Sonus Faber Stradivari ....

joeinid

Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2011
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#1
OMG! I saw and heard these stunning speakers today.
This is the second time I've heard them and I love these things.

Am I crazy to think about them? Are they still competitive today considering Magico S3/S5 and Wilson Alexia?

The Sonus Faber Stradivari were one of the only two speakers to give me goosebumps. Serious goose bumps. I can only imagine how perfect they'd be with my CJ GAT/ART monos.

Does anyone here own them now? Have you had them and moved on? Thoughts? What amp/preamp are you using with them? What do you recommend?





Sensitivity:
92dB, 1W/1m

Nominal Impedance:
4 ohms

Power Handling:
Minimum amplifier 30W, Maximum Amplifier 300W without clipping.

Frequency Response:
22Hz - 40kHz
 
May 30, 2010
16,748
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#2
I owned them some years ago in the exquisite black graphite finish. Great speakers, but needed a lot of power. IMHO they sounded much better with solid state than with tubes and asked for a large room. They sounded big and transparent, but lacked the full range coherence, fine layering capability and the "being there" of the Aida's or Alexia's. IMHO the current Amati Futura is a better speaker than the Stradivari.
 

JackD201

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
11,644
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Manila, Philippines
#4
For my tastes, I'd take your TAD CR1s to the Strads any day of the week. Then again, you already have one so the more the merrier. :D

If I were to go with a mid sized SF, it wouldn't be an SF. It would be the Ktema.
 

asiufy

Industry Expert/VIP Donor
Jul 8, 2011
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#5
I disagree.
The Stradivari is still the best Sonus faber I've heard.
A friend still has them, paired with Krell 900 monoblocks, and a VTL tube pre. It's simply exquisite. Vocals are to die for, with a very clear sense of presence, and when positioned properly in a suitable room, they'll provide solid bass extension, though not the same punch as a more recent speaker, like the SF Amati Futura.
I don't think they're comparable to Magicos, but if we're talking about "voiced" speakers, I'd take a Stradi any day over any current SF speaker, or WA for that matter.


alexandre
 

joeinid

Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2011
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#6
For my tastes, I'd take your TAD CR1s to the Strads any day of the week. Then again, you already have one so the more the merrier. :D

If I were to go with a mid sized SF, it wouldn't be an SF. It would be the Ktema.
Technically my TAD CR-1's are amazing but not emotional for me. I still feel the treble is a little too forward for my taste. I have SF Evolutions and love their sound. Maybe I am craving "more".

I disagree.
The Stradivari is still the best Sonus faber I've heard.
A friend still has them, paired with Krell 900 monoblocks, and a VTL tube pre. It's simply exquisite. Vocals are to die for, with a very clear sense of presence, and when positioned properly in a suitable room, they'll provide solid bass extension, though not the same punch as a more recent speaker, like the SF Amati Futura.
I don't think they're comparable to Magicos, but if we're talking about "voiced" speakers, I'd take a Stradi any day over any current SF speaker, or WA for that matter.


alexandre
The Strads have something that I crave. I guess that is enough. I plan on doing more listening to S3/S5 and others before I jump too quickly this time.
 

DaveyF

Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2010
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La Jolla, Calif USA
#7
Technically my TAD CR-1's are amazing but not emotional for me. I still feel the treble is a little too forward for my taste. I have SF Evolutions and love their sound. Maybe I am craving "more".



The Strads have something that I crave. I guess that is enough. I plan on doing more listening to S3/S5 and others before I jump too quickly this time.
When you say you have the SF evolutions, I presume you are talking about the SF guarneri evolutions. IF your room can accommodate the Strad's, they would be an option, however, I would have thought the SF GE's with
a sub would be a better solution. Even though my room cannot accommodate the Strad's, IMO my SF GH's with a sub would my preference over a Strad.

BTW, IF you do go with Strads, i agree with micro....you will need a lot of power and they sound better with ss.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
11,411
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#8
Hi Gents,

I used to own SF Guarneris with a Velodyne DD18, and then came across a great opportunity to audition a demo pair of Strads. We compared with my Guarneri, Quad 2905, Quad 2805, Maxx II and SF Strad. To cut to the chase, the SF was largely an enormous Guarneri...it probably lacked the absolute perfection of evenness across the spectrum that the Guarneri has (for which I feel it is legendary...just so perfectly voiced within its scale). It matched most of the Electrostatic beauty in the uppers/mids but with a fullness where I preferred the sum result of weight in the notes. (ARC Ref electronics here by the way). The MaxxII was clearly the most powerful but it had a hardness that I just could not get past (totally personal view). I felt that other than its ability to play louder, I would take the Strad as a combination of big speaker, full range, and much of the 'perfect voicing' of the Guarneri...perhaps not quite a seamless as the Guarneri...but with a more fulsome lower mid/upper bass and full-range power that I really really enjoyed...kinda like having it all.

By the way, I still used the Velodyne DD18 but obviously completely re-set to accommodate the Strad. It was then that (in my room and in my setup) I realized that the string section of an orchestra had a far greater scale, power that the Guarneris could not match. My room is about 17x35 so if I am playing Dark Knight Soundtrack or another Hans Zimmer soundtrack like Sherlock Holmes, etc...the SF Strads power is welcome.

It was basically having 98% of the Guarneri's magic with tons more power, dynamic scale and attack at my disposal. But you need the room and have to have the desire to use it. Additionally, while the Strad will sound great with many amps...it actually can be quite a difficult load to drive WELL...particularly in the bass. Gryphon Class A showed me that. After a long, long thread of options that I started (Powerful Tube Amp for SF Strads) on Audiogon, I would today conclude CJ ART or Gryphon Colosseum for the Strad.

Joe - since you have the former, give them a shot. No speaker is perfect, but for me, these fall into that special category that stand out over the course of time.
 

asiufy

Industry Expert/VIP Donor
Jul 8, 2011
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570
485
San Diego, CA
almaaudio.com
#9
The Strads have something that I crave. I guess that is enough. I plan on doing more listening to S3/S5 and others before I jump too quickly this time.
Joe,

As I said, way too different speakers, so I guess you'll need to have both, the Stradi and a Magico :)


alexandre
 

joeinid

Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2011
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#10
When you say you have the SF evolutions, I presume you are talking about the SF guarneri evolutions. IF your room can accommodate the Strad's, they would be an option, however, I would have thought the SF GE's with
a sub would be a better solution. Even though my room cannot accommodate the Strad's, IMO my SF GH's with a sub would my preference over a Strad.

BTW, IF you do go with Strads, i agree with micro....you will need a lot of power and they sound better with ss.
I have these ... And really love them. Surprisingly the bass is great for a little speaker. I am not crazy about integrating subs but thought about it. I know the Strads need electronics to balance their sound and plenty of SS power but I am willing to try.





Joe,

As I said, way too different speakers, so I guess you'll need to have both, the Stradi and a Magico :)


alexandre
I was already thinking Alexia and S3/S5. Not sure if I will deviate from that path.
 

BTS

New Member
May 16, 2011
11
0
0
#11
Does anyone here own them now?
Yes, I've been living with Strads in six different rooms, now with my second pair and all they need for some serious singing is space and power.
If you have one hundred qubic meters or more to spare they may sing, IMO there is no point at all to try to make them sing in smaller rooms. I've tried...
In the best of these six rooms wich was the second largest I ended up far away from side walls, 1,2-1,5 meters from the front wall, around two meters or less axis to axis and just a little toe in,
listening distance around two meters and I was there with absolute 3D-holograpics, sparkling mids and solid lowbass extension as well.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#13
I have these ... And really love them. Surprisingly the bass is great for a little speaker. I am not crazy about integrating subs but thought about it. I know the Strads need electronics to balance their sound and plenty of SS power but I am willing to try.







I was already thinking Alexia and S3/S5. Not sure if I will deviate from that path.
Personally, if we needed a second system, I would have kept the Guarneri's and probably a Velodyne DD18. They are long-term classics, and for someone who seems to enjoy collecting fine audio as well...you might wish to keep your Guarneris regardless of Strad, Alexia or S5. Personally, I would keep the original Guarneris just because they have such a heritage as (imho) Franco Serblin's finest most complete work. I would probably try to find the ones with the additional layer of Ebony in it which probably dates from the late '90s. Overall, I may prefer the Strad as a speaker, but I can point to [small] weaknesses within the spectrum in which it plays...whereas I find exceedingly difficult to do so with the Guarneri and the spectrum within which it plays.
 

DaveyF

Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2010
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La Jolla, Calif USA
#14
Joe, you have a very nice pair of GE's there. I would suggest that you try a REL sub with them. With my GH's the REL works nicely and really brings a lot to the table. The bottom end re-enforcement is what these speaker's need. Perhaps more so with mine, as the originals do not go down much below 50Hz if at all. Yours are a little more full range BUT I think they would benefit greatly as well. Depending on room size,( mine is very small...therefore a REL T5 works well) even the Velod DD18 like Lloyd mentions could be made to work well.
I would be tempted to try that approach first vs. going for the Strads...particularly since you already own the GE's. BTW, what size room are you using for your system?
 

joeinid

Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2011
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#15
Hi Davey,

Thank you. I do have 2 JL Audio F113's which are not hooked up and virtually unused. I do seem to get a surprising amount of bass from the Evos now. I imagine the F113's would do the trick.

My room is 15x22 with a cut out for a closet and bathroom. I am in the process of cleaning out and setting up a finished basement approx 20x30. Anything will work down there.

Joe, you have a very nice pair of GE's there. I would suggest that you try a REL sub with them. With my GH's the REL works nicely and really brings a lot to the table. The bottom end re-enforcement is what these speaker's need. Perhaps more so with mine, as the originals do not go down much below 50Hz if at all. Yours are a little more full range BUT I think they would benefit greatly as well. Depending on room size,( mine is very small...therefore a REL T5 works well) even the Velod DD18 like Lloyd mentions could be made to work well.
I would be tempted to try that approach first vs. going for the Strads...particularly since you already own the GE's. BTW, what size room are you using for your system?
 

DaveyF

Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2010
6,135
142
63
La Jolla, Calif USA
#16
Hi Davey,

Thank you. I do have 2 JL Audio F113's which are not hooked up and virtually unused. I do seem to get a surprising amount of bass from the Evos now. I imagine the F113's would do the trick.

My room is 15x22 with a cut out for a closet and bathroom. I am in the process of cleaning out and setting up a finished basement approx 20x30. Anything will work down there.
Joe, sounds like you have a couple of good size rooms available. With two F113's, you should be able to make the GE's sing. That would be the way that I would proceed before going to the Strads.
 

joeinid

Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2011
1,540
6
395
NY
#17
Joe, sounds like you have a couple of good size rooms available. With two F113's, you should be able to make the GE's sing. That would be the way that I would proceed before going to the Strads.
Thanks Davey,

It's certainly worth a try. I'll hook up the SF Evos to my ART mono amps for fun and see what that gets me. I am SURE it will be wonderful.
 
May 30, 2010
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#18
It is very difficult to separate the emotional from the rational when debating old Sonus Faber speakers. Having owned a lot of their models along thirty years, I still consider that the ex-libris of the collection was the Sonus Faber Extrema with the matching stands. Mainly because they look gorgeous I keep an AV system around the Sonus Faber Amator and Electa with the walnut/stone stands in the living room. But, of all the Sonus Faber's I owned the real gem was the Extrema - it was the only one that could plunge you into music, not just reproduce beautiful music as many others. It was not easy to match, but once the room and system were in tune with them the sound stage was not anymore your room - it would invade your neighbors houses. However I immediately found that its explosive, but very natural sounding dynamics would also invade my neighbor house too easily :eek: and the Extrema's had to go ...

It was nice to find that both the TheSonusfaber (Fenice) and the Aida share this effortless dynamics.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#19
...Having owned a lot of their models along thirty years, I still consider that the ex-libris of the collection was the Sonus Faber Extrema with the matching stands...it was the only one that could plunge you into music, not just reproduce beautiful music as many others...once the room and system were in tune with them the sound stage was not anymore your room - it would invade your neighbors houses...

It was nice to find that both the TheSonusfaber (Fenice) and the Aida share this effortless dynamics.
1. How would you compare the Extrema's with the Aida and the Fenice/Sonus Faber? Most curious!

I have only heard the Aidas, never the Sonus Faber and unfortunately not the Extremas. Though if I could not find the Guarneri's for a second system someday, I feel confident I would try to find (an even rarer) Extrema given how many SF speakers I have heard and enjoyed over the years.

2. BTW, what do you recommend for electronics to drive the Extremas? I think older generation SF mated well with Krell FPB650s and that generation. Your thoughts on this are also welcome!
 

wisnon

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2011
3,217
361
455
#20
For my tastes, I'd take your TAD CR1s to the Strads any day of the week. Then again, you already have one so the more the merrier. :D

If I were to go with a mid sized SF, it wouldn't be an SF. It would be the Ktema.
Oh yes, the Ktemas are the beez neez!
 

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