Sonus Faber Launches New Lineup of Homage Tradition Loudspeakers

Sonus faber launched updated versions of the Homage Tradition line’s Amati and Guarneri loudspeakers and added the new Serafino, at an all-day event at the six-story World of McIntosh townhouse in lower Manhattan. Another updated speaker, the center channel Vox was listed in the brochure but not shown during the day-long roll out.

Mcintosh Group Chief of Industrial Design Livio Cucuzza spoke first, outlining the attractive line’s finer physical attributes, after which engineer in charge Paolo Tezzon took attendees on a technical tour of the new speakers that included a detailed description of the all-new sonus faber designed woofers, midrange drivers and tweeter, all of which were derived from the flagship Il Cremonese, as well as the all-new crossover designs that make use of premium parts like custom Mundorf oil capacitors.

Using three graphs Tezzon showed on-axis and off-axis measurements of previous sonus faber tweeters compared to those of the new 28mm H28 XTR-04 silk dome tweeter. The new design combines extended, flat high frequency response along with superior off-axis response.

Also on the agenda were descriptions of the meticulously designed and constructed cabinetry, the rear-firing port system, the segmented inner driver chambers, the spiked footer systems specifically designed for each speaker’s weight, and even the rationale for the lute shape, long a sonus faber design attribute. A full description of the design technology applied to the Tradition line is best left to reviews.

Then it was time for all to pitch in and lift off the “Shrouds of Padua” to reveal the speakers, which more than lived up to physical expectations. These are among the most beautiful sonus faber speakers ever, with all cabinetry and metal work manufactured in Italy and European-sourced drivers manufactured to sonus faber specs. The line is available in both the traditional familiar red walnut and for the first time Wengé wood with maple inlays and brown leather.

The top of the line Amati Tradition, a 3.5 way system features two sandwich cone W22XTR-08 8.5” woofers, an M15 XTR-04 6” midrange and a 1” tweeter. It weighs 135 pounds and costs $29,900/pr.

The new Serafino is a slightly smaller 3.5 way floor-stander featuring a pair of 6” W 18XTR-08 woofers and same midrange and tweeter used in the Amati Tradition. It weighs 115 pounds and costs $21,900.

The floor stander Guarneri is a two way design that uses a W15XTR-04 as a midwoofer and has the same H28 XTR-04 tweeter used in the other speakers. It comes complete with carbon fiber stands for $15,900.

After lunch we were invited to go upstairs to listen to all three speakers, a pair each in three different rooms. The town house’s rooms are not the best listening spaces you’ll encounter but the team has done its best to produce good sound. Not surprisingly the smallest, best treated room containing the floor-standers, driven by a new Audio Research Foundation series preamp and power amp produced the best sound, but the others were good enough to demonstrate the considerable attributes of the bigger speakers.

Being a critic, let me be somewhat critical: the vinyl selected at the town house was bad. So much attention was paid to everything there but the source material: bad vinyl, wrong versions (the Sony/Legacy digitally sourced Dream With Dean instead of the all-analog one from Analogue Productions, etc. This superb facility needs a well-curated vinyl library with a record selection available in every turntable-equipped room.

I shot a great deal of video but unfortunately, the big main room with its high ceiling, swallowed up the speakers’ voices, which were unamplified. I think presenters should be miked to make them easier to hear at the back of the room and to make it easier for microphones on video cameras to easily pick up what’s being said. You’ll see a shot in the video that’s silent. It helps for the knucklehead operating the camera (me) to turn on the microphone!

RR's picture

it's a living room, not a listening room.

Would be nice though if Coltrane, Blakey, or Davis is(choose one) making magical moments live in that living room, in person. That person must be really really really really lucky.

I thought the wood flooring was damaged by water leak over a period of time but then no... it's just an artistic pattern on the carpeting.

Cool speakers after I assume "the same company" release the "almost created a chaos(good type of chaos, I guess)" type of "lifestyle-loudspeaker-product".

gsbischoff's picture

Which album is that Otis Rush song off of? (song is "Right Place, Wrong Time") It sounds like its live cause it sounds slower than the studio version with different instruments.

Anyone know which?

Jay's picture

... with Curves like that they could be called the Marilyn Homage!

Anon2's picture

Whatever the practical shortcomings were with the rooms and the media, this product launch was perhaps the most clever I have seen in the audio world.

The coverage here and in two other audio publications was well done, and designed by the McIntosh Group for maximum impact (as audio product launches go). Having a single product launch in New York, and in such an impressive venue, was more impactful than what one might have seen at show, with hundreds of other exhibits, in a hotel suite or conference room, with hotel disinfectant smell lingering in the air.

It will be interesting to see how long the McIntosh townhouse stays available for such similar events. I was watching White Collar on Ion TV last weekend. A scene was shot in the McIntosh Townhouse. I recognized the high brick walls and vintage spotlights immediately. So the McIntosh Group, as mentioned in the press coverage, is getting back its investment with this property as a multi-use facility.

It is unfortunate that I was not among the privileged few to be on hand for the Sonus Faber Tradition product launch. The execution and media coverage of this event was impressive and has remained top-of-mind for me. For two consecutive weekends I am re-visiting this coverage, in addition the coverage in Part Time Audiophile and Soundstage Global.

Thanks for the video coverage of the event. I look forward to the next McIntosh Townhouse event, if only to see it on my computer screen.