Really, no-one who bought these or have any extensive listening?
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Alan Sircom just wrote a very favorable review in Hi Fi+.
I drove to SSI in Montreal last month to hear them, and they were very disappointing. It was hard to tell whether the terrible sound was caused by the room, the electronics, or the speakers, and given Mr. Sircom's review, I'm thinking the speakers were not the problem. Stereophile commented on the poor sound generally in the hotel rooms, so let's give SF the benefit of the doubt.
I hope to hear them in NYC at Stereo Exchange, but they're also at David Lewis in Philadelphia. And I think they're $35,000. You could also hear them at Son or Filtronique in Montreal, but that's the dealer who set up the room for SSI, so the sound may not be ideal.
One of our club members purchased a set of Futura's . They sounded fairly good once run in for a few hundred hours , but we all agreed ( for once ) that they should be better , so we started bringing other members amps over and found the bigger solid state amps were the ticket . The best match was with a pair of Vitus mono's , second best match was Simm Audio's W7 . The sound with either of these two amps was what we expected from a set of speakers of this cost and pedigree . As the OP said they don't seem to have the old S.F. warmish house sound . Balance seemed to be spot on , detail without harshness , warmth without mush , and a bigger solider bass hit then we expected from S.F. , over all very nice .
Thanks for all inputs!
Actually that was bad news. I had hoped they'd work better than well with a integrated amp with sufficent power.
When i read the spec sheet it seemed that this was what SF wanted to point out. It is a bit troublesome at times to finance an expensive speaker and it also require super expensive big size amps.
I am not as found of the typical SF house sound, but more towards neutral and a deeper set soundstage.
I heard them in a real small sized hotel room and i did find very good depth, but no direct sense of bloom or warmth. Neither was there any signs of bass bloat or nodes, which i did find strange when the room was really small. These were probably new with maximum 10 hours at them.
The electronics were Esoteric all through.
I remember leaving that event with a sense that these could actually be very nice for all types of music.
I am not into the the types of music they always use at demo shows. I don't find it interesting as it is not at all demanding for either speakers or amps.
Tmsorosk, did you mean to be political correct when you ended with saying, "over all very nice"?
I did take it as they inspite of all, were a disappointment?
Inpieces .. No , I was not trying to be graceful , with the right amps these babies sang there hearts out . But they just didn't come to life with the smallish but excellent tube amps that my friend was using . I no I'll get scolded from the tubeys for saying that . If your integrated amp is a 100 watts or better it may work fine . The Vitus are 100watts . I apologize if I mislead you in some way .
Aha, no, you did not. It was me assuming faulty. The problem lays in the area, when speakers need high current design amps. Wattage is no problem, but the current need could be. It was here i had some hopes the Amati Futura was smarter in filterdesign than Sasha (for instance). I heard this piece need high current not to be on the analytical side. When i heard the Amati Futura, i never noticed any sense of heft/ bloom, though i was told Sasha and AF in compairson, the Sasha is more analytical with smaller amps, were the AF is more meaty and friendly to the amps. I never have had chance to compair them side by side, i will not likely be either. This person told me the hight and width etc was about same same.
I just wonder which of them who recreates depth and handles complex and multilayered music better!?
I look for a speaker not bound to musical preferences.
It is not a good design IMO. A good designed speakers should handle almost all music better than well.
Worst for me is when i do find ovelapping and masking problems that is too disturbing.
No need for me to even look at speakers, that cost big bucks and do need amps of same costs.
I have grown overly tired of this. Speakers is for me the single largest important ring in the chain.
Over here, we got rather small rooms in most flats. Big amps to fill big rooms, well, i rather avoid if possible.
It just adds too much costs. I rather put the difference at acoustics, as far as possible.
Now, it might be, i have never really seen SF as a brand that would fit my preferences. So, i was rahter amazed with the brief insight i had with these.
What disturbs me somewhat with all speakers, is that no manufacturer is upfront with the damping factor the speakers are designed with.
Some works better with low damping factor, some sound bad, some sound very good. This affects the sonics very very much. Also cables will come out as very different sounding if used between a high damping factor amp, or a low. It is too many areas on this hobby, where one know too little to actually know what might be good of a mix of brands and approach. I would indeed like to thank you all for the inputs.
Teleshack and Georgemg. What dissapoints you more specific?
I did not like old "in house SF sound".
I heard it briefly, but i remember an older man, he had the AA and he did not like them either. I did find, in that demo we where at, a very good depth and very tight bass. Not any bloom or warmth. But it was smooth and very revealing. The soundstage unfolded with a laidback perspective.
Seemed to suit all genres instead of biased (if i may put it like that;-)
I spent close to three hours in the Amati Futura room at RMAF this past weekend over a couple of days. The speakers were driven with Audio Research DS450M amps and a Wadia cd player. All cabling was from Shunyata. There was also a REL G1 sub utilized both in and out of the system. The room was about 18x20 with the speakers placed on the long wall. There were no room treatments other than a few scattered plants. Overall, this system was one of the most musical and enjoyable at the show. I overheard a few people say it was their favorite room. What was most impressive about the Futura's was their ability to draw the listener in and provide an emotional connection to the music. I brought a favorite cd containing a flamingo piece by Paco Pena. This is a standard redbook cd well recorded and dynamic. This piece starts off with just the guitar at center stage. Through the Futura's you could clearly hear the plucking of the strings causing the guitar to resonate beautifully. As the song continues, castanets suddenly appear at stage left. The Futura's held the castanets in mid air with a dynamic lifelike presentation. Suddenly, at stage right begins the rythmic clapping of hands sounding real and flesh tone. Finally, the castanet performer begins a rythmic stomping of heels and feet echoing loudly on a wooden floor. By the end of this piece there is a lot going on and the Futura's held it all together within a conherent soundstage transportating the listener to the performance. The room erupted into applause when the song concluded, something I only heard in one other room (Ray Kimber's four channel demo of his Isomike recordings). Two guys the size of football players broke into big smiles and commented "that was amazing". During my time with the Futura's there was a consistant small group of us and we put these speaker's through their paces with everything from Metallica to Doris Day, jazz, deep organ, classical, etc... The Futura's were fully up to the task and never failed in their ability to make each type of music enjoyable. They did vocals especially well. These are without question the most beautiful speakers I have ever seen and I have seen a lot, but their looks are equally matched by their performance. Do I like these speakers? Based on what I heard most definately. I have no industry affiliation.
i don't know about these specific model sonus fabers, but in my experience i have never heard a bad sounding pair of SF's whether they were extremas, guarneris, or electra amators (and the EA's were poorly set up at an audio show, which was a double surprise). OTOH the price on these compared to the $24K amati homages is a bit of a shock to say the least, and they are kind of "flashy"
looking over the previous lineups. however, i admit my biases are in favor of a smoother richer sound and i can understand people preferring a more "neutral" sound instead.
After a weekend of listening, tweaking and more listening I must say I'm quite happy with the Futura's. They are not as detailed as my friend's Wilson Sophia III's but I would not describe them as either laid back or euphonic and they energize my large room in a very satisfying way. The bass is well controlled and flat down to 30hz and the highs extend out to the limit of my measurement mic. The most impressive thing about the speakers is the "realness" of the music. Voices sound like voices, not a recording and the musical images are full scale. Large instruments like an upright bass sound (appear) like the full size instrument not a 3/4 scale version. I'm still playing with cable combos and positioning so there is certainly more to be had. I listened for several hours without any fatigue with excellent resolution and detail. On a line from clinical to euphoric with neutral in the middle, I would place the Futura's prestentaion just on the smooth side of neutral (more detailed than any Sonus Faber I've heard to date) compared to the Sophia III's that IMHO fall just on the clinical side of neutral. Oh, and they are BEAUTIFUL to look at!
After 6 weeks, have you experienced any changes after more hours are put on these speakers (i.e. more "break-in")
Do you see yourself keeping these speakers for a long time?
I own pair of Auditor M and would like to upgrade to this thus would like to hear your thoughts.
Finally, do you think my MC302 amp will be able to drive SF Amati Futura?
After a several weeks with futura,
I found that the bass seems to be a little relax and lean back, i am not sure its the lack of slam power of vitus SS101 or its the mis match of cables..
i use siltech queen and princess XLR and 330L SC bi-wire..
any good suggestion? should i change to prince SC or any good cable can improve heavier bass?
is taralab can be a good match or crystal cable?
thanks in advance..
I bought a pair last week. And I liked it very much. I liked my auditor m pair before but after listening (and finally bought) the futuras, I know for sure I can't go back.
Pretty sure you need to put some hours for these to break in. And in my experience, changing the stock jumper with Nordost Norse Jumper changed the sound. And the change was night and day for the better.
I drive these with Mcintosh 300 wpc MC302, c48 and Meitner Ma1 DAC and Nordost cabling through out.
I have heard the Futura and the Strads, but, in completely different systems and rooms so I cannot make any sort of comparison. The room/system with the Strad that I am most familiar with is an all out assault on top quality sound. The Strads sound VERY good. They have a beautiful, and natural tonal balance. They worked well with a 30 watt output transformerless tube amp (custom built, one off design). The Futura I heard was in a room that was too small for the speaker, so I really don't know how well it can perform.
A US Sumiko representative has said that the large baffle design of the Strad actually makes it sound very good in small rooms; it can be placed fairly close to the side walls without a major problem. Aside from decorating/space utilization concerns, the Stad should not necessarily be ruled out of use in a small rooms.
Agree, Larryi, on the placement of Strads. I used to own them, and the distributor/dealer has found the same not just in my room but also in several others. I have also read that about Strads in general relative to side rooms due to the wide baffle design.
They sound very good with medium powered tubes...but if you get great SS Class A amplification, i think you can preserve much of the midrange magic that makes SF so great...plus the bass comes alive in a way that is quite surprising. There is a natural roll-off that works well with midpowered tubes, and it is still there with powerful Class A (Gryphon for me)...but there is a taut power in the bass that appears which is a lot of fun too.