Need help choosing Sonus Faber Sonetto V or VIII, what amp?

We are putting together a new system and are not hi-fi experts. We have narrowed down speakers to the Sonus Faber Sonetto line, V or VII. We auditioned and ruled out Focal, B&W, Dynaudio due to them being too bright (that was with tube amps). Our room is 16’ by 24, listening area 16’ by 16’, we are aimed into the corner with a corner tv and stereo set up. The room is open design, LR, DR, then kitchen jutting off from DR into L shape. 8’ ceilings. Speakers would be about 10’ apart facing long side wall, not the back of the room. So angled in the room.

We listen to orchestra rock (S. Brightman, Moody Blues), big band (Buble, vintage and current big band), Jazz (Methany, Weather Report), Blues (Beth Hart, Room full of Blues, etc), and some easy stuff, like female vocalists (Julia Fordham). We like robust, orchestrated music with complexity, and then simple stuff.

Is the Sonetto V sufficient, or do we need the VIII? We do not want a subwoofer.

And then what amp? We are being advised McIntosh MA252 or the Rogue Audio Sphinx or Cronus Mag III - the dealers seem to really like these. They are all in our budget, which is somewhere around 10k +/-.

Then there is the cables, how much should we really spend here?

(PS: my ears cannot take the brightness of many speakers we heard, my wife has too many parrots I guess, which are now in a different room).

Appreciate the input and experience, thanks.


Mtbiker29 We are being advised to get a Bluesound Node. And that was another question, is the DAC enough in that component? We are streaming Tidal or another of those low loss. The 252 does not take many inputs and has no additional input for another amp, if we upgraded to say the Olympic Novas, or IIIs. Thank you. 

Go with the MAC amp and use Kimber cables, or Morrow Audio cables as these will work best at not being BRIGHT. Also, The Sonus farbers are easy to drive ,you dont need anything exotic to drive them and the McIntosh will last forever.


Matt M

I have the Sonetto V’s, but accompanied by 2 REL subs.  I’m partial to Chord components and use the Dave DAC, Prima preamp, and Etude amp (150 watts), and I think the exceptional detail of the Chord products pairs very well with the warmth of the SF’s.  My point being that using a brighter amp/preamp created the best of both worlds in terms of detail and warmth.  I disagree about entry level cables.  When I switched from Audio Art speaker cables, which were very good, to Shunyata sigmas (used) the level of improvement was incredible.  Almost a different system. Wide, deep, and refined soundstage.  I plan ultimately to upgrade to a better pair of SF’s, but I’m not in a hurry.  But if you’re not getting subs I’d definitely go with the Sonetto VIII’s.

Thanks. We cannot afford $20,000 plus in stereo components. I am sure the Chords are nice...but wayyyyy out of our budget. Any other suggestions for amp that is more in the under 5k or even lower budget that would do these justice? We bump up to the VIII, but not sure if that would take a diff amp? 

No, I don't think the VIII would require any different amp than the V, as the sensitivity of those speakers is about the same for both of them.