The biggest in the line which perfectly combines spatialisation and harmonic richness - a centre loudspeaker, an effect loudspeaker and a subwoofer; all specially designed for Home Cinemas. Sopra has evolved into a loudspeaker line in its own right which will not only meet the expectations of the most demanding music enthusiasts but also those of fans of stylish equipment. Focal’s engineers have completely redesigned the loudspeaker’s internal structure in order to increase the volume by 60% and accommodate the larger two 8.5-inch bass transducers. The result is the Sopra N°3 delivers dynamic, musicality and generous but controlled bass. Sopra N°3 also integrates the three major acoustic innovations which characterise the line’s acoustic DNA.
NEUTRAL INDUCTANCE CIRCUIT
Stabilising the magnetic field
Since the beginning, we have always had a great interest in the magnetic circuit, an essential aspect of a speaker drive unit. The precision and detail of audio reproduction depends on the stability of the magnetic field.
After having pushed back the limits in electromagnetic technology with the Grande Utopia EM and the Stella Utopia EM, our engineer discovered that the magnetic field varies regardless of its intensity. Indeed, it is not stable because it is modulated by three factors: the movement of the voice coil (Lenz's law), the current passing through it (Foucault current) and the frequency. Consequently, the voice coil, the moving part, is in the magnetic field which becomes too variable, and this leads to loss of precision.
The NIC technology lies in a Faraday ring whose dimensions, materials and positioning we were able to optimise to make the magnetic field be no longer affected by the position of the voice coil, by the amperage or the frequency of the current passing through it. This solution permits to control the magnetic field to decrease the effects of distortion and give the sound a very high-definition and an unprecedented dynamic.
TUNED MASS DAMPER
The obsession with the midrange
The midrange register is no doubt the most complicated to control in a sound system.
Thanks to the power of finite element analysis, our teams have revealed resonances which alter definition in the suspension which connects the cone to the basket
The solutions already known for increasing the damping properties of the suspension all result in an increase of the mass which consequently alters definition. The answer came from a technology used in earthquake-resistant skyscrapers and which is also used for the suspension on racing cars. This technology is called a "Tuned Mass Damper": an additional mass oscillates in opposition to the resonance frequency to control it.
Our Tuned Mass Damper consists in simply two tubular rings on the suspension to avoid deformation of the cone without afflicting the dynamics. It reduces drastically the distortion and increase the definition.
This innovation is patented.
INFINITE HORN LOADING
Getting the most out of the Beryllium tweeter
Our Beryllium tweeter features an incredibly light and extremely rigid dome, that deliver a transparent and dynamic sound. Its main limitation comes from the compression of air in the cavity behind it, that create interference with the incredible definition. To overcome this, the ideal would be to have a nearly infinite volume. But the requirement for Sopra to be compact meant that as much of the cabinet as possible had to be used for the bass. We had to explore other options for loading the tweeter, which led us to come up with the IHL system.
The rear of the Beryllium tweeter is loaded via a small cavity which is connected to the exterior of the enclosure by a horn. whom inside is filled with a damping material. Sound waves from the rear of the tweeter are delicately and gradually absorbed. Its acoustic impedance approaches zero so that no resistance alters the movement of the dome. This reduces distortion by 30% and pushes definition to its maximum.
This system is patented.
DESIGN BEYOND AESTHETICS AND SHAPE
The Sopra line is destined for the most passionate sound enthusiasts. Its design favours performance, whilst bringing together the qualities expected of an object which will be integrated into very elegant interiors and décors. Lacquered or bloodwood finishes are associated to noble materials to create an elegant line. Substantial efforts were made to give the front a tidy appearance, particularly around the speaker drivers, to iron out any aspects which could afflict the acoustics or the appearance.
Sopra’s very structure is articulated around the intermediate section. This injected polyurethane component allows for the upper and lower cabinets to be inclined for the "Focus Time" (acoustic convergence of the channels). It also provides the freedom to achieve the desired enhancements for the treble (decompression, isolation of the tweeter section...). It contributes to the very high rigidity of the structure as a whole and its compactness optimises the use of space for the midrange.
CONTROLED BASS AND MAXIMAL COMPACTNESS
The two 8” (21cm) woofers for the bass register equipped with natural inductance magnetic circuits benefit from a substantial volume thanks to the tweeter’s IHL, allowing us to take full advantage of the cabinet’s capacity. Indeed, unlike Utopia, which is extravagant by essence and where size is by no means a constraint, Sopra aims for maximal compactness to ensure easy integration into reasonably sized rooms.
What’s more, the cabinet’s Gamma Structure with a 69mm front panel provides remarkable inertia considering such a size. Weighing 120 lbs (70kg), Sopra n°3 is by no means envious of its larger competitors... Thus weight and compactness are well balanced to provideimpressive density and articulation.
This remarkable control of the bass makes Sopra n°3 even easier to integrate. It is perfectly at ease in rooms measuring up to 320ft2 (30m2), and is even ideal for larger rooms measuring up to 750ft2 (70m2).
- New Midrange speaker driver with "TMD" suspension (Tuned Mass Damper) and Neutral Inductance Circuit ("NIC")
- New "IHL" Beryllium Tweeter (Infinite Horn Loading)
- Speaker drivers developed and manufactured in France by Focal