Sonus faber choices - help me decide

New Olympica Nova II or used Amati Futura? The Futuras will be $5,000 more, but they retailed for $38,000 when new vs $10,000 for the Novas. 

My 16’x24’ room is treated with GIK panels. I sit 9’ away from my B&W CDM 9NT towers now. I also have dual SVS PC2000 Pro subs.

Sources are mostly Tidal from a Node 2i through a DACMAGIC 200m.  I’m using a Denon x3700h as a preamp in a 7.2.4 configuration, with the LCR+surrounds driven by a Rotel 5x200 amp.



Although I have not heard the Futuras, I would imagine at their price point they would sound better than the Nova. I myself could not afford the Amati, so I never took the time to audition. But after 3 years of auditioning speakers, I settled on the Nova III’s which stretched my budget beyond my intended investment. I really wanted the 5’s but that was further away financially. My room as well is 16 x 28 and I was concerned that the 3’s would be too small, but to my surprise they seem to be  a perfect fit. I also bought the C1 Center and the Nova 1’s for rear. I am still waiting on the 1’s and stands 7 months and counting (thank you covid or whoever is to blame). 

I have about 350 hours on the 3’s and they breaking in nicely. I am amazed at the transition of these from day one till now. They required some patience and at times I was thinking I had made a grave error. But now I am quite happy. The other part is I had bought a new Audio Research LS28 and it had to break in as well. 

It is your decision but I will caution you if you buy the Nova’s, unless your dealer has has them on a shelf, be prepared to wait.


good luck


I've heard both the Amati Futura and the Olympica Nova 2. The former was the most astonishing audio experience I've had, beyond marvelous, but the electronics were a lot of money too (like 35000 - 40000 Euro retail in total). I mean no offense, but your current electronics will most likely not be up to the task, so this makes sense to me only if you are planning to upgrade (and I mean substantially upgrade) your electronics too. Also, the Futura tweeter is more reserved, depending on pairing they could be a bit dark.

The Olympica Nova 2 was almost as nice in the mids (but not quite), which still reads as "great!", had exceptional, sparkling but smooth highs that I really loved, more so than the Futura's (and definitely not as subdued), and rather ambiguous bass even driven by the same Accuphase E600 amplifier that drove the Futura's quite well. Maybe it was the positioning, maybe the lack of burn in, maybe it's just that the single 7 inch bass driver is not quite up to the task (or to my expectations). I'd consider the Nova 3 instead. Oh, that tweeter, lovely! Also, maybe the need for upgrading the electronics would be a bit less stringent that for the Futuras but still very important I think.

Another thing to take into consideration is the availability of spare parts. I've considered the Futura myself and I emailed Sonus Faber to inquire about this matter. Disappointingly, they directed me to the local distributor, as if the spare parts policy would be the distributor's! It scares me to think I could buy the Futura's, have a tweeter accidentally damaged someday and be left out in the cold!

Thanks for the feedback. I share your concerns about the electronics. My plan was to eventually upgrade them via the secondary market, but that will take a while.

I had not thought about the spare parts. I have never had a speaker break on me, so maybe that was why I had not thought about it that way. How much should I worry about that?

I am fairly new to this hobby. I have always been passionate about audio, but previously did not have the means to spend what it takes to achieve audio nirvana. Those Futuras look like an end-game speaker to me, but I wonder if they are too big of a mountain to climb!

One more question. Assuming I stay in the Nova line, my decision to go with the Nova II was largely because I have subs that will handle the last octave. I didn't think paying $5000 more for a a ~5Hz difference was worth the money required to step up to the Nova III. Is this logic sound? My assumption is that the only difference between the II and III is bass extension. They have the same cabinet, tweeter, and mid-range driver, after all. The III just has one more woofer.

-Well both will be much better than the B&W CDM 9NT so no worries there but if you have the means always buy the better speaker.  Futuras Is an endgame speaker IMO  

-the first question I have is how do you use your subs? Do you highpass (cut the lows to the mains) if not you should be. This will play a big part is what way to go. The main difference between a lot of speakers is just the bass and if you are cutting it off anyway it matters a lot less.
-the soundstage and inner detail will most likely be stripped out a bit by the denon it will just sound like it has less scale. I also have a combination two channel home theater and speak from experience (I have had many systems with denon, marantz, b&w 703s (newer version of your speakers) and I run duel subs (picture of my system in my profile). Anyway the kicker is you probably use your denon for bass management and that will make it hard to go to a two channel pre-amp if you ever want to (you should) because you would not only need to bypass the surround through the two channel pre amp but also through an external crossover. For what is is worth I do just that. Have a two channel preamp/amp with “external” crossovers in the subs and bypass through the two channel system for home theater. Works great, best of both worlds but is a lot of wires and equipment. Also family members will never be able to turn it on again, you can decide if that is good or bad lol. 


I cross over the subs in the Denon @ 40Hz. The CDMs go down to ~38, so I thought 40Hz would be a good choice. I have experimented with higher crossovers, but don't have a real preference. At one point I ran Audyssey and told it that I only had two main speakers and was shocked at how great the bass was from the 9NTs (without the subs). I was still missing the deep lows, so I eventually did run it again and tell it I have subs. That is where I am now: 2.2 on Audyssey Preset 1 @40Hz. Preset 2 is for my 7.2.4 setup.

I have my eye on the Anthem STR integrated amp. It has ARC and supports bass management. I figured I would use the HT bypass for the main speakers and then do a bunch of Y splitting for my subs. I assume the Anthem would integrate the subs similar to the way the Denon does, and I would not blow up my subs by having them connected to both amps. I would just turn off the Denon when I'm running two-channel (and vice versa). The good thing about the Futuras is that they go down to 25Hz so I would not even need the subs in that configuration.

Given that, I still wonder if I should shoot for the higher-end speakers. Would the Anthem drive them appropriately (Stereo integrated amplifier with 200W/400W/550W into 8/4/2 ohms)?

I need to make a decision today. The Nova II's are on order and I need to tell the store if I am going to cancel the order. The guy with the Futuras will not have them forever. I'm assuming they will be snatched up soon.

Before buying the Anthem STR integrated amp, you should know that Anthem also makes the STR preamp, which has a more sophisticated ability to independently integrate not only one, but two subs with ARC correction and also use them when you are doing home theater. So, you may not even need the Y splitting for your subs.

You already have a power amp for the front L/R channels, so I'm not sure why you would need the STR Integrated amp at all. 

I'm not sure the STR Integrated will drive your front L/R speakers any better than your 200 wpc Rotel.

As to the speakers, I'm a sucker for big floor standers, so I would be all over the Amati's if I could swing it!

Well I would take the better speaker every time. 

yes you can connect most subs to both a two channel preamp and receiver at the same time. It is important to have the inputs sum. If they don’t it will not work so read your manual or give them a call. I do this with my JLs and it works well.

I would also encourage a higher crossover. Your subs are better than the speakers below 80hz for sure. Try 60, I bet you get more impact and lose nothing. 

Final update. I just talked to my local dealer. He has been selling Sf for years, and cautioned me against buying something as old as the Futuras. He actually gave me a deal. He is going to sell me the Nova V speakers at the same price I was going to pay for the Futuras. He says he has the newer Amati speakers at home, and the Novas are so close to them that he would have bought Novas if they were available when he bought the Amatis.

The only downside is that I have to wait for the Nova V's to come in. Fingers crossed it won't be months.

Please report your impressions on the V's after you get them (and after the burn in).

I don't know about the newer Amati speakers, but I can tell you there is a huge difference in scale between the Amati Futura and the Nova II. Nova V might be a different story, I don't know. But this came from the dealer selling the Nova's so should be taken with a grain of salt I think. Speaking of which, why more exactly did he caution you against buying "something as old as the Futuras"?


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It's definitely going to be a while before they arrive. At minimum 6 weeks.

Point taken on the dealer trying to sell me on a product he carriers. However, his argument was that Sf has made enormous strides since the Futura line was available, and that this is reflected in the fantastic quality of the Nova line.

Also, based on feedback on this forum and elsewhere, I was already leaning toward sticking with the Novas. I envisioned having to spend much more money to upgrade my gear just to drive the Futuras properly. Less so with the Novas. Plus, I didn't want to get stuck with 125pd paperweights if something went wrong and I could not source a part for an older speaker.

Either way, I'm pleased with the outcome.

Congratulations. I found once I purchased Sonic Fabre speakers… there was no going anywhere else. I have owned Cremona, Olympica 3, and now Amati. Each step up is simply amazing. 

I think the Futura fit your room size better. But, you should be really happy with either. This may give you some funds to upgrade your electronics. The ship SF by ship. My dealer was able to reserve ones that were still on a ship… I actually got the last set of Amati violin red… this was a couple years ago.


I would be interested in hearing why your dealer discouraged the Futura. There has been a small change in tonal balance in the last few years… but I am surprised that would be a reason. 

You got really lucky with Vs but until you upgrade your electronics and I mean all of it, you will only get about 20% of what the speakers are capable of.

I would have said the Amatis. 

Choose what sounds best to your ears.

Then start planning for an amp upgrade.


Curious- In which city are you shopping?


The amp is fine honestly to get you going and I would start by adding a two channel preamp. One with a home theater bypass would be simplest. If it does not have one you can just set the volume the same every time (12:00,3:00 etc) and use one of the inputs to pass through.


I have had several Rotel amps and still use one on my surrounds. I have done direct AB comparisons against Bench Mark ABH2 (I no longer own) and my current McIntosh MC462 and the Rotel is fine. It has plenty of power. They are a touch bright (no brighter than say Bryston) and a little cold/edgy in the upper mids in absolute terms but really start with the preamp or just get a good DAC if you just use digital music those surround processors suck the life out of music.

When I demoed the Nova III it was on the new Classe’ delta amp and matching preamp ($$$$) but it was pretty great.

Why in the world would you buy a $38,000 speaker and drive it with a Denon receiver?  Not bagging on Denon for what they do well at a price point, but come on!

That is why I didn't buy the $38,000 speakers. I went with the Olympica Nova V instead. And I'm not driving them wholly from the Denon. The Denon is running in preamp mode. The signal is going to a Rotel 5x200w amp.

My next update will be amplification or pre-amplification. I use the room mostly for 2-channel (technically 2.2), but it is a home theater as well. That leaves me two paths. I could buy a higher-end AVR or processor+amps to clean up the signal path (e.g. Anthem), or I could buy an integrated amp that has home theater bypass. I have a PS5, so HDMI 2.1 is a big nice-to-have, and none of the higher end brands I have seen support 2.1 yet. I'm leaning toward the HT bypass route, and have my eye on the Anthem STR integrated. I really want room correction. In my experience it makes a world of difference. That is why the STR is attractive. I understand ARC is really good.

I'm open to suggestions. I am new-ish to high-end audio, so if anyone has suggestions on the right path and right equipment to match Olympica Nova Vs, I'm all ears.

Yes use the bypass option to a preamp or DAC.  Pricy home theater processors are still just ok (not great) and get outdated real quick. Honestly I would try some budget ones first. Schitt or Benchmark might surprise you. 

The Sonus Faber’s I’ve heard were driven by Accuphase amps, for what it’s worth. Pricey, I know... It depends a lot not only on the budget and synergy, but also on your priorities in terms of sound. For example, I value tone and timbre very highly so I’ve recently bought an Accuphase E-470. For ultimate dynamics and impact I would have considered something else.

As difficult as it may be, trying at home would be the best option by a thousand miles. Maybe the only reasonable option at these prices.

I ordered my Nova Vs last October and they were just delivered and setup this past Monday. Paired with a McIntosh MA8900 and Roon Nucleus (running Tidal), they sound great. Dealer told me they’ll sound even better after they’ve broken in with a few hundred hours of use. Congrats, I promise it’s worth the wait!

curious how do you find the bass once the speakers are broken in, please share your impressions

When you decide to upgrade your electronics, I’d suggest you consider Ayre components.  In my experience they pair beautifully with SF speakers.  Over the past 12 years, I have used Ayre gear with Guarneri Mementos, Amati Anniversario, Guarneri Evolution & Il Cremonese.  I particularly enjoy the resolution of the pairing at low volume settings.