I am about to embark on my next upgrade journey

Hey Audiogon Community-

The basics of what I have now:

12x15 room with cathedral ceilings.

2x Schiit Aegirs in mono

Gustard R26 Pro

2x REL T/5X (next for an upgrage)

MAC Mini M1 with Audirvana Studio

Various cable upgrades and power conditioning

Back wall is treated.

What I want to upgrade are the B&W 705 S2 speakers on 30” stands.

I have enjoyed the B&Ws but I feel I am missing some general musicality, presence and depth.

As the impedance curve heads down to 4ohms on the B&Ws, the Aegir’s seemed to run our of steam.  Otherwise, the amps sound quite amassing for what they are.

I have limited options for brick-and-mortar retailers to do in person listening.   The closest oner to me made me feel like I was buying a used car.  They immediately started discussing a $20K before even qualifying what I currently have, or about ny tastes or listening room.

I need a stand mount that is a stable or as stable as possible @ 8ohms and 89db efficient.

I have narrowed my choice to the Sopra N°1and would appreciate some feedback.  Open to other options as well.


Thank you!!


It is worth taking some time and listening to some different speakers. If you want very musical speakers then I would recommend looking for some used Sonus Faber Olympica 1 or Olympica Nova 1. These are very musical. Focal tends to be really detailed (a bit on the trebly side) and not as well constructed. Sonus Faber… has a very musical / natural house sound, so you can listen to any model and get the idea. 

In addition I’d recommend taking a look at Fritz speakers.  Great sounding, cost effective and designed for optimal performance with most any amp. 

I am not a big fan of the B&W 705 S2. They have poor dynamics and so so highs. The Sopra should be a big upgrade in all areas. The the down side of focal in the US is price, there are a lot of things just as good but cheaper. If you like/want the focal and don’t mind paying an up charge for the name/looks they are one of my favorite stand mounts. 

The Revel 226be is worth looking at. It would actually take up less floor space as they are very narrow. They can be had for about 1/2 the price of the Sopra 1 if you shop around. Here is a video demo of the two, of course take YouTube videos with a gain of salt. 


I'd second the Fritz recommendation. The Carbon 7's have a hold on folks, for good reason. See, e.g. this and this.

I have heard the Watkins Gen 4 and they are very impressive. He demos them w/o a subwoofer in a room about 15 x 20" with 10 ft ceilings. It doesn’t lack bass in that big of a room which is ssurprising. Its not tipped up on any frequency but very balance and fills the room. Its easy to see why Absolute Sound gave them the accolades they did. I considered them but my room is too big They do have a 30 day $$ back also.

Shop | Watkins Stereo & Loudspeakers, Kingsport, TN (watkinsaudio.com)