Looking for thoughts on Sonus Faber speakers

Looking for a smooth natural midrange and high end...particularly regarding the human voice.  I enjoy detail...but don't like an analytical sound.  I think most tweeters today are fatiguing.   I enjoy the overall presentation of Harbeths...but want more low end.  I have had one audition of the Sonetto V's and was impressed...but what else might I consider?  


Greg S.


Dynaudio Contours might be a consideration for you. 

I was able to hear the Sonetto VIII the other day and they seem to me like they do exactly what you are talking about.  The vocals are so nice. 

SF Olympica iii is what I use. Discontinued and can be had at great deals.does everything you describe and sound amazing even at low volumes 


sonus fabers qualify for the type of sound you seek

past, higher level s-f’s were wonderful with classical and vocals, if they could be criticized, it was they would not ’boogie’ and sometimes smeared transients on more ’exciting’ music

more modern higher level s-f models seem to have cured that ill (of being too smooth and refined, dark) and play with more vigor when called on to do so

still, s-f’s will never offend with bright, piercing treble or a ’too forward’ presentation

other speakers in the same school of sound would be harbeths, vandersteens, classic spendors, and, at a somewhat lower level of resolution, wharfedales

It sounds like Sonus Faber are the perfect fit for you. Once I turned from being infatuated with planar speakers for over thirty years and wanted more realistic, balanced speakers I got SF. First, Cremona, then Olympica 3, and now Amati Traditional. I can't speak too highly of them. 

I agree with @soundwatts try and find a set of used Olympica 3. Their performance will be up another level.


On the other hand, I had purchased the Cremona as experiment... which was very short lived. Nearly as soon as I had them in my house I knew Sonus Faber was what I was looking for and I immediately ordered the Olympica 3... of which the first shipment was on a ship steaming towards th US at that time. So if you buy from a dealer like me, he will apply all the cost of the first pair towards an upgrade for a year or so. Couple be a good gateway. Each level in SF nets significant sound quality improvement.




I’ve owned 3 different Sonus faber series

- Venere 3.0

- Sonetto V

- Olympic Nova V

I think there are excellent speakers for $5k and at that price I really like the Sonetto V.  I don't think you'd regret the decision.  I prefer the walnut veneer but I likely am biased

Thank you all for the advice.  Much appreciated. Any thoughts on how KEF

R7 and R11 will compare?   I will be auditioning them this weekend. I have a feeling 

I'll end up with Sonus Fabers. But I want to give them a listen. 

the kef r series will have a more overtly forward treble presentation, and a relatively 'sucked back' midrange than the upper s-f's -- not sure how bass will compare, that depends alot on setup and room interaction

Would agree with jjss49's assessment. Auditioned (among others) the R7's and liked them but chose the Sonetto III's due largely to my preference for the SF's perceived less forward treble. I run them with a pair of subs and love them. Next upgrade will likely stay in the SF family. Good luck!

I think the KEF / SF comparison is important. A bit of forward treble comes off as more detailed... but it has a cost on realism. Real music (acoustic) has all the detail as presented by SF, but not the bit of extra forwardness. It is the naturalness of the SF that allows you to fall into the music instead of being held at a distance.



I think the pairing is very key, I tried the Sonetto at home and didn't work well with my amp

IMO, there are basically two different sounds to the SF camp. The original speakers designed by Franco Serblin are to my ears more accurate to the sound of live voice and strings. The newer sound, after Franco, are more forgiving of upstream error and are easier to implement. The original Homage series are a high point that i dont think SF have quite managed to get close to again.

Incidentally, has anyone heard of the new and upcoming reissue of the Stradivarius release?


this back and forth reminds me of conversations i had at some past hifi shows with certain dealers and importers... we spoke about speakers like harbeths, classic spendors, vandersteens etc, as being speakers that more experienced audiophiles tend to come back to, after trying many of the more modern, super high end heavily marketed options that maximize ’resolution’, ’speed’, ’slam’ and all those wonderful super-fi traits - the old stalwarts, like those above, including sonus fabers, are indeed speakers that music lovers come back to after they’ve tried pretty much everything else, so to speak, speakers that allow many of us to come ’full circle’

i was thinking about this notion, and while it is true for those of us who play/played, grew up around, and were thus much exposed to acoustic music, live voice, orchestral, or symphonic music with simple or minimal amplification, it also struck me that most younger generations likely have very different sensibilities based on what they have experienced as ’real music’ ... ’live’ concerts at coachella, outside lands, rock concerts, modern r&b, rap, electronica and so forth - a totally different age, completely different sense of what sounds right and/or ’live’ as baselines -- while amongst the younger generations there are some with serious/classical musical training (not meaning to be perjorative), what we have come to respect and love as a type of sound is now but a tiny sliver of a minority, and ever diminishing...

still, it is fun and heartwarming to see a thread like this with folks expressing interest in the type of sound that sonus fabers create

@gsieg I'd listen to anything and everything.


You're spending money that folds - audition, get a home trial or whatever you need to feel confident in your decision.

I'm lucky - I have friends with different systems and a local dealer who carries a variety of speakers.  I've been impressed with Devore Super Nines and other speakers but when I really sit and listen there's certain things I seem to appreciate and other characteristics I don't. 

For example, I've heard Wilson speakers and they sound very good; however, they don't move air as much as my Sonus fabers and its something I associate with part of listening to music.  It's a personal preference.  And therefore Maggies are speakers I find interesting and a unique experience but not a potential speaker for me.  That doesn't mean they aren't great for someone else especially if they enjoy listening to opera and string quartets!



Yes. In the beginning for me, I remembered amplified concerts and "good stereos" in college early ’70s). These had me recreating some shrill and often overly detailed sound. While great, it optimized one genera over all others (I was on an electronic kick for a long time). It wasn’t until I started going to the symphony a couple time a month and acoustical jazz that I realized I was chasing trizzle and overly highlighted details. This changed my course to Audio Research and Sonus Faber... all music types have gotten better with each step.


When young, enthusiasm and effort propelled me, but in retrospect, experience trumps it. My systems now sound many times better than they ever have.


Sonus Faber, old or new has the sound of real music with the appropriate components. While old, I think, helped make up for common solid state shortcomings, the new play well with good quality components of either camp.


Well I've auditioned the KEF R11's and they were pretty impressive. Not bright. Big soundstage.  An enjoyable listen.  But I'm returning to my Sonus Faber dealer for another listening session. In the end I think the Sonetto V will win the day.  Only because I'm focused on natural smooth and an enticing sound a can listen to for hours. But I must admit the KEF's were more appealing than I would have suspected.  I could easily live with their sound if I had not heard the warmth of the Sonus Fabers. But I need to listen critically again. The KEF's on sale are a pretty good value. No discount offered yet on SF. Any more thoughts?  I welcome them. 

I don't know where you live - the dealer I have worked with in Dallas sells a lot of Sonetto Vs.  He's very willing to trade them in because of their popularity - consider asking the dealer if they have any trade-ins available or coming up to get a discount.