Thoughts and Advice regarding Sonus Faber speakers


I would like peoples thoughts on the Sonus Faber Sonetto V’s. I’m seriously considering  purchasing them to replace 20 year old Thiel 2.3’s.  I have had the coaxial driver (combo midrange and tweeter) replaced in the Thiel’s by Coherent Source service in Lexington and they did a great job…but to my ear they are still a little to analytical.  Not on all recordings…but some. I really like the mid range and vocal treatment of the Sonetto V’s.  Any thoughts? For $5000.00 would you consider them a high end audio product…or are they more of a home theater speaker  (as they are towers). How good is the company on service and standing behind their products? Some have suggested that since I am after a more relaxed presentation…I look at dynaaudio speakers. Perhaps Evoke 50.
There is a dealer about 3 hours away. Some of my audiophile friends think the Sonetto’s may be a lateral move…that a 5G speaker today is no better than a 3G speaker two decades ago.  They have suggested buying pre-owned Sonus Faber in the 6-7 G range…but that is really above my budget…and I’m not sure about the risk. One more thing….will the Sonetto’s be significantly easier to drive.  My Thiel’s are 87db@2.8 V-1m…impedance is 4 ohms….the Sonetto’s are also 4 ohms but 90db SPL - 2.83 V/1M. My current system  is an Audio Research 100.1 power amp -solid state 100 watts per channel into 8 ohms…200 into 4…Audio Research LS 16 pre-amp (hybrid)…Audio research CD-3, and VPI Scout Jr. Turntable. You can see my dilemma….any advice would be appreciated.
BTW…most dealers to not have the models in stock and the wait time after ordering is 3 months.

gsieg

IMHO, it would be a sideways move. You could probably roll your preamp tubes and get a bit more warmth. The Thiels and ss AR amp both are probably a bit on the cool side so what you describe isn't a shock.

Tower speakers don't mean they're for home theater. It means they will have larger or more low frequency drivers and be able to provide lower bass and sometimes deeper and/or better defined bass. 

While Sonus Faber might provide the most beautiful cabinetry and designs, I've seen, each time I tried to convince myself to buy them, alternatives provided me more of the sonics I was seeking at the same or lower pricing. All that Italian woodworking craftsmanship doesn't come cheap. 

You might want to check out GR Research's youtube video where they modify Sonus Veneres. It was pretty interesting and IMHO candid in its commentary. Cheers,

Spencer

After many years of planar speakers an my best friend having Thiels I switched to Sonus Faber: first Cremona, then Olympica 3, then Amati Traditional. I also have had some ARC equipment, now all is ARC.

 

I think your thinking is on point for what you have and want. I chose SF for their really natural sound. SF has made reproduced music closer to the real thing… beautiful as opposed to just accurate (think more analytically correct) and detailed. You have enough power… The real question is used or new. Unless there is some catastrophic event… not sure why service would ever be necessary… unless after thirty years.

‘’The performance of models when moving up the SF hierarchy goes up. So, the performance level if you could get maybe used Olympica 3 would be a good way to go. Depending on how fast you want to move, that might determine which course.

Thanks for your thoughts...much appreciated.  I like the idea of Olympica 3's...I'm just not sure even on the used market I can find them in my budget...but it's worth a try.  I'm still talking to my nearest dealer about the Sonettos...so I guess I'll see.  Kinda getting antsy to make a purchase.

I had the Olympia IIIs (version prior to current one).  They were good, but my room was somewhat large (approx 20x16) so I traded up to the Amati Traditions and am very impressed.  Every time I listen to other speakers (Wilson, Magico, B&W, Focal) I return to the SF.   Sonus Faber speakers have very accurate timbre and tonal qualities. They present a cohesive sound and in my system have excellent soundstage.  They definitely "improve" as your cables, amp and preamp and source improve (and definitely require a good jumper cable). BUT, I suspect that they are better at jazz and classical than rock or heavy metal. (I do not listen to rock, heavy metal or "pop".) They were designed to present "classical" instruments and voice.  

I brought home a pair of Sonetto IIIs right around the day they were released.  My dealer had a pair in a few weeks before that and I was able to demo against a number of other floorstanders in that price range.  

They are truly as wonderful and musical as most people describe.  Per Craig's post above, I will strongly vouch they actually do Rock very well. I listen to a lot of live recordings of traditional rock music and the Sonetto's really excelled. Large orchestral pieces are where I would say they start to run into their limitations. 

Keep in mind that the Sonetto V's are slightly easier to drive than the III's.  I started with a Class D integrated and moved to a Hybrid tube-pre SS-power class-AB after about 9 months (Vincent Audio).  Both output around 250-300 watts into 4 ohms.  The Sonetto III's handled the power well but it was definitely more than necessary.  These are very amp-friendly speakers and I even had surprisingly great results placing them downstream of my 4W 2A3 amp.  Rolling the 12AX7 on my Vincent Hybrid was immediately noticeable.  These speakers love tubes.  

The Sonetto's sound great off-axis (vertical and horizontal) anywhere in my living room.  This was a big factor for me and I suspect will be a noticeable difference from your Thiel's.  I wish I could be more helpful in assessing the upgrade-ness or not, find a dealer if you can and give them a listen.  You will know almost immediately whether it's worth the move.