Advice appreciated (SF guarneri Tradition, Focal and others )

Mar 1, 2017
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#1
I had the chance to audition the new Serafino and compared them to the Olympica III. I also auditioned the Spendor D9.
Olympica is too muddy and veiled compared the Serafino (I know it is not a fair comparison).
The D9 was too close to the Serafino!

The Serafino has a HUGE soundstage and nice details with wonderful FULL body sound. My love to this speaker made me to consider the SF Guarneri Tradition. My assumption that the Guarneri will throw a better image and stage compared to the Serafino, given that they might disappear easily due to the small size and the new sleek carbon fibre stands.
  1. I do have 2 REL/SHO 5 subs and if I get the Guarneri with the subs, will it be good enough as the Serafino?
  2. Any idea how is the Sopra 1 compare to the Guarneri Tradition?
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,873
106
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#2
Hi Sonic,

Great choices. I am going to share only part of an answer since i have not spent time with the Spendor or Serafino. I HAVE owned the Guarneri original and used a Velodyne DD18 sub with it. Others here have done something similar.

Overall, i think the answer is: it depends. Is that solution the most seamless? No...did i care when i got a huge uplift in soundstage, breadth/depth of sound as well as scale/bass? No. Definitely no. I loved it.

You potentially could do even better than that with dual subs if you set that up really well.

As for vs Serafino...i can only say that it would have taken far more than any single pair of speakers made by SF at that time to beat (for me) that combination. The closest was the SF Strad if that gives you any idea of my own personal preferences. No...the G/Sub combo did not have the coherency of the SF Amati...but it DID provide me with more of what i wanted...scale, bass power and the intimacy i preferred in the SF Gs over the Amati. (And its refinement made me completely skip over the other lines of speakers by SF at that time.) Only the SF Strad's truly powerful upper bass and lower mid made me realize 'what was missing'.

Again, not a complete answer by any stretch, but at least one person's thoughts on G + Sub along with my own experience on how i felt it compared with the then current speakers available from SF.
 
Mar 1, 2017
18
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#3
Hi Sonic,

Great choices. I am going to share only part of an answer since i have not spent time with the Spendor or Serafino. I HAVE owned the Guarneri original and used a Velodyne DD18 sub with it. Others here have done something similar.

Overall, i think the answer is: it depends. Is that solution the most seamless? No...did i care when i got a huge uplift in soundstage, breadth/depth of sound as well as scale/bass? No. Definitely no. I loved it.

You potentially could do even better than that with dual subs if you set that up really well.

As for vs Serafino...i can only say that it would have taken far more than any single pair of speakers made by SF at that time to beat (for me) that combination. The closest was the SF Strad if that gives you any idea of my own personal preferences. No...the G/Sub combo did not have the coherency of the SF Amati...but it DID provide me with more of what i wanted...scale, bass power and the intimacy i preferred in the SF Gs over the Amati. (And its refinement made me completely skip over the other lines of speakers by SF at that time.) Only the SF Strad's truly powerful upper bass and lower mid made me realize 'what was missing'.

Again, not a complete answer by any stretch, but at least one person's thoughts on G + Sub along with my own experience on how i felt it compared with the then current speakers available from SF.

Thanks a lot!

Bare with me plz as I really appreciate your help and advice.
What speakers you are using now and how they are compared to the G + subs?
When you say that the G + Subs was intimate, could you plz elaborate more about the term intimate?
Sometimes I think that getting the G for this high price is ridiculous, given that I can get one of Wilson's full speakers for the same price. But again I can't audition the Wilson in my city but had the chance to listen to it in an audio show longtime ago. It was great but can't recall the sound to compare it to the G.

I ca trade in my REL SHO5 subs + my current speakers (German Physiks HRS130) to get the Serafino.
 
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LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,873
106
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#4
Happy to be helpful if I can be. Interestingly, I went to SF Strads...and then to Wilson X1s (all second hand at deep discounts.) I will say, if you have the size, you CAN get more bang for your buck in terms of all-out dynamics...but if you wish to get the Gs...you will find they have a level of refinement, articulation and the ability in smaller music ensembles to create an atmosphere in your room that is incredibly alluring...magic. That is what i mean by intimate. It has a magic that is very special on smaller ensembles that is unique...truly unique. Kind of like when people speak of the old Quad 57s.

But if you want bang for buck and get an older 2nd hand Wilson...you can certainly find dynamics, greater range but it may be more than a challenge (for the same money that you can spend in a 2nd hand G) to get something that can reproduce the female vocal so beautifully or recreate a scaled version of a jazz ensemble so intricately.

Hope that helps illustrate.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,873
106
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#5
For me personally, providing i had sub (you do)...i would personally have not gone with smaller Wilsons and sub...i would have stuck with the Gs + Sub. It was only when i got up to the X1s that I found with incredibly good setup...it was more than a match for the G in all of the ways the G is beautiful, but gave me scale, dynamics, power and effortlessness that is addictive.

I know at least one owner of Gs who finds the Wilson tweeter to be too much hardness...I have not heard that in my system. I may be less sensitive to it...and I do use Zanden digital, CJ front end and Gryphon amplification...so it might be that, in fact, i DO hear it...and have set up my entire system to balance itself.
 
May 30, 2010
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Portugal
#6
I have no experience with the Serafino's, but have listened several times to the Amati Tradition . Great speaker, a true full range speaker disappearing completely in the room. IMHO it disappears better than the small Guarneri's, as its bass creates a solid soundstage, where you feel real performers, and the recording atmosphere it brings to your room in the bass frequencies helps a lot the feeling of absence of speakers.

I have hosted the Amati Futura's for a few months some years ago - IMHO the Tradition's are less treble shy than the previous generation.
 

DaveyF

Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2010
6,135
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La Jolla, Calif USA
#7
As an owner of the GH’s and having heard the GE’s ( not the Traditions), I can state that i would definitely go for these two over the Serafino’s...which I have also heard.
With G’s you get a very refined and resolved sound, more so than with almost any other member of the SF family. I run mine with a pair of smaller REL subs, and I use primarily a tube based system to run the GH’s.
Room size is quite critical with G’s...they seem to respond better in a small to medium sized room. IME, room acoustic treatments are also necessary to get them to give off their best in imaging.
I don’t actually think that a large single sub is the best way to go with the G’s, as the sub needs to be able to match the speed of the mains...and again IME, the larger subs tend to be also the slowest ( although some of the larger REL’s are pretty fast, but then the room size has to be considered).
All of this may not be the case with the new Traditions, so as usual, a home audition is a must, imho.
 
Mar 1, 2017
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#8
As an owner of the GH’s and having heard the GE’s ( not the Traditions), I can state that i would definitely go for these two over the Serafino’s...which I have also heard.
With G’s you get a very refined and resolved sound, more so than with almost any other member of the SF family. I run mine with a pair of smaller REL subs, and I use primarily a tube based system to run the GH’s.
Room size is quite critical with G’s...they seem to respond better in a small to medium sized room. IME, room acoustic treatments are also necessary to get them to give off their best in imaging.
I don’t actually think that a large single sub is the best way to go with the G’s, as the sub needs to be able to match the speed of the mains...and again IME, the larger subs tend to be also the slowest ( although some of the larger REL’s are pretty fast, but then the room size has to be considered).
All of this may not be the case with the new Traditions, so as usual, a home audition is a must, imho.
My room is 15 ft by 22 ft
I do have 2 subs (REL SHO/5) hopefully they can sync seamlessly with the G Tradition, what do u think?

But why did u like the G over the Serafino? What about the stage and image compared to the Serafino?

Something that I don’t understand, how come the are different but at the same time they share the same Tweeter and mid driver?
 

DaveyF

Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2010
6,135
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La Jolla, Calif USA
#9
I like the GH and the GE over the Serafino, I have not heard the Tradition.
IMO, the GH is the best of the lot, superior to the other non Franco designs.
When I heard the Serafino’s, I thought they were less capable in the upper end reach and imaging than the GE’s. The GH’s are in another league completely to the GE’s, IMO.
Remember, I am biased as I own the GH’s and think they are Franco’s crowning achievement in a small speaker. Slightly better than the amazing SF Extremas of the day...and all other stand mount speakers that have followed.
Like i stated before, asking these questions on a forum is a point of interest, but I highly recommend that you audition the Traditions in your system and with your room, before coming to a conclusion. With two REL subs in your room, I would think they would be excellent, assuming all else is up to the task. Only way to know...is to listen for yourself.
 

gsamati

New Member
Jan 10, 2019
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#10
During last 10 years I had almost all SF speakers in my house with the exception of GH and Stradivari.
I extensively heard latest tradition series and like them a lot. Currently have SF Amati Tradition.
I disagree with the statement above that GH or GE are better than Serafinos. I had GE in my room for a year and a half with two REL S3 SHO subs driven by Gryphon diablo 300 . Good imaging but muddy bass not matter what I did (including bass traps, cables changes and other tweaks) and rolled off highs/ When I got Serafinos, first 5 min after removing GE, I heard better articulation, better highs and tighter, deeper bass to the point that I sold my RELs. Different league. They imaged great also. What bothered me with Serafinos that sometimes I felt I would prefer deeper bass (btw they were also driven by latest Gryphon diablo 300). Long story short, I now have the latest Amati Tradition after hearing some good brands like MAgico S3 MK2, Canton 3k ref, Revel Salons 2, and totally agree with the post above that they are ( to my big surprise) totally disappear in my 14WX25L room. I thought I will have to put more bass traps and do some additional isolation tweaks - no - they have the best, deepest and tightest bass I had ever in my system. Yes may be in compare with Magico and Wilson, the high freq. are not as pronounced, but they are sweet, and totally balanced with everything else. I can listen for hours. Also (to me) what separates the Sonus Faber from others in this range is that wonderful natural tone when listening acoustical instruments
I may get a different amplification instead of pass int-250 in the future, even so its great, but always wanted to try monos, but otherwise I'm very happy with Amati Tradition and btw, yes they are better than Amati Aniversarious - the biggest difference is air and articulation and of course top end is more extended. So my advise - go all the way and get Amati - end of the game for me as far as speakers go.
 
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DaveyF

Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2010
6,135
133
63
La Jolla, Calif USA
#11
During last 10 years I had almost all SF speakers in my house with the exception of GH and Stradivari.
I extensively heard latest tradition series and like them a lot. Currently have SF Amati Tradition.
I disagree with the statement above that GH or GE are better than Serafinos. I had GE in my room for a year and a half with two REL S3 SHO subs driven by Gryphon diablo 300 . Good imaging but muddy bass not matter what I did (including bass traps, cables changes and other tweaks) and rolled off highs/ When I got Serafinos, first 5 min after removing GE, I heard better articulation, better highs and tighter, deeper bass to the point that I sold my RELs. Different league. They imaged great also. What bothered me with Serafinos that sometimes I felt I would prefer deeper bass (btw they were also driven by latest Gryphon diablo 300). Long story short, I now have the latest Amati Tradition after hearing some good brands like MAgico S3 MK2, Canton 3k ref, Revel Salons 2, and totally agree with the post above that they are ( to my big surprise) totally disappear in my 14WX25L room. I thought I will have to put more bass traps and do some additional isolation tweaks - no - they have the best, deepest and tightest bass I had ever in my system. Yes may be in compare with Magico and Wilson, the high freq. are not as pronounced, but they are sweet, and totally balanced with everything else. I can listen for hours. Also (to me) what separates the Sonus Faber from others in this range is that wonderful natural tone when listening acoustical instruments
I may get a different amplification instead of pass int-250 in the future, even so its great, but always wanted to try monos, but otherwise I'm very happy with Amati Tradition and btw, yes they are better than Amati Aniversarious - the biggest difference is air and articulation and of course top end is more extended. So my advise - go all the way and get Amati - end of the game for me as far as speakers go.

Pity that you did NOT have the GH's or the Strads in your house, then it would have truly been game over.
 
Aug 9, 2018
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#12
I love my Guarneri.

I think they have a more accurate and faster sound. Compared to Serafino and Amati.
But the right amp is very important.
 

DaveyF

Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2010
6,135
133
63
La Jolla, Calif USA
#13
I love my Guarneri.

I think they have a more accurate and faster sound. Compared to Serafino and Amati.
But the right amp is very important.
Agreed. Guarneri’s, like most highly revealing speakers, are very susceptible to amp synergy. Get it wrong, and you only get to hear a fraction of what they can do.
I would add that Guarneris, again like most highly revealing speakers, will react very positively to room acoustics and room treatments. Unfortunately, IME, Guarneri’s are not just plunk it down in the room and enjoy the results type of speaker. IMO, they are like a race car, you have to tune it...and know how to drive it, to get the best out of it. IMHO.
 

Annapurna

New Member
Mar 19, 2018
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#14
I used to have a pair of Guarneri Homage (GH) (without sub) for many years before it was replaced eventually by Amati Futura. Futura sounded significantly better in my setup as compared to GH. It can play much louder without compression, better dynamics, better highs and lows and the scale is so much bigger. GH does image slightly better with more pinpoint imaging but in terms of soundstage width and depth, Futura is superior. I have friends who are using subwoofer in their system with huge speakers and it does improve the sound of their setup, system has more power, more dynamics and sound like it has plenty of reserve. Their main speakers are XLF with JL Audio and Kharma Exquisite Extreme Grand Limited with JL Gotham. So do experiment the subwooder with the Guarneri or even with the Serafino.
 

DaveyF

Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2010
6,135
133
63
La Jolla, Calif USA
#15
I used to have a pair of Guarneri Homage (GH) (without sub) for many years before it was replaced eventually by Amati Futura. Futura sounded significantly better in my setup as compared to GH. It can play much louder without compression, better dynamics, better highs and lows and the scale is so much bigger. GH does image slightly better with more pinpoint imaging but in terms of soundstage width and depth, Futura is superior. I have friends who are using subwoofer in their system with huge speakers and it does improve the sound of their setup, system has more power, more dynamics and sound like it has plenty of reserve. Their main speakers are XLF with JL Audio and Kharma Exquisite Extreme Grand Limited with JL Gotham. So do experiment the subwooder with the Guarneri or even with the Serafino.

Interesting. In a much larger room, I would agree that the Amati Futura would be more appropriate for the space ( although I don't agree that the highs or dynamics are better). In a medium to small room, IME the GH's are far more suited. The GH's, again IME, are more of a piece and can re-create timbre with much better accuracy. The addition of a sub ( or two, as in my case) brings the slightly missing bottom end between 30Hz and 45Hz back into play. The Amati Futura's will scale down into the low 30Hz without a sub.
 

ym2000

New Member
Feb 17, 2019
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#16
I'm actually in the same search. Not sure if by now you made your decision - I started with Olympica then Olympica III until Guarneri Tradition. Last week I got a chance to listen to Serafino Traditions and was blown away. My room size is 17 by 14 so unfortunately Amati would totally dominate the space considering its also our home library. The components I have are C2600 and 462 amp from Mcintosh. I'm sooooo close to calling my dealer and just placing the order....
 
Mar 1, 2017
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#17
I'm actually in the same search. Not sure if by now you made your decision - I started with Olympica then Olympica III until Guarneri Tradition. Last week I got a chance to listen to Serafino Traditions and was blown away. My room size is 17 by 14 so unfortunately Amati would totally dominate the space considering its also our home library. The components I have are C2600 and 462 amp from Mcintosh. I'm sooooo close to calling my dealer and just placing the order....
After auditioning many speakers, no way I buy The Olympica i or ii or iii
I find The Olympica line veiled and coloured. The whole Olympica line doesn’t represent the new sound signature of Sonus Faber.
If you want to know what is the new sound signature of SF, listen to the new Sonetto OR the Serafino.
 

ym2000

New Member
Feb 17, 2019
6
3
3
45
#18
After auditioning many speakers, no way I buy The Olympica i or ii or iii
I find The Olympica line veiled and coloured. The whole Olympica line doesn’t represent the new sound signature of Sonus Faber.
If you want to know what is the new sound signature of SF, listen to the new Sonetto OR the Serafino.
Oh I agree. Im choosing only between Guarneri and Serafino.
 

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