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Sonus Faber Concertino - Help

 

Hi all

I've recently inherited a pair of Sonus Faber Concertino speakers. I've never owned anything this high end before and i'm not sure what speaker cables (& Connections) and what kind of amp to get that will match well. Apologies for my lack of knowledge but would really like to use them to thier best capabilities. 

Can anyone help?

Thanks

Joe

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RE: Sonus Faber Concertino - Help

joetyrrell1986 wrote:

 

Hi all

I've recently inherited a pair of Sonus Faber Concertino speakers. I've never owned anything this high end before and i'm not sure what speaker cables (& Connections) and what kind of amp to get that will match well. Apologies for my lack of knowledge but would really like to use them to thier best capabilities. 

Can anyone help?

Thanks

Joe

I am a passionate of SF, I have a pair myself. I have tried quite a few amps and found tube amps work particularly well with SF.

What's your budget? 

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RE: Sonus Faber Concertino - Help

Hi

I have about £900/1000 at my desposal, though if I can get away with spending less i'd be happy as I don't particularly have a want for the highest quality as it's only for casual listening in my living room. (Now i'm just hoping ive not embarrased myself by grossly underestimating realistic costs.)

Thanks for your help

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RE: Sonus Faber Concertino - Help

joetyrrell1986 wrote:

Hi

I have about £900/1000 at my desposal, though if I can get away with spending less i'd be happy as I don't particularly have a want for the highest quality as it's only for casual listening in my living room. (Now i'm just hoping ive not embarrased myself by grossly underestimating realistic costs.)

Thanks for your help

The first thing to sort is the amp, and so put most of your budget on that. At this stage use some simple copper speaker cable like QED 79 strand (or Linn K20 off ebay), and Linn Black I/Cs off ebay (around £20). It is time enough to try out more expensive cables at a later date.

For amps look at Musical Fidelity M3i and Harman Kardon HK990. If you can go a little more expensive, look at Sugden Mystro and Electrocompaniet PI-1.

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Sonus Faber Concertino - Help

I'd check out a SimAudio Moon I.1 amp. There are a couple on eBay at the moment.

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RE: Sonus Faber Concertino

Hi, 

I have a pair of concertinos for some years connected to a old amplifier creek  4140s2. This worked fine in higher volumes, it has a nice rythmn and it is very musical. But now i need something that works well in much lower volumes and that has a more sweet sound.

I was adviced to maintain the sonus faber and to upgrade the amplifier to get this, since the speakers are still ok. The shop i went mentioned cambridge audio Azur 851A integrated class XD, which seems to have enough power to drive the speakers, but, 

1) is a bit beyond my budget

2) does not have a phono input

3) no digital inputs

Doing some research, i found the new Pioneer A-70-K that could match these speakers, at least in terms of power it seems it could fit in. It is cheaper, also have some interesting new stuff like a built in DAC and digital inputs. And a phono input too. Prefereble by Specs.

Have anyone heard this amplifier yet? Is it a good idea to pair these?

If anyone happens to try these, pls drop a line.

Thanks

Vasco

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RE: Sonus Faber Concertino - Help

Hi there.  I'm new here, but also just inherited a pair of SF Concertino speakers.   I looked for a good integrated amplifier in the $1K range, and I decided to purchase the "Sphinx" by Rogue Audio.  The "Sphinx" is getting excellent reviews, it's a 100-watt (8 ohms) hybrid amplifier with tube input stage and solid state output.  It also has a well regarded phono input and headphone output.  I'm waiting to receive it, and I can post my thoughts on it once I have put in some listening time.  It seems to be a worthwhile consideration in this price range and should pair well with the Concertinos.

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RE: Sonus Faber Concertino - Help

CnoEvil wrote:

joetyrrell1986 wrote:

Hi

I have about £900/1000 at my desposal, though if I can get away with spending less i'd be happy as I don't particularly have a want for the highest quality as it's only for casual listening in my living room. (Now i'm just hoping ive not embarrased myself by grossly underestimating realistic costs.)

Thanks for your help

The first thing to sort is the amp, and so put most of your budget on that. At this stage use some simple copper speaker cable like QED 79 strand (or Linn K20 off ebay), and Linn Black I/Cs off ebay (around £20). It is time enough to try out more expensive cables at a later date.

For amps look at Musical Fidelity M3i and Harman Kardon HK990. If you can go a little more expensive, look at Sugden Mystro and Electrocompaniet PI-1.

The Concertinos were smashing speakers and much easier to drive than their more expensive brethren. Properly driven and set up they can sound exceptional

Cno's recommendation of te Electo gets a hearty endorsement from me and one of the middle sized Icon Audio valve amps should do very nicely indeed. Sadly both are rather over budget and I am struggling to think of anything sub £1k that would do them justice.

Personally I would stear very clear of the mainstream Japanese amps at this level, but that is just me. The Rega amps should be a decent fit musically but this is not a combo that I have ever been able to try.

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RE: Sonus Faber Concertino - Help

davedotco wrote:

 

Personally I would stear very clear of the mainstream Japanese amps at this level, but that is just me.

 

Hi Dave.  I'm interested to know why you say this.

Rega RP3/Elys 2 - Graham Slee Gram Amp 1 - Rotel RCD965BX - Exposure 1010 amp - Dynaudio DM2/6 - Chord Co. Chameleon VEE3/Rumour 2 - Musical Fidelity V90-HPA - Sennheiser HD595

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RE: Sonus Faber Concertino - Help

matthewpiano wrote:

davedotco wrote:

 

Personally I would stear very clear of the mainstream Japanese amps at this level, but that is just me.

 

Hi Dave.  I'm interested to know why you say this.

Apart from my usual elitist, pig headed view on all things hi-fi I assume?

OK, I'll try to explain but only if you promise not to laugh.

I have over the years found a few products and manufacturers that are to me on a different plain to most of the hi-fi world. These products somehow manage to defy my normally rational responses to equipment and, flying in the face of my usual high regard for accuracy and transparency, simply reproduce music in a way that is far more engaging then any comparable products.

Many of these products are pretty expensive but the Concertinos at a very modest price do a pretty good job of engaging me, not as much as my favourite Electa Amator but pretty good nevertheless. Buy my usual standards the Concertinos are not remotely hi-fi but I like what they do immensly.

On the other side of the coin I find inexpensive japanese amplifiers to be bright, analytical and the exact opposite of engaging, so I would not dream of partnering such an amplifier with a Sonus Faber loudspeaker, even one as modest as the Concertino.

Now the funny bit.

Even though I know that these comments are unfair and probably far from reality, my own (psycological) biases are so strong that I have to take them into account when choosing equipment for my own use. Ie, see japanese amplifier > expect bright analytical sound > hear bright analytical sound, expectation bias at it's simplest!

I know this is probably all in my mind but from time to time I find other people with comparable views (particularly in my time as a dealer), so I find myself wondering if there may, just, be something in these observations.

This nagging doubt is real and unsettling enough that it would influence my spending to such a degree that, were I in the position to be buying a decent system at this time, the Electrocompaniet mentioned by Cno above would be one of the cheapest amplifiers I would seriously consider.

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RE: Sonus Faber Concertino - Help

If you are not seeking high quality audio - why not sell the S fabers and get somehting more modest and pocket the difference.

 

I am only guessing here but speakers like that might be a bit revealing of whatever you feed into them - you might bet better results of all more modest gear - it might be a more enjoyable listen to someone no that into it

 

Just a thought

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RE: Sonus Faber Concertino - Help

you are giving concertinos more credits than it deserves...they're not the last word in transparency, speed or dynamics...let alone weak bass and small scale of music...it's a good speaker but not the end of the world...tube amps are good idea, but i don't think they're good partners for low wattage tubes...and it means ££££ for appropriate tube amp...

@dave

i'm basically a tube guy, but couple of months ago i bought yamaha a-s500 for summer setup, partnering with vienna acoustics haydn grand...it is beyond my expectations, big, bold and beautiful sound, with no traces of harshness, grain or cold, analitical sound...i wonder what reviews and oppinions about yamaha will be if it is repackaged in some kind of high end like box with two knobs...

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RE: Sonus Faber Concertino - Help

Tacty wrote:

you are giving concertinos more credits than it deserves...they're not the last word in transparency, speed or dynamics...let alone weak bass and small scale of music...it's a good speaker but not the end of the world...tube amps are good idea, but i don't think they're good partners for low wattage tubes...and it means ££££ for appropriate tube amp...

@dave

i'm basically a tube guy, but couple of months ago i bought yamaha a-s500 for summer setup, partnering with vienna acoustics haydn grand...it is beyond my expectations, big, bold and beautiful sound, with no traces of harshness, grain or cold, analitical sound...i wonder what reviews and oppinions about yamaha will be if it is repackaged in some kind of high end like box with two knobs...

Concertinos are the baby of the range and not that difficult to drive, something decent with paired EL34s should do the job.

 

If the Yamaha is that good why hang on to your valve amps?

Because they are better, thats why. It simply depends how important that difference is to you.

My main sysyem, now sadly in storage, is driven by a 30wpc valve amplifier utilising paired EL34s in pentode mode.

It is not required to drive big wideband speakers to any great level but within it's capabilities and driving my small 2 ways with dipole ribbon tweeter it is fabulously enjoyable.

By my usual standards the system is not even hi-fi as it lacks both bandwith and scale but as I tried to explain in my earlier post, it has qualities that lift it to a level that is inhabited by very few components or systems.

Again as I said ealier, these are intensly personal observations on my behalf and not to be taken out of context.

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RE: Sonus Faber Concertino - Help

davedotco wrote:

It is not required to drive big wideband speakers to any great level but within it's capabilities and driving my small 2 ways with dipole ribbon tweeter it is fabulously enjoyable.

By my usual standards the system is not even hi-fi as it lacks both bandwith and scale but as I tried to explain in my earlier post, it has qualities that lift it to a level that is inhabited by very few components or systems.

IMO. That is the difference between a system that is all about enjoyment, as opposed to one that is about analysis. The two can be the same, but often aren't.

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Sonus Faber Concertino - Help

CnoEvil wrote:

davedotco wrote:

It is not required to drive big wideband speakers to any great level but within it's capabilities and driving my small 2 ways with dipole ribbon tweeter it is fabulously enjoyable.

By my usual standards the system is not even hi-fi as it lacks both bandwith and scale but as I tried to explain in my earlier post, it has qualities that lift it to a level that is inhabited by very few components or systems.

IMO. That is the difference between a system that is all about enjoyment, as opposed to one that is about analysis. The two can be the same, but often aren't.

Back in the day when I knew all the answers, I was of the opinion that a hi-fi system could be evaluated in two ways.

Firstly by its ability to reproduce, as accurately as possible, whatever was on the recording. This would revolve around matters of low distortion, transparency and dynamic range.

Secondly by its ability to reproduce the essence of the performance, to reproduce the vibrancy of real people playing real music in a real environment.

Clearly both methods have limitations, many of them quite obvious but, strangely, I began to find components and systems that actually appeared to fulfill both criteria, systems that, while clearly accurate to the recording, did not over emphasise the faults and managed to convey the music with a sense of reality that was beyond the simple electo mechanical process of reroducing the data (digital or analogue) of the original recording.

One of the first components that I recall stepping up to this level was the Koetsu Red phono cartriges, then the early Electrocompaniet amplifiers, mid 90s Sonus Faber speakers and a few others. These components appeared to have an almost magical effect on systems lifting them to new levels. Such components and systems became, for me, the 'gold standard' and I considered pretty much everything else to be just mid-fi.

My own proper system has this capability, though by my usual standards has too many limitations on large scale music to be considered real hi-fi. Fortunately, or not, I am one of those people who find that I am uncomfortable listeming to large scale music in a small  domestic environment, so the limitations of my sytstem are, for me, easy to live with.

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RE: Sonus Faber Concertino - Help

I'd go NAD. Not bright and analytical, but well balanced and erring on the rich. Also much cheaper than the other options mentioned.

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