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Focal Sopra No 1 vs Kanta No 1

Chit

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Jun 16, 2021
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Hello,

Thinking of getting either of them for a listening distance of ~ 2m. Room is rather large but oddly shaped. I'm mainly interested in how they perform in the "near" field. And most times I do not listen to music loudly.
Focal provides links to various reviews at https://www.focal.com/de/hifi-lautsprecher/sopra/sopra-ndeg1 and https://www.focal.com/de/hifi-lautsprecher/kanta/kanta-ndeg1 but would be great to get info from some of the knowledgeable folks on this forum!

Thanks!

Hi Ralph,

I haven't spend too much time with the Focal N1s but am currently running a pair of Focal N3s. I will say that the Focals can sound completely different depending on the equipment you use to drive them, it was night and day sound signature with different preamps, amps and dacs I have tried at my home, they likely need a decent space to shine too, this is definitely the case for the Sopra 3s so it is a good thing you have a large room.

Haven't tried them with Classe electronics but you should really home demo the speakers in your space with your choice of electronics if you can. A bad pairing and you might end up with brightness as some have noted here, truth be told I had listening fatigue with the Benchmark LA4 preamp which measures really well, it was super clear with loads of detail but it was a bit too bright for me, that preamp just did not pair well with the Focals for me.

Now that I switch to the Hegel P30 with Michi M8 class AB monos, I am glued to the system, details are there, timing, large soundstage, imaging is clear, zero brightness, its so engaging that I am glued to the system for hours on end. Moved from the Topping D90 dac to Aqua Formula v2 dac and the sound changed yet again, for the better, I am now getting a very full smooth yet fast and detailed sound signature from the system, with huge dynamics. I think you can expect a very detailed, fast, dynamic sound signature from the Sopra N1s, but you will need the right synergy with the right electronics, you might also want to consider getting a sub later down the track, the Sopras work really well with RELs.

All in all, pairing is essential with the Focal Sopras, Hegel electronics works really well to smooth out the sound if you are looking for matching gear, hope it pairs well with your Classe gear . Tube gear works wonders too with Focals (EL34s, 300bs) if you after a more mellow lush sound but I found that quite a bit of detail and speed was lost with tube gear I tried.

Sopra gives you more fuller sound, and punchier bass compared to Kantas, but the speed is matched from memory, haven't spend time with the Arias to comment. Hope that helps somewhat and that you will enjoy your new Sopras as much as I do
 

Pearljam5000

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I wonder how the Solo6 would compare to Sopra 1
הורדה (24).jpeg
 

Chit

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If you are wanting active monitors with focal drivers, I would consider a pair of the Focal SM9 3-way drivers too:

Just be aware the Sopra line does have some tech that are not in the older monitors, the patented baptised Infinite Horn Loader (IHL)) claimed to provide distortion reduction of 30% in the critical area 1.5- 4kHz complements the work done to reduce distortion in the midrange driver. Never tested the claim but the sound signature is great.
https://www.focal.com/sites/www.focal.fr/files/shared/catalog/document/Sopra_WhitePaper.pdf (Page 16)

It also does have the latest iteration of the focal beryllium tweeter, not sure if that really makes much of a difference compared to previous series but there should no longer be issues with brightness with the right electronics, which may be an issue with some of the older generations of Focal speakers.

Whether that's worth the additional $ its up to you, the good thing is that there are plenty of Focal deals around especially in the used market, hope you enjoy the new Focals you end up with, either the Sopras or the various studio active monitors.
 

eyes-on-you

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Hello,

Thinking of getting either of them for a listening distance of ~ 2m. Room is rather large but oddly shaped. I'm mainly interested in how they perform in the "near" field. And most times I do not listen to music loudly.
Focal provides links to various reviews at https://www.focal.com/de/hifi-lautsprecher/sopra/sopra-ndeg1 and https://www.focal.com/de/hifi-lautsprecher/kanta/kanta-ndeg1 but would be great to get info from some of the knowledgeable folks on this forum!

Thanks!
Revel F226 vs Sopra No 1

Interesting…

 

Puddingbuks

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Just be aware the Sopra line does have some tech that are not in the older monitors, the patented baptised Infinite Horn Loader (IHL)) claimed to provide distortion reduction of 30% in the critical area 1.5- 4kHz complements the work done to reduce distortion in the midrange driver. Never tested the claim but the sound signature is great.
The trio has the latest midrange:

“For the five‑inch mid‑range driver, Focal deployed a Tuned Mass Damper (or TMD: see box) in the driver's surround, manifest here as two small circular rings that together oscillate in opposition to the resonant frequency of the driver surround. By utilising this TMD, Focal have been able not only to create an exponential cone profile that extends the driver's response to 5kHz, but also to use a very light surround and to damp resonances in the radial direction, ie. in the direction of sound propagation. Additional physical features include wide openings in the driver chassis, the coil and underneath the spider that are designed to minimise reflection and resonance and to maximise air movement in order to help reduce distortion. A compact, high-power neodymium motor drives the 'W' composite cone, which is able to maintain a piston action across its entire operational bandwidth since its break-up frequency lies well outside that range.

Although the mid‑range driver is isolated from the faceplate of the rotatable module by a rubber mounting ring, Focal engineers discovered that some vibration was being transmitted to it via its mounting screws. This discovery led to the development of 'Silent Blocks', which decouple the screws from the chassis, thus preventing the transmission of any vibrations or resonances from the cabinet to the loudspeaker.

The new mid‑range and 10‑inch drivers both benefit from Focal's recent refinements in magnetic circuitry. In the mid‑range driver, Focal's patented Neutral Inductance Concept (NIC) technology is deployed in order to reduce eddy currents induced by the frequency-dependent current flowing through the voice coil. Combined with the TMD suspension and a Faraday ring positioned to reduce distortion below 1kHz, the result is high linearity in the 1-3 kHz region and an improved high‑frequency and transient response, coupled with very significant reductions in the resonance in the driver surround and non-linearities in the magnetic circuit, leading to a claimed 50 percent reduction in distortion around the 2kHz mark.

In the case of the woofer, a concentric Faraday ring placed at the base of its pole piece and having no contact with either that or the magnet was found to optimise the magnetic field in this new driver so that its inductance is now independent of both the position and current in the voice coil and of the frequency of the signal being reproduced. In conjunction with other mechanical refinements, Focal claim that this has resulted in reducing the overall harmonic and intermodulation distortion in the woofer by 70 percent.” https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/focal-trio11-be
 

Pearljam5000

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The trio has the latest midrange:

“For the five‑inch mid‑range driver, Focal deployed a Tuned Mass Damper (or TMD: see box) in the driver's surround, manifest here as two small circular rings that together oscillate in opposition to the resonant frequency of the driver surround. By utilising this TMD, Focal have been able not only to create an exponential cone profile that extends the driver's response to 5kHz, but also to use a very light surround and to damp resonances in the radial direction, ie. in the direction of sound propagation. Additional physical features include wide openings in the driver chassis, the coil and underneath the spider that are designed to minimise reflection and resonance and to maximise air movement in order to help reduce distortion. A compact, high-power neodymium motor drives the 'W' composite cone, which is able to maintain a piston action across its entire operational bandwidth since its break-up frequency lies well outside that range.

Although the mid‑range driver is isolated from the faceplate of the rotatable module by a rubber mounting ring, Focal engineers discovered that some vibration was being transmitted to it via its mounting screws. This discovery led to the development of 'Silent Blocks', which decouple the screws from the chassis, thus preventing the transmission of any vibrations or resonances from the cabinet to the loudspeaker.

The new mid‑range and 10‑inch drivers both benefit from Focal's recent refinements in magnetic circuitry. In the mid‑range driver, Focal's patented Neutral Inductance Concept (NIC) technology is deployed in order to reduce eddy currents induced by the frequency-dependent current flowing through the voice coil. Combined with the TMD suspension and a Faraday ring positioned to reduce distortion below 1kHz, the result is high linearity in the 1-3 kHz region and an improved high‑frequency and transient response, coupled with very significant reductions in the resonance in the driver surround and non-linearities in the magnetic circuit, leading to a claimed 50 percent reduction in distortion around the 2kHz mark.

In the case of the woofer, a concentric Faraday ring placed at the base of its pole piece and having no contact with either that or the magnet was found to optimise the magnetic field in this new driver so that its inductance is now independent of both the position and current in the voice coil and of the frequency of the signal being reproduced. In conjunction with other mechanical refinements, Focal claim that this has resulted in reducing the overall harmonic and intermodulation distortion in the woofer by 70 percent.” https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/focal-trio11-be
It will blow away the Sopra for sure
 

PGVienna

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Oct 2, 2021
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Hello,

Thinking of getting either of them for a listening distance of ~ 2m. Room is rather large but oddly shaped. I'm mainly interested in how they perform in the "near" field. And most times I do not listen to music loudly.
Focal provides links to various reviews at https://www.focal.com/de/hifi-lautsprecher/sopra/sopra-ndeg1 and https://www.focal.com/de/hifi-lautsprecher/kanta/kanta-ndeg1 but would be great to get info from some of the knowledgeable folks on this forum!

Thanks!
Both are excellent choice. Of course Sopra 1 will be more dynamic and a better Soundstage. You should go for the best you can afford and Sopra 1 is that one. Important to consider the source and amplifier that you will use. Better to get Kanta one and upgrade electronics if needed that putting all money on Sopra 1 and having electronics which cannot support them properly.
 
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