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Sonus faber Owners & Discussion Thread


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Does anyone have a pair of Sonus Faber Homage Amati Tradition Speakers. If so, is it a reasonable upgrade to the preceding Amati Futura series.  How are people finding these speakers.  We currently own a pair of Sonus Faber Amati Futura and love em. 

 

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The Amati Futura are worth keeping just based on their looks.In my opinion the most beautiful speaker ever made.

Newer models do not always sound better.Quite often they are changed to be more "impressive" sounding or to measure better but that does not mean they are more musically engaging .

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Had a good listen to some good Sonus Fabers at West Coast Hifi Midland Perth, very nice room setup

 

The older Amati are classic beauty against the impressive $70k Cremonese and $18k Olympica III and the $6k Krix Esoterix Altum were no slouches either.

 

The Amati were very gutsy, Cremonese a giant room filler, Olympica voiced nicely and Krix fast sounding and agile

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Edited by Al.M
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This is the one I like.The Amati Futura .Unfortunately no longer made.The most beautiful of all the Sonus Fabers  and as good on vocals as any speaker I have heard.The massive chrome steel column at the back was there for more than just looks.

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The Olympica models use a Paralaminar stealth flow vented system at the back of the cabinet seen in the below pics as chrome mesh things.

 

In that room the bass was good but a little tubby, other than that they were extremely good highs, mids and bass with good imaging and musicality. 

 

We brought our own Hypex N500 mono 400w 8 ohm amps custom built by Chamila in Perth. 

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Edited by Al.M
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@Al.M

 

Did the old Amati outperform the Olympica? Haven't heard the Olympica range but everyone I know who has preferred the old Cremona series. Even had a retailer here in Brisbane who sells Sonus Faber rubbish the Olympica line and modern Sonus Faber's in general.

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11 minutes ago, kelossus said:

@Al.M

 

Did the old Amati outperform the Olympica? Haven't heard the Olympica range but everyone I know who has preferred the old Cremona series. Even had a retailer here in Brisbane who sells Sonus Faber rubbish the Olympica line and modern Sonus Faber's in general.

I've heard the old Cremona and also one of the Olympica models (can't remember which one,  but retail was higher than the Cremona).

No question in my mind that the Cremona was better

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Interesting - I was the original purchaser of these Amatis in the late 1990’s, from Vince Ross Audio - pair serial number 459 - nice to see that they are still in fine condition. Traded them back to Vince for Stradivaris, which I still own.

 

 

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The original RRP of these Amatis was $37,000 not ($20k). The Olympia lll s (only heard a few times and not in my home) are very fine, but in my opinion can not touch the original Amatis. That said the Amati is not in the the same league as the Stradivari - l remember unboxing and setting up the Strads and from the first note I never ever thought about the Amatis ever again..................each improvement in amplification is clearly revealed. 

 

Often inexperienced/uninformed punters post the essential need for lots of power with these speakers - cobblers. Eighteen to about 80 watts of high quality SET  power is  more than one would reasonably need in in a domestic situation- provided you listening room isn’t a basketball court.

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4 hours ago, kelossus said:

Did the old Amati outperform the Olympica

To me they didn’t, just different voicing. The Amati have a heavier bass and more laid back with tamish treble response, which is good for those who like that and seemed to have a lot of drive, naturally perhaps so with larger twin 8 inch Scanspeak carbon drivers, 7 inch Scanspeak carbon midbass woofer assigned to midrange duties and 2000 era best of Scanspeak Revelator 9900 tweeter.

 

Whereas,  the Olympica III is using modern in-house SF drivers (see article https://www.avhub.com.au/news/hi-fi/sonus-faber-il-cremonese-411001), twin 6 inch paper cone woofers, similar but 5 inch midrange and some kind of fabric dome tweeter (pictures below) resulting in a lighter faster sound, midrange was more coherent and tweeter balanced for elevated detail or intensity. The cabinet build quality and the woofer venting system though impressive in theory may only achieve what a traditional bass port does, no internet articles to support what it is otherwise.

 

I heard the Cremona equivalent to the Olympica III using similar sized drivers but all Scanspeak paper slit cone Revelator range and the miserable (to me at least the most boring cheap tweeter of that era) Vifa XT 19 or 25 ring radiator $30-40 tweeter unit. I was never impressed with this speaker, nice looking and great cabinet but boring as bat excreta.

 

My comments above are not based on ownership of those speakers so I can’t say that I have spent enough personal time with them to further support my impressions of them.

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Edited by Al.M
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Guest Music monster

I herd a pair of Sonus Faber,cart remember the model . They were $ 130 grand a pair driven by flagship mcintosh amplification . The sound was excellent, Effortless very rich and lush sounding. Just wanted to listen all day. Gary the music monster 🎶

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On 04/08/2019 at 7:42 PM, Smp said:

Interesting - I was the original purchaser of these Amatis in the late 1990’s, from Vince Ross Audio - pair serial number 459 - nice to see that they are still in fine condition. Traded them back to Vince for Stradivaris, which I still own.

 

 

Still one of the best speakers I’ve heard the Stradivari. If I didn’t love my JBL Everest so much this is what I’d own simply awesome.

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1 hour ago, Music monster said:

I herd a pair of Sonus Faber,cart remember the model . They were $ 130 grand a pair driven by flagship mcintosh amplification . The sound was excellent, Effortless very rich and lush sounding. Just wanted to listen all day.

That would be the Aida. Lovely sounding speakers.

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  • Marc changed the title to Sonus faber Owners & Discussion Thread
On 03/08/2019 at 9:30 PM, Al.M said:

Had a good listen to some good Sonus Fabers at West Coast Hifi Midland Perth, very nice room setup

 

The older Amati are classic beauty against the impressive $70k Cremonese and $18k Olympica III and the $6k Krix Esoterix Altum were no slouches either.

 

The Amati were very gutsy, Cremonese a giant room filler, Olympica voiced nicely and Krix fast sounding and agile

9F92C5B1-CF1D-4941-B08C-5FAB2FFEE8F8.jpeg

6664E662-4FE7-4B8C-99D6-F55B39CE891F.jpeg

2275175E-483C-4F27-89C6-6B81FC7F583E.jpeg

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That looks like a fun afternoon!

 

I've had a pair of Amati Anniversarios since about 2009 and love them. I've yet to hear anything that would tempt me  to change them for, unless we're talking serious dollars ( The Kyron Kronos system and the big active SGRs come to mind ) and even then, there were some things that I thought the Amatis did a bit better.

 

I've not had a listen to any of the newer Sonus Fabers so cant comment on them in comparison.

 

 

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Edited by pine weasel
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On 04/08/2019 at 5:29 PM, kelossus said:

@Al.M

 

Did the old Amati outperform the Olympica? Haven't heard the Olympica range but everyone I know who has preferred the old Cremona series. Even had a retailer here in Brisbane who sells Sonus Faber rubbish the Olympica line and modern Sonus Faber's in general.

I've got an older concertino and ive heard the olympica 1.  While it is a nice speaker, its not my cup of tea.

Not the same without Franco Serblin.

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I have owned a pair of Amati Homage speakers for approx. 10 years using various amplifiers.

The Amatis sound the best from my experience with the grunt of class A amps. 

Either tube (Icon  Audio) or solid state (Passlabs)  class A  or equal the speakers just come alive.

Note: If you like an analytical sound this combination is not for you.

If you like a solid base, natural mid and highs then there is no better in their price range.

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There are a lot of speakers would appear to keep pace with the Amati depending what you like most such as 

VAF I93 & 66, ATC SM40, many ESLs, Yamaha NS5000, SF Olympica III, bigger more expensive SF and Kef Blade etc.

 

Edited by Al.M
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3 minutes ago, Al.M said:

There are a lot of speakers would appear to keep pace with the Amati depending what you like most such as 

VAF I93 & 66, ATC SM40, many ESLs, Yamaha NS5000, SF Olympica III, bigger more expensive SF and Kef Blade etc.

 

Before I listen to any speakers I tap the sides. If it sounds solid it tells me generally what to expect. The Amatis weigh 75 kg each which tells you how structurally solid they are. Lenehan Audio also put a lot of effort into their cabinet structure which provides a a non distorted sound. Not many speakers that I have heard can equal this.

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12 minutes ago, BAM said:

structurally solid

Is not the only factor in good speaker design, instead good driver quality, selection, matching and crossover integration is far more important.

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  • 3 weeks later...

i have a pair of SF Liuto's. I adore them and have always lusted after SF loudspeakers since selling them at Challenge HiFi in Adelaide. At the time i was enamoured with the Grand Piano's and the Concertinos. 

These Liutos came along 2nd hand and i grabbed them. 

I drive them with a quassimodo amplifier and mostly a project RPM5 Carbon with a 2m Blue Cartridge and Vincent Phono Stage.


It all seems to work pretty well.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The bizarrest thread ever about SF. 

 

I can remember listening at Vince Ross  to the original extrema (with the bass radiaditor) hooked to a complete nakamichi 7 system in the early 90's sounded brilliant amazing sound from standmounts. 

 

More recently ive heard the SF hooked up to mcintosh at the midland WC hifi.  Again a good sound

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I’m interested to hear more about the various SF models from past and present owners, hopefully this thread can get back on track now. 

 

cheers Terry

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Probably should have just stopped there.... Stradivari & MC 2301's . I wouldn't stray from the Franco Serblin design imo.

Soulution2301Strads1_zpsedae5d43.jpg

Edited by bzr
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The strads are, hands down, my favourite speaker I’ve ever heard. I worked at Encel through the aughts through the introduction and the revision of the Cremona line, the revision of the Guarneri and Amatis and, of course the introduction of the strads. I uncrated and set up the first pair to come to Australia and I didn’t leave the shop until super late that night because I couldn’t pull myself away from them. 

 

I’ve owned 2 pairs of Sonus Fabers myself but I haven’t fallen in love with anything released after the strads. I’m sure they’re objectively great speakers but once Serblin wasn’t involved they ceased to have much attraction to me. The later models just didn’t do it for me and the high end stuff went from being the simplest possible design made incredibly beautifully to this full-on high tech behemoth (aria?). Again, I’m sure it’s awesome but it doesn’t say Sonus Faber to me. No shade to people who love them, they just stopped rocking my boat.

 

Ironically, I don’t love the look of his own line of speakers so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

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On 08/09/2019 at 8:40 AM, TerryO said:

I’m interested to hear more about the various SF models from past and present owners

I am at the bottom of the chain here but feel compelled to comment on the cheaper variety they make now. I have a pair of Chamelon T's which are the budget floor standers compared to the speakers discussed here. They should not be dismissed as not all of us can ever own the beautiful things the Sonus Faber company has produced. The T's can sound really nice with a bit of power for the money compared to other speakers around the same price! They seem to enjoy lots of power currently getting lots of class A.

Of course I lust after the beauties spoken about above but can be happy where I am unless powerball happens.

Happy listening.

Edited by Hazzzy
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  • 3 weeks later...

On a whim I just bought a pair of SF Grand Pianos.

 

They look great and were cheap(ish) plus I have very fond memories of my SF Concertos, the first ‘high end’ speakers I ever owned.

 

They actually hold up very well against my ultra-modern KEF R3s, both sonically and in measurements.

 

It’s a different kind of sound, closer to the lively PMCs I also auditioned recently than the more neutral KEF. But very enjoyable.

 

My wife has a thing against floor standers, but she also likes leather so we’ll see what her response is when she gets back from holiday.

 

:)

 

 

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  • 4 months later...
  • 1 month later...
On 04/08/2019 at 7:42 PM, Smp said:

Interesting - I was the original purchaser of these Amatis in the late 1990’s, from Vince Ross Audio - pair serial number 459 - nice to see that they are still in fine condition. Traded them back to Vince for Stradivaris, which I still own.

 

 

I bought 459's about 8 months ago from West Coast Hi Fi & they are still in as new condition.

They sound fabulous....the best speakers I have owned. Running them with a Luxman 509X integrated & a Melco hard disk server. Pretty hard to beat. 

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  • 2 months later...

Hi, does anyone think the sound will improve going from a SF Olympica 1 bookshelf to a Sonetto 3 floorstander, using a Naim Nova amp?  Or is Sonetto too far down the line from Olympica?

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11 hours ago, Jayroc5000 said:

Hi, does anyone think the sound will improve going from a SF Olympica 1 bookshelf to a Sonetto 3 floorstander, using a Naim Nova amp?  Or is Sonetto too far down the line from Olympica?

I think your opinion is on the right track. 

I have a set of Cremona Auditor M's & a pair of Amati Homage's. As you go up the chain, the improvements get bigger. 

The Olympica 1's are a fine speaker. 

What are you trying to achieve by going from the Olympica's to the Sonetto's? 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 25/06/2020 at 10:10 PM, Jayroc5000 said:

Hi, does anyone think the sound will improve going from a SF Olympica 1 bookshelf to a Sonetto 3 floorstander, using a Naim Nova amp?  Or is Sonetto too far down the line from Olympica?

I think you'll get better bass and room fill, and likely be able to play a bit louder. I don't think you'll improve actual sound quality. It might be worth it if you're a long way from your speakers or if you like volume (or if you like a few mates round for beers and tunes!). It probably won't be if these criteria don't fit you.

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