Thank you for the input. It’s interesting because Focal and Naim have paired Sopra 2 with Nova in shows. They even run promotions for you to buy them together and get a free pair if Utopia headphones. I’d figured if it’s been promoted that way, you should at least hear Sopra’s potential not just be able to drive them loud enough.
I don’t have a way of getting one in my house to demo. I basically have to decide between Sopra 2 or Kanta 2. Love their look.
Interesting because at the 2019 Bristol Show Kudos ran their excellent Titan 505s with a Nova and it was widely regarded as one of the best sounds of the show. I’ve also heard the Sopra 2s with a SN2 and ND5XS and it was widely held by all there to be excellent. Typical source first thinking would say the Sopra 2 requires more substantial electronics but if a Nova is your preferred way forward, and the Nova is superb, then I think it really deserves a demo.
My advice would be that it’s simply not sensible to pair £12,000 speakers with a £4,000 all in one. It may have been used at shows but you have to live with it at home for years. I would reallocate the budget and go for an NDX2, Supernait 3 and a pair of Kanta No. 2. That’s a much more balanced system and should give much better long term satisfaction. The NDX2/SN3 is hugely better than the Nova. That’s not a recommendation for the Kanta as I’ve not heard them - it’s simply that you mentioned the Kanta and Sopra in your post.
To back this up, Naim themselves matched the Nova up with Sopra 2 at the Bristol Show (2017 ? - It was the year the Nova launched. The show in February, with the Nova available later in Septemberish) and the resultant performance was probably the best at the show that year. My opinion of course, but I did hear lots of people expressing positive comments.
They also matched it with the Kanta 2 the following year, which was a more likely price match and the performance was splendid.
Although the Nova is capable of driving the Sopra 2, you won’t hear them at anything like their full capacity. I have owned Sopra 2s for 8+ years and used them with a range of amplification (including trying them with our Nova for interest!). Supernait 3 is OK, but I’d suggest 200 upwards, with 250DR where they really start to sing. (I’m currently powering them with 300DR, FYI - they’re incredibly scalable speakers.)
Nova with Kanta 2 is a lovely simple system - again, with room to add more power as/when you wish, but sings as is (it’s our home office system, so listen to it even more than our main set-up at mo!)
Is it? I suspect if we compared say NDX2/SN/Kanta vs Nova/Sopra the results would be a lot closer than you suggest. Worth remembering that ostensibly a Nova is a modern day receiver, and a particularly fine one at that.
The problem is though Clare where do you get off? Yes a NDX2/282/250 is I’m sure a great fit with the Sopra but then someone will come along and say that the NDX2 really needs a XPS or 555. And sometimes things are just unexplainable. In my main system my Nat 05 on R3 is a better listen than my CDS3/555!
You get off at the point you can afford and that your room size and listening habits warrant.
My speakers are the longest-serving part of my system - this is now the 4th home we’ve used them in, and they’ve adapted to different room sizes really well; we’ve just adjusted amplication to suit, as/when we could afford to. It’s lovely to have such a scalable pair of speakers, without the itch to replace them.
I’ve heard them with 500 & Statement, didn’t like those speakers at all, way overpriced so a demo is essential.
Price is certainly not always a guide.
Kanta another story, but I’d look at Kudos, Neat or any Naim speakers (s/h only)
Every Focal I’ve heard has sounded screamingly bright and very unnatural. The Scalas on a full 500 system were just dreadful. If that’s what voiced to work with Naim means, I despair. Let’s remember that Naim wouldn’t be recommending Focal if they hadn’t got into bed with them. It’s not about synergy, it’s about commercial imperatives.