The Sonus Faber SE Speakers – Reviews

Even at a comparatively low background degree the huge Sonus faber SE audio system are immersive.

The prime to bottom tonal stability is so partaking, it’s robust to put in writing, or also have a conversation whereas they are enjoying. These audio system really take your breath away, even before you turn the music on. Even at a modest degree the SEs captivate instantly, as Bos Scaggs’ silky voice slowly folds into the combination of “Harbor Lights,” a monitor I’ve simply heard a thousand occasions through the years.

For speakers with such an enormous physical presence, the delicacy that they deliver is nearly robust to explain, it’s so seamless, effortless and with such mild gradation when this system calls for it, but equally forceful when that’s required. Powered by a full Burmester system, with bridged 909 Mk.5 power amplifiers for every SE (delivering almost 2000 watts per channel) there are not any dynamic restrictions here. And this is solely a touch of what’s to return.

The Sonus faber web site says that the SE “is a limited edition masterpiece, available only by special request from premier clientele.” There’s a handful of Sonus faber sellers which you can purchase the Aida’s from, however if you’d like the SE, there’s only one place – LMC House Entertainment in Scottsdale, Arizona. Owner Mike Ware is your steward to Sonus faber’s best, and one of many prime hifi sellers on the planet. Ware says that his workforce will set up and setup the SEs anyplace in the US, so you gained’t have to worry about making an attempt to move these by yourself. Ware and his highly educated employees will depart nothing left to probability.

So, it made way more sense that I get on a aircraft and head out to see Mike. Nobody needs to see a pair of beauties like this get a nick, dent or scratch from delivery. Trading Portland for Scottsdale in January just isn’t a nasty concept either.

The setup

Having in depth experience with Burmester gear, also having hung out with the Sonus faber Aida a couple of weeks earlier, LMC’s Mike Ware saved me a ton of setup time. His primary room, which measures about 25 x 40 ft, proves a a lot better venue for a speaker this measurement than my 15 x 26 foot room. Speakers this huge really do need an enormous room to open up into.

Ware has the SE’s put in within the room about 15 ft apart and about 5 ft from the aspect walls, with three rows of slightly elevated theater seats. The front row middle position is about ten ft again, the subsequent row a few foot greater and the final row one other foot or so greater. Because this technique recreates such a real sense of scale, and fills the room so utterly, relying on the performance played, you will get the immediacy of a third-row orchestra seat, the extra diffuse place of the back row, or in between. It’s impressive, the best way the stereo imaging holds up regardless of where you sit.

Sonus faber speakers have all the time provided large dispersion in both planes. Shifting again to the middle row presents a barely extra homogenous feel with extra room for the bass to integrate, however these speakers disappear within the room so nicely, it’s robust to not go back to the immersive, big headphone like feel of the entrance row. In fact, you will definitely have your personal choice, do you have to install your personal pair. The greatest information although is that these are not at all a one-person, small sweet spot speaker. Sitting proper in the middle will give obvious dividends, however even sitting on the floor, off to the aspect, it’s nonetheless good.

The real deal

For all of the naysayers that an awesome hifi system can’t put the actual factor in your room, I say shut up. There’s one thing so special about these audio system in an enormous room, it is potential to shut your eyes and be there. A perfect instance of this is the “Superman” monitor from the Crash Check Dummies first album.  The SEs do such a exact job at recreating the performers, I really feel identical to I’m again at Portland’s Aladdin Theater, and Ellen Reid is resting her head on Brad Robert’s shoulder whereas singing backup. The spatial recreation is that convincing.

Superior not often comes straightforward and it not often comes low cost. It definitely doesn’t here. A pair of SEs will set you again a cool $250okay. Yeah. And that in all probability means at the very least one other 250 or more in electronics and wire. We will have the argument until the cows come house whether or not that is “worth it” or not, however the bottom line is that this is what it costs to get sound this good. The rest is whether or not you need to play. However what an excellent playground.

Switching to more dynamic faire, bumping the quantity on Aphex Twin’s “Minipops 67” is a lot enjoyable, even I need to rise up and dance. And that’s not a medium by which I select to precise myself. Though I was given the green mild to “turn it up as loud as I needed to,” the Sonus faber/Burmester mixture never runs out of dynamic vary, by no means flattening out within the slightest.

The driving bass line in the Aphex Twin tracks leads me to the again aspect of the SE to see where the “deep low level” setting happens to be. It’s on “minimum.” In line with the house owners guide, this controls the output of the 15-inch, aspect firing woofer (with 4-inch voice coil) that is crossed over to the pair of entrance firing 10-inch woofers at 80hz.

Sonus faber lists the sensitivity of the SE at 92db/1 watt, and a maximum energy handling of 1000 watts. Ware confirms my suspicions, that like the Aida, these audio system will play with something, however a reserve of unpolluted, high quality wattage helps them ship every thing they are capable of.

Additional up the spectrum

These woofers cross to the midrange driver at 250hz, after which once more to the Beryllium dome tweeter at 2500hz. There’s another one in every of these dealing with back with a smaller midrange, as a part of what Sonus faber refers to as a “soundfield shaper.” This feeds a bit of the primary sound in the direction of the rear wall or nook in your room, and depending on the place you set the controls, can go far at increasing the soundstage. Ware had these set on the lowest setting in his room, which is sensible considering the dimensions.

The Aida has an identical setup round again, and once we had them here for evaluate, we found that they helped combine a large speaker right into a smaller room better, but as all the time, experiment to seek out the sweet spot to style.

I’d be lying if I advised you I keep in mind all of the nuances of seeing the Speaking Heads on the Cease Making Sense tour again in 1981, but enjoying the soundtrack via the SEs feels right. Their capability to reproduce the sheer sound strain degree of the reside occasion, with the resolution, readability, and nuance of a world class audiophile system is best than reside in my e-book. And the best way the audience response is folded out and in of the combination, feels completely actual. I discovered an analogous effect when listening to Jeff Beck’s Stay at Ronnie Scotts, as I did with quite a few different favorite stay recordings.

The spatial presentation of those giant audio system is implausible. The energetic presentation they offer confirms a true sense of sonic actuality. Sitting within the center row of Ware’s room, the cues from individuals in the audience cheering, clapping, and whistling is so real looking it’s virtually like listening to a full Dolby Atmos setup, not two audio system. Greg Dulli’s vocals at first of Gentlemen is phenomenal. Im pulled to the sting of the seat as His textured, loud, cyring whisper drains off so regularly when he sings, “It’s in our home, baby, it’s in our bed.” But 20 seconds later when he begins to scream, I almost leap out of the chair. That’s musical realism.

Massive dynamics are huge enjoyable, but revisiting some of my favourite Beatles, Stones and Dylan data reveals how properly the SEs lock down the musical pace, virtually like a small pair of studio screens – however quite a bit greater. A LOT greater.

A special take a look at element

For many audiophiles, the phrase element means a sharp-edged presentation that cuts into your psyche, typically revealing the music in a harsh method, with a ahead presentation. Speakers which have a softer presentation are referred to as laid back, heat, or rounded off.

However think about combining that degree of element, revealing the maximum amount of musical info in a approach that isn’t in the least harsh or grating, with a variety of tonal scale that seems like a continuous gradation, that’s the sorcery that the SE presents. It’s like sleeping on 2400 rely sheets.

The resolution skilled with the SEs shouldn’t be a lot in an ultimate sense, however in the smoothness of gradation. Sounds pale from maximum to minimal in an incredibly linear style, and swelled from quiet to loud in the same means. That is the last little bit of realism for me.

If I weren’t listening to digital information, I’d really feel virtually like the music was operating a tad sluggish, however it comes again to the best way the music is rendered with such an utmost delicacy. The SEs have the required velocity to accomplish whatever musical process is required, yet they never feel like they are “attacking the music.” The music merely swells and recedes so shortly and smoothly, there’s never any consideration drawn to the audio system.

That’s the very best praise I pays the SEs. After a very intense seven hour listening session, I by no means felt like I was listening to hifi, nor did I’ve hifi ideas while basking in their glory. All I might consider was what monitor to play next, evaluating what I heard to what I’ve heard before. There’s nothing that these speakers can’t play. Massive, or small, loud or mushy, acoustic or electric. No restrict.

And that’s a part of what $250okay buys.

The SEs do all of it: they sound great at bone crushing ranges, yet even at conversation degree, they still sound unbelievable. But they create a sound subject that’s so dense and filled with musical info, as you slowly advance the quantity degree it’s straightforward to perceive the level at which you develop into totally immersed within the music – the point at which you grow to be the music. The SEs present a transparency and coherence of your favourite ESL, yet they’ve the punch of a cone speaker and the load to persuade you.

As a result of each pair of SEs is constructed to order, any particular finish necessities can simply be accommodated.

The other a part of the equation is the level of element that is paid to every single facet of all Sonus faber audio system, however much more so within the SE. The degree of expertise current right here is unmatched by some other speaker producer.

Sonus fabers’ craftsmanship is all over the place, from the leather neatly wrapped across the entrance and rear panels, all the best way right down to the suspension and ft in the base. No element is left unfinished to epic proportions.

Ware informs us that it takes about 4 months to build a set of SEs, and he has a number of pair in inventory (in widespread finishes) so if the urge strikes, you possibly can take them house as we speak. As mentioned at first of the assessment, LMC Residence Leisure in Scottsdale is the only supplier for this speaker in the USA. It’s a terrific place to go to, so you may need to schedule a trip around auditioning them. Southwest Airlines is providing some specials right now…

As much as I’ve tried to fill you in on what these spectacular audio system sound like, I still really feel my phrases come up brief. Ought to the SEs be in your radar, it should only take about 90 seconds into your favourite monitor to fall underneath their spell. At that second, you’ll know all the things.

You’ve been warned.

The Sonus faber SE

MSRP: $250,000/pair


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