I have the opportunity to buy a second hand Focal Sopra 1 for a good price. I only have my doubts if my Naïm uniti Star will be too underpowered to drive this speaker. Does anybody have experience with this combo, and is it recommended?
The Star will drive the Sopra’s, I can say this with some certainty as I’ve heard Sopra 1’s driven by an Atom.
The fact that the Star will drive them doesn’t make this a good idea though. The Sopra’s are way too good a speaker to use with the Star and you will more than likely find the need to upgrade in the future to rebalance the system.
I wouldn’t use Sopra’s with less than a NSC222/250 or similar although I probably wouldn’t use Sopra’s at all as I found them typically Focal, far too bright and fatiguing but you may like them.
With a UnitiStar I’d be looking at a nice pair of PMC’s or Spendors at the lower end of their ranges.
What do you use now?
A few years ago, a group of us were invited to Salisbury for a tour of the Naim factory (thank you @Richard.Dane ).
At the end of the tour, the then brand new Atom, Star and pre-production Nova were demonstrated playing into the Sopra 1 speakers.
The Atom did a remarkably good job of getting the notes out of the Sopra 1s, the Star was better but it took the Nova to convert the notes into music through the Sopra 1s.
Best regards, BF
I had a similar factory visit and dem around the time of the Uniti launch. I agree with BF for the most part but I would say that the Atom and Star did sound very good. Of course they weren’t as good as the Nova but they didn’t sound “wrong” in any way.
We were then treated to a 272/250 driving the same speakers. again it sounded better but not that much better than the Nova. I thought at the time that the sound quality improvement from Nova to 272/250 was worth paying about £1000 for but not the £3k or so more that they would cost. I bought a Nova and am still very happy with it.
A more expensive amp will always sound better than a cheaper one but I really disagree that lesser amps are incapable of being used with expensive speakers as many on here repeatedly assert when people ask about speaker upgrades. The test is not whether the speakers would sound better with a bigger amp (of course they would) but whether more expensive speakers would sound better with the system the enquirer already has - which may well be the case.
and love it
Wonder is price the reason or have you listened to those speakers ?
They are very special, either you like them or not, opinions are very divided.
Oh… and they need much more than a Star amp.
I now use Kef LS50 meta speakers, so I’m looking for an upgrade
does this mean that you own this combo?
the sopra 1 is offered for €4200. This as cheaper then a Kanta 2 at which I was looking previously.
Good luck buying blind.
Why do you think they are for sale at very reduced price ?
The only advice I’d give is never to buy anything just because it’s cheap. Buy it because it sounds good in your house with the rest of your equipment. If you can’t try them at home, don’t buy them. I once listened to a pair of Sopra 1s driven by an Atom and it was screamingly bright. It would be be great for scaring the neighbourhood cats, but for a relaxing evening listening to music, no.
they are second hand (private sale)
The sopra Will work ok, they are very revealing speakers but they work ok. The price on the speakers is great.
Yes I do.
Star to Sopra1 through TQ Ultra Silver speaker cable. Lovely sound for me, tho’ of course there’s room for improvement with Nova or 250DR, 300DR or the NC. Well I’m upgrading to 500 DR by the way.
Point is, you’ve got plenty of upgrading choices ahead, but by itself, Star witn Sopra1 sounds beautiful and enjoyable. Just use a good cable between them.
But I agree with others, give it a try, better not buying blind (&deaf?). It sounds wonderful to me, but may not be at all for other ears, or yours.
id say defo do it mate, just dont use naca5 cos for me it sounded not very good with sopra