Amp for Sonus Faber Amati Futura


Dear all,

I have recently purchased the Amati Futura, i am happy with the craftmanship with it.

The sound was a huge difference compare to my previous Marten Bird, my current amp is vitus SS101 + SL102, I found that somehow it is a little too mellow and lacking of heavy bass..

Any good suggestion of power amp? I was thinking Boulder either 1050 x 2 or 2060 to match with vitus SL102..

Please help :)
vkcc
I used a Boulder 2060 with the Futura's with grest succcess. However, I can't comment on using the Vitus SL102 with the Boulder.
Can you describe a little bit on the sound with boulder and Amati?
Is the bass any good?
I'm sure some will disagree - especially tube amp fans - but in my opinion big speakers like yours need big power and especially big current.

So noting that your Vitus monoblocks only put out 100 watts, I'm wondering if a lack of strength is your issue more than anything about the way the Vitus are voiced. FYI, this year's Stereophile review of your speakers used 600 watt Classe and 440 watt MBL monoblocks.

If you want to stay with Class A amps, Gryphon amps are noted for being bass monsters and for providing high current. And my Symphonic Line Kraft 250s provide very strong bass as well to my Revel Salon 2s, which are also large speakers and even less efficient than yours.

In any event, if you are thinking about Boulder amps then you obviously are in a good position to look at brands like those I mentioned above, along with other well-regarded brands such as FM Acoustics, Soulution, Goldmund, Clayton, Spectral etc. etc. etc. Happy hunting!
Can you describe a little bit on the sound with boulder and Amati?
Is the bass any good?
How about Violalab, Bravo2 power amp. It's dynamic and musicality with Amati futura is excellent.
I'v read at shows with Sonus Faber using the Futura's with the Rel gibraltar g1 sub.
From 2013 Audio Expo North America (AXPONA) - Chicago

http://positive-feedback.com/Issue66/axpona132.htm

The equipment in this room included the Sonus Faber Amati Futura Speakers, REL G1 Subwoofers, and a large collection of Audio Research gear: ARC Reference 250 monoblocks, DS 450M monoblocks, Reference CD9 CD player, Reference 5SE preamp and Reference 2SE phono preamp. The turntable was the Clearaudio Innovation Compact fitted with a Benz Micro Zebra cartridge. Wire was all Kubala-Sosna Emotion.

The Medallion Room on the main floor at the Double Tree O'Hare was one of the largest venues at the show. Despite all the odd dimensions and curtains everywhere, the acoustics did not seem to throttle the quality of music.

I must provide full disclosure. I am a huge Sonus Faber fan. I have owned all three iterations of the Amati: the original Homage, the Anniversario and now the Futura. I have also owned the Strativari Homage and the original Guarneri Homage. All have strengths and weaknesses. All are known for a rich detailed midrange. Extraordinary at all frequencies, the Futuras follow in the Sonus Faber tradition of musical performance but they also add a new level of incisive attack and inner density. They did not disappoint at this show.

This was my first listening experience with the REL G1 Subwoofers. They were stacked two per channel and behind and outside the Futuras. Having heard the Futuras with the then state of the art REL Studio III Subwoofer in my own listening room, I was very impressed with the G1. I now understand why the Studio III has been discontinued - gone but not forgotten.

Bass seemed to be tighter with more slam and improved dynamics. I was not able to do a comparison with and without at the show, but my guess is that the G1 was providing the same if not better results as the Studio III when combined with the Futuras. Sound stage and imaging were excellent and well extended. Highs and mids were as good or better than I have ever heard with the Futuras. If integrated properly, subwoofers can make a significant impact on the entire frequency spectrum.
http://www.avguide.com/review/the-rel-gibraltar-g-1-sub-bass-system

January 9th, 2013 -- by Jim Hannon
Source: The Absolute Sound

The Sonus faber Amati Futura loudspeakers were delivered with one REL Gibraltar G1 sub-bass system. While external subwoofers heretofore have not been my cup of tea because they can muddy up the main speaker’s midbass and midrange, the G-1 is different. The REL is designed to mate seamlessly with high-performance main loudspeakers, and does so admirably. However, one must have a light touch with its settings (lower is better) to achieve its beneficial sonic gains.

REL Gibraltar G-1

The G-1 sports a massive 12" long-throw carbon-fiber driver capable of an excursion of 1-3/4" in an attractive, extensively braced, sculpted cabinet, as well as a high-quality internal 600W class A/B MOSFET power amplifier. Its terrific disc-shaped IR remote control lets you adjust volume, crossover frequency, and phase from the listening position. This critical functionality allows one to easily dial the G-1 in (or out).

Although I didn’t use them, it also has features for home-theater applications (HI/LO level, .1/LFE level). For comparison purposes, I easily switched the G1 out of my system by simply disconnecting the G-1’s Neutrik Speakon connector on the back of the REL, thereby breaking the connection between the subwoofer and the speaker terminals of the amplifiers driving the Amati Futuras. (Mute your preamplifier before doing this!) I vastly prefer RELl’s connection approach since the main loudspeakers are essentially untouched by the G-1.

While one would expect the G-1 to add more extension and power to the Amati Futura’s deep bass, and it does, the effect is not as dramatic as you might think because of the Futura’s very fine low-end performance. On the Pierre Verany recording of Bach’s famous “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” the lowest pedal tones of the organ had somewhat more extension and weight, but what was most surprising were the gains in soundstage expansion and hall ambience retrieval, two of the most formidable of the Futura’s strengths. On well-recorded albums, the soundstage expanded to the side walls, more of the hall was evident in front of the speakers, and the sound was more palpable with greater air and presence. On Schubertiade [Harmonia Mundi] neither the marvelous natural timbre of Judith nelson’s voice nor Alfred Prinz’s clarinet was affected by the G-1. That’s a tough test that only the best subwoofers can pass.

For those who want even more air and low-end impact, the G-1 can be daisy-chained with additional G-1 units in stereo pairs or vertically stacked towers. I plan to audition the Amati Futura with multiple G-1s in Sumiko’s listening room. But even a single G-1 yields substantial, albeit subtle, sonic benefits without causing any harm or drawing unwanted attention to itself. That’s the best praise I can give any subwoofer/sub-bass system!

I'v read at shows with Sonus Faber using the Futura's with the Rel gibraltar g1 sub.
From 2013 Audio Expo North America (AXPONA) - Chicago

http://positive-feedback.com/Issue66/axpona132.htm

The equipment in this room included the Sonus Faber Amati Futura Speakers, REL G1 Subwoofers, and a large collection of Audio Research gear: ARC Reference 250 monoblocks, DS 450M monoblocks, Reference CD9 CD player, Reference 5SE preamp and Reference 2SE phono preamp. The turntable was the Clearaudio Innovation Compact fitted with a Benz Micro Zebra cartridge. Wire was all Kubala-Sosna Emotion.

The Medallion Room on the main floor at the Double Tree O'Hare was one of the largest venues at the show. Despite all the odd dimensions and curtains everywhere, the acoustics did not seem to throttle the quality of music.

I must provide full disclosure. I am a huge Sonus Faber fan. I have owned all three iterations of the Amati: the original Homage, the Anniversario and now the Futura. I have also owned the Strativari Homage and the original Guarneri Homage. All have strengths and weaknesses. All are known for a rich detailed midrange. Extraordinary at all frequencies, the Futuras follow in the Sonus Faber tradition of musical performance but they also add a new level of incisive attack and inner density. They did not disappoint at this show.

This was my first listening experience with the REL G1 Subwoofers. They were stacked two per channel and behind and outside the Futuras. Having heard the Futuras with the then state of the art REL Studio III Subwoofer in my own listening room, I was very impressed with the G1. I now understand why the Studio III has been discontinued - gone but not forgotten.

Bass seemed to be tighter with more slam and improved dynamics. I was not able to do a comparison with and without at the show, but my guess is that the G1 was providing the same if not better results as the Studio III when combined with the Futuras. Sound stage and imaging were excellent and well extended. Highs and mids were as good or better than I have ever heard with the Futuras. If integrated properly, subwoofers can make a significant impact on the entire frequency spectrum.
Great overall detail , liquid ,great bottom end using the wyetech sapphire monoblockS , or the ultimate either the wyetech ruby 300b or the wyetech ruby 211 ,i have the 211 driving the sonus faber guarneri
Amati is a difficult speaker to drive. I only heard them good a few times. You need power and lots of ampères. Boulder is for drive and speed a good option. To be unnest in sound realims they are not the best. Also in 3d imaging there are better options. I would think about the Pass Labs X-600.5. It has everything your speaker needs. Power, ampères, stunning deep and wide stage and a very musical sound to die for.
One of the finest amps for Sonus Fabar is the Audio Analogue Maesrto Setantta rev2.

Totallywired.co.nz has a great explanation why.

Audio Waves sells them here in the states. It is a gorgeous sounding (and looking) amp with all the grunt and finesse needed for the SF's. I own one and use it with my DeCapo-BE's with incredible synergy. It is great Italian amplifier and will work well with great Italian speakers. Break out a jar of Ragu and some linguini and let your SF's join you with a cabinet full of good watts. burp.
I sold Audio Analogue for many years. And they make very nice sounding amps. Very musical mids, which work great with Sonus Faber. And it also can give a good deep and wide stage as well.
Bo,

Thanks for your input. I was beginning to believe that I was the only one in the world with knowledge of Audio Analogue. The musical presentation coupled with my DeCapo-BE's is intoxicating. I wish that more people knew about or could listen to them. They are truly great amps.
On another topic, I think that we are garnished with a complete change in audio.. and I would imagine other formats. My daughter talked with me recently about her work and new generation of media entertainment. The conversation centered around You Tube and other media outputs. It seems that there is really no stopping it. The advances are moving in the direction of High End audio and we will watch much of the way we use our system dissolve and be replaced by the likes of the new Olive units and other similar products. Even TV as we have know it will be reengineered to be responsive to You Tube type picks.
So what the he_ _ does this have to do with Sonus Fabar and amps ? Well the music has to get to them before either can work. Our fondness for Turntables and CD's will still be there but the flexablity of these new formats can change the synergy of the associated equipment. I haven't heard this new stuff yet, but I am dabbling with a Apple TV Toslinked to my little Jolida FX Tube Dac. By selecting the Radio Stations option on the Apple and tuning to a HD Jazz station I am simply amazed by the quality of the sound. I am more than just curious about how far this quality can be taken and if it will affect the way we perceive the relationship between our speakers and amps. Will the empty space (between the entities appearing in the soundstage) be able to be enhanced by these newer formats (?). Will the sharp edges of items (originally defined by the speed and resolution of fine speakers and amps) be able to be enhanced to a point that amplifier differences will be of no concern (?). Off topic ? Perhaps, but progress can sometimes be cruel. Just pick any amp, and let the little electronic machine do the dirty work. Your feeble mind might not be needed for making amplifier choices anymore. No brain...no gain.
Sonus Faber is like art. It is beautiful made. And it has maybe the most musical mid freq. of any brand. The only 2 limitations they have is that the stage is not as wide and deep as some other brands in this price range can give. And they do not have the best respons. So it makes them more difficult to drive. Tighter low freq. would be better.
Bo1972 and Tubeears did you ever hear these Audio Analogue Maestro amps?
They look like Krell or Jeff Rowlands.
http://app.audiogon.com/listings/solid-state-audio-analogue-maestro-mono-power-amps-new-price-2013-01-17-amplifiers-97230
In those price ranges there are many more. Then I doubt if they are as good as brands like Pass Labs and some Krell. Jeff Roland has a very musical sound. But I prefer Pass Labs a lot more. Stage is bigger and better timing and control compared to Jeff Roland.
Amp for Sonus Faber Amati Futura
I would sure like to actually hear those AA Maestro monos. However they are not the rev2 series. I actually believe that I would prefer my Maestro Settanta Rev2 better with my DeCapos given the power curve and the newer build quality. I owned a Rowland 112 for a long (in Audiophile) time. I enjoyed it with a pair of ML CLS's. It was a smooth, musical amp.. But too much on the smooth side. My Maestro is half the power but nearly twice the grunt and more SET sounding. It is one of the few amps that increases the soundstage and depth as you turn it up, instead of blasting out shear SPL's. Lord "Nelson" is on top of that one too. So very interesting about Pass amp technology. If you are a shrewd Audiophile and can recognize the many amps that his fingerprints are on, you can always find a decent amp (with some of his design behind it) for Not much money. One of the best little amps around (inexpensive that is) that shares his gift for design, is the often overlooked N.E.W. 20.1. The company has been belly up for many years, but the amps show up occasionally. A good friend drove his SoundLab A-1's with one of them and had another set in mono for his Apogees. Gorgeous sound. And cheap. The matching preamp was killer too. He had a battery amp in the line as well (N.E.W. 66) that was good but not as good as the smaller 20.1. I consider Nelson Pass a true Audio genius that is a corner stone of audio history. As already stated, his newer Amps are stunning with tons of musicality and drive.
My DeCapos run so well with the AA Maestro amp. It is a match that I have dreamt about nearly all of my audio life. One does not stumble upon it often, or sometimes even at all... That is a pity for some, after all the money that we pour down the, ever flushing, equipment toilet. My basic system ran me about 8k (most from A'gon) and I will put it up against anything... Yes, anything. For the area size that it is meant to cover and the volume level that I enjoy.. It is perfect.
As for Sonus Faber, their smooth, but musical presentation demands an amp that can control them consistently and effortlessly. Not just in power but mainly finesse, pacing and superior low end control. Totally Wired, a well known Salon in NZ, has found that the best amp for the Sonus Fabar Gaurneri was the Maesrto Settanta rev2. Other amps may well include the gorgeous Edge lineup, or their cousins, amps by Tom Maker (Edges original brainchild). I used an Edge M6M for a while and it proved to be a nice unit with some speakers. The Edge amp was quick with amazing transient attack. It did lean toward the dry side, but that may prove beneficial to the SF, with its soft and somewhat expanded mid-band tendencies. I wasn't real impressed with the low end of the Edge, however. Although it had grip or control, it seemed somehow lacking in content and musical presentation, but certainly not control. Some other amps to consider would be the older DR series Classe amps. They have outstanding control and a silk-like presentation. The are getting a bit long in the tooth now, so get a good one. I like the Ayre amps for midrange and high end performance, but somehow the bass seems disconnected from the rest of the presentation. Another amp that I really liked, is the Muse 160. Very musical and tube like in the upper regions. Very articulate, with strong bass. IMHO way better than the Ayre amps. Belles amps might also be a fine choice. I have only owned the older 450, but it drove my Apogees with tons of grunt and musicality. The newer ones have a great reputation and stellar reviews. Dave Belles is another audio genious that has never stopped reaching for Audio Nirvana. A brilliant, dedicated designer and Audiophile.
Tube amps for the SF are a whole different animal. I personally would pick articulation over bloom. I would bet that a Kora Galaxy would work wonders with the SF's. I would stay away from CJ' and some Cary's. .... But, If you "want" lots of bloom and control, I would try and find a pair of Aronov monos or even the stereo version. They are highly musical and throw a super large soundstage. On the other side of the tube coin are amps like DecWare. I would be willing to bet that their larger amps would work wonders with the SF's. Their amps will make your toes curl up with their presentaion of sheer musical value. They are great people to deal with as well. Don't take David Berning off your list either. OTL's have a special spark and drive that only that design can give. Hard to find used. I have never cared for Copelands, although some people like them. I have always felt their sound distant and somewhat vague. Sooo many amps, and sooo little time.
One thing to keep in mind. It does not matter how thick your wallet is, there are great amps for very little money. It's the synergy not the cost.
I just love the Sonus Fabar line up. They are a true classic art form of what a highly listenable speaker should be. About their only drawback is their price. Would I trade my DeCapo-I/BE's for a pair of SF Gaurneri. Absolutely not ! I have finally found my roads end. However the DCap's are not for everyone. But..It would be nice to be able to own them both.

I hope that this rant and babble have been somewhat useful. Every word has, of course, been IMHO. This is actually an impossible thread to answer with any perfection... Only experience and advice from trial and error can help you find your goal. J. Gordon Holt (Sterophile) once caused a stir when he said: "All amps sound the same". He well might have been right, given all the different speakers, associated equipment and choice of listening environment/acoustics that he encountered. However, he never listened to my amp. RIP Gordie.

by Tubeears



And a couple of more words about amps and speakers.

If you can handle not having a trendy name all embossed on your equipment... There are doppelgängers out there.

Go borrow a mega-buck Rowland and then drag a cheap B&K Sonata set home. Way more similarities than differences.

Don't want to bust your SF bubble, but do the same with a pair of Sonus Faber Concertinos and then a pair of older Polk RT25's. And also in the Polk line... Put a pair of Spendors next to a pair of Polk Monitor 7's. Not an exact matchup... But.... Hmmm. Where is my wallet ?

Just a few thoughts.
Audio is a never ending story!
For those using subwoofers with their speakers DUMP THEM and buy a real good amp if you don't have bass with those speakers you are either DEAF or your amp is not cutting it.