a classic case of music lovers speaker vs audiophile speaker. you already know which is which.
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Having auditioned both of these extensively, the Aurum Cantus came away as the better sounding speaker to my ears.
The SFs sounded very nice indeed, especially with Classical music. Workmanship, as expected, is first class. In my opinion, they were not as quick or full sounding as the ACs. The soundstage exhibited by the ACs was markedly bigger as well. No doubt that the AC's ribbon tweeter a big contributor here. In addition, the ACs came off as more life-like, with the SFs by comparison more analytical.
Given the SFs reputation, I really expected them to be much better. What was unexpected was how thoroughly enjoyable the AC's turned out to be. Also unexpected was the first rate build quality. Sounds cliche, however they really must be seen to be appreciated.
In the end, my decision was purely based on what sounded best and, to my ears, the ACs did it for me. So much so that I voted for them (the V3Ms) with my wallet and couldn't be happier.
You can check mine out by hitting my systems link (Second System Sanctuary). BTW - that shine is a result of 14 layers of hand rubbed laquer. Gorgeous to look at and to listen to! As always, YMMV.
I am so sorry to say this!
There is no comparison actually, I tried a broken in Aurum Cantus and I was not impressed. Good but nothing out of the oridinary. Mind you this is comming from a BIG Ribbon fan who still devotedly owns 2 pairs of Apogees.
All the sonus fabers out there new and old will place the Aurum to shame. The Concertino to begin and there is no comparison once you get into the higher level monitors of SFabers. This Italian company does not just provide style and fit/finish but the performance is just stunning, they are know world wide as the King of Midranges by many and it is true for sure.....
Good luck, try it out for your self.
As an owner of SF Guarneri's, IMHO they are one of the very best speakers I have heard. Replaced my well respected
Hales System 2 Signatures( which were no slouch in the mids). The SF's are in a different league to the Hales, being much more resolving in the mids and the highs and with better imaging and ability to portray depth and timbre.
Have not heard the Aurum's, but they would have to be amazing to beat the SF's.
Rapogee's experience leads him to the conclusions he's made. However, my own experience markedly differs from his. That's OK - life would certainly be boring if we all shared the sames tastes.
For a different point of reference, my original intent was to actually buy the SF. However, after comparing the two for almost 3 hours straight, my ears told me otherwise and they sent a memo to my wallet accordingly. This despite the ACs being more that the SF and the fact that, e-ghads!, they're made in (Audiophile God forbid it) China as well!
Everyone has there own individual tastes and perception of quality and/or sound and the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. Assuming that parts quality, design, and execution are commensurate, declaring that one brand is better or will put another to shame is strictly an opinion and not fact.
For a further point of reference, the other monitors I own, including Focus Audio FS-688, Micropure Kotaro, Zu Tone, and AAD PPM1, in my opinion, easily offer equal or better, depending on taste, any of the lesser SF lines. In particular, the FAs and Kotaros have been universally praised and are considered by many to be right up there among the finest of monitors both sound and buildwise available today regardless of price.
Now, I will grant you that Guarani is diffent story - this is a very fine speaker soundwise and I actually prefer it to its bigger brother the Stradavari. In addition, it exhibits uperb fit and finish and its not hard to see why people are willing pay a very steep premium for it. That said, I would put up the fit & finish of the Focus Audio FS-688, Micropure Kotaros, and, yes, even the AC V3M right up there with any of the other monitors in the SF line.
In the end, if you can, try to hear both and pick the one that your ears deem best. A big part of the fun of this hobby is in the hunt - especially with so many fine products available.
On that note, Good Hunting!