Sonus Faber Olympica III or Vienna Acoustics Lists
......I am looking at both of these speakers and wanted a little feedback from the members here. They would be driven by an Esoteric A-03 amp - 50 watts of Class A power. Music is from the Allman Brothers to Frank Zappa to Neil Young to Muddy Waters to Eva Cassidy ....you get the picture. Let me know ...thanks
I have listened to both of these speakers but not in the same location or using the same electronics. I compared the Olympica III to the B&W 802's and preferred the B&W's. The 802's were more open, had better high end and the bass was better. The Olympica's were more closed in and boxy sounding. I compared the 802's to the Liszts. The Liszt were more open, the bass had better attack and definition and they were more musical and had an overall more coherent, unified sound. They are my number one speaker candidate and I have listened to Wilsons, Focal, Rockport, Harbeth, etc. Just my two cents. I think they are a winner in the Vienna line.
Hello Goose - and thank you for your response. It seems that the Vienna's are a subjectively better speaker and will suite the music that I play. The Sonus Faber is a great speaker and a great company with more advertisement dollars ( Fine Group ) so we see their brand all over. I am looking for a speaker for the long haul and the Vienns's may be it. Also, nice set up and the Avalon Ascendant's are also a great speaker !
Definitely the Liszts. I heard them driven by Ayre AX-5 and it was a match made in heaven. If I had the $$ I would have bought both on the spot. The dealer swopped in the AX-7 and it drove them just fine, though, obviously, one could hear the superiority of the AX-5. That's just 60W in A/B. My point is that your Esoteric will drive them just fine.
I briefly heard the SFs in a totally different environment, and I just don't think any of the new SFs are up to the level of the older models (particularly when you take into account price points, etc.).
Garebear, I am about 90% sure that the Liszt will be my next speaker. The dynamics, bass and overall emotional involvement really is exceptional with this speaker. I have two more to audition the Focal Sopra and the new Devore gibbons X. The Avalon Ascendants are good and the Liszt is great.
I don't know what Olympica 3's you were listening to but they are one of the best soundstaging speakers (not to be confused with image placement,which the BW does well) that I have ever heard. Could have been a associated component problem. The B&W"s are a fine speaker for sure but I would have to believe that people after the Sonus faber sound would pass on the B&W. It boils down to priority and taste.
I also think the B&W sound better than the Olympica 3's. Their upper bass region seemed to creep up into the lower mids, giving vocals a chesty, heavy type of sound. The B&W's also have a somewhat ripe upper bass range, but doesn't creep up into the lower mids. IMO.
I will say that with all the press / reviews that the Sonus Faber Olympica III's received .....we have not heard from anybody on that speaker. Somebody had to of purchased them ....and compared them to others. Just commenting ....
All the SF Olympica III owners are busy enjoying music on their Olypicas while reading a good book, or making sweet love to their wives, or enjoying some fava beans and a nice Chianti. They don't have time to come here and hang out with us.
I don't own any Olympicas, but I will some day...I may not even connect them to an amp...I just want to sit and stare at those beautiful wood cabinets.
Garebear,I do own the Olympica III's and they are a very fine speaker. I posted this on another thread. Hope this helps...
I own a pair of Sonus Fabers Olympica III's which I bought after owning the Joseph Audio Pulsars. As much as I loved the sound of the Pulsars[make no mistake,they are a great 2-way] the SF's are just in another leaque.The Olympica's are way more refined,but at almost twice the price,they better be.
The Pulsars are image champs, but for my tastes, they were not a speaker that could go loud and keep up on some material. I guess I prefer a bit larger speaker. In the past I have owned Advent, ADS,Legacy,Merlin,Talon,JA,as mentioned,and now the SF Olympica III's. I am not saying the SF's will be my retirement speaker,but,they are the finest sounding speaker I have personally owned.
Once set up properly the music just flows from these.They are sound stage champs and a pure pleasure to listen to. Voice and instrument are pure heaven... which have an organic... natural sound, that to my ears, just plain sound right...giving most material spot on tonality and gestalt. Be aware though,they are power hungry.Feed them some high quality watts and you will be rewarded for the effort in doing so. They are rated at 4 ohm impedance but I believe they drop into the 3 ohm range,so high current will be needed to open up the virtues of these speakers to the level that will make them worth the price of admission. I'm not saying less watts are a deal killer on these but control of the drivers are key here.By the way, they sound just as good at low volumes as they do at high levels,no break-up and they love to go loud. But as usual, room size plays a key role in this.
I can give a hearty recommendation if you love Italian craftsmanship and beauty from a company that most other speaker builders aspire to be.By the way,they build everything in house,to their specs. Not to many speaker companys doing that anymore.
Good discussion- I have heard the SF Toy floorstanding speakers and they were very fine w/ Rogue Audio gear.
In another system, I heard the VA speakers w/ Primare gear- very fine as well. Like Garebear, I would like to find a dealer/retailer that carries Verity Audio speakers- I have always wanted to audition these- to get a taste, if you will. Keep me posted and Happy Listening!
I purchased the Sonus Faber Olympica III's ...yes after all that. I was very interested in the Vienna Acoustics Liszt - a tremendous speaker and also the Verity Audio Parsifals'.....this particular pair of Verity's were second hand almost 7 years old and were sold and then back traded in to the same dealer. They were not cheap but the age and the fact that they are now discontinued and replaced by the Anniversary's made a difficult decision easy. The unfortunate variable when purchasing high priced items like speakers that must be considered at least by me is ..... '' if I have to sell them ...how much of a beating will I take '' ? This hobby is not for the faint of heart on the used market. The Sonus Faber's are better in that area....I also think that musically they are pretty good too.
Assuming you haven't set the Olympica's up yet, let us know what you think when you have them broken in. The times I've heard them, they really seem to get to the heart of the music. All the meat is there on the bone, without appearing to obscure the minute details.
I received the Sonus Faber Olympica II's a few days ago. I had previously owned the SF Cremona M's and as beautiful as they were - there was house sound and after a couple of years I changed them out. I will tell you right out of the box - the Olympica III's are not like the older SF's.....that was very clear. I will comment more but - first impression is very dynamic and coherent.
While this thread is a bit stale, I thought I’d chime in as I’m now in the market for speakers in another system. Specifically, I am now trying to decide between the SF Olympica IIIs and the new SF Serafino which is clearly better but more $s. I have listened to the 800 series of B&W many times and in many different locations - and found them accurate, but not very exciting. I could live with them, but there are better choices for me. I have also listened to the Kef reference line many times and like them very much - again very accurate (and better to my ears than the B&W) and quite dynamic. However, for music, the SF I’m looking at are just more satisfying than all the others I’ve listened to.
In my auditions, I’ve concluded something all of you know already. Auditioning a speaker at a dealer is a very mixed bag. Case in point - I listened to the Olympica IIs (slightly smaller than the IIIs) in a room that did them no favors - they were overly warm and a bit muddied in the mid bass - a reaction shared by one of the posters above.
I am amazed at how many demo rooms are severely compromised with HVAC noises, phase irregularities (cancellelations or summations), etc. I don’t think bad demo rooms are necessarily the fault of the dealer - as each speaker is different, though I do think they’d help themselves with a bit more room treatment.
In any case, I think it’s fair to assume that most speaker brands are not going to put out crap and that while there are clearly differences in “house sound”, when we react really negatively to a product, it may be the room (or perhaps, source or electronics) that is the factor. Bottom line - I’m glad I listened the Olympica IIIs in a different setting - different room, different electronics, different source. And, the difference was all very good.
I think I’m probably settled on the SF - though if I had the dough, I’d strongly consider Rockports. Certainly they’re not everyone’s cup of tea, but I also stand by my comments that some dealer demos can be quite misleading. In comparison w/ other brands over time in different settings, the SF were exciting, plenty detailed, but are very easy on my ears - I particularly dislike any harshness in the upper regions. This is an area where the SF excels. I’d also say that the aesthetics of SF is just way beyond any other brand I’ve seen. They are stunning to look at. While that’s not most important, it’s also not unimportant.
To be fair, while I’ve heard the Liszts, I haven’t as extensively as SF, B&W and Kef’s already referenced. But, yes, I’d take them over the Liszts. My $.02. Best,