INFINITE HORN LOADING
Focal’s 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, but the requirement for Sopra to be compact meant that as much of the cabinet as possible had to be used for the bass. This led us to come up with the IHL system. The "IHL" system enables to load the Beryllium tweeter respecting the compactness demand of the speaker. The rear wave of the tweeter is delicately and gradually absorbed to avoid any distortion.
NEUTRAL INDUCTANCE CIRCUIT
Since the beginning, Focal has 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. NIC technology (Neutral Inductance Circuit) permits to control the magnetic field and finally enables to master it in order to limit distortion. It decreases the effects of distortion and give the sound a very high-definition and an unprecedented dynamic.
MASTERING THE CABINET AND CHOICE OF MATERIALS
Made in France, Sopra’s cabinet was designed in Focal’s 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. Glass was chosen 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.
TUNED MASS DAMPER
The Focal team 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. "TMD" technology consists of optimising the suspension profile which controls the resonance in order to drastically reduce distortion and increase the definition of bass and midrange.
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.