With Italy’s rich cultural history, there is no shortage of inspiration anywhere. For Sonus faber, the cultural connection has largely centred on violin makers. Guarneri, Amati, and of course the most famous of them all, Stradivari.
The new Stradivari is therefore an homage, as Sonus faber likes to call it, to the world’s most famous violin maker.
The original, the speaker, that is, is almost 20 years old. So it’s not the least bit surprising that a new model in the Homage series is replacing the ageing Stradivari.
The speaker pictured here is a pre-production model, and there may be cosmetic changes to the production model. However, most things are already sorted.
Like a new design with two 26 cm woofers, with Sonus faber’s Dual Drive motor, a new more organically shaped basket, and a lightweight fibre cone in the front.
The two woofers overlap, one playing from 25 to 160 Hz, the other up to 220 Hz, with a 15 cm midrange taking over up to 2200 Hz. The rest of the frequency range up to 35 kHz is handled by a 28 mm tweeter.
The 117.6 cm tall cabinet is 51 cm wide and contains a damped chamber behind the midrange and tweeter – Intono – that lets the air out through a slot on the inside.
That way, Sonus faber believes they can make a simpler crossover and retain the sensitivity, which is quoted at 92 dB, and simply get better control of resonances and compression.
The Stradivari comes in three gorgeous finishes, the red one in the pictures, a grey one simply called graphite, and a wenge-finished wood version.
The price? Yes, it is expensive. A pair of Stradivari is estimated to cost 50,000 Euro, and the speakers can be ordered from selected dealers during June/July.
The pair pictured here were set up with a fairly high-end McIntosh rig, and played so easily and effortlessly that it was almost startling. They were placed in a large room, but had no trouble filling the space with massive bass, explosive dynamics and a generous openness that was refreshing.
We can only look forward to the test.