Sonus Faber surprise

After years with my current speakers (gallo nucleus reference 3) I decided to try something different. Didn't really have a chance to audition a bunch of speakers nor the budget to go crazy. I've always thought that Sonus Faber sounded like something I would like so I found an old but maybe never used pair of Concerto homes. They came with the proper stands for these speakers. So I get them all set up and was really surprised to find they are substantially brighter and more energetic than my old gallos. They make a surprising amount of bass for there size but mids and highs are much brighter than I was expecting. They are not irritating in any way but not what I was expecting.  I'm still working on placement but I'm not sure what to think. Does this sound familiar to you other SF users? Any suggestions on something I can try?


Have some fun with it and learn something in the process by conducting my Imbalanced System Test. Only run 1 speaker for 100 hours as though breaking it in again. Then, play them both. Suppposedly because the one is not broken in the sound should be off, skewed, unlistenable due to artifacts that differ between them. The center image should become shifted, the tonal balance not even, etc. It should be immediately obvious that something is wrong, not a "I thnk I hear something that is different," situation. If break in is a significant phenomenon there should be differences in tonality, dynamics, resolution, etc. - you know, the typical "huge" or "big" change that people claim happens.

Supposedly cables need to be broken in, too. So, you will be testing both purported break in of speakers and cables at the same time! Bonus, double test! 

What you will find, imo, is that there will be no skewing, no divergence between the performance of the two speakers. Switch the speakers from R to L. Are major issues, problems moving across the sourndstage with the movement of the speakers? Is it like throwing a blanket over one speaker, or does it sound like before? I suspect you won't hear performance variances between them. Then you will have learned firsthand that the entire break in misnomer is a waste of time and that you should just play your gear. You will also learn how arrogant people are to think their hearing is more consistent than electronics. i.e. thinking that the sound changes over time and they can hear it. 

You will have poroven to yourself how much nonsense there is in the audiophile community. I will not have cost you anything but a bit of time and effort.  :) 

brighter than I was expecting. They are not irritating in any way but not what I was expecting. I'm still working on placement but I'm not sure what to think. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here is something Ive learned , ~~~experienced~~~ which has never ever been posted here on Audiogon past 20 yrs.. One speaker will ALWAYS expose weakness in another speaker. OK SF's exposed the Gallo's. Now when you hear another speaker superior to the SF's, then you will understand what it is about the SF's that grate on your nerves. I've found my ultimate,,but do want o hear Cube Neuphar,, as reference to what I have. Hope that helps.
Older Sonus are frequently characterized as warm ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Oh how I hate warm speakers,, MY DavidLouis are just on the edge of being warm,, Thank goodness they did not cross that line to muddyiness. = warm

The Sonus Faber Grand Piano Concerto used to be my "high end" speakers back in the day. It must have been more than 25 years since I listened to these. They Grand Piano Concerto is the floorstander version of the Sonus Faber Concerto. The HOME series are the newer version of the original/standard Concerto and Concertino. 


It’s useful to note that the Concerto Home does not sound warm. The Grand Piano Concerto did sound warm to my ears. They need a Krell KAV-300i to bring the treble from rolled off to sounding acceptable.

An inexpensive SPL meter and a Test CD or Test LP with Individual Freqency Bands will reveal the answer.

It is possible you are hearing the ’lack of compression’ rather than too bright. Or, they are too bright.

The meter is a great tool to try adjusting speaker location and toe-in.




I just had a related experience:

I had just used a new sound meter and GRP/Carver Test CD with 29 specific frequency bands to adjust my mid horn and tweeter horn’s individual L-Pads (simply more or less attenuation of mid to woofer and then tweet to mid, some minor interaction).

3 days ago, a friend/neighbor/music producer came over for some good beer and music.

I had kept my tweeter’s l-pads too low, he heard that readily, I adjusted them, speck by speck, he listened, then the slight compression he heard was gone, he pronounced the sound, imaging, depth excellent, and suspected when I checked the next day with the sound meter that I would find we raised the tweeters 2db.

sure enough, I simply perfected the Left tweeter’s L pad a speck to match the right one with specific frequency bands from the GRP/Carver Test CD.

Listening a great deal the next day, I realized my mistake, and it’s more than subtle effect.

While the meter was showing the level of the 16k band which I surprisingly heard, I thought, if I, 73 year old ears, can hear 16k, then it must be too high for Donna and younger ears. So, I lowered the L-Pad to reduce the tweeters (by about 2db is turned out).

What I didn’t think about, didn’t realize: the SPL I was hearing did not correlate to the SPL of the Meter. I heard 16k surprisingly well, but I think it is fair to say not as well as the meter.

Thinking/Listening the next day, duh, I wasn’t just erroneously avoiding ’too much tweeter’, I was causing some compression, because it reduced both the volume and time decay of the overtones of the upper mids.

The Eurythmics, Andreas Vollenwider, Blue Nile are full of splendid highs and the overtones of lower notes I had cut off.

What a gift to have my friends ears.

An inexpensive SPL meter and test CD with specific frequency bands turns out to be a great tool in the right hands/ears. They have tripod mounts, set at ear level listening position, go band by band, make notes, see what you are getting, even if you don’t have the ability to adjust levels, you will know ’too bright’, oh, not too bright, the others were too dull and I didn’t know it. Also a good tool to help refine speaker location and toe-in

Meter does not have to be perfectly calibrated, just good enough to indicate any band’s SPL relative to the adjacent bands


$19. delivered


This CD has content, phase, pink noise, sweeps, and most helpful for info: 29 specific frequency bands 25 hz to 20k, each 1 minute long, longer than needed, but not annoyingly short.