienna and more and when I first came across the Sopra 2's I found their value to be unique. My first question to the rep was to whether they were made in China, which they're not. I'll qualify this by saying that HiFi skews the use of the term value, but within the context, I don't think there's a way to get more for your dollar than with the Sopra 2.
You're a dealer so in my opinion your last paragraph should have been your first.
I've listened to the Sopra 2's several times and just don't prefer their sound.
I heard the Sopra 2 at a local dealer using Sim Audio electronics. Very well integrated soundstage, effortless speed and dynamics, good slam through the midbass. But the high frequencies, while not bright per se, had an intensity to my ears which might preclude long term satisfaction. Home audition before purchase Is recommended, as usual.
I purchased a pair of Sopra No2's since they first came into the U.S. I drive them with a McIntosh C2500 tube preamp and McIntosh MC452 power amp, what I auditioned them with before placing the order.
While I was waiting for the Sopra's to arrive I heard them being driven by an 80 watt integrated (can't remember which one) in a small room, and I didn't like the shrillness and lack of sound stage and impact.
Mine are in a 24x26 "man cave", with a pair of JL Audio F113V2 sub woofers, with 10 bass traps strategically installed (to combat the bass resonances the room produced).
After owning the Sopra's for about six months, they seemed to "relax" some. I am completely satisfied with the setup and though I typically have the hots to listen to other components, this is not the case with the Sopra's.
I have no experience with the Sopra No3's, I believe they use the same tweeter and midrange, and a pair of larger woofers. In either case, after you get them "dialed in" to the room and the other components, I suspect you'll be happy with either Sopra model!
I spoke with a Tech Support person from Focal and asked which speaker (Sopra 2 or 3) he would suggest for my 18' x 12' Basement room. He said definitely the Sopra 2. The 3's would almost certainly produce bass problems in that size room. I'm very happy since I already own the 2's and LOVE THEM! Now I'm not thinking "What if?"
Haven’t hear 2’s, but I heard the Sopra 3’s at my dealer’s in a medium-sized room (maybe around 16’x20’ with high ceilings) and was fairly well impressed, and I’m a die-hard Tannoy guy who didn’t like the bigger Utopias. The Sopra 3’s sounded awesome! And apparently their sales are brisk. Hell, I almost considered it before I stuck with Tannoy and went for the Canterbury GR.
Sopra 3's sounded well balanced and musical, with great technicalities, and worked well with the room. To be fair, the hardware behind them was rather pricey -- current model VAC separates (phono/pre/power), Critical Mass Systems rack/filters, Clearaudio Master Innovation table, Shelter Harmony cartridge, AQ cabling. But these days, you need that kind of gear to fully tap into a great speaker’s potential.
This is a great thread with a lot of good construction opinions! I have a question on the Sopra 2: I went to hear them at a dealer where they were set up 3+ feet from the front wall, driving by McIntosh electronics. I loved the soundstage, the sense of height, but the bass (in a certain range) was boomy sounding. I understand that Focal supplies a plug to tailor the low end response. Does anyone have comments on my observations? In my room they could be 3 ft from the front wall.
3 feet is pretty close.
Either way, bass trapping isn’t an option, it’s a necessity for every single setup if you want maximum performance in the bass region. Important to note that bass trapping is NOT doing the same thing that equalizing or room correcting the bass does.
Well put, @contuzzi. Equalization will not correct room modes and overly long bass decay..
Focal hasn't supplied port bungs in a while. What's more, even if they did, it would be impossible to install one on the Sopra No.2 and No.3 since the port is on the bottom of the speaker.