if you're ever near a Sonus Faber dealer...

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi and General Audio' started by Rory, Aug 1, 2003.

  1. Rory

    Rory satisfied

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    then go in, and ask to hear (even if you're not going to buy) a pair of their Cremona (2003 model) standmount speakers...


    I visited (with Paul (of birkett fame :MILD: ))Global hifi in Newcastle last Wednesday as I was mildly considering replacing my MS860s (possibly too big for my room and imaging is not up to scratch) and basically asked them to shove the best circa £1ks worth of standmount and smallish floorstanding speakers in the dem room to see what I'd think. I took my Plinius 8100 amp along but the rest of my stuff (cd, dac, wires etc) were dahn sarf in Suffolk so we made do with a Roksan Candy cdp and Nordost Red Dawn s/wire and Solar Wind i/cs.

    First up were some 2nd hand Ruark Equinoxes (£1000 - new was £2000)which had a fantastically detailed treble- Donald Fagen's Kamakiriad was the best i've ever heard it through these, but the midrange was a bit too bare for my liking although imaging was fair. Bass extension wasn't too bad for standmounts either.
    [​IMG]

    Secondly were some Quad 21ls (£700). Erm. They weren't filled and basically midrange was all over the bloody place, bass was boomy, wasn't as well extended as the Ruarks and after 2 minutes of Cornflake Girl i'd told our friendly Chinese guy to take them off.

    Thirdly were JBL Ti2ks on matching stands and a matching HOLE in one of the metal dome tweeters (£1200 with new tweeter- new is £2000). Unimpressive is one word, total feck off brightness is 4 words and lack of imaging is 3 words.
    We were getting through quite a few boxes now....
    [​IMG]

    Fourthly were some Linn 5140s (£1000 - new is £2000). No imaging, but deep bass (tho theres a 10 inch driver on the back which helps i guess :D but the bass tended to cloud the whole sound if u get my meaning. Again a damaged tweeter probably didnt' help...
    [​IMG]

    Fifthly were the salesmans recommendations- the PMC FB1s (passive - £1000 - new) which i was expecting to demolish all in terms of bass depth- i knew they were going to be far too big for my room but i thought i'd give him the pleasure of telling him my views. Bass depth actually was the same as the Ruarks (with their 8 inch drivers) and it was a far too bright sound and like the Linns, no imaging to speak of. They lasted for 2 minutes of Justin Timberlake then off they went.
    [​IMG]

    Lastly were some little Sonus Faber Cremona standmounts (way over my budget- £2200 w/out stands, £2500 with) which the salesman said had been selling quite literally like hot cakes (well, 5 in erm...dunno...i wasn't really paying much attention now to him) . He shoved them on the Plinius and put Tori Amos on the Roksan. You could hear it was originally a mp3 recording, but what mattered is how musical it sounded. There was texture to her voice, when the bass and drums went away, there was a silence. Bass went down as low as the Ruarks despite only being a 6 1/2 inch drive unit. Imaging was as good as I have ever heard. When putting Justin's JT album on you could hear properly his gravelly voice in a manner i cannot possibly emphasise strongly enough. These are quite frankly excellent speakers in that you hear the music because the speakers don't, as far as I could make out, colour it as much as the others.
    They look stunning as well- just go there to see the leather baffle and the grill- wow.... you even save on cables as they're only single wire
    [​IMG]
    i'm a stingy git so i'm not buying them, especially at that price but i really recommend to everyone passing a Sonus Faber dealership to drop in and listen because its worth it. IMHO ;)


    Edited to add- we went to another dealer in Gateshead shortly after and listened to B&W 805s (£1400)....these were a tad disappointing, I have to say. Imaging and midrange neutrality was pretty much spot on, but treble was distant from the rest of the mix, and very brash and harsh. Bass was boomy and there was no definiton to the lowest (5th) string of Walter Becker's bass on the Donald Fagen disc. Very very disappointing I felt.

    The chappy there also had the new Jamo Concert 8s in (forgotten their new model number, but they look very tacky in hearing aid beige baffle finish). These sounded much more promising. Bass definition was much better although still a bit wooly but imaging really was spot on. A really nice rounded speaker I thought. Shame they look so naff now (and then you look round the back and theres a black reflex port on a pine veneered speaker :( ).
    I should point out that at this second dealer the power amp was a Rotel THX 1075 5 channel job which didn't help things along at all- it probably contributed to the B&Ws downfall greatly although the Jamos didn't make too much out of it :confused: . Preamp/ SACD/CD transport/ goodness knows what else was £15ks worth of DCS Verdi/ Elgar (i think) stuff.
     
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    Rory, Aug 1, 2003
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  2. Rory

    lowrider Live music is surround

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    Their woofers are 5" ScanSpeak Revelators, probably the best mid-woofers there are, tweeters are the Vifa ring radiators modified, same drivers as the Krells... :MILD:
     
    lowrider, Aug 2, 2003
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  3. Rory

    bottleneck talks a load of rubbish

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    Ruark Equinoxs - have external crossovers (built into the stands).. seen them as low as £800. I likeses ruarkeses. :D. Their models seem hit and miss, but theyve got some corkers IMO.

    Jamo convert 8's - there was a bloke on hifichoice selling a pair for £400 - bargain city.. do a search if youre still after some.

    Havent heard the sonus f's yet. Nice cabinetry and matching stand, it has to be said.

    U really thinking of blowing a grand Rory?


    Chris
     
    bottleneck, Aug 2, 2003
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  4. Rory

    Rory satisfied

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    well my speakers go for £600, so £400 on top didn't seem too ridiculous... thing is theres a new high end Mordaunt Short range coming out in January so i'm gonna wait to hear them anyway but the demo was really founded by the fact that theres dealers in Newcastle who stock a decent amount of kit, not just sticking to one or two brands (i.e. ATC and Audio Physic at Signals, B&W at Eastern Audio)

    the Ruark binding posts are indeed at the bottom of the stands and theres some for £770 at www.progressiveaudio.co.uk . They are nice speakers, but if they were £2k 5 years ago, then the Sonus Fabers will be £800 in 5 years time :confused:

    I may look into those Concert 8s- the new range looks like Ikea mated with MFI
     
    Rory, Aug 2, 2003
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  5. Rory

    glenda

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    concert 8s

    Hi - they were my concert 8s on hifichoice and they are still for sale . Currently languishing and wasted in a cheap av system - e mail me if interested .
    Cheers
    Glenda
     
    glenda, Aug 2, 2003
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  6. Rory

    Rory satisfied

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    lol that was quick...you must be psychic Tony!!
     
    Rory, Aug 2, 2003
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  7. Rory

    merlin

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    I too got the urge to go and listen to some standmounts today.

    Went to my local dealer who has recently started stocking JM Labs. They were absolutely raving about the new Utopias, in particular the new Micro, priced at 3.5K.

    Well I had a good listen to the complete system, made up of the JM's paired with 40 grand's worth of Krell plus some serious cables.

    Just one question. Who the fleck buys this stuff:confused: My system craps on this setup from a great height, no ifs and buts, no subjectivity, and not just in a few areas. All for less thanh half the price, even if I were rich enough to buy my kit new.

    From the systems I have heard, I'd say WM's would destroy this exotica in a similar manner. So how do people actually end up dropping 50K on stuff like that, is it just ignorance or is it me who is missing something:confused:

    For the record the system comprised Krell KPS25SC/Krell FPB400cx/ Transparent cables/ JM Labs Micro Utopia Be.

    Doesn't anyone listen to music anymore
     
    merlin, Aug 2, 2003
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  8. Rory

    Rory satisfied

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    its probably unfair but that 15ks worth of DCS Cd/Sacd stuff at Lintone hifi with the Rotel and the B&W 805s sounded like the biggest waste of £18,000 to me too....very sad to think what good that kind of money could make


    interesting comments re: new Micro Utopias- shall i look out for the old versions at Richers soon? :D
     
    Rory, Aug 2, 2003
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  9. Rory

    lowrider Live music is surround

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    Micro Utopias sound so veiled... :p
     
    lowrider, Aug 2, 2003
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  10. Rory

    wadia-miester Mighty Rearranger

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    Antonio Yawn is another word I'd use :SLEEP:
     
    wadia-miester, Aug 3, 2003
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  11. Rory

    Curt

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    Hey Rory,
    You seem to have tried a few speakers there.
    Maybe its not worth changing mate.
    I had the same thing with my Contour 1.1's, i couldn't find anything better to match my setup and room.
    Maybe sometimes we do get where we want and should just be happy.
    Then again..................................

    Curt
     
    Curt, Aug 3, 2003
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  12. Rory

    Graham C

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    I think there used to be a house "sound/policy" at Mordaunt Short
    back in the days of Rory's 860s and earlier.

    I think it was a bit like KEF...they had a stab at doing all area's of the sound right, especially top to bottom balance. Of course, at any budget you can't have the deepest bass, the sharpest image, the cleanest mid etc - and image and maybe high-mid clarity have been the weaker points of 2 MS models I've owned.

    If you like their generous well balanced MS sound, then other specialist speakers are better in areas, but with flaws that bug you.
     
    Graham C, Aug 3, 2003
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