Sonus Faber dates back to 1979. Franco Serblin, the founder and chief designer of the company, is an extraordinary person who combines amazing talents. He is an excellent cabinetmaker, artist, designer and an avid music lover.
In the evenings after work, he designed speakers. The first truly successful speaker, which he called “Snail”, was inspired by the works of Leonardo da Vinci. It consisted of a low-frequency section to which two satellites were attached, which could be moved relative to each other depending on the distance to the listening position. Why snail? Because the low-frequency section is like a snail’s shell, and the satellites are like antennae. When he first showed them at a hi-fi store, he was immediately given an order for 10 pairs. It was 1980. All 10 pairs were made from different types of wood – this is how Franco Serblin searched for the best material for the speakers. Production progressed very slowly. He worked evenings and weekends with other enthusiasts like him. It felt more like a club than a serious production. Cesare Bevilacqua later joked: “These speakers are so called because their production moved as slowly as a snail.”
The market demanded smaller and less expensive loudspeakers. Therefore, in 1983, Franco Serblin released the Parva speaker. From this moment on, Sonus Faber exists as a company. These are two-way bookshelf speakers for a small room. These speakers served as the prototype for the creation of the famous Minima. Thanks to the natural sound, small size and reasonable price, Minima turned out to be so successful that it was produced for almost 20 years without changes. I think that very few companies can boast of such models that have been popular for so many years. In 1987 Electa Amator appeared. The special thing about this two-way bookshelf speaker is that it has a passive radiator on the rear wall, the same size as the active speaker, which is very rare for speakers of this size. Thanks to this model, Sonus Faber became known throughout the world. Subsequently, this model was modernized and it was produced for more than 10 years.
Sonus Faber Snail
The story of Cesare Bevilacqua’s appearance at Sonus Faber is interesting. He received an excellent economic education. Cesare Bevilacqua worked as the commercial director of the Milan football club, but he wanted to open his own business and for this purpose returned to his hometown of Vicenza. And at this time, Franco Serblin invites Cesare Bevilacqua to head the commercial side of the enterprise. This turned out to be a completely justified decision. The multifaceted talent of Franco Serblin is supported by the equally brilliant talent of Cesare Bevilacqua as an administrator and economist. And since that time, since 1989, Sonus Faber has become one of the most famous brands, selling its products in more than 40 countries around the world. He is a very talented businessman, and thanks to him, Sonus Faber has one of the best management systems in the audio industry. His life principle is evidenced by the fact that he is a knight of the Order of Malta (by the way, Pavel I was the grandmaster of the Order of Malta).
Sonus Faber Parva
Franco Serblin, as a designer and music lover, has always been interested in the features and secrets of the unique sound of the violins of Italian masters. He spent a long time communicating with musicians and spent a lot of time in the violin museum in Cremona. The most interesting thing is that scientists took the exact dimensions of the violins, found out the exact chemical composition of the varnish, but no one managed to come close to the magnificent sound of these violins. Franco Serblin learned a lot about the secrets of making violins and cellos by the Italian masters Amati, Guarneri and Stradivari, and he was so inspired by what he saw and heard that he dedicated one of his speakers to the bicentenary of the death of the great Italian master Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù (the Guarneri and Stradivari families studied from the Amati family). By the way, Nicolo Paganini and Fritz Kreisler played the violin of this master. These violins were distinguished by their unique, emotional and sonorous sound.
Sonus Faber Quid AMP
Guarneri speakers are a true work of art, they embody everything that Franco Serblin has been looking for from violin makers for 10 years. The shape of the AC is borrowed from the musical instrument lute. Non-parallel walls ensure the absence of standing waves inside the housing. Different types of wood eliminate body resonances (a total of 3 types of wood are used – walnut, maple and lemon wood). The body consists of 42 elements, hand-turned and glued with natural glue. An interesting feature is that the inner surface of the case is lined with copper sheets and lead inserts to eliminate unwanted vibrations. Before varnishing, wooden surfaces are coated with albumin to prevent the varnish from entering the wood structure. And then covered with natural varnish, at least 10 layers. The composition of the varnish resembles that used by violin makers. It contains only natural ingredients: linseed oil, propolis, wine alcohol, natural wax, sandalwood extract and some others. The final polishing is done by hand by one person.
Sonus Faber Amator
The speaker with serial number 1 was donated to the city of Cremona and installed in the violin museum. The 2nd and 3rd copies were presented to the Italian violinists Salvatore Accardo and Uto Ugi. 4 – remained at the factory as a reference copy. It was decided to produce several pairs per month, but the success of Guarneri was so great that it exceeded their calculations 10 times, and this was a real test for the factory, since the wood is dried under natural conditions for about two years, and only the preparatory work takes up half a floor of the year. To test his speakers, Franco Serblin uses the most advanced device to date – the human ear. But any pair of speakers needs an amplifier, so in 1997 he developed an amplifier for testing finished products, but the capabilities of the amplifier turned out to be much wider and it began to be mass-produced in a limited edition. It doesn’t just pair well with Sonus Faber speakers.
Sonus Faber Amati
Following Guarneri, the first three-way speakers, Sonus Faber, were released in 1998, which were also named after the great Italian family of violin makers, the Amatis. The Amati Homage uses the same concept and technology as the Guarneri Homage. An interesting detail is that the back wall consists of one piece made of solid lemon wood. There are many partitions inside, thanks to which the walls of such a large case do not resonate. A fairly complex and high-quality crossover, after assembly and configuration, is filled with 6 kg of mastic, which absorbs air vibrations inside the case. Due to the widespread use of multi-channel systems in 2000, Sonus Faber released the Home series. It was a logical continuation of the Concerto series, produced since 1995. Sonus Faber’s impeccable reputation, design and natural sound have made this series one of the most well-known and admired home theater systems in its price range.
Sonus Faber Cremona Elipsa
Many complained – there is a floor-standing speaker for 19,000 and 30,000 euros, but there is nothing in between, and in 2001 Sonus Faber released the Cremona speaker, which is dedicated to the city of the same name. This is a simpler version of Amati Homage, keeping the same ideology with which Amati Homage was made, and everything that is said about Amati and Guarneri is also true for the Cremona speakers. It also resembles the shape of a lute in cross section, glued together from 32 individual elements of solid maple. In 2002, the series was equipped with the magnificent Cremona Auditor bookshelf speakers, the Cremona Sub subwoofer, as well as the Cremona Center center speaker, which has the same dimensions as the Cremona and, thanks to this, the integrity and dimensions of the sound images are not compromised. The Cremona series, with the exception of the subwoofer, is available in two colors – Maple and Maple Graphit. Thanks to the Scan Speak HF driver, which operates in the frequency range up to 40 kHz, the Cremona series can be used in multi-channel SACD systems. Thanks to the uniform style, the Cremona series can be used to build home theater systems based on Amati and Guarneri.
Sonus Faber Cremona
For its 20th anniversary in 2002, the company made a gift for its fans – a new flagship model of the Homage series – Stradivari. By tradition, it was named after the third great Italian violin-making family – Stradivari, only unlike Cremona, Amati and Guarneri, the Stradivari body is reminiscent of a violin in cross-section. Stradivari is made in the best traditions of Sonus Faber. This speaker uses the best that the company has accumulated over 20 years of development and research. In 2002, they completed the construction of a new factory, in the architecture of which you can easily see the shape of a violin. The interior uses a lot of wooden elements in the Sonus Faber style. Today Sonus Faber is a modern enterprise that maintains its traditions and improves technology. Just as the sound of violins created by Stradivarius is determined by many secrets known to the master, the sound of Sonus Faber acoustics is the result of combining many “secrets” possessed by the developer Franco Serblin. Technical perfection, the shape of the cases created according to Stradivari’s drawings, and the “acoustic” surface finish of the Sonus faber acoustics are in complete harmony.
Sonus Faber Lilium
Since 2002, Sonus Faber began a new direction in their work. They used all their previous experience, but this time they created a completely new series. The Cremona series models cost much less and were more compact. Among the models in this line there were even samples of acoustics used in home theaters. The first model in this series was a simpler Stradivari design. In 2007, Elipsa was launched on the market. At the same time, another important event happened in the life of the company – Sonus Faber became the first brand that was part of a holding called Fine Sounds Group. This holding set itself the task of uniting leading companies. This also later included the McIntosh and Sumiko brands. Already in 2008, the company introduced two series to customers – Toy and Liuto. Both series stood out because they retained their signature sound and had the lowest prices. The company needed new guidelines to move forward in the market with confidence. For this reason, in 2010 a superacoustic was created, which was simply called “The Sonus Faber”. The body of the new models was given a lyre shape, making a double bend of the walls on the sides, which greatly increased their rigidity. This hull was made from high quality plywood, which is also used for making boats. The structure of the walls makes their body inert for acoustics.
The bottom of the body, as well as the top cover, was made of aluminum used in aviation. The main task of such structures was to absorb minor vibrations in the body. The tweeter is equipped with additional vibration isolation. Its back side rests on an acoustic labyrinth with installed elements for an anti-resonance effect. The speaker structure is connected to the front panel. It is made from real cellulose, has a large coil and is equipped with a neodymium magnet. Also, there are two drivers with three-layer diffusers based on porous material. On the side of the case there is another speaker that reproduces very low frequencies. It is also equipped with a three-layer diffuser, and its outer parts are made using carbon fiber. Here the voice coil is already four inches in size. The Sonus Faber boasts impressive performance thanks to its design. The very next year, more accessible interpretations of the ideas contained in The Sonus Faber began to appear. Some developments were taken to improve older models already released on the market. And in another year the company will begin expanding the Homage series.
Sonus Faber Aida
This model was made in the shape of a lyre. A complex structure was placed in the body. There was a metal pin that pulled all the partitions together and brought all the microvibrations to a single point. A damper was placed at the same point, which absorbed and absorbed all incoming vibrations. Such structures were used earlier when skyscrapers were built. The fabric tweeter is equipped with a phase-aligning body. This body was installed on the radiation axis, which made it possible to combine the properties of both emitters. The midrange driver is equipped with a cellulose diffuser, to which other natural fibers were also added. In addition, there was a voice coil made of aluminum wire and an anti-resonance basket, similar to those used previously. Two low-frequency speakers were placed on the panel in front. And at the base of the case there is another device that emits infra-low frequencies. The speakers of the Aida model are very similar to the speakers of The Sonus Faber, but have a number of modifications. Also, this model has an improved bass reflex, which eliminates the appearance of noise and similar sounds. The crossover is assembled from high quality components. It helps equalize frequency and phase characteristics, and also ensures stability and clarity in the operation of amplifiers. The Venere series, launched in 2012, is aimed at the masses. It includes a range of six acoustic models, which include both a central channel and special satellites for wall mounting and use in home theaters.
Sonus Faber Extrema
The body is easily recognizable by its characteristic lyre shape, as it also has a double curve on the walls. And the lid and base are made of tempered glass instead of metal, as was the case in previous models. The emitters used are from the manufacturer Cury, equipped with braided polypropylene diffusers and a phase-aligning body shaped like a bullet, which is placed on a magnetic system. The tweeter is distinguished by a large silk dome. The Olympica line was a kind of return to tradition. It was released in 2013 and took a place between the budget Venere and the advanced Homage. When creating the body, wood was again used, as before. But the implementation of the form is already made in a newer type of lyre. Also, the model received a proprietary acoustic design “Stealth reflex”. The speakers for this model were made by the best engineers at Sonus Faber. The 29mm tweeter is the same one used in the Aida line. The mid-frequency emitter is equipped with a 150 mm diffuser. The cone is made of cellulose, cotton and some other fibers, and the bass driver is equipped with another cone, which is made of cellulose and polymers in three layers. When crossovers were made, they were installed according to Paracross topology technologies.
Sonus Faber Musica AMP
Now the most current product on the market from Sonus Faber is the Lilium line. These models belong to the Homage series. The acoustics of this line are included in the range of models immediately after the Aida range, while demonstrating completely new progressive solutions and ideas. The design of Lilium is very similar to that of Aida, and the same goes for the visuals. The models in this series also combine wood composite, metal and high-quality plywood. A steel brace is used inside the body, which is balanced by a massive damper. The emitter diffuser is made of paper and polymers, like low-frequency speakers. And the emitter is located in the same way: at the very bottom of the acoustics. But with all this, the infra-buffer itself is located separately from the rest of the body. Essentially, this is a separate half of the body, which is attached at the very end of the assembly. The model is equipped with a second passive radiator, which is located at the top of the case. On the Lilium model, the crossover is equipped with low-frequency control, which provides a significantly better match to the acoustic conditions in the room.
Sonus Faber Pryma
Everything born in Italy is doomed to a number of certain contradictions. This also applies to the Sonus Faber brand itself. Engineers combine natural materials with synthetics, ancient technologies are mixed with the results of detailed scientific research. Even manual work is skillfully combined with machine production on automated lines. But, despite all this, a large number of analyzes and detailed checks show that the most significant contribution to sound quality and its formation was made not by old technologies, not by wooden cases, not by the inheritance of canonical forms of instruments, but by precise calculations by engineers and high-tech materials. And it’s so easy to understand the success formula of the Sonus Faber brand: the outside is classic, but the inside is high-tech filling, pleasing to the ear.