Vienna Liszt vs. Focal Sopra No2

Hi Guys!
Still looking for the ultimate speaker. My current speaker a very coherent, magical, but too polite Avalon Ascendant. I have to say, I prefer a bit of a warmth and softness, over ultra clear, razor sharp analytical sound.
Someone compared the Vienna Liszt of the Focal Sopra No.2 ? They are my short list. Unfortunately, my room is slightly small (16*10), it may be neither is my way.
Any thoughts, experiences on these speakers or possible alternatives? Thank you in advance.
This hobby is very subjective and I submit speakers have the largest range of opinions compared to other components. The sound of speakers has to be put in the context of the system/room they are apart of. I'm sort of in the same position as you...I have Aerial 7Ts and want to upgrade to a speaker that has more front to back placement/spacing between instruments. I'm looking for something under 20K. I was interested in the Focal Sopra No. 2s. My initial impression of the Sopra 2s at RMAF this year were initially good; however after extended listening I thought they were to forward for my ears and didn't do anything better than my 7Ts. I'm still sort of interested in hearing the Vienna Liszt, but I don't think they are going to be the significant difference I'm looking for. I've concluded I may need to spend over 30K to have a serious upgrade over my 7Ts. 

The good news for me is when I upgraded to a Jeff Rowland 625 S2 amp and Jeff Rowland Corus preamp I have more front to back placement/spacing between instruments. Maybe changing your other components will yield the results you're seeking? 

arboc, I have owned the Avalon Ascendants and know what you mean about it being too polite.  There is a certain "sameness" to the sound and the dynamics including the bass are somewhat lacking.  It has some really nice imaging and midrange.  I listened to probably 17 different speakers before I bought the Vienna Acoustics Liszt.   The Focal Sopra was just about to come out but I didn't hear that model, but heard some other Focals.   

I just seemed to connect with the Liszt on an emotional level better than all the other speakers I heard.  I also discovered that the tweeter design or incorporation became a real deal breaker on a lot of the speakers.  Many were too etched, or razor like.  The other area that became an area of focus was the bass and overall dynamics and integration.  Some failed at bass presentation by being somewhat flabby or diffuse. 

If you want a speaker that has a treble like a Wilson or to a lesser extent Magico, this wouldn't be a speaker for you.  It would be worth an audition if you liked the Avalon and want better dynamics and bass but like the overall tonality of the Ascendants.  Just my two cents.



Thank you both very useful opinions. Goose, if the Liszt brings the rich tonality of Avalon, but with greater dynamis, more air, and faster sound, while retaining all the weight, and texture , and I can enjoy unchanged the music for hours on end, it is likely this is my way

Thanks! for sharing- ricred1

after reading so many glowing reviews of Aerial, when I finally got audition time, several times in fact, I could not get into the 6t nor 7t models.  Perhaps the 10/20t models are better?

My sessions were w/ ARC reference gear, Classe' and Mark Levinson.

Maybe the Rowland gear is this speakers' sonic match?


I have had several auditions w/ VA speakers w/ Primare, ARC and Rogue Audio gear and it has never disappointed! 

Focal is a little different- I have demo'ed 928, 937 and 1027Be models.

The Be tweeter can be forward in its natural presentation. Perhaps it can be toned down somewhat w/ tubed gear?

I have had my Sopra No2's now for five months and am smitten.

Having said that, I auditioned them in a room about the size you mentioned and they sounded "good" but didn't sound "great" in that smaller room, with an 80 watt per channel integrated driving them.  I have mine in a 24x26 room with 450 watts per channel amp behind them and they just sound awesome!

I have only heard the Vienna Acoustics speakers at a show, terrible way to decide on anything, so I can't 
"Maybe the Rowland gear is this speakers' sonic match." Rowland maybe the sonic match or you just don't like Aerial 7Ts. I still love them and have found it hard to replace them, unless I'm spending double or triple their cost. It's so important to listen to speakers regardless of how many "glowing reviews they received."