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New Focal Sopra Loudspeakers

New Focal Sopra_02

Push back the limits of precision

Innovation at Focal goes way beyond technology. Our obsession is with the end result: the delight of sound in all its harmonic richness; its purity and its precision in relation to the musical work. Moreover, we focus our efforts on the speaker driver, the core of Focal’s DNA, what the history of our business is built around: technology, mechanics and sophisticated materials.

In twenty years, Utopia has become a major reference of world renown, praised for its incredible musicality and its technological innovation: "W" composite sandwich cones, pure Beryllium tweeter, multiferrite magnets, EM woofers, IAL2 tweeters, OCP+ circuit crossover or even the Gamma Structure cabinet. Sopra project drew on this technological heritage to develop new innovations.

 

 

New numerical analysis tools revealed the speaker driver’s most intricate inner workings. So our engineers worked on optimisations for magnetic circuits and suspension of our transducers, to push back the limits of sound reproduction in terms of purity, precision and harmonic richness... Sopra’s midrange provides incredible realism thanks to its new magnetic circuit and TMD suspension.

Innovative and sophisticated design

Following on from Utopia and keeping in line with all Focal loudspeakers, the design of Sopra is the result of a very close collaboration between designers and engineers, a passionate quest aiming to conciliate complex constraints, experience, as well as sophisticated and innovative solutions, and all of this would have to be almost invisible, leading to something obvious, immediate simplicity for the pleasure and the purity of an unforgettable listening experience.

The Sopra line is destined for sound enthusiasts. When expectations are so high, the design must provide solutions which go far beyond aesthetics and shape. This represents a great deal of work in terms of industrial design, which must serve acoustic experts and favour performance, whilst bringing together the qualities expected of an object which will be integrated into very elegant interiors and décors.

Sopra’s structure is articulated around the intermediate section, which, besides giving a very strong identity to the line, is a structural element which contributes to several technical solutions. This injected polyurethane component allows for the upper and lower cabinets to be inclined for the "Focus Time" (where the audio sources are all at the same distance from the listener for an acoustic convergence of the channels).

The compactness and the harmony of the proportions of this line are the result of very advanced research.
Substantial efforts were made to give the front a tidy appearance, particularly around the speaker drivers, to ironing out any aspects which could afflict the acoustics or the appearance. The flush cloth frames and the lacquered finishes allow for all sides of the loudspeaker to be the same. This was a real manufacturing challenge for our cabinet-making facility in Bourbon-Lancy (Burgundy, France).

The main theme of Sopra is deliberately uncluttered, though it still offers connoisseurs the opportunity to enjoy all the small details. The grille with an incremental meshing motif protects the Beryllium tweeter and gives it a strong identity. This motif is repeated for sealing the curved back panel of the middle section. The terminal board, the thumb nuts and the adjustable spikes have all been specially designed for Sopra, as have the few visible screws, all of which were manufactured by watchmaking experts.

 

 

Mastering the cabinet and choice of materials

Made in France Sopra’s cabinet was designed in our cabinet-making facility in Bourbon-Lancy (Burgundy, France) using the same manufacturing process as for Utopia

The 69mm sandwich-machined front panel uses the same principle as ‘Gamma Structure’ to provide inertia and damping. Its density gives it the inertia necessary to provide a stable mechanical reference for optimal definition.

The inside of the cabinet has no parallel side panels, and small Helmholtz resonators have been added to the lower section to prevent vertical standing waves.

We chose glass as the material for the base of the loudspeaker to provide floor coupling, using spikes, which enabled the fastest propagation time possible, thus eliminating all halo effects in the bass.

source : www.focal.com

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