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.
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.
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.