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Better Amps to power Focal Sopra 2

Discussion in 'audio' started by kent3888, May 1, 2019.

  1. kent3888

    kent3888 Linn, Naim & Focal user

    I'm currently running my Sopra 2 with Naim NAC282 and NAP250DR, I'm wondering would a higher power rated amps would drive them much better? Considering to jump ship to Gryphon Diablo 300 with 300wpc drive it very much better? Looking at integrated Gryphon as the price would be more affordable to trade with the naims
  2. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    mmm lovely , dont see much about gryphon and be interesting if they work with focal

    one amp that will sound awesome with your focal is 200 watts of class AB from msb


    having had the focal diablo and 1028 i know focal need very good amps to sound their best and not convinced naim is best for them
  3. kent3888

    kent3888 Linn, Naim & Focal user

    I used to own the 1028be Electra and found it slightly bright paired with my naim equipment so I moved on with Sopra range which they claims to voice with naim during their R&D
  4. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    yes , i put some black ravioli under my 1028 and it was absolutely superb . i used to have bel canto amps and for some years focal would not let me demo focal diablo with bel; canto as they thought they were not good enough for them . once i got belles they were amazing . although i never used the msb with focal it was a big step up from the belles too
  5. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    I doubt power is the problem
  6. PerF

    PerF Member

    Me too
    I've heard Sopra's a couple of times at Naim shows
    Horrible sound in such scenario tbh
    Way overpriced too
    I feel sorry for the Naim guys forced to use them in demos
    I'd sell them quicker than quick and keep the excellent amplication
    Much better and cheaper speakers out there
  7. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    I don't want to start another round of naim/focal bashing but my point was that their are very few speakers that a nap250 would not drive to acceptable levels. Their may be a mismatch between speakers/amps but this will be more down to voicing than power.
    Wilson, Tim Jones and Fretbuzz like this.
  8. Whatsisnaim

    Whatsisnaim pfm Member

    I’ve heard quite a few of those Naim/Focal demos too, and there’s not a single one I would be prepared to have in my house. Naim must have lost a huge number of sales from this, but their hands are tied.
    Fretbuzz likes this.
  9. Strictly Stereo

    Strictly Stereo Trade: Strictly Stereo

    If you are interested a big Danish integrated amplifiers then you might want to consider this one too...


    I haven't heard the Gryphon model, but the RI-101 would definitely hold it own against the NAC 282 / HiCap DR / NAP 250 DR set. At 300W/600W (8 Ohm/4 Ohm) it will drive the Sopras easily. It is a popular option for box-cutting ex-Naim customers. I know of someone running its predecessor the RI-100 with a pair of Kantas, if that is helpful.

    Perhaps also consider Hegel's new H590 integrated amplifier...


    I have yet to find a pair of passive speakers which wasn't improved by this one.
  10. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

    hifinutt likes this.
  11. Musicraft

    Musicraft Trade: Musicraft

    What source/s are you using please?
  12. Fretbuzz

    Fretbuzz pfm Member

    What doesn't seem to be working and why do you reckon the amplification is the limiting factor?

    Having heard the Sopra 2s (with familiar Naim) the only amps/systems I could imagine them working with are ones in need of some edginess and high frequency oomph. ie not something you'd want to do t'other way round, which IMO would be far harder to get right.
  13. John Phillips

    John Phillips pfm Member

    Like others here I am not sure specified power is a problem. Take the measured sensitivity from this test (and review) and an 80W amplifier will produce peak output (loudspeaker permitting) of 106.5 dB SPL (note that's peak, not average). I have (once) measured louder peaks at home when I was overdoing it on some rock music, so 80W might be a little low for some, maybe 120W might have more headroom.

    However available tests show that the Sopra 2 is a very punishing load for an amplifier, as others write. From HiFi News September 2015, minimum impedance is around 2.6 ohms at 104Hz. So the amplifier should be capable of approximately doubling its 8 ohm output power into at least 4 ohms and preferably again into 2 ohms.

    Then there's Keith Howard's EPDR figure for the loudspeakers in HFN. This is 1.1 ohms around 85 Hz. Ouch! So the right amplifier needs bigger than normal heatsinks, large power transformer and paralleled output transistors.

    The Gryphon integrated amplifiers seem to be very suitably specified. I don't know the NAP250DR's capabilities into 2 ohms or so but I would check that before jumping ship. It seems to have a good reputation so I am not sure if changing would make a big difference. A home test would seem to be strongly indicated, if possible.
  14. Paul Burke

    Paul Burke pfm Member

    Anytime I’ve heard naim kit trying to power low impedance loads, whether it’s focal or something else, it’s always sounded lacking and dull. Which generally isn’t something you aim at a naim system, it has its faults but dull isn’t generally one of them. That’s been from Uniti series, 250’s, 300’s, 500’s and statement. Has always seemed to have the same issue.

    Might be worth looking at the specs of the 250 into 2ohm, preferably somewhere independently reviewing. And also if there’s measurements around of the sopra low impedance dips, what phase angle they are at too

    If the amp is the problem swap it for something with some more guts to it, like a vitus, which walked all over my naim setup and was a huge upgrade too
  15. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    Is there a need for a speaker to have such a difficult load?
  16. pjdowns

    pjdowns Living the Hifi dream

    If you like the Naim sound, then try a 300DR, it is miles better than a 250DR, and in my opinion the best amp that Naim make.

    I’ll chose to ignore all of the stupid ignorant comments about feeling sorry for Naim guys having to use Focal speakers, erm what about Focal guys having to use Naim amps, they may feel the same :rolleyes::rolleyes:
    ex brickie likes this.
  17. pjdowns

    pjdowns Living the Hifi dream

    Assume to replace spikes? I’ve been recommended that very thing for mine.
  18. ex brickie

    ex brickie pfm Member

    I have some sympathy here. Naim amps have always been to bright for me and a definite no-no with the Focal speakers with Beryllium tweeters (I had Diablos)

    The Sopras are more organic sounding and I quite liked them when I heard them - but chose B&W 804D3.

    From what I've heard, the Gryphon Diablo is a no holds barred amp that might have power but is allegedly exceptionally detailed. Unless power is the only problem (not the signature sound) it might work but I doubt it will take any edges off
  19. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    yes at the time i had the 1028 on some sonority roller stands made for my 804s . they are marvellous but the br just helped a wee bit. i used a tom evans vibe and belles mb200 i think and it was a fantastic sound

    if the op was nearer i would bring the msb which would be a huge leap up in sound quality i am convinced . its has a warm sound with huge spaciousness and i am convinced it would sound good with any focal including diablo or kanta or sopra
    pjdowns likes this.
  20. Musicraft

    Musicraft Trade: Musicraft

    +1 :)

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