Best amp for Sonus Faber Amati Anniversario?


I have just purchased a pair of SF Amati Anniversario to replace my Tannoy TD12's and rreally wanted to know what a great amp wold be for them my maximum budget would be $20k I have heard they arre quite hard to partner and somme owners have gone through many amps beffore finding sommething ideal. Thanks for your help. Tim
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Hi Tim,
What pre-amp are you planing to use with your new amp? How big a room and what kind of music do you prefer?
I had a pair or Amati's (original) & now have the Stradavari's.
The best (TUBE) sound I had with both were with VAC Ren. SIG. Mk. III 140'S amps paired with a VAC Ren. Sig. Mk. II pre. Probably the best sound ever in my system!
I now run the Strad's with Goldmund 29.4's paired with a Halcro DM 10 pre.
Electrocompient Nemo's were also quite satisfiying & extremely powerful with the Strad's & the VAC pre.
An amp with a lot of current! And I mean a lot!
If you want to enhance the rich tonal qualities of the speakers, I'd try tubes with sufficient power. However, as I did not have any tube amps on hand at the time I owned the SFAAs, I don't have a specific recommendation. I would imagine that Lamm ML1.1s or M1.2Rs would be quite good. If you wish for a bit more drive, pace and bass control, I'd consider the Boulder 1060. I would also consider Spectral gear - however, you'd need to commit to a preamp-amp plus MIT cables setup. I would imagine that Spectral, which has transparency and dynamics galore (without sound bright at all) would nicely mesh with the timbre the SFAAs produce.

As Paladin mentions, Goldmund would also work well but are hard to find new or used in the US.
Lamm no way, they run out of juice with my previous Annis.
TRy tube-preamp and good powerful solid state amp or CAT amps that really rock the Annis.
best made in heaven setup fo Anniversario and strad is Viva linea xp preamp and
CAT monoblocks, completing my previous input.
Hi Janeb, I will get a pre amp to match the power amp, the room is about 4.5m wide and 6m long. I really like a lot of differnet music, a lot of vocals, piano even Kings of Leon, Massive Attack, House and elecctronic. Thanks for your help :)
Thanks for all the tips, I'm actually in Australia and some of these brands are hard to get. One of the local Audio guys has suggested VTL Reference 185's with a VTL 6.5 pre amp any thoughts on that set up? He also has a pair of Golmund 400's but at $40K second hand is a bit rich for me? Any thougts on US solid state like Levinnson, Bryston or Classe? They are easier to get here althoguh cost far mmore than if purchsed state side :( Or even Electrocompaniet?


I would suggest, like Kops, that if you have a chance, to listen to the CAT
preamp and amps. They really are the cat's meow( pun intended).
Otherwise, you might consider one of the Jeff Rowland products or maybe the ARC Ref 110 or 200 along with their Ref 5 Preamp. Levinson, Bryston or Classe would not be on my top list.
Since you're in Australia I guess it's easy to get 2xPlinius sa103 or 2xsa250mkIV
with a tube preamp like Arc REf3 or ref5 or even better Viva Linea xp and it will
be a good match [if you get Plinius use rca connections so Viva is prefered this

Of course it is still better to find CAT monoblocks with cat preamp or Viva
preamp which is the key to total satisfaction.
Thanks everyone for the tips and advice! A dealer friend offered me a good deal on Plinius SA 103 out of the blue so I think I will give them ago, they look pretty cool too! I'll be sure to drop a line here when they are set up after a few hours of listening. Thanks again.

Cheers Tim :)
I also recommend BAT tube mono blocks.

I also had Anniversario with sa103, notice that one is not enough, the speaker is very current hungry. Use 2 as monos and it's fine!

BUT in any case a nice tube preamp with Plinius and rca connection.
Plinius preamps are not that good.

BAT also are fine match with Anniversario.
Really, Classe is not a US manufacture plus they have mainly gone the home theater route. :)

I'd like to hear those speakers on Audio Research gear. You could almost fit the REF 100 amp and REF 5 preamp in the budget.
You should also look into Ayre MXR amps. They should match well with Amati. I used to own the SF Memento and the amps matched well with the speakers.
Hi Guys, Has any tried the Plinius SA Reference Amps?
One of the guys here is running them with a Dartzeel intergrated and hes a very happy man. Not heard that setup but worth a look if you're able to dem in Aus.
BAT's get a firm thumbs up from me - 51SE and 150SE's running with SF Strads. Absolute bliss and effortless.

Talk with Downunder (lots of posts in AGon and very knowledgable). He owns Strads and uses CJ Premier 8s which he had CJ overhaul 12+ months ago with Teflon capacitors used in their current ref series. and and ART III. I have Strads and use Gryphon Antileon SS and CJ Act 2. I am tempted to go balanced with ARC Ref 5 (CJ is SE only).

What i found in this combo was a tremendous power and depth of sound (and quickness of bass) along with the lifelike pitch and tone i always seek in my music. I've heard the Strads (Annis, and nearly the rest of the entire SF family back thru 1993)...and found that SS amp and Tube pre was a nice combo (to my ear). I used to own tube SS (CJ) and CJ pre...and moved to SS amp Gryphon about 2 yrs ago. hope that helps. enjoy and please update!
Hi Guys, I looked for some Gryphon but well out of my budget really, maybe that can be the next upgrade. There were so many great suggestions, I thnk Ultimately the Berning Mono Blocks would just be to die for but well out of mmy league, so I've ordered a pair of Plinius 103's to set up in mono. I heard some SGR Audio amps on them the other night and was really impressed by them but thought I give the Plinius ago. I think the Plinius Amps look pretty cool too. Once they are in place I will drop a line and let you know what I think they are like. I have a pair or 845 valve mono blocks here too so will be interesting to compare such different amps. Thanks for all the feedback :)


Hi Tim,

good luck! sounds like you have 2 very good options there. Plinius has a great reputation, and i have heard very, very good things about the 845 tube when properly matched. Look forward to your post when you've settled in and compared them. enjoy!
Well what after seems forever the firt SA-103 has arrived with a Tauturo Pre Aamp. First impression out of the box has to be how well built they are, the alloy panels that make the case of both units is a work of art in my book. Plinius has obviously invested a lot in equipment to form metal work. They both weigh a ton and the pre amp is especaily large. Now that they are set up and been on for a few days the first impressions is the control it has over the amatis, the dynamics and the great sound stage. Mid range clarity is certainly a strong point along with the overall cohesivness of the sound. I know we have alreaddy had a few late nights and enjoyed every minute. The second SA-103 should be here in the next few weeks and it will be interesting to see what it adds to the sound. Now the decision is the CD player either a CD 101 or the Resolution Audio Cantata any thoughts? Thanks again to everyone for their feedback and suggestions! :)
sounds like a winner! very nice. Congrats. Cannot comment on either CD player unfortunately. look forward to your next post.
Well - I know this is an old thread - but for anyone looking for answers in future.... Simaudio Moon amps work very well with Sonus Faber and I have the Amati Palladio now, with Moon P8-RS and W8-RS pre/power.

I tried other models in the range too, which all worked - but speakers this good deserve the best amps you can give them if possible !
Congrats!!! Nice rig!!!

How does the Palladio compare to the regular Amati (if u can, feel free to compare to any of the 3...i am familiar with all of them).

Your experience does not surprise me...imho, the Homage series sound great with mid-powered tubes...but react exceptionally well to high current amplification PROVIDING the 'voice' is not hard or overtly forceful which the Sims are not.

Hi - well to be honest I did not compare them based on sound ... I certainly loved the regular Amati and actually preferred the Palladio visually, which is why I went for it - without the 'need' to do an A-B ........

Stunning speakers and work well in a Moon powered set up!
Well has been quite a while since my last post, where does the time go! The second SA-103 has now been in place for quite a few months and there is certainly a worthwhile difference with both amps in the system. I have them set up Mono at this stage single ended, however I do want to change this very shortly. The sound is a lot more effortless now, where the occassional female focal could have grated a touch when belting out a full on ballad, the two amps operating in mono now take it easily in their stride. With mountains of power on tap the Plinius Amps now ascert full authority and control over Amati's drivers and the finesse and transparency is really quite something to hear. Having lived with them now for quite a while I can say that as a team they really do produce an amazing sound, I dont think anyone could ever be ddisappointed, we are often transported off to another world when the Amatis start to sing :) Overall I would say strenghts are accuracy, some times quite shocking dynamics,wide but focused sound staging and superb bass with no hang over whatsover. Currently the system is sitting in a room about 8m long and just on 4 wide so havnt been able to give them a real work out yet, that will have to wait until I move to a new house which hopefully wont be too long in the future. I also got the Plinius CD-101 anniversay edition which seems to be a natural partner for the system but more on that next time. If anyone has read this far and has any knowledge of Plinius/SF I would love to hear your thoughts on upgrading the speaker cable and interconnects, I'm thinking of Voodoo Stradivarius Cremona edition (for speaker cable and interconnects) but would love to hear your thoughts! All the best and hope you are all listening to some killer tracks :)
I was thining its not a very balanced review I really should have talked about the the not so good things with the gear as well! So here goes: Starting with the pre amp, the remote volume control is not fine enough that is it alwasy moves to far up or down when you just want a small adjustment, its virtually impossible to see what volume level the amp is on when your not close to it, not a huge issue but in my case I knnow that just after about quarter volume I can expect the neiboours to start getting shirty at night so I like to keep it under after 11 or so. Sound wise I think the pre amp is a great match to the SA-103's it quiet and pretty much doesnt give or take anythign from the sound. As for the CD player, the sound is superb, I think you would really need to spend some scary money to do much better and evven then I think it would be a taste thing. The lack of a digital display is no greaat loss in my opinion however the lack of any control on the facia is a bit of a pain sometimes but I have pretty much solved the issue by keeping the CD remote on the Pre Amp and the Pre Amp remote at teh listening postion. The power amps are pretty hard to fault, the finish is really excellent perhaps not quiet equl to the likes of Solution and hgh end Krell but beautiful none the less, they do run very hot in class A and chew the juice but I think thats just apart of ownership. And they are also very heavy but that says more about the build than anythign else. Sound wise they superb, one day I'll look to get something new but I think it will take a while to hear sommething significantly better and for the money not a chance :)
That is really, really great to hear Chatnoirmeow. Enjoy! sounds like you've considered your options very very carefully and made some very good decisions in the enjoy. I know a little bit about Class A, having lived with it for several years now, and i realized all my fav SS amps (Forte 4, older Krell, reference Boulders to a lesser extent, and of course Gryphon)...all run Class A. and i used to run mine with SF speakers at one point as well. So very much can appreciate the kind of sound (or rather the music! ;) ) that you must enjoying! Nice one!
Chatnoirmeow, how do you like the bass on the Sonus Faber Amati Anniversario speakers?
Hi Doug,

Great to hear from you, sorry for the slow reply I've been away for a few weeks for work. To answer your question the Bass on the Amati's is one of their best attributes. It is very fast though with no hang over to speak of, they do need pleanty of power though and I run mine in mono with 400w a side. Most of the time you have no idea how hard you are drving them until the neibours come round to compliain, but is so much fun to hear them sing! I have not even comme close to getting the speakers to their limit. I've had my Amatis for nearly 2 years now and still love them which is more than I can say for any other speaker I have owned. What sort of music do you like?
Totally agree with CNoirMs comments about bass. I have owned SF G's and Strads...and i have heard the Amati original, second and anniversario as well. Probably the most successful implementation of deep bass of the 3 Amatis.
I know two dealers that had them paired with Rowland gear in their shop and the sound/detail/holographic/transient attributes was exceptional. One of the dealers had the Amati's paired with rowland 312 in his home with excellent results, so he says. I have the Rowland 312 and the Avalon Indra's and have been pleased with the synergy, as they also desire high current (45 amps That said, Pass X160.5's, Boulder 1060 and Halcro might be worthy of consideration.
My favorite amps are Ayre and Audio Research
Hi Lloydelee, I just realised I had not replied to your post! Is great to hear fromm you again! Thanks for your kind comments, as you know its a labour of love getting your system set up :) Would love to know more about your set up. Where do you live anyway? I'm in Perth, Australia. What are your thoughts on cables that would work well with SF? Have you had the opportunity to listen to the Futura's at all? Hope your having a great day! Tim
Hi CNoirM,

I have used Transparent REference cables with SF for many years. I also know a number of people use Nordost successfully and could believe it, depending on your tastes.

Some people love encouraging the midrange magic thru the use of midpowered tubes and organic cables. The SF, imho, is clean enough to do that without getting too 'honeyed'. OTOH, others will use SS and Nordost to 'liven' up the sound...but the richness of SF remains organic under these circumstances too, and the liveness/quickness can equally be exciting. I do like SF!

I have heard the Futuras...they are a bigger change from the Amati Anniversario, than the Anniversario was from the original imho. In particular, the Futura maintained the special midrange, tonality of the SF voice...but the signal is now very, very clean across the spectrum and the bass seems more damped...much more damped. I like it, though not all do.

Based in Europe and now running Zanden, CJ, Gryphon (all second hand) with Wilson X1/Grand Slamms I managed to get thru trade-in. I got the 'voice' i like from Zanden, a natural, low noise floor attenuation thru CJ and an effortless amplification thru Gryphon...and Wilson just delivered the original voice of the Zanden. It is a formula that works for me after many years of learning. and still learning! Enjoy your great system!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Has anyone compared the Sonus Faber Amati Anniversario or
Sonus Faber Amati Homage to the Sonus Faber Stradivari speakers?
The Stradivari looks much wider and uses 11 inch woofers.
Both the Strads and the Amati Homage are old school SF, during the Franco Serblin era. During that time the speakers were know for being very "musical" although somewhat colored. After that, SF went to a more modern, more detailed and more neutral frequency response. That said, I love the old sound. Full disclosure - my main speakers are old Cremona and I have 4 other pairs of older SF, so I am very tied to the old sound.

The Strads are, IMO, are a real step up from the Amati Homage. The Amati are a minor stop up from the Cremona, but the Strads are much better (and twice the price). The Amati was released first (1999), followed by the Cremona (2004), then the Strads (2005). Serbio clearly learned over time. For comparison,

I heard the Strads and the Wilson Alexandra II a few days apart. The Strads delivered the music. The Wilson's had great detail and focus, but, for me, just did not deliver the music.

The Strads are, indeed, an unusual form factor. Serbio always claimed that was one of the main reasons the Strads deliver such a music sound. I would go for the Strads in a nanosecond.

I have not heard the Anniversario. I have heard the updated Cremona and the Elipsa and did not care for either one. They were too lean, without the sweetness of the old SF.
Hi Twilo,

Yes, i have compared the two and owned the SF Strad. The depth of soundstage and bass capability of the Strad is greater than the Amati apples to apples...however, there are several factors one needs to be careful of with the Strads. They require a lot of control to get the bass response smooth and taut...the impedance dips to around 2.7 as i recall during certain lower elements of the range.

I found the Strad retrained the beautiful voice of the SF/Franco Serblin heritage that is the hallmark of this work, and was particularly beautiful (imho) in the Guarneri (which i also owned).

The Amati original was strangely 'tipped up' in the high treble...we compared G to Strad to Amati and there were very specific tracks where the Amati was bringinforwar forward high-frequency information that was more in the background in all other speakers in the room. The bass also could be excellent or faint...lots of factors there.

The Anniversario seemed to ameliorate both issues.

The Strad went beyond the Anniversario in bass, depth and richness of the overall breadth of soundstage and effortless capability. However, many also found the bass difficult to control and keep damped. So while midrange tubes sounded great with them...i eventually found SS Class A worked best (Gryphon).

I loved the Strad and knew at the time of only 2 speakers i would ever 'trade' for the mighty Strads. One of them came my way, the Wilson X1/Grand Slamm, and i took it and have not looked back.

Nevertheless, the Strad is an all-time great in my book. The Amatis equally are an amazing speaker, and with the right amps/electronics will fill most any room with beautiful, rich sonorous music.

all one man's experience. feel free to follow up with any specific questions. hope that is somewhat helpful.
Dtc, Lloydelee21 thanks for the responses.
I saw a pic of these Eventus Nebula speakers and they told copied the Sonus Faber cabinet look.
I meant to say the Eventus Nebula speakers totally copied the Sonus Faber cabinet look.
Here's a pic of the Eventus Nebula speakers.
Hi Lloydelee,

Hope this email finds you well! And hope you might do me the favour of giving me your thoughts on something, I have had my system together now for nearly 2 years and still love it very much however thought it might be time to start thnking of the next update and wondered what you thought would be the best course. THe system as it stands is my Sonus Faber Amati Anni's 2 X Plinius SA-103 and the Tuato pre amp and Plinius CD 101, the system seems to suffer a but from mains polution so thought sometype of power regenerator might be the first step before any hardware upgrade but if you thought that might be a waste of time then would like to know too. Thanks as always Tim
Hi Tim,

Happy to help if i can. You have a very, very nice system and i can imagine it sounds great. A few questions:

1. why do u think you've got mains pollution? inconsistent sound depending on time of day? or just a general grain that you sense in your system?

2. To find the right upgrade path...the next question is...where would you like to have the sound be 'better'?

- even lower grain?
- greater dynamics?
- more 'magical midrange'?
- greater detail/decay?
Hi Lloydelee,

Thanks for your response. The sound quality of the system is very dependant on the time of day, dont get me wrong it alwasy sounds good however the magic generally only happens in the evening and I suspect this is in relation to the mains being cleaned up when appliances being turned off?

I would say improving the chrystaline quality of the mid range even further, sound staging and greater dynamics would be the my goal. Thanks Lloydelee have a great weekend! Cheers Tim

I've gone back to read up on the Plinius pre and amp you have. Two suggestions to explore based on my own experience:

1. You could look into Nordost Thor which was spectacular and not crazy expensive. i would NOT use your Pass SA103 with it! Just your CD, source. The amp is far too powerful and it will blow.

Specifically, the Nordost lowers the noise, grunge level; it also makes the individual musical lines within, say, an orchestral piece both more delineated...but also better integrated. In other words, rather than a blur of musical will start to hear individual musical lines that ALSO have a clear interplay with the other musical lines. Dynamics changes only in that noise floor is lower.

2. If you are looking for a wholesale step up in midrange clarity but retaining your Plinius apparent beauty, and also improve soundtage and dynamics...i would say consider preamp upgrade. Lyra Connoisseur, ARC Ref 5, CJ ET5 perhaps.

Why? I have not heard your Plinius myself...i just know that i have begun to understand why some say the preamp is the heart of the system. Moreimportant than i first realized. i noticed going from CJ PC14L to ACT2...but fully appreciated when hearing GAT. Stunning increase in midrange, treble, extension, dynamics. and with your'll be able to push what ever signal comes thru effortlessly thru to some amazing transducers.

my two cents.
Amati and Chord combination can be successful?
You need an amp with extreme control. I only heard the older Amati at a good level. All the other times the low freq. were worse. Personally I would go for a Pass or Krell. Pass has a bigger stage. To be unnest depth is not the strongest point of the Amati. Sound for classical music is awesome.
I'm loving the AR Reference 210, but could imagine the 250 monoblocks as delicious.