Amp for Sonus Faber speakers

Hi. I have received some very useful information on these forum's in the past, so I hope to receive some useful feedback. Thanks in advance !

I have a pair of Sonus Faber Grand Piano speakers (the version from about 5 years ago - not the new Domus version), and had been using a Jolida integrated amp 1501 with them (tube pre-amp section)and they sounded great. However, I was having some problems with occasional buzzing and could not isolate the problem, so eventually decided to sell the amp and replace it with a Pathos Mk 1 (version II). With the new amp, it sounds like someone has stuffed a towel into the midrange drivers. I am not referring to a subtle change. The change in sound is dramatic, and they do not sound good.

I have spoken to a few dealers who give me simple answers ... like, the Pathos amp is a lousy amp (doesnt seem to be true according to the large volume of reviews I have seen), or the power is too low (70 watts vs. 100 for the Jolida).

I'm not sure what the problem is but itis clear that the amp and speakers are not a good match. The Sonus Faber dealers in NY seem to recommend Ayre (seems ok), or Hovland (too expensive). I really dont want to experiment with buying and selling amps too many times so I though I would put this out there to get opinions of anyone who has used these speakers and what they felt worked great with them.

Thanks again in advance !
I really think that those speakers demand a lot more power, certainly North of 200 watts; otherwise, you will not have the control of the woofers needed to really show their stuff.

If the budget supports it, the Jeff Rowland Design Groups Continuum 500 will be hard to beat in that application. You'll never need another amp.

What is your budget?

I am using the the Ayre AX-7e Integrated amp to drive my Sonus Faber Domus Speakers. I have the Ayre CX-7e CD player and the Magnum Dynalab MD-102T Tube FM Tuner. Harmonic Technology balanced interconnect cables are being use for the CD player and FM Tuner. The AX-7e has plenty of power to drive my SF Domus Speakers. The overall sound quality is excellent and the tube like quality of the Ax-7e make these speakers really stand out. I was very surprised at how good the system sounds and so were my friends. I was using the BOW Wazoo 50wpc integrated amplifier and then switched to the McIntosh MA6900 Integrated 200 WPC. amp. A friend suggested I auditioned the Ayre AX-7e Integrated and I decided it sounded better than the other 2 integrated amps. I suggest you listen to the Ayre AX-7e Integrated amp in your system. cheers...
this sounds like a defective amp....will it sound different (yea)....but should it sound bad(no)
I've owned the Sonus Faber Grand Piano speakers and have used Plinius SA-100Mk3/SF Line 1, Classe CAP-100, YBA Integre and Krell KAV-300i to drive them. Out of all, I felt the Krell was the best match in bringing out the detail, slam and dynamics of the Grand Pianos (although the 300i was unrefined and harsh in character) due to the forgiving nature of the speakers. The GP's sounded lacklustre with all other amps.

Your mileage will vary due to listening tastes and preferences.
Yeah, the GPs need a lot of clean power also. Look at Rowland.

No offense to anyone here intended...but you should join as it's restricted to SF owners only. There is a guy there very passionate about his Grand Piano's and system matching, I'm not sure which version he has but you'd get some good suggestions there.
The Domus Grand Piano does not at all require big solid state power. I can't speak to the older version though. We get excellent results with ARC 50-100 watt tube amplifiers. They even work well off the 8 ohm taps, meaning that they are pretty benign for a 4 ohm speaker.

Also, the Sonus Faber Musica which is their own house amplifier is only 50 watts per channel.

What is more important with the Sonus Faber speakers is placement and set up. They are very room reactive. Using Sumiko's "Masters" set up technique results in rather startling transformation from where users generally plop them down in the room or arrive by trial and error.

I am a Sonus Faber dealer
I am using two Pathos integrateds with the concerto domus and they sound great. The midrange is outstanding. The Sonus Faber aren't power hungry. I just like the Pathos so much, I thought two would be better than one. I have heard my speakers with just one integrated mk3 and they do sound good. Maybe your integrated is defective. Pathos and Sonus Faber should be a great combo. Rudge
Listen for yourself with a high power, high damping amp like the JRDG Continuum. If your favorite music has lots of bass, then there'll be a big difference.

Also, if you listen to the Sonus and they sound edgy, it's usually due to the set up. Sumiko dealers (Sumiko distributes the SFs) should know how to set them up properly, but for some strange reason most don't. If they're sounding edgy, INSIST that the dealer set them according to the Sumiko Master Set and come back another day to listen to them properly set up. Don't think you need to tone down the highs with tubes until you hear them properly set up.

Yes, they'll sound good with almost any amp over 100 wpc, but they'll really dance with about 500 watts. (Listen to the control of the bass).

Everyone -

I had a business trip and was out of touch for close to a week - but I Wanted to thank everyone for the feedback which is very helpful ! I will look into a few of the speakers suggested here !

Thanks again,
If you want to go the SS route, try Ayre or Krell. They match well with SF speakers.