Vintage Sonus Faber vs New Scansonic


Looking for a new pair of speakers for my main system, deciding between monitors and floorstanders though monitors would prob work better,  I'd love a pair of Raidhos but they're out of my price range and have heard really good things about the Scansonics (Raidhos younger sib).  I was also considering a couple of the Sonus Fabers, notably the Cremona and the Olympica.

My question is while the reviews on the Cremonas are good they are dated (8-12 years depending upon whether it's the M version or not) and driver technology has advanced a lot since then.  It will be hard for me to hear them against each other and wondered what the opinions are on new technology Scansonics or older technology Sonus Faber?  Obviously the Olympica is current model and is probably better than the comprable Scansonics though more $$$.

Thanks for any insights.
ihmeyers
My question is while the reviews on the Cremonas are good they are dated (8-12 years depending upon whether it's the M version or not) and driver technology has advanced a lot since then.

Well, this is just my 2 cents but when I think of vintage speakers I think of an old pair of AR's that need to be refoamed or some of those Japanese, lattice grilled Kabuki speakers.  I sure don't t think of SF Cremonas, that were just discontinued a few years ago and replaced by Olympicas.  By your definition my Viennas that were bought new in 2011 will be vintage too by the end of the decade.

The technology hasn't changed that much since the Cremonas were discontinued I believe in 2013.  The ribbon tweeters used in Scansonics are a variant of the Heil AMT tweeter that was developed in the mid 70's.  Carbon coned woofers are not new either and are no guarantee that they sound any better a laminated paper cone when properly implemented.  Dynaudio for example has been using their MSP, Magnesium Silicate Polymer, cones in their mid/bass drivers for 20 years now.  Because they sound good.

You should select speakers by hearing them and making sure they can be properly driven by your electronics.  And not by age. I would think twice before I walked away from a pair of Cremonas. 

Good luck in your speaker search.


Nicely designed speakers can last a really long time. I have a pair of old UK Made KEF Q10s I used for studio monitors for years and now are relegated to elsewhere but still sound great…20 years old maybe? 
I'd go with the Cremonas. They have a special sound thats hard to equal.
Thanks for the feedback.  I didn't realize it's only been 3 years since the Cremonas (M) have been discontinued.  The original Cremonas I believe were phased out in 2008.  No knock on SF or anyone else, equipment gets better over time.  I recently heard a pair of Genesis V's which were the first real high end speaker I ever bought (back in 1995).  They still sounded good but not as good as I remembered when compared to some speakers around now.


The irony is that while equipment may be getting better, the physiological equipment we use to listen to them only gets worse with time!   It's a pretty safe bet that the ears you used to listen to those Genesis speakers back in 1995 doesn't hear frequencies the same way now, 21 years later.  

Seriously though...I agree that there are improvements in cabinet design, such as the use of aluminum, carbon fiber and advanced materials to create enclosures that are more inert, with more advanced CAD/CAM software available to speaker designers.   But Paraneer is right...my new BMC PureVox speakers use the AMT tweeter, which is almost as old as me.   Yes, there is constant "improvement", but great speakers have sounded great for a while now.  I've always been a Sonus Faber fan - still have a pair of the original Concertinos in storage - those Cremonas were wonderful 10 years ago, they sound wonderful today, and they'll still sound sublime 10 years from now.
My SF Guarneri Homage's are still able to put a smile on most a'philes
faces. The driver technology is still IMHO very competitive with the best available. The silk dome technology is now used in the top-of-the-line Wilson's. One thing that I think too many a'philes believe, is that the latest is always the greatest......Too bad that is not always the case!