Best Amp for Sonus Faber Cremona Series


I am thinking of buying cremona series speakers...either a cremona auditor (or) floor standing Cremona. I will greatly appreciate if you can recommend me a very good Intertated Amplifier ( open for both SS integ, Tube Integ and Hybrid as well...Have preference for tube-integrated if they can drive cremona ) for driving:

1. Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor
2. Sonus Faber Cremona

I am also open for Pre-Amp/Amp combo if that is what is really needed. Can you please let me know this combo as well.

My room size is 20 x 20 x 8 and will be moving the system in the future into a romm of size 20 x 20 x 18

My musical prefernce is Vocals, Instruments, Jazz and occassional pop.


PS: I apologize ahead..I did post a similar thread, by mistake, in the speakers forum. I realized that it was a mistake and re-posting it here.
Hi, I used to have Cremona and several amplifiers with it. The one I would recommend for sure is KR Audio Antares. It is tube when you want it and SS when you need it...Great match!
Any more options ? I know Sonus Faber Cremona is a pretty popular speaker and was assuming there are lots of owners who can provide good feedback.

"Best" is kind of a subjective thing that only you can answer for yourself. I, for example, prefer that the midranges be "just so right" with lots of "air". Others prefer bass with lots of "slam", while still others like fine detail. I don't like etched highs, or loose bass. For me, the Atma-Sphere M60's do the trick, I would venture to guess that the 30 would be just fine as well. However, all those tubes do heat up the house, and, in the summer, I use a Forte model 4a instead. What I am trying to say, is that in order to make suggestions, your music preferences, room acoustics, and what it is that your trying to achieve, as well as cost considerations (there HAVE to be a few cost considerations), need to be known. If you don't like all the maintainance that comes with tubes, consider a nice solid state performer (the YBA Integre DT comes to mind, and, at a reasonable price used), but price will still eventually dictate what can be recommended. Choosing the gear is a large part of the fun, use others advise for a guide, but, make the choice yours. Happy Listening, and good luck in your quest!
By the way, for a tubed integrated, you may want to consider the Jadis Orchestra Reference, but, I will have to warn you, it is an absolute pain in the rear to bias the output tubes.

I agree...I should have provided budget info. Budget is $3500 max and I am open for USED/NEW equipment.

As detailed in the original poat, my room size is 20 x 20 x 8 and will be moving into a room sized 20 x 20 x 18 in the future. My muical preference is Vocals, Instruments/strings, Jazz and occasional pop.


I had a chance to hear the Musical Fidelity A5 integrated with the Cremona at the 2005 RMAF and thought it was a very good combination.

I have heard the cremonas with the newer Classe Integrated amp (CAP 2100) and thought it sounded great. I really love sonus faber and generaly agree that they like a lot of current.

I am would like to see how my portal panache can handle the cremonas. I think there was a review that actually did this...
This is just for fun.

I have no experience with hearing this suggestion, but with SF Cremora Series wouldn't something that looks great and sounds great be considered. An interesting pairing would be Pathos Classic One II or the VAC integrateds. Has anyone really given the SF Musica a serious listen?
I have the cremona and the auditors... A very sweet speaker that handles the mids and highs in an oh so correct interpretation. The auditor win some awards with me with the strings and voice... THey just get it right... Electronics - I use a Mac 2102 and the mac pre 2200. The tubes just have a silky translation with lots of air and ARE very quiet. I probably pulled a boner to most audiophiles but I HAVE all four in the same room... The floor standers are facing me and the auditors are off to the side. The auditors add the experience ever so sofley and there is times I hear things out of them that doesn't come out of the cremonas. Much better than 2. I just will probably have to pick up another 2102 - Dont know that an AR would match it well.... I am also using the Trivista SACD... It's a beautiful thing... :)

Did anyone try pairing up Plinius 9200, YBA Passion Integre , Musical Fidelity Trivista 300 Integrated, CARY SLI-80, CJ CAV 50 with SF Cremona (or) Cremona Audiotrs ? Can you provide some feedback please ?

Jeff Rowland(Concerto or up)...Im not sure for Cremonas...but with my SF Grand Piano + Ensemble cables(Dynaflux FSF,Megaflux FSF Speaker,Megaflux FSF Power - sound is pretty amazing.
I played with Cary sli80, Plinius, YBA PASSION integrated not the simple integre, Symphonic line rg10mkIII (not good match)........but you will need a bit more juice if your room is bigger than average....I'm talking for the floorstander. I ended up with Plinius sa102+carys-lp98p.
I'd also tryied YBA1, Gryphon...etc. Fantastic match was the Sphinx project24+Cary-slp98 also. Next move for me is YBA Passion,Lamm, Cary211, Plinius Reference.....sometime in the future

You mean you tried Cary sli80, Plinius 9200, YBA PASSION with SF Cremona Floor Standers ...but ended up with Plinius sa102+carys-lp98p. Any specific reasons why ? I know that
Plinius 9200 has 300 watts/ch at 4 okhms and should be capable of driving SF Cremonas.

Yes I have a 9200 with the Cremona Floorstanders and like it
very much. Like others here I would say it depends on your priorities. I've had this combo for about 6 months so everything is pretty much broke in. The sound is musical &
involving without drawing your attention to any one aspect
of the sound. While the Plinius is noted for sounding "tube
like" it's not a tube amp. I think the 9200 is good example
of how far SS has come and is quite a bargin considering it's power and sonics. However my gut feeling is that the Cremonas seductiveness has alot to do with it's beautiful tonal balance which I feel would be better suited to a high
quality tube amp. I think considering your music taste (jazz, vocal, instrumental & pop) a high quality tube integrated would be the way to go.
no the Plinius sa102 was came after Symphonic line, but during and after the listening decision I heard it inhouse, or at friend's or at my dealer with these combinations. Latest was a DIy valve preamp+YBA 1 amp. |||
I wish I could try Lamm combo but tried only Lamm preamp with the sa102, something that did'nt workout well due to 0,8V Plinius sensitivity and 31db gain of Lamm.
Plinius 9200 is quite good but there's always on your mind the question if you've exploited all the Cremona's capabilities. Another amp I did not yet audioned with cremona is Cary 805 or 211AE.
The more you give to the Cremona the more it rewards you IMHO.
Bryston was the choice of another friend of mine for Cremona Auditors.

Strongly I'd not recommend Primare and Pathos classic onemkII, maybe Logos and above.

You are absolutely right. A high quality tube integrated will be good. That is the reason why I was asking about Cary SLI-80, Musical Fidelity Trivista 300 Integrated. The reason why I quoted Plinius 9200 is supposed to be tube like sound with SS power of 300 watts/ch at 4 ohms. I dont know what other Quality Tube integrated can drive 4 ohm loads like Cremonas. Do you mind letting me know other options (USED) which are reasonable in cost ( around $3500 range) ?

I personally have not tried a tube integrated with the Cremonas. However I've emailed the SF distributor with similar questions. They said they use VAC and ARC amps at
the shows. Also I spoke with Kevin at Upsale Audio who strongly recommended the Cary SLI 80 Signature F1. The VAC Super Avatar
shows up here from time to time and I think that would be a nice speaker/amp combination. Having heard the VAC Phi 110 now I'm haunted by the VAC sound. Just as info the Plinius 9200 output is 200 watts not 300. I'd like to be in your shoes right now. It's a decision that could be very rewarding.
Any of the VAC integrateds sound excellent with SF Cremonas. However, the killer integrated with this speaker is the McIntosh MA6900 on the 4ohm taps.

I've had experience with the SF Grand Piano Home speakers. A great speaker. My guess is that the Cremona has a similar impedance curve, so I can tell you this. My 55 wpc tube amp was not enough for the SF speakers. I doubled the wattage to 110 and that was heaven. If the nominal impedance of the Cremonas is also 6 ohms, then use the 4 ohm taps if you have a choice.

Since you have heard both VAC and you mind classifying the sound qualities of both and why you prefer VAC sound more than Plinius 9200 ?...You even mentioned that Plinius sounds more tube like. Your answers will eb very helpful to me


What Amp were you using originally (55 watts/ch) and what amp did you switch to that is making 110 watts/ch ?

The Plinius may be everything your looking for. It certainly will take control of the speakers in a very authoritative way. Bass control is one of it's strong points. It's also very extended and airy up top which
really sounds good with the Cremonas. The tonal balance of the Plinius is on the warm side of neutral. The midrange is rich & very smooth. Very musical and non-fatiguing. The area that I feel the VAC would be a better choice for the Cremonas would be in the midrange which to my ears sounds
more transparent and textured than the Plinius. The VAC seems to dig down deeper and resolves the details with
a clarity and correctness that just can't be denied. I found this to be true of the VAC music blocs and of course the much more expensive VAC PHI 110. So as I mentioned before it all comes down to priorities. I can certainly live with & enjoy my 9200 for a long time. But next time I upgrade the Amp I will be checking out the VAC line.
Sorry for the late post...If you have not already spent the hard earned i can very much recommend the Cremona Auditor with the Mac MA6900. I have been running this combination for some time and personally think it sounds great.
I have recently moved house and have the system in an open plan living room with high ceiling and it still sounds great...detailed but smooth, enough bass, the amp has a valvish sound but with plenty of grunt...perfectly matches the speakers.