Sonus Faber Guarneri vs Guarneri Memento

Has anyone had a chance to compare the new Guarneri Memento to the original Guarneri?

Does anyone have any pricing info on the new Guarneri Mementos?
I think it's still soon for such comparison, but eventually the comparison will be done sometime soon or not.

As for the price the new Memento is more expensive than the previous one , I think it's 2000-2500 euro more (do the math for us$).
Also there is a special subwoofer for the memento to be anounced to make a "memento full range set" and fill the gap between memento and Amati Anniversario.
It is my understanding that Sumiko (US Importer) is still working out the pricing. I hear they will be around $13,000 in the US with availability in 60 days...
The things I've heard is that the new Memento is more dynamic, and has a bigger soundstage. It is also capable of sounding bigger then the original Guarneri.
New Memento is more refined, with deeper and far better bass control, better dynamics, better resolution trough whole frequency range and is also easier to drive. They fill listening room with bigger sound than the old model. When I first received my Memento, I heard its magic right away. On large-scale orchestral Memento produces extra vigor, more control and amazing bass heft. The bass is quick, tuneful and wholly continuous with the rendering of the higher frequencies. It is superior to what I have heard from any other two-way loudspeaker. From the subtle vocal modulations of jazz singers to the symphonic complexities of different composers, Memento's simply "get it right" — in scale, in tonality, and most importantly in the ability to reach out and draw you emotionally into the music. The purity and beauty these speakers deliver make them worth strong consideration from any highly discerning listener who values musical truth over audio dazzle.
The new Memento deserves a big applause - for statement-level performance; for being built like nothing I have seen before; and hence, for practicing the spirit of the music. I can offer nothing but superlatives.

All the best,

What I hear is much in line with Senad.....I love my Mementos.....what a speaker.
In line with what Senad wrote, my Memento's sound more 'present', play louder, deeper and sound more dynamic too. I think they are a real upgrade. One tiny cosmetic issue is that the lower metal part of the front grill dont hide the strings knots... They are clearly visible from the front of the speakers. Does anyone has solution for that ? Otherwise, those speakers are perfect.
Michael Fremer reviewed the Guarneri Memento in the Sept. 2007 Stereophile here.
Clodius, don't use the grill so you don't see the knots? I was surprise to see that as well when I first "saw" the GM in person, given how fanatic Sonus Faber is about aesthetic and finish this is considered a design flaw I guess. but I never run any speakers with grills, so it does not bother me.
I have a pair of Guarneri's original for trial and compare with my AG UNO speakers - a whole different animal.

I can live with either of the two speakers, the AGs are explosive, detailed and very dynamic, the SF are relaxed, coherent and very musical.

I heard the new Mementos at the dealer demo down here and sounded very promising as well.
I have not heard either. I own the SF Grand Pianos 1997 version from Italy, and the Amati Homage version one 1999
version. I have always loved monitors. have VIVA Auroras Lamm ML2.1 and Cary 845 monoblocks. Also a Naim system.

Still looking for the right tethering/system for the next ten years.

Davef should be showing up in this thread any moment now ... perceptive of you..:0) Congrats on the quick fingers and beating me to the thread..;0)

I actually thought this thread had died a while back..
guess I was wrong. My feelings on the G's vs. M's are pretty well known by now. Simply look on the 'Gon and note how quickly the G's sell when and if they come on the
market and compare that to the M's, which BTW seem to come available far more frequently.

lets look at it a little logically...shall we :-) After designing the Guarneri Homage, Franco went on to design the Cremona lineup, the old Amati Homage, the new Amati Anniversario, the new Strad. and finally the new Guarneri Memento.

Are you saying that Franco did not learn anything new in the time period that he was designing all these great speakers ? I don't think you will get too many people claiming that the older Amatis are better than the newer Anniversarios.

Why then would you think that the Mementos would be inferior to the Homages ?
You can find a review of the new Guarneri Memenoto where Ken Kessler from hifinews compared them to the old ones. He claims that there is no doubt that new ones are considerably better.
Franco semi-retired from Sonus to join Yter cables with his son-in law sometime before/during the developement of the newest speakers. This may lend credence to a preference for Franco's designs as opposed to the newer models....... can anyone update?
Jamnesta, the Memento was designed by Franco. All SF designs beyond the Memento -- ellipsa, new Cremonas -- are designed by the new team.
Could it be the quality of the Homage drivers vs the Memento's??
Pinkus,I think Flg2001 hit the nail on the head..
As I have posted before, the drivers in the GH's are IMHO
far superior to the drivers in the M. The Esotar is probably one of the top two or three tweeters in the world and the Audiotechnologie mid/woof was custom built for the GH. The current unit I believe is sourced from Dynaudio ( Yes I know Skanning started both Co's) BUT and this is a real BUT the unit in the M's is not anything special.
Also, look at the ability of the GH's to bi-wire( Which is again IMHO a MAJOR plus) the M's do NOT even offer this facility.
The cost of the drivers and the x-over with bi-wire cabability is far more expensive in the GH than the M's. Frankly, I think and I have said this before; SF wanted to freshen the line and cut costs a little. This isn't the first time a company has done this and won't be the last, but if you AB the two speakers ( which I have done and which i doubt Pinkus has done) then the superiority of the GH is obvious. One last thing, just because something is new and revised doesn't always mean it's has to be better.
In audio this circumstance seems to apply frequently, however, the reviewers and the manufacturers don't necessarily want the public to know that.
Daveyf - I understand that the mid-woofer vendor for the Guarneris is Scanspeak (custom made) - but Ican be wrong again...
Flg 2001, The mid-woofer is as a custom made Audiotechnologie unit in the GH and a Dynaudio sourced unit in the GM.
Misinformation galore. Read Fremer's review. The new Memento's have custom drivers sourced from Audio Technology and Scanspeak.

Top of the line Amati and Strad. share these same drivers for the midrange and tweeter. Are you saying those speakers are compromised cost cutting measures ?

Have you ever heard of Ferrari putting their stamp on a car that is inferior than the one they created 10 years ago ? SF being a luxry speaker builder has a reputaion to uphold (not to mention Franco).

Sorry Dave, it fails the smell test. You are suggesting that somehow Fremer, Ken Kessler and the other reviewers are pulling a fast one on us. Ken Kessler has lived with his Guarneri Homages for around 10 years, and if he says the new speakers are better, are you saying he is lying out of his behind ?
Pinkus, Read the review more carefully from Fremer. He states he has not heard the GH's and that the mid-woofer is a Audio Tech in the GM. It isn't... Look at the SF site and see that it is sourced from Dynaudio.In the review MF also states the mid-woofer in the GH is a Scanspeak, it isn't either, it's an AudioTech. Reviewers are not infallible; they make errors just liked everbody else and as for KK-- Well there was a time that he liked the NHT's better than any other speaker he had ever heard! Like everyone, he is entitled to his opinion, BUT I personally do not rely on reviews by audio mag writers as anything more than just cursorary information. I like to use my own ears to determine their sound and that is what you might want to do as well... Before picking up this post again, go and compare the two speakers ( the GH vs GM) and then reply. I know you own the GM and want to defend them, just make sure that your position is defensible prior to posting!

I am going to take your advice and listen to the older G. And get back to you.

I am going to leave you with a parting thought. Technology moves on ... what was good 15 years ago can be bettered with modern technology. Excellent designers such as Franco improve their craft over a period of 15 years.

Enjoy your G's.
Pinkus, while I generally agree with your comment about modern technology, this is not an absolute. For instance, most 'philes including myself would argue that analog LP's are a superior medium for sound reproduction than digital systems.
When Franco designed the G, I believe he did so as his
'statement' product next to the Extremas. Today, the statement product is the Strad and then the A Annerversario and then the GM in that order (although some would say the Elipsa comes before the GM, I wouldn't). I also wander if the 'bean counters' and the 'marketing people' at SF don't have more of a say in the product than in the past.
Franco is no longer designing the product and to me there has to be a good reason for that.
I will look forward to your opinion as to the differences between the GH and the GM once you have heard the two.
Good thing it is easyish to sell GM's on the 'Gon. ..:0)
I have lived both cases... old McIntosh (275 in this case) sounded better to me than the re-issue one, old JBLs (L65 or L300) sounded better to me than new models - but the other case also applies, many examples cover this story.

The point is, not always a reviewer has the last word, have you checked their personal tastes and setup?, previous reviews? etc...

I have heard both versions of the Guarneris and I like them both, which is better? depends on the questions above among many others, no absolute terms here...(including this last phrase) :)
Both GH and GM uses Audio Technology midwoofer. Audio Technology is a new name of Skanning, so effectively they use similar drivers. Audio Technology might not make their own cones, instead they only make the coils, spider, and magnets and that's why Daveyf mistakenly think GM midwoofer is sourced from Dynaudio. I am 100% sure it's Audio Technology. How do I know? I have a spare driver.

I have owned just about every single Sonus Faber made including EA1, EA2, Cremona Auditor, Cremona, Extrema, Amati Homage, GH, GM, and some of the lower lines. To say Dynaudio T-330D is the best tweeter ever made indicates you have not heard what newer technology has to offer. I have lived with Extrema for years where T-330D was considered very well executed there. I had Extrema, Amati Homage, and GM all in the same room once and everyone walked away ranking Extrema lowest because of its top end deficiency. Lack of air, lack of micro dynamic, and lack of extension.

Scanspeak Revelator, even the old 9900 in Amati Homage was considered more detail than Esotar T-330D. The new Revelator is simply in a different league, by a long mile. When I owned GH, people liked the sound because it was coherent and smooth. Now I own GM, people LOVE the sound because it offer everything GH has to offer and much much more. I will even put Scanspeak Revelator tweeter up against ribbon, I also own Aerial 20T which has one of the best ribbon tweeter in the business, it's a modified Raven R-2 that cost $1k each.

GH reminds me of Roger LS3/5A, pleasant to listen to but you should know its limitation. GM reminds me of a BMW M3, an all purpose sports car that you can live on the edge.
I have heard the Scanspeak Revelator, the Raven ribbon, the Accuton tweeter, the Accapella Plasma Ion tweeters, the Maggie ribbons and others. IMHO, and frankly in many other 'philes opinions, the Esotars are still up there with the best. Why not ask Bobby at Merlin why he still uses them? Comparing the GH to the GM I still believe that the cabinet, the x-over, the drivers and the bi-wire ability of the GH is superior to the GM.
Sorry, but when we 'AB'ed the GH with the GM, the magic of the GH was not present. Not just my opinion but our entire audio club that evening.
Comparing the GH to the LS3/5A would seem to indicate that you have not heard the LS3/5A's or maybe the GH's. The LS3/5A's are good speakers but have a definitive BBC coloration ( boxy somewhat woody sound), which I do not think that Italian speakers of any brand exhibit..:0)
Daveyf, of course you are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to mine. Like you, the whole audiophile circle here thinks GM is significantly better than GH by a mile.

As of which tweeter is the best, there is no end to that debates. I have spoken to Bobby because I owned Merlin VSM before, reason why he is still using antique Esotar T-330D is he believes in 2-way design and he can't move up to the new Esotar2 which has better extension at the expense of not going as low like Esotar1. On top, Dynaudio is not selling the Esotar2 to anyone, so Bobby is stuck with his old design which he has tried to perfect for 10+ years. Can you imagine Bobby switching tweeter now and start this whole VSM, VSM SE, VSM M, VSM MM, VSM MMe evolution all over again?

I have lived with Esotar1 for 7 years, from SF EA1, Extrema, Merlin VSM, and Dynaudio C5, I think I know a thing or two about Esotar. in fact, I was like you who used to defend Esotar until I open my mind and start listening to other designs. If you love Esotar so much, you should get a pair of Dyn C5 to hear what Esotar can really do.
Daveyf & Flg2001, you should be able to find Guarneri driver source easily on Stereophile reviews, both models were reviewed before and drive details were clearly mentioned.
MF at Stereophile reviewed the GM's in Vol 30 #8.
In it MF says the GH's use Scanspeak woofers, which as we both know they don't. He also says he hasn't heard the GH's so of course he cannot compare the two models ( fair enough).
The 6" Audiotechnology unit in the GH's was custom made for SF... apparently true for the GM's also. Now I have one question.... Do you believe that the ability to bi-wire is of value?
Also, so we are all clear on this point, I do NOT feel that the GM and the GH's are vastly different; there is a very similar family resemblance between the two speakers ( they are both SF's after all) and both are excellent speakers, both are mini-monitors however and because of this cannot compete against larger floorstanders with the ability to move air.(Bass response if frankly the weak point of both designs). I just feel the GH's have a certain magical midrange that the GM's seem to lack. That is IMHO.
you probably know I am a SF fan too, otherwise I would not have owned so many SF speakers in my life. all Franco's works are masterpiece.

I owned GH briefly, it was a speaker I always wanted to own for its look, sound, and reputation. it was overall more coherent than Extrema to my ears except the lowest extension and weight, but GH's ability, or lack of, to play at decent volume in a medium size room had me sold them very quickly. I don't listen loud, but GH just does not move enough air. so as sweet as the midrange is, GH did not work for me. Esotar1 is a fuller sounding tweeter than most, the lower treble is quite full body so combined with the Skaning woofer, the sound was very sweet and addictive. if I have a smaller room, I think I could have lived happily with GH.

On to GM. the new drivers are more dynamic. I am not only referring to macro dynamic which GM does better, micro dynamic is also improved. devil is in the detail, GM protrates details very effortlessly partially due to better micro dynamic. the new woofer also does midrange texture better, I just heard more of everything and Sonus Faber's strength in reproducing string is best reproduced by GM. when you said a certain magic was missing, maybe GM is just not as sweet, not as full body, or not as "colored". I am not saying GM is neutral, my Aerial 20T is much more neutral in comparison. but GM vs. Amati Homage, Extrema, Cremona, or GH, I will rank GM as the least color.

I can live happily with either speakers, but if I have to choose between the two again, I will pick GM for having better balance of sweetness and neutrality. Amati Homage vs. Amati Anniversario is similar in that sense. as good as Amati Homage was in midrange and up, the new one was better w/o sounding like a Wilson Watt/Puppy and that's progress in my book.
Semi,it is interesting that you mentioned the size of the room. My room is very small which probably has something to do with how well the GH's integrate in the room.
I cannot support much bass in the room and of course the GH's don't really do much below 50Hz's.
We AB'ed the GM to the GH in my room and while the magic in the mids was lacking, the GM did offer a little more bass response, we all figured it began to break up about 45Hz's or so.
In your bigger room, that might be valuable and possibly your GM's may go even lower. I am not a headbanger, but I also realize that music has a fundemental in the bottom octave and a certain reality that comes with being able to reproduce the lowest octave at reasonable volume with little to no distortion. The Amati A's or the Strads are probably much better in this regards than either of the G's in a larger room. (But not so good in a small room like mine)...It really is "horses for courses".
I am in the process to change (again) my amps from Gryphon to Jadis (I have done this two times now) - and heard the GM at the dealer show room with exactly the same Jadis JA50 that I am currently testing at home.

I heard the GM there and really like the presentation, great speed, coherent and great timbre - but lacking bass. Next day I hooked the JA50s to my system (GH based) and heard a very similar presentation - correct timbre- attack BUT more coherence in the low registers and a better ensamble of the whole musical reproduction.

Keep in mind that room were of a different kind (my dealers showroom is 30% larger than mine) and full of other equipment and speakers - mine is a dedicated room.

Two grains of salt to the discussion which I am enjoying a lot!.
Flg2001, I think the Jadis amps are a great match for GH's.
The only question is if they have enough drive capability.
You might also consider Joules and Lamm's. I also recently heard BAT amps with them, not bad at all but not as good as the Jadis.
Again, this subject is very room dependant.
I totally agree Daveyf - I am a big Gryphon fan, but in this particular case with my current room and sources - the Jadis brought more musicality and refinement to my system.

I kept the Jadis DA50 Signature for the moment - but after hearing what the JA50 Monos did, I am after buying them shortly.

Curious about the DA88S thou....
I owned the GH's for a long time. Upgraded to the mementos and WOW, the sound is HUGE with the M's. The GHs are way more laid back and no where near as dynamic.

the M's still have an amazing midrange but maybe not as syrupy as the GH's. My preference for looks is the GH, sound the GM's.

The reason the GH's sell so fast is that they are usually less than half the cost of the GM's and they are legendary.

I would keep both if I could but the M's stay.
Stevehuff1, Are you saying that the GM's are an easier load on the amp than the GH's?
What ancillary equipment are you using and is this the same
equipment and room your were using for the GH's?
What does 'maybe not as syrupy' mean in regards to the midrange reproduction?
The GH's are indeed legendary, why do you think that the GM's are not?
I am appreciating your comments about Guarneri Memento vs. Guarneri Homage speakers.
I am almost decide that Guarneri will be my next speakers. I have auditioned GH at home and was extremely pleased. Also Sonus Faber speakers are makes great synergy with Jadis electronics I have. First I was thinking also about of Amati Anniversario, but these speakers produce such amount of bass that can be too large to my 23 m^2 room.

Could you kindly let me know something more about both Guarneri comparison in terms of bass performance. How large is your room and how the Guarneris perform on bass department in your conditions.

Thank you very much in advance.
Best regards,
Milimetr - the GH generate a very credible mid-bass and bass for its size - I am sure that by now you have already noticed that they sound 'larger" than it size, and its sonic portrait is far away from its radiation point, creating a very credible scenario.

I have lived with them as they are (no sub) for almost 7 months now, and currently trying a subwoofer (REL stentor) in my midsize room (4.5 x 6.5 x 3.0) mts with mixed feelings about it.

Depending on your tastes of music genres, I anticipate that you will not feel the need to augmentate its bass reproduction, they are that good!.

Hope this helps.
Milimetr, I have a small room,albeit a dedicated room.
The room is appx. 12ftX10ft with a vaulted ceiling that rises to appx.13ft. The room is constructed of wood/drywall and I use a couple of large LP racks as absorbtion in the corners behind the speakers.
The only real drawback to the GH's is that I do not think they can reproduce deep bass in a large room. In my room, this is a bonus as a speaker that could plumb the depths would easily overload my room. I feel that what you give up on deep bass is well compensated for with the GH's magical mids and highs.
You might read my review that I just posted on the GH's in the review section.
The GM's have MUCH more bass than the GH, but the bass in the GM is very very tight and I have no need for a subwoofer in my LARGE room. I have the M's about 3 FT from my back wall, 7FT apart and slightly toed in. They are about 2 1/2 FT from each side wall.

For my electronics, I have been using AES Six Pacs and an AES DJH pre for the past year after about a dozen buy/sell sessions. The Six Pacs put out 50-60 watts in triode mode and the sound is absolutely amazing.

I used a Cambridge Audio 840C for my CD playback and that will eventually be upgraded to a Cary 303/300. My pre will be upgraded to a SLP98P as that is my fave pre EVER.

Anyway, I sit here now listening to Led Zeppelin III and the sound blows me away, even after living with this for a year.

Diana Krall, Allison Krauss, and even ACDC sound amazing on the M's. The G's did not do so well with heavier music.

My speaker cables are very inexpensive and from Clear Day cables here on Agon. I love them. I used to own $2500 cables and feel that for the money these cables only give you an extra 5% increase in sound quality.

My Ic's are Cardas.

Anyway, I really love the G's but for sound, I love the M's even more. Remember, I had them side by side in my room which is LARGE and rectangular. I do not have the dimensions.

I also prefer the M's without the grilles.
The GM's have MUCH more bass than the GH, but the bass in the GM is very very tight and I have no need for a subwoofer in my LARGE room. I have the M's about 3 FT from my back wall, 7FT apart and slightly toed in. They are about 2 1/2 FT from each side wall.

For my electronics, I have been using AES Six Pacs and an AES DJH pre for the past year after about a dozen buy/sell sessions. The Six Pacs put out 50-60 watts in triode mode and the sound is absolutely amazing.

I used a Cambridge Audio 840C for my CD playback and that will eventually be upgraded to a Cary 303/300. My pre will be upgraded to a SLP98P as that is my fave pre EVER.

Anyway, I sit here now listening to Led Zeppelin III and the sound blows me away, even after living with this for a year.

Diana Krall, Allison Krauss, and even ACDC sound amazing on the M's. The G's did not do so well with heavier music.

My speaker cables are very inexpensive and from Clear Day cables here on Agon. I love them. I used to own $2500 cables and feel that for the money these cables only give you an extra 5% increase in sound quality.

My Ic's are Cardas.

Anyway, I really love the G's but for sound, I love the M's even more. Remember, I had them side by side in my room which is LARGE and rectangular. I do not have the dimensions.

I also prefer the M's without the grilles.
BTW, with my DJH Pre I am using some very cool POPE tubes from upscale audio. These two tubes transformed this pre in a very good way. Pricey but worth it.
Recently I have opportunity to see Guarneri Memento disassembled.

There are few interesting observations.

First of all both speakers are custom designed for this project. Woofer is C-Quenze model from Audio Technology (formerly Skaaning). Woofer has high diameter voice coil, the great air gap height and design of the basket extremely sturdy and free of obstructions.

The tweeter is from Scan Speak ring radiator, but it was completely redesigned for Guarneri project. Custom tweeter has a double magnet back and a decompression chamber. As with earlier Guarneri Homage also in Memento tweeter plastic rear element was replaced with piece of wood. Tweeter front panel is also custom designed.

The front panel of the cabinet is made of two elements coupled together by damping material. All cabinet is filled with some kind of wool. It certainly shows that designer of Guarneri Memento has not have only cost saving in mind.

All internal wires are made with silver-palladium Yter cabling.
Thanks Milimetr. Very informative. Maybe even Daveyf will be convinced :-)
I'm sorry for the interruption, but if you don't mind...
I wish to add an off-topic advice in case that you allready have the early Guarneri Hommage:
Give a try to the Jadis Defy 7
You would not believe the synergy!!!

Hi George, I heard a Jadis Defy 7 mk1V a couple of years ago with
SF GH"s. It was a very nice match indeed; almost made me sell my
Jeff Rowland model 8. The only thing that kept me from doing that was
that the Jadis seemed to lose a little detail when compared to my 8.
Nonetheless, I do agree that a tube amp is a GREAT way to go with the GH"s.
I am enjoying an ARC D70 mk2 with rolled in tubes right now. This amp seems to have real simpatico with these speakers.
BTW Pinkus, I wouldn't trade SF GM's for GH's, my ears would never forgive me.
Since this thread just got bumped and I'm feeling a growing affinity for Daveyf, here is my 2 cents.

I have owned both Guarneri models at the same time for over a year. Didn't plan that. For years I wanted the H's but couldn't find the "perfect" pair. So I bought a brand new pair of M's. Sure enough, 1 month later that perfect pair of H's found it's way to me. If I didn't already have Magnepans and a very special pair of custom 2 ways, I would have kept both pairs of the G's.

For my house, 3 sets of speakers is pushing it so the 4th pair would have to go. It was the M's, VERY RELUCTANTLY.

I prefer the H's to the M's. Nothing wrong with M's, I wouldn't have bought them if there was something I didn't like about them.

I have different amps and what the H's do for me is sound great with every amp I have mated them with. This runs the gamut with class A ss, Tripath chip, pp and single ended tube amps (the H's have a friendlier impedance toward smaller amps). The H's also sounded better in my smaller room (home office: 14x12 10' high ceiling).

Just to add some additioonal salt to the thread here, I had the chance to chat with Lorenzo, cheif designer for Mastersound in the last CES, I did mention my setup, and when I said Guarneri speakers he asked..."new or old version" for which I replied "old Homage version" he said then that those are indeed great speakers, adding that he has several customers who are as well reluctant to sell their GH to go for the GM in Italy.

Might be right.....
Flg2001, i think a little salt in this thread is a good idea..
It doesn't really surprise me that there are many GH owners in Italy,
or anywhere else for that matter, that are "reluctant" to give up their
GH's for GM's. A backward step is never anything anyone does unless
they do it "reluctantly".
IMHO if people will use their ears when they compare GH's to GM's,
the obvious superiority of the GH's becomes very evident.