Sonus Faber Liuto Monitor vs Cremona Auditor M: Opinions please

paolo

New Member
Nov 7, 2016
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#1
I'm new to this forum. I own and greatly enjoy a pair of the Liuto monitors in a small dedicated listening room. Electronics are excellent 120 WPC tube mono amps and a significantly upgraded octal tube preamp.

I may have the opportunity to purchase a pair of Cremona Auditor M's but I will not be able to audition them at home to compare. To those who are familiar with both speakers, would you say that the Cremona Auditor M's will be a significant improvement or should I consider other, more expensive SF monitors? I listen to many types of music, no heavy metal, and very little rock. I rarely listen at volumes higher than 75 decibels as measured by a Triplett SoniCheck.

I am not at all unhappy with the Liutos but since I very much like Sonus Faber, I'm intrigued with exploring their more expensive small speakers. Budget is no more than 5K so I'm talking used. I confess to being enamored with the SF "gestalt" especially after having lived and worked in Italy some years ago. Yeah, I love Ferraris, great pasta and red wine as well. :)

Thanks in advance.
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#2
Good luck and have been a big fan and owner of SF for many years. Having compared the Cremona with the SF Guarneri (both of which can be bought 2nd hand for around your budget if you negotiate hard), i can definitely say both are great with the right accompanying electronics. All things being equal, i would say the G's have a depth of tone and a sheer quality and refinement of sound that can be magic in comparison with the Cremona. However, that is a personal opinion.

In particular the Gs have a good chance of responding very well to your amp if its got high current and good grip as a tubed amp. By contrast, while i have heard the Cremona's with ARC tubes, a number of us were surprised to find we preferred the Cremona with a high powerered Krell beast that really seemed to make the Cremona sit up and sing. Still not the same organic tonal quality of a G, but it seemed to respond much better to the Krell than the G which seemed equally at home with the ARC tubes if not perhaps more so.

my two cents. good luck. there is a pair of Guarneri Mementos asking 6K on Audiogon so depends on if you can negotiate hard there.
 

paolo

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Nov 7, 2016
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#3
It looks as if I will indeed be getting a pair of Cremona Auditor M's much sooner than I anticipated, and at a price that fits nicely within our fixed-income budget. I figured I'd regret not seizing the opportunity. I'm also a fan of Magnepans, I have MMG's and considered .7's but in my small room, a pair of beautiful monitors is more appealing due to visual aesthetics. This enhances my listening experience, unless I'm listening with my eyes closed with the lights off. :) I'm a visual person (advertising photographer for many years) It's hard to ignore panels even as small as the MMG's no matter how much I might enjoy their musical presentation.

I don't often change my audio components, but I won't rule out venturing even further up the Sonus Faber line someday after I've lived with the Cremona M's for a while. What a great hobby we have!

I will report back as soon as possible. Thanks for your feedback LL21.
 
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paolo

New Member
Nov 7, 2016
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#4
[I will report back as soon as possible. Thanks for your feedback LL21.[/QUOTE]

In this sadly imperfect world, the Cremonas are ridiculously close to perfection in my home with my electronics. They are close to electrostatics in detail and have no "sweet spot". They are not at all analytical like some electrostatics I've auditioned. The soundstage is wide, spacious, and properly tall. High frequencies are smoother than with the Liutos. The overall sound is simply "more" - more body, more cohesiveness.

It will be great fun to "dial -in" the Auditor M's. The Cremonas truly "disappear" and I've just started to experiment with placement and to a lesser degree with cables. I plan to do a bit of sound treatment in the room as well. I listen generally at no more than 70db.

Except for lowest bass, it's all there. I have no plans on employing subwoofers.
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,550
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#5
I will report back as soon as possible. Thanks for your feedback LL21.
In this sadly imperfect world, the Cremonas are ridiculously close to perfection in my home with my electronics. They are close to electrostatics in detail and have no "sweet spot". They are not at all analytical like some electrostatics I've auditioned. The soundstage is wide, spacious, and properly tall. High frequencies are smoother than with the Liutos. The overall sound is simply "more" - more body, more cohesiveness.

It will be great fun to "dial -in" the Auditor M's. The Cremonas truly "disappear" and I've just started to experiment with placement and to a lesser degree with cables. I plan to do a bit of sound treatment in the room as well. I listen generally at no more than 70db.

Except for lowest bass, it's all there. I have no plans on employing subwoofers.

Congrats!!! Sounds like a great choice...enjoy!
 

paolo

New Member
Nov 7, 2016
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#6
Thank you LL21.

Just an update. I moved the Cremona M’s further out into the room- they were about 3’ now they are 4’. The room measures only 11’ wide with the speakers 22" to center of tweeter from the side walls. I like it. I’m using 12awg magnet wire for speaker cable and they like it. :) I have floor to ceiling tube traps in the corners of the front wall. At the moment I’m listening to Christopher Parkening through Spotify with a MicroMega myDAC and running Amarra sQ+ flat.

Lovely.

Man, dialing in these new-to-me speakers is an enormous amount of fun. So easy compared to a lot of other speakers I've owned.
 

ptrck887

New Member
Jul 8, 2016
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#7
Hi Paolo,
I own both Cremona Auditor M's and about 6 months ago upgraded to Guarneri Evolutions...small treated room (16x11) paired them with REL G2 subs and Mcintosh 601 monoblocks. I can tell you those little Monitors LOVED that much power....they were stunning. I shocked a lot of audiophile buddies with the 3D soundstage they projected with detail and imaging that were out standing. I like the bigger sound of the Guaneri's but I have to say for 25% of the price, the Auditor M's are one of those sleepers in the audiophile world. Enjoy them! They are spectacular speakers!
 

paolo

New Member
Nov 7, 2016
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#8
Hi Paolo,
I own both Cremona Auditor M's and about 6 months ago upgraded to Guarneri Evolutions...small treated room (16x11) paired them with REL G2 subs and Mcintosh 601 monoblocks. I can tell you those little Monitors LOVED that much power....they were stunning. I shocked a lot of audiophile buddies with the 3D soundstage they projected with detail and imaging that were out standing. I like the bigger sound of the Guaneri's but I have to say for 25% of the price, the Auditor M's are one of those sleepers in the audiophile world. Enjoy them! They are spectacular speakers!
Thank you so much for your comments. My mono tube amps are in the phenomenally capable hands of one of the original designers. They are being significantly upgraded and customized to suit my listening preferences. I should have them back in a few weeks and can't wait to hear the Auditor M's anew. I will report back. :) My god, what a fun hobby this is!
 

ptrck887

New Member
Jul 8, 2016
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#9
Look forward to your report....interesting side note. For my B'day my wife bought me a Fitbit...fun to track and I'v noticed my lowest heart rate numbers have been while listening to music!
 

paolo

New Member
Nov 7, 2016
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#10
Look forward to your report....interesting side note. For my B'day my wife bought me a Fitbit...fun to track and I'v noticed my lowest heart rate numbers have been while listening to music!
Well, here it is, damn near a year later. I'm remiss in not posting sooner. My upgraded tube amps are a magical match with my Cremona Auditor M's. I've been living with the pairing for about the past nine months- usually listening many hours a day. This is the first time in all my years of participation in the world of two-channel home audio, that I finally feel that the sound of reproduced music in my home is completely satisfactory. Some might say that the the upgraded amps and Sonus Faber are "too much of a good thing" but not me. :) I'll spare you any further superlatives except to say that I'm thrilled, and appropriately enough for the season, extremely thankful.
 

DaveyF

Active Member
Aug 1, 2010
5,647
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La Jolla, Calif USA
#11
Well, here it is, damn near a year later. I'm remiss in not posting sooner. My upgraded tube amps are a magical match with my Cremona Auditor M's. I've been living with the pairing for about the past nine months- usually listening many hours a day. This is the first time in all my years of participation in the world of two-channel home audio, that I finally feel that the sound of reproduced music in my home is completely satisfactory. Some might say that the the upgraded amps and Sonus Faber are "too much of a good thing" but not me. :) I'll spare you any further superlatives except to say that I'm thrilled, and appropriately enough for the season, extremely thankful.
Paolo, SF monitors love tube amps. Also, the further you can get them away from the rear wall, the better. BTW, I wouldn’t discount the use of subwoofers. In my small dedicated room, a pair of REL subwoofers work very well with my SF GH’s. Cremona Auditor’s, like G’s, lack the ability to go much below 45Hz...and there is a lot of foundation of music below 45Hz!
 

paolo

New Member
Nov 7, 2016
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#12
Paolo, SF monitors love tube amps. Also, the further you can get them away from the rear wall, the better. BTW, I wouldn’t discount the use of subwoofers. In my small dedicated room, a pair of REL subwoofers work very well with my SF GH’s. Cremona Auditor’s, like G’s, lack the ability to go much below 45Hz...and there is a lot of foundation of music below 45Hz!
Hi Davey,
Thank you for your post. I have the CAM's out about 4' from the front wall and about 1.5' from the side walls. Toe-in is such that when seated in an equilateral triangle, I don't see any of the inner side of the speakers. I do have a pair of Andrew Jones powered subs which I'm considering employing. The room is sparse except for some ASC tube traps in the front corners and in the middle of the front wall, which has a large window. I may construct some acoustic panels using thick batting and experiment with those.

And of course, there's always the question of how much improvement I'd get if I were to step up in the SF monitor line. :). Meanwhile, I'm awaiting news of a significant upgrade for my MFA tube preamp. Once the audio engineer/designer who is developing the modification tells me it's ready, I think that's where I'd put my money- not speakers.

One question: where are your RELs positioned?

Thanks again.
Paolo
 

ptrck887

New Member
Jul 8, 2016
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#13
REL / SF pairings

Hi Davey,
Thank you for your post. I have the CAM's out about 4' from the front wall and about 1.5' from the side walls. Toe-in is such that when seated in an equilateral triangle, I don't see any of the inner side of the speakers. I do have a pair of Andrew Jones powered subs which I'm considering employing. The room is sparse except for some ASC tube traps in the front corners and in the middle of the front wall, which has a large window. I may construct some acoustic panels using thick batting and experiment with those.

And of course, there's always the question of how much improvement I'd get if I were to step up in the SF monitor line. :). Meanwhile, I'm awaiting news of a significant upgrade for my MFA tube preamp. Once the audio engineer/designer who is developing the modification tells me it's ready, I think that's where I'd put my money- not speakers.

One question: where are your RELs positioned?

Thanks again.
Paolo
Hi Paolo,
Great to here all is well in your listening world....when I purchased my REL G-2's I was lucky enough to have the REL guy there when I picked them up. They had a pair of CAM's there so we matched them up. REL's slightly behind the CAM's and to the outside (6" - 8") off each...as I recall crossover between 45 - 50 depending on room. In my listening room they are set up on the diagonal of each corner toed in off the diagonal pointing approx at my shoulders. Totally seamless and for a small room incredible bass. REL and Sonus Faber enjoy a great synergy!
Enjoy!
 

paolo

New Member
Nov 7, 2016
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#14
Hi Paolo,
Great to here all is well in your listening world....when I purchased my REL G-2's I was lucky enough to have the REL guy there when I picked them up. They had a pair of CAM's there so we matched them up. REL's slightly behind the CAM's and to the outside (6" - 8") off each...as I recall crossover between 45 - 50 depending on room. In my listening room they are set up on the diagonal of each corner toed in off the diagonal pointing approx at my shoulders. Totally seamless and for a small room incredible bass. REL and Sonus Faber enjoy a great synergy!
Enjoy!
Thank you, ptrck. I hooked up my Andrew Jones 8" powered subs. They are placed in diagonal corners of the room. Upper right, and lower left. I'm crossing them over at about 65 and have been adjusting the volume knobs on the subs to achieve as seamless integration as possible. So far, so good. I'm liking what I'm hearing. Not looking for drama but simply more bottom.

Funny: I had one surprise the other day while listening to Faure's Requiem. I had my eyes closed and was floating along with the music when all of a sudden, the organ kicked in with some very low notes, which gave me a bit of a jolt. Hadn't hear those notes before with just the CAM's. :)
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,550
2
38
#15
Thank you, ptrck. I hooked up my Andrew Jones 8" powered subs. They are placed in diagonal corners of the room. Upper right, and lower left. I'm crossing them over at about 65 and have been adjusting the volume knobs on the subs to achieve as seamless integration as possible. So far, so good. I'm liking what I'm hearing. Not looking for drama but simply more bottom.

Funny: I had one surprise the other day while listening to Faure's Requiem. I had my eyes closed and was floating along with the music when all of a sudden, the organ kicked in with some very low notes, which gave me a bit of a jolt. Hadn't hear those notes before with just the CAM's. :)
Fantastic...when i had SF's i definitely ran them with a big Velodyne and it was a great combination. Enjoy!
 

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