Help me find WARM speakers a la Sonus Faber

Sonus Faber Olympica III's are my dream speakers. I love how they sound, but they are out of my price range. I need to stay at 10 or under. Can you guys recommend some alternatives. A local dealer recommended Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Grand, but they are not available for demo unfortunately. Thank you in advance.
I am using a MC275 and c2300 with sota sapphire (grade reference series sonata cartridge). My listening room is very big.
Surely Sonus Faber has less expensive speakers, no?
Vienna Acoustics are good, as are Dynaudio, ProAc, Vandersteen, Verity Audio and a few others. What CAN you audition? Anything?
What is a room dimension?
While I have not heard the new Olympicas, I have auditioned many Sonus Fabers and Vienna Acoustics models. I have found both brands to be more similar than different - warm, lush, very musical. Exactly the kind of speakers I personally like which is why I am a VA owner. If your dealer recommended the Beethovens, I assume that means he can get them and maybe allow a in-home trial.

If he cannot and is truly being a good guy by recommending a speaker that you would have to buy from a competitor dealer, then I applaud him and would take his advice. He has given you a good suggestion.

Now if your dream speaker were B&W 802D's, you couldn't afford them and someone said try VA, I would say don't do it. These two brands sound nothing alike. But as an alternative to Sonus Faber, I say your OK considering the VA'S. Even if you have to go in blind.
Did you audition the floor standing SF Venere? They also sound quite nice. IMO. There are some nice used SF Elipsa's out there too, which I prefer over the Olympica's as I have auditioned both. Again, just my opinion. Good luck in your quest. Hunting for new loudspeakers can be a lot of fun!
From what I can see, your dream speakers go for $13.5K. Maybe you should just stretch a bit and buy them? It's nice to have something you really like, rather than buy something for a few bucks less and keep thinking about how you wish you had something else.
Marten Django XL (used)

Sonus Faber Eclipse/Eclipse SE (used)

Good luck in your search.
Used original Cremona can be had for less than half that price. I like them better than the Cremona M that replaced them. The original Cremona are fuller and lusher to my ears. Some think them colored and like the M better. They match well with McIntosh equipment, although I have not heard the Cremona with your equipment. Just be sure the speakers can be traced to an original sale from an authorized US dealer as Sumiko can be a problem if repairs are every needed and you cannot prove they were purchased from an authorized US dealer. Used Cremona M are readily available here and Cremona do come up from time to time.
I enjoyed the SF The Toy, model. Very warm sound especially w/ tubed gear. Keep us posted...
A local dealer recommended Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Grand
Assuming this is the Concert Grand, it appears the dealer was not considering your MC275. If you look at measurements in the Stereophile Review, it indicates the speaker is not suited for a tube amp, even suggesting a result of increased treble, which would seem to work against what you are looking for. Also, measured sensitivity was nearly 4db lower than specified. This also makes me question this comment,
If he cannot and is truly being a good guy by recommending a speaker that you would have to buy from a competitor dealer, then I applaud him and would take his advice. He has given you a good suggestion.
So, are you just looking for this dream speaker, and if it doesn't work well with the MC275, you're fine to replace it with a solid state amp?


Are you looking for a dream speaker to use with the MC275?

The 2nd will definitely have a more limited selection. IMHO, if you want to use the MC275, I would make sure the speaker is tube amp friendly before spending 10 grand on one.
Sonus Faber speakers are warm, beautiful sounding speakers. My advice would be not to settle for an imitation. Sonus Faber has been making speakers for decades. People who buy them take care of them. Get a used pair! You'll never regret it. For ten grand you could find a pair of Extremas or even the original Electa Amators (for much less) and you will always tell yourself how smart you were to follow this advice.
This is why I love this site…great responses. I could go with the Cremona's or Cremona M's for approx. half the price of the Olympicas; that is tempting. And if I don't like them, I could sell them without taking a huge hit. But, the Olympica's, in my opinion, are much better looking speakers. Also, I am tempted to go with the Beethoven concert grands, which are also beautiful speakers and are less than half the cost of the Olympicas. Still, it is hard to pull the trigger on something so expensive without auditioning. I heard the smaller Vienna Accoustics, and I was not blown away (I was blown away when I heard the Olympica's).
Tls49: i missed your post before I responded. I am pursuing the second, more narrow option. I do not want to replace my MC275, which is almost new. And, I should say that when I heard the Olympica's, they were being played on a MC275. In fact, I was at a store looking for a preamp, when I heard them being played and I heard them from around the corner and I was instantly in love. I just loved that sound…I felt like I was swimming in the music.

Elegal, that's great! If you have heard the Olympica/MC275 combo and it works well, then I agree with Chayro, find a way to just make it happen. It doesn't sound like you will ever stop thinking about or wanting them. Good Luck!!
I have the VA Beethoven Baby Grands. VAs are v similar to SF - v musical, but I find the (older) SFs too veiled. I have not heard the Olympicas, but have heard the Venere 2.5. The 2.5s are rather coloured & sound different from the prev generation SF models. If you like the SF sound try: VA, Vandersteens, Harbeth, Fritz Carbon 7. Warning: VAs are rather diff to drive - I have tried them with 4 diff amps & the choice of amp will make an HUGE difference. I was shocked how much different SS amps can sound when paired with VAs. For VA, you will need a relatively high-powered, SS, amp that leans towards the clinical side.
My listening room is 28 feet long by 12 wide, with tall angled ceilings.
Sadly, I don't think I will be able to make the Olympica's work… I will most likely go with the Cremonas, which I can get for less than half of the olympica's. I just want to make sure they work well with a MC275. Hasn't anybody here used this combo?

Thanks again for everybody's help.
I agree with those that say to find a way to make the Olympica's work. It sounds like you really love them, and anything else will only leave you unfulfilled. Do your homework, talk to dealer's and distributors, look for demo's for sale, or used. Place a wanted ad in Audiogon, you'll find dealers will come to you. Eventually you may be able to find a new, demo or lightly used pair for 50% off list price. You'll be much happier then rather than having settled for a pair of Cremona's.

Happy hunting,
Some discussion of Cremona with MC275 here

Cremona with Mc275

Cremona M with MC275

You might find more by searching on MC275 Cremona
I've never heard the Olympica so I can't, but I do own Cremonas and wouldn't call them particularly warm. I also have a pair of old SF Minuettos (ca 1990ish) in my office and those little guys definitely lean toward a warmer sound. My point is: don't assume that all SF speakers are warm sounding.
Hell with the budget!

Just get what you really want. Even if you have to shop around out of your geographical area for the best price or buy the demo pair or make an offer at substantially less than retail.

Settling for second best could be costlier than doing it right the first time.
Vandersteen has excellent speakers at all price points
I have the Cremona M's and would also recommend them if you can buy them used. Their physical footprint is similar to the Olympica III and asking prices are typically $6k-$6.5k. The Cremona M's are said to be more neutral and a bit less lush and warm than the "old school" SF speakers. However, I would not put them in the "hyper-analytical" camp, either. They are an excellent balance between being warm and analytical, but not overwhelming so at either extreme. Vacuum tubes will bring out more of the warm side, however, and that's what I use.

Can anyone comment on how the Olympica III's sound compared to the Cremona M?
Martykl - I also have original Cremona and for me they are definitely on the warm side compared to many speakers. If you read the Cremona reviews they pretty much all say the same thing. If you look at Atkinson's measurements there is a clear bump in the upper mid range. If you compare them to the Cremona M - they are definitely warmer. Of course, it depends on the electronics. Not trying to question what you hear, but I think most people would say that the Cremona are warmer than many speakers. Maybe the Minuettos are just super warm. I have not heard the Olympia but most recent SF are more neutral that the original Cremona.

I demo'd the Olympica 3 and The Cremona M side by side a few weeks ago with a friend. I was interested in upgrading my Cremona M's. We listened to 8 songs over a few hours.

The Olympica 3 goes lower and surely looks nicer but in all other aspects both my friend and I prefered The Cremona. More open, detailed and airy.
I do like Sonus Faber. Someone mentioned the venere floorstanders, well I went to a small show this weekend, with the much smaller, cheaper, standmounts. They made a room filling, sweet, but detailed sound, just lovely. Not sure about matching with the Mac's and not just the power requirements. I find Mac amps on the warm side of neutral as well, maybe too much of a good thing?

Someone mentioned B and W, well I like them too, but warm side of neutral, absolutely not.

Another one to consider,Daedalus Athenas, just as beautiful to look at as Sonus Faber and I think, on the warm side of neutral too, not too expensive and easy to drive.
Get MAGICO with all tubes!!

Compare the Cremona with any of the pre y2k Sonus Fabers and see what you think. IMO, the old models (at least those I've heard or owned) were decidedly warmer than the Cremona. Those models not only had a mid bass hump, but they also featured falling response thru the brightness region and on into the treble. The Cremonas sound much more extended (to me, anyway) with plenty of energy in the 2khz to 5khz zone. Just a different animal entirely.

My Cremonas are certainly warmer than my Merlin VSMs and my Ohm 100s and certainly not as warm as my Verity Parsifal Encores or my Red Rose monitors. I'd say they're slightly to the warm side of dead neutral (to my ear, in the rooms I've had them and in the systems I've put them), but - as I noted above - I wouldn't call them particularly warm relative to the universe of choices out there.

As always - YMMV.
Have you heard Aerial Acoustics Model 7T? In my ears far better than SF Olympica.
The Aerial Acoustics 7T is definitely not what I would call a warm sounding speaker, but to each his own.
Martyki - I believe we both believe that the Cremona are warm speakers. All you are discussing is the degree of warmth. I just did not want the OP to get the idea from your post that Cremona were neutral or dark.
Here is a new option: my dealer can get me a great deacon Klipsch Palldiums (Which I think are beautiful). Or, a guy who lives close to me is selling Verity's Audio Parsifol.
I owned a pair of Verity Audio Parsifal Encores for many years, great speakers! In fact, I upgraded to the Parsifal's from VA Beethoven's and Strauss'. Any chance you can go and listen to the Parsifal's?
I have not heard the Klipsch Palldiums.
Ditto for the Klipsch- I don't think anyone has called them warm, either.
One other slight problem with the Cremona or Olympica's is that they come a stand (rake) that is pretty wide, and I do not know if I can purchase an alternative stand, or if I can ply them off of the stand.
Magico used s3 or S5.
The Verity line is just musical. I've owned several pairs. I've worked for a few dealers and when the opportunity came up to upgrade for free to a Wilson or Magico, I've always held onto the Verity's.
I love the parsifal's but I heard a speaker line called Opera
at the Montreal Show. They resemble the Sonus Fabers, from a looks factor. I liked them alot, also on the warmer side of the spectrum, to my ears.
I went with the Parsial Ovations. They sound amazing, and relatively easy to drive. Thank you all for your advice.
Congrats on the Parsifal Ovations!! They are fabulous speakers, and very easy on the eyes as well. Enjoy!!