Focal Sopra 3 vs Wilson Audio Sasha W/P (series 1)

I have Wilson Audio Sasha 1s.  I'm considering Focal Sopra 3.  
I have ARC Ref seperates and Transparent Ultra cables. 
Room is 14x21x10' (speakers on 14' wall)
I like to change and experiment with new gear quite often, but what would I likely be gaining?  What might I be giving up?  
Assuming you still have the ARC 75 amps, it looks to me like you're going to make the same mistake as you did with the Sasha's.

Just not enough current to drive either the Sasha's or Sopra 3 properly.

Because the magnitude is considerably higher in the treble, the speaker will sound brighter when driven by tubed amplifiers, with their typically high output impedances. 

Your money, your choice. Good luck with the new system.

Thanks for pointing that out. I appreciate it! I don’t find the Sashas too bright in my room. It’s pretty damped w pile
carper and treatments.
I wish the comment in the review were more specific. I think putting all tube amps under the same comment might be incomplete. But, I’m no engineer, so maybe it does apply to flea watts and higher current lIke ARC.
If you like the sound of ARC, why not look into a bigger ARC amp first.
If that doesn't appeal, then I would consider looking for a speaker with an impedance that doesn't drop below 4 ohms.

I had the ARC Ref 150 with KT150s with the Sasha 1s and felt that it was a significantly better amp for that application than the Ref 75 which did not properly push the Sashas (even though the combo sounded very good).  ARC and Wilsons are very synergistic. I would move up in  ARC amperage.  
Assuming you still have the ARC 75 amps, it looks to me like you’re going to make the same mistake as you did with the Sasha’s.

Wilsons luv current, big tubes will do, but still can't equal a good SS like a Gryphon or D'agostiono ect ect ect for getting the very best out of the Wilsons.

Cheers George 
Okay. So I’ve decided on the Sopra 3, and have listed my ARC gear. 
Anyone have more thoughts on gear (not Naim) that mates well?
@ozzy  Wow!  That's some big Ws. 
Anyone use Pass Labs or SimAudio Moon?
I would think they would be a good matches...?

My BAT VK-600se is awesome with my Wilson Sasha 1's and I expect it would be with the Focal also. It has seemingly unlimited power and drive that is shocking with a speaker that has the Sasha low wnd extension and dynamics.

Good Luck!


Sopra 3s are to be delivered today, but I'm not sure what good a comparison would be at this point.  I've completely changed my system. 
Moon by Simaudio 600i
Shunyata Cables 
Lumin T1 (only constant)

I was offered a tremendous deal on the Sopra 3s, so I decided it was a great chance to get off the Wilson + ARC + Transparent Audio train. I'm hopeful about Sopra + Simaudio, but my history would tell me it's a (brief) stop before getting back aboard the train. 

Some of you know the drill; you can't un-hear what you've heard in your room.  For me that high-water mark is Alexia (1) + ARC Ref 5SE + ARC Ref75 + Transparent Ultra... Anything less in those brands, has just been a tease.  

Here's to hoping!

I think you will be surprised how well the sopra 3s sound with the right gear.   I switched from set amps and horns to the sopra 3s with a ss amp and tube pre.  Mike

@alfa100 This is testing memory, but hopefully helpful.

Generally I have found Focal Sopra 1, 2, 3 (but NOT Diablo EVO...more later) to be fundamentally - house sound - different than Wilson Audio in the following ways. (Note: these observations are summary and over the recent few years with solid state A/B and A and tube separates of different brands but all combinations fed with Lumin T1 or A1 streamers. Also cabling was either TA Ultra gen5 or Nordost v2 Heimdall)

General comparison (note above) between Focal S3, S2, S1 and Wilson Audio Sasha 1, Sophia 3, Sabrina 1)

  • Focal had more air and transparency
  • The trade-off was more of a sense of listening to the recorded music through Focal vs the performance through Wilson.
    • More connection to the artist and their intention through the connection to the actual performance with the Wilson.
  • Focal a bit more cerebral.
  • Wilson a bit more emotional
  • Focal felt like the woofers were moving more air, but less punch, texture and definition when compared to Wilson.
  • The biggest detractor for me with Sopra 3, 2, 1 was the stand-out, attention-grabbing mid-tweeter range. There was a ’shoutyness’ to it sent an almost electrified ’zing’ through the range. Most notably impacting the authenticity of female vocals.
    • This does get much better (not fully resolved) w the better balanced Sopra 3.
    • Note: the ’zing’ observation could be that I wasn’t good at allowing (suffering through) break-in. I never had a Sopras for longer than 200hours.
  • Diablo Evo Utopia
    • Take ALL of the negatives I’ve pointed at Focal above, and erase them.
    • Enhance ALL of the positives I’ve attributed to Focal above.
    • This is a tremendous speaker.
    • More transparency and NO ’zing’.
    • Close to the music, performance, and intention.
    • Stunner right out of the box and only got better.
    • This is the best speaker I’ve heard in medium or smaller rooms.
    • You do get more bass from the Sabrina of course, and perhaps a bit more gravitas to the sound, but the Diablo beats it everywhere else.

Here are my two favorite combos ever:

  • #1 Wilson Audio Alexia 1 with ARC Ref 75SE amp and 5SE pre with TA Ultra Gen5 and Lumin T or A1. (Need a 250sqft room or more and even then it depends on positioning and build. Mine was dedicated 280sqft and I wouldn’t want to have less room and flexibility).
    • Actual System Cost (new/used mix): $55-60K
  • #2 Focal Diablo EVO Utopia with PrimaLuna Evo 400 preamp going to Luxman 590axii (bypass pre to use class A amp only) Nordost Heimdall 2 and Lumin A1.
    • Actual System Cost
    • (new/used mix): $35-40
  • The rest would be Sasha (but honestly Sophia 3 was so close to Sasha 1, I wouldn’t pay up again...better spent elsewhere), Sophia 3, Sabrina, Sopra 3, Sopra 2... I wouldn’t get Sopra 1 again.

Hope that helps!


You may find the system is a bit on the bright side with the moon t1 combo

we are a focal dealer we know your equipment please contact us.



Dave and Troy

audio intellect nj

focal and former lumin dealer.

Thanks, Dave and Troy.  I know you all take a lot of 'punches' here, and I've never been able to figure out why.  You are always forthright in disclosing you are a dealer.  

I couldn't shake the Diablos.  They were just shades of different and better and trade-offs depending on what I put upstream.  

I couldn't even get vintage tubes to tame the Sopra 1 ... same room. 



jo1 MTB. Thank you for your reply. I too found most Focal speakers too forward especially in the midrange.  Over time I have managed to find the best positioning for my Sasha 1.  With Pass Labs Xa100.8 , TA REF CABLES and MSB DAC I’m satisfied.