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Focal Speakers The Spirit of Sound

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Old 02-06-2017, 03:16 PM
jakegt3 jakegt3 is offline
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Default New Sopra No. 3 owner

I just took delivery today of a brand new pair of Sopra No. 3's (in imperial red)! I don't upgrade speakers very often, so this is a major event for me.

I auditioned the following speakers before settling on the Sopra's: Focal Diablo Utopia, Sopra No. 2, Sopra No. 3, Wilson Audio Sabrina, Sonus Faber Guarneri Evolution, B&W 802D3, Magico S3, and Rockport Atria. To my ears the Sopra No. 3's were clearly the best of the group.

I listen mostly to classical music and reproduction of instrument tone and timbre (particularly strings), and especially in the midrange, is very important to me. Soundstaging and transparency are also key attributes that I listen for. The Sopra No. 3's excel in these areas. The other speakers I auditioned sounded like very good loudspeakers but the Sopra No. 3's sounded like music. When listening to high quality recordings, they performed a disappearing act that none of the others could match.

Some questions for other Sopra No. 3 owners:

What do they need for break-in time? The owner's manual suggests just 20 hours, which seems rather minimal.

What suggestions do you have for toe-in and rake adjustments? I listen from a single "sweet spot" and want to optimize imaging and depth at that location.
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Main system: ARC Reference 150, ARC Reference 5SE, ARC Reference CD9, Focal Sopra No. 3, Hsu TN1220 (pair) subwoofer + Hsu 500W amp, VPI HW19 Mk 3, Sumiko Blue Point Special, McIntosh MR7084.

Last edited by jakegt3; 02-06-2017 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 02-06-2017, 03:30 PM
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ejr1953 ejr1953 is offline
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John,

Congrats on the Sopra No3 purchase! I bought a pair of Sopra No2's when they first became available and am in love with them, no plans to replace them anytime soon! I have paired them with a pair of JL Audio F113V2 sub woofers.

My dealer recommended that I start off driving them quietly, with material that had little bass for the first few dozen hours, slowly increasing the power I delivered to them until I had about 100 hours on them. I followed his guidance.

I had my Sopra's for about six months and one night (listening to orchestral music) it hit me that these babies had really "settled down" and sounded more "relaxed".

As for placement, I think you just need to experiment with them. I have mine with a lot of "toe in" and they have that "performer in the room" sound stage.

Excellent choice! I hope you enjoy your new speakers half as much as I enjoy mine!
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Old 02-06-2017, 05:02 PM
Superfrg Superfrg is offline
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Congrats on your new speakers.

I can only attest for the no 2's, and I bought mine as a pair of demos with lowish hours on them.
I never experienced any major break-in changes on them.

I have mine toed in to cross a few feet behind me, and raked slightly backwards.
Spikes are 3,2 mm in front and 3mm in the back.
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:36 PM
phunge phunge is offline
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Congrats, beautiful speakers!

Can you characterize the differences between the sopra and the diablos? I was considering diablo for a second system, would love to hear your opinion.
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Old 02-06-2017, 10:54 PM
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Congrats on the new speakers John! Get us some pics of the setup when you get a chance.

- Buck
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Old 02-06-2017, 11:37 PM
jakegt3 jakegt3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phunge View Post
Congrats, beautiful speakers!

Can you characterize the differences between the sopra and the diablos? I was considering diablo for a second system, would love to hear your opinion.
Actually I was somewhat disappointed in the Diablo's. I was hoping they would capture some of the sound qualities of the bigger Utopia speakers, minus the bass, but that's not the impression I came away with. Yes, the bass was kind of thin, but the Diablo's did not exhibit the same transparency and wide open sound stage of the Sopra 3's. I know that speaker setup and the equipment driving that's driving them can make a difference, but the Sopra's in the same listening room, driven by the same electronics (Audio Research) simply sounded more musical to my ears. It's not that the Diablo's are a bad speaker but rather the Sopra 3's are simply magnificent speakers.
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Main system: ARC Reference 150, ARC Reference 5SE, ARC Reference CD9, Focal Sopra No. 3, Hsu TN1220 (pair) subwoofer + Hsu 500W amp, VPI HW19 Mk 3, Sumiko Blue Point Special, McIntosh MR7084.
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Old 02-07-2017, 01:33 AM
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Congratz on your new speakers! I've heard the Sopra No 3's as well and liked them.
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Old 02-07-2017, 03:40 AM
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John, congrats!
You do know we like photographical evidence...
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Old 02-07-2017, 05:02 AM
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John,

Congratulations on the new speakers! Going out on a limb here, doing something new by requesting you to post pictures of new setup and speakers !
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:37 AM
jakegt3 jakegt3 is offline
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Pictures will be coming soon...!
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Main system: ARC Reference 150, ARC Reference 5SE, ARC Reference CD9, Focal Sopra No. 3, Hsu TN1220 (pair) subwoofer + Hsu 500W amp, VPI HW19 Mk 3, Sumiko Blue Point Special, McIntosh MR7084.
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