The Best of These Three -- Vivid Audio B1 Decade, Focal Sopra No2, KEF Reference 1

To Doug Schneider,

Thanks very much for reviewing these three speakers; you gave really high marks to all three of them. I auditioned the Sopra, KEF, and Vivid B1 (no B1 Decade nearby). My room is small: 16’ x 14’. I currently have the Luxman L-505u integrated amp and VPI Classic 1 turntable. I listen to all kinds of music, from pop to classical, really enjoy classical piano, violin, and opera.

You seem to give your highest mark to Vivid B1 Decade. However, you also said for the KEF Reference 1, “it’s among the very best speakers I’ve heard of any size and price” (that was Dec. 14), and for the Focal Sopra No2, “all of this adds up to a speaker that’s not only exceptional for its price, but exceptional for any price. . . . it not only goes over and above, it goes above and beyond” (that was Oct. 15). For the Vivid B1 Decade, “B1 Decade and Giya G2 are the two best speakers I’ve ever heard” (that was Mar. 2016).

My questions to you:

1. Do you consider B1 Decade the best among the three?
2. Which one is more suitable for my room, my music, and current equipment?

Thanks very much for your advice.

Warm regards,
United States

Let me answer your second question first: I don’t see any reason why your Luxman integrated amp wouldn’t work well with any of those speakers. Luxman rates it at 100Wpc into 8 ohms, so that should be sufficient power for a room of your size, providing you’re not the type who turns the volume way, way up to obscenely loud levels. Even then, Luxman amps are known for being conservatively rated, so it might still have enough juice.

What I said about the B1 Decade and Giya G2 is true to this day -- they’re the two best loudspeakers I’ve heard. The only thing is that with the B1 Decade priced at $28,000 USD per pair and the Giya G2 at $50,000 per pair, they’re much more expensive than the KEF Reference 1 ($7999.99/pair) and Focal Sopra No2 ($13,999.99/pair). That the KEF and Focal can compare favorably with the B1 Decade in many ways is a testament to how much value they provide. Putting price aside, mind you, I obviously still consider the B1 Decade the very best of these three. . . . Doug Schneider