Sonus Faber Reference Series - Best preamp/amp/integrated options

davros

Well-Known Member
Sep 4, 2014
12
1
208
Wondering what experience members have had with the best matching amplifiers for the Reference Series Sonus Faber speaker range? Referring to models such as IL Cremonese (I own these), Lilium and Aida.

Also be interesting experiences with the new Tradition range Amati or the older Amati models.

My view is the modern Sonus Faber sound, with the right matching electronics, are a far cry from the older SF sound that I personally was never a big fan of although I respect and understand why others would like it.

So far I’ve tried McIntosh 611, Bakoon, Audia Flight Strumento (I own both the stereo amp and preamp), Pass Labs.
Also have a Audio Research Ref 6 that I like for different reasons.

As always, personal preference and room are big factors but as there is little opportunity to demo gear, one is often left buying blind and hoping it works.

User experiences are always helpful and more valuable to me then reviews as I have little faith in most of them.
 
Jun 30, 2020
48
55
20
Berlin, Germany
griggaudio.de
Also be interesting experiences with the new Tradition range Amati or the older Amati models.

I play the Sonus Faber Amati Futura on T + A M10 Monos. Powerful amplifiers are important for the Amatis because the impedance falls below 3 ohms. See Sonus Faber Amati Futura loudspeaker Measurements from stereophile.



The Amatis go deep down to 18Hz. Too much in my room. I correct it digitally (see bold line).



In addition to the precise and deep bass, I love the voices on my amatis. The design speaks for itself.

 
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davros

Well-Known Member
Sep 4, 2014
12
1
208
I play the Sonus Faber Amati Futura on T + A M10 Monos. Powerful amplifiers are important for the Amatis because the impedance falls below 3 ohms. See Sonus Faber Amati Futura loudspeaker Measurements from stereophile.



The Amatis go deep down to 18Hz. Too much in my room. I correct it digitally (see bold line).



In addition to the precise and deep bass, I love the voices on my amatis. The design speaks for itself.

Thanks for the reply. Great set up.
How do you correct it digitally?
 
Jun 30, 2020
48
55
20
Berlin, Germany
griggaudio.de
How do you correct it digitally?
The measurements and filters are created with Acourate. The filters in WAV 384kHz/64bit format are stored in HQPlayer. Alternatively, Roon could be used, but the HQPlayer sounds a lot better.
 

Hiempie

Well-Known Member
May 6, 2016
24
8
85
Hi Davros,

I own now for two years SF Amati Futura. I love the rich bass specialy at low level when my wife is reading a book ...
At high level the bass is sometime to much depents on music.

I use Spectral DMA 260 and DMC 30 SS series 2 it sounds amazing good!!
 

howiebrou

Well-Known Member
Jun 29, 2012
1,865
1,723
550
I owned the SF Aidas for many years. I had Constellation Audio Centaur Monoblocks and also Kondo Kaguras driving them. Quite different but the Aidas sounded great with them.
 
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davros

Well-Known Member
Sep 4, 2014
12
1
208
Cheers.
Some nice options.
Tried a few options and so far my favourite is Audia Flight Strumento MK2, very nice. Not quite as dynamic as the CH and I owned but bit more natural sounding. To be honest, I owned both at the same time and wasn’t much in it. Both great products as I’m sure are the options mentioned above. Matter of taste but like SF with more neutral equipment, room depending of course.
 

Robert Young

New Member
Oct 22, 2020
22
14
3
58
New York CIty
Wondering what experience members have had with the best matching amplifiers for the Reference Series Sonus Faber speaker range? Referring to models such as IL Cremonese (I own these), Lilium and Aida.

Also be interesting experiences with the new Tradition range Amati or the older Amati models.

My view is the modern Sonus Faber sound, with the right matching electronics, are a far cry from the older SF sound that I personally was never a big fan of although I respect and understand why others would like it.

So far I’ve tried McIntosh 611, Bakoon, Audia Flight Strumento (I own both the stereo amp and preamp), Pass Labs.
Also have a Audio Research Ref 6 that I like for different reasons.

As always, personal preference and room are big factors but as there is little opportunity to demo gear, one is often left buying blind and hoping it works.

User experiences are always helpful and more valuable to me then reviews as I have little faith in most of them.
Hi Davros,

I owned Sonus faber Amati Homages (first generation) for almost 15 years, and I'm very sad to have sold them. I used them with amazing results with all-Nagra: PL-P preamp and VPA amps (Synergistic Research interconnects). I sold them too (I know, I know). The quickness and precision of the Nagra equipment was a wonderful compliment to the rich and enveloping majesty of the SFs. I don't think I've ever enjoyed a system more than that one. I should never have sold....:(
 

Emre Üçöz

Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2011
161
1
360
Istanbul
Hi Davros, I've been using SF Stradivari since 2004 and used several amp/preamp combos ranging from MBL9008 A monos, Gryphon Antileon Signature stereo, Boulder 1010, Conrad Johnson Premier Sixteen. But now since many years I've been using Soulution 7 series pre power combo. As above posts SF speakers needs serious SS power and control since its dips very low on impedance.
 

Robert Young

New Member
Oct 22, 2020
22
14
3
58
New York CIty
Hi Davros, I've been using SF Stradivari since 2004 and used several amp/preamp combos ranging from MBL9008 A monos, Gryphon Antileon Signature stereo, Boulder 1010, Conrad Johnson Premier Sixteen. But now since many years I've been using Soulution 7 series pre power combo. As above posts SF speakers needs serious SS power and control since its dips very low on impedance.
Hmmm. My little 50 watt per channel Nagra VPAs were remarkable with SF Amati Homages, and drove them to loudness levels on a par with a live Dinosaur Jr concert...;)Maybe the Amatis are friendlier than the Strads.
 

plasmod3

Active Member
Aug 28, 2020
174
88
28
41
I owned the SF Aidas for many years. I had Constellation Audio Centaur Monoblocks and also Kondo Kaguras driving them. Quite different but the Aidas sounded great with them.
Hi Howie,

What is your experience with the constellations?
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
11,962
740
658
Interestingly, I owned the original Guarneri Homage and the Strad...and spent a reasonable amount of time with the various iterations of other models during that same vintage including the 2-3 generations of the Amati. Never enough to be truly discerning about the differences, but certainly have some sense of my own personal preference in amplification.

The Homage series all sound wonderful with midpowered amps with jazz vocals, string quartets, some pop music. They do...BUT...

- if you find the right high powered amplification something happens to the level of control on complex orchestral pieces...and EVEN those same jazz ensembles.
- There is a level of discipline that comes over the music which retains that wonderful tonality which is so appealing in the SF family
- And a control over complex passages that I find equally beguiling as the level of range of music begins to expand over which you can play the SF speakers and feel like you get all of the reasons you bought them in the first place (most typically that beautiful tone in the mids)...but now with a tighter bass, more varied approach to crescendos and dynamics both macro and micro

And for me, that culminated in Gryphon amplification...darker in the older generation and never got to hear the newer generation with the Strads. But I feel highly confident that a newer generation Gryphon (current or even 1 generation back like Colosseum) would be absolutely the pinnacle (for me) with SF Homage series. I am not very familiar with their current Reference series.
 
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BruceD

VIP/Donor
Dec 13, 2013
1,273
271
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Interesting what you say and found with the SF Guarneri Homages--I own these and use a 23 W Class A Tube amp.

I correlate exactly your comments re the music choices you mention --I possibly listen 60/70 % to those myself and reluctant to run any large score

pieces with the 86db efficiency .I do not run sub -not concerned to get one either at this stage.

GryphonAmps --I find rather nondescript and sort of uninvolving--don't know whether I could go there frankly :( but note your points.

The only time I auditioned one --an Antellion with my Sound lab ESLs --the damn thing kept clicking and shutting down when the going got up to steam? I sorta forgot the brand after that.

I'll keep looking --meantime the SFGH's sing sweetly when not "harassed ":p

Good Listening,

BruceD
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
11,962
740
658
Interesting what you say and found with the SF Guarneri Homages--I own these and use a 23 W Class A Tube amp.

I correlate exactly your comments re the music choices you mention --I possibly listen 60/70 % to those myself and reluctant to run any large score

pieces with the 86db efficiency .I do not run sub -not concerned to get one either at this stage.

GryphonAmps --I find rather nondescript and sort of uninvolving--don't know whether I could go there frankly :( but note your points.

The only time I auditioned one --an Antellion with my Sound lab ESLs --the damn thing kept clicking and shutting down when the going got up to steam? I sorta forgot the brand after that.

I'll keep looking --meantime the SFGH's sing sweetly when not "harassed ":p

Good Listening,

BruceD
Hi BruceD,

I could see that...the Guarneris do not require anywhere near the power/steam of the Strads which I heard with CJ MV60 stereo amp...and then with the Gryphon Antileon. In fact, I never heard the Gs with the Antileon because I had already moved to the Strads with the MV60...and it was the STRADS that led me to look further afield.

I originally wanted high powered tubes for the Strads...in fact, I created a LONG, LONG thread at Audiogon over 10 years ago about it...and after hundreds of posts...I ended up staying away from super-high powered tubes...and went with the Gryphon Antileon. I think for the G, I could easily see myself staying with mid-powered Tubes.
 
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