Magico A1 or Sopra 1 or Marten Oscar Duo


I am looking for a new speaker to replace my 803d3’s. I don’t need the lowest frequencies in my 4 by 6 meter room. So, what would be a good replacement?

Can someone tell me about differences in sound?

- Focal Sopra 1

- Magico A1

- Marten Oscar/ Parker Duo

My amps are: pass labs xp12, Bryston 14bsst2

cd: simaudio 650d, Bryston bcd3.




Honestly it is going to depend on your tastes. The Magico is so revealing I would only run them with tubes.. I used to own a Simaudio 650d with the external power supply (for 7 years)… too lean and lacking in bass for Magico.. I would choose which ot the other two are warmer…Focal are unique… I don’t know the Matren… I like their marketing.

Magico and Fritz have equally smooth presentations.  Fritz a little warmer and in your size room I'd consider it.

Focals - Make sure you don't try to point them at your head, minimize toe-in.

This is tough and really depends on your preferences.  What do you like in terms of soundstage and image?  The Magicos are known for a wide yet flatter soundstage.  The Martens are deeper but maybe a bit less wide.  The Focals to me are kind of a middle ground.  The Sopras are not significantly brighter than what you have IMO.  


You are offering measurements in meters so I am guessing you aren't in the US. What market are you in.  There are a ton of other option that are really amazing but question is whether they make sense to look at in your market.  

Soprasare much smother then olderfocals with good transparency and soundstaging bass is tight but not that deep


Every time we gave heard magicos never felt they were musical


Martens all ceramic drivers are superrevealing a touch lean


If you want a more forgiving reference loudspeakers go with the sopras





Thanks for your advice ghdprentice, Erik, Verdantaudio, audiotroy!

@verdantaudio: i live in europe.

I think the Marten Parker is too expensive, although it is beatifully finished. Some tests show that Marten speakers have a slightly warmer sound. You can listen to it for a long time without listening fatigue or bleeding ears.

The Sopra would be very revealing indeed according to tests.

Magico: on audio shows I haven’t heard the Magicos sound musically, but that can also be due to the other equipment or setup.

For the time being, preference is given to the Focal although I really like the Marten Parker.




The Sopra is not "very revealing." They are grainy and coarse sounding (all Focal Be tweeters are like that).

The Marten's are a little easier to listen too and I think they are extremely well made. The wait for new ones is brutal but you could also look at the Vimberg monitors.  Maybe find a used pair?  

If you are looking new, I would also look for the Vivid Kaya S12s. They look a little weird but they sound incredible.  The Wilson Benesh P1.0s might also be an interesting option as they are definitely less forward than the others on this list but are incredibly revealing.  You might be able to find a demo pair of Vertexes as they were recently discontinued and they are INCREDIBLE.  

If you were in North America I would send you a pair of mine to demo for free.  We are quite competitive in this range but shipping to Europe stings a bit.  

Focal: Grainy sounding I have never experienced myself or taken from test reports.

Of course everyone can experience it differently.

I also find the Focal glary. The A1 would be my choice, try listing to a pair.   

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I own the Marten Duke 2, not the Parker Duo that you shortlisted. The Marten is smooth and detailed at the same time which may sound contradictory. The treble is just so smooth and liquid with all the details sounding crystal clear. It’s a fatigue free listen with the Marten, only if you get the matching amp right. It will sound rough and forced with a metallic piercing treble if you match it with the wrong amps.

With other less revealing speakers such as Harbeth for instance, you don’t get the same result if you use the same amps as the speakers won’t reveal the character of the amps as much as the Marten. In other words, these loudspeakers have a larger influence to the sound than the amp. On the other hand, the Marten will show up the shortcomings of the amps that are matched to it, sounding quite different when matched to different amps.

I haven’t listened to the Focal Sopra or Magico but read that the Sopras have a bright sound.

Personally I love Focals but have not heard the one in question. Magicos I heard did not do much for me. Gotta get the right amplification for Focal. IME not bright if it’s a fit. 

I"m not sure if this is useful few months later but...

I haven't listen to the Parker nor the Magico, but I choose the Sopra #1 over other brand (BW 805 D4, Dynaudio Heritage Special and Totem Element Fire) and I am extremely please with them. Among the 4 bookshelves I auditioned, there were the one with the most distinctive sound. More clear (I would say harsh), transparent and the bass is clean and puchy, but not super deep (these are bookshelves after all).

If I ever upgrade, it will be for bigger Focal!


I second Rick's recommendation. As you are in Europe, you may be able to audition a pair of KIM.

I had a long listen to the Marten Parker Duo, but ended up buying the KIM.

Here's a link to a comprehensive review by Martin Colloms (in pdf form):

FinkTeam KIM review

If you are looking for a rich but natural sound with plenty of bass and detail for believable sound, the Trenner and Friedl ART monitors get my vote. I would recommend the second version used to save money, or the third (current) version new or used. I’ve heard the second and third versions, and as at least one review states, there isn’t a huge difference between the two. Your gear should do the job nicely. The ART monitors excel in smaller rooms like yours, especially with good stands. 

I’ve heard the Oscar Duo as well, but I’ve never heard a rich or full enough sound out of them. Light but detailed would describe what I’ve heard.


Have fun with the hunt!

I’ve heard the Oscar Duo as well, but I’ve never heard a rich or full enough sound out of them. Light but detailed would describe what I’ve heard.


That would apply to the Marten Duke 2 as well. The overall presentation is a little lean and light in comparison to speakers with a fuller midrange and bass. The touch with the Marten is more refined and delicate especially in the treble. The sound is smooth but detailed at the same time. In contrast, other speakers may sound more strident by showing a more forward presentation with a brighter piercing treble.


A much more complete description of the Marten speakers under discussion than I offered. Much appreciated! I’m quite curious: what would you offer up as rich, naturally detailed, and delicate as an alternative?




Full, rich and naturally detailed but less delicate would be Harbeth SHL5+. I didn’t have the opportunity to listen to a lot of speakers hence I can’t offer much insight here. The Harbeth is known to be a smooth sounding speaker but the Marten made them sound slightly coarse and rough. The touch is heavier with the Harbeth as it sounds more forward and slightly unrefined in the treble, only when it’s being compared to the Marten. In and of itself, the Harbeth sounds fine. I own both speakers.

Focal for me! love me some Focal. Just got Utopia Component set in my Camaro ss (insert mullet joke here). They are really something as well as my 836w in the house. Waiting for a deal on some Sopra or Utopias. 

The couple Magico I have heard years ago didn’t do much for me. Never heard Martin. 

Having heard them all--1) Marten, 2) Focal, 3) Magico

The Martens are excellent all around speakers, both the Duo line and the Parker line.  I could live with either.  Focal has a house sound that is not for everyone.  The are noticeably more "alive" in the upper registers and some folks love it while others find it fatiguing.  While I like the Magico's as you go up the chain, the A3s were built to a price point and to my ears, are just awful.  So many better ways to spend $12K.  YMMV.

Have you thought about Joseph Audio Pulsar 2 Graphene. Unbelievable sound! I’ve owned a lot of speakers this is the endgame for me