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sonusfidelio

Isoacoustics GAIA 1's on Focal Sopra 2's

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Hi guys

 

After over 6 months of indecision I decided to pull the trigger and try the GAIA's out since I have not heard one bad wrap anywhere on these. I had these onto my Sopra 2's over the weekend and man, what a difference it made. The improvement you get is not the kind where you ponder and thought to yourself "maybe that wasn't quite worth it as the difference is so subtle". It's more like "Whoa! Every single floor-standing speaker should come with these pre-fitted". What I think the GAIA's do is isolate the speakers from the ground, as if the drivers are floating in the air unconstrained and unimpeded. Hence you hear a lot of spatial information and truer musical timbre overall. Bass becomes more defined and tighter. Now I cannot imagine my Sopra 2's without these. There are a few YouTube videos on these. Some even doing A-B demos which I don't think do these justice because you need professional highly sensitive mics to capture the spatial dimension of the sound.

 

If like me you have been sitting on the fence because of price, doubts on the improvement it can make on your already "perfect" system, "another snake oil product", etc. all I can tell you is KlappAV is having a 10% sale (was 20% a few weeks ago) and there is a rebate campaign from the distributor on these until April.

 

You can thank me later.

 

https://klappav.com.au/search?q=gaia*&view=ls&type=product

https://www.ehifi.com.au/isocashback

 

Cheers

sonusfidelio

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Yes agreed, one of the things I bought and can easily hear the difference.

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I also have Sopra 2s with Gaia 1s and completely agree. Installation is a little tricky due to the Sopra’s glass base plate and pre-existing spikes, but once you’ve navigated that hurdle I also found the results well worth the price of admission. As always YMMV but nice to hear from a fellow SNAr who had the same experience. 

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Do they have the Gaia 1's in stock? I've been waiting on some for my TAD CR-1's for a month and got a call last week saying stock is delayed. I'll give Klapp AV a call today. 

 

Thanks!

GS

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Posted (edited)

My main concern is the floor placement on carpets. I will require Gaia 3 and the spikes that they sell to go with them. The speakers are Opera Grand Mezza and they are slender things so I have them on a platform. I’m just not sure that the spikes will go through the carpet, the current ones don’t. 
The narrow aspect of the speaker is also concern.
thoughts from members, not so much on if the Gaia will work or not, but a solution of application in my case

Neo  

image.jpg

Edited by Neo

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Galactic Soap said:

Do they have the Gaia 1's in stock? I've been waiting on some for my TAD CR-1's for a month and got a call last week saying stock is delayed. I'll give Klapp AV a call today. 

 

Thanks!

GS

You'd have to call them but I ordered them online about two weeks ago (20% discount then) and got them delivered 3-4 days after. It might be worthwhile to mention their 20% discount, and that you had missed it, to see if they can accommodate. You'll never know. Nothing venture, nothing gained.

Edited by sonusfidelio

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3 minutes ago, Neo said:

My main concern is the floor placement on carpets. I will require Gaia 3 and the spikes that they sell to go with them. The speakers are Opera Grand Mezza and they are slender things so I have them a platform. I’m just not sure that the spikes will go through the carpet, the current ones don’t. 
The narrow aspect of the speaker is also concern.
thoughts from members, not so much on if the Gaia will work or not, but a solution of application in my case

Neo  

 

Hi Neo, apparently you can get a special spiked plate for these that are placed below the GAIA's especially for carpeted floors. The GAIA's have quite a broad circumference so if anything would make your speakers more stable.

 

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I believe that Len Wallis has plenty of stock,  

most of their Sonus Faber speakers on display have Gaia various versions fitted already 

Give them a call, if the other store has a reasonable discount I’m sure they will match or come close

Neo

 

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1 minute ago, sonusfidelio said:

Hi Neo, apparently you can get a special spiked plate for these that are placed below the GAIA's especially for carpeted floors. The GAIA's have quite a broad circumference so if anything would make your speakers more stable.

 

Based on the fact that my current spikes which are sharp don’t penetrate the carpet and underlay, I don’t like my chances and having Gaia on these plinths I’m not sure if I get their full benefits 

Neo

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4 minutes ago, Neo said:

Based on the fact that my current spikes which are sharp don’t penetrate the carpet and underlay, I don’t like my chances and having Gaia on these plinths I’m not sure if I get their full benefits 

Neo

The spikes are a lot longer than they look. Mine spike through carpet and underlay to concrete - but my speakers are 75kg - but that still only works out to <7kg of weight through each of 12 spikes

 

You could easily force them through yourself, as an alternative

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I don’t have much weight to play with, under 20kg and the speaker are tall and slender which ends up a wobbly affair. Gaia spike will be same or similar unfortunately 

Neo

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7 hours ago, Neo said:

My main concern is the floor placement on carpets. I will require Gaia 3 and the spikes that they sell to go with them. The speakers are Opera Grand Mezza and they are slender things so I have them on a platform. I’m just not sure that the spikes will go through the carpet, the current ones don’t. 
The narrow aspect of the speaker is also concern.
thoughts from members, not so much on if the Gaia will work or not, but a solution of application in my case

Neo  

image.jpg

I don't believe you will have a problem, thanks to the outrigger at the rear which already provides stabilisation.

I use the IsoAcoustics carpet spikes myself, and anyone that's been here will vouch for how thick the carpet and underlay is. They're nasty sharp so should have no problem penetrating. Stability should be just as good as the original spikes or better, because as mentioned they will spread the load over a wider contact point.

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7 hours ago, Neo said:

My main concern is the floor placement on carpets. I will require Gaia 3 and the spikes that they sell to go with them. The speakers are Opera Grand Mezza and they are slender things so I have them on a platform. I’m just not sure that the spikes will go through the carpet, the current ones don’t. 
The narrow aspect of the speaker is also concern.
thoughts from members, not so much on if the Gaia will work or not, but a solution of application in my case

Neo  

image.jpg

Is it just the camera lens, or is the front right (as you look at them) spike or footer thread bent?

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13 minutes ago, blybo said:

Is it just the camera lens, or is the front right (as you look at them) spike or footer thread bent?

Angle

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I love my Gaias. I've seen Sopras on Gaias a number of times in hifi show reports. I wonder whether there's something amiss with the Sopras that makes them a good candidate to show how big a difference the Gaias make. Are the Sopras light?

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6 minutes ago, Pim said:

I love my Gaias. I've seen Sopras on Gaias a number of times in hifi show reports. I wonder whether there's something amiss with the Sopras that makes them a good candidate to show how big a difference the Gaias make. Are the Sopras light?

Sopra 2 are 55kg so not that light (the Sopra 3 weigh 70kg). It's also not easy to install the Gaia relative to other speakers due to the glass bases and pre-existing spikes on the Sopra which are quite long, requiring you to lever out the base from the speaker cabinet in order to unscrew the spikes. Not for the faint of heart as it's not immediately obvious which part of the base/cabinet intersection will loosen. I contacted Isoacoustics directly for advice before applying the necessary pressure in order to release the bases. Once you've seen a photo of where they disconnect all become clear. 

 

Good point you make about the Sopra often appearing at Isoacoustics demos. That had caught my attention too due to owning a pair. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, jason101 said:

Sopra 2 are 55kg so not that light (the Sopra 3 weigh 70kg). It's also not easy to install the Gaia relative to other speakers due to the glass bases and pre-existing spikes on the Sopra which are quite long, requiring you to lever out the base from the speaker cabinet in order to unscrew the spikes. Not for the faint of heart as it's not immediately obvious which part of the base/cabinet intersection will loosen. I contacted Isoacoustics directly for advice before applying the necessary pressure in order to release the bases. Once you've seen a photo of where they disconnect all become clear. 

 

Good point you make about the Sopra often appearing at Isoacoustics demos. That had caught my attention too due to owning a pair. 

 

 

55kg certainly isn't what I would call a light speaker.

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2 hours ago, Pim said:

I love my Gaias. I've seen Sopras on Gaias a number of times in hifi show reports. I wonder whether there's something amiss with the Sopras that makes them a good candidate to show how big a difference the Gaias make. Are the Sopras light?

You make a really good point. Hopefully I don't upset anyone with my opinion, but each and every single time I've heard Sopras I've never liked the bass. It seemed sloppy and uncontrolled. So much so it really sticks in my mind about this particular model of loudspeaker. Now I wonder if others have felt the same way and that's why it's been common to see Gaias installed on them. In my experience on any loudspeaker, one of the characteristics of Gaia that is repeatable, is tighter control of bass, so it makes absolute sense to me.

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7 hours ago, Marc said:

You make a really good point. Hopefully I don't upset anyone with my opinion, but each and every single time I've heard Sopras I've never liked the bass. It seemed sloppy and uncontrolled. So much so it really sticks in my mind about this particular model of loudspeaker. Now I wonder if others have felt the same way and that's why it's been common to see Gaias installed on them. In my experience on any loudspeaker, one of the characteristics of Gaia that is repeatable, is tighter control of bass, so it makes absolute sense to me.

Interesting point Marc. I run my Sopra 2 with Devialet 400s, which are known for their good control of bass extension. Add SAM to that and problems with bass frequencies on the Sopra are not something I’ve experienced, but it may be the case in other systems (I’ve not heard them in any other settings). The reason for frequent use of Sopra in Gaia demos would be an interesting question to pose the Isoacoustics people. 

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12 hours ago, Marc said:

You make a really good point. Hopefully I don't upset anyone with my opinion, but each and every single time I've heard Sopras I've never liked the bass. It seemed sloppy and uncontrolled. So much so it really sticks in my mind about this particular model of loudspeaker. Now I wonder if others have felt the same way and that's why it's been common to see Gaias installed on them. In my experience on any loudspeaker, one of the characteristics of Gaia that is repeatable, is tighter control of bass, so it makes absolute sense to me.

The Sopra's put out good bass alright. However, it depends on the upstream equipment and synergy. Like jason101, I've used them with the Devialet 400's, and recently I changed my setup to the Octave MRE 130 mono-blocks (tubes). In both setups, the bass is tight and tuneful. The value proposition of the GAIA's is not mainly in the bass. It's in the spatial clarity and timbre. 

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I believe a big part of why you see IsoAcoustics on Focal models is that they are distributed in the US by Focal America.

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1 hour ago, Rhymenocerous said:

I believe a big part of why you see IsoAcoustics on Focal models is that they are distributed in the US by Focal America.

That makes a lot of sense!

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For all those interested in learning more about IsoAcoustics, there will be a live presentation this evening, 8PM with Convoy and Paul Morrison on hand to answer any questions.

 

Isoacoustics-Promo-970x250-Youtube.jpg

 

https://www.convoy.com.au/youtube

Isoacoustics-Promo-1200x630-YouTube.jpg

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Well, I'm going to chip in here as a noobie on this thread - I have a pair of Focal Sopra 2's (coming from a background of Sonus Faber Amati's). I run in parallel with a pair of Martin Logan BalanceForce 210 subs - I like bass! The difference in slam and imaging throughout the spectrum, not just bass, with Gaias throughout (I's on the speakers sitting on dedicated solid sheaok plinths, II's on each of the subs) was significant!  Far less secondary floor propagation (I have a wooden floor so can feel that) as a result. Cleaned up the soundstage. Almost as much an improvement as introducing the Isotek Sigmas 6 and a dedicated Isotek Regen for the DAC an preamp to clean up the power supply. In short, they work! Prior to this I had my speakers sitting on Townshend seismic podiums. They seemed to reduce bass extension but were actually cleaning up the sound, but not to the same degree as the Gaias in my view.

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