Focal Sopra No. 1 & Totem Element Fire - impressions
Hello peoples. I'm currently a satisfied owner of Totem's 20th anniversary 'The One' monitor. It does nearly everything well enough to me. Perhaps the three areas I find it to be somewhat lacking in would be: not being quite as resolving of micro detail as I'd like, being a smidgen light on the low end (though it excels rather well, given its size); and most of all, I always wish it could play was well as it does, but at a couple of decibels louder (more dynamic expression/lack of compression at higher volumes/without frying a driver/whathaveyou). On the other hand, I find myself exclaiming things to my better half like, "THAT'S PRECISELY WHAT A MARIMBA SOUNDS LIKE! I used to play one that sounded much like that! Holy crap!!" Anyhow. I've got my ear set on either Totem's newer Element Fire (which I've heard, as well as the Metal), and Focal's even more recent Sopra No. 1 (have heard as well; also have their K2s in my car, and appreciate their Utopia line, and so on). I lack the necessary funds to just go out and buy both and do a comparison, and I'm not sure I was a fan of the gear driving either pair at the audio show I heard 'em at. I'm likely to settle on either in the coming weeks/months, but am interesting in hearing from anyone who may have picked up a pair of either, and what their experiences were with them. I've searched online for impressions, but there's not much out there. I realize I could arrange for my dealer to lend me a pair, but let's just say I'm not a fan of the local dealer of one of those brands (won't narrow it down more than that), and I otherwise moved away from my preferred Totem and Focal dealers a couple of years ago.
In my opinion, both of these contendors address those three concerns above. What I hope for though, is that they (particularly the Element Fire) retain the musicality and timbral accuracy/magic that my The One monitors offer. My system will be: Lossless digital > Schiit Yggdrasil > Ayre KX-5 > Ayre V-1xe. Thanks!