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.
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?
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
@rsf507 , 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.
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.
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.
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.
I’ve owned both speakers and my room is 16x12 with high ceilings, the Sopra 3 is exactly like most comments that has been said about them, mine were on Naim 500 series so I was getting the best of them since they were designed and voiced on that equipment and since have moved on to a pair of Focal Scala V2
I've been thinking about upgrading (although I love my Sopra 2's!) to the 3's or the Scala (my room is 17 x 12 with a low ceiling). Was there a substantial difference between the Sopra 3's and the Scala's (appreciate a little description) tnx....2bz.
I first listened to the sopra 2s driven by McIntosh and the sound was as mentioned above extremely smooth yet lacking transparency. Then the dealer hooked them with devialet and was love at first listen. Since me room is 12'x30', I went for the sopra 3s without even hearing them and am glad I did. They are being driven by devialet 400s and are paired with 2 tel gibraltar 2s. My dealer wanted to sell me gibraltar 1s but I thought that was overkill. 95% of the time is used listening to music and the rest for 5.2 home theater. Btw, i compared them with the b&w 802d3s and was truly disappointed in the latter
Great thread. I am in the horns of a dilemma. 1) I am getting a great deal on the Sopra N3s, not on the N2s. 2) my room is l shaped with the larger part of the room being 300sqft and the smaller part of the L not exactly being straightforward but having an effective area of 100sqft. The Sopra manual says that the N3 is fit for 350 to 700 sqft, and the N2 for upto 320sqft IIRC. should i go for the N3?
cool_jeeves, Interesting dilemma. I have owned the No2's now for three years and have auditioned the No3's, and no matter what you decide, once you get these broken in, you will definitely enjoy your choice. The only recommendation I'd have is to pair either of them with a smooth sounding amplifier. That's what I have and I can listen for hours without fatigue. Happy Listening!
After a few months I am in a position to update. The Sopra N3s filled my room with unbearable bass. I junked my Kimber TC12 and instead opted for Belden 8477 as the speaker cable. I switched out of my SME 3009 tonearm and went in for an SMEV with Belden 8402 tonearm lead. I went in for the relatively unsung Radio Shack interconnects. It is an unusual combination but has brought in a tonal balance in the system that sounds just correct (voices), all frequencies evenly emphasized, and strong but controlled bass, and significantly higher resolution. All in all, a very worthwhile upgrade.
I am amazed how people are surprised that the Sopra 3 outperforms the Sopra 2. That is how Focal designed them to be. Spend lots more and get some benefits in performance. Don't beat yourself up comparing the two speakers. Both 2 and 3 are superb speakers.
I have listened to both extensively set up in the same system in the same room, one after the other. The 3 is the better speaker if the room is large enough. If the room is not large enough, the 3 is a worse speaker. It comes down to the low end. Sopras are low end heavy generally and the 3s truly bring the bass. I didn’t have enough room in my living room at the time and it was way too boomy, and I enjoy bass. It was too much. Rear ported so 3s are best when they can be brought far off the wall. So if you have a room that can absorb all that bass then get them. Otherwise go with the 2s, as I have, and enjoy. The 2s are some of the best speakers in the world.
Just a minor point (I had the Spora 3s)... and most folks probably know this but they aren't "rear ported" in the conventional sense. In fact, their downward firing bass reflex port actually vents to the front of the speaker along the base, so they might better be described as front-ported. In any case, certainly moving them back/forth etc. will reinforce the bass in different ways so I don't mean to disagree with your main point, I just want to make sure folks understand these speakers aren't really "rear" ported and, as such, can probably move closer to rear walls than some other designs. I'll also say that in my room (about 18 x 21 with part open towards the kitchen) bass was never boomy or overloaded. In fact, I ended up getting rid of the speakers because in my room/system the mid-bass was far too lean... the deep bottom end was satisfying and solid but mid-bass always sounded weak without the impact I'm used to hearing (again, in my room and with my gear). Back to my old AVS rockets while I save and search for another set of speakers that I hope can be end-game...
I went from Electra 1038 to Sopra 3. I would say going to the 2 would be a big upgrade. The Sopra is much smoother and more detailed then the Electra. More natural less hi fi sound. The 1038 may go lower then the Sopra 2 depending on room but the bass is tighter on the Sopra. I would upgrade to the Kanta then stay with the Electra and the Sopra is better then the Kanta. Just my opinion
Just upgraded from the 1028be to the Sopra 2. The difference was not small. I was lucky in that I got a 9/10 used pair of the 2’s for $8k a couple of weeks ago (and sold my 1028’s for $4k). Not sure if the jump would have been worth it for a new pair’s current cost, but they were definitely a noticeable upgrade across the board.
I imagine the same would be true for the 1038/3 path.
Excellent and timely discussion for me as I am looking to move from my Maggies 3.6. I listened to the No 2 yesterday but it was a poor showing within 60 seconds. It was just muffled with a small sound. To be fair it was with lesser electronics/turntable as I had just listened to Wilsons/Clearaudio Innovation. The dealer warned me but I pushed on. My challenge is I have tube mono blocks and Wilsons are not consistent with them as I have been advised. I wanted to hear the Focal based on the recommendation they paired well with tube amps. I will give them another listen under proper conditions/equipment but my bias will be Sopra 3 or better. Thanks for letting me chime in.