Not an IA but a 2 box system that seems to do the job is Naim 272/250DR combo.
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I have had a pair of these wonderful speakers since mid September, auditioned them with a Naim integrated (at one store), and a McIntosh C50/MC452 pre-power amp combo (at another), which to me sounded smoother, so I bought the McIntosh separates, and really enjoy the combination. When I’m really cranking it, the needles on the power amp dance around the 4.5 mark.
I have an "all digital" setup, music server, PS Audio DirectStream DAC and transport, streaming Tidal on a Dell laptop, etc.
Six months in, the speakers have "mellowed", sound better all the time. Great detail, soundstage, excellent depth, no plans to replace the Sopra’s.
Update, I have tested the Hegel 300 with Sopra No.2 (3 hour demo, wide range of music), and it is indeed a very good match. I will be purchasing a pair in the near future after the AXPONA show in Chicago. Would anyone who purchased a new pair be willing to share what they paid for the pair, I would expect 7.5 to 10% below retail. Thanks in advance for responses.
They do need some room to breath and to perform at their best. My room is 12ft x 14ft and proved too small for the Sopra 2 speakers.
I auditioned them with a Luxman L-590AX Class A solid-state integrated amp and it seemed like a very nice match. A friend of mine heard them with the darTZeel integrated amp and said that it was also a very nice match.
I would expect whatever Dealer you choose should offer a modest (10%) discount provided you've got a good relationship with them on past purchases.
These speakers are HOT right now and selling quite well so don't expect huge discounts this soon.
There is a used pair in black on AG right now for a great price. The owner is selling them to purchase the Sopra 3.
I bought a slightly used pair, mint with only 20 hours on them. Got them at over 40% below retail. They arrived in mint condition and couldn't be happier. I have been watching the current one's on AG, he had to relist them after 30 days. He hasn't hit the right price yet I guess.
Maybe all our praise on the speakers will push someone to pull the trigger.
I’ve done a lot of analysis on older Focal crossovers. They were "discerning" only due to a gimmicked crossover which reduced the minimum impedance by about 2 Ohms. I can’t tell if the Sopra is gimmicked the same way or not, but the impedance curve sure looks familiar. If it is, in the crossover you’ll find 2 large electrolytic caps, that go to 4 power resistors each in the bass. Remove the smaller of the two caps and they become very easy to drive, with almost no change to the frequency response or phase matching.
Erik, I've searched extensively for info on Focal X-Over's with little success. Any info you've got would be appreciated before I discect my Sopras to see what's inside.
I don't seem to have any difficulty with their impedance using my 700i amp. It barely gets warm driving them to 93db peaks in my room.
Anyone with Sopra's remove the tweeter cover yet? I'm waiting until I get everything dialed in before I try removing them on my Sopra2's.
I've not looked at the Sopra crossovers, but the curve looks familiar to me. Take a look at this analysis for the Focal Profile crossover. Scroll down to "Bogus Woofer Cap" and look at the schematic there. See if you have something similar.
You may not! :) but if you find an array or two of power resistors, my guess is the same kind of trickery is going on.
Erik, thanks for the info. It's interesting to say the least how part cost plays into the design of fairly expensive speakers.
Although it's beyond my technical skills to attempt any modifications to my Sopra speaker crossover, it's good to know what's possible in the future for my speakers if the mods become available by professionals in the industry.
PS:. Does Magico really use the best parts available as they love to advertise?
I am a huge fan of Scanspeak, and that is who they have sourced their drivers from. They now use custom driver materials though. Also, I have toured their factory. They use the highest grade Mundorf crossovers. Or rather, they match the crossovers to the speakers. The top grade speakers get the top grade Mundorf parts. This is not something a lot of speaker makers do.
Sound Stage network just released the measurements for the S1 MK II. The crossover and frequency response measurements are really very good, and could only be achieved with very good parts, though compression figures were disappointing, especially in the treble.
Having said that, are they the best? That’s debatable. If I absolutely had to buy speakers and could not build my own, I’d probably want to hear Gryphon’s and anything with the latest Accuton cell drivers like the Marten Coltrane.
Having listened to Magico’s, B&W’s, Wilsons and Focal’s, among those brands I would rather listen to a Magico all day long, but not for $100k. :)