For Past & Present Sonus Faber Stradivari Owners

I have narrowed down my search for my ultimate speakers down to two. (By ultimate, I mean I am hoping these are the last speakers I buy.)

My first choice is the Rockport Antares speakers, which I have heard many times at my friend's house. (They are an amazing pair of speakers, IMHO.) If these were to show up for a price I could afford, (used, of course), they would be my first choice. However, since they very rarely show up used, I am making a contingency plan in case I never see a pair (which is likely), or they are not in my price range (very likely), and, my second choice shows up for a price I can afford. My second choice is the aforementioned Sonus Faber Stradivari speakers. These show up on Audiogon every month, so I imagine that at some point, I would be able to afford a pair. (I am hoping to get a pair for (just) under $20K, which I have seen just a couple of months ago, and as time goes on, the price can only drop - At least I hope so!!)

I have heard the Stradivari speakers at CES (last year) and they were incredible. In addition, I have heard them at my favorite dealers show room. (And, no, I did not officially audition them @ the dealer, but since they were being played, I took advantage of the situation. It does not feel honest, to me anyway, to take advantage of my dealer by doing an official audition, since I have no plans on buying from him.) Anyway, I have not heard these speakers with my amplifiers (unlike the Antares, as my friend has similar Lamm amps as I have), nor have I heard them for any extended period of time. Therefore, I would like to ask you Stradivari owners, a few questions:

First, what amplification did you use?
I currently have (and absolutely love), the Lamm M2.1 hybrid monoblocks. These have 200 wpc, and I feel would be a pretty good match for the Stradivari. (FYI, I have tube rolled some Amperex pinched waist 6922s for the stock Sovtek tubes, which has raised the level of sonics of the Lamms to a higher degree, and it has removed any trace of the darkness that they may have had.)
Do you think 200 wpc will be sufficient to get good, tight bass response? (I would assume so, given the spec's: 4 ohm impedance and 92 db sensitivity). The Antares have identical spec's to the Stradivari, and so since my friend's amps work great with those, I believe mine will work great with these.
Anybody used the Lamm hybrids with the Stradivari?

Second, how far from the walls were your speakers? I will be using these in my living room, which is fairly large (16' x 24') and the speakers will be on the long wall. I can put them so the backs of the speakers will be two+ feet from the front wall, (three feet from the wall to the face of the speaker, give or take), and they will be seven to eight feet from the side walls, (so that there will be eight to nine feet between the speakers). My listening position will be about eleven feet from the speakers, and there will be a couple of feet behind my listening position.)
Any thoughts?
Too close, not enough?
(Bringing them out into the room more would be problematic, due to the WAF.)

Third, (and this is for you ex-owners of the Stradivari speakers), why are you no longer a user of them?
Are they too Colored?
Or, not full range enough?
Perhaps, you grew tired of the looks?
Or, you just wanted something different?
Or, Fill in the blank! :-)

Well, thanks in advance for any help you can offer a (probably) soon to be fellow Stradivari owner. (Well, unless you talk me out of it!)
Well, since no one else has replied I will although not directly to the point. I heard the Strad's driven by a pair of Air Tight ATM-211 SET monoblocks with 22 wpc. One of the best systems I have heard. Plenty of precise, yet full, rich bass.

I also covet the Strad's
I heard the Strads several times -- but only driven by the same ss amplification (yba passion).

Medium sized room (¬350 or 35m2). Generalising: Nice sound, on the polite side, not aggressive, not lacking in upper mids & his (i.e. much of what we call "detail"). Not dynamic as a horn, say, nor able to reproduce live recordings. Not an energy guzzler asaik, so 50-100W should be ample. Does play music pleasantly down to ~40Hz in the surroundings I heard them.
Note that the Strads, being open baffle, produce an "airy" sonic effect and require room behind them -- say 3' or more. The best result in a 15x22 room was with ~6' between the 2 spkrs (woof centres). Side reflections will be no problem in your surroundings which is an extra plus. They look surprisingly good in a home surrounding, so don't give up hope on the waf issue! Regards
A friend has Strads in a room that I would guess is about 16' x 25'. This is however, a dedicated, custom-built, Rives-designed room. These speakers sound very good. I would call them well-rounded speakers that can do everything right and sound good with all kinds of music, but it will not "astonish" listeners with any one particular arresting quality. It is NOT lightning fast, dynamic or have the presence of a good horn systems, it does NOT thump away with big bass (like the Wilson MAXX), and it doesn't quite do the "fill-the-room-with-sound" trick that very large panel speakers do so well. But, it has few faults, serves the music well and seems to be reasonably easy to drive (the owner uses a 30-watt OTL).

By the way, while the speaker has a very large front baffle, it is NOT an open baffle speaker. It does have rear ports, but other than that, it is not particularly sensitive to placement (like almost all good speakers, they do benefit from being off the back wall as much as possible).
I visited a Magnolia Hi-Fi store in Bellevue, Washington over a year ago. To my surprise, they had a pair of these in their hi-end room paired up with all McIntosh system. On the other end of the room, they had a pair of Amati Homage paired with another brand of equipment (I want to say Integra). I spent about two hours auditioning both, and came out crying, not because they were impressive, but because I could not believe how bad both systems sounded. The sales guy immediately attributed it to the room. Well, if you build the place to sell audio equipment, wouldn't you want to make sure the room sound good? I suspect it's probably due to the "incompatibility" of the entire system.

Does your friend happened to be living in Sunnyvale, CA?

Thanks guys for the responses. (Although, it is interesting (disappointing, actually), that none of the people who responded actually own, or owned them.)

Well, based on what The Smokester (interesting name), and Larryi have written, my amplifiers should easily have enough power, and perhaps even too much (if that is possible). Hopefully, having the extra power will give me the extra bass response I am looking for.

FrankC, Yes.
As a huge fan of all things SF, I have owned, Concertos, Signums, Grand Pianos and Electa Amator 2s. Then when I was ready to buy my "last" speaker I set my sights on the SF Amati Annivesareo (28K).

Then I lucked into some extended quality time with another favorite brand - Verity Audio.

Long story, short - I own the Verity Audio Parisifal Ovations. If you have not - You should give them a solid listen, you get all that SF is loved for and none of what SF is disrespected for....VA has farily large line of full range speakers so one could fit your room and electonics...OH, and I feel I got "Amati" leve performance for less.

Good luck, John

I also ended up with a pair of Parsifal Encore (later version w/ the Revelator tweeter). My friend's Amati Homage paired w/ BAT VK-75SE was too sweet for my taste. And I ended up deciding to save the money to build my dedicated audio room.

I have them in a 13'x19'x10' room, 6' from back wall, 8' from tweeter to tweeter. Initial they created a lot of echo because of their height. Custom made absorption panels from floor to ceiling took care of that problem. They are driven by First sound tube pre and Gamut D200mk3. The sensitivity rating is deceptive. They started to really sing when pair with Gamut M250mk3. Unfortunately I won't be keeping these particular pair of M250mk3 because of defects. Experience dealing with US Gamut rep has made me rethink about going down that road again. So now the search goes on. Also heard them with Pass, Ayre, Airtight, I almost didn't buy them after, but I am glad I did.
Have had Stradivari for some 10 months and made quite a few combinations on amps.
i have a very large room, but professionally treated.
have had the Lamm M1.2ref too at that time, and this is NOT the combination to hook up to Strads.. i'm sorry.
find it peculiar to say the least that Strad owners report great sound with OTL and SET 20 or 40 watt amps.
i have tried these too with Strad to sometimes silly results. the only amp which really brought the Strad to its pinnacle was an Accuphase P7100.
btw owned Guarneri Memento too. i would suggest any SF to be mated with real fast amps having the balls (if more than nicey sounds are cared for)
i have read about superb synergy with the new Soulution amps and have heard about great combo with Goldmund and Gryphon.
after all these i found truly peace of mind. Verity Audio.
these like dominant amps too but 50 watts should do beeing 90+ dB.
found the Strad to be a good allround performer, although somewhat rounded and forgiving.
the Strad has to be worked hard as for toe-in to do the dissapearing act. in the end i could always detect the speakers in their soundstage as objects and i did not like this.
with any Verity this dissapearing act is standard and not hard work.
id recommend Sarastro any time over Strad and Amati. it has a potential in performance which lies way beyond any SF. ymmv :-)
another great contender is the Hansen Prince.