Sonus Faber Stradivari Homage?

i would like to know if the sf strads(or anything really) sound good enough to
justify the price. with tad audio, wilson maxx's, avalon
eidelons, rockports, etc. in that price range, imho spending $40k defies rationality, unless you're trying to move enormous am'ts of air in an unusually large room. if i was a loudspeaker manufacturer, throwing everything i know and the best materials available at the project, i feel i could come up with a pair of speakers for under $30k that could do 20-20 with the utmost transparency and musicality, look beautiful, and complement most living rooms with "average" attention paid to acoustics. i trust m. fremer's descriptions of the sf strads (they image like a "3d curtain wrapped behind the baffles??") about as far as i can throw a piano. the sf amatis at $24,000 didn't make enough bass "in his (stupid) room".
THAT review ended with something like "they were to die for". then he sells those and gets wp-7's. however, the rockport antares, uglier than two 600 POUND(!) gorillas, are his "reference" by which everything else must be judged. so much for s.phile's choice of speaker reviewers... so could any MUSIC lovers who actually owns sf strads comment on their sound, and/or why you chose them over something else? should sf have put a 10 in. woofer in the amati's (i think so.)
should m.fremer do something about his freaking room before they hand him another pair of $40k speakers to review? (i think so.)
btw, have a happy and a healthy....
Ive heared these at the RMAF. Freakin unbelievable sound.
Not to mention they are absolutly stunning to look at, talk about eye candy the same calibur of a ferrari.

If i had the means to afford these you bet yer ass i would be buying them, but when i say "Have the means", to me that means i would be able to drop 40k without blinking an eye cause i got millions in the bank.
I auditioned them with a friend yesterday for 2 hours at a dealer over here in the UK. System: DCS CD/SACD front end, Pathos hybrid monoblocks and valhalla cables and Nordost's new power conditioner. The room was of moderate size with the speakers about 4- 5 feet from the back wall and about 6 feet from the side wall. I found the sound very lush sounding. A bit too warm and not enough transparency for my taste (I currently use Revel Salons driven by Tenor 300HPs). I think M. Fremmer's description was exactly right They are absolutely gogeous to look at, and no doubt quite a bit of the cost is wrapped up in the cosmetics - they are essentially, furniture. While I would not pay that kind of money for them with that kind of sound, I could see people who enjoy that kind of presentation and are looking for speakers for their living room that won't stick out like a sore thumb spending that kind of money. Interestingly, the dealer also sells the Wilson Watt Puppy 7s, which my friend also listened to. Obviously, he got the two extreme ends of the spectrum (which is why I took him to listen to both), so now I'm having him listen to stuff in between (e.g., Von Schweikerts, Kharmas, etc.).
i would make a few additional comments at this point-
1. the strad cabinets imho could be built for $3k-5k each.
that would make them $26k-$30k a pair, not 40.
2. i've never heard a sf speaker driven with anything
other than a solid state amp. i've always found them
(extremas, electa amators, guarneri's) to be very musical
especially considering most people do not place their
systems in padded cells but living rooms with actual
3. the amati's should fill most any room with enough spl's,
and they supposedly go down to 24hz, which is plenty low
(the extremas produce adequate bass, and they only go
down to about 30hz). the strads probably were built to
satisfy the most demanding listeners in the loudness and
low-bass departments.
4. fremer warned about soft-sounding components and cables
partnered with the strads. i don't know if valhallas and
pathos were a good choice or not, but obviously set-up
would be crucial if you're considering speakers that are
this expensive. i have eggleston andra-2's- they sound
great to me (ml-33h amps, ml digital, rowland preamp,
transparent cables, vpi aries). BUT THEY ARE UGLY!!
for almost $20k you would think that....well, they look
better than those rockport antares monsters, that much i
can say. but, i want speakers that look like art. period
exclamation point. i'm spoiled, and i have more
important things to concern myself with, so i will
continue to enjoy the eggs' sound and remind myself that
there are many brands of speakers with 5 figure (and 6
as well) price tags that look like ##$%^%^$!! plus, i
recently heard wilson maxx-2's, with sota components but
a really bad (boomy AND harsh) sounding room. you can
get the wilsons in yellow, ferrari blue, red, titanium,
and/or any color you specify, but i went home after an
ear-bleed audition to relax to music on my "humble"
system, and liked what i was hearing about 2000% more.
so go figure- in your face vs too warm vs keep what i
have. i heard a guitar piece by some guy named martin
taylor last nite that made me shake my head in disbelief.
that was on my tivoli table radio btw. then there was a
piano piece by jennifer williams- my jaw dropped again.
FORGET about components- i need to get some more cds....
I have yet to hear a mediocre Sonus Faber product. I have the Extremas and would love to hear the Stradaveri set up somewhere.
I nominate jeffjarvis's remark above as the Audiogon quote of the year. I'm still smiling over it.
I believe the Stradivari's would be priced at around $26K-30K over in some overseas markets. Considering that everything made here is about double the price overseas. Shipping alone should slap on $1000 each! Then you have customs and taxes, distributor and dealer's cut not to mention exchange rate.

I would love to own the Stradivaris one day in a nicely decorated living room or something and not worry about whether it's worth the money in terms of audiophile sonics. It's so beautiful! Only thing to worry about is the bass might be too much for the untreated room.
"I nominate jeffjarvis's remark above as the Audiogon quote of the year. I'm still smiling over it." Nice, I totally agree! That is funny..

I am huge Sonus Faber Fan as I have owned several of their speakers but $40K is almost enough to get me in the new 2006 Audi S4 I have been lusting over. Although my 2002 Tuned S4 is no slouch. But new S4 or speakers? I will take the car. Public transportation would suck!

I am all for buying best of breed but I just cannot see spending $40K on speakers. MF's review sure makes you think about it but that is a lot of paper for speakers.

Happy Holidays!


The Stradveri will still be sitting in your living room long after the junkyard crusher has had its way with the Audi S4 you lust for. By then, you would then be probably able to sell the Stradaveri's for a decent sum.
Keep them long enough (100+ years) and the furniture portion would probably worth over $ 100,000.00. So, all in all, it's not a bad deal.
Excuse me, but I have to run out now and pick up a pair so I can start making money sooner rather than later.
Rgds, Larry

Good point but I don't know. I usually treat myself to new speakers and gear every year or two. My wife calls it a sickness. I like to try new things. I am sure I would dig em though! Maybe they would stop my wanting to try new speakers.. HMMMM...

Happy New Year!

It's true Sonus Faber build their speakers like furnitures and arts.

It's true you paid a big portion of the bill to the nice cabinets.

It's true the asking price does not reflect the sound quality all the time.

But have you seen a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord to appreciate over time? Isn't some Ferrari overpriced in the beginning and continue to increase its value over time?

I am a big fan of Dynaudio and Sonus Faber, the two extreme of speaker manufacturing. But Dynaudio depreciate like any other products especially when replacement model is substaintially better. Check out Sonus Faber's used value here. You are buying art, and art is priceless often time.
From reading articles about Sonus Faber, I hope they've made a concerted effort to train a new breed of cabinet makers. That kind of cabinet making skill is going to become a lost art very soon.
Get the Stradaveri and use the change to get your wife into therapy so she can see things more clearly (as you and I do).
Rgds, Larry
I get the impression that those,critical of the pricing of this speaker,would love nothing more than to own a pair.Myself included.Cabinet cost IS what drives the prices of this level product.Take a look at other competition like the hideously expensive Kharma Exquisite series,or,Wilson products,Avalon(which I own),the Utopia series from JM Labs and the BEAUTIFUL Venture Aodio stuff.Also,the American dollar is weak overseas,so,why be so tough on a product that all in all seems to be priced quite competitively(most high end stuff is way overpriced,but,elite moving coil cartridges seem to be doing well,and look at those prices).The only company that I know of,but,have not heard product from,that seems to have GORGEOUS cabinetry and design integrity is the usher stuff.
I recently bought a pair of Guarneri's for my computer room and I have been smiling from ear to ear ever since.
This company makes magical sounding speakers and they are works of art. They are like Ferrari's. You should just buy them , enjoy the sound , beauty and I'm sure they would be a conversation piece when entertaining (instead of all those awful looking ..rockport,maax etc).
There is a special passion that surrounds Sonus Faber, maybe its cremona history or old violin makers. With that seductive refined elegant sound.

You are so right on with your post. I bet they sound wonderful. I have own three pair of their speakers now and currently own the Grand Pianos and love them. My local dealer (JSAUDIO) has a pair of the Amati Homage on display and to this date; they are the FINEST speaker I have ever heard. They disappear and are voiced so seductively.

Not to mention, the dynamics and imaging are just incredible. Anyway, the good things in life are never cheap. Sonus Faber Speakers are no exception.

Note that Jonathan Valin, who wrote the cover story (a rave review) in the Absolute Sound for the Stradivaris followed up in the Jan 2005 issue that, overall, he prefers the Kharma 3.2CRMs, at about half the price.
J.Valin,to me,seems to be a totally self serving reviewer.I bet he fantasizes about replacing HP as the next great guru.You look at his personal(on permanent loan)stuff and it all consists of the stuff GTT Audio makes the most bucks from. From stupid/sheeplike hobbyists, who get off on seeing the latest reviewed product in their listening rooms.Time to wake up, actually "listen-up".These reviewers are to a good extent only hobbyists,like you and me.But,they do get great pricing!!
I heared these a the rocky mountain audio fest... they sound fantastic and look incredible.
I see nothing wrong with flippin the extra cost of the craftmanship and sheer beauty. Of course, i could never afford these myself, but if i could i sure as hell would buy em.

people drop a lot more money than that on pretty things that have no function.
Well, that may be true, but, for what it's worth, his review & continuing comments on the Kharma 3.2s (that I now happily own, partly based on his recommendation) were right on the money, so I respect his ears & writing talents. (Along with Wes Phillips, who wrote very accurate reviews of the Aerial 10ts & Wilson WP 5.1s & various headphone products.) So, regardless of their ultimate objectivity, when a reviewer's observations prove to be accurate (at least to my ears), I give them credence & often take their recommendations, & I don't ask them to be saints.
French Fries a very interesting post btw.
As for me... I believe that Amati is the best good-looking Sonus Faber (which haunts me) speaker, followed by the Cremona (which I have). I think that here in Europe for 17000 euros Amati is among the best choices. Also like Verity audio and Avalon (very overpriced in Europe though)
For the time being haven't heard a good setup with Kharma (which I appreciate) also I would never bring in my home a Wilson...brrrr it's Neadertal compared to any Sonus Faber or Verity , Avalon IMHO.

Finally Stadivari is THE best sounding Sonus Faber speaker IMO.
The one thing I keep hearing about these speakers is that they sound unbelievably good considering its room and placement. As statement speakers, if they could perhaps be placed in a position where they look the best and still sound as good as it's capable of sounding, then that would be a real plus. Ya they're super expensive, but they will still be available ten years from now and I bet they'll hold their value and be in more demand than other 40K+ speakers available today.

The more I learn about this hobby, the more I disappointed I am in reviewers and their reviews, especially speaker reviews. I really don't like reviewers who are so sure of their observations that they leave no room for error in terms of mismatched electronics and horrible room acoustics. But I never get mad at them. They're all simply personalities to me. But I think we're best to trust our own ears and judgement. I always pay more attention to reviewers who shares my tastes in what constitutes as good sound. You really got to learn each other's biases.
I have heard them recently and I could have stayed there for hours
no only they are beautiful but they sound marvellous ,rich and warm,natural, you are surrounded by the music
having the money the order will have been placed without
any hesitation,
in one word it is magic
Without being indiscrete if the guarneri homage are for the computerroom? what have you for the listenning room?
I have listened to them several times with different electronics (Gryphon, Hovland etc.) and found that they are not worthy any asked sum, even if they price would be half of the 40.000 euros. Personally I would not spend more then 11.000 - 14.000 usd for a pair of loudspeakers, which is the cost of the Vandersteen 5. The music from this speakers is easily the Best in absolute terms, i did not compare them in the same time with the same electronic, but sincerly the Vandersteen is so much better than any comparison will be time losing. I personally have owned Sonus faber speakers(minima- electra amator) and have in my current sistem the Guarnieri homage,
toghether with Vandersteen 2 ce and Maggies 1,6. All of them are great speakers, but mostly i'm listen to the Vanderteen's at 1.500 usd a pair. Money is not everithing.
For any readers of this thread interested in almost new SF Stradivari, mine are 1.5 years young, really only just perfectly run in...and available. I'd consider any reasonable offer under the current retail price of $45,000. Send me a mail.
Why are you looking at selling??

ARe you moving to something more expensive or a sideway's move?

I would be interested in your opinion on what the Strad's do well and not so well. No such thing as a perfect speaker.

Shane, its all a matter of perception and experience. It's not that i couldn't live with the Strad's longer, its just that I've developed a different taste. Read my page for some impressions, and yes the Elipsa (aka baby Strad) just received a Golden Ear award...someone is going to get very lucky getting a set of immaculate Strads for well below retail.