Anyone hear SF Venere's? Thougts?

Hello All,

I'm planning to upgrade my current speakers (Hales Revelation 3) with Sonus Faber Venere 2.5. I did listen to them and kind of liked their price/performance ratio. I heard them through Prima Luna Dialog tube amp and Nottingham spacedeck TT. Currently I power the Hales with DK Designs VS.1 Reference MK II. The set-up sounds good but I feel it's missing the mid-lower base (about 60-200Hz). Running hales through tube amp is a tough proposition because of how inefficient the Hales are.

My question is, would it be an upgrade/downgrade/lateral move with SF Venere?

Any thoughts are much appreciated.

Best Regards/Stay Well
Livin, I think the SF Venere's would most likely be a nice step-up from your Hales. My experience with SF's is that they do need a good power amp with some ability to drive them up stream. I don't think some of the single ended flea power amps need apply.
Hales were good speakers for their time, but they have been surpassed in many areas by several newer designs...including the SF's.
I had a chance to hear the 1.5's at a Magnolia store in Dallas a month or so back.Set up was horrible & they were spread out about 15'.Driven by a BIG Marantz Surround Receiver I was mighty impressed.The sound stage was wide,deep & tall.Tonal characteristic was warm & organic(just the way I like).For the asking price of $1200.00 I though them a great buy.
Thank you Daveyf and Freediver for your thoughts. Just ordered a pair of 2.5's, should arrive in a day or two. Will post my experiences soon.

Daveyf, my current int. amp (DK Design MKII) does have the power to drive the hales, so I'm assuming it would have no problem driving the SFs but should wait and see what the marriage between the two will sound like.

Freediver, my impressions were the same as your's. The sound stage was very well presented especially the depth which is lacing in my current set-up. These being front ported, I have a lot of placement options.

Thanks again for your thoughts.

Best Regards/Stay Well
I heard the 2.5 and 1.5 the other day at Magnolia. Set up was so so and run by a Marantz surround receiver. What else should I expect, Magnolia is still in Best Buy after all. Anyway, I was most impressed with the 2.5's. Dynamic, good bass, projected smooth and realistic midrange and smooth non fatiguing highs. Torn on the looks. From a distance looks great but the cabinet looks to be made out of all plastic. I felt I could hear this in the sound as well. There was a very slight and certain plastic like vibration coming from the speakers at medium to loud volume levels with lots of bass. That would be my only criticism. I wonder if anyone else has heard this as well? I liked also the 1.5's but was not as impressed with those as I was with the 2.5's. The 2.5's of course had more bass but they just sounded better balanced to my ears as well. It bothers me a bit also they are made in China. I haven't heard the Hales in a long time but from recollection the 2.5's will be smoother on top. Hales were great speakers, but for me I'd prefer the SF 2.5's even though I still believe it is more of a sideways move than an upgrade. On a side note I also heard the SF Luito $5500 floor standers. Built better than the 2.5's and does some things better, but I found them boring to listen to. I preferred listening to the $2500 SF 2.5's over them. It was a more enjoyable and exciting listen. Hope this helps a little. Let us know what you decide.
Hi Mezzanine,

Thanks for a detailed opinion. I share your thoughts on how they sound when powered by a mid-fi AV receiver, I did try connecting SFs to my home theater receiver (an older Denon AVR 3806), they sounded dull. I have had the SF 2.5s for a week now, and yes they are very smooth on the top, the Hales were a bit bright. The other difference I noticed was the midbass (like the lower cello notes) pretty much didn't have any heft in Hales, the SFs do and of course as you mentioned the SFs are much more dynamic when compared to Hales

The Hales are definitely superior in the bass department but again the Hales go down to 33Hz where as the SFs go as low as 40Hz.

The build quality (and place of manufacture) are not the same as other SFs, but I think for the price, the 2.5s are great speakers.

As for the plastic like vibrations, I didn't hear that in my speakers.

So SFs with better mids and highs, for me are an upgrade from Hales :-)), the other thing I had in mind when I bought the SFs was the difference in power needed to drive the speakers. Hales are very inefficient speakers (and a sealed box design), when I auditioned the SFs, they were being driven by Primaluna Dialog Two (38 watts) and sounded gorgeous. They sound great with my DK Design VS1 MKII but I think I'll be moving to a tube integrated soon.
Hi Livin 262002,

Congrats on your purchase. I think you can't go wrong with those SF 2.5's. I figure If a speaker can sound good in a mediocre showroom powered by a surround sound receiver then they must be great speakers. I'm happy to know that you didn't hear that slight plastic rattle I was talking about in my last post. In the showroom the speakers are all packed in close to one another with many other objects around. The vibration could have likely come from somewhere other than the Venere 2.5's themselves. You own them now so I trust your ears more than my demonstration of them in the showroom.

Your Hales were good speakers that sold for $2195 back in the late 90's. If they were sold today I am sure they would cost $3500 with the way the price of audio has risen in the last decade. So I think that says a lot about the value of the SF 2.5's.

I'm wondering if my observations are correct here? The Hales Revolution 3's do have that 10 inch bass driver for more bass vs the 7inch one in the 2.5. But the Hales also has a smaller 4.5 inch midrange driver vs the 7 inch one in the 2.5. So I'm betting the SF sounds fuller and bigger in the midrange with a better sense of relaxation? Maybe the Hales sounds a little faster and cleaner in the midrange? Also, the Hales does use an aluminum dome tweeter vs the soft dome one used in the Venere 2.5. So it makes sense that we both thought the SF sounds smoother on top.

Enjoy your speakers. I think a nice tube integrated would be the way to go for your future upgrade.
Hello Mezzanine,

Thank you. The Hales were good speakers but the SF 2.5 bettered them in the mids and highs. You're absolutely right, the Hales had a 10" Peerless bass driver and a 4.5" custom Vifa midrange. The tweeters were off the shelf Vifas.

The Hales mids were good but the presence was missing (could have been a bad match with the amp). The SF 2.5s are a little forward (but definitely not in-my-face) when compared to Hales but I'm liking that forwardness. I did have to supplement 2.5s with a Velodyne sub to get the lower notes. I used Organ music to set-up the sub's X-over and volume. It blends in nicely with the main speakers.

Also I just replaced my phono stage, a Monolithic Sound PS-1 with the HC-1B power supply with EAR 834p. The improvement is amazing.

Good Luck with your amp hunting for the Cremonas.
I auditioned the 2.5s then bought the 3.0s sound-unheard since they only had the 3.0s in the remote warehouse. I'm tickled -pink with them only on day 2. these speakers LOVE CJ 60W/ch KT120 power tubes. I find them very involving/toe-tapping even at low volume- terrific sound per $ .